Prayer to the Mother of God by St Cyril of Alexandria (Saint of the Day)
Hail, Mother and virgin,
eternal temple of the Godhead,
venerable treasure of creation,
crown of virginity,
support of the true faith,
on which the Church is founded
throughout the world.
Mother of God,
who contained the infinite God
under your heart,
whom no space can contain:
the most Holy Trinity is revealed,
adored, and glorified,
demons are vanquished,
Satan cast down from heaven into hell
and our fallen nature again
assumed into heaven.
Through you the human race,
held captive in the bonds of idolatry,
arrives at the knowledge of Truth.
What more shall I say of you?
Hail, through whom kings rule,
through whom the Only-Begotten
Son of God
has become the Star of Light
to those sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death. Amen
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour: The picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is painted on wood, with background of gold. It is Byzantine in style and is supposed to have been painted in the thirteenth century. It represents the Mother of God holding the Divine Child while the Archangels Michael and Gabriel present before Him the instruments of His Passion. Over the figures in the picture are some Greek letters which form the abbreviated words Mother of God, Jesus Christ, Archangel Michael and Archangel Gabriel respectively.
It was brought to Rome towards the end of the fifteenth century by a pious merchant, who, dying there, ordered by his will that the picture should be exposed in a church for public veneration. It was exposed in the church of San Matteo, Via Merulana, between Saint Mary Major and Saint John Lateran. Crowds flocked to this church and for nearly three hundred years many graces were obtained through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin. The picture was then popularly called the Madonna di San Matteo. The church was served for a time by the Hermits of Saint Augustine, who had sheltered their Irish brethren in their distress.
These Augustinians were still in charge when the French invaded Rome, Italy in 1812 and destroyed the church. The picture disappeared; it remained hidden and neglected for over forty years but a series of providential circumstances between 1863 and 1865 led to its discovery in an oratory of the Augustinian Fathers at Santa Maria in Posterula. The pope, Pius IX, who as a boy had prayed before the picture in San Matteo, became interested in the discovery and in a letter dated 11 Dececember 1865 to Father General Mauron, C.SS.R., ordered that Our Lady of Perpetual Succour should be again publicly venerated in Via Merulana and this time at the new church of Saint Alphonsus. The ruins of San Matteo were in the grounds of the Redemptorist Convent. This was but the first favour of the Holy Father towards the picture. He approved of the solemn translation of the picture (26 April 1866) and its coronation by the Vatican Chapter (23 June 1867). He fixed the feast as duplex secundae classis, on the Sunday before the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist and by a decree dated May 1876, approved of a special office and Mass for the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. This favour later on was also granted to others. Learning that the devotion to Our Lady under this title had spread far and wide, Pius IX raised a confraternity of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and Saint Alphonsus, which had been erected in Rome, to the rank of an arch-confraternity and enriched it with many privileges and indulgences. He was among the first to visit the picture in its new home and his name is the first in the register of the arch-confraternity.
Two thousand three hundred facsimiles of the Holy Picture have been sent from Saint Alphonsus’s church in Rome to every part of the world. At the present day not only altars but churches and dioceses (e.g. in England, Leeds and Middlesbrough; in the United States, Savannah) are dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. In some places, as in the United States, the title has been translated Our Lady of Perpetual Help but generally Catholics throughout the rest of the world use the proper title.Patronage:
• The Redemptorist Order, Haiti 1 Arch and 7 Diocese around the world, 3 cities in various parts of the world.
The original Image before Restoration
Mother of God of Gietrzwald: Our Lady appeared for the first time to Justyna Szafrynska (13) when she was returning home with her mother after having taken an examination prior to receiving the First Holy Communion. The next day, Barbara Samulowska (12) also saw the ‘Bright Lady’ sitting on the throne with Infant Christ among Angels over the maple tree in front of the church while reciting the rosary. The girls asked “Who are you?” she answered, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception!”. “What do you require, Mother of God?”, they asked, the answer was: “I wish you recite the rosary everyday!” There were 13 more apparitions from 27 June 1877 to 16 September 1877.
2 February 1970 – Pope Paul VI elevated the church in Gietrzwald to the rank of Basilica Minor.
11 September 1977 – One hundredth anniversary of Our Lady apparitions in Gietrzwald. Masses of faithful gathered with the representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Poland headed by Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who prayed: “Remember, the Blessed Virgin Mary, no one has heard that anybody who has entrusted his needs to your maternal kindness has been disappointed. Therefore, full of trust in face of pleading might of your heart, we are laying down in your generous hands, the health of your servant and our Primate. Look at his loyalty and devotion, with which he has been serving you for many years as priest and bishop and restore in full his strength so that he may see your glory in the days of the jubilee of the basilica of Our Lady of Czestochowa and direct the Church in Poland for many years.” The primate who was too ill to attend recovered.
11 September 1977 – During the ceremonies, the decree of the Warmian Bishop, Jozef Drzazga, was read approving the devotion to Our Lady’s apparitions in Gietrzwald as not contradicting Christian faith and morality and recognizing the miraculous and divine nature of the events.
