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Who are we?
Litany of Our Lady of Pro Sanctity
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
God, our Father in heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Divine Redeemer, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Mary, all Beautiful, Pray for us.
Mary, all Immaculate, Pray for us.
Mary, all holy, Pray for us.
Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Mary, contemplated by the Archangel Gabriel, Pray for us.
Mary, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, Pray for us.
Mary, who bore Christ, Pray for us.
Mary, who followed Christ, Pray for us.
Mary, who learned from Christ, Pray for us.
Mary, who stayed with Christ, Pray for us.
Mary, proclaimed mother of John, Pray for us.
Mary, who waited with the apostles, Pray for us.
Mary, crowned Queen of Saints, Pray for us.
Mother Mary, Pray for us.
Mother of God, Pray for us.
Mother of holiness, Pray for us.
Mother of Christ, Pray for us.
Mother of the Church, Pray for us.
Mother of priests, Pray for us.
Mother of us all who are not yet holy, Pray for us.
Loving Mother, Pray for us.
Sorrowful Mother, Pray for us.
Mother of trust, Pray for us.
Immaculate Heart, Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin, Pray for us.
Virgin of Nazareth, Pray for us.
Virgin of Trust, Pray for us.
Lady of Trust, Pray for us.
Model of holiness, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world. Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us.
Let us pray:
O God of love, You love us infinitely and have revealed Yourself to us through the face of Jesus. Through the Spirit You give us the strength to respond to Your love. Look upon Your many children who have gone astray or who are immersed in mediocrity. Create in all the faithful a burning desire to become holy and be animators and apostles of Your love to all people. With the help of Mary, Your mother, give them trust to create a world of saints, a world of brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, true model of every holiness, give us trust to become saints.
Week of 2003-06-27 ...
Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro
Heroic Mexican Martyr – Man of the Eucharist
Born: January 13, 1891 Died: 1927
Beatified by Pope John Paul II on Sept. 25, 1988
By Teresa Monaghen
My study of the saints led me to discover the Mexican martyrs of the 1920’s. I knew nothing of this persecution of the Church in Mexico until recently. I was horrified to hear of the persecution, especially of the clergy. The Churches were closed and the religious and priests had to go underground. No one was allowed to go out in public dressed as a priest or a nun. One priest dared to do different, now Blessed Fr. Miguel Pro, S.J., the man I wish to share with you this time.
Miguel Pro was born January 13, 1891 in Zacatecas, Mexico. He was a fun loving as a child and always getting into trouble. His faith initially was rather mediocre but the witness of two of his sisters who became cloistered nuns inspired him. At age 20 he joined the Jesuits and started formation in Mexico until the persecution broke out. He was sent to a variety of places, including the USA and finally to Belgium where he was ordained. Miguel loved his homeland and worried much about his family and his people. He had poor health already and the worry only aggravated his condition, so his superiors sent him back home. Providence would have it that Fr. Miguel was the right person at the right time. His fun and creative ways helped him to find a multitude of methods of bringing the Gospel message and the life-giving sacraments to his people. He put on disguises and found ways to get into people’s homes unnoticed in order to bring them the Eucharistic Jesus and the healing balm of the sacrament of reconciliation. Eventually he was caught and until the end he bravely gave his life for the sake of his faith and the love for his people. The two things that sustained him most were his great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and his deep love for the Eucharist. I was shocked and edified at the same time, when I saw real pictures of him kneeling and saying the rosary before his execution. Another photo showed him standing with arms stretched out like a cross. His last words before being shot were, “I forgive you” to his executioners and his last breath was, “Long live Christ the King!”
What was his source of courage? The Eucharist! The bread of life gave him the strength to give his life to bring the food of eternal life to his brothers and sisters even at the cost of his own life. It is recounted that he loved Mexican sweet bread called “Colcol” and from childhood was called by this bread as a nick-name. Later, during his underground priestly duties, he often signed his letters by calling himself “Colcol.” Even in hiding he wanted to remind people that the most delicious treat and the source of his hope was in the Eucharist. Fr. Miguel died in 1927, martyred by a firing squad. A few days before his arrest he shared with a Sister friend, “I offered my life for the saving of Mexico some time ago, Sister, and this morning at Mass I felt that He (God) had accepted it.” Miguel’s life ended, offered on the altar of God for the sanctification of his brothers and sisters.
