Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 29: September 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 29: September 2018

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Procession on August 15th: renewal of King Louis XIII’s vow consecrating France to the Blessed Virgin Mary, after his victory over the Protestants

Protestantism: born of insanity, leading to insanity

Delirium and fanaticism are a natural component of Protestantism.  One could write volumes to prove it, but a quick look at the facts will suffice here.

Luther discussed religion with the Devil

Let’s start with Luther.  What could be more insane than to claim to be taught by the Devil, to glory in it, and to establish a new doctrine based on this rather doubtful (to say the least!) authority?  This is, however, exactly what was done by the founder of Protestantism, Luther himself, who left written accounts of his interview with Satan.

Whether the apparition was real or just a nightmarish hallucination during a long night troubled by fever, it’s impossible to push fanaticism any further than to brag about being instructed by such a teacher.

Luther tells us himself that he had several colloquies with the Devil.  The most noteworthy is the vision – which he recounts very seriously – where Satan assailed Luther with arguments against the Mass celebrated privately, without the faithful.  Luther depicts the scene in vivid colors.  He awakes in the middle of the night, and Satan appears to him:  he sweats, trembles;  his heart is beating terribly.  Nevertheless, a discussion is engaged.  The Devil shows himself to be such a good dialectician that Luther is vanquished, and left with no response.  The Devil’s logic was accompanied by a voice so terrifying that the blood froze in poor Luther’s veins.  He said:

“I then understood how it is that people often die at the dawning of day; it’s because the Devil can kill or suffocate them, and, without going so far as that, when he argues with them, he puts them in such difficulty that he can thus cause their death:  this is what I have often experienced myself.”

A very curious passage indeed!

Zwingli helped by a phantom

Another example of this folly:  the phantom that appeared to Zwingli, the founder of Protestantism in Switzerland.  This heresiarch wanted to deny the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.  He claimed that the consecrated bread and wine are nothing more than the sign of the Body and Blood of Christ.  However, he was bothered by the texts of Sacred Scripture that clearly affirm the contrary.  All of a sudden, just as he was imagining a discussion with the secretary of the town, a black or white phantom (as he says himself), appeared to him and provided him with the desired explanation.

This edifying story comes from Zwingli himself!

Melanchthon’s superstitions

Melanchthon showed himself to be strangely credulous when it came to dreams, extraordinary phenomena and astrological predictions.  His letters are full of examples.  During the Diet of Augsburg, Melanchthon interpreted various happenings in Rome (the flooding of the Tiber and the birth of a monstrous mule having the foot of a crane), and in the territory of Augsburg (the birth of a calf with two heads) as favorable omens for the new Gospel.  These events were for him the unquestionable announcement of the imminent ruin of Rome and the triumph of Protestantism.  He affirms this very seriously to Luther in a letter.

He would read his daughter’s horoscope for her, and trembled in seeing that Mars “manifested a dreadful aspect”.  He was also terrified by the flames of a comet appearing in the northern sky.  The astrologists predicted that the stars would be more favorable to theological debates in autumn, and that sufficed to console him concerning the delays in the conferences of Augsburg.  These “reasons” were also good enough to convince his friends, the leaders of the Protestant faction.

Someone having predicted that Melanchthon would be shipwrecked in the Baltic Sea, he refused to embark.  A certain Franciscan had prophesied that the power of the Pope was going to disappear, and that in the year 1600 the Turks would become the masters of Italy and Germany: Melanchthon glorified in having the original version of the prophecy.  Moreover, the earthquakes which occur shortly after reinforce him in this belief.

To be continued…

Community Chronicle

May 2nd: Feast of the Ascension. After their spiritual retreat, eleven students from the Boys’ School make their “Solemn Communion” and pronounce their profession of Faith and perseverance.

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Profession of Faith during the “Solemn Communion” ceremony (feast of the Ascension)

May 10th:  Mr. Jean-Yves Nerriec gives a conference on the Angelus Mission, an association he founded for the street evangelization of Muslims.

May 20th: Pentecost Sunday: Fr. Angelico joins Fr. Salenave and the seminarians in Normandy for a gathering of the Combat for the Faith near Mont St. Michel.

June 3rd: Fr. Marie-Laurent and Br. Alan lead a group of students from the military school of La Flèche on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Béhuard.  In the afternoon: public Corpus Christi procession.

June 16th: Confirmations by H.E. Bishop Faure.

June 22nd – June 29th:  Fr. Angelico is in Scotland to visit the first Dominican tertiary attached to Avrillé:  Sr. Catherine of Sienna (Miss Ruth McQuillan).  Since her profession on August 22nd, 1994, Sister has never wavered in her fidelity to the Rule, nor in her affection for the Friary.  At the same time, Father was able to visit with Fr. King and his group of faithful in the Edinburgh/Glasgow area.

June 30th:  End of the school year ceremonies.

July 3rd:  Arrival of Fr. Tiago O.C.D., the superior of a Carmelite community based in Brazil who recently discovered Tradition, and who is looking for a solid religious and doctrinal formation.

July 8thFr. Terence is in New York to represent the community for the 30th anniversary celebration of Bishop Williamson’s episcopal consecration.

July - August:  The busy summer begins:

- The 15th annual Jean Vaquié Days. This year’s theme: “1717-2017: Three Centuries of Masonic Subversion”: July 13-15

- Men’s retreat (with help from Fr. Ballini); another retreat for couples

- Summer Camps:  in Anjou: Our Lady of Fatima Youth Group (primary school boys and girls) and Valiant Souls (adolescent girls), with Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie;  in Lourdes: the Cadets of the Sacred Heart, with Fr. Terence

- Participation in various summer university sessions

- The community’s annual retreat: Aug. 5-13

July 30th – August 1st: Visit from Fr. Chazal.

August 14th: Following our annual retreat, we have the joy of witnessing Brothers Michael-Mary and Augustine-Mary pronounce their first temporary vows for three years.  The same day, Brothers Alan and Agostinho pronounce their solemn vows, which means that the road is now open to the major orders (sub-diaconate, diaconate and priesthood)!

August 15th: Feast of the Assumption: Solemn High Mass, Conference for the faithful, and procession in the streets.

August 16th – 20th: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico lead a pilgrimage of about 30 tertiaries to Puy-en-Velay, France’s oldest Marian shrine, and to Langeac (monastery of Bl. Agnes de Langeac, a Dominican nun instrumental in the reform of priests in the 17th century).

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One by one, the Brothers pronounce their vows in the hands of Fr. Prior, holding a copy of the Constitutions

August 21st – 25th:  For the student Brothers, seminarians and lay professors: Latinitas session at the Friary, with Professor William Little: 5 days of spoken Latin (grammatical exercises, games, songs, during the meals and recreation…).

August 22nd: Fr. Reginald leaves for the U.S., where he’ll spend the school year helping H.E. Bishop Zendejas in his busy apostolate.

August 24th – 27th:  Father Angelico is in Ireland replacing Fr. Ballini.

September 1st – 9thFathers Marie-Laurent and Hyacinthe-Marie preach a mission in the Czech Republic, then in Fr. Hyacinthe-Marie’s native Poland.

News from our worksites

Work on the new Parish Hall is still suspended, due to the recent modifications in view of reducing the final cost. We ask for your

prayers and financial help, so that the project may finally commence early next year.

In the meantime, work has continued for the upkeep and improvement of the school grounds, both for Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, and for Saint Philomena Elementary.

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The novices working on the recreation court for St. Philomena School

Crisis in the Church

“How is it that seemingly ‘magisterial’ documents can contain errors and even heresies?”

Response:  It is because of the refusal, on the part of the conciliar pontiffs, to use the magisterial power1.  It is not, therefore, a question of the disappearance of the magisterial power (as the ‘sedevacantists’ say), but of the refusal to use it.  This refusal reduces these seemingly magisterial and public texts to the rank of simply private writings.  The liberalism of the modern Popes – especially the affirmation of “religious liberty” – puts an obex [an obstacle], not to the possession of magisterial power, but to its exercise.

However, we must specify that it isn’t the profession of just any error or heresy which constitutes an obstacle to the exercise of magisterial power, and not even liberalism in general, but the present error of modernism, which claims that truth is subjective (that is, depending on each person), and therefore cannot be imposed on anyone by the Church.

(from Le Sel de la Terre n°104)


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Prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Prayers of Saint Thomas Aquinas

For a visit to the Blessed Sacrament

O Jesus, Who lovest me so much, Thou art truly here a hidden God, hear me I beseech Thee.

Let Thy good pleasure be my pleasure, my passion, my love!  Grant me the grace to seek, find and accomplish it!  Shew me Thy ways, point out to me Thy paths.  Thou hast Thy designs upon me, let me know them, and help me to follow them to the final salvation of my soul.  Indifferent to all transient things, and desirous of seeing only Thee, may I love all that is Thine;  but Thee, my God, above all.

Render bitter to me every joy that is not Thee, impossible every desire outside of Thee, delightful every work done for Thee, insupportable every repose that is not in Thee.  That at all times, O my good Jesus, my soul tends towards Thee: that my life be but an act of love!

Make me realize that every work that does not honour Thee is lifeless.  Let my piety be less a habit than a continuous outpouring of the heart.

O Jesus, my delight and my life, keep me free from affectation in humility, from dissipation in my joys, from depression in my sorrows, from harshness in my austerity.

Grant me to speak without evasion, to fear without despair, to hope without presumption, to be pure and without stain, to correct without anger, to love without dissimulation, to edify without ostentation, to obey without hesitation, to suffer without complaint.

O Jesus, supreme Goodness, I implore Thee grant me a heart smitten by Thee, that no spectacle, no noise can distract:  a heart faithful and brave that will never falter or sink:  an indomitable heart always ready to battle after each tempest:  a free heart, never a slave, never seduced:  an upright heart that will never indulge in crooked ways.

And my soul, O Lord, my soul!  Make it thirst to know Thee, ardent in seeking Thee, and successful in finding Thee, Thee, supreme Wisdom!  Let its conversations not displease Thee too much: confident and calm make it await Thy replies, and on Thy words rely.

May penance make me feel the thorns of Thy crown: may grace pour out Thy gifts on me during my journey as an exile:  may glory fill me with Thy joys in the Fatherland!

Act of spiritual communion

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.  I adore Thee;  I am sorry that I have offended Thee.  I love Thee.  Come to my poor soul.  Unite Thyself to me.  I thank Thee my Jesus.  O never, never leave me.

Act of reparation to the five Sacred Wounds of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

I adore Thee profoundly in the Holy Sacrament, O my Jesus;  I acknowledge Thee here present as true God and true man; and I intend by this act of adoration to make amends for my coldness and the coldness of so many Christians, who pass before Thy churches, nay sometimes before Thy tabernacle where Thou deignest to dwell at all hours in a loving impatience to communicate Thyself to Thy faithful, and yet never so much as salute Thee, and by their indifference, show themselves to be like the Jews in the desert, sick of this heavenly manna, and I offer Thee the most Precious Blood, which Thou didst shed from Thy Sacred wounds, in reparation for such hateful coldness, within which Sacred wounds I would repeat a thousand and a thousand times:

Versicle:  Blessed and praised every moment,

Response:  Be the most holy and most divine Sacrament!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

I adore Thee profoundly, O my Jesus; I acknowledge Thee here present in the most holy Sacrament, and I intend by this act of adoration to make amends for my ingratitude and the ingratitude of so many Christians.

“Memorare” to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Remember, O most pious and tender Virgin Mary, that it has never been heard of in any age that those, who implored thy powerful protection, were ever abandoned by thee.  I, therefore, O sacred Virgin, animated with the most lively confidence, cast myself at thy sacred feet, most earnestly beseeching thee to adopt me for ever as thy child, to take care of my eternal salvation, and to watch over me now and at the hour of my death.  Only, do not, Mother of the Word Incarnate!  despise my prayer, but graciously hear and obtain the granting of my petitions.  Amen.

When used for a Novena to the B. V. M., say, after the Memorare, the Hail holy Queen once, followed by the Hail, Mary nine times.

Versicle:  Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us.

Response: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the glorious inter­cession of the blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be freed from present sorrow, and come to possess eternal joy.  Through Christ our Lord.

Response:  Amen!

Prayer said daily by Saint Thomas Aquinas for detachment

Give me, O Lord God, an ever watchful heart, which no subtle speculation may lure from Thee.  Give me a noble heart, which no unworthy affection can draw downwards to the earth.  Give me an upright heart, which no insincere intention can warp.  Give me a firm heart, which no tribulation can crush or quell.

Give me a free heart, which no perverted or impetuous affection can claim for its own.  Amen!

Petitions of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Bestow on me, O Lord, my God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, a life and conversation which may please Thee, perseverance in waiting patiently for Thee, and a hope which may embrace Thee at the last.  Grant me to be pierced with compunction by Thy sorrows through true repentance, to improve all Thy gifts and benefits during this my pilgrimage through Thy grace, and so at length to enter into Thy full and consummate joy in Thy glory.

Who livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever.  Amen!

Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas for purity

O good Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and, above all others, that of chastity depends on the powerful action of Thy divine Providence; I know that without Thee a creature can do nothing.  This is why I beseech Thee to defend, by Thy grace, the purity of my soul and of my body.  And if I have ever received any impression whatsoever of a sentiment capable of soiling this ineffable virtue, do Thou, O supreme Master of my faculties, blot it out from my soul that with a clean heart I may advance in Thy love and in Thy service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy divinity.  It is the Cross that I adore.  The Cross of the Lord is with me.  The Cross is my refuge. Amen!

Prayer of Saint Thomas for light and guidance

O ineffable Creator, Who, out of the abundance of Thy Wisdom, hast constituted the three Angelic Hierarchies, and set them in admirable order over the highest Heaven; Thou, Who hast, most graciously proportioned the parts of the universe; Thou who art called the true Fount of Light and Wisdom and the First Beginning of all, deign to let the Beam of Thy Splendour shine upon the darkness of my intellect to dispel the twofold gloom of sin and ignorance, in which I was born.

Make my tongue to speak wise things, O Thou, Who makest eloquent the tongues of babes; and do Thou pour out upon my lips the grace of Thy Benediction.

