Saturday, December 31, 2016

To Believe - A New Year's Resolution

I firmly believe that God exists and I will strive after Him as the highest and most perfect good and my last end.  



O My Lord Jesus, I will use time well in 2017. It will be too late to pray when life is over. There is no prayer in the grave - there is no meriting in Purgatory. Low as I am in Thy all Holy sight, I am strong in Thee, strong through Thy Immaculate Mother, through Thy Saints; and thus I can do much for the Church for the world, for all I love. O let not the blood of souls be on my head. O let me not walk my own way without thinking of Thee. Let me bring everything before Thee, asking Thy leave for everything I do. . . As the dial speaks of the sun, so will I be ruled by thee alone, if Thou will take me and rule me. Be it so, my Lord Jesus, I give myself wholly to Thee. Amen.

Prayers of an Irish Mother
1920





Friday, December 30, 2016

It's a Miracle by Debbie Reynolds

A little tribute to Debbie Reynolds who starred in the Singing Nun in 1966 and died just three days ago - one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher.   

Rest in Peace Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher . . . 

Click on the bottom video to experience a bit of Debbies talent.





Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy now and at the hour of our death; through whose most holy soul in the hour of Thine Own passion the sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost forever and ever.  Amen.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

O Holy Night

See, then, how, at this very hour, Shepherds are told by the Angels to go to Bethlehem, and how they hasten thither. With great eagerness they enter the Stable, which is scarcely large enough to hold them. Obedient to the warning received from heaven, they are come to see the Saviour, who, they have been told has been born unto them.


They find all things just as the Angels had said. Who could tell the joy of their hearts, and the simplicity of their faith? They are not surprised to find, in the midst of poverty greater even than their own, him whose Birth has made the very Angels exult. They find no difficulty in acknowledging the wonderful mystery; they adore, they love, the Babe that lies there before them. They are at once Christians, and the Christian Church begins in them; the mystery of a God humbled for man finds faith in these humble souls. Herod will plot the death of this Babe; the Synagogue will rage; the Scribes and Doctors will league together against the Lord and his Christ; they will put this Saviour of Israel to death; but the faith of the Shepherds will not be shaken, and will find imitators in the wise and powerful ones of this world, who will come at last, and bow down their reason to the Crib and the Cross.
 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Feast of the Holy Innocents




Feast of the Holy Innocents

From the Gospel

At that time: An Angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the Child and his Mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee.

Thus does the Gospel, in its sublime simplicity, relate the Martyrdom of the Innocents. Herod, sending, killed all the Children! The earth paid no attention to the fell tyranny, which made so rich a harvest for heaven: there was heard a voice in Rama, Rachel wailing her little ones; it went up to heaven, and Bethlehem was still again, as though nothing had happened. But these favored victims had been accepted by God, and they were to be the companions of his Son. Jesus looked at them from his crib, and blessed them; Mary compassionated with them and their mothers; the Church, which Jesus had come to form, would, for all future ages, glorify these youthful Martyrs, and place the greatest confidence in the patronage of these Children, for she knows how powerful their intercession is with her heavenly Spouse.

May the pious prayers of thy Saints, O Lord, be never wanting to us; both to make our offerings acceptable, and to obtain for us thy mercy.  Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.



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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Botticelli's Angels


Detail of Angels from Botticelli's Magnificat
In 2012 ten year old Jackie Evancho mustered up courage to walk onto the stage of America's Got Talent. If one could have put a voice to a Botticelli Angel - here it was.





Monday, December 26, 2016

And Mary Sings Magnificat



Worn out at last, and ill bestead,
Right glad were they to find
Within a sorry cattle-shed
A shelter from the wind.
And Mary sang "Magnificat"
Right through that wondrous night,
And ere the birth of morn on earth 
Was born the Light of Light.



Then let us all with one accord
Join Mary's song, and say,
"My soul doth magnify the Lord"
For ever and for aye.
Loud let us sing "Magnificat,"
That dear that ancient lay;
For God's own Son with us is one,
And He is born to-day.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Mother's Christmas Pie




Rich Squash Pie

As a little boy growing up on an Iowa farm I never knew what pumpkin pie was.  My mom who was an avid gardener raised butternut squash and always made squash pie for Christmas and almost every other Sunday! Here's the recipe!

