Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Te Deum Laudamus!!!

+ J.M.J.A.T
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam per Immaculata

The Te Deum is the official Hymn of Thanksgiving of the Church. It is attributed to St. Ambrose and St. Augustine. We sing it as part of Matins on feast days and also on special occasions of thanksgiving such as priestly ordinations, religious professions, and on Dec. 31st to thank God for the graces obtained during the year which has come to an end. Often the saints were known to sing the Te Deum for special graces received. Like the saints, we recite with great gratitude to God:

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Anne, Therese, I love You; Save souls!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Christian Martyrs of Nagasaki

Martyrs in Nagasaki, 1622; (Housed in the Church of the Gesù of Rome.)
Taken from Wikipedia:

While there were many more martyrs, the first 26 missionary and convert martyrs came to be especially revered, the most celebrated of whom was Paul Miki. The Martyrs of Japan were canonized by the Roman Catholic Church on June 8, 1862, by Pope Pius IX,[2] and are listed on the calendar as Sts. Paul Miki and his Companions, commemorated on February 6, since February 5, the date of their death, is the feast of St. Agatha

In 1587, Japan’s most powerful daimyo, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, issued an edict expelling Jesuit missionaries. In 1597, he had 6 missionaries and 20 laypeople crucified on a hill in Nishizaka, Nagasaki.

Here is a list of the 26 martyrs of 1597:
  • Saint Antonio Dainan
  • Saint Bonaventura of Miyako
  • Saint Cosme Takeya
  • Saint Francisco Branco
  • Saint Francisco of Nagasaki
  • Saint Francisco of Saint Michael
  • Saint Gabriel de Duisco
  • Saint Gaius Francis
  • Saint Gundisalvus (Gonsalvo) Garcia
  • Saint James Kisai
  • Saint Joaquim Saccachibara
  • Saint Juan Kisaka
  • Saint Juan Soan de Goto
  • Saint Leo Karasumaru
  • Saint Luis Ibaraki – Born in Owari (Nagoya). He was pressed by a samurai for apostasy, but declined it clearly. 12 years old, the youngest.
  • Saint Martin of the Ascension
  • Saint Mathias of Miyako
  • Saint Miguel Kozaki
  • Saint Paulo Ibaraki
  • Saint Paul Miki or Saint Paulo Miki – Born in Japan in 1562, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1580 and was the first Japanese member of any Catholic religious order. He died one year before his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Miki's remaining ashes and bones are now located in MacauChina.
  • Saint Pablo Suzuki
  • Saint Pedro Bautista or Saint Peter Baptist – He was a Spanish Franciscan who had worked about ten years in the Philippines before coming to Japan. St. Peter was a companion of St. Paul Miki when Christianity was made illegal.[6]
  • Saint Pedro Sukejiroo
  • Saint Philip of Jesus - Born in Mexico in 1572 (at the time "New Spain"). Upon his martyrdom he became the first Mexican saint and the patron saint of Mexico City.
  • Saint Thomas Kozaki
  • Saint Thomas Xico
Add caption

Japanese depiction of Francis Xavier, dated to the 17th century.
From the Kobe City Museum collection.

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Monday, December 08, 2014

O Immaculata! You are our Ideal!

+ J.M.J.A.T
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam per Immaculata

Happy FEAST DAY of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION of Our Lady Immaculate!

Today's post will quote from quite a few sources. 


On December 8, 1854, having spent all of his holy life – his boyhood, his priesthood, as bishop, cardinal and Pope – at the feet of the Mother of God, the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and having deeply considered also, in his exile at Gaeta, the earnest petitions of Catholics all over the world in its behalf, Pope Pius IX defined ex cathedra, in the glorious Basilica of Saint Peter's before one hundred and seventy bishops and innumerable pilgrims come literally from the ends of the earth, the divine dogma of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception. The voice of the Sovereign Pontiff broke and tears filled his eyes as he paused before uttering the infallible words:

    "We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful...."
As the Holy Father finished speaking, the cannon of the Castle of Sant' Angelo boomed and the bells of the basilicas and churches of Rome long rang out the glorious news, which ushered in the Age of Mary – the last age of the world. The Catholic faithful rejoiced, and grace flooded their souls as they prayed the prayer Our Lady herself had given twenty years before to Catherine Laboure, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Pope Blessed Pius IX writes beautifully when he quotes from St Ephrem of Our Immaculata in Ineffabilis Deus December 8, 1854 [Apostolic Constitution]:

This doctrine so filled the minds and souls of our ancestors in the faith that a singular and truly marvelous style of speech came into vogue among them. They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate, as immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; 

more beautiful than beauty, more lovely than loveliness; more holy than holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpassed all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit. 

God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.

