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Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us. 

O God the Father, of Heaven, have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, O God, the Holy Ghost, O Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy upon us. 

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin, Mother and Mistress of our Order, Pray for us.

St. Francis, Seraphic Father, Pray for us.
St. Francis, Patriarch of the Poor:
St. Francis, Founder and Leader of three armies of God:
St. Francis, Abraham of the Gospel by reason of thy countless children:
St. Francis, like unto the Baptist in the preaching of penance:
St. Francis, like unto Moses, giving the law of perfection:
St. Francis, like unto Elijah, borne aloft in a fiery chariot:
St. Francis, herald of the great King:
St. Francis, messenger of peace:
St. Francis, valiant knight of Christ:
St. Francis, mighty lover of souls:
St. Francis, ensample of Gospel perfection:
St. Francis, spouse of Lady Poverty:
St. Francis, model of dedicated chastity:
St. Francis, master of holy obedience:
St. Francis, sublime in corporal penance:
St. Francis, uplifted in heavenly contemplation:
St. Francis, marked with the Stigmata of Jesus:
St. Francis, verily a living crucifix:
St. Francis, wholly set on fire of seraphic love:
St. Francis, lover of the Babe of Bethlehem:
St. Francis, lover of the Sacred Passion:
St. Francis, lover of the Blessed Sacrament:
St. Francis, lover of the Name of Jesus:
St. Francis, lover of the Holy Scriptures:
St. Francis, lover of all the creatures of God:
St. Francis, physician of the sick:
St. Francis, light of the blind:
St. Francis, healer of the lepers:
St. Francis, raiser of the dead:
St. Francis, terror of demons:
St. Francis, enthroned in Lucifer's place:
St. Francis, apostle of the infidels:
St. Francis, martyr in desire:
St. Francis, confessor of the Faith:
St. Francis, virgin in soul:
St. Francis, endowed with the virtues of the Sacred Heart:
St. Francis, our Advocate:

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
have mercy upon us. 

V. Pray for us, O blessed Father Francis. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia. 

Let us pray.
Choose one of the following Collects.
O God, Who by the merits of our blessed Father Francis dost increase Thy Church with a new offspring: grant, we beseech Thee; that after his pattern we may learn to despise all things earthly, and ever to rejoice in the partaking of Thy Heavenly bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, when the world was waxing cold, to the inflaming of our hearts with the fire of Thy love didst renew in the flesh of our most blessed Father Francis the sacred marks of Thy passion: mercifully grant that by his merits and intercession, we may be enabled ever to bear Thy Cross, and to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen. 
O God, Who in many fashions didst shew forth in Thy Confessor our blessed Father Francis the wondrous mysteries of the Cross: grant us, we beseech Thee, ever to follow the pattern of his devotion, and, continually thinking on the same holy Cross, thereby to be defended against all temptations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
O God, Who didst bestow Blessed Francis on us, for to be our teacher and leader in following the ways of Thy Only-Begotten Son: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who do honor his memory on earth; may one day be partakers of his glory in Heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 
O God, Who resisteth the proud, and givest grace unto the humble: grant us, through the intercession of our blessed Father Francis, to decrease in pride, and to increase in that humility which is so pleasing to Thee; that following in his footsteps, we may attain the gifts of Thy grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Franciscan Friar Minors - Gospel of St. Francis

The Gospel today is the same one that inspired St. Francis on the way of poverty and humility, proclaiming the love of God to all and inspiring millions. "This is what I long to do with all my heart."  Ave Maria!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prayer for the Feast of the Stigmata of Our Holy Father Francis Sept 8 to 16th


St. Francis' Stigmata Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, who when the world was
growing cold, didst renew the sacred wounds of
Thy sufferings in the body of our holy Father
St. Francis in order to inflame our hearts with
the fire of Thy divine love, mercifully grant that
by his merits and intercession we may cheerfully
carry our cross and bring forth worthy fruits of
penance. Who livest and reignest forever and
ever.  Amen.

