Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?


Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."


As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."


August 31: Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Apostle of the English

Posted by Jacob

"His life is in marked contrast to the apathy of our times." (Venerable Bede on Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne)


Today, August 31, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651), known as the Apostle of the English (or the Apostle of Northumbria). Saint Aidan was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne. He is credited with restoring Christianity to the region. It is said of him, by Bishop Lightfoot, “Augustine was the Apostle of Kent, but Aidan was the Apostle of the English." Saint Bede the Venerable would write of Saint Aidan in his biography: "he was a pontiff inspired with a passionate love of virtue, but at the same time full of a surpassing mildness and gentleness."

Aidan was born in Ireland, probably in Connacht, and studied as a monk at the monastery on the Island of Iona in Scotland. While Christianity had spread into Britain centuries earlier, during the invasion of the Romans, gradually paganism had reclaimed the region. When Oswald of Northumbria regained the kingship, he sought to re-establish Christianity, and bring the light of Christ to the peoples living there. (Oswald is likely to have converted himself, upon a visit to the monastery on Iona).

Based upon his experience on Iona, King Oswald requested missionaries be sent to work amongst the peoples. At first the monastery sent a new bishop named Cormán, but he met with no success and soon returned to Iona, reporting that the Northumbrians were too stubborn to be converted. Saint Aidan criticized Bishop Cormán's methods and was sent as a replacement in 635.

Upon arrival in Northumbria, Aidan established Lindisfarne—an island similar to Iona—as the center of his diocese. Here Aidan established an Irish-type monastery of wooden buildings: a small church, small, circular dwelling huts, perhaps one larger building for communal purposes and in time, workshops as needed. The monks lived a life of prayer, study and austerity, but spent the majority of time preaching and engaged in activities of conversion. Through translation efforts of the royal family—first Oswald, and then Oswine of Deira after the death of Oswald—Aidan and his fellow monks preached the Gospel to all who would listen. Over time, he came to be recognized for his piety and gentleness, and respected by even the harshest critics of Christianity.

Gentle and unassuming, Aidan traveled on foot from one village to another, engaging those he met in polite conversation, and slowly raising their interest in Christianity. According to legend, the king gave Aidan a horse so that he wouldn't have to walk, but Aidan instead gave the horse to a beggar, modeling the charitable love of Christ. Through patience and wisdom, Christianity took root in these rural communities, and began to grow, fanned by the flames of love and zeal of Aidan and his companions. To further the growth of the faith, Aidan took in twelve English boys to train at the monastery, hoping to ensure that the area's future religious leadership would be English. The monastery he founded grew and helped found churches and other monasteries throughout the area. By his death, it was widely recognized as a center of Christian faith and learning throughout the regions.

Numerous miracles were attributed to him while alive, including his intercession to save the city of Bamburgh during attack by pagans. As holy legend tells us, when the pagans attacked the city, they set the walls on fire. Aidan prayed for respite, and the winds turned against the invaders, blowing the smoke from their own fires over the invading army. They were forced to flee, and the city was saved.

After 16 years as bishop, Aidan died at Bamburgh. In his life we see the zeal and the spirit of the first Apostles—a spirit based in generosity and dedication, in passing along the gifts of grace one possesses to all encountered. The Venerable Bede wrote of Saint Aidan: "He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him by kings or rich men. He traversed both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works."


Saint Aidan’s Prayer:

Leave me alone with God as much as may be.
As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore,
Make me an island, set apart,
alone with you, God, holy to you.


Then with the turning of the tide
prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond,
the world that rushes in on me
till the waters come again and fold me back to you.



O holy Bishop Aidan, Apostle of the North and light of the Celtic Church, glorious in humility, noble in poverty, zealous monk and loving missionary, intercede for us sinners that Christ our God may have mercy on our souls.


Thou didst teach and preserve Christ’s doctrine and didst spread the faith throughout Northumbria, O holy Aidan. Unceasingly pray to God for us for thou dost worship before His throne for ever. Amen.