Basic Pastry dough for 9-inch pie shell
1 cup pureed cooked butternut squash
1 cup heavy cream (I always like to use Organic Valley or Horizon brand.  My mom always used cream from the separator room which was a room in our milking barn where a little machine separated the cream from whole milk. 
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mace

Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Line a 9-inch pie pan with the pastry dough. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and well blended. Pour into the lined pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300ºF (150ºC) and bake for 45-60 minutes more or until the fill is firm.  
To avoid cracking I always take the pie out of the oven just a bit early while there is still a little jiggle in the middle.  😇

I always top this rich pie with a bit of whipped cream. Again I use Organic Valley's heavy whipping cream (eight ounces will do) and whip it with an electric  mixer until fluffy.  I like to keep the cream a bit on the left side of sweet by using just a tablespoon or a bit more of sugar.  

Merry Christmas


This could have been me and my mom.  She was always working and my eyes were always fixed on her.  She taught me how to give and how to live! And I'm missing her today. . . 


Christmas Morning




Good Morning and Merry Christmas!

Ancient Christmas Hymn used in Morning Prayers 

O Jesu! (Jesus) Redeemer of mankind! born before the light was made, and born of the Eternal Father, equal to him in infinite glory;

O thou the Light and brightness of the Father! O thou the everlasting hope of all men! hear the prayers offered thee by thy servants throughout the world.

Be mindful, O Creator of all things! that heretofore thou didst assume a Body like unto ours, and was born from the sacred womb of a Virgin. 

Glory be to thee, O Jesus who wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father and the Holy Ghost, for everlasting ages.
         Amen.



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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve


This day ye shall know that the Lord will come, and in the morning ye shall see his glory.

Sanctify yourselves this day, and be ye ready: for on the morrow ye shall see the Majesty of God amongst you. Tomorrow the iniquity of the earth shall be cancelled, and over us shall reign the Saviour of the world. 



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Friday, December 23, 2016

If I Love What Jesus Loves


If I love what Jesus loves, I cannot be wrong; unless I love what Jesus loves, I cannot be right. I may then―I must―love the Madonna, and, like the angel, I may gaze lovingly into her face with reverence and delight and hail her as the "highly favored" Maiden, purest Mother of perfect Child.



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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Be Glad, O Full of Grace





From The Anthology of The Greeks

   The Mother of God, when the birth of Christ was near, spoke thus to her spouse; Be not sad, Joseph, finding that I am Mother; for thou shalt see him who is to be born of me, and thou shalt rejoice and adore him as thy God. Let us commemorate this divine Mother, saying; 
Be glad, O full of grace! the Lord is with thee, and with us by thee.

by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867


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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Covenant Made




The Cluny Missal of 1523

   The covenant made, instantly there was present the Word made flesh; and yet the pure Maid a Virgin still for ever.
   He is our Jesus, the good Jesus, lovely burden of a lovely Mother! He who has a throne in heaven, has a stable for his birth-place!
   May he, that for our sake was thus born, wipe away all our guilt; for our sojourn here is full of dangers.
Amen.


by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867







Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Happy Mother




In Honor of The Blessed Virgin
(St. Peter Damian)

   May all earth and heaven be glad and resound with the praises which are sung to the maternity of the Virgin. 
   Yea, this Virgin, Mother of the Word, is made the gate of heaven; she gave God to the world, and, by this, opened heaven to us.
   This happy Mother of Jesus conceived him without humiliation, and bore him without a moan; such a Mother could not be under the law put on Eve.
   O that rich treasure of Mary's womb! it held the price which purchased our redemption, setting us free from the yoke of our debt.
   The Son of the eternal Father dwelt within her; the Holy Ghost overshadowed her; what is such a Virgin's womb but a new-made heaven?
   To thee, Most High, who wast born of the Virgin, be praise! Honor ineffable be to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit.
         Amen.
   

by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Monday, December 19, 2016

Of Thee is Born Jesus!



Composed by St. Ambrose 
(Ambrosian Breviary)

   It is a mystery of the Church, it is a hymn that we sing to Christ, the Word of the Father, become the Son of a Virgin.

   Among women, thou alone, O Mary! wast chosen in this world, and wast made worthy to carry in thy holy womb him who is thy Lord.

   This is a great mystery, that is given to Mary: that she should see the God, who created all things, become her own Child!

   How truly art thou full of grace, ever glorious Virgin! for of thee is born the Christ, by whom all things were made.

   Come then ye people, let us pray to the virgin Mother of God, that she would obtain for us peace and indulgent mercy.

   Glory be to thee, O Lord, who wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father and the Holy Ghost, for everlasting ages.  

   Amen.
   

by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Bells of St. Mary's



The Bells of St. Mary's is a 1945 American drama film produced and directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.