September 17th is the Feast of the Stigmata of Our Holy Father St. Francis.  You can start a novena to St. Francis starting today, ending September 16th.

Today, September 17th, is the Feast of the Stigmata of Our Holy Father Francis

Francis imitated Christ so perfectly that towards the end of his life our Lord wished to point him out to the world as the faithful imitator of the Crucified, by imprinting His five wounds upon his body.

Two years before his death, when, according to his custom, Francis had repaired to Mt. La Verna to spend the 40 days preceding the feast of St. Michael the Archangel in prayer and fasting, this wonderful event took place. St. Bonaventure gives the following account of it:

"Francis was raised to God in the ardor of his seraphic love, wholly transformed by sweet compassion into Him, who, of His exceeding charity, was pleased to be crucified for us. On the morning of the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross, as he was praying in a secret and solitary place on the mountain, Francis beheld a seraph with six wings all afire, descending to him from the heights of heaven. As the seraph flew with great swiftness towards the man of God, there appeared amid the wings the form of one crucified, with his hands and feet stretched out and fixed to the cross. Two wings rose above the head, two were stretched forth in flight, and two veiled the whole body.

Francis wondered greatly at the appearance of so novel and marvelous a vision. But knowing that the weakness of suffering could nowise be reconciled with the immortality of the seraphic spirit, he understood the vision as a revelation of the Lord and that it was being presented to his eyes by Divine Providence so that the friend of Christ might be transformed into Christ crucified, not through martyrdom of the flesh, but through a spiritual holocaust.

The vision, disappearing, left behind it a marvelous fire in the heart of Francis, and no less wonderful token impressed on his flesh. For there began immediately to appear in his hands and in his feet something like nails as he had just seen them in the vision of the Crucified. The heads of the nails in the hands and feet were round and black, and the points were somewhat long and bent, as if they had been turned back. On the right side, as if it had been pierced by a lance, was the mark of a red wound, from which blood often flowed and stained his tunic."

Thus far the account of St. Bonaventure. Although St. Francis strove in every way to conceal the marvelous marks which until then no man had seen, he was not able to keep them a complete secret from the brethren. After his death they were carefully examined, and they were attested by an ecclesiastical decree. To commemorate the importance of the five wounds, Pope Benedict XI instituted a special feast which is celebrated on September 17th, not only by all branches of the Franciscan Order, but also in the Roman missal and breviary.


1. With the example of our holy Father St. Francis in mind, consider what effect a glance at the cross should have on us. It led Francis from the service of the world to the service of God and to penance. A look at the crucifix should remove from our hearts all delight in the world and fill us with sorrow for the sins we have committed in the service of the world, and of our evil passions. For what other reason was Christ nailed to the cross, and his whole body bruised? The Prophet tells us: "He was wounded for our iniquities. He was bruised for our sins" (Is 53:5). Meditation on the sufferings of our Savior caused St. Francis to shed so many tears that his eyes became inflamed. -- Do you also kneel before the crucifix and bewail the sins through which you nailed your Savior to the Cross?

2. Consider that a look at the cross is also a consolation for the sinner. Our crucified Lord assured St. Francis of the complete remission of his sins. The Prophet also tells us: "By His bruises we are healed" (Is 53.5). Moses gave us a picture of our Savior on the Cross when he raised a brazen serpent on high in the desert, so that those who had been bitten by the poisonous serpent in punishment for their murmuring might be healed by looking up to this sign of our redemption. On the crucifix you behold our Savior Himself. "Behold the Lamb of God; behold Him who takes away the sins of the world" (Jn 1:29). -- Look up to Him with sincere contrition and lively confidence; He will also take away your sins.

3. Consider how the contemplation of the Crucified finally pierced St. Francis through and through with the fire of love, so that our Lord made him even externally like Himself. A look at the crucifix should also awaken ardent charity in us. St. Augustine points this out to us when he says: "Behold the head that is bent to kiss you, the heart that is opened to receive you, the arms stretched out to embrace you." Do not look at the image of your crucified Savior in the cold and indifferent way that one looks at a work of art, to marvel at the painful expression there represented. Let it speak to your heart and let your heart speak to it. Serve Him faithfully so that you may one day be united with Him in eternity.