Year 2: Day 243 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Generosity of spirit.
Requested Intentions: Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R).

August 30: Saint Jeanne Jugan, Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Posted by Jacob

"Go and find him when your patience and strength run out and you feel alone and helpless. Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel. Say to him, ‘Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all I have, and you know all things. Come to my help.’ And then go, and don’t worry about how you are going to manage. That you have told God about it is enough. He has a good memory."


Today, August 30, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Jeanne Jugan (1792-1842), known as Sister Mary of the Cross, and foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Saint Jeanne devoted herself to caring for the less fortunate, specifically the elderly and forgotten. While she experienced significant disappointments and difficulties in her life, Saint Jeanne modeled humility and joy in service, not in worldly recognition or acclaim. In his homily at her beatification, Pope John Paul II praised "the quiet but eloquent radiance of her life." He stated, "In our day, pride, the pursuit of efficacy, the temptation to use power all run rampant in the world, and sometimes, unfortunately, even in the Church. They become an obstacle to the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is why the spirituality of Jeanne Jugan can attract the followers of Christ and fill their hearts with simplicity and humility, with hope and evangelical joy, having their source in God and in self-forgetfulness."

Jeanne was born in Cancale (Ille-et-Vilaine), France, in the village of Petites Croix. She was baptized on the same day. Her father, a fisherman, died when she was just four years old, lost at sea, and her mother was forced to raise Jeanne and her three siblings alone. Jeanne, her brother and two sisters learned from their mother how to live in poverty, honestly and courageously with faith and love in God. Given the family’s financial state, Jeanne went to work at the age of 16 as a kitchen maid in a manor outside the village.

Jeanne worked at the manner from 16 until the age of 25, and then left home, moving to Saint Servan. There, she was employed in a hospital, where she worked as a nurse’s aide. In her work, she encountered many who were in desperate need, and Jeanne felt the call to assist them. She spurned the advances of suitors, preferring to devote herself to the suffering around her. When a young sailor asked her to marry him, she replied, "God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded."

At 25, Jeanne joined the Third Order of the Admirable mother, an association influenced by the teachings of Saint John Eudes. In her contemplation and prayer, Jeanne sought only to serve the Lord, becoming more like Jesus through imitation and intercession of Mary, Our Blessed Mother. She sought out the most destitute, weak, and sick, giving what little she had to their care.

When Jeanne was 47, her life was to be influenced in a profound manner by an unexpected visitor to her home. On a bitterly cold winter’s evening, she opened her door to a blind and semi-paralyzed elderly woman who had been left alone. Jeanne opened her heart to his poor woman, giving up her own bed. Soon, word spread, and a second elderly woman followed, and then more after her. By 1943, over forty were being cared for by Jeanne and her three young companions. Jeanne acted as superior of the developing religious order, offering guidance and structure to those who wished to assist her in her work.

Mother Marie of the Cross, as Jeanne was now known, founded six more houses for the elderly by the end of 1849, all staffed by members of her association—the Little Sisters of the Poor. By 1853 the association numbered 500 and had houses as far away as England. However, difficult times lay in store for Jeanne. Politics outside the order led to Jeanne being “demoted” from superior to a simple alms collector. This hard task had been one she began herself, early in her life, encouraged in charity by the Brothers of Saint John of God. Despite her advancing age and the years of work she had taken to build the order, Jeanne suffered this insult and injustice in silence. She remained gentle and kind, caring and compassionate, never complaining. Instead, she relied on her faith and love of the Lord, building up the other members of her order in any way she could.

As the years passed by, Mother Marie was more and more shrouded in obscurity. Those who had seen to her demotion also insured that her contribution to the founding of the order was also erased. She was kept in the background for twenty-seven years (1852 to 1879), four at the Home in Rennes, and the last twenty-three years of her long life at La Tour Saint Joseph, the Motherhouse of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor since 1856.

