Sunday, May 30, 2021

 

Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests
Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of Mary Help of Christians (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests.

The Church teaches us that it is divided into the Church Triumphant (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the Church Suffering (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the Church Militant (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

The members of the Auxilium Christianorum should always bear in mind the reality of our state as members of the Church living in this world. Despite St. Paul's teaching, many Catholics do not take seriously their obligation to wage war against the demonic forces. It is for this reason the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum was founded.


Daily Prayers Offered for the Members of the Auxilium Christianorum

Prayers to be said every day:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

Most gracious Virgin Mary, thou who wouldst crush the head of the serpent, protect us from the vengeance of the evil one. We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to thee so that thou may purify them, sanctify them and present them to thy Son as a perfect offering. May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence the members of the Auxilium Christianorum do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness. Blind them so that they know not our good works. Blind them so that they know not on whom to take vengeance. Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works. Cover us with the Precious Blood of thy Son so that we may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Michael Prayer. Guardian Angel Prayer. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Thou hast redeemed us with Thy Blood, O Lord.
R. And made of us a kingdom for our God.

Let us pray.

Almighty, and everlasting God, Who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us for ever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

On Sundays:

O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, thou who hast the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with thy heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of thy purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of thy heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us. Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, thou who from the very beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth thy holy legions, we humbly beseech thee, that under thy command and by thy power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Thy Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our aid in this grave battle against the forces of darkness, repel the attacks of the devil and free the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, and those for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray, from the strongholds of the enemy.

St. Michael, summon the entire heavenly court to engage their forces in this fierce battle against the powers of hell. Come O Prince of Heaven with thy mighty sword and thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits. O Guardian Angels, guide and protect us. Amen.

On Mondays:

In Thy name, Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that Thou cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Thy love and Thy Most Precious Blood and surround us with Thy Heavenly Angels, Saints and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother. Amen.

On Tuesdays:

Lord Jesus Christ, we beg Thee for the grace to remain guarded beneath the protective mantle of Mary, surrounded by the holy briar from which was taken the Holy Crown of Thorns, and saturated with Thy Precious Blood in the power of the Holy Spirit, with our Guardian Angels, for the greater glory of the Father. Amen.

On Wednesdays:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask Thee to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against anyone of the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray. We ask Thee to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, under ground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask Thee to bind by Thy Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask Thee to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On Thursdays:

My Lord, Thou art all powerful, Thou art God, Thou art our Father. We beg Thee through the intercession and help of the Archangels Sts. Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, and envy - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every form of sinful sexuality - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.

Thou who said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Thy peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

On Fridays:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

On Saturdays:

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin, our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

Conclusion for Every Day

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly Sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send thy holy legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. O good and tender Mother, Thou wilt always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
All You Holy Angels, pray for us.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
  
Fr. Chad Ripperger on "Levels of Spiritual Warfare"


Trinity Sunday

JOAN OF ARC 

Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into FEAR, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” 

By the sacrifice of Christ, we are the adopted children of God, who feared none, and by whose sufferings and glory we share; by reason of the Holy Spirits presence within us. We are thus given a new life and relationship with God. 

Unconditional Love[1] 

Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is generally used to describe love between lovers. Unconditional love is also used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. An example of this is a parent's love for their child; no matter a test score, a life changing decision, an argument, or a strong belief, the amount of love that remains between this bond is seen as unchanging and unconditional.

One Flesh[2]

The desire to love and be loved is the deepest need of our being. We long to be known, accepted, and cherished by another. Yet, the ability to fully give or receive this love is unattainable on our own. As Catholics we believe Jesus Christ has entered our broken world to conquer sin and restore us to new life. Throughout every age he continues to invite all women and men to follow him through his Church, to whom he has entrusted his teaching authority, so that all can know and follow him. Only God can give us the unconditional love and acceptance that we desire. Yet, he has created marriage, a holy union, to mirror this supreme love on earth. At the heart of their married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual difference, husband and wife can truly become “one flesh.” Through the language of their bodies, their sexual union recalls their vows: giving themselves to one another in love that is total, faithful, and life-giving. This call to love is to follow Christ himself, who handed himself totally over for his bride, the Church. Spouses imitate him by giving the entirety of themselves to one another, including the gift of their fertility and their openness to new life. Contraception and sterilization, which deliberately suppress fertility, reduce the sexual act so that husband and wife withhold the completeness of their total gift to each other. This changes the meaning of their sexual union so that it no longer expresses the fullness of their love. God our Father loves us and wants our lives to be full and rich! He has given his Church the task of bringing women and men to the fullness of truth which leads to our happiness in this life and in the life to come. Jesus gives us the power and strength of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Love—so that we, particularly husbands and wives, can truly love one another. The teaching on the use of contraception and sterilization may seem challenging, but it is to preserve the true, complete self-gift between husband and wife, the kind of love that brings real, lasting joy and peace. If we have failed to live this in the past, we need not be discouraged. Our loving Father is always calling us back through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and wanting to strengthen us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. When we embrace the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and marriage and follow Jesus, we invite the Holy Spirit into our lives in a powerful way. When we trust in the Lord’s desire for our happiness, he can transform our love in a way that can transform the world.