The Eucharist was the source of eternal life for Fr. Miguel. Living a deeply Eucharistic life, offering ourselves daily in union with Jesus, to the Father, for our brothers and sisters will give us life, too! The Eucharist fills us with the sweet taste of God that comes to us in the form of bread and wine. It is the food that sustains us on our journey and strengthens us to stand tall in the face of all adversity, even to the point of death!
Dear Fr. Miguel, intercede for us that we may know always more deeply the great gift we have in the Eucharist. May a day never pass that we deny ourselves this “sweet treat,” either in actual communion or when that is impossible, in spiritual communion. Pray for us Fr. Miguel. Amen.
Reflection by Monsignor Vaccari on Fr. Miguel Pro
As Jesus sacrificed his life for us, so Fr. Miguel sacrificed his life for his people. In a life poured out in the land of Mexico, he was a shining example of the love that Jesus has for all of us. It is a love that does not think first of itself, but is a love that gives itself for others. Dangers did not stop him from living his life in holiness and heroic witness. We are so fortunate to be able to go to Mass freely and frequently in our country.
· Do we show our appreciation and love for the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist by going to daily Mass as often as possible,
· by taking time to visit him in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible?
May the example of Blessed Miguel Pro inspire us to remain close to Jesus in the Eucharist.
Week of 2003-06-13 ... St. Peter Emyard
St. Peter Julian Emyard
By Msgr. Andrew Vaccari
St. Peter Julian
Eymard was born on
While on a pilgrimage to a shrine in honor of our Blessed Mother, he was inspired to found a new religious order, one dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. He was struck by the idea that although there was a religious order to honor the various mysteries of the life of Christ, there was no religious institute devoted to the mystery of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. In 1857, he and one other priest began a community of priest-adorers of the Eucharist, the Society of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The following year, with Marguerite Guillote, he established a religious community called the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, sisters devoted to perpetual adoration. These two communities keep the Eucharist as the center of their life and spirituality, and work to spread to all love for the Eucharist. He also started the Priests’ Eucharistic League, aimed at deepening the love priests have for Jesus in the holy sacrament of the altar. He spent much time in prayer and adoration before the Eucharist, as well as preaching about the real presence of Christ and his love for us in the Eucharist.
He had a great
love for the poor and spent enormous amounts of time and energy being a friend
and spiritual guide to the outcast. He
visited and served prisoners and laborers, and worked to help young uneducated
workers learn their Catechism and prepare for First Holy Communion. In an era when the reception of Holy
Communion was not frequent,
He died in 1868, worn out from his apostolate of promoting devotion to the Eucharist. In 1962, at the opening session of the Second Vatican Council, he was canonized by Pope John XXIII who said: “Follow his example, place at the center of your thoughts, your affections, your zeal, this incomparable source of all graces - the Mystery of Faith, which hides under its veils the very author of graces - Jesus the Incarnate Word."
The heart of St. Peter Eymard overflowed with love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He teaches us and reaffirms for us the strong connection between the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament. During this year of 2003 in which we have been blessed by a beautiful and moving encyclical letter from Pope John Paul II, we have an opportunity to renew our own devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. Let us be more attentive at Mass, thinking more of the love Jesus shows us by giving his life for us on the cross and by giving us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Let us spend more time with the Real Presence of Jesus by praying before the tabernacle in our churches and chapels. May we never pass by an open church without stopping in to spend at least a few moments with Christ, our Savior and our friend!
Reflection Response by Teresa Monaghen
I believe that in our reflection on holiness and community that we must re-look and rediscover the meaning of our faith and especially those areas that we most take for granted, like the Eucharist.
"Up to now I have been preoccupied with the intellectual aspect of the Eucharist, with the study of the Eucharist, with the exterior means of success, but I have not yet penetrated to the marrow, to the heart of that divine love. That is why I have been so restless. But, O my soul, you must live from within your heart in the goodness of Jesus Eucharistic. Yours must be a nobly passionate love which takes up everything in one scoop, which surrenders everything in one act of giving."
Week of 0000-00-00 ... St. Pascal Baylon
"Greatest" Saint of the Eucharist and Patron of Eucharistic Congresses.