Saint Jeanne died at the age of 86. Her last words were, "O Mary, my dear Mother, come to me. You know I love you and how I long to see You!" Few of her sisters knew that she was the foundress of the Order, but all recognized her gentle spirit and great influence on the charity and work of all she came in contact with. It was not until 23 years after her death that she was revealed as the founders of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Her tomb, in the crypt of the chapel of the Motherhouse, in La Tour St. Joseph (Saint Pern), attracts many pilgrims, as do her birthplace in the hamlet of Les Petites Croix, in Cancale, and the foundation’s house in Saint Servan where she labored for many years.

On July 13, 1979, the Church officially acknowledged the heroic nature of Jeanne Jugan’s virtues. Her example continues to inspire the Little Sisters of the Poor today as they continue her work of humble service to the poor.

Selected Quotations of Saint Jeanne Jugan:

“Refuse God nothing … We must do all through love.”

“Do not call me Jeanne Jugan. All that is left of her is Sister Mary of the Cross, unworthy though she is of that lovely name.”

“What happiness for us, to be a Little Sister of the Poor!”

“When you grow old, you will no longer see anything…. As for me, I no longer see anything but God!”

“Give, give us the house. If God fills it, he will not abandon it.”

“God has blessed me because I have always greatly thanked his Providence.”

“It is a great grace that God has given you in calling you to serve the poor.”

“If God is with us, it will be accomplished.”

“Little, very little, be very little before God… hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

“Let us sing the glory of our risen Jesus.”

“My good Jesus, I have only you.”

“Remain little, hidden by humility in all God wants from you, as being only the instruments of his work.”

“We must know how to efface ourselves by humility in all that God asks of us.”

“When you will be near the poor, give yourself wholeheartedly.”

“Making the elderly happy – that is what counts!”

“In our troubles, we must always say, "Blessed be God, thank you my God, or glory to God!"

“If you keep the spirit of humility and simplicity, never seeking the world’s esteem, then God will be glorified and you will obtain the conversion of souls.”

“It is so good to be poor, to have nothing, to depend on God for everything.”

“We were grafted into the Cross.”

“Refuse God nothing. Accustom yourselves to do everything for him ... Let us love him very much, that is all that is necessary.”

“God will help us; the work is his.”

“He is so good ... love God very much. All for him, do everything through love.”

“Love God very much, so that you can look after the aged well, for it is Jesus whom you care for in them.”

“My little ones, never forget that the poor are Our Lord; in caring for the poor say to yourself: This is for my Jesus – what a great grace!”

“Be kind, especially with the infirm. Love them well ... Oh yes! Be kind. It is a great grace God is giving you. In serving the aged, it is he himself whom you are serving.”

“The Hail Mary will take us to heaven.”



Jesus, you rejoiced and praised Your Father for having revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. We thank You for the graces granted to Your humble servant, Jeanne Jugan, to whom we confide our petitions and needs.


Father of the Poor, You have never refused the prayer of the lowly. We ask You, therefore, to hear the petitions she presents to You on our behalf.


Jesus, through Mary, Your Mother and ours, we ask this of You, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever.


Amen.



Year 2: Day 242 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Humble service to all in need.
Requested Intentions: Mother’s health (A); Financial security, freedom from anxiety (S); For a son and cousins (L); Peace and civility (B); Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R).

August 29: The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, Precursor to Christ

Posted by Jacob

11I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)


Today, August 29, we celebrate the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, the Precursor of Christ, the forerunner of the Son of Justice, the minister of baptism of Jesus. His birth prepared the way for the coming of Our Lord and Savior, for the coming of salvation for all. His death reminds us that the promise of heaven is real, as is the struggle and suffering of this world.