Papal encyclical taken from:

And here, another reading from the bible on Our Immaculata:
Canticle Of Canticles (Song Of Solomon) Chapter 4

Christ sets forth the graces of his spouse: and declares his love for her.
[1] How beautiful art thou, my love, how beautiful art thou! thy eyes are doves' eyes, besides what is hid within. Thy hair is as flocks of goats, which Come up from mount Galaad. [2] Thy teeth as flocks of sheep, that are shorn which come up from the washing, all with twins, and there is none barren among them. [3] Thy lips are as a scarlet lace: and thy speech sweet. Thy cheeks are as a piece of a pomegranate, besides that which lieth hid within. [4] Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men. [5] Thy two breasts like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
[1] How beautiful art thou: Christ again praises the beauties of his church, which through the whole of this chapter are exemplified by a variety of metaphors, setting forth her purity, her simplicity, and her stability.
[5] Thy two breasts: Mystically to be understood: the love of God and the love of our neighbour, which are so united as twins which feed among the lilies: that is, the love of God and our neighbour, feeds on the divine mysteries and the holy sacraments, left by Christ to his spouse to feed and nourish her children.
[6] Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. [7] Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee. [8] Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come: thou shalt be crowned from the top of Amana, from the top of Sanir and Hermon, from the dens of the lions, from the mountains of the leopards. [9] Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart with one of thy eyes, and with one hair of thy neck. [10] How beautiful are thy breasts, my sister, my spouse! thy breasts are more beautiful than wine, and the sweet smell of thy ointments above all aromatical spices.
[11] Thy lips, my spouse, are as a dropping honeycomb, honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments, as the smell of frankincense. [12] My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up[13] Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard. Cypress with spikenard. [14] Spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all the trees of Libanus, myrrh and aloes with all the chief perfumes. [15] The fountain of gardens: the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.
[12] A garden enclosed: Figuratively the church is enclosed, containing only the faithful.
[12] A fountain sealed up: That none can drink of its waters, that is, the graces and spiritual benefits of the holy sacraments, but those who are within its walls.
[16] Arise, O north wind, and come, O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical spices thereof flow.
Taken from the Militia Immaculata website:

Again and again we can hear the cry of the saints: „Who are you, o Immaculate?" The name of the Immaculate – without imperfection – for Mary is like a preparation from the announcement of the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary (1854) and of the apparitions in Lourdes (1858), where Mary introduced herself to saint Bernadette with the words "I am the Immaculate Conception". Saint Maximilian gave Mary almost every time the title of Immaculate. Without knowing what to say, human beings are facing uncountable miracles and mysteries, which have its origin in her. She is representing the masterpiece of God only because of her perfection and power. The church praises her merits and wants us to honour her more than all angels and saints (Hyperdulia). 

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee and for everyone who do not have recourse to thee, especially for all freemasons and for all those who are entrusted to thy care.

(Quick prayer of the MI from saint Maximilian)

A Prayer written by St Bernard of Clairvaux:

"O, whoever you are – because you can see, that you are more drifting in the storm of our time amidst the storms and tempests than one could say you are walking on some savely ground, do not turn away your eyes from the light of the head, if you do not want to go down in the storms. 
When the storm will start, which is the temptation, when you will be blown against the cliffs of fear, look up to the star, pray to Mary! When you will be torn away by the waves of arrogance or of ambition or of slander or of jealousy, look up to the star, pray to Mary! 
When anger or greed, the craving for flesh try to capsize the small boat of your soul, look up to Mary!  
When you are ashamed and feel guilty because your conscience is stained, horrified by the fright of court, in danger of falling in the abyss of sadness, in the precipice of despair – then think of Mary! 
In danger and fears, in doubt and hardship think of Mary, pray to Mary! Do not leave her from the rosemunde, do not let her out of your heart! And to have your prayer getting heard, do not cease imitating her life.  
When you follow her, you are not getting lost; when you pray to her, you will not despair; when you keep her in your mind, you will not do anything wrong; when she holds your hand, you cannot fall; when she protects you, you do not have to fear anything; when she leads you, you will never become tired; with her assistance you will reach the port!" 

And another quick link because I am a Biologist and I really love plants and wish that I could have green fingers:

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Anne, Therese, I love You; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.

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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Second Sunday of Advent: Our Infant King!

+ J.M.J.A.T
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (et Immaculata)

I put this up here, with a heart beating fast, and because it is this time of the year again, when one waits and prepares oneself, full of faith, full of hope, full of joy, full of love (charity), for the coming of this "little" Prince, the "little" Lamb who rules the world! (I type "little" but of course, we all know that He is not so "little", hence the " ") Here we go!

Our Infant King !!!
(Infant Jesus of Prague)

With also this same heart beating faster and faster with love for Him, I read this, this morning, and my heart skipped a beat! Beautiful it is, I feel:

If some king of the earth 

If some king of the earth
Have so large an extent of dominion,
in north and south,
As that he hath winter and summer
together in his dominions; 
So large an extent east and west,
As that he hath day and night,
together in his dominions;
Much more hath God
mercy and judgment together. 
He brought light out of darkness,
not out of a lesser light;
He can bring thy summer out of winter,
though thou have no spring. 
Though in the ways of fortune,
or understanding, or conscience,
Thou have been benighted till now,
wintered and frozen,
clouded and eclipsed,
damped and benumbed,
smothered and stupefied till now, 
Now God comes to thee,
not as in the dawning of the day,
not as in the bud of the spring,
But as the sun at noon to illustrate all shadows,
As the sheaves in harvest to fill all penuries. 
All occasions invite his mercies,
And all times are his seasons. 
John Donne (1572 - 1631)Sermon for Christmas Day 1624

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Anne, Therese, I love You; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

Deus propicias esto mihi peccatori.

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Friday, December 05, 2014

Quotable Quotes for this First Friday!

"Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te."
"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." 
- Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo 


"Whenever the Catholic sun doth shine, / There's always laughter and good red wine. / At least I've always found it so. / Benedicamus Domino (Let us bless the Lord)!"  

- Hilaire Belloc

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