Monday, November 30, 2015

Pope's Prayer Intentions for December 2015

The Pope's prayer intentions for December are:

Universal: That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving.

Evangelization: That families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.

New Mother Teresa film: "The Letters"

The Letters is one film I am looking forward to watching, as I am a big fan of Blessed Mother Teresa, who will be canonized St. Teresa of Calcutta on September 5, 2016. The film will be released on December 4. Take a look at the official trailer:

MOTHER TERESA, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is considered one of the greatest humanitarians of modern times. Her selfless commitment changed hearts, lives and inspired millions throughout the world. THE LETTERS, as told through personal letters she wrote over the last 40 years of her life, reveal a troubled and vulnerable woman who grew to feel an isolation and an abandonment by God. The story is told from the point of view of a Vatican priest charged with the task of investigating acts and events following her death. He recounts her life’s work, her political oppression, her religious zeal and her unbreakable spirit.

Written and directed by William Riead, THE LETTERS stars the acclaimed four-time BAFTA nominated British Actress Juliet Stevenson as Mother Teresa in a transformational performance that spans over 50 years, Academy Award Nominee Max Van Sydow and Golden Globe winner Rutger Hauer. The film is rated PG.

Read a review by Sr. Helena Burns, FSP. The Dove Foundation reviews it HERE.

Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle

Today is the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. He is the patron of fishermen, singers, unmarried women, and women who wish to become mothers.

St. Andrew, son of Jonah, was the brother of the Apostle Peter, and like his brother, was born at Bethsaida in Galilee. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and became the first to follow Jesus. A fisherman like St. Peter, Saint Andrew first introduced Saint Peter to Christ. Both occupied the same house at Capharnaum.

At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good.

As one of the Twelve Apostles, Andrew was very close to Our Lord during His public life; he was present at the Last Supper; beheld the risen Lord; witnessed the Ascension; shared in the graces and gifts of the first Pentecost, and helped, amid threats and persecution, to establish the Faith in Palestine. After Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel.

He was crucified by order of the Roman Governor at Patras in southern Greece on a cross to which he was tied, not nailed. Tradition states that he requested to be crucified on a saltire or "x"-shaped cross, as he considered himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been. This type of cross has long been known as "St. Andrew's cross." He was martyred during the reign of Nero, on November 30, 60 A.D.

St. Andrew's relics were transferred from Patras to Constantinople, and deposited in the church of the Apostles there, about 357 A.D. When Constantinople was taken by the French, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, Cardinal Peter of Capua brought the relics to Italy and placed them in the cathedral of Amalfi, where most of them still remain.

Although little is mentioned in the Book of Acts regarding the life of St. Andrew, much can be learned through St. Andrew's life. He and Saint Peter gave up their lifelong careers and lifestyles, leaving everything behind, to follow Jesus. Their undying faith in a difficult world is an inspiration to all Christians.

Beginning today, Novena 30, the Christmas Anticipatory Prayer, also known as "St. Andrew's Christmas Novena" (Hail and Blessed be the hour...) is prayed every day until Christmas.

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Begins

During Advent, one Catholic tradition is to pray the St. Andrew Christmas novena. The feast of St. Andrew, which takes places on November 30, marks the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of a new year with the start of Advent. In fact, the Sunday that falls nearest to St. Andrew’s feast day is always the first Sunday of Advent.

On the Feast of St. Andrew, November 30, this beautiful prayer is recited fifteen times a day until Christmas. It is a very meditative prayer that helps us focus on the real meaning of Christmas and aids us in preparing our hearts and souls for Christ's coming.


Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
In which the Son of God was born
Of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight,
in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
[here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,
and of His blessed Mother. Amen.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ten Tips for a Peace-Filled Advent

1. Attend daily Mass and the sacrament of Reconciliation with your family as often as possible.

2. Attend fewer Christmas parties and spend more time in prayer. Pray the Rosary with the family or spend an hour each week in Eucharistic Adoration together. Light a candle for the Blessed Virgin Mary on her feast days.

3. Laugh. Find humor in the events of your everyday life. Watch classic comedies with clean humor.

3. Buy fewer Christmas presents for family. Instead teach them the real meaning of Christmas by giving more of your time, talents, and money to those who need it. Volunteer at the soup kitchen or the homeless shelter. Collect food, toys, coats, and other articles for the needy.

