St. Josemaría Escrivá

EscrivaToday is the feast day of St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei. He died on this day in 1975.

Among other qualities, his solicitude for priests was thorough and magnanimous:

His love for the priesthood and for priests was transparent. In 1941, he had to leave town for one of these retreats in Lérida. Although his mother was ill, he decided to go anyway because the doctor did not think it was serious.

“Could you offer your sufferings for the work I’m going to do?” he asked her.

As he left the room he heard her murmur: “This son of mine…”

Arriving at the seminary of Lérida, he had knelt before the tabernacle, saying: “Lord, look after my mother, for I am taking care of your priests.”

Two days later, the thought of his mother still very much in his heart, he proceeded to preach on the role of the priest’s mother. It occurred to him to tell his listeners that her role was so important that she should not die till the day after the death of her son the priest.

After the meditation he remained recollected in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Then the apostolic administrator of the diocese, who was making the retreat, came up to him somewhat disconcerted and said in a low voice: “Álvaro del Portillo would like you to phone him in Madrid.”

His mother, Dolores, had died.

Years later, Saint Josemaría affirmed, “I have always thought that our Lord wanted that sacrifice from me, as an external proof of my love for diocesan priests, and that my mother especially continues to intercede for that work.”

(source)

Here are some additional resources on St. Josemaría Escrivá:

I especially recommend the novena for work… which has two dimensions: praying to find a job, and praying to do a good job.  Both have been very profitable for me in the past.

I’ve also written a number of his sayings in my prayer journal, and they’ve formed the basis for the Stations of the Cross that I assembled back in 2004.

 

Divine Mercy novena

image_mercy-706210The Divine Mercy novena begins today (Good Friday) and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter).

The devotion to Divine Mercy is a powerful one, and it has spread far and wide through the Church in a very short time.

I once visited the convent in Krakow, Poland where Saint Faustina Kowalska lived and prayed. St. Kowalska is the nun who received the devotion to the Divine Mercy in a series of private revelations from Jesus in the early part of the 20th century.

This year, the novena takes on a special significance, as a way to spiritually adopt people dying alone with the coronavirus:

Inspired by a scene in the Diary of St. Faustina, where she was spiritually transported by the Lord in order to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the bedside of a dying man she did not know, I would like to suggest that we would each commit to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day for the days ahead to spiritually place ourselves beside one of the poor unfortunate men and women who are dying alone in hospitals all over the world because of this virus, some of whom are perhaps not well prepared spiritually for their earthly end. If families were to pray it then several dying persons would be spiritually adopted with the one prayer of the Chaplet.

Wishing you a blessed Triduum and a happy and holy Easter!

Novena of Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen begins December 12

Venerable Servant of God Fulton J. SheenIn response to the postponement of the Beatification of Fulton J. Sheen, Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria has asked the faithful to participate in a special nine day novena to “petition God unceasingly” that the Cause may move forward to the Beatification and Canonization of Fulton Sheen.

On the 40th anniversary of Sheen’s death, Bishop Jenky decided to make known this upcoming special novena trusting in the “power of prayer” to move heaven as well as instill hope to all those saddened and disappointed by the delay announced so close to the expected Beatification.

The nine-day novena will start on December 12th, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and include daily meditations on reflections from Fulton Sheen.  The novena is available in English and Spanish and will be carried on several Catholic television networks as well as social media sites.

Bishop Jenky asks the many supporters of Archbishop Sheen to give themselves over to prayer, which is always the best way to support the Cause.  Together, we seek God’s will in the ultimate judgment of the Apostolic See.

Nine days of prayer to Saint John Paul II begin October 14

jp2_and_maryThe details are over at the news site for The Christopher Inn International.

From October 21-25, 2019, the Christopher Inn International (CII) will host its next program of priestly renewal.

Therefore, the CII team will begin a 9-day novena of prayer on Monday, October 14th, asking for Saint John Paul II’s intercession on behalf of this developing apostolate at the service of bishops and priests. The novena will conclude on October 22nd, the feast day of Saint John Paul II.