Give me keenness of comprehension, ability to retain, method and ease in acquiring, precision in interpreting, plenteous grace in speaking.  Inspire my going in;  guide my steps when I walk;  and my going out do Thou make perfect.  Thou Who art at once God and Man, and Who reignest for ever and ever.  Amen.

Maxims of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Be not anxious to plunge at once into the deep sea of wisdom: approach by the rivers that lead thereto.  For by simple things you arrive at the abstruse.

Be slow to speak.  Cherish the purity of your heart.  Pray always.  Love to be alone if you would reach intimacy with God.  Be courteous with all;  not quick to take offence.  Do not gad about;  but be sedulous in following in the footsteps of the Saints.  Retain the good that you hear, no matter whence it comes.  Be not too familiar with anyone; familiarity is the mother of contempt, and a fertile source of distraction from study.  Understand well what you learn: sift your doubts: enrich your mind and your memory.  Be not solicitous to know things that are above you.

Thus will you attain what you desire; and thus will you in your lifetime bring forth good fruit in the Vineyard of the Lord of hosts.

Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas

O blessed Thomas, Patron of schools, obtain for us from God an invincible faith, burning charity, a chaste life, and true knowledge: through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

VARIOUS PRAYERS OF ST. THOMAS

For the Theological Virtues

O God, all powerful, Who knowest all things, Who hadst neither beginning nor end, Who dost give, preserve, and reward all virtues;  deign to make me steadfast on the solid foundation of faith, to protect me with the impregnable shield of hope, and to adorn me with the wedding garment of charity.

For the Cardinal Virtues

Give me justice, to submit to Thee;  prudence, to avoid the snares of the enemy;  temperance, to keep the just medium;  fortitude, to bear adversities with patience.

For the practice of humility, modesty and charity

Grant me to impart willingly to others what ever I possess that is good, and to ask humbly of others that I may partake of the good of which I am destitute; to confess truly my faults; to bear with equanimity the pains and evils which I suffer.  Grant that I may never envy the good of my neighbour, and that I may always return thanks for Thy graces.

Let me always observe discipline in my clothing, movements, and gestures.  Let my tongue be restrained from vain words, my feet from going astray, my eyes from seeking after vain objects, my ears from listening to much news; may I humbly incline my countenance, and raise my spirit to heaven.

Grant me to despise all transitory things, and to desire Thee alone; to subdue my flesh and purify my conscience; to honour Thy Saints, and to praise Thee worthily; to advance in virtue, and to end good actions by a happy death.

Plant in me, O Lord, all virtues: that I may be devoted to divine things, provident in human affairs, and troublesome to no one in bodily cares.

Grant me, O Lord, fervour in contrition, sincerity in confession, and completeness in satisfaction.

Deign to direct my soul to a good life: that what I do may be pleasing to Thee, meritorious for myself, and edifying to my neighbour.

Grant that I may never desire to do what is foolish, and that I may never be discouraged by what is distasteful; that I may never begin my works before the proper time, nor abandon them before they are completed.  Amen!

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

according to Father Mateo Crawley-Bœvey

Imprimi Potest: William J. CONDON, SS.CC, Provincial

Nihil Obstat: Vincent DAVIS, SS.CC, Censor Deputatus

Imprimatur: + Patrick A. O’BOYLE, Archbishop of Washington November 30, 1955

Promises of Our Lord to families who honour His Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will establish peace in their families.

3. I will bless every house in which the picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.

4. I will console them in all their difficulties.

5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.

6. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

7. Sinners shall find in My Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.

8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

10. I will give to priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.

11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart never to be blotted out.

12. I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all who communicate on the First Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My displeasure nor without their Sacraments: My Divine Heart shall he their safe refuge in this last moment.

I WILL REIGN THROUGH MY HEART, DESPITE SATAN AND HIS AGENTS!

A letter of Pope Pius XII

To our Beloved Son Mateo Crawley-Boevey,

Priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Beloved Son, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

Now that fifty years soon will have elapsed since that day on which, endowed with the sacerdotal dignity, you offered the Holy Sacrifice for the first time, We do not wish you to be deprived of the felicitations and good wishes of Our Paternal Heart.  All the more so, since We have learned that you are presently confined to a hospital, not so much by reason of declining years, but rather because of serious infirmities, and thus are unable to labour with that zealous ardor which was your wont, for the Consecration of Catholic families to the Most Tender Heart of Jesus.

Nevertheless, what you are unable to do by apostolic labours, by apostolic journeys and preachings, you can accomplish undoubtedly by ardent prayers addressed to God, and by sufferings and afflictions cheerfully accepted in a spirit of reparation.  That you are doing this with a humble and willing heart We do not doubt, and while We desire to console you in your present illness, yet We also express the wish in your behalf that your strength be restored as soon as possible and that once more you may be permitted to strive earnestly to obtain for this salutary enterprise an ever increasing success.

This undertaking corresponds to Our most cherished desires, as it did to those of Our Predecessors.  We long for the return to the private life of men and the public life of peoples of the love of Jesus Christ, which springs from this Divine Heart.  In this way alone will it be possible to console the many who are afflicted and in misery, to strengthen the many who are weak and wavering, to arouse effectively the many who are negligent and lukewarm, and finally to induce everyone to the fervent practice of that Christian virtue which gave to the primitive Church its greatest glory, that of sanctity and martyrdom.

Let the Divine Redeemer reign once more in civil society and in family life, by His Law and His Love, and then without any doubt will be rooted out entirely those vices which are the source of human unhappiness and human misery, then without any doubt discord will disappear; then justice – but true justice – will solidify the foundations of human society, and that true liberty “wherewith Christ has made us free” (Gal. IV,31), will enhance the dignity of citizens and will make them brothers.

However, there is one thing We desire in a special way – and which is moreover the principal goal in the Work which you have propagated so long and so diligently – namely, that Christian families consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart “in such a way that His image being installed in the place of honour in the home, as on a throne, Christ the Lord is seen to reign truly within the Catholic family.” (Bened.XV Epis. Libenter tuas d.d. XXVII Apr. MCMXV; A.A.S.vol.II, p. 203).  This consecration is not a useless and empty ceremony, but requires of everyone that their lives be in harmony with Christian precepts, that they burn with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist, and that they share in the Heavenly Banquet as often as possible; and that they strive by humble prayers addressed to God, and by works of holy penance to provide by all means in their power not only for their own salvation but also for the salvation of others.

These, dear Son, are Our wishes and desires which it please Us to express to you on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of your priesthood which you are soon to celebrate, and the fulfilment of which We entrust to the Divine Goodness and Mercy. But in the meantime, as a proof of Our paternal good will and as a pledge of heavenly graces, We impart to you affectionately in the Lord, the Apostolic Blessing.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, the second day of the month of July, in the year nineteen hundred and forty eight, the tenth of Our Pontificate.

PIUS XII, Pope

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home

There is one place where the special graces and blessings of the Sacred Heart are needed more than anywhere else.  That place is the home.

No one knows this better than the priests who are trying to make the families in their parishes more thoroughly Catholic, or parents struggling to prevent the complete breakdown of Christian family life in their homes, or children worrying about parents who do not practice their religion.

First of all, let us consider the sacred character of the home and its importance in the eyes of our blessed Saviour.

When the Son of God became Man and began His work of saving the world and redeeming it from its sins, He did not at first establish His Church but, instead, founded a home. Before He appointed Peter the fisherman to be the head of His Church, He appointed Joseph the carpenter to be the head of His home.

What a lesson on the importance and grandeur of the home!  Think of it – the Saviour of the world spent only 33 years on this earth, yet 30 of them were passed in the humble home at Nazareth.  Jesus, infinitely wise, was giving an example for ages to come of the tremendous value of the family in the eyes of God.

Even after our Lord had said farewell to His happy home at Nazareth, He continued to stress by word and example the sacred character of marriage and to show His great love for the home and family life.

He raised matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament.  He taught the indissolubility of the married state . He showed sympathy and affection for the members of the family by accepting invitations to visit them and dine with them.

His first public miracle took place in a home at Cana in Galilee on the occasion of the wedding feast of a young couple.  He often stayed with Peter in his home and on one occasion restored his mother-in-law to perfect health.  He Himself asked that He might stay with Zaccheus in his home.  Frequently He visited the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary at Bethany.  Often He accepted invitations to dine in the homes of the Pharisees despite their jealousy and hatred for Him.  On one of these occasions, in the home of Simon, He forgave Mary Magdalene and gave us one of the greatest proofs of His merciful love.

The Sacred Heart and the home

If the divine Redeemer showed such great love for the home during His mortal life, we should expect Him to manifest the same solicitude and affection for the family when He asked St. Margaret Mary for devotion to His Sacred Heart.  This, He said, was like a “new redemption,” meaning, of course, that the effects of the Redemption would be renewed through devotion to His Heart.

On several occasions the loving Saviour referred to the home and, in fact, made a specific request and several promises concerning the family.  If He did not speak about the family more often at Paray-le-Monial, probably the reason is He presupposed people would know that when He talked about being honoured, loved, consoled, trusted, etc., this was to be done especially in the place where they spent most of their time, in the family circle.

For instance, when He made the promise that “since He is the source of all blessings, He will shower them in abundance in every place where a picture of His divine Heart shall be set up and honoured,” He certainly had the home in mind, for there follows immediately another promise concerned with the home, which specifies the kind of blessings He had in mind: “I will reunite families and will protect and help those who are in necessity and those who approach Me with confidence.”

On another occasion He promised, according to St.Margaret Mary, “that He takes such pleasure in being known, loved, and honoured by His creatures that He promises peace in their families, solace in their labours.  He promised that He would reunite families that are divided. . . !”

Again He assured the saint that the most zealous promoters of this devotion “would be recompensed not only in their own persons but also in the persons of their parents and friends.”

It is true that countless families had obeyed our Lord’s request to venerate an image of the Sacred Heart . But this veneration was an incomplete fulfilment of His request that the image be “set up and honoured in public,” for, with some exceptions, the Sacred Heart was honoured in a private way, mostly in the bedroom and not in a public place in the home.  Keeping the image of the Sacred Heart out of sight from visitors to the home seemed to symbolize the spirit of the times: the exclusion of our Lord and His teachings from the public and social lives of men.

It was reserved for Father Mateo to organize a true crusade to have all our Lord’s requests carried out in the home.  Likewise it was to be his special mission to focus attention on the social significance of devotion to the Sacred Heart and to strive to re-establish the public rule of Christ over nations through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home.

Just what is the enthronement?

The Enthronement is the official and social recognition of the sovereignty of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the Christian family, a recognition affirmed, outwardly expressed, and made permanent by the solemn installation of the image of that divine Heart in a conspicuous place in the home and by the Act of Consecration.”

From this definition it is at once evident that the Enthronement is not the mere blessing of a picture, nor a mere act of consecration, nor a mere outward and passing ceremony.  The Enthronement is all that and a great deal more.  By it the members of a family solemnly and officially proclaim and set up in their home the social kingship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Some persons have wrongly supposed that the whole movement of the Enthronement is based on the particular promise of the Sacred Heart to bless the homes where His picture is exposed and honoured; they imagine the work to be out to propagate and diffuse the image of the Sacred Heart in all homes so as to draw down upon them the promised blessing.  Consequently these persons consider the Enthronement to be one of those numerous devotions of supererogation, which, no doubt, are all good in themselves, but which, by reason of their multiplicity and often encumbering practices, not rarely produce the contrary effect to that which was intended; they hamper and kill devotion instead of helping and increasing it.

The Enthronement cannot be ranked in the category of the devotions referred to; in fact, it cannot be called a devotion in the ordinary sense of the word.  It preaches a life; it holds forth the fundamental principles of our religion and applies them to everyday life.  It brings out the loving person of our Divine Lord and associates Him with every detail of home life.  It insists not so much on devotion to the Sacred Heart as on the spirit of that devotion.  Rather than burden our life with supplementary devotional practices, it transforms life itself, giving to everything we do the soul of divine love.  If the Enthronement points to certain practices, for instance, Holy Communion on the First Friday, it takes care to accentuate the motive of love and reparation for which they were asked.

The Enthronement seeks to establish the effective reign of the Sacred Heart in the family and, through the family, in society.  It has chosen for its watchword the words of our blessed Lord to St. Margaret Mary: “I will reign by My Sacred Heart.”  Its program is the realization of this request which sums up all the desires and demands of the Sacred Heart.

Perhaps the Enthronement can be further explained by a few questions and answers, in the form of a “Catechism on the Enthronement.”

Q. What does the word “enthronement’ mean?

A. The word enthronement means to install on a throne, in recognition of a person’s authority.

Q. What do you mean by “the official and social recognition of the loving Kingship of the Heart of Jesus in a Christian family”?

A. In the ceremony of the Enthronement, the family is considered as the basic unit of society, the social cell, and also as the “nation in miniature”. As such it proclaims Jesus as its King and, as far as it can, as the King of the entire nation. That is why the father, the head of the family, installs the image in the place of honour. It is a public act inasmuch as it is done in a prominent place in the home and not in a private place, such as a bedroom.

Q. Why the installation of the image in the place of honour?

A.

(1) To make reparation for the dethronement of Christ from the first place in everyday family life and in the public life of the nation;

(2) because as King and Friend of the family, Jesus has the right and the desire to be given the best place in the home;

(3) so that the family and visitors will be constantly reminded that Jesus is the King and Head of the home.

Q. Why enthrone the Sacred Heart in the home?

A. Because our Lord asked that His image be singularly honoured in the home. Moreover, it is the home, which is being undermined systematically by its enemies, by the exclusion of Christ from family life. Therefore He must be systematically brought back. Finally the family needs the extraordinary graces promised by the Sacred Heart to those who give Him the place of honour in the home.

Q. Is the Enthronement merely the carrying out of the one request of our Lord, namely, to honour the image of His Sacred Heart?

A. No. According to Father Mateo, the Enthronement “is simply the realization, not of one or the other of the requests made by our Saviour to St. Margaret Mary, but the complete and integral realization of all of them, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them.”