4. Use an Advent calendar and a wreath to mark this time of preparation. Pray Advent prayers with the family when you light up the candle on the wreath. Sing "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" throughout Advent. Pray the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at this time.

5. Take prayer naps -- rest in the arms of Jesus. Surrender your worries to Him. Accept His gift of peace.

6. Listen to beautiful religious music -- like Advent at Ephesus.

7. Keep outdoor lights and decorations simple, using religious CHRISTmas scenes like the Nativity or a star.

8. Thank God each day for the good things in your life. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

9. Do something nice for someone each day and encourage family members to do the same. It might be a small act of kindness or an encouraging or a kind word.

10. Forgive someone. Forgiveness is an act of the will. It does not mean that you condone what the person did. You are making a decision not to hold onto anger or resentment or the desire for revenge. You are giving yourself and the other person the gift of healing. When you forgive, stress will melt away and peace will fill your heart.

St. Catherine Laboure

Today the Church honors St. Catherine of Laboure, the humble Daughter of Charity to whom Mary appeared, requesting that the Miraculous Medal be struck so that all who wear it would receive great graces.

Saint Catherine Laboure was born in Burgundy, France on May 2, 1806. The ninth of eleven children born to a farm family, she felt a call to the religious life from an early age. Catherine entered the community of the Daughters of Charity, in obedience to a vision of Saint Vincent de Paul, telling her that God wanted her to work with the sick.

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, who was then a 24-year-old novice, three times. On July 18, 1830, the first apparition occurred in the community's motherhouse. St. Catherine saw a lady seated on the right side of the sanctuary. When St. Catherine approached her, the heavenly visitor told her how to act in time of trial and pointed to the altar as the source of all consolation. Promising to entrust St. Catherine with a mission which would cause her great suffering, the lady also predicted the anticlerical revolt which occurred at Paris in 1870.

Our Lady showed St. Catherine the medal of the Immaculate Conception, now universally known as the "Miraculous Medal." On one side was a picture of Mary, hands outstretched and the words 'O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.' On the other was the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Our Blessed Mother asked Catherine to have medals made and devotion to the medal spread. Our Lady told Catherine that wearers of the medal would receive great graces, and its wearing and devotion has spread worldwide.

At the time, only her spiritual director, Father Aladel, knew of the apparitions and instructions that Catherine Laboure was receiving. He helped her to have the medals made and distributed, and kept her identity secret. Not until shortly before her death in 1876, did anyone know the identity of the nun who had begun the devotion.

Catherine Laboure died on December 31, 1876, and was canonized on July 27, 1947. Her body was buried in a crypt beneath their church and found to be incorrupt some fifteen years later.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to you under your title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your motherly affection for us and a constant reminder of our filial duties towards you. While wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your Son. Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives so that like you we may live and act according to the teaching and example of your Son. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death so that in union with you we may enjoy the happiness of heaven forever. Amen.

V: O Mary, conceived without sin, R: Pray for us who have recourse to you.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

November 27 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Devotion to and wearing of the Miraculous Medal is second to the Rosary in popularity among traditional Catholic devotions.


In 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed the design of the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure in an apparition.

In Paris, on June 6, 1830, the Lord appeared to the young (age 24) Daughter of Charity novice Catherine at Mass, and again on the nights of July 18-19 when she was summoned to the chapel by a beautiful "child clothed in white" to converse with the Virgin Mary. Catherine was told prophecies and charged with "a mission" that manifested itself on November 27 in an early morning (5:30 am) appearance of the Blessed Virgin who was "clothed in white" standing on a globe and "a serpent." Rays of light issued forth from rings on her fingers and Catherine was told to commission a medal of what she was seeing. Then, turning the letter "M surmounted by a bar and a cross" underneath which were the hearts of Jesus and Mary all surrounded by the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Catherine heard the voice tell her, "Have a medal struck after this model. All who wear this medal will receive great favors. They should wear it around the neck . Favors will abound if worn with devotion." Catherine's mission was to ensure that the medal was made and to spread Mary's message of love and compassion.

Many healings, conversions and other miracles have been documented by those who have faithfully worn the 'Medal of the Immaculate Conception' as the Miraculous Medal was originally called.