CLICK MOVIE BELOW TO PLAY NOW 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

O Thou Tabernacle of God



Ancient Hymn from the Anthology of The Greeks

     As a royal throne, thou carriest the Creator; as a living couch, thou encircles the King, O creature most dear to God:
     Branch most vigorous, thou didst bud forth the Christ on whom we lean and are supported; for Aaron's branch, which, of old, budded unplanted, was a type of thee, thou chaste dove, and ever a Virgin.
     To sing the more than wonderful manner of thy extraordinary and incomprehensible maternity, is above the power of all the choirs of men; for no mind, no thought, no understanding, no words, can reach the mystery.  


Rejoice, O thou tabernacle of God!


by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867







Friday, December 16, 2016

What Bliss is Thine



Prose In Honor of The Blessed Virgin
(Taken from an ancient Roman-French Missal) 

Hail! Mother of the divine Word! Hail, most humble and most spotless Virgin!
   Rejoice, thou Mother of a Son who supports thee! Rejoice, thy burden is a burden most sweet to bear!
     Hail, branch of Jesse, Fruit-bearing branch! Hail gate of the temple, closed to all but God!
     Be glad, thou fleece of Gideon, full of the dew of the holy Spirit! Be glad, thou tent of Solomon, of all the first in beauty!
     What bliss is thine, that thou the humble star shouldest be clad with the Sun, and then bring forth the Sun! What bliss is thine, that thou shouldest be elected the bright ladder reaching up to heaven!
     Sing to thy God, thou aurora rising in the light of the new Star! Sing, thou ark of the covenant, bearing unto us sinners thy three treasures.
     Oh! let thy soul magnify Jesus! and oh! sweet Mary, pray that, with thee, we too may magnify him.  Amen.



by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Let Us Sing Together



Prose for The Time of Advent

(Composed in the eleventh century, and taken from the ancient Roman-French missals)

Let us sing together to our God, who created all things; 

By whom all ages were made;

The firmament, which shines with much light, and the countless stars;

The sun, the ornament of the world; the moon, which is the night's beauty; and all shining things;

The sea, the land, the hills, the plains, and the deep rivers; 

The wide space of the air, through which float birds, and winds, and rain;

All these obey thee alone, O God, as their Maker and King.

Now and evermore, for endless ages:

Their praise is thy glory;

Who for our salvation didst send thine only-begotten Son, 

In whom could be no sin, to suffer on earth for our sins.

We beseech thee, O holy Trinity, to govern and protect our souls and bodies, and grant us forgiveness of our sins.
 Amen.

Prayer:

O dear Mother of Jesus, who didst bring peace to angels and to men by giving birth to Christ.

Pray for us to this thy Son, that he be merciful to us, and forgive us our sins, and give us his assistance, whereby, after this exile, we may possess the blessed joys of eternal life. Amen 


by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

His Name is Jesus

The Old Adobe Mission is a small Church with big talent. We wish all of you could have all been here tonight for our Christmas Cantata. 





Special thanks to our Director of Music Ann Weiss and soloists, Laura Coordes, Amanda Gasal and Brian Cannon as well as our narrator Julie Estes. Special mention to our beautiful and talented OLPH choir.


Hail Queen of Virgins



Prose In Honor of The Blessed Virgin

Missal of Cluny - 1523

The angel, entering the Virgin's chamber, and gently bidding her not to fear, says to her:

Hail, Queen of virgins! thou shalt conceive in thy womb the Lord of heaven and earth; and still remaining a Virgin, thou shalt bring forth the salvation of mankind, O gate of heaven bringing to the world the remedy of its iniquities!
  How shall this be, replied the Virgin, for I know not man? How wouldst thou have me break the vow which I have sworn to keep?
  The grace of the Holy Ghost shall accomplish all these things, said the angel. Fear not, but rejoice. I assure thee thy virginity shall be left intact: the power of God shall maintain it.
  To this the noble Virgin answering, said to the angel: I am the lowly handmaid of the omnipotent God.
  Consenting to thy word, O heavenly messenger, bearer of so great a secret, and desiring to see fulfilled what thou announces, I am ready to obey the decree of God.
  The angel left her, and in that moment her virginal womb conceived the Word made flesh from hers. 
  This was his chosen enclosure for nine months: then he left it, and began the great combat, carrying the cross upon his shoulders, wherewith he struck the enemy who brought death into the world.


Prayer:

O dear Mother of Jesus, who didst bring peace to angels and to men by giving birth to Christ.

Pray for us to this thy Son, that he be merciful to us, and forgive us our sins, and give us his assistance, whereby, after this exile, we may possess the blessed joys of eternal life. Amen 


by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Divine Perfume



The Anthology of The Greeks

The Virgin, as a precious vase of alabaster, bears the divine perfume into the cave, there wisely and ineffably to yield what she contains, that she may fill our souls with the delicious fragrance. 