O Lord Jesus Christ, who when the world was growing cold, didst renew the sacred wounds of Thy sufferings in the body of our holy Father St. Francis in order to inflame out hearts with the fire of Thy divine love, mercifully grant that by his merits and intercession we may cheerfully carry our cross and bring forth worthy fruits of penance. Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Text from THE FRANCISCAN BOOK OF SAINTS edited by Marion Habig, ofm
Copyright 1959  Franciscan Herald Press  

Image: Watercolor done by P. Subercaseaux Errazuriz, O.S.B. 1880-1956; circa 1920.

(The above post taken from

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Today is the Feast of St. Rose of Viterbo 1234-1252, Virgin - Third Order

Almighty God did marvelous things in the soul of St. Rose. It appears that her parents gave her that name by divine inspiration, for it was symbolic of her entire career. As long as she lived, she bloomed like a sweet-scented rose in the garden of the Church, and in full bloom as she transplanted to Paradise. Before she was able to speak, Rose attempted to pronounce the sweet names of Jesus and Mary; and as soon as she had learned to walk, she asked to be taken to church and to other retired and quiet places to pray. When religious discourses were given, she would listen with great attention.

When Rose was only 3 years old, God showed how pleased He was with her in a most wonderful way. One of her maternal aunts died. The family were standing around the bier weeping aloud. Deeply moved by the sorrow of her relatives, little Rose went to the coffin, raised her eyes to heaven, and prayed silently. Then she placed her little hand on the body of her deceased aunt and called her by name. The dead woman immediately opened her eyes and reached out to embrace her little niece, who had raised her to life again.

The child entertained a great compassion for the poor; she always tried to save some food to give to the poor. One day when she left the house with some bread in her apron, she met her father, who asked her in curt fashion what she was carrying off now. The affrighted child opened her apron and fragrant roses were found in it.

When she was 7 years old, Rose retired to a little cell in her father's house. There she spent almost all her time in contemplation and in practicing rigorous penance. She prayed much for the conversion of sinners. Meanwhile our dear Lord was preparing her for an extraordinary mission.

Rose was not yet 10 years old when the Blessed Mother of God instructed her to join the Third Order of St. Francis. Shortly after, our Lord appeared to her on the Cross, wearing the crown of thorns on His head and bleeding profusely from all His wounds. Rose, aghast at the sight, called out: "O my Lord, who has reduced Thee to this state?" Our Lord replied, "My love, my deep love for men has done this." "But," asked Rose, "who has so pierced and torn Thee?" "The sins of men have done it," was our Lord's answer. "Sin, sin!" cried the saint, and she scourged herself to make atonement for the sins of the world.

By divine inspiration, Rose then took a cross in her hand and went up and down the streets and public squares of her city telling people of the terrible tortures our Lord suffered and of the heinousness of sin. Every now and then she would emerge from her solitude to entreat the people to do penance.

The town of Viterbo, which belonged to the Papal States, had revolted against the authority of the pope. Disregard for religion and moral degradation were the order of the day. But the sermons of this little missionary had marvelous results. the people came in crowds to hear her. The stone on which she stood was seen to rise in the air, and she was sustained there by a miracle while burning words issued from her lips. The greater part of the citizenry had already resolved to do penance and to return to the legitimate papal allegiance when Rose and her parents were repelled by the civil authorities.

The result was that she now had a wider field of activity. At Soriano and later at Vitorchiano, her preaching had the same blessed results. In the latter place, a sorceress had done much harm among the inhabitants. Fearing that after her departure this woman would undo the good effected there, Rose was desirous of her conversion. Her initial efforts failed. Then our saint had an immense pile of wood prepared in the public square; fire was set to it, and Rose stepped into the fire and mounted to the top of the pile. She remained untouched for three hours in the midst of the flames, singing the praises of God. The sorceress now cast herself at Rose's feet and was sincerely converted.