From the Roman Martyrology:

The memorial of the suffering and death of St. John the Baptist, whom King Herod Antipas held in the prison in the citadel of Macheron and, on his birthday, since the daughter of Herodias was making the request, ordered to be beheaded; thus, the Precursor of the Lord, like a bright shining lantern, gave witness to the truth in death as much as he did in life.


I have written about the life of Saint John the Baptist, my confirmation saint, here. He was the cousin of Jesus, son of Zachary and Elizabeth. Saint John began his ministry around age 27, wearing a leather belt and tunic of camel hair, living off locusts and wild honey in the desert. He preached a message of repentance and of anticipation of Christ, and converted and baptized many in the River Jordan. Saint John was the minister of baptism to Jesus, during which the skies opened and Our Heavenly Father proclaimed the Son of God.

Following his baptism of Jesus, John instructed his disciples to follow Christ, and with great humility directed all attention to the Son of God. This period of John’s ministry was of short duration, as he was soon arrested and imprisoned by the Galiliean King, Herod (the son of Herod the Great, who had ordered the slaughter of the Bethlehem infants).

Herod feared John, as he considered him a great prophet, and knew the people revered him. However, his wife, Herodias, wanted John killed. True to the teachings of the Church, Saint John had publicly condemned Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, despite the fact that his brother was still alive. Herodias was incensed by this public condemnation, and insisted the king kill him. To appease her, Herod had John imprisoned, but let him out to preach—himself listening with admiration, and beginning to act upon his words.

Saint John’s imprisonment lasted approximately on year, until Herod through a lavish banquet to celebrate his birthday. Salome, the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of Herod, also came to this banquet. She danced for Herod, which pleased him and his guests.

As Saint Mark wrote in his Gospel:

17For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. 18For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.


21Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.


The king said to the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you." 23And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."


24She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?"


"The head of John the Baptist," she answered.


25At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter."


26The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6: 17-29)


Saint John the Baptist was the last prophet of the Old Testament, pointing to the coming Christ. He was also the first prophet of the New Testament, pointing to Christ and proclaiming that Jesus was the Savior. He preached a message of repentance and proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. For all the times Herod listened to John preaching, he completely missed the point! Rather, for Herod, John was an entertaining distraction whose words were acceptable when convenient, but became burdensome when challenging him to change. We, too, fall victim to this manner of thinking from time to time—knowing what we should do, but finding it too difficult or inconvenient. The martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, who endured “temporal agonies for the sake of truth” reminds us that we are called to the full redemption of Christ, and as such, are challenged to live in the truth.
Venerable Saint Bede on the Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist (for full text of homily, previously posted, visit here):

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: “I am the truth”? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ. Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer. Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, through he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ. To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather is was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward. Since death was ever at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: “You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.” He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.”

God our Father,
You called John the Baptist
to be the herald of Your Son's birth and death.
As he gave his life in witness to truth and justice,
so may we strive to profess our faith in Your gospel.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


For the Litany to Saint John the Baptist, previous posted, visit here.




Year 2: Day 241 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Lives of Truth.
Requested Intentions: Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R); Healing, successful relationships for son, financial success (J); Success of a company (L); For a religious society (J); Healing of a husband, strength as a faithful caregiver (D); Healing of a son (T).

Litany of the Three Patrons: Saint Monica, Saint Augustine, and Our Lady of Consolation

Posted by Jacob

Yesterdat, August 27, we celebrated the feast day of Saint Monica (322-387), Model of Christian Motherhood, and mother to Saint Augustine,whose feast we celebrate today. Saint Monica's life is a perfect example of Christian patience, endurance, charity, prayer, and conversion, and her tireless prayers on behalf of her son are inspiration for all Christians.


As we celebrate the feast days of Saints Monica and Augustine, we turn in prayer to their intercession—as well as that of Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Consolation, with the Litany of the Three Patrons:

Litany of the Three Patrons

Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.


Christ, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.


Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.


Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.


God, the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.


God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.


God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.


Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Mary, our Mother and the Mother of Jesus, Pray for us.
Mary, our Mother of Consolation, Pray for us.
Mary, the source of our hope, Pray for us.
Mary, the refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Mary, the guiding star of our lives, Pray for us.
Mary, source of strength in our weakness, Pray for us.
Mary, source of light in our darkness, Pray for us.
Mary, source of consolation in our sorrows, Pray for us.
Mary, source of victory in our temptations, Pray for us.
Mary, who leads us to Jesus, Pray for us.
Mary, who keeps us with Jesus, Pray for us.
Mary, who redeems us through Jesus, Pray for us.
Mary, Mother of Consolation, our Patroness, Pray for us.


St. Augustine, triumph of divine grace, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, so faithful to grace, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, glowing with pure love of God, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, filled with zeal for God’s glory, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, bright star in the firmament of the Church, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, so great and so humble, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, dauntless defender of the Faith, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, vanquisher of heresy, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, prince of bishops and doctors, Pray for us.
St. Augustine, our father, Pray for us.


St. Monica, devout mother of St. Augustine, Pray for us.
St. Monica, whose prayers won Augustine from sin, Pray for us.
St. Monica, whose prayers gave Augustine to God, Pray for us.
St. Monica, pattern for wives, Pray for us.
St. Monica, model of mothers and mother of saints, Pray for us.
St. Monica, exemplar of widows, Pray for us.
St. Monica, devoted to prayer, Pray for us.
St. Monica, so patient in trials, Pray for us.
St. Monica, so resigned in sorrow, Pray for us.
St. Monica, so happy in death, Pray for us.
St. Monica, devoted child of Mary, Mother of Consolation, Pray for us.


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.


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


Pray for us, O holy father, Saint Augustine,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Pray for us, O holy mother, Saint Monica,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, grant to Thy servants, that joyfully venerating Thy most pure Mother Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, we may be consoled by her in our sorrows, fortified in our trials through life, and in dying, may merit the ineffable consolations of Heaven for all eternity. Amen.

August 28: Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of Grace

Posted by Jacob

"Lord, let me know myself, let me know thee."



"Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord"

Today, August 28, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), bishop, confessor, Doctor of the Church, and one of the Four Great Fathers of the Latin Church. He is at times referred to as the Doctor of Grace. One of the most influential thinkers and writers of the Church, Augustine’s legacy in written works numbers at over 100 books, and 5,000,000 words! Within those words, the philosophy and virtues of our faith are revealed, inspiring us to a closer relationship with the Lord. The conversion of Saint Augustine, following years of sinful living, reminds us that we, too, are called to daily conversion… and that it is never too late to fully turn to the Lord!

From the Confessions of Saint Augustine:

“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace”

For selected quotations of Saint Augustine of Hippo, click here.

Born Aurelius Augustinus in Tagaste, North Africa, Augustine was raised by his pious mother, Saint Monica (whose feast we celebrated yesterday) and a pagan father, Patricius, a city official. Though Augustine received thorough education in the Christian faith, and a solid Christian upbringing at the hands of his saintly mother, he led a dissolute life as a youth and young man. (His account may be found in the first nine Books of the “Confessions,” his most famous work chronicling his spiritual development and conversion.)

At age fifteen, Augustine took a mistress who bore him a son named Adoedatus (“the gift of God). At age 18, along with a friend, Augustine left the Christian faith and joined the Manichean heretical sect—a group which accepted the dual principle of good and evil. Considered a “religion of reason,” the Manichean gnosticism was popular with students of higher education, and as Augustine continued his studies in Carthage, he became increasing convinced of the truth and reason of the group’s beliefs. Manichaeism aimed to synthesize all known religions. Its basic dualistic tenet was that there are two equal and opposed Principles ("gods") in the universe: Good (Light/Spirit) and Evil (Darkness/Matter). As the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explained, Augustine was attracted to the heresy for “practical” reasons: “The conflict between flesh and spirit in him was resolved by the heresy of Manichaeism because it enabled him to pursue a voluptuous life without ever being held accountable for it. He could say that the evil principle within him was so strong, so deep, and intense that the good principle could not operate.”