Q. What are the principal requests made by the Sacred Heart?

A. To be acknowledged as a King who rules through love: “The adorable Heart of Jesus wishes:

(1) to establish His reign of love in all hearts” (St. Margaret Mary);

(2) to have the image of His Heart exposed and honoured in a special way in the home;

(3) to have everyone consecrate himself to His Heart;

(4) to make reparation;

(5) to live a life of love and confidence;

(6) to make His Heart better known and loved;

(7) to show greater devotion to the Eucharist;

(8) to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart and the First Fridays.

Q. Does the Enthronement program include all of these requests?

A. Yes. Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are carried out in the ceremony itself, at least in intention and symbolically; numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 are emphasized in the suggestions for the living of the spirit of the Enthronement.

From this it is easy to see why the Enthronement crusade is much more than an organized attempt to get a Sacred Heart picture or statue in every home.  That is important, but Father Mateo insists there is much more to his work than this.

“Is the Enthronement nothing more than the image installed in the place of honour?  No, there is more to it than that!  Is it perhaps but a beautiful and simple consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart?  The consecration is included indeed, but there is much more than that!

The Enthronement is the collective answer of the family to the request and at the same time a reply to those who cry out, “We will not have this Man reign over us!”  When the family enthrones the Sacred Heart, they are saying in effect: “Lord, we want Thee to rule over our family, we adore Thee as our King of Love; we accept Thee as our loving Friend, always occupying the first place in our hearts and in our home.  Thy kingdom come! Thou must reign, and Thou shalt reign in our home.”

This response of the family to the divine request gives the Sacred Heart an “excuse”, an occasion, as it were, to fulfil His marvelous promises.  We might compare the Enthronement to a bi-lateral contract: the family promises and tries to carry out our Lord’s requests, and Jesus, in His turn, promises to keep His pledges; and the wonderful part of it is that He always does, even if He has to work a miracle of grace!  And why not?  Has He ever broken His word?

To restore all things in the Sacred Heart, then, no better means could have been found than this providential work of the Enthronement. You do well, dear son, while taking up the cause of human society, to arouse and propagate above all things a Christian spirit in the home by setting up in each family the reign of love of Jesus Christ.  And in doing this you are but obeying our divine Lord Himself, who promised to shower His blessings upon the homes wherein an image of His Heart should be exposed and honoured.” (Pope Benedict XV to Father Mateo.)

Nothing is lacking in this work, neither the solid foundation which makes it the best means to establish the reign of the Sacred Heart nor the indispensable external ritual, so important in making an impression on the senses of men, made up as they are of bodies and souls.

Rightly then, and without any exaggeration, St. Pius X could call this enterprise a “work of social salvation” (Acta Pontificia,May 25,1915, p.226 note); and Pope Benedict XV could write to Father Mateo, “Nothing is more suitable to the needs of the present day. . .”

How the King conquered

Before we go any further, it might be a good idea to give an example of a typical Enthronement ceremony and tell what it did in an American family that badly needed the help that the Divine Physician alone can give.  I know the family in question and I was able to follow the conquest of its members by the King of Love and Mercy, step by step.

The middle-aged father and mother came to see me one night in Washington, a few years ago.  As they began to speak, tears filled their eyes.  Here is their story.

“Father, we’ve made a mess out of our family.  We don’t know what to do or where to turn.  But we were present at an Enthronement in a friend’s home not long ago, and we heard the priest speak about the blessings that come to homes where the Sacred Heart is enthroned.  We thought, maybe, that’s what we need.  But everything seems so hopeless …”

“Nothing is hopeless when it’s a question of the Sacred Heart,” I reassured them.  “He can solve any problem; He is all-powerful.  But you have to trust Him blindly.  That’s the first condition He always demands before He works His miracles.  Now tell me about your family.”

Then began a tale of woe.  One of their four daughters had married a Catholic, but the second who had eloped with a non-Catholic had her two children baptized as Lutherans.  Her husband was a drunkard and she was at the point of separating from him.  The girl was embittered against the Church and was thinking of becoming a Lutheran herself.  She openly opposed Catholicism.

The third daughter had married a non-Catholic and was lax in the performance of her duties.  The fourth daughter had left home at the age of 16, encouraged by the second daughter.  She refused to contact her parents.

“And, Father, worst of all, that second daughter just had a third baby, born on Mother’s Day.  The child has a bad heart and is expected to live but a few days.  Her mother refuses to have the baby baptized.  She will have nothing to do with priests.  Father, it’s terrible!”

As I listened, I prayed to the Holy Ghost for the right answer.  I made an act of faith, trusting in the Sacred Heart’s promise to back up His priests when they encourage others to trust Him and honour the image of His Heart.  I remembered His promise to “reunite families that are divided … to bring peace to families … to change tepidity into fervour… to give graces of sanctification and salvation to homes that singularly honour the image of His Heart.”

“Listen carefully to what I have to tell you,” I said to them.  I’m going to give you the answer to this problem.  And the answer is not my answer but that of our Lord, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.  Whom does He love most?  Those who have never offended Him or sinners?  He Himself has given the answer:  ‘It is not the healthy who need a physician, but they who are sick … for I have come to call sinners, not the just.’   Therefore, there can be no doubt about it, He loves your daughters very much.  He wants to help them.  But you have to help Him.  You admit that you have kept Christ out of your family life by indifference and carelessness.  Now make up for that by bringing Him back in with great solemnity . Enthrone Him in your home, and He will come in as the Divine Physician to heal your daughters who are sick.

Now here is what I’m going to ask you to do:

“First, the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.  Make it as beautiful as solemn as possible.  Invite relatives and friends – especially your daughters and their husbands; if they don’t want to come, put their photographs around the Sacred Heart.  Secondly, make reparation.  The Enthronement ceremony is in itself an act of reparation, but there’s no sacrifice in having it.  Make a personal sacrifice.  I suggest daily Mass and Communion, and Night Adoration together in your home, at least once a month – every week if possible.  And, finally, try to get other families to honour and love the Sacred Heart.  And do all this with childlike confidence that the Sacred Heart somehow in His own way and in His own good time will reunite your family.  At least take my word for it, if you find it hard to believe.”

The mother and father promised they would do all that had been suggested.  On Trinity Sunday, May 23, 1948, they had the Enthronement.  The daughters refused to come, but their pictures surrounded the Sacred Heart on His throne.  The couple started making Night Adoration before the shrine of the Sacred Heart.  They spoke to others about it.

Then things started to happen.  The baby with the bad heart didn’t die as expected by the doctors.  Several times she was rushed to the hospital.  Finally death seemed a short time off.  The night before, the grandmother pinned a Sacred Heart badge on the baby’s gown.  Unexpectedly the baby’s mother, who had been so bitter, called a priest and had her child baptized.  Within seconds the baby rallied, and she was brought home nine days later.  This was on July 31.  She died the following November 22.

The day after the baby’s baptism, there was note on the grandfather’s desk at work stating that the day before a Mass had been offered for those who had contributed to a certain cause in which he had been interested.  A post-mortem operation was performed on the baby.  The doctors insisted it was a miracle that the child had lived six months.  Three days was the limit, generally.  The grandfather concluded that the grace of this Mass moved the mother to have the baby baptized.

More things began to happen.  On Christmas, 1948, the second daughter received Communion for the first time in eight years.  Her Lutheran husband became a Catholic on July 15, 1950.  In thanksgiving, they enthroned the Sacred Heart in their home with a large gathering present.  The wife is now a daily communicant; her husband receives Communion frequently during the week.  He is a member of a laymen’s retreat movement.  The children are now in a parochial school, and the family Rosary and the renewal of the consecration to the Sacred Heart are a nightly occurrence.  On the front lawn for all the neighbours to see is a beautiful marble statue of the Sacred Heart which was dedicated before a large crowd.  Even the boys’ choir from the parish church added to the solemnity.

In the meantime, the other daughters had their marriages validated and have enthroned the Sacred Heart in their homes.  All of them are spending much of their spare time calling on neighbours and friends telling them of the blessings that have come to their home through the Sacred Heart and urging them to enthrone Him in their own families.

I was invited to be present at the solemn renewal of the Enthronement in the home of the second daughter.  As we drove up to the house, we saw the spotlighted Sacred Heart shrine on the lawn.  The living room was jammed with friends and relatives.  Happiness was in the air.  I spotted the mother and father sitting on the sofa, taking in the happy scene.  I couldn’t resist an impulse.  Leaning over, I whispered, “I told you so!”  Their only answer was to squeeze my hand as tears of joy welled in their eyes.  Every one of their girls and husbands were there before them, at peace with God.  Yes, Father was right, “The Sacred Heart has never broken His word!”

A typical enthronement ceremony

Have you ever witnessed the impressive ceremony of the Enthronement?  If not, let me invite you to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Typical American, who are having the ceremony for the first time.

Mr. T.A. might have heard about it in any one of several ways – at a Holy Name meeting, by reading a magazine article, from a friend passing on the good news, through his student-son’s bringing the word from school, from the priest who preached about it in church, or through his wife.  In any case, he is all for it, and tonight’s the big night.

Following the suggestions in the pamphlet, the T.A. family went to Mass and Holy Communion in the morning “for the reign of the Sacred Heart in their home” and as “an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart.”  They also had a Mass offered for the same intention.

Relatives and friends have been invited, and one of the parish priests has promised to preside.

In the living room, over the fireplace, a “throne” has been prepared, beautifully decorated with flowers and candles.  On the throne have been placed photographs of absent loved ones, living and dead.  In another part of the room, the image of the Sacred Heart has been placed on a small table with holy water and two lighted candles.  The room has already taken on the air of a “little church”.

When all the guests are present and the priest has donned his cassock and surplice and stole, one of the children is allowed to light the candles while another distributes copies of the “ceremonial” to each one present.

With the parents and children standing near, the priest begins the liturgical blessing of the image of the Sacred Heart.  Then he invites the head of the house, accompanied by his wife and children, to take the statue and “escort the Sacred Heart to the place of honour in the home.”  (Sometimes, while the little procession is taking place, those present sing “To Jesus’ Heart All Burning.”)  Arriving at the throne, the Sacred Heart is installed in the place of honour.  Then the Apostles’ Creed is recited by all as an act of faith in our Lord’s teachings and in reparation for those families who refuse to accept them or put them into practice.

At this point everyone is seated, while the priest addresses them on the significance of the Enthronement.  As you sit back and take in the scene, you cannot help but realize how the Enthronement brings out the sacred character of the home: the home altar with the image of the Sacred Heart surrounded by flowers and candles; the priest vested in surplice and stole; the assembled “congregation” – all make you understand more clearly the oft-repeated words of priests and writers that the home is indeed a “domestic church”.

When the priest has finished, he invites the group to kneel while he and the head of the house recite the official Act of Consecration of the Family to the Sacred Heart.  (A plenary indulgence and indulgence of seven years are attached to the recitation of this formula, composed by Father Ladislas, SS.CC, and adopted by the Church for general use.)

Then an Our Father and a Hail Mary are recited for the absent members of the family, living and dead, that all may share in the graces of this occasion.  After this, everyone recites the act of thanksgiving composed by Father Mateo.

The next step is a prayer in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Wherever a king is enthroned, there the queen reigns, too.  Consequently, in the Enthronement ceremony the Queen of Love is not forgotten, and in honour of her Immaculate Heart the “Hail, Holy Queen” is recited by all.  If so desired, at this point an act of consecration of the family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be recited and her image installed near that of the Sacred Heart.  (As we will explain later, we do not enthrone the Immaculate Heart of Mary – this is an act of adoration reserved for the divine King alone.)

After the ceremony which is concluded with the recitation of ejaculatory prayers, the blessing of the priest, and the signing of the certificate of the Enthronement by all the members of the family and the presiding priest, follows a little family party.

As a further example of what we mean by “living” the Enthronement, let us quote the words of Pope Pius XII.  It has been the custom of Pope Pius XII to receive newly wedded couples in private audience and to give them priceless words of encouragement and advice.  On many occasions, the Sovereign Pontiff has urged them to enthrone the Sacred Heart in their homes and to live the Enthronement.  For example, on June 5, 1940, he said: “It is fitting then, dear Christian husbands and wives, brethren of Jesus, that the image of His Heart ‘which has so loved men’ be exposed and honoured in your homes, like that of the nearest and most loved relation who pours out the treasures of His blessings upon you, your children, and your undertakings. ‘Exposed and honoured,’ that is to say, this image should not only watch over your hours of rest in private chamber but it should be loyally honoured by being hung above the entrance, or in the dining room, or parlour, or in some other frequently used place. ‘Everyone therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven’ (Matt.10:32).

‘Honoured’ means that at least now and then an attentive hand will place before the precious little statue or modest image of the Sacred Heart a few flowers, or a lighted candle, or even keep a lamp burning there, and that the family will gather round it each evening for a united act of homage, a humble expression of contrition, and a request for a few blessings.

“In a word, the Sacred Heart is duly honoured in a home when He is acknowledged as the King of Love by each and every one … when the Sacred Heart reigns in a family, and surely He has the right to reign everywhere.  It is necessary that an atmosphere of faith and piety envelop everyone and everything in that blessed household … In the consecrated family, parents and children feel themselves under the eye of God and are friendly with Him; they are therefore observant of His Commandments and the precepts of His Church.  Before the image of the King of heaven, become their earthly Friend and constant Guest, they fearlessly and meritoriously meet all the labours of their daily duties.

“May it be so with you, my dear sons and daughters!  Living united with Jesus even in this life, you shall only leave this earth to contemplate eternally the bright and beatific reality of that divine Heart in heaven.”

(Address entitled: The Reign of the Sacred Heart in the Christian Family” – The Holy Father Speaks to Newlyweds, Washington, D.C., p.27-28.)

Living with Jesus

Countless families have grasped one of the basic ideas of the Enthronement: living with Jesus, the loving King, Friend, and Guest of the family, and sharing all family joys and sorrows with Him.  For instance, I know a family that never has a birthday party without first laying the presents at the feet of their King and renewing their act of consecration to His Divine Heart.  Then they have their party with Jesus as their Guest.