Meanwhile the rightful,authority of the pope had been re-established at Viterbo, and Rose could return. She was now 15 years old and anxious to enter the convent of the Poor Clares. As she had no dowry, she could not be admitted. "Well," said Rose, "you will not receive me while I am alive, but you will receive me after I am dead." She and several companions repaired to a secluded dwelling, where they intended to live as a community. The ecclesiastical authorities, however, did not approve of the plan, and Rose returned home. She died 2 years later, filled with the joyous desire of being united with her God.
Two and a half years after her death she appeared three times to Pope Alexander IV, who was in Viterbo at the time, told him to have her body removed to the convent of the Poor Clares. When this was done, her body was found incorrupt; and it has remained in that condition to this day. Miracles are constantly occurring at her tomb. Pope Callistus III canonized her in 1457.


1. Consider the marvelous operations of God in St. Rose. Entire cities that had fallen away from God and the Church and about whose conversion the greatest missionaries might have doubted, were won to a change of heart by means of a child, and a girl at that. It has often pleased God to reveal His might and wisdom by means of lowly and unimportant creatures. Thus at Milan in a trying period, when it seemed impossible to come to a decision regarding the choice of a bishop, an infant pointed out St. Ambrose as the chosen bishop; and his life story shows that none could have governed the Church at Milan in a more excellent manner. "But the foolish things of the world has God chosen, that He may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world has God chosen, that He may confound the strong. That no flesh shall glory in his sight. But that he who glories, may glory in the Lord" (1 Cor 1:27; 29; 31). -- Have you ever given thought to the fact that it is God who works through human beings?

2. Consider that the operations of grace which God manifests so extraordinarily in children are also effective, generally speaking, in adults. At such time God uses the natural powers and abilities of men in order to effect good. It is not man, however, who produces the good results, but God Himself. The Prophet speaks thus to the Lord: "For Thou hast wrought all our works for us" (Is 26:112). "God gives the increase" (1 Cor 3:7). Whatever good, therefore, is done by men, we must recognize as the work of God and thank Him for it. In like manner, we may not ascribe to ourselves the good that we do, nor think well of ourselves on that account, but we must rather give thanks to God who has done this good through us. -- Have you done this in the past?

3. Consider that in spite of the fact that God uses men to accomplish His works here on earth, He still leaves them free in their acts. If man resists, He gives him over to his own will. But he who submits himself as a useful instrument for anything God wants of him is "as the clay in the hands of the potter, who will fashion it according to his ordering" (Eccli 33:13). He will be an instrument of much blessing. Thus it was with St. Rose. When God called her to solitude, she withdrew to her little cell; when He sent her out, she went into the streets and the market places; when He commissioned her to teach others, she undertook the work; and when, despite the fact that He had formerly permitted her to work miracles, He opposed her pious design, she willingly withdrew. -- How often have we opposed the operation of God's grace, and instead of doing His holy will, used all our efforts to gain out own ends! Such a course is more apt to bring us to the curse of God than His blessing, and guilt instead of merit. May the intercession of St. Rose obtain pardon for us and her example convert us into more useful tools in the hands of God.

O God, who didst deign to admit St. Rose to the company of Thy holy virgins, grant, we beseech Thee, that at her intercession and by her merits we may be cleansed from all guilt and may be admitted to the eternal presence of Thy majesty. Through Christ out Lord.  Amen.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Today is the Feast of Bl. John Frances Burte, Severin Girault and Companions - Martyrs

Practically every page in the history of the French Revolution is stained with blood. What is known in history as the Carmelite Massacre if 1792, added nearly 200 victims to this noble company of martyrs. They were all priests, secular and religious, who refused to take the schismatic oath, and had been imprisoned in the church attached to the Carmelite monastery in Paris. Among these priests were a Conventual, a Capuchin, and a member of the Third Order Regular.