Augustine left his studies of law, and turned to literary endeavors. In the academic community, he won poetic tournaments and made a name for himself in the world of philosophy.

Augustine’s mother, Monica, was deeply bereft by his departure from the Christian faith, and prayed incessantly for his conversion and salvation. After nearly ten years as a Manichean, Augustine (now teaching in Milan) happened upon Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, and began regularly attending his homilies. Through the moving preaching of Saint Ambrose, and the continued prayers of Saint Monica, Augustine came to believe in the truth of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation. However, he was not ready to change his life and turn from his worldly lusts, praying (as he recounts), “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.”

Augustine felt more and more torn between his lifestyle and the realization that Christ was the answer. Yet, he was convinced that he could not lead a pure and holy life, that he was slave to his bodily desires and worldly lusts. One day, however, after speaking with Pontitianus, an acquaintance who told him of the life of Saint Antony—a hermit who lived in the desert for over 70 years. After hearing the story, Augustine said: "Manes is an impostor. The Almighty calls me. Christ is the only way and Paul is my guide.”

Feeling ashamed of his life, Augustine exclaimed to his friends, "What are we doing? Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"

Full of sorrow and regret, Augustine fled to the garden, eager to be alone, warring within himself. He cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?"

As he spoke, Augustine heard a child in a neighboring house singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of Saint Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on: the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (13:13):

"Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh."

In that one moment, the carnal passions, which had for sixteen years he had believed to be invincible, were annihilated. Augustine described the events in the Confessions:

“I was greatly disturbed in spirit, angry at myself with a turbulent indignation because I had not entered thy will and covenant, O my God, while all my bones cried out to me to enter, extolling it to the skies. The way therein is not by ships or chariots or feet--indeed it was not as far as I had come from the house to the place where we were seated. For to go along that road and indeed to reach the goal is nothing else but the will to go. But it must be a strong and single will, not staggering and swaying about this way and that--a changeable, twisting, fluctuating will, wrestling with itself while one part falls as another rises.


I was ... weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when suddenly I heard the voice of a boy or a girl I know not which--coming from the neighboring house, chanting over and over again, "Pick it up, read it; pick it up, read it." Immediately I ceased weeping and began most earnestly to think whether it was usual for children in some kind of game to sing such a song, but I could not remember ever having heard the like. So, damming the torrent of my tears, I got to my feet, for I could not but think that this was a divine command to open the Bible and read the first passage I should light upon. ...


So I quickly returned to the bench where Alypius was sitting, for there I had put down the apostle's book [Paul's letter to the Romans] when I had left there. I snatched it up, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof."[Romans 13:13] I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away.”

At 33, Augustine came to Christ, after 17 years of prayer by his mother. "Too late, O Ancient Beauty, have I loved Thee,” he cried out, firm in his new convictions. Several weeks later, he resigned his professorship, and devoted himself to Christian philosophy—the only true belief system he could conceive of. He was baptized by Saint Ambrose, and following his full initiation into the Church, decided to return to North Africa with his mother. Saint Monica, as we read yesterday, died in Ostia, the port of Rome, and following her burial, Augustine returned to North Africa.

Augustine committed himself to living a life of poverty, prayer, and scriptural study. It was in Hippo that the majority of his works were written, including:

“Lord, before whose eyes the abyss of man’s conscience lies naked, what thing within me could be hidden from you, even if I would not confess it to you? I would be hiding you from myself, not myself from you. But now, since my groans bear witness that I am a thing displeasing to myself, you shine forth, and you are pleasing to me, and you are loved and longed for, so that I may feel shame for myself, and renounce myself, and choose you, and please neither you nor myself except because of you.