Christ our God shall come manifestly, and shall not delay; he shall appear born of a spotless Virgin; he shall be laid in a cave; and thou, the crib of senseless beasts, receive into thyself, wrapt in swathing-bands, him, whom the heavens cannot contain, and whose single word absolves our senseless sins.  

Antiphon:

Let us live justly and piously, expecting the blessed hope, and the coming of the Lord, alleluia.

by Dom Prosper  Granger O.S.B.
London, 1867




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Monday, December 12, 2016

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Guadalupe, in the Aztec Indian tongue, means "She shall crush thy head," but has been extended to the church containing the picture and to the town that grew up around it. Guadalupe is three miles northeast of Mexico City, Mexico. Pilgrimages have been made to this shrine almost uninterruptedly since 1531.

The picture which has aroused all this devotion is a representation of the Immaculate Conception, with the sun, moon, and stars, accompaniments of the text in the Apocalypse. Mary, clothed in a blue robe dotted with stars, stands on the crescent moon. Underneath the crescent is a supporting angel. The rays of the sun shoot out on all sides from behind the central figure.



According to tradition the Blessed Virgin appeared to a fifty-five-year-old neophyte named Juan Diego, who was hurrying to hear Mass in Mexico City, on Saturday, December 9, 1531. She sent him to Bishop Zumarraga to ask that a temple be built on the spot where she stood. She was at the same place that evening and Sunday evening to get the bishop's answer. After cross-questioning Juan, the bishop ordered him to ask for a sign from the lady who had said she was the Mother of God. Juan was occupied all Monday with Bernardino, an uncle, who seemed dying of fever. On Tuesday, December 12th, the grieved nephew had to run for a priest and, to avoid the apparition, slipped around where the chapel now stands. But the Blessed Virgin crossed down to meet him and said, "What road is this thou takes, son?" A tender dialogue ensued. Reassuring Juan about  his uncle-whom at that instant she cured and in an apparition to him also called herself Holy Mary of Guadalupe-she bade him go again to the bishop. Without hesitating he joyously asked for a sign. She told him to go up to the rocks and gather roses. He knew it was neither the time nor the place for roses, but he obeyed. Gathering the roses into the long cloak worn by Mexican Indians, he returned to the Blessed Mother, who rearranged them and warned him to keep them untouched and unseen till he reached the bishop. When he arrived at the bishop's home, Juan unfolded his cloak and the roses fell out. Startled to see the bishop and his attendants kneeling before him, he looked at the cloak and saw glowing there the life-sized figure of the Virgin Mother, just as he had described her. The picture was venerated in the bishop's chapel and soon after carried in procession to the first shrine.



The coarsely woven material which bears the picture is as thin and open as poor sacking. It is made of vegetable fiber and consists of two strips, about seventy inches long by eighteen wide, held together by weak stitching. The chief colors imprinted on this material are deep gold in the rays and stars, blue-green in the mantle, and the rose in the flowered tunic.



In 1709 a rich shrine was erected; in 1904 it was made a basilica. Nineteen Popes favored the shrine and its tradition. Pope Pius X decreed that Our Lady of Guadalupe should be the national patron, and made December 12th a holy day of obligation (no longer so) and ordered a special Mass and Office.



When Our Lady imprinted her image on the cloak of Juan Diego, there was no United States. From the Gulf to the St. Lawrence was one continent, and that continent had been dedicated to Our Lady by the Spaniards. The United States was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1846. The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the image of the Immaculate Conception. She is The Woman of the Apocalypse, clothed with the Sun, standing on the Moon, and, though without the crown of stars, wears them on her mantle. Significantly, the Child Jesus does not appear. The apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mary's only recorded appearance in North America. Pope Pius XII said, "We are certain that so long as you (Our Lady of Guadalupe) are recognized as Queen and Mother, America and Mexico are saved."



Be reason of the fact that we live and work for God in one section of the earth, joined together by common interests and common needs, the people of the Americas are bound to love one another with a special charity. The force of charity by which the peoples of the Western Hemisphere must be bound together is one of those graces which the Mother of God can and will procure for her children in Christ. As the patroness of Pan-American unity, Our Lady of Guadalupe influences her children to turn toward one another in common affection for her and for Our Lord.  



PRAYER


Mary, Mother of God, in honoring you as Our Lady of Guadalupe, we honor you as the Immaculate Conception. The picture you imprinted on the cloak of the Indian at Guadalupe was the image of the Immaculate Conception. You appeared as the Woman of the Apocalypse, clothed with the sun, standing on the moon.