It was from Saint Louis de Montfort that Saint John Paul II adopted the phrase “Totus Tuus” (“totally yours”) in reference to Mary. In fact, according to John Paul II’s personal secretary, these two words were likely the last ones that the Pope wrote… during Easter week of 2005.

For the next nine days, we will post excerpts from a book on Marian devotion called “33 Days to Morning Glory,” along with a prayer to Saint John Paul II.

We invite you to join in this time of prayer and deepening devotion to the Mother of God as we call out to her with confidence and love: “Totus Tuus.”

To learn more about the programs of priestly renewal that CI International hosts, you can watch this short documentary:

Birth of a Mission from christopherinn on Vimeo.

The pilot programs that CI International hosted in 2012 were very well-received by the Irish priests who participated. You can learn about their experiences here.

If you feel inspired to support this mission, please visit the How to Help page.

Conclusion of novena for the John Paul II Institute (August 14)

Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 4.18.56 PMMany students of the John Paul II Institute in Rome are concerned about a massive re-working of the school’s mission. They initiated a novena of prayer that concludes today, August 14, 2019 (the memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe).

Below are the prayers that may be used for the final day of the novena.

Ninth Day: August 14

Beloved John Paul II: in his homily at your funeral, your dear friend and fellow bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger said:

Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to thank God for the gift of having worked for many years with Blessed Pope John Paul II. I had known him earlier and had esteemed him, but for twenty-three years, beginning in 1982 after he called me to Rome to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I was at his side and came to revere him all the more. My own service was sustained by his spiritual depth and by the richness of his insights. His example of prayer continually impressed and edified me: he remained deeply united to God even amid the many demands of his ministry. Then too, there was his witness in suffering: the Lord gradually stripped him of everything, yet he remained ever a “rock”, as Christ desired. His profound humility, grounded in close union with Christ, enabled him to continue to lead the Church and to give to the world a message which became all the more eloquent as his physical strength declined. In this way he lived out in an extraordinary way the vocation of every priest and bishop to become completely one with Jesus, whom he daily receives and offers in the Church.

Prayer to Saint John Paul II:

Blessed are you, beloved Pope John Paul II, because you believed! Continue, we implore you, to sustain from heaven the faith of God’s people, and continue to watch over the John Paul II Institute.

Beloved Saint John Paul II, we thank you for all that you gave us and for all that we continue to receive through your intercession. We thank you for being a witness to the mercy of our heavenly Father, for being a true friend and disciple of Jesus who fully reveals man to man himself, and for being such an eloquent instrument of the Holy Spirit, having entrusted everything to Mary, the spouse of the Holy Spirit – Totus Tuus.

With you, we pray your act of entrustment to Mary…

O Mother, you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world: come to the aid of your children in the daily trials which life brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the darkness will not prevail over the light. To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit our journey through the new Millennium, so that with you as guide all people may know Christ, the light of the world and its only Savior, who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Related stories:

JPII Institute purge a case of Vatican types refusing to be honest, transparent (Catholic World Report, 8/13/19)

“Amoris laetitia” is at the center of the controversy over the John Paul II Theological Institute (Catholic World Report, 8/12/19)

The “renewal” of the JPII Institute is a purge—and everyone knows it (Catholic World Report, 8/12/19) 

Losing a Legacy? Assessing the John Paul II Institute Controversy (National Catholic Register, 8/9/19)

The JPII Institute authorities have been caught off guard (Catholic Herald, 8/8/19)

JPII Institute VP Warns: ‘More Here at Stake Than Just an Institution’s Survival’ (National Catholic Register, 8/7/19)

Amid JPII Institute controversy, Benedict XVI meets with recently dismissed professor (Catholic News Agency, 8/5/19)

We’re not ready to answer questions about JPII Institute shake-up, says Vatican (Catholic Herald, 8/2/19)

The JPII Institute has been plunged into an identity crisis (Catholic Herald, 8/1/19)

The JPII Institute purge is a sign of weakness, not strength (Catholic Herald, 8/1/19)

After John Paul II Institute students publish letter, president defends changes (Catholic News Agency, 7/30/19)

JPII Institute Students Publish Letter Expressing ‘Immense Concern’ Over New Statutes (National Catholic Register, 7/30/19)