There are numerous Miraculous Medal Associations throughout the world. They are united under the care of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists), the religious order founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Membership contributions go to spread devotion to the Virgin Mary and to support the work of the Vincentians. Each Association maintains a shrine and usually has some type of publication for members.

The Design and Meaning of the Medal

The medal is striking because Our Lady herself designed it.

The front of the medal depicts Mary standing on a globe, with the head of a serpent beneath her feet. Circling the oval-shaped medal is the signature, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." On the reverse, twelve stars surround a large "M," from which a cross arises. Below the "M," the medal depicts two flaming hearts. The left heart, circled with thorns, represents Jesus. The right heart, pierced by a sword, symbolizes Mary.

The Front Side
• Mary stands on a globe, crushing a serpent beneath her feet. Describing the original vision, Catherine said the Blessed Mother appeared radiant as a sunrise, "in all her perfect beauty."
• Rays shoot out from Mary's hands, which she told Catherine, "... symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them."
• Words from the vision form an oval frame around Mary: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
Seen as a matrix, the elements of the front design encapsulate major Marian tenets:

Quality of Our Lady As Illustrated by the Medal
• Mother Her open arms, the "recourse" we have in her
• Immaculate The words, "conceived without sin"
• Assumed into Heaven She stands on the globe
• Mediatrix Rays from her hands symbolizing "graces"
• Our Protection Crushes the serpent (Gn. 3:15)

The Reverse Side
• A cross-and-bar surmounts a large, bold "M"
• 12 stars disperse around the perimeter
• Two hearts are depicted underneath the "M," the left lapped with a crown of thorns, the right skewed by a sword. From each, a flame emanates from the top. Again, employing a grid analysis, we can see how the reverse-side design contains great symbolism reflecting major tenets of the Catholic faith.

Design Element and its Catholic Meaning
• The large letter "M" — Mary as Mother, Mediatrix.
• Cross and bar — Jesus' cross of Redemption.
• 12 stars — 12 Apostles, who formed the first Church.
• Left Heart — The Sacred Heart, who died for our sins.
• Right Heart — The Immaculate Heart, who intercedes for us.
• Flames — The burning love Jesus and Mary have for us.

The Association of the Miraculous Medal, in Perryville, Mo., notes that there is no superstition or magic connected with the Miraculous Medal, nor is it "a good luck charm." Rather, it is "a testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith."

To obtain a free Miraculous Medal, write to the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 W. St. Joseph St., Perryville, MO, 63775.


Wearing the Medal

The Miraculous Medal is an approved sacramental and allows the the wearer to take advantage of Mary's promise:

"Those who wear it will receive great graces; abundant graces will be given to those who have confidence."

Enrollment in an Association Anyone, living or deceased, Catholic or not, may be enrolled as a member and obtain these graces and the spiritual benefit of Masses offered for members (for example, the Central Association in the U.S. offers 2,500 Masses a year).


Invested membership involves these obligations:

1. Formally enroll in an approved Association and renew the membership yearly

2. Wear the Medal (around the neck is highly recommended)

3. Have the intention to sanctify oneself and others by means of the Medal

4. Investiture which may be done publicly or privately


1. Receive the graces promised by the Blessed Virgin Mary
2. Receive the spiritual benefits of numerous Masses offered for members by the Vincentians
3. Promoters who sign up others receive spiritual benefit from additional Masses
4. Invested members receive an indulgences on the following days:~ Day of joining the Association~ August 22 (Feast of the Queenship of Mary) ~ September 27 (Feast of St. Vincent de Paul)~ November 27 (Feast of the Miraculous Medal)~ November 28 (Feast of St. Catherine Laboure)~ Anniversary date of the founding of the Association in which one is enrolled*

The indulgence is plenary under the normal conditions: confession, communion, prayer for the Pope's intentions and freedom from attachment to all sin.

My Litany of Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being alive. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life!

Thank you for creating me in your image and likeness, Lord.

Thank you for my body, which allows me to serve you daily through the tasks I perform for my family, my parish, and my community.

Thank you for the opportunity to exercise every weekday (and occasionally on weekends) at my gym.

Thank you, Lord, for my health.