Other families renew their act of consecration on wedding anniversaries, baptismal days, First Communion, and special days.  Some have renewed their Enthronement on the occasion of the death of a member of the family.  One of these cases occurred in Milwaukee.  The father, a devout Catholic, had always insisted that as his children got married, the first thing they were to do in their new home was to enthrone the Sacred Heart.  Usually he gave them a Sacred Heart picture as a wedding present.  Frequently he told his wife that when he died, before his body left the home the family were to gather around the coffin and renew the Enthronement.  So it happened.  Despite the grief, the members of the bereaved family gathered around the mortal remains of their father and, as on the day of their Enthronement, before an image of the Sacred Heart surrounded with lighted candles they renewed their consecration to the King and Friend of their home.  How significant the words of the consecration sounded at that moment: “Lastly, when the hour of separation will sound and death will plunge our home into mourning, then shall we all and every one of us be resigned to Thy eternal decrees and seek, consolation in the thought that we shall all one day be reunited in heaven, where we shall sing the praises of Thy Sacred Heart for all eternity.”

This family was one of many that have experienced the verification of the promise of the Sacred Heart: “I will be their secure refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.”

The enthronement, work of merciful love

From the foregoing examples and those contained in the following chapter, it is evident the Enthronement is a powerful means of obtaining the mercy of the Sacred Heart.  This is not to be wondered at.  The promise of the Sacred Heart that “sinners will find in My Heart a boundless ocean of mercy” is an echo of the gospel message, “I have come for sinners.”

The Enthronement brings into the home the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep, the Divine Physician eager to heal the sick, the loving Father embracing and forgiving the prodigal son.

Thus the Enthronement is not a reward for being good, limited to devout and pious Catholic families.  Rather it is an effective means of changing tepidity into fervour, indifference into love in families that have been strangers to these virtues.

In this respect, the Enthronement can be compared to the reception of Holy Communion.  You do not have to be a saint to receive Communion, but you receive Communion to become a saint.  A family enthrones the Sacred Heart in the home not because they are superior to others or outstanding in virtue, but in order to know and love and serve Him better than they have been doing in the past.

Naturally there are certain minimum conditions that must be fulfilled by families who want to have the Enthronement.  They must avoid scandal and likewise prevent abuses.  What then are the conditions for having the ceremony of the Enthronement?

Three conditions for the enthronement

1. That the marriage be a valid one.

A Catholic couple married outside the Church by a minister or a justice of the peace may not have the Enthronement until the marriage has been rectified by a priest.

2. That at least one of the parents be a practicing Catholic.

Thus if the father is a lapsed Catholic or a non-Catholic, the Enthronement may take place if the mother is a Catholic who practices her faith.

3. The family must have the general intention of doing God’s will.

This means they may be obliged to fulfil certain specific conditions such as giving up a sinful practice before they can have the Enthronement.  Of course, to avoid scandal the priest will be the judge as to the proper procedure in these cases.

In the eventuality the Enthronement may not be had, nothing prevents the family from honouring an image of the Sacred Heart in their home or praying to the Sacred Heart.  Often this will result in the reception of graces that will effect a change in the spiritual status of the family.

Fulfilling all Our Lord’s requests

It now remains to show how the Enthronement “is the complete realization of all the requests made by the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary,” and therefore most apt to bring about the fulfilment of the marvellous promises of the Sacred Heart.

1.  He wishes to enkindle die flame of love in a world grown cold by the burning love of His Heart.  “What the work seeks to set up in every home is nothing but the pure, simple, and frank devotion to the Sacred Heart” (Cardinal Billot).

2.  Through this devotion, Jesus wants to bring about the reign of His Sacred Heart.  “I will reign through My Heart.”  “The Enthronement is the solemn, social recognition of this reign” (Father Mateo).

“He wishes to enter the homes of princes and kings with pomp and magnificence” (St. Margaret Mary).  The Enthronement has taken place in the palaces of kings and princes (Luxembourg, Spain, Austria); entire countries have enthroned the Sacred Heart (Spain, Colombia, and others) and this has resulted from the widespread practice of enthroning the Sacred Heart in the homes of these nations.

3.  He asks that the image of His Heart be exposed and singularly honoured.  This is one of the essential characteristics of the Enthronement.

4.  He wishes the consecration of individuals, families, and nations to His Heart.  This is why we add the consecration to the Enthronement.

5.  He asks for the Feast of the Sacred Heart as a day of Eucharistic reparation.  From the very beginning, Father Mateo has strongly urged the solemn celebration of this feast on Friday, not only in church but also in the family circle – and this on Friday, the day our Lord specified.

6.  He asks for special Eucharistic practices.  The Enthronement encourages and helps families to make the First Fridays, Communions of reparation, and Holy Hours.

7.  He asks that His friends become apostles of the Sacred Heart, to extend His reign.  As a result of the Enthronement crusade there is hardly a point on the globe where the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart is not being promoted and proclaimed.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude with Father Mateo that “the Enthronement is the realization of all the requests made by our Saviour to St. Margaret Mary, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them” (Jesus the King of Love, p.3).

Ceremonials for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home

Before the Ceremony

Prepare for the Enthronement:

1.  Learn what it is and how important it is.

2.  Set a date for the Enthronement in agreement with the pastor.  It is desirable to have a priest preside at the ceremony, but it is not essential to gain the indulgences.  For serious reasons, the father or someone else may preside and lead the prayers. In any case, please consult your parish priest.

3.  If possible have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered that morning for the reign of the Sacred Heart in your home and as an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart.  The entire family should try to receive Communion in this Mass or another Mass.

4.  Obtain as beautiful a picture or statue of the Sacred Heart as possible.  If you already have a picture or statue, use that one.

5.  Below the place of honour reserved for the statue or picture, prepare a “throne” or “altar”, that is, a table (or perhaps the mantelpiece), covered with a white cloth, beautifully decorated with flowers and candles. The picture or statue should be placed on a small table near this “throne” before the ceremony.

6.  Invite your relatives and friends to be present; thus you will already begin to be an “apostle of the Sacred Heart”.  Have a family party after the ceremony, with a special treat for children who – even the smallest – should, of course, be present at the ceremony.

7.  Make this day one of the outstanding events of the family life – one long to be remembered.  The greater the solemnity, the better.

Note: Even though your home has been consecrated to the Sacred Heart, you may still have the Enthronement, as the two are not the same.

The Ceremony

1.  All gather around the image of the Sacred Heart; father, mother, and children nearest to the priest.

2.  The priest, in surplice and white stole, blesses the image.  (If the priest is not present, have the image blessed beforehand.)

The Blessing of the Picture or Statue

V. Adjutorium nostrum in    V. Our help is in the name of nomine Domini. the Lord.

R. Qui fecit coelum et terram.    R. Who hath made heaven and earth.

V. Dominus vobiscum.    V. The Lord be with you.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.   R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Sanctorum tuorum imagines pingi non reprobas, ut quoties illas ocuiis corporis intuemur, toties eorum actus et sanctitatem ad imitandum memoriae ocuiis meditemur, hanc quaesumus, imaginem in honorem et memoriam Sacratissimi Cordis Unigeniti Filii tui Domini Nostri Jesu Christi adaptatam bene + dicere et sancti + ficare digneris; et praesta ut quicumque coram ilia, Cor Sacratissimum Unigeniti Filii tui suppliciter colere et honorare studuerit, illius meritis et obtentu a te gratiam in praesenti, et aeternam gloriam obtineat in futurum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum Amen.

(Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who dost approve the painting and sculpturing of the images of Thy saints, so that as often as we gaze upon them we are reminded to imitate their deeds and sanctity, vouchsafe, we implore Thee, to bless and sanctify this image made in honour and in memory of the most Sacred Heart of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; and grant, that whoso­ever, in its presence will suppliantly worship and honour the most Sacred Heart of Thy only-begotten Son, may obtain through His merits and intercession grace in this life and everlasting glory in the world to come.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.)

(The priest here sprinkles the image with holy water.)

3.  Then the father (or in his absence, the mother or some other member of the family) enthrones the image of the Sacred Heart in the place of honour.  This is the symbolic act of Enthronement.

4.  All stand while the Apostles’ Creed is recited as an act of faith on the part of the family.

5.  Everyone is seated while the priest addresses a few words to those present, reminding the members of the family of what the Sacred Heart expects from families which have acknowledged Him as King; recalling the magnificent promises of the Sacred Heart; urging the family to live its Enthronement and frequently to renew the act of consecration which they are about to make.

6.  All kneel while the priest and the father (or the father alone, or his representative) recite the official Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart.

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

(Recited by the priest and the father together, or the father alone – or his representative – if the priest is absent.  This formula is required for the indulgences and may not be changed.)

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, / who didst make known to St. Margaret Mary Thine ardent desire to reign over Christian families, / behold us assembled here today / to proclaim Thine absolute dominion over our home.

Henceforth we purpose to lead a life like unto Thine / so that amongst us may flourish the virtues / for which Thou didst promise peace on earth, / and for this end / we will banish from our midst / the spirit of the world which Thou dost abhor so much.

Thou wilt reign over our understanding / by the simplicity of our faith. Thou wilt reign over our hearts / by an ardent love for Thee; / and may the flame of this love / be ever kept burning in our hearts / by the frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Deign, O Divine Heart, / to preside over our meetings, / to bless our undertakings both spiritual and temporal, / to banish all worry and care, / to sanctify our joys / and soothe our sorrows. / If any of us / should ever have the misfortune to grieve Thy Sacred Heart, / remind him of Thy goodness and mercy / toward the repentant sinner.

Lastly / when the hour of separation will sound / and death will plunge our home into mourning, / then shall we all and every one of us / be resigned to Thy eternal decrees, / and seek consolation in the thought / that we shall one day be reunited in heaven, / where we shall sing the praises and blessings of Thy Sacred Heart / for all eternity.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary / and the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph / offer Thee this our consecration / and remind us of the same / all the days of our life.

Glory to the Divine Heart of Jesus, / our King and our Father!

7.  The priest here asks those present to say one Our Father and Hail Mary for all the absent members, both living and dead, so that all may share in the graces of the Enthronement.

8.  All recite with the priest (or head of the family) the following:

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Glory be to Thee, / O Sacred Heart of Jesus, / for the infinite mercy / Thou hast bestowed / upon the privileged members of this family. / Thou hast chosen it / from thousands of others, / as a recipient of Thy love / and a sanctuary of reparation / wherein Thy most loving Heart / shall find consolation / for the ingratitude of men. / How great, O Lord Jesus, / is the confusion / of this portion of Thy faithful flock / as we accept the unmerited honour / of seeing Thee preside over our family! / Silently we adore Thee, overjoyed to see Thee sharing / under the same roof / the toils, cares, and joys/of Thy innocent children! / It is true/we are not worthy / that Thou shouldst enter our humble abode, / but Thou hast already reassured us, / when Thou didst reveal Thy Sacred Heart to us, / teaching us to find in the wound of Thy Sacred Side / the source of grace and life everlasting. / In this loving and trusting spirit / we give ourselves to Thee, / Thou who art unchanging Life. / Remain with us, Most Sacred Heart, / for we feel an irresistible desire / to love Thee and make Thee loved.

May our home be for Thee / a haven as sweet as that of Bethany, / where Thou canst find rest / in the midst of loving friends, / who like Mary / have chosen the better part / in the loving intimacy of Thy Heart! / May this home be for Thee, / O beloved Saviour, / a humble but hospitable refuge / during the exile / imposed on Thee by Thine enemies.

Come then, Lord Jesus, come, / for here as at Nazareth, / we have a tender love / for the Virgin Mary / Thy sweet Mother / whom Thou hast given us to be our Mother. / Come, / to fill with Thy sweet presence the vacancies / which misfortune and death / have wrought in our midst.

O most faithful Friend, / hadst Thou been here / in the midst of sorrow, / our tears would have been less bitter; / the comforting balm of peace / would then have soothed these hidden wounds, / which are known to Thee alone. / Come, for even now perhaps, / there is drawing near for us / the twilight of tribulation, / and the decline of the passing days / of our youth and our illusions. / Stay with us, / for already it is late, / and a perverted world / seeks to envelop us / in the darkness of its denials / while we wish to adhere to Thee / who alone art the Way / the Truth / and the Life. / Repeat for us those words / Thou didst utter of old: / “This day I must abide in this home.”

Yes, dear Lord, / take up Thy abode with us, / so that we may live in Thy love / and in Thy presence, / we who proclaim Thee as our King / and wish no other! / May Thy triumphant Heart, O Jesus, / be forever loved, / blessed, / and glorified / in this home! / Thy Kingdom come! Amen.

9.  (All stand) To thank the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the grace of the Enthronement, and to proclaim this loving Mother as the Queen of the home, all recite the Hail, Holy Queen. If so desired, an Act of Consecration to the Heart of Mary may be added, and her image may be installed near the Sacred Heart.

10.  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Have mercy on us! (3 times)

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Pray for us.

St. Joseph: Pray for us.

St. Margaret Mary: Pray for us.

(All) Glory to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus forever and ever! Amen.

11. The priest gives his blessing: Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. Amen. -  May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.

12. Then the members of the family and the priest sign the certificate of the Enthronement, which should be framed and hung near the image of the Sacred Heart or kept in the family archives.

13. Then are announced the following indulgences to be gained by the members of the family (Raccolta 1943, page 536):

1.  A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, on the day of die Enthronement.

2.  An indulgence of seven years for all the members of the family who, at least contrite of heart, assist at the ceremony of the Enthronement in their home.

3.  An indulgence of three years – once a year, on the day they renew their official act of consecration before the likeness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

4.  A plenary indulgence on the same day under the usual conditions.

5.  Note: The CEREMONY of the Enthronement is only the beginning: The following practices of devotion will help you LIVE the Enthrone-ment.
This is the TRUE reign of the Sacred Heart in your family.

Suggested Practices of Devotion

1. Frequent and even daily attendance at Mass by at least one member of the family, and Communion of reparation. Recite the “Mass of St. John” during the day.

2. Observance of the First Friday of each month. (Holy Mass, Communion of reparation [at least spiritual communion if no traditional mass near your home], renewal of act of consecration before enthroned image.)