Therefore, before you, O Lord, am I manifest, whatever I may be. With what profit I may confess to you, I have already said. When I am evil, to confess to you is naught else but to be displeased with myself; when I am upright of life, naught else is it to confess to you but to attribute this in no wise to myself. For you bless the just man, O Lord, but first you justify him as one who has been ungodly. Hence my confession is made in silence before you, my God, and yet not in silence. As to sound, it is silent, but it cries aloud with love. Nor do I say any good thing to men except what you have first heard from me; nor do you hear any such thing from me but what you have first spoken to me.”


Despite it never being Augustine’s intention to become a priest, he was ordained by the local bishop as he was praying in church. Living in Tagaste, the city of his birth, he founded a monastery according to the Augustinian Rule, and preached against heresy with great impact. At the young age of forty-two, he was appointed bishop of Hippo, a position he served for thirty-four years.

Saint Augustine died at the age of seventy-five. His contribution to and influence on Catholic doctrine and thought-- and on Christian belief and piety-- is incalculable. Survived by his written works—among them the Confessions and City of God—Augustine continues to challenge, captivate, and inspire us nearly sixteen hundred years after his death.

"Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom." And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist the proud. Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand whether first to invoke thee or to praise thee; whether first to know thee or call upon thee. But who can invoke thee, knowing thee not? For he who knows thee not may invoke thee as another than thou art. It may be that we should invoke thee in order that we may come to know thee. But "how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe without a preacher?" Now, "they shall praise the Lord who seek him," for "those who seek shall find him," and, finding him, shall praise him. I will seek thee, O Lord, and call upon thee. I call upon thee, O Lord, in my faith which thou hast given me, which thou hast inspired in me through the humanity of thy Son, and through the ministry of thy preacher.

The contribution of Saint Augustine to the Catholic faith is beyond description. His writings on free will and grace have shaped the doctrine of the Church for centuries. Over the course of the next week, I will post daily writings of Saint Augustine, Great Doctor of the Church!


Lord, renew in your Church the spirit you gave Saint Augustine.
Filled with this spirit, may we thirst for you alone as the fountain of wisdom and seek you as the source of eternal love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Writings of Saint Augustine:

Grace Comes Before Works

A Prayer for Those in Tribulation

His Death is Our Hope

Late Have I Loved You

Lord, You Know Me

One Mediator between God and Man: The Man Jesus Christ

On the Lord's Prayer

The City of the Lord is the Church

On the Blessed Virgin Mary and Evangelization




Year 2: Day 240 of 365
Prayer Intentions: True daily conversion; For those who have converted in faith, or are considering joining the Church.
Requested Intentions: Successful examination results (D); Safety of family, strength, courage, wisdom (C); For the souls of a departed father and brother, finding of a suitable marriage partner (R); Successful pilgrimage, deepening of prayer life (R); Restoration of health (J); Restoration of health (S); Freedom from pride (A); For children and marriage (M); For the birth of a healthy baby (Y); For personal family intentions, for the sick, poor, hungry, and homeless (G); Financial security and peace (J); Grace, peace, and obedience to the will of God in a marriage (H); Successful and blessed marriage for sin, freedom from anxiety for husband, spiritual contentedness for family (N); Employment and health for a husband (B); Recovery and health of a mother (J); For a family to grow closer to the Church, salvation for all children (D); Successful employment (L); Successful employment (S); Renewal of faith life (A); Support for an intended marriage, health for friend and aunt (J); Mental health assistance for son (G); Freedom from illness (S); Successful employment (C); Financial assistance and employment (B); For a family’s intentions (T); Successful examination results (B); Healing of a friend with cancer, for all those who help others (B); Healing and love (L); Grace and healing (V); Healing of a heart, consecration of a marriage (M); Health of a family, intentions of apostolate (H); For repentance (J); For a family in trouble (R); Healing, successful relationships for son, financial success (J); Success of a company (L); For a religious society (J); Healing of a husband, strength as a faithful caregiver (D); Healing of a son (T).