Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Feast of st. Mark
1 Samuel, Chapter 18, Verse 12
Saul then began to fear David because the LORD was with him but had turned away from Saul.
To this David writes psalm 27:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, these my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not fear; though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: to dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, to gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple. For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble, He will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon a rock. Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side! I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD. Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me. “Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”; your face, LORD, do I seek! Do not hide your face from me; do not repel your servant in anger. You are my salvation; do not cast me off; do not forsake me, God my savior! Even if my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me in.
LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not abandon me to the desire of my foes; malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me. I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!
Thursday in the Octave of Easter or Easter Thursday is a day for Commemoration of the departed which is a Slavic tradition. Thursday of the Dead is described as a universal day for visiting tombs, engaged in most diligently by townspeople, followed by fellaheen ("peasants"), and then Bedouins. Women would go to the cemetery before sunrise to pray for the departed and distribute bread cakes known as kaʿak al-asfar ("the yellow roll") and dried fruit to the poor, to children, and to relatives. Children would also receive painted eggs, generally yellow in color. The sharing of this tradition between Christians and Muslims is thought to date back to at least the 12th century when Saladin urged Muslims to adopt Christian customs in order to promote religious tolerance in the region.
Novena for the Poor Souls
THURSDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself, on the night before His Passion, gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in Purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefore, together with Thy divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
ON EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer; R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying! Amen.
O Mother most merciful, pray for the souls in Purgatory!
FRIDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred hands and feet, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory, where it may praise Thee and bless Thee for evermore. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
SATURDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence of and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee, through all the ages. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be
SUNDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
MONDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
TUESDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
WEDNESDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem, whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Faith and Healing
Shallow minds are easily scandalized at the thought that, despite Christ Jesus' divine mission and His heroic earnestness in fulfilling it, despite the limitless possibilities of the Sacrifice of Calvary glorified in the power of the Resurrection, even now so many human souls are still sick and diseased, even dead in sin and seemingly lost in impenitence. But think for a moment of some definite astounding force in nature, as for instance lightning, or even better, of so simple a force as the stroke of a hammer or the approach of a lighted match; notice the vast difference in the effects produced on a block of granite, on a cake of ice, and on a keg of powder. Even so, the definite effect of the same graces upon different individual souls depends on the receptivity of each. Yet never doubt, the doors of the treasury of the merits and fruits of Calvary are wide open; the fountains of the Savior are pouring out heavenly waters to purify and cure and refresh souls; the invitation goes out to all:
"Come, eat My bread, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you. All you that thirst come to the waters, and you that have no money, make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money! Come! to experience the virtue of the waters, and of the food, and of the medicine, and of the fire. Come and drink lest you die of thirst! Come and eat lest your soul hunger and starve! Come, approach the fire of My charity, to be stirred out of your spiritual coldness and numbness!"
Anointing of the Sick
The Apostles must have been astonished at their power to heal the bodies of the faithful while on the road when Christ sent them out before His death. Yet, the greatest power was to come after His death and resurrection. Jesus made it perfectly clear that the power to forgive sins is far greater than the power to heal. (Mk. 2:9) Jesus healed people of every disease as a sign of the greater work of forgiveness of sins. For in the gospel he states, “That you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sin.” (Mk 2:10) The physical signs were there for the sake of a spiritual reality. “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.” (Jas. 5:14-15) This is the sacrament we know as the Anointing of the Sick. It must be noted that grave physical suffering is often accompanied by a great spiritual trial. Sacramental anointing gives us the grace we need to face our trials. Oils have been used for millennia to convey the grace and health of God. Anointing helps us transform physical suffering into something more deeply curative, something truly releasing. Don’t wait! At the first sign of serious ailment seek the aid of Christ through this sacrament.
Preparation for Death
All Christian life is a preparation for death. We cannot predict the moment of our passing but we should be prepared for it both remotely and near term when our death is imminent. It is best to prepare far in advance by making a lifetime habit of confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist. However, if seriously ill do not wait to take action. Confession must be made while we are still thinking clearly and have the energy for the task and we should make arrangements to receive sacramental anointing. Do not rely on others to do this for you. It is important for you, if you are able, to contact the hospital chaplain or priest. Remember there is more after our death for the church teaches us that after our death there is judgment, heaven and hell. Do not be a nilly willy and avoid thinking about death and we should remind ourselves that death is a normal part of life and we should have a sense of humor and it is not a license to make others miserable. We should try to get our affairs in order so to make it easier on others. We should choose a Catholic cemetery for the burial of our mortal remains, as a sign of our belief in the resurrection of the body. Our flesh has been divinized in baptism, made one the flesh of Jesus in Holy Communion, and so its repose is a matter of some consequence. We should keep in mind that at our death as said by Cardinal Newman, “Life is changed, not ended” and “All who ever lived still live.”