Thank you for the amazing food choices I have each day and the delicious and nutritious meals that I am able to prepare.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me not only with the ability to cook, but also with the enjoyment it brings to others, especially those I love.

I am thankful for my mind, which despite my age (ha!), remains active and interested in many things.

I am thankful that I am able to focus, to reason, to retain information, and am still learning new things every day.

Thank you, Lord, that I know who you are and that each new day provides an opportunity for knowing you better.

Thank you for the gift of my soul, which enables me to draw closer to you.

Thank you, Lord, for awakening the deep desires of my soul to know and understand myself as a spiritual being.

Thank you for the gift of prayer and the opportunity to converse with you daily.

Thank you for the gift of free will and for enlightening me to do your holy will.

Thank you for igniting the fire of your love within me that enables me to express myself through the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Lord, for the insatiable desire that you have given me to grow in my love for you.

Thank you for my heart, my emotions, and the gift to express myself as a human being.

I am grateful, Lord, that you created me to be a woman and that I have no desire to be anything or anyone else.

Thank you for blessing me with the gifts of empathy and compassion.

Thank you for helping me to be tender and kind and to nurture others both spiritually and physically.

Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful Catholic faith.

Thank you for the Scriptures, Church traditions, the Magisterium of the Church, the sacraments, the Communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, your death on the cross and your resurrection.

Thank you for the gift of life everlasting.

Thank you for the gift of Mother Mary, Queen of heaven and earth, Queen of angels and saints.

Thank you for the angels, and especially for my guardian angel.

Thank you for the saints, who are wonderful models of holiness and intercede for us in special ways.

Thank you especially for my patron saints.

Thank you, Lord, for our new bishop, Bishop Kemme, and his spirit-filled leadership.

Thank you for our new pastor, Fr. Jarrod, who brings his strong enthusiasm for the faith, amazing teaching and preaching skills, and inspiring homilies to our parish.

Thank you for our new assistant pastor, Fr. Josh, for his diligence, congeniality, and generosity.

Thank you for our part-time assistant pastor, Fr. Ben, who is so sincere, sweet, and humble, who really does remind me of a Jewish rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof" or one of the early Church Fathers.

Thank you for all my loved ones -- family and friends -- both near and far. They are all precious to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, Lord!

~ copyright Jean M. Heimann, November 2015

This is my litany. What is yours?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St. Catherine of Alexandria

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Catherine of Alexandria (292 - 310), virgin and martyr.

Catherine was beautiful, brilliant, and extremely wealthy at the age of eighteen when she debated the Emperor Maximin (311-313) and harshly criticized him for his persecution of Christians who refused to worship pagan gods. Astounded by her wisdom, Maximin ordered her to be kept confined, and summoned fifty of his most learned philosophers, promising them great rewards if they could get Catherine to abandon her Christian faith. However, her arguments were so convincing that all fifty of the philosophers were converted to Christianity. Outraged by this, Maximin ordered all of them to be burned alive.

Then the Emperor attempted to win Catherine by flattery and by promises, but his efforts proved equally fruitless. Next, he had her thrown into a dungeon, without food and water. He ordered her whipped with rods, scourged with leaden nodules, and then left to languish eleven days without food in prison.

In the Emperor's absence, his wife and Porphyrius, general of the army, visited Catherine in prison and both were converted to Christianity. Porphyrius then converted 200 soldiers. When the Emperor returned, he had them all executed, including his wife, and offered to make Catherine his new wife.When she refused, he designed a new means of torture.

Catherine's next torture consisted of being placed upon a wheel with sharp and pointed knives, which was designed to tear her body into pieces, but when she was bound to it, a heavenly fire destroyed it. Finally, on November 25, Catherine was beheaded. By the hands of angels her body was carried to Mt. Sinai, where it was interred in the convent which bears her name.

Ranked with St. Margaret and St. Barbara as one of the fourteen most helpful saints in heaven, (that group of saints notable for answering prayers especially for cures from disease and at the hour of death) she was unceasingly praised by preachers and sung by poets. In several dioceses in France, her feast day was observed as a Holy Day of obligation up to the beginning of the seventeenth century. Saint Catherine became the patroness of young maidens and female students. Looked upon as the holiest and most illustrious of the virgins of Christ, it was but natural that she, of all others, should be worthy to watch over the virgins of the cloister and the young women of the world.