I believe the doctrine of the Church concerning your Immaculate Conception, which teaches that at the first moment of your conception you were, by the singular grace and privilege of the omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved from all stains of original sin. The foundation of this doctrine is to be found in Sacred Scripture where we are taught that God, the Creator of all things, after the sad  fall of Adam, addressed the serpent in words which the Church applies to you: "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head" (Gen. 3:15). If at any time you had been without Divine grace, even for the shortest moment, there would not have come between you and the serpent that everlasting enmity spoken of by God.



Since the angel saluted you "full of grace" and "blessed . . . among women" (Luke 1:28), you were the abode of all divine graces, adorned both the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that you were never subjected to the evil spirit.

This doctrine was received in the early Church and handed down by the Fathers who praised you with extraordinary titles and most important writings.



Mary, My Mother, may the example of your sinlessness urge us to that innocence and purity of life which flees from and abhors even the slightest stain of sin. Forming with your Divine Son one spiritual body, we experience the rage of Satan until the end of time. But we, too, by our union with Jesus, and by the power of His grace, will also be united with Him in His victory over the devil. As the seed of the serpent includes all those descendants of the first man and woman who by their sinful lives bear within them the traits of the devil, so, too, the seed of the woman includes all who in the course of ages will take their stand with your Son, Jesus Christ, in His ceaseless conflict with the enemy of God.

Mary, Mother of God, your apparition at Guadalupe teaches me that devotion to you is a source of great graces. The Church has always taught that God has entrusted to your hands all heavenly treasures, and many of the saints assure me that you give to your clients as much of these treasures as you wish and when you wish to do so.



How consoling it is to know that you have these heavenly blessings at your disposal! I have but to ask for them for the salvation of my soul. There is nothing you want more than to give them to me, because you are even more anxious to save my soul than I am, for you know better than anyone else the price your Son has paid for it and the precious worth of each grace He so graciously offers to me through you.

Devotion to you brings with it sweetness and consolation for the soul. As a child runs to its mother in every need, and finds comfort in her glance and kind word, I can turn to you for help when I need it, for you are truly my Mother, whose heart is overflowing with kindness and mercy.

Mary, My Mother, the Church puts these words of the Canticles on you lips: "I love those who love me." I want to love you with all my heart that I may in some way merit that you love me in return. I already know of your great love for me for the sake of your Son Who entrusted the care of my soul to you. But I want to beloved by you even more; hence give me an ever growing love for you. This love for you was the source of great joy in the hearts of the saints. May I have more of their love for you that I may experience more of their joy in being devoted to you. Take my cold heart; put it into your own and inflame it with a fire of love like your own.

Mary, Mother of God, because the United States was dedicated to your Immaculate Conception, be pleased to take our country under your special protection and grant that, guided by justice and nurtured by charity, it may serve God faithfully and be blessed with peace and prosperity. Continue to work wonders on our shores for our spiritual and material prosperity and keep us in peace and charity. Intercede for us that we may win the victory over evil and that we may live and reign with Jesus, your Son. Our Lady of Guadalupe, who we acclaim our Queen and Mother, lead our country to God.

Mary, My Mother, your apparition at Guadalupe as the Immaulate Conception is your only recorded appearnnce in North America. Bless the people of the Americas, to which uncounted thousands have come to seek refuge and livelihood. Preserve their faith, assailed at every hour by the forces opposed to Christ. Petition God that their hope may never fail amid the troubles and the cares of this life. We beg you for a burning charity for God to imitate the works of Christ. We ask you to procure for us, by your prayers, the great grace of final perseverance so that those who are joined to honor you in the kingdom of your Son on earth may be together always in heaven.  


INDULGENCED PRAYER


Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, make intercession for holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity and the precious gift of final perseverance.  Amen.


Sign of Salvation with Jesus the Light, Clothed with the Sun thou art radiant bright! Promised of old as the serpent's defeat, Queenly adorned with the moon 'neath thy feet!
Garden of Eden, where sin has no part,Life-giving Tree, bearing Christ in our heart.Ark, where the Manna was hidden away,Holy of Holies, Immaculate Way!
City of God, with the Lamb as thy Light, Dawn of Eternal Day knowing no night! Bride of the Spirit and Form of our God, Heavenly Path which the Blessed have trod!

O God, Who bestowed upon us unceasing favors by having place us under the special protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, grant us, Your humble servants, who rejoice in honoring her today upon earth, the happiness of seeing her face to face in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Our Lady in Catholic Life, MacMillian Co., 
 by Fr. Lawrence Lovesik, 1957

Photos - Diocese of Phoenix Facebook