St Adeodato of Naples
St Aedh McLugack
St Anectus of Caesarea
St Arialdus of Milan
St Arianell of Wales
Bl Benvenutus of Gubbio
St Crescens of Galatia
St Crescentius of Mainz
Bl Daniel of Schönau
Bl Davanzato of Poggibonsi
St Desideratus of Gourdon
St Felix of Rome
St Ferdinand of Aragon
St Gudene of Carthage
St Joanna the Myrrhbearer
St John of Chinon
St Ladislas I of Hungary
St Sampson of Constantinople
St Spinella of Rome
St Tôma Toán
St Zoilus of Cordoba
Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Among the thousands of Christians murdered by various Communist regimes in their hatred of the faith, there were 25 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, priests, bishops, sisters and lay people, whose stories are sufficiently well documented that we know they were murdered specifically for their faith in eastern Europe and whose Causes for Canonization were opened. Their Causes were combined and they were beatified together. They have separate memorials but are remembered together today. They are –
“A man who fails to love the Mass fails to love Christ. We must make an effort to ‘live’ the Mass with calm and serenity, with devotion and affection. And this is why I have always suspected that those who want the Mass to be over with quickly show, with this insensitive attitude, that they have not yet realised what the sacrifice of the altar means.” AND “Many Christians take their time and have leisure enough in their social life (no hurry here). They are leisurely, too, in their professionally activities, at table and recreation (no hurry here either). But isn’t it strange how those same Christians find themselves in such a rush and want to hurry the priest, in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?”
“You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!” you can be sure you have already begun.”
“When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries.”
“To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush and Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond… You – what have you done?” …………………May I give you some advice for you to put into practice daily? When your heart makes you feel those low cravings, say slowly to the Immaculate Virgin: Look on me with compassion. Don’t abandon me. Don’t abandon me, my Mother! – And recommend this prayer to others.”
“If you have so many defects, why are you surprised to find defects in others?”
Our Lady of Longing: Matka Boża Tęskniąca / Longing Mother of God, Warsaw, Poland – One of the oldest churches in the Archdiocese of Warsaw is St. Elizabeth Powsin. Located on the main altar is a painting of Our Lady of Longing – artist unknown – from the first half of the seventeenth century. At either side, the image is surrounded by statues of Saints Adalbert and Stanislaus – Polish bishops and martyrs. The testimony of miracles and graces relating to the Our Lady of Longing icon have been collected at least since the mid-seventeenth century. On June 28, 1998, the image became the fourth image of Mary in the Archdiocese of Warsaw to be canonically crowned.
Our Lady of Trompone: Italy(1562)
St Acteie of Rome
St Albinus of Rome
Bl Andrea Giacinto Longhin
Bl Andrii Ischak
St Anthelm of Belley
St Babolenus of Stavelot-Malmédy
St Barbolenus of Fossés
Bl Bartholomew of Vir
St David of Thessalonica
St Deodatus of Nola
St Dionysius of Bulgaria
St Edburga of Gloucester
St Hermogius of Tuy
St Iosephus Ma Taishun
St John of Rome
St John of the Goths
St José Maria Robles Hurtado
St Josemaria Escriva
Bl Khalil Al-Haddad
St Maxentius of Poitou
St Medico of Otricoli
Bl Mykola Konrad
St Paul of Rome
St Pelagius of Oviedo
St Perseveranda of Poitiers
Bl Raymond Petiniaud de Jourgnac
Bl Sebastian de Burgherre
St Terence of Rome
St Vigilius of Trent
Bl Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima
Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: Four Christians who were martyred together – Agapitus, Emerita, Felix and Gaudentius at an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.
Martyrs of Alexandria – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together, but we really know little more that the names – Agatho, Diogenes and Luceja. They were martyred in Alexandria, Egypt, date unknown.
Martyrs of Cambrai – 4 beati: Four Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul nuns at Arras, France. Imprisoned together in 1792 and executed together two years later in the anti-Catholic excesses of the French Revolution. They were:
• Jeanne Gerard
• Marie-Françoise Lanel
• Marie-Madeleine Fontaine
• Thérèse-Madeleine Fantou
They were guillotined on 26 June 1794 at Cambrai, Nord, France and Beatified in June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
Today, 25 June, we celebrate the feast day of Saint William of Vercelli (1085-1142), founder of the Order of Monte Vergine, also known as the “Williamites.” Saint William lived a quiet life of solitude and contemplation, listening intently for the voice of God and following the directions he received. Through his obedience, William was taken far from home, worked many miracles and established a thriving religious community—all because he was quiet and paused to discern the Will of the Lord.
Saint William had complete trust in the Lord and in His Divine Providence. Ever faithful and contemplative, William was willing to leave his home as a youth and subsequently leave the community he had built with his own hands in service to God. Patient, humble and obedient, Saint William of Vercelli put the Lord’s work above his own desires at every moment of his life. His great devotion to Our Lady, was a source of immense comfort and trust in the holy Mother of God, who he knew would lead him to her Son. We could do well by observing Saint William’s confidence in the Divine Providence and striving to imitate him by creating quiet moments in our own lives for prayer, reflection and contemplation. It is in those moments that the Divine Plan for our own lives quietly unfolds…… if we listen.