John Mark, later known simply as Mark, was a Jew by birth. He was the son of that Mary who was proprietress of the Cenacle or "upper room" which served as the meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). He was still a youth at the time of the Savior's death. In his description of the young man who was present when Jesus was seized and who fled from the rabble leaving behind his "linen cloth," the second Evangelist might possibly have stamped the mark of his own identity. During the years that followed, the rapidly maturing youth witnessed the growth of the infant Church in his mother's Upper Room and became acquainted with its traditions. This knowledge he put to excellent use when compiling his Gospel. Later, we find Mark acting as a companion to his cousin Barnabas and Saul on their return journey to Antioch and on their first missionary journey. But Mark was too immature for the hardships of this type of work and therefore left them at Perge in Pamphylia to return home. As the two apostles were preparing for their second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take his cousin with him. Paul, however, objected. Thereupon the two cousins undertook a missionary journey to Cyprus. Time healed the strained relations between Paul and Mark, and during the former's first Roman captivity (61-63), Mark rendered Paul valuable service (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24), and the Apostle learned to appreciate him. When in chains the second time Paul requested Mark's presence (2 Tim. 4:11). An intimate friendship existed between Mark and Peter; he played the role of Peter's companion, disciple, and interpreter. According to the common patristic opinion, Mark was present at Peter's preaching in Rome and wrote his Gospel under the influence of the prince of the apostles. This explains why incidents which involve Peter are described with telling detail (e.g., the great day at Capharnaum, 1:14f)). Little is known of Mark's later life. It is certain that he died a martyr's death as bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. His relics were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, where a worthy tomb was erected in St. Mark's Cathedral. The Gospel of St. Mark, the shortest of the four, is, above all, a Roman Gospel. It originated in Rome and is addressed to Roman, or shall we say, to Western Christianity. Another high merit is its chronological presentation of the life of Christ. For we should be deeply interested in the historical sequence of the events in our blessed Savior's life. Furthermore, Mark was a skilled painter of word pictures. With one stroke he frequently enhances a familiar scene, shedding upon it new light. His Gospel is the "Gospel of Peter," for he wrote it under the direction and with the aid of the prince of the apostles. "The Evangelist Mark is represented as a lion because he begins his Gospel in the wilderness, `The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord,' or because he presents the Lord as the unconquered King."
Patron: Against impenitence; attorneys; barristers; captives; Egypt; glaziers; imprisoned people; insect bites; lions; notaries; prisoners; scrofulous diseases; stained glass workers; struma; Diocese of Venice, Florida; Venice, Italy.
Symbols: Winged lion; fig tree; pen; book and scroll; club; barren fig tree; scroll with words Pax Tibi; winged and nimbed lion; lion.
Often Pictured as: Man writing or holding his gospel; man with a halter around his neck; lion in the desert; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; holding a palm and book; holding a book with pax tibi Marce written on it; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; helping Venetian sailors; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens.
Feast of St. Mark, the Patron Saint of Venice
In Italy April 25th is Liberation Day, a national holiday commemorating the end of World War II in 1945 and the Nazi occupation of Italy. But for Venetians April 25th is an even older holiday, Festa di San Marco, or The Feast of St Mark. April 25th is the anniversary of St Mark’s death in 68 A.D. and in Venice is a lively celebration. Mass is held in the morning at Saint Mark’s Basilica, and there is music, dancing, concerts and carnivals throughout the day. Of course it wouldn’t be a festival in Venice without a Gondola Race! The "Regata di Traghetti" starts at the island of Sant’Elena and ends at the Punta della Dogana, at the entrance of the Grand Canal. One look at Saint Mark’s Square with Saint Mark’s Basilica is proof enough that the city is anything but subtle about their pride in their patron saint. The winged lion, which represents St Mark and is the famous symbol of the city of Venice, can also be found in Piazza San Marco, and all over Venice for that matter. Saint Mark may be a ubiquitous symbol in Venice today, but before the year 828 Saint Mark's remains were in Alexandria. Being an important maritime power, Venice needed equally important relics, a status symbol at the time. Venetian merchants Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello were up for the job, and smuggled Saint Mark’s remains from Alexandria into Venice. They accomplished the difficult task by hiding the relics in shipments of pork meat, which were understandably off-putting to the Islamic inspectors. Perhaps it’s because of the great effort taken to "import" Saint Mark’s remains that Venetians have always been so proud of their patron saint.
Festival of the Blooming Rose
Divine Mercy Novena
Seventh Day - Today Bring Me The Souls Who Especially Venerate and Glorify My Mercy.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your Mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident in Your Mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, "I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy."
· Manhood of Christ Day 2, Eighth Week.
Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 22. Anointing of the Sick.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 39. Preparation for Death.