3. Daily family Rosary before the enthroned image of the Sacred Heart, with renewal of the short act of consecration.

4. Celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart by the entire family: attendance at Mass, Communion for the extension of the reign of the Sacred Heart through the Enthronement; family gathering and celebration at home, with renewal of Enthronement; special party for the children.

5. Observe the month of June, the month of the Sacred Heart; keep flowers before the “throne”. Mass and Communion as often as possible.

6. Assist at Holy Hour in church (if there is a true traditional church or chapel near your home. If not: the holy hour can be made at home).

7. Night Adoration in the home. Any hour between 9 and 6, by any one or all the members of the family at least once a month.

8. Celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the 22nd of August. Mass, Communion, consecration of family to the Immaculate Heart.

9. Make the five First Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of Russia; holy Mass and Communion of reparation (at least spiritual communion if no traditional mass near yur home); five decades of the Rosary plus a fifteen-minute meditation on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. The Rosary and meditation may be carried out at any hour on the First Saturday, a sermon in church will satisfy the obligation of the meditation.

10. Practice devotion to the Holy Ghost. Recite “Chaplet of the Holy Ghost.”

Special occasions on which the family should renew the Act of Consecration

(Prayer of Thanksgiving may be added)

1. Feast of Sacred Heart; Christ the King.

2. Anniversary of the Enthronement

3. Anniversary of parents and children.

4. At births; after baptism in the church; consecrate the children to the Sacred Heart before the “throne” in the home.

5. At First Communion: Prepare the children before the image of the Sacred Heart in the home. When they return from church, let the children renew the act of consecration made for them by parents at birth.

6. Before a departure from home: To join the armed services, enter a convent or seminary, before marriage, etc.

7. On the return of an absent member of family.

8. On days of great family joys, in times of sorrow, sickness, and death.

Note: There is no more appropriate way for a young couple to begin their married life than to enthrone the Sacred Heart in their new home.

ACTS BY WHICH TO UNITE ONESELF TO THE HEART OF JESUS PRAYING IN THE GARDEN OF OLIVES

Heart of Jesus, praying for those who are at this hour sinning against Thee, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for all tried and tempted souls, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for all Thy holy pontiffs and priests until the end of time, that their “faith may not fail,” I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, praying for every afflicted and sorrow-stricken soul, and enduring their sorrows in Thyself, I unite myself to Thee.

Heart of Jesus, uttering Thy loving fiat to every grief Thou shouldst bear for man’s salvation, I unite myself to Thee.

By the fear Thou didst will to endure for us, sanctify our fears of suffering, of death, and of judgment, O Sacred Heart.

By Thy sadness even unto death, – have pity on the souls who are now bowed down with sorrow, and give them grace to say in union with Thee: “My Father, if this chalice may not pass from Me, Thy will, not Mine, be done.”

By Thy thrice-repeated prayer, O Heart of Jesus, give us grace to persevere in prayer amidst our sorrows and temptations.

O Jesus, whose Heart was sick unto death at the vision of the sins which would be committed until the end of time, make known to us all the malice of sin and give us an ever-increasing horror of it for Thy sake.

O Jesus, sweating blood in Thy mortal anguish; may we resist even unto the shedding of our blood rather than ever willfully sin against Thee.

O sorrow of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O prayer of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O agony of the Heart of Jesus in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee.

O sweat of blood of Jesus, in Gethsemane, I will never forget Thee. For Thy boundless sorrows, O Heart of Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For the shame Thou didst feel at the sins of the world which were laid upon Thee, O Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For the cruel betrayal of Judas which closed this hour of agony, O Heart of my Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

For all the outrages Thou didst receive during this night of Thy Passion, and for the renewal of them now by so many souls through-out the world, O my Jesus, I desire to console Thee.

TO JESUS’ HEART, ALL BURNING

To Jesus’Heart all burning

With fervent love for men,

My heart with fondest yearning

Shall raise the joyful strain.

Refrain

While ages course along

Blest be with loudest song,

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

By ev’ry heart and tongue,

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

By ev’ry heart and tongue.

O Heart for me on fire

With love no man can speak,

My yet untold desire,

God gives me for Thy sake. Refrain.

Too true I have forsaken

Thy flock by wilful sin,

Yet now let me be taken

Back to Thy fold again. Refrain.

IMMACULATE MARY

Immaculate Mary,

Thy praises we sing.

Who reignest in splendour

With Jesus our King.

Refrain

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria !

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria !

In Heaven the Blessed,

Thy glory proclaim,

On earth we, thy cildren

Invoke thy fair name. Refrain.

Thy name is our power,

Thy virtues our light,

Thy love is our comfort,

Thy pleading our might. Refrain.

We pray for our Mother

The Church upon earth ;

And bless dearest Lady,

The land of our birth. Refrain.

HAIL, HOLY QUEEN

Hail, Holy Queen enthroned above,

O Maria, Hail Mother of Mercy and of love, O Maria.

Refrain

Triumph all ye Cherubim,

Sing with us ye Seraphim,

Heav’n and earth

Resound the hymn :

Salve, Salve, Salve Regina.

Our life, our sweetness here below,

O Maria.

Our hope in sorrow and in woe, Ô Maria. (Refrain).

Litany for Catholic vacations (holidays)

Litany for Catholic vacations (holidays)

This litany for Catholic vacations has been composed for the use of parents. Meant for private recitation, it can be modified and adapted to the needs of each household.

It can equally encourage the making of concrete resolutions or lead, week after week, to a necessary examination of conscience.     (Note:  Click here to download the more printable and concise version).

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, have mercy on us

Lord, have mercy on us

Christ, hear us

Christ, graciously hear us

God our Father in Heaven, have mercy on us

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us

Holy Mary, pray for us

Saint Joseph, pray for us

Holy Family of Nazareth, help us

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord make us understand the need

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord give us a firm desire

To sanctify ourselves during the vacations, Lord give us the grace

To prepare spiritually for the vacations, Lord give us the grace

To understand the difficulties of this, Lord…

To centre them on the holy sacrifice of the Mass, Lord….

To frequent more than ever the sacrament of penance, Lord…..

To foresee a wise use of time, Lord……

To impose regular times for going to bed and for getting up, Lord….

To say morning prayers, often the most forgotten, Lord….

To make of the daily rosary a loving meditation, Lord…

To have, each evening, true contrition for our faults, Lord…..

To mix gentleness and firmness in the exercise of authority, Lord…

To make our children study during the vacations, Lord….

To maintain in their souls the sense of service and sacrifice, Lord…

To demand their help regularly, even when it seems easier and quicker to do everything ourselves, Lord….

To take time for study and serious reading ourselves, and to give the taste for it to our children, Lord….

To talk seriously to our children, Lord…

To speak with each one individually, Lord….

To reply properly to their questions, and above all to know how to give rise to good questions, Lord…

To be like children with our children, Lord…

To enter into their games with simplicity but without silliness and to always lift their souls, Lord….

To give them healthy occupations, Lord…

To adapt ourselves to the abilities and interests of each child but without ever leaving them totally to themselves, Lord…..

To carry calmly and lovingly the cross of constant supervision, Lord…

To inspire noble projects in the souls of our adolescents, Lord….

To encourage discreetly but firmly their perseverance, Lord…..

To supervise their friendships and their reading, Lord….

To protect them from mind-destroying games, Lord…

To always keep in mind the fear for the salvation of their souls, Lord..

To accept vexations, as coming from the hand of God, Lord…

To make our children accept them in the same way, Lord….

To bear with dignity and joyfully the problem of bad weather, Lord…

To never affront Christian modesty, Lord…

To avoid places that are morally polluted, Lord….

To refuse courageously to watch television, Lord…

To protect effectively our home against the fashions, music, images and influences of the world, Lord…

To make chastity loved there, Lord….

To make true Christian joy reign there, Lord….

To perceive throughout creation your glory and your goodness, Lord…..

To appreciate the masterpieces of our Christian civilisation, Lord…

To know how to make beauty admired, Lord….

To often sing as a family, Lord…

To live in your presence both in the humblest occupations and in the most absorbing, Lord…

From the snares of the devil, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of the world, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of independence, Lord protect our family

From the spirit of sensual pleasure, Lord…..

From the spirit of mockery, Lord….

From the spirit of over-excitement, Lord…

From the seductions of radio and television, Lord…..

From weakness and laziness, Lord….

From stupidity and the pervading vulgarity, Lord…

From ugly and brutalising images, Lord…

From the loss of the meaning of effort, Lord…

From casualness in dress and behaviour, Lord..

From the sadness of a day without sacrifice, Lord…

From the abdication of responsibility, Lord…..

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Litany composed by Le Sel de la terre

And inspired by similar Litany composed for young men and ladies by

Alain MUS (“Litanies pour les vacances”)

The Consecration of Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Consecration of Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

by Fr Gabriel-Marie Jacquier (1906-1942) of the Congregation of the brothers of Saint-Vincent de Paul

Preparation

We should choose a feast day of Our Lady’s, a Saturday or Sunday, or an important family anniversary.  You could make a novena together, before this solemnity, perhaps of the Rosary or Litanies.

During the preparation days, our hearts and spirits should be turned towards the Queen who is to come, and whose coming we should ardently desire.  Each one, separately, will consecrate himself or herself to the service of the Immaculate Heart according to the individual formula.

On the actual day of the consecration, it would be good to go to Holy Communion together, so that Jesus may give to our souls his filial spirit towards Mary.

In the main room where the family normally gathers together, we should have a statue or a picture of the Blessed Virgin, placed as if on a throne of glory with flowers and candles.

If at all possible, we should invite a priest to preside as a representative of Jesus and Mary.

The Ceremony of Consecration

1.  The recitation of three decades of the Rosary

  • The first, in honour of the mutual love of the eternal Father and His well-beloved daughter and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
  • The second, in honour of the mutual love of the incarnate Word and his tender Mother, and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
  • The third, in honour of the mutual love of the Holy Ghost and His virginal Spouse, and to join ourselves spiritually in that love.

2.  A Canticle in honour of the Blessed Virgin, if possible

3.  The formal blessing of the statue or picture by the priest , unless it has already been blessed

4.  A talk by the priest to explain the profound meaning of this consecration, the obligations that come with it, and the graces it promises.

(If there is no priest, then the head of the family can give this explanation.)

5.  The head of the family says the act of consecration, with everyone kneeling around him

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of MaryIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and tender Mother of men / to fulfil the desires of the Sacred Heart, / we consecrate ourselves to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart, / and recommend to thee / all the families of our nation and of all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, / and use us and all families as thou wishest, / to accomplish thy designs upon the world.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, / Queen of Heaven and earth, and of our family, / rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus-Christ, our King. / Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism, / kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, / the practice of the Catholic life, / and an ardent zeal for souls and for the holiness of family life.

We come with confidence to thee, / O throne of grace and Mother of fair love; / inflame us with the same divine fire / which has inflamed thy own Immaculate Heart.

Make our hearts and homes thy shrine, / and through us make the Heart of Jesus / rule and triumph in every family in the world.  Amen

6. Prayer to Saint Joseph, father of every Catholic family

Prayer to Saint JosephO Glorious Saint Joseph, after having consecrated ourselves to thy Holy Spouse, we come to celebrate thy glory and to rejoice with thee over thy predestination of being the shadow of the Eternal Father for Jesus, and the chaste spouse of Mary.

Trusting in thy most powerful goodness, a living reflection of the goodness of God the Father, we humbly ask thee to extend to us the paternal providence with which thou surrounded Jesus and Mary.

Baptism plunges us into the Heart of thy Spouse, and makes us members of thy divine Son;  we therefore, like them, want to abandon ourselves totally to thy care.

Help us to live, by thy example, in intimacy with them, which will introduce us to the family life of the most Holy Trinity.

But as the difficulties of the valley of tears could distract us from this unique love, we give thee all our worries and all our preoccupations.  Be therefore for us, as thou were for Jesus and Mary, the provider of bread, of clothing, of daily shelter and medicine for our poor bodies.  Shelter us from attacks of the devil, as thou once avoided the pursuits of Herod;  but above all, be as thou were in Nazareth, the veil which screens us from the curiosity of the world, so that we can peacefully grow in pure love.

O Saint Joseph, we glorify thy paternal goodness by peacefully trusting thee and by giving thee our filial love.  We are sure that thy attentive providence will never fail thy children, and that it will bring us into an ever closer intimacy with Jesus and Mary, and through them, with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.   Amen!

7.  Magnificat for the graces given to Mary and to this family

8.  Blessing of the priest who represents Jesus and Mary

**

Short formula for renewing the consecration at the beginning of morning and evening prayers

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the world, we acknowledge thy supreme dominion over our family.

We abandon ourselves to thy maternal leadership, teach us to love the Heart of Jesus, and to reproduce in our lives thy Nazareth home.

We offer thee all the merits of this day for the triumph of your Immaculate Heart, and through thee the triumph of Christ the King.  Amen!

****

After the Consecration

From now on, may the Heart of Mary be considered the centre of this family:  may her image have a place of honour, next to that of Jesus, everywhere in the house.

Her feast days and Saturdays will be celebrated communally; devotions to her, especially the Rosary, will increase in the home.  The Heart of Mary will be included in all events both happy and unhappy.

It’s before her image that we will gather together to thank her for favours received or for acceptance of crosses.  We will greet her on coming in, and on going out, and often throughout the day.  We will add an invocation to Mary at the end of blessings and grace before and after meals.  We will celebrate with the Virgin of Nazareth the main family anniversaries, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, special favours, etc.  Every year we will solemnly renew the consecration , following, as much as possible, the already indicated preparation and ceremonial.

Every day, at the start of morning and evening prayers, a brief formula will remind everyone that the whole family belongs to Mary.  Every member of this privileged family will do their best to live in intimate and habitual union with Mary, Queen and Mother of the home, always going to her as a little child goes to its mother.

In order to be worthy of the Immaculate heart of Mary, the family will put into practices the holy laws of Christian marriage, safeguarding the union of spirits and hearts, in a peaceful hierarchy, and inspiring simplicity in all things, purity and devotion to the house of Nazareth.

— Family influence

Reunions of families could be organized periodically in order to pray together to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to receive instruction that will help them reproduce the examples of the Holy Family.

A large part will be given to education.