John Francis Burte was born in the town of Rambervillers in Lorraine. At the age of 16 he joined the Franciscans at Nancy and there he also pronounced his solemn vows. In due time he was ordained a priest and for some time taught theology to the younger members of the order. He was at one time also superior of his convent.
After Pope Clement XIV, formerly a Conventual friar, had ordered the merging of the province of the Franciscans, to which John Francis belonged, with the Conventuals, Father john Francis was placed in charge of the large convent in Paris and encouraged his brethren to practice strict observance of the rule. His zeal for souls was outstanding, and he zealously guarded the rights of the Church in this troubled period of history.

When the French Revolution broke out, he was reported for permitting his priests to exercise their functions after they refused to take the infamous oath required by the government, and which was a virtual denial of their Faith. He was arrested and held captive with other priests in the convent of the Carmelites. His constancy in refusing to take the sacrilegious oath won for him a cruel martyrdom on September 2, 1792.

Apollinaris of Posat, who was John James Morel before his entrance into religion, was born near Friboug in Switzerland in 1739, and received his education from the Jesuits. In 1762 he joined the Capuchins in Zug and before long became a prominent preacher, a much-sought confessor, and an eminent instructor of the young clerics of the order/ He impressed on their minds the truth that piety and learning are the two eyes of a priest, and humility was a dominating virtue in his life.

In 1788 he was to be sent to the East as a missionary, and so he paused at Paris to study Oriental languages in preparation for his new appointment. But the French Revolution broke out while he was there, and because he steadfastly refused to take the oath of allegiance, he, too, was imprisoned in the Carmelite convent and suffered a cruel martyrdom on September 2, 1792.

The priest of the Third Order Regular was Blessed Severin, formerly George Girault, whose undaunted courage merited the grace to be numbered among these martyrs of Christ. He was born at Rouen in Normandy, and early in life joined the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. Because of his eminent mental gifts he was chosen a superior of his order. In the exercise of his priestly duties he displayed marked zeal for souls, and as chaplain of the convent of St. Elizabeth in Paris he was a prudent director in the ways of religious perfection.

He was also summoned to take the civil oath, and upon his refusal to do this he was seized and confined in the Carmelite convent where so many other confessors of Christ were being detained. On September 2, while he was saying his Office in the convent garden, the raving assassins made him the first victim of their cruel slaughter.

These three members of the Franciscan Order, together with 182 other servants of God who suffered martyrdom at this time, were solemnly beatified by Pope Pius XI, and the Franciscan Order was granted permission to celebrate their feast annually with an Office and special Mass.


1. The Franciscan spirit is a spirit of piety. For this reason, St. Francis says in his rule that "those who are not learned, should not strive to become learned." Francis was not opposed to learning; he did, however, want to impress it on his brethren that they should guard against false learning, and subordinate learning and study to virtue and piety. The martyrs we are considering today were learned men, yet it was virtue and piety that taught them true wisdom. They were imbued with the true Franciscan spirit. -- Go and do likewise!

2. The Franciscan spirit is also a spirit of learning. Hence St. Francis wrote to St. Anthony of Padua; "I am pleased that you are teaching the brethren sacred theology." And when he was asked whether learned men should be received into the order, he replied: "That is very pleasing to me." True knowledge proceeds from the Eternal Wisdom and also leads back to it. -- Strive to acquire true learning.

3. The Franciscan spirit is a combination of piety and learning. That is why St. Francis wrote to St. Anthony saying: "The spirit of piety and of prayer should not be extinguished" by study. The most learned men of the order have ever combined learning and piety. Blessed John Francis and his companions did that and taught their brethren to do likewise. -- If your vocation requires it, do your part in acquiring knowledge, but let your piety be the main object of your solicitude.


We beseech Thee, O Lord, enable us with filial piety always to love Thy Church, in the defense of whose rights Thy blessed martyrs John Francis, Apollinaris, and Severin suffered a cruel death. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.