By Teresa Monaghen
Recently, in the Archdiocese of Omaha we had a grand event, one that our area has not seen since the 1930's. It was the Second Eucharistic Congress in the Archdiocesan history and it was a tremendous experience. I have not participated in something so spectacular and deeply touching since I was in Rome in 1978, when Pope John Paul II became pope. Almost as soon as he started, he made the Eucharist central to his papacy by giving more attention to this all important presence of the Lord. He set aside a chapel for daily Eucharistic Adoration in the Basilica of St. Peter's and reinstated the practice at the Feast of Corpus Christi of processions through the streets of Rome. It shook the whole city the first time he did it, and coming back to our Eucharistic Congress, I think it shook us up too!
Little I did I know, that many years go in the time of Pope Leo XII a very special saint was designated to be the patron of all Eucharistic Congresses, Pascal Baylon. I look back and believe that he truly was watching over our Congress in Omaha, because the effects have been pervasive and a day does not go by that someone does not mention to me how moved they were by the experience and how it has drawn them back to a greater intimacy with the Eucharistic Jesus.
Who was Pascal? He was a shepherd boy born to Martin Baylon and Elizabeth Jubera on May 24, 1540 in Aragon, Spain. Pascal was born on Pentecost and believe it or not, died on Pentecost of 1592! He was a simple, kind-hearted soul who loved the Lord above all things. In the fields he was often found on his knees praying. He had a great awareness of the Eucharistic Jesus and would face toward the local Church in town. He did not know how to read, but he pressed all those who passed by to stop and teach him a few letters. He wanted to be able to read the parts of Mass and spiritual books. Eventually he felt drawn to religious life and to commit himself to a life of prayer, adoration and penance. He joined the Franciscans and even though they wanted him to be a priest he preferred to stay a lay brother and took the jobs of doorkeeper and cook. He was known as the holy doorkeeper too! Many knew came to visit him. Uneducated as he was, he did everything he could to learn about God, read spiritual books and sacred scripture and write down all the little insights he had on the Eucharist. At a certain point he was even able to defend the real presence against a Calvinist Pastor, enduring beatings and rocks being thrown at him. He was almost killed by a Huguenot mob that was angry at his talk on the Eucharist.
In the most current encyclical of Pope John Paul II, on the Eucharist, the Holy Father invited us to contemplate the face of Jesus with the eyes of Mary. He said, "Mary will guide us, she has a profound relationship with the Eucharist" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia). Pascal many years prior had two great loves, the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. Everyday he recited the rosary, wrote prayers to our Lady and grew in his love and understanding of the most Holy Sacrament.
Pascal died at 52 years of age, and poor and rich alike came to his funeral. They had been deeply touched by his holiness and his commitment to the Eucharistic Jesus. Pope Leo the XII, said that among the saints of the Eucharist, Pascal was the "greatest" and he made him the patron of Eucharistic congresses and Eucharistic organizations. He is also patron of cooks and doorkeepers. May 17 is his feast day.
What is the witness that Pascal gives us today?
1. He practiced the presence of God everywhere, in Church and out. Nature was the book where God revealed himself to Pascal and led him to adore the Eucharist.
2. He actively sought to learn everything he could about the real presence of Jesus and was able to even defend the teaching to very learned men!
3. His love for our Lady led him to Jesus in the Eucharist.
4. He nourished his spiritual life with constant spiritual reading and quiet acts of service.
St. Pascal, Saint of the Eucharist, pray for us!
Reflection by Msgr. Andrew Vaccari
St. Pascal Baylon inspires us to go forward from wherever we find ourselves in the spiritual life. He wanted to learn more, to learn how to read, to learn about the Eucharist, to be able to discuss the Eucharist, even with those who did not believe in the Real Presence or were opposed to this Catholic teaching. From his humble position as doorkeeper of the monastery, he teaches us to embrace the situation God puts us in our lives and to bring holiness to it. Just as the bread which becomes the Eucharist is humility changed into glory, so too is the humble doorkeeper of Aragon transformed into the glorious saint of the Eucharist. By his devotion and example, he opens the door for many of us to deeper love and adoration of Christ in the Eucharist.