Her feast on November 25 falls immediately before the beginning of Advent during which no weddings could take place during the Middle Ages and for years afterward. So it was a custom for unmarried women of that time to pray to St. Catherine saying,
“A husband, Saint Catherine,
A good one, Saint Catherine,
A handsome one, Saint Catherine,
A rich one, Saint Catherine –
And soon, Saint Catherine!

St. Catherine is the patron of: apologists,  attorneys, dying people, librarians, mechanics, nurses, philosophers, secretaries, single women, students, teachers, and theologians.

A Prayer to Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Glorious Saint Catherine, virgin and martyr, help me to imitate your love of purity. Give me strength and courage in fighting off the temptations of the world and evil desires.

Help me to love God with my whole heart and serve Him faithfully.

O Saint Catherine, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Andrew Dung-Lac, priest and martyr, and companions. This group of 117 Vietnamese martyrs were canonized on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II.

St. Andrew Dung-Lac, whose name was originally Dung An Trân,was born about 1795 in a poor and pagan family in Bac-Ninh in North Vietnam. When he was twelve the family moved to Hà-Nôi (Hanoi). There he met the faith through a Catholic lay catechist. He was baptized in Vinh-Tri with the Christian name Andrew (Andrew Dung). After learning Chinese and Latin he became a catechist, and thereafter taught catechism in the country. On March 15, 1823 he was ordained a priest.

As a parish priest in Ke-Dâm he was fervent in his preaching. He was also very prayerful, fasted frequently,  and lived a simple and moral life. He was a good example for the people and converted many. In 1835 he was imprisoned and repeatedly tortured under emperor Minh-Mang's persecutions (he was called Vietnam's emperor Nero), but his freedom was purchased by donations from members of the congregation he served. To avoid persecutions he changed his name to Lac (Andrew Lac) and moved to another area to continue his work. But on November 10, 1839 he was again arrested, this time with Peter Thi, another Vietnamese priest whom he was visiting so that he might go to confession.

Once again Andrew was liberated, along with Peter Thi, in exchange for money. Their freedom was brief. They were soon re-arrested and taken to Hanoi, where both suffered dreadful torture. Finally they both were beheaded on December 21, 1839.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pope Francis: widows are image of Church seeking to stay faithful

The Church remains faithful if she keeps her eyes fixed on Jesus, but she becomes lukewarm and mediocre if she seeks comfort in worldly things. That was Pope Francis’ message on Monday as he reflected on the Gospel reading at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta…

Pope Francis noted that the reading from St Luke’s Gospel tells the story of the widow who puts her two coins in the temple treasury box, while other wealthy worshipers make a great show of the money they're putting in. Jesus says that “this poor widow put in more than all the rest” because the others were giving away money from their surplus wealth, while she, in her poverty, “has offered her whole livelihood”. In the Bible, Pope Francis said, the widow is the woman who is alone, who has no husband to look after her, who has to manage on her own, who survives on charity. The widow in this Gospel passage, he said, was “a widow who had placed her trust only in the Lord”. I like to look at the widows in the Gospel, he said, as an image of the “widowed” Church who is waiting for Jesus to return.

The Church is the bride of Christ, Pope Francis said, but her Lord has gone and her only treasure is in her Lord. If the Church remains faithful, then she leaves everything while waiting for her Lord to return. If she does not have so much faith in the love of her Lord, then she tries to get by in other ways, seeking security in things that are more of this world than of God.

The widows of the Gospels, the Pope continued, speak beautifully to us about Jesus and His Church. There is the widow of Nain who was crying as she accompanied her son to be buried outside the city gates. There is the widow who goes to the unjust judge in order to defend her sons, knocking on his door every day and bothering him continuously until he delivers a just sentence for her. This is the widowed Church who prays and intercedes for her children, Pope Francis explained. But the heart of the Church is always with Jesus, the Bridegroom in heaven.

According to the desert fathers, the Pope said, our souls also resemble the Church, and the closer our souls, our lives, are to Jesus, the more we are able to avoid worldly, useless things that lead us away from Christ. While the ‘widowed’ Church waits for Jesus, he said, she can be faithful, trusting that her husband will return, or she can be unfaithful to her widowhood, a lukewarm, mediocre, worldly Church seeking comfort in other things.