You will set out to win over other homes to our Mother.  With this end in mind, you will pass on apostolic experiences and study the way one should act in various different circles.

Published in Le Sel de la terre 9

(Summer 1994)

A text on the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is going to be published soon.

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 28: May 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 28: May 2018

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Chrismal Mass at the Friary (Holy Thursday)

Christian Vacation: a Few Tips

• God is never on vacation, because He is Pure Act. “My Father worketh until now, and I work” (John 5:17).  Therefore, there should not be any “vacation” in our relations with Him.  When one truly loves God, vacation time is not an occasion to diminish our love for Him, nor for our neighbor.

• There’s no vacation when it comes to education, either.  Parents are still charged with the task of watching over their children, helping them, and supporting them.  They must take advantage of vacations to spend more time with their children, according to their possibilities, and reinforce family life.  That means taking the time to talk, live, and pray together.

It can be beneficial to send the children on a good summer camp (when possible), provided that the parents also fulfill their duty to spend time with their children.

• Determine a schedule for rising and going to bed.

morning: Set a time for rising relatively early (rising late softens the body and weakens the will); say morning prayers as a family.

evening: banish all screens, which impede relations between family members; say night prayers together, and set a time for going to bed.

• Make a schedule. For example:

morning: a time for reading (catechism, lives of the saints, history…)

afternoon: wholesome activities such as games outside with the participation of the parents as well as the children; excursions to learn about your region, its history, its traditions (that may require a bit of preparation); long nature walks to contemplate, admire and learn more about the plants and animals of the area, observe the stars…  Stay away from beaches that are a danger for morals.

It’s important that during all these activities, the parents and children be together as much as possible.  For a mother to stay in the house in order to “get things done,” while sending the children to play outside without taking an interest in what they’re doing, can be a double fault: not supervising the children, and not making them participate in household chores.  “There’s more joy in giving than in receiving.”

Adults: beware of letting children of all ages, boys and girls mixed together, play together unsupervised, so the adults can be at peace.  Alas! How many tragedies are discovered afterwards, when it’s too late!

• Don’t forget regular confession, and going to Mass more often, when it’s possible.

Community Chronicle

January 12th: Father Reginald is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) with the Knights of Our Lady for a formation session.

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Candlemas procession in the cloister

February 5th: Fathers Innocent-Marie and Terence visit Schola Nova, a school in Belgium where spoken Latin is taught successfully, from the primary grades to high school.

At the Friary, the Student Brothers and seminarians undergo three days of exams.

February 24th: Bishop Zendejas celebrates a Pontifical High Mass for the Tonsure and First Minor Orders (Porter and Lector) for several seminarians and the Second Minor Orders (Exorcist and Acolyte) for our Brother Agostinho (Brazil).  The following Sunday, His Excellency gives a conference for the faithful on the situation of Tradition in the U.S.

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Tonsure and Minor Orders : Feb. 24th

March 2nd: On the eve of the first Saturday of the month, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima that visited our region in 2017 is permanently installed in Saint Dominic’s Oratory (the chapel connected to the vestibule of the Friary Church).  Her presence among us will be a constant reminder of the urgency of the message of Fatima, last remedy given by Heaven to save the world, especially from the danger of communism (global socialism).  Thanks to the generosity of the faithful, a second pilgrim statue was also acquired, so that Our Lady may continue to visit the families of the parish.

March 24th: Fathers Louis-Marie and Angelico are in Paris to represent the Friary at the annual “Reality Fair” [“Fête du Pays Réel”].  This gathering organized by the Catholic nationalist organization “Civitas,” brings people from all over France to meet writers, artists, activists, clergy, and religious communities who make up the “real world.”

March 29th-April 1st: Easter Triduum.  With the help of the seminarians, a few visiting priests (and two Bishops!), the Triduum ceremonies were celebrated with particular solemnity.  For the third year in a row, we were blessed to have a Chrismal Mass.

At the same time, Father Reginald was in Brazil helping Bishop Thomas Aquinas provide the Holy Week ceremonies to the faithful.

April 2nd-8th: Father Marie-Dominique is in Saint-Malo-du-Bois (Vendee region) preaching the annual retreat for the Sisters of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix.

April 8th-14th: Annual trip to Rome for the seniors of St. Thomas Boys’ School, accompanied by Father Hyacinthe-Marie.

April 12th-16th: Trip to the U.S. for Fathers Angelico and Marie-Laurent.  After a short stop in New York visiting with Bishop Zendejas, the Fathers preach a day of recollection for the faithful at St. Joseph’s Mission in Emmet, Kansas.  On Sunday: High Mass followed by a potluck and conference, with a get-together for the tertiaries in the afternoon.

May 1st: At the end of a week-long retreat, our three postulants receive the habit of the order:  Brother Gabriel (Timothy, from Arizona), Brother Pie-Marie (Louis, from France) and Brother Marie-Thomas (Nicolas, from France, former student of St. Thomas Boys’ School).

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One of the postulants receiving his new name

News from our worksites

Thanks to the expert help of a parishioner, we were able to greatly reduce the construction costs for the new Parish Hall.  What’s more, the new blueprints are even better adapted to our needs than before.  However, that has involved a few delays…  Hopefully in the next newsletter we will finally be able to show some pictures of the progress of the worksite.  At the Priory (St. Thomas Boys’ School), the arched gate of the main entrance had to be renovated after severe damage due to age and weather.  The stones overhead had become dislodged from the mortar, and there was a risk of collapse.

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Renovation of arched entryway

Crisis in the Church:

Pope honors pro-abortion activist

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was created in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI in order to honor certain people for their personal dedication and self-sacrifice to the cause of the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s “surprising,” therefore, to see that last January, membership of this prestigious order was granted to Mrs. Liliane Ploumen, former Dutch minister of Commerce, who is particularly active in the worldwide propagation of abortion and LGBT associations.  She specified to the press that her pro-abortion activism was not mentioned during the ceremony of decoration, but seeing that she had been congratulated for her role in developing “resources in society,” she sees that as a “confirmation of what [she’s] doing for young women, for abortion.”  (Medias-Catholique.Info n°18 – week of January 18th, 2018)

Masonic grip on the Vatican

In February, 2017, Pope Francis named Mr. Peter Sutherland president of the International Catholic Commission on Migrations, and counselor to the Administration of the Heritage of the Holy See.

Sutherland, an active member of the directing committee of the Bilderberg Group, and of the European section of the Trilateral Commission, was also president of Goldman Sachs International from 2005 to 2015:

Goldman Sachs International is an invisible empire worth 700 billion euros (six times the annual budget of France); a money empire “over which the Sun never sets,” constituting a power over and above governments.  It doesn’t matter whether the Pope is a conscious agent or just being manipulated.  The result of these tight links with the “One World Order” is a perfect alignment between Vatican policy and the freemasonic, humanistic, globalist universalism which is working toward the dissolution of nations and cultures, to welcome migrants from all over the world with the goal of constructing a new multi-cultural, multi-religious world without boundaries: the world of the Anti-Christ. (Medias-Catholique.Info n° 16, week of January 4th, 2018)

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The message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world

The message of Fatima, the last remedy given to the world


Mary’s Immaculate Heart’s mediation

Fatima is the salvation of the world entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, the Angel had indicated the transition in the prayer of atonement that he taught the children in the Fall: they were to ask for the conversion of sinners through the infinite merit of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On June 13, 1917, Our Lady told Lucy:

Jesus wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation and these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.

That promise alone would suffice to embrace such a devotion!  But what is the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

One must first understand the word “heart” in its biblical sense: it is not simply the physical organ, the “muscle”, or the place of all our feelings, but in a general sense it is the human soul with all its faculties.

Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness” God said in Genesis (1,26). Immaculate in her conception, in loving correspondence with even the smallest inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Our Lady’s soul is the masterpiece, the perfect image of the Holy Trinity, and therefore the perfect model of creature.

In the prayer of the Mass of August 22nd, the Church is asking for us the grace to live according to the heart of God by celebrating the solemnity of Mary’s Immaculate Heart: “Ut ejusdem Immaculati Cordis festivitatem devota mente recolentes, secundum Cor tuum vivere valeamus.” The Church makes us understand here that the way to live according to the Heart of God is by imitation of Our Lady’s virtues. 

To have a true devotion to the Heart of Mary is therefore, though her, with her, in her and for her1, to conform always more, with love, to the will of God at the present moment.

That is the devotion to Our Lady for all times. It is now important to understand which clarifications the Virgin Mary provides for today.

The Requests of Our Lady of Fatima

At Fatima, there were two sorts of requests: those addressed to all the faithful, and those meant for the Pope. Let us examine first the requests regarding all the faithful.

A. REQUESTS CONCERNING ALL THE FAITHFUL:

5 points, which can be reduced to 2:

1) Fulfillment of daily duty

Let us listen to Sister Lucy:

The most important thing is the fulfillment of daily duty, and offering these sacrifices to fulfilment of duty for poor sinners.

The secondary requests are the Rosary and the Scapular, and perhaps ever more specifically the things which those two devotions demand: prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, and consecration to the Immaculate Heart 2.

Let us briefly explain these few points, and first what is the most important: fulfilment of daily duties.

Over and over again, during those precious hours I was in her company [says sister Lucy] Our Lady emphasized that it is the fulfillment of one’s daily duty, according to one’s state in life, and the sanctification of this effort in reparation for our sins and for the conversion of sinners, which is the primary condition for the turning back of the tide of evil which threatens today’s world 3.

The following words of Sister Lucy also show us that in today’s world, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – as well as devotion to the Sacred Heart- is meant for reparation:

In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it.  We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation. (apparition of June 13, 1917)

Today, times are bad.  Sins have become like a wave submerging the world and, since Our Lord, the number of souls being damned has never been so great: that is why Our Lady showed the children Hell on July 13.

The Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to save souls by offering the sacrifices necessary for the accomplishment of our daily duties to her Immaculate Heart, first for our own sins – let’s not forget this! – and for the conversion of sinners.  That is how we will bring back to God the modern man who doesn’t fulfill his duties towards God, towards himself, or towards his neighbor, because he only thinks about claiming his own rights.

Every day, when we get up, we could recite the prayer taught by Our Lady on July 13:

O Jesus, it is for the love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

That morning consecration will affect all our actions of the day, becoming thus offerings in reparation for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, even if we don’t think about it at the time.  But it is also good, of course, to renew this offering during the day as an aspiration, especially whenever a sacrifice is to be offered.

2) Consecration to Our Lady

This offering of all our actions comes back to and leads to the consecration of our life to Our Lord through the Virgin Mary.  It’s the spiritual oblation, the interior sacrifice, shown by the exterior practice of virtues.  We have already spoken of this in connection with the apparitions of the angel – from the summer of 1916 – and which is now being fulfilled by the mediation of Our Lady.

3) The wearing of the scapular of Mount Carmel

In the spirit of Fatima, the scapular which the three children were shown by Our Lady on 13th October, while the crowd was seeing the miracle of the sun, this scapular is both the sign of our consecration to Mary, and a pledge of her very special protection.

4) Daily recitation of the Rosary

The main means given by Our Lady to accomplish this ideal is the Rosary.

Sister Lucy continues :

But (The Virgin Mary) also stressed that the Rosary is indeed important, because it is one of Our Lady’s principal aids given to us to facilitate the sanctification of our daily duty4.

Let us remember here that in his Encyclical Laetitiae Sanctae, Pope Leo XIII saw the Rosary as the best remedy to the present evils in society:

The distaste for a simple and laborious life can be remedied by meditating on the joyful mysteries. (…)

Repugnance to suffering of any kind is healed by meditating on the sorrowful mysteries which teach us patience. (…)

And finally, the forgetfulness of future rewards can be remedied by meditating on the glorious mysteries5.

The Rosary is therefore the most effective means of escaping the indoctrination and conditioning of our spirits organized by the globalists.

Moreover, the request to say the Rosary every day is so important to the Virgin Mary that she keeps coming back to it – like a refrain – in every one of her apparitions from May to October 1917, and on 13th October, when she had promised to tell us her name, she called herself ‘Our Lady of he Rosary’. 

In the recitation of the Rosary it is of course a matter of keeping oneself in the presence of Our Lady, and of meditating or contemplating the different mysteries one after the other. It might be helpful to use some of the numerous little Rosary meditation booklets which are available to us for this purpose.

5) Communion in reparation on the five first Saturdays

This life of reparation to which Our Lady calls all of us should culminate in Eucharistic communion – let’s remember the apparition of the Angel of Portugal in Autumn 1916, and let’s think of the magnificent Trinitarian vision at Tuy in 1929 (13 June), which sums up the whole spirituality of Fatima.

It’s the communion of reparation of the five first Saturdays of the month, announced on 13th July6, and which Our Lady also came to ask for at Pontevedra on 10th December 1925:

I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall receive the sacrament of Confession, 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 My Immaculate Heart7.

If the purpose of the preceding requests was the reparation of all sins in general, and to obtain in this way the conversion of sinners, the goal of the devotion of the five first Saturdays is to make reparation for the sins committed especially against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to save those who committed these sins.

Let us quote here brother Francis of Mary of the Angels:

Ever since God decided to show his design of love, which is to give out his graces to men through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin, it seems that their refusal to willingly submit to this wish has been the fault which especially wounds His heart, and for which he no longer finds in himself any inclination to forgive. That sin seems to be irremissible; ‘It is a sin that the Gospels call the sin against the Holy Ghost,’says sister Lucy8, ‘A sin that will not be remitted in this world or the next’ (Mt 12,31-32), for there is no crime more unpardonable for our Saviour than the scorning of His most holy Mother and outraging her Immaculate Heart which is the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost9.

And so the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Mercy, being unable to bear that souls should be damned because of sins committed against her, has obtained from her Son that this little practice may obtain the saving of many of these souls:

That is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary has inspired Me to ask for this little reparation, says Our Lord; and in consideration of this, to evoke my Mercy to forgive those souls that have had the misfortune of offending her10.

Our Lord will bring to it several precisions, and in the first place, confession can be anticipated:

Confession within eight days is valid, and even beyond that, provided that souls are in a state of grace on the first Saturday when they receive me, and that, in this prior confession, they had the intention of thus making reparation to the Sacred heart of Mary.