St William of Vercelli and Monte Vergine, please pray for us!
The Feast of Our Lady of Grace/Our Lady of the Bowed Head – 25 June
Among the many miraculous images of the Mother of God through which she deigns to grant her favours, there is one in the monastery church of the Carmelites in Vienna, entitled the Mother of Grace, or Our Lady of Grace, also known also as Our Lady of the Bowed Head.
In 1610 a Carmelite, Dominic of Jesus-Mary, found among the votaries of an old altar in the monastery church of Maria della Scala in Rome and oil painting of the Mother of God, dust-covered and somewhat torn, which grieved him. Taking it into his hands, he shook the dust off it, and kneeling down venerated it with great devotion.
He had the picture renovated and placed it on the shelf in his cell, where he made it the object of his love and supplications in favour of those who came to him in their necessities and afflictions.
One night while he was praying fervently before the picture, he noticed that some dust had settled on it. Having nothing but his course woolen handkerchief he dusted it with that and apologized,
“O pure and holiest Virgin, nothing in the whole world is worthy of touching your holy face but since I have nothing but this coarse handkerchief, deign to accept my good will.”
To his great surprise, the face of the Mother of God appeared to take on life and smiling sweetly at him, she bowed her head, which thereafter remained inclined.
Fearing he was under an illusion, Dominic became troubled but Mary assured him that his requests would be heard: he could ask of her with full confidence any favour he might desire. He fell upon his knees and offered himself entirely to the service of Jesus and Mary and asked for the deliverance of one of is benefactor’s souls in purgatory. Mary told him to offer several Masses and other good works; a short time after when he was again praying before the image, Mary appeared to him bearing the soul of his benefactor to Heaven. Dominic begged that all who venerated Mary in this image of Our Lady of Grace might obtain all they requested. In reply the Virgin gave him this assurance:
“All those who devoutly venerate me in this picture and take refuge to me will have their request granted and I will obtain for them many graces; but especially will I hear their prayers for the relief and deliverance of the souls in purgatory.”
Dominic soon after placed the image into the church of Maria Della Scala so that more devotees of Mary could venerate it. Many wonderful favours were obtained by those who honoured and invoked Mary here. Reproductions were made of Our Lady of Grace and sent to different parts of the world. After the death of Dominic the original painting was lent to Prince Maximilian of Bavaria. He gave it to the discalced Carmelites in Munich in 1631; they gave it to Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria and his wife Eleanore. After Ferdinand’s death, Eleanore entered the Carmelite convent in Vienna and took the picture with her. During the succeeding years the image was transferred to various places. Today it is in the monastery church of Vienna Doabling. On 27 September 1931, it was solemnly crowned by Pope Pius XI – its 300th anniversary of arrival in Vienna.
Saint Padre Pio prayed daily to Our Lady of Grace at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy.
image of Our Lady of Grace is painted on the front wall and ceiling behind the altar in the church at San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, where St. Pio lived.
St Padre Pio prayed the following Prayer every day to Our Lady of Grace.
O heavenly treasurer of all graces, Mother of God and my mother Mary, since you are the first-born daughter of the Eternal Father and hold in your hands His omnipotence, be moved to pity my soul and grant me the graces which I fervently ask of you.
O merciful dispenser of divine graces, Mary most holy, mother of the Eternal incarnate Word who has crowned you with His immense wisdom, look upon the greatness of my sorrow and grant me the graces I need so much.
O most loving dispenser of divine graces, immaculate Spouse of the Eternal Holy Spirit, most holy Mary, who have received from Him a heart which is moved to pity by human misfortunes and which is constrained to offer consolation to those who suffer, be moved to pity my soul and grant me whose graces which I await from you with full confidence in your immense goodness.
O my mother, treasurer of all graces, refuge of poor sinners, consolation of the afflicted, hope of those who despair and most powerful help of Christians, I places all my confidence in you, being sure that you will obtain for me from Jesus the graces which I so much desire, if they are good for my soul. Amen
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (2017)
Our Lady of Grace
St Adalbert of Egmond
St Amand of Coly
Bl Burchard of Mallersdorf
St Cyneburga of Gloucester
St Domingo Henares de Zafra Cubero
Bl Dorothy of Montau
St Eurosia of Jaca
St Febronia of Nisibis
Bl Fulgentius de Lara
St Gallicanus of Embrun
St Gallicanus of Ostia
St Gohard of Nantes
Bl Guy Maramaldi
Bl Henry Zdick
Bl John the Spaniard
St Luceias and Companions
St Maximus of Turin
St Moloc of Mortlach
St Molonachus of Lismore
St Phanxicô Ðo Van Chieu
St Prosper of Reggio
St Selyf of Cornwall
St Solomon I
St Solomon III of Bretagne
St William of Vercelli – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8DVvgPMJtU