In these last days of the liturgical year, Pope Francis concluded, we would do well to ask ourselves if our souls are searching for the Lord, or if they’re looking for comfort in things which do not please the Lord. Let our souls say “Come Lord Jesus! Come!” And may we leave behind all those useless things which stop us staying faithful.

~ Via Vatican Radio, 11-23-15 (based on Luke 21:1-4).

Blessed Miguel Pro: Twentieth Century Martyr

By Jean M. Heimann

Today is the feast day of Blessed Miguel Pro, a celebrated Christian hero of the twentieth century. This courageous young Jesuit priest was martyred by the Mexican government in 1927 for performing his priestly responsibilities.

Miguel Agustin Pro was born January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe Mexico. He was the eldest son of eleven children born to Miguel Pro, an affluent mining engineer, and Josefa Juarez, a holy and loving mother. Miguel had an extraordinary empathy for the poor and the working classes. He was known for both his playfulness and his piety. He had a wonderful wit and a great sense of humor. At the same time, he had a strong prayer life and was zealous in living out his faith.

In 1909, at the age of twenty, Miguel Augustin Pro joined the Jesuits as a novice in Mexico. One year later, a revolution broke out and by 1914 the Jesuits were forced to flee. Miguel received his seminary training en route to Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered from a severe stomach disorder. When his health did not improve after several surgeries, his superiors sent him to Mexico City in 1926, hoping this return home would alleviate this ailment. However, just a few weeks after he arrived, the government banned all forms of public worship. All the churches were closed and the entire state was cleared of priests. Many were killed, while a few served secretly, risking their lives.

Since he was not well-known as a priest, Father Pro went about clandestinely—often in disguise—celebrating Mass and the sacraments, providing for his flock's spiritual needs. He also assisted the poor and needy with their corporal needs. They, in turn, helped hide him from the authorities.

In 1927, someone tossed a bomb at the Mexican president’s car from an automobile previously owned by one of Miguel’s brothers. All three brothers were arrested on false charges. The youngest was exonerated, but Father Pro and his brother Humberto were sentenced to death (without the benefit of a trial) via a firing squad.

On November 23, the day of his death, Father Pro prayed and forgave his executioners. He bravely refused the blindfold, but faced the firing squad with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other, extending his arms in the form of a cross, crying out, "Viva Cristo Rey!" ("Long Live Christ the King!)

Although the Mexican president had outlawed public demonstration, thousands of Mexicans defiantly lined the streets, honoring Father Pro, the martyr, as he was carried in procession to his grave.

Father Miguel Pro was beatified on September 25, 1988 by Pope John Paul II as a martyr, killed in odium fidei (in hatred of the faith).

Friday, November 20, 2015

7QT: November plus a Giveaway

1. November can be a beautiful month, with the colors of the leaves continuing to change around us. Here are a few nature photos I took recently. When God uses His paint brush, the earth is transformed. Above is the bell tower in front of my parish church just before 5:30pm Mass. Below is a photo of the trees in my back yard. The oak is a brillant reddish brown, while the crabapple is bare, and the mulberry still green.

2. November is a great month for saints. Just in the past couple weeks we have celebrated the feasts of some of my favorite women saints: St. Francis Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini)St. Gertrude the Great and St. Margaret of ScotlandSt. Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne,

3. November is the month we pray for the holy souls in purgatory, but have you ever wondered how to avoid purgatory? Here are Ten Ways to Avoid Purgatory.

4. Want to win a great book? I have just read and reviewed True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life by Lisa Mladinich. I am giving away TWO copies. Enter HERE.

5. November is almost over and it's time to break out the gloves, the scarves, and the winter coats. Here is our forecast for Wichita:

Cold air returns. After a cold front moves through the region Friday night, highs will top out in the upper 30s & low 40s on Saturday.
Posted by US National Weather Service Wichita Kansas on Thursday, November 19, 2015

6. On Saturday, November 21, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  November 27 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.  Happy Feast Days! :)


For more Quick Takes, please visit Kelly at This Aint the Lyceum.
Have a wonderful weekend!