Those who forget to formulate this intention, can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to confession11.

The practice of this devotion will be equally acceptable on the Sunday following the first Saturday when priests, for just cause, allow it to souls12.

As to the reason for the number of five Saturdays, Our Lord explained to sister Lucy on 29th May 1930 in Tuy:

There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception,

2. Blasphemies against Her Virginity,

3. Blasphemies against Her divine Maternity,

4. The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to place in the hearts of children Indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother,

5. The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images13.

**

— Thus we now have the five key points of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the spirit of Fatima:

  1. The fulfillment of our daily duties, offered to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for our sins and for the conversion of sinners;
  2. Consecration to Our Lady;
  3. Wearing the scapular as a sign of this consecration;
  4. Daily recitation of the Rosary;
  5. The communion of reparation on “Five First Saturdays”

— These five components can be brought down to two:

  • Consecration of our whole life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for sins in general, and to obtain the conversion of sinners;
  • Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays, which is an expression of love towards Our Lady, in reparation especially for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart, and to save this category of sinners whom the Queen of Mercy wishes (particularly) to snatch from the abyss.

B. REQUESTS OR OUR LADY OF FATIMA

ADDRESSED TO THE POPE

In May, 1930, when sister Lucy was in Tuy, she wrote to Fr. Goncalves:

The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make a solemn and public act of reparation, announces the consecration of Russia to the Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and commands his bishops throughout the Catholic world to do likewise – with His Holiness promising, that in return for the end of this persecution, he will approve and recommend the practice of the devotion of reparation outlined above (the five First Saturdays)14.

The practice of the communion of reparation (the five First Saturdays) was not spread by the Popes, and the consecration of Russia has not been done yet.

The result has been not only the spreading of Russia’s errors throughout the entire world, with its millions of corpses, but the infiltration of the Church, which is certainly the greatest victory of communism: accomplished in two great waves of infiltration: under Pius XI and then under Pius XII with the Pax movement15; and then the seizing of power at the Second Vatican Council. The plan of the “Alta Vendita” denounced by Pius IX has thus been completed: a revolution in tiara and cope marching under the cross and [papal] banner16.

Our Lord had predicted:

given that they follow the example of the King of France17 in delaying the execution of My requests, they will likewise follow him into misfortune18.

Here lies, no doubt, the entire question of the Third Secret of Fatima : the present crisis in the Church must be seen within the framework of the apparitions of Fatima as the chastisement of the Church for not having responded to the requests of Our Lady.

And this must also guide our Marian piety today.  True devotion to the Blessed Virgin must make us love and imitate her as she is.  Archbishop Lefebvre stated:

The Virgin Mary is neither a liberal, nor a modernist, nor an ecumenist.  She is allergic to all errors, and even more so to apostasy19.

Can we do something?  YES!   Sister Lucy tells us:

Russia will be converted when a sufficient number are offering their sacrifices and fulfilling Our Lady’s requests20.

This amounts to saying that the conversion of Russia will take place when a sufficient number of souls, in the eyes of God, have consecrated their entire lives to the Virgin Mary.  It is this that will obtain the grace for the Pope to convert and to consecrate Russia, which will then unleash the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady, and so also that of the Sacred Heart.

— I asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that consecration, wrote sister Lucy.

— Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Our Lord replied, so that it may defend her cult later on, and place devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart21.

Should we see an announcement of this triumph in these words of Our Lady at La Salette?

Jesus Christ will be served, adored and glorified; Charity will flourish everywhere. The new kings will be the right arm of Holy Church, which will be strong, humble, pious, poor, zealous and imitative of the virtues of Jesus Christ. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and men will make great strides in the faith, because there will be unity among Jesus Christ’s workers and men will live in the fear of God. This peace among men will be short-lived22 : 25 years of abundant harvests will make them forget that the sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth23.

As for us personally, united in devotion to the Sacred Heart, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will allow us to reach salvation; and should difficult times come, we will come through and keep our souls, and even obtain the grace of martyrdom if necessary.

Personal Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

composed by sister Lucy

Oh, Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother. I consecrate myself entirely to your Immaculate Heart with all that I am and all that I possess.

Take me under your motherly protection, defend me against dangers, help me overcome temptations, watch over the purity of my body and my soul.

May your Immaculate Heart be my refuge and the path that leads me to God.

Give me the grace to pray and sacrifice myself for love of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against your Immaculate Heart.

In entrusting myself to you, and in union with the Heart of your divine Son, I want to live for the Very Holy Trinity in whom I believe, whom I adore, in whom I hope, and whom I love.  Amen!


The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden (By Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P.)

The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden

By Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P.

Then Jesus came with His disciples into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and said to them: Sit you here till I go yonder and pray; and taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.  Then He said to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch with Me.—Matt, xxvii. 36.

WE NOW COME TO THE SCHOOL OF JESUS CRUCIFIED.  We come now to study in the book of His sacred Passion.  It was in this blessed book that God’s greatest servants learned their most salutary lessons; for here they found the most saving truths, the most sublime wisdom. In this school, for nearly two thousand years, heroic souls have been trained to fight on the world’s great battlefield in the cause of the Master:

— Here, weak women and tender virgins have become strong and brave: and triumphing gloriously over their enemies, have won for themselves imperishable crowns.

— Here have been formed valiant soldiers, noble generals, leaders in the army of God.

— Here theologians have acquired their profoundest knowledge of Christian mysteries: and have drunk, as from an unfailing fountain, the greatest truths of mystical theology.  The Teacher is our Lord Jesus Christ, and He gives us His first lesson in the Garden of Gethsemani.

It is the First Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary.

St. Alphonsus Liguori asks: “Who can deny that, of all devotions, the devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ is the most useful, the most tender, and the most pleasing to God?  It affords the greatest consolation to sinners, and is the most powerful means of enkindling in the heart an ardent love for God.”

From the Passion and death of Our Lord, all graces and blessings have come to us.  Through its serious and prayerful consideration we are brought face to face with the manifestation of God’s infinite love for us.  We behold in His mangled body the indisputable proof of that love, as well as the evidence of the enormity of our sins, which required so great an atonement.  At the foot of the cross, the worst of sinners can find mercy.  There they can obtain the grace of true contrition, without which reconciliation with God were impossible.  There they are strengthened in their resolutions to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than again crucify the Son of God by returning to their sins.  The cross of their Redeemer is their shelter, their protection, their chief ground of confidence, their glory.  St. Paul, that ardent lover of Jesus Christ, cried out: “God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.”

In the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, on the night before His Passion, Our Lord gave us the final and most tender proof of His love.  Then it was that He raised His beloved disciples to the sublime dignity of the priesthood, and commanded them to offer the adorable sacrifice of the Mass.  Then it was that He fed them with the Bread of Heaven, to support them through the trial which awaited them.

After the conclusion of that solemn and touching ceremony, He went forth from the supper chamber with His disciples, and passing over the Valley of Josaphat, and the brook Cedron, ascended the mountainside leading to the Garden of Gethsemani.

Bidding the rest of the disciples to wait, He took with Him Peter, James, and John, and entered the depths of Gethsemani, there to prepare Himself for the sacrifice.  And presently, fear and sadness came upon Him, and He began to be exceedingly sorrowful.  Withdrawing even from the three whom He had chosen, He went a little farther into the shadow of the garden, and falling upon His face, prayed: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Mt 26, 39).

There is a mystery in this abyss of agonizing grief so deep that God alone can fathom it.  From eternity Christ knew, as God, all that would happen in time; and as man He had seen clearly from the moment of His Incarnation the price He would pay for our Redemption; and yet, notwithstanding this clear prevision of His suffering, it was only in the Garden of Gethsemani that, by an act of His divine will, the floodgates of fear and sorrow opened and overwhelmed His soul.

As God, He was able to lay down His life and take it up again.

As man, He was prepared to take upon Himself the crimes of a sinful world, and, so laden, to offer Himself as an atoning Victim to the inexorable justice of His heavenly Father.  This is what was meant by the chalice which was prepared for Him, and which He was to drink to its very dregs.  And what a bitter, revolting chalice this was!  It contained the sins of the whole human race, from the beginning until the end of time—all the murders, all the impurities, the sacrileges, the blasphemies, all the idolatries and outrages that ever had been offered, all that ever would be offered to His eternal Father! And for all, He, the innocent Lamb of God, must make atonement!  He was to assume the sins of all humanity—to suffer as if He alone were guilty!  As St. Paul says: “He put on iniquity as a garment,” since He, who is Infinite Sanctity, saw Himself enveloped, defiled, as it were, with the corruption of the whole human race.  Thus covered with our crimes, He presented Himself in fear and trembling before the justice of His heavenly Father.  No wonder that His soul was sorrowful even unto death!  No wonder that He fell into an agony so frightful that the precious Blood oozed from every pore of His body, and ran in great drops to the ground!

Christ’s virginal human nature endured in anticipation all the shame and suffering of His Passion—the betrayal by Judas, the blows, the insults, the abandonment by His trusted disciples, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the reviling and rejection by His ungrateful people, the painful journey to Calvary, the cruel crucifixion, with its prolonged and unspeakable torments-all were present to Him.

In those hours of agonizing prevision were condensed all the sufferings of His many martyrs and confessors, including the dolors of His Blessed Mother, all the heartfelt contrition ever felt by poor penitents for their sins.

Added to this was the torturing knowledge that countless souls would be lost, notwithstanding all the excruciating anguish that He was about to endure for their salvation.  His soul was torn with unspeakable grief: and a conflict raged between His higher and His lower nature, the one urging Him to accomplish the will of His Father, the other “rebelling” against the extremity of complete satisfaction demanded by the divine justice.  This conflict enables us to understand that agonizing, oft-repeated prayer: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me.”  But the bitter cup was not destined to pass; both Father and Son had willed that it should be drained to the dregs.  Perhaps the most grievous element in that draught, and the one which weighed most heavily upon the desolate heart of Our Lord, was the withdrawal of all the supporting consolations of the Godhead.  Apparently deserted by His Father, His afflicted humanity was left to struggle unaided with the besetting powers of darkness. […]

It was then, in Gethsemani’s hour of desolation and abandonment, that Jesus sought consolation from His disciples.  He, the Comforter of the afflicted, sought the help of His creatures! His lonely, overburdened heart yearned for their sympathy.

But He found them asleep, unmindful of all that He had done for them, and of what He was then enduring for the love of them.  Alas, how little can we rely upon human comfort in the hour of affliction!  Finding the chosen three asleep (“for their eyes were heavy” says the text), Our Lord returned again to His solitary prayer; thus teaching us that when our souls are plunged in an abyss of sorrow and suffering, we must look to God alone for relief and strength.

The Evangelist tells us that an angel now descended from Heaven to comfort our desolate Lord; and that, through that heavenly visitation, His sacred humanity was invigorated and His courage renewed to continue the dreadful conflict.  Ascetic writers still further inform us that:

— the angel represented to the Redeemer the infinite glory which would be given to the Father by His sufferings and death.  He placed before Him the countless multitudes who would glorify His mercy forever in heaven;

— he reminded Him that even the lost would be forced to glorify the divine justice throughout all eternity.

Let us in like manner, when we stand face to face with some supreme trial, remember the words of saint Paul: “The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.”

It was through suffering that God’s most illustrious servants attained their highest perfection.  The Way of the Cross is the way of salvation, and the humble resignation of our souls into the hands of God in the time of affliction will not only obtain for us strength to drink the chalice even to its dregs, but increase our merits in the kingdom of Heaven.  Let us learn from Our Lord submissively to accept whatever our heavenly Father may send us, whether it be mental suffering, physical pain, loss of property, the betrayal of friends, the tarnishing of our good name through the breath of calumny,— whatever it be, let us cry, ” Lord, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me”; but let us also add, after the example of Our Lord, in meek resignation, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.”  God knows what is best for our purification and sanctification.  He will lead us to everlasting life, if we but follow Him in confidence and holy patience.

There is one lesson especially that Our Lord would teach us by His prayer in the Garden.  It is humble perseverance in the same petition.  Here we have divine warrant for repeating so often the “Hail Mary” and the “Holy Mary” in the Rosary.  The Evangelist tells us that Our Lord repeated the selfsame words, again and again: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me.”  Let us then persevere in our petitions, continually making known our needs, whether temporal or spiritual, to our heavenly Father.  It is His wish that we should continue to importune Him, not that He may know our wants, but that we may pay Him the homage of prayer which is His due, and acknowledge that all blessings must come to us through His adorable hands.

There are many instances of the reward of perseverance in prayer:

* The following was told the author by a priest who (for several years) had been his companion on the missions.  “My mother,” he said, “was a Catholic, but was unfortunately married out of the Church. My father was a bigoted Protestant, and soon after her marriage he forbade her the practice of her religion.  She consulted her confessor, and he enjoined on her as a penance to recite every day a third part of the Rosary for her husband’s conversion.  Further, he counseled her to bear patiently with her trials, and faithfully persevere in practicing her religion, no matter what she might have to suffer for it.”  Years passed on with this worthy woman, and as her children were born to her, she carried them by stealth to her saintly pastor and had them baptized.  As soon as they were able to lisp the “Hail Mary,” she had them unite with her in saying the Rosary for their father.  After five years, she doubled her penance; and after five years more, she offered up daily the fifteen mysteries for that husband’s conversion.  The change came unexpectedly in the end, as the priest had foretold.  The husband became a convert, and lived and died a fervent Catholic and an ardent lover of Our Lady of the Rosary.  The mother had the happiness of seeing her son a priest, and her daughter consecrated to the service of God among the Sisters of Loretto.

* We have another beautiful example of the power of prayer, accompanied by resignation to the will of God, in the life of the pious wife of King Louis XV of France, Maria Leckzinska of Poland.  The court of Louis was most corrupt; but the pious Queen did all in her power to save her children from its evil influences.  Her care was especially centered upon her son, the Dauphin, over whom she watched with unceasing vigilance.  On one occasion, she learned that certain vile young men had determined to destroy the innocence of the young Prince, and for that purpose had laid a snare to entrap him.  This news was as a dagger to the heart of the pious mother.  She hastened to her oratory, and closing the door, prostrated herself before the image of the Blessed Mother, imploring her to save her son from the danger that threatened him.  “It is to you, O Queen of Heaven,” she prayed, “that after God, I owe my son!  From his youth you have protected him.  I conjure you now to obtain from your divine Son his deliverance from his enemies; and, if it be necessary for me to weep for him, beg Our Lord that I may weep over his death, rather than over the loss of his innocence!”  Noble sacrifice of the Queen mother, worthy to be recorded with the sacrifice of Abraham!  In the midst of her ardent prayers and tears, an anonymous note was handed to her, containing these words: “Madame, be in peace.  Your petitions for the Dauphin are heard.”  She never discovered the writer of the note.  The young Prince almost miraculously escaped the snares so maliciously laid for him, and remained faithful to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  But that grace was purchased for him by his mother’s sacrifice.  Shortly afterwards the Prince became dangerously ill, and at the same time another anonymous letter was received by the Queen, which read as follows: “Remember, Madame, the request you made, and adore the mercy of God in behalf of your son.”  Recognizing in the sickness of the Prince the answer to her prayer, the mother accepted the decree with true Christian resignation and prepared for the worst.  When she saw her son expire, she had the inexpressible consolation of knowing that he had been received undefiled into the arms of his God.  Addressing her family, she said: “Oh, my children, seek no longer to know the cause of your brother’s death.  I prayed that he might die sooner than commit sin, and God has heard my prayer.”

What noble incentives to perseverance in prayer are thus given us in the life of our Saviour and His saints!  Should we, too, not pray without ceasing in all our difficulties and trials, and under the pressure of the cross humbly resign ourselves continually to God’s holy will?  Let us ever present our petitions through the hands of our immaculate Mother Mary.  O Virgin Mother of God! teach us to repeat again and again that sublime prayer, the “Hail Mary!”  Obtain for us the grace to persevere in prayer during our lives, that, at the hour of our death, we may be worthy to behold the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus!

(From The Treasures of the Rosary, by Fr Charles Hyacinth McKenna O.P., written 1835; edited by P.J. Kenedy and Sons, New York, 1917.)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): Feast: March 7

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

 

Feast: March 7

Thomas the Apostle challenged the story that the Lord was risen, and his unbelief brought forth a glowing testimony of the reality of the Resurrection.

Twelve centuries later, his namesake, Thomas of Aquino, questioned—without doubting—the great truths of faith, and demonstrated for all time the rela­tionship of faith and reason.  As the first Thomas found by experiment (“Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side”) that the Man who stood in the midst of them was none other than Jesus Christ, so Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, proved for all time that there is no quarrel between reason and revelation.

Thomas, son of the count of Aquino, was first trained at the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino, and here, even in childhood, his great mind was wrestling with theological problems.  His passion for truth is expressed in his constant question, “Master, tell me—what is God?”

Better to train the boy’s mind, his father sent him at an early age to the University of Naples.  Here he studied under Peter of Ireland and, undisturbed by the noise and wickedness of the great university city, proceeded rapidly on his quest for God.

Meeting the Dominicans, he was strongly attracted by their apostolic life and petitioned to be received as one of them.  While recognizing the gifts of the young student, the friars refused him admittance to the Order until he was eighteen.  Acting deliberately, without a backward glance at the power and wealth he was leaving, Thomas, at eighteen, joyfully put on the habit of the new Order.

Like many a gifted young man, Thomas was bitterly opposed by his family when he attempted to become a religious.  Both threats and persuasion failing, he was kidnapped by his brothers and locked in a tower for more than a year.  His sisters were sent in to influence him, and he proceeded to convert them to his own way of thinking.  A woman was sent in to tempt him; he drove her from the room with a burning brand from the fire; afterwards, angels came to gird him with the cincture of perpetual chastity.  The captivity having failed to break the determination, his brothers relaxed their guard, and Thomas, with the help of his sisters, escaped from the tower and hurried back to his convent.

Given the finest education that his time could offer, Thomas studied first in Cologne (Germany), and later at Paris, under Master Albert the Great.  This outstanding Dominican teacher and saint became his lifelong friend and loyal defender.  They taught together at Cologne and became a mutual influence for good in one of the most beautiful friendships in Dominican history.

For the rest of his life, Thomas was to teach and preach with scarcely a day of rest.  He traveled continually, which makes all the more remarkable the amount of writing he did.  Death found him in a familiar place – on the road – where he was bound for the Council of Lyons in obedience to the pope’s command.  He died at the Cistercian abbey of Fossanova, in a borrowed bed – obscurity hardly fitting the intellectual light of the Order, but perfectly suited to the humble friar that Thomas had always been.

Overheard in a colloquy with the Master he served so well, with heart and mind and pen, Thomas was heard to ask as his reward, “Thyself, O Lord, none but Thyself!”

From the book, Saint Dominic’s family,

By sister Mary-Jean Dorcy O.P.

Dominican sister of the Holy Cross

Dubuque (Iowa), The Priory Press, 1964

Also see the article Saint Thomas Aquinas in today’s combat for the faith  on this website

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé # 27: January, 2018

Letter from the Dominicans of Avrillé

No. 27: January 2018

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St. Thomas Boys’ School in the frost

A Canonical Recognition?

When Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of Saint Pius X in 1970, he had obtained its canonical erection as a “pious union” from Bishop Charrière of Fribourg, Switzerland.  The Archbishop’s work remained canonically recog­nized for five years.

However, on November 21st, 1974, after a canonical visit of Ecône by two envoys from Rome, Archbishop Lefebvre published a declaration manifesting his refusal “to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.”

From that point forward, the dividing line between the two “churches” was drawn.  Shortly after, the “Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies” was given the name of the “conciliar church” by Bishop Benelli [letter addressed to the Archbishop on behalf of Pope Paul VI].  It has kept this name ever since.

The canonical “suppression” of the SSPX was decreed by Bishop Mamie, on May 6th, 1975.  Archbishop Lefebvre rightly stated that it was “irregular, and in any case, unjust.”

This “suppression” was therefore consid­ered as null and void by Archbishop Lefebvre and all those who follow the rules of the Catholic Church, whereas it was deemed valid by the representatives of the conciliar church.

Recently, however, there has been more and more talk of a “canonical recognition” of the SSPX from the present authorities in the Vatican.  Can such recognition be accepted?

Per se, canonical regularity in the Catho­lic Church is something that is good, and even necessary.  Archbishop Lefebvre sought this reg­ularity in 1970, and obtained it.  Nevertheless, today, if a canonical recognition were to be ac­corded, it would be in the framework of the new Code of Canon Law.  It is in this framework that the Pope has granted jurisdiction for marriages celebrated by priests of the SSPX.

That reason alone would suffice in order to refuse this recognition:

“We cannot content ourselves with particular guidelines for the Soci­ety; we refuse this new Code of Canon Law be­cause it is contrary to the common good of the entire Church, [which is what] we want to pro­tect.” [Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, Courrier de Rome n° 499, May 2017]

We may add that under present circum­stances, there are other disadvantages.  Just to name a few:

— It would make us enter into the con­ciliar pluralism, with Tradition being recognized on an equal footing with the Charismatic move­ments, the Focolari, Opus Dei, etc.  This would put Truth on a par with error, at least in the public opinion.

— It would bring into our chapels faith­ful who are determined to remain conciliar, modernist and liberal, along with all that this implies regarding their lifestyle (because bad ideas lead to bad morals).

— It would necessarily reduce any at­tacks against the errors professed by the authori­ties under which we would then directly find ourselves.  It’s rather easy for all to see that the superiors of the SSPX have already diminished their criticisms of the present errors coming from Rome (Year of Luther, Amoris Laetitia, etc.).

—Lastly, such a canonical recognition would place us directly under the authority of superiors who are themselves under Freemasonic influ­ence.  Indeed, various studies published in Le Sel de la Terre have shown that the conciliar church is an instrument in the hands of Freemasonry to force Catholics to work toward the establishment of the New World Order, willingly or not.  (See the editorial n° 101, summer 2017.)   Providence permitted Archbishop Lefebvre and those who followed him to be exempt from this Freema­sonic influence: it would now be a grave impru­dence to subject ourselves to it voluntarily.  Freemasonry was born exactly three centuries ago (June 24th, 1717).   After having destroyed all the Christian states (with the revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries), and subjugating the Church (with the plan of the Alta Vendita, accom­plished by Vatican II), will Freemasonry succeed in spreading its influence over the work of Arch­bishop Lefebvre?  This would certainly be its ap­parent triumph on earth.

Consequently, a “canonical solution” can only be foreseen in the case of a Rome that has converted doctrinally.  Moreover, this conversion will have to be proven by concrete efforts to work for the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ, while fighting against the adversaries of this reign.

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Chant of the Gospel at one of the “stations” (during the procession on November 2nd)

 

A Luciferian Religion

Last June 24th marked the 300th anniver­sary of the foundation of Freemasonry.  This sect constitutes a sort of “Counter-Church” offering worship to Satan (See especially the book by Jean-Claude Lozac’hmeur, Les Origines occultists de la Francmaçon­nerie).  Msgr. Henri Delassus, author of the mon­umental work, The Anti-Christian Conspiracy — The Masonic Temple Wanting to Build Itself upon the Ruins of the Catholic Church (1910), made a re­markable analy­sis of the progression of this Lu­ciferian cult as a preparation of the reign of the Antichrist:

Just as in pagan times there were se­cret ceremonies and an esoteric doctrine that were known only to the “initiated”, leaving to the crowd of “ordinary men” the things which they could handle, giving satisfaction to their religious instincts in a sort of natu­ral­ism, we see reborn today certain prac­tices and dogmas that constitute a properly Lu­ciferian religion for the “initiated”, whereas the public is little by little led to a purely naturalistic religion. […]

This is not the first time that Satanism has invaded Christianity.

In the 15th century, the Renaissance, which was the first manifestation of the anti-Christian conspiracy, was preceded by an extraordinary development of magic.  It grew everywhere that Protestantism took hold, and this led to an epidemic of witch­craft that throughout the 17th century was a night­mare for Germany, England and Scot­land, while the Latin countries remained practi­cally untouched.

The Revolution, as well, was preceded by a fever of Satanism.  Magnetizers, necro­mancies, as they were called, showed up everywhere. The corrupted nobles had themselves initiated in rites where Satan was invoked, and in the towns as well as in the cities people gave themselves up to all kinds of occult practices.

But never, since the times of paganism, has Satan been as alive and active as he is today, hav­ing been invited back into the domain from which the Cross of the Divine Redeemer had chased him away. (pp. 723-725)

Community Chronicle

August 16th:  After a beautiful feast of the As­sumption, with its Solemn High Mass and proces­sion, it’s time for Father Reginald and our two Brazilian Brothers to leave on a month-long mis­sion to Brazil: a total of 2,500 miles by car visit­ing the faithful of various Mass centers.

September 2nd and 3rd:  Five Fathers attend the annual Chiré-en-Montreuil book fair, in or­der to represent our community.  A conference given by Fr. Louis-Marie was a good opportunity to make known to the public some of the various books and articles published this year by Le Sel de la Terre concerning the Protestant Revolution and its disastrous effects on souls and society.  A group of several students from the Boys’ School came along to help out the organizers.

September:  Back to school for the children… and for the Fathers and Brothers who take care of the Primary school, the Boys’ school, Our Lady of Fatima youth club, etc.

September 4th:  Fr. de Mérode comes to stay for the week, for his annual retreat.

September 10th: Fr. Marie-Dominique gives a conference on Saint Dominic for about 30 mem­bers of the “Friends of the Sacred Heart,” a youth group of the Combat for the Faith.

September 11th: Three of our tertiaries from the Czech Republic are among us for several days, happy to immerse themselves in the prayerful atmosphere of the Friary, and the Dominican Liturgy.

September 14th: Father Marie-Dominique leaves to preach the start-of-the-school-year retreat for the seminarians of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Seminary.  It’s also the official start of the school year for our student brothers.

September 23rd/24th: Third Order meeting in Chartres/Paris.  In the weeks to follow, Brittany, Alsace, Lyons, and Avrillé will have their turn at starting up a new year of activities.

October 25th:  We have the pleasure of re­ceiving H.E. Bishop Zendejas for a few days be­fore he goes on to Fatima for the pilgrimage of Christ the King.

November 13th:  Arrival of Br. Agostinho O.S.B., from H.E. Bishop Thomas Aquinas’ mon­astery in Brazil, for two months of rest.

December 22nd – January 7th: Fathers Marie-Dominique and Angelico, accompanied by Br. Alphonse-Marie, travel to various Mass centers in North America.  It was the occasion to visit our tertiaries, friends and benefactors, as well as to help out Bishop Zendejas for the Christmas ceremonies.  On the list: South Salem, NY (NYC area);  Emmet, KS;  Houston, TX;  Northome, MN;  Newman Lake, WA;  Buffalo, NY;  Winnipeg, MA (Canada).  Congratulations to the five tertiaries who made their profession in presence of the Fathers during this trip!

News from our worksites

We don’t have much news to tell for the moment, except that our building project has been accepted by the municipality. Thanks to your help, we have already gathered a good part of the funds necessary to start building.  The preliminary work (surveys, soil tests, entry roads for the construction vehicles, etc.) should be able to start in the next few weeks. Thank You!

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Parish Hall project

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The finished Chapter room, with its new altar.

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For timely articles and spiritual reading, please go to our website:

www.dominicansavrille.us

To send a donation:

YOU MAY USE PAYPAL (ON OUR WEBSITE), OR SEND TO:

In the U.S.:

Dominicans of Avrillé, Inc.
P.O. Box 23, Newman Lake, WA. 99025

In Canada:

Association of St. Dominic

C I B C, 201-21 Street East

Saskatoon (SK) S7K OB8 Canada

Please specify: CAN$: acc. #40-91531

In the U.K.:

Association of St. Dominic

R B S Edinburgh, 17 Comiston Road, Edinburgh EH10 6AA

Please specify: acc. # 00105564

For more information :

Couvent de la Haye-aux-Bonshommes

49240 Avrillé, France

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