Apostolic Exhortation[3]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part II

I. The Graces of Holy Communion

i. Holy Communion changes and transforms us into “Alter Christus”

40. At the end of Mass, the priest dismisses the faithful with the words, “Go forth, the Mass is ended.” However, the original Latin words of dismissal say: “Ite, missa est”, which literally means “Go, you are sent.”  Every time we leave the threshold of the church after having received the Eucharist, we bring the love of Christ to our daily activities and to every person we meet.

ii. We become “One Body and One Spirit in Christ”

41. The ultimate effect of the Holy Eucharist is not only the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ for our spiritual nourishment, but the transformation of those who receive Holy Communion into “one body, one spirit in Christ” (III Eucharistic Prayer and 1 Cor 12:12-13). Through this personal relationship with the Risen Jesus in the Eucharist, we experience the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, who invites us to imitate His love and to bring that love to everyone and every situation of our daily life. We can see how the Eucharist changed the lives of the early Christians. Flowing from their Eucharistic experience with the Risen Lord, they lived, in loving communion with one another; they ate together and prayed together in the Temple. They placed their possessions at the feet of the Apostles for the needs of the poor. They were of “one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common” (Acts 4:32).

42. The Eucharist also played a central role in strengthening this communion in the life of the venerable servant of God, Cardinal Francis Nguyen Van Thuan. As coadjutor Archbishop of Saigon, Vietnam, he was arrested on August 15, 1975, soon after South Vietnam fell to the Communist regime. He spent the next 13 years in prison, moving between forced residences, re-education camps, and nine years of solitary confinement. In his book “Testimony of Hope”, he describes how the Eucharist became his hope and light in the darkness of prison camp. With three drops of wine and a drop of water in the palm of his hand, he would secretly celebrate Mass. And those Masses became for him a source of consolation and strength in such a difficult time in his life.

To be continued

Time After Pentecost[4]

 

As both the Bible and Church Fathers attest, there are several distinct periods of sacred history. These periods arise, are given their own set of dispensations, and then disappear. The age before the Law was replaced by the age under it, and that age, in turn, was closed during the time that Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. Likewise, the age of divine revelation (which ended at the death of the last Apostle) gave way to a different era, the era immediately preceding the Second Coming. It is that era in which we now find ourselves. Despite the expanse of two thousand years and the plethora of cultural and technological changes that separate us from the Christians who outlived the Beloved Disciple, we are still living in the same age as they, the last age of mankind.

 

Trinity Sunday[5]

Sunday is dedicated to the worship of the Triune God, and is called accordingly the Lord s day; but the first Sunday after Pentecost is appointed by the Church a special feast of the Most Holy Trinity, because this mystery, as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, began at once to be preached by the apostles, as soon as they had been enlightened and strengthened by the descent of the Holy Ghost.

What thoughts and affections should occupy our minds on this feast? Although the mystery of the Trinity is incomprehensible to us, we must consider:

1. That God would cease to be God, if our limited understanding were capable of penetrating the substance of His nature.

2. The mystery of the Blessed Trinity, though incomprehensible to our intellect, is yet not without fruit in our hearts. The records of revelation show us God the Father as our Creator, God the Son as our Redeemer, God the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier; and should not this move us to a child-like gratitude towards the blessed Trinity?

In praise of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass, Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy name in all the earth.

Prayer. O almighty and eternal God, Who hast created Thy servant to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, in the confession of the true faith, and to adore the unity in the power of Thy majesty, we beseech Thee, that by firmness in the same faith, we may be ever protected from all adversities.

EPISTLE. Rom. xi. 33-36.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made Him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory forever. Amen.

Explanation. The ground of St. Paul’s admiration in this epistle is the unfathomable wisdom and love of God, by which He permitted the Jews and heathen to fall into unbelief, that He might have mercy on all, and make all perceive that they were justified, not through their merits, but only through His grace. But the Church makes use of these words to express her reverent admiration for the greatness of the mystery of the All Holy Trinity. Though we can neither measure nor comprehend this mystery, yet no man of sound reason will hesitate to believe it, if he considers that it is most plainly revealed by God; that as God, the Infinite, cannot be comprehended by the spirit of man, so also He can reveal more than we can understand; and that, finally, there are many things in man himself, and in nature, which we acknowledge as true, but cannot comprehend. Besides, does not our holy religion assure us, that one day we shall behold face to face the Infinite Whose image is now reflected dimly in the mirror of nature? Let us add hope, therefore, to our faith, and if true and sincere love be based upon these two, our understanding and heart will have abundant consolation in regard to this great mystery.

GOSPEL. Matt, xxviii. 18-20.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth; going therefore teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

What command does Our Savior give in this gospel? He commands His apostles to teach all nations, and to baptize them.

Is Baptism a sacrament? Yes, for by it we receive the grace of God, through an outward sign instituted by Christ.

What is the outward sign? Pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized and pronouncing at the same time the words: “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

What is the effect of the grace of Baptism? Through water and the Holy Ghost, the baptized person is cleansed from original sin, and from all actual sins, if he has committed such; is spiritually new-born, and made a child of God and a joint heir with Christ (John iii. 6; Rom. viii. 17).

What is the use of sponsors?

1. In the name of the child, they express the desire to be baptized, and make the profession of faith, together with the promise to live according to the doctrine of Christ.

2. In case the parents should die, or neglect their duty, the godparents may provide for the instruction of the children.

3. They are witnesses that such a person has been baptized.

Who is God? God is an infinite being, of all possible perfections, the most sublime and excellent of all goods, existing from all eternity, and containing within Himself the principle of His own being and substance; from Whom all other things have received their existence and life, “for of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things” (Rom. xi. 36).

What is the blessed Trinity? It is this one God, Who is one in nature and threefold in person, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Is each of these persons God? Yes, for each possesses the divine nature and substance.

Is any of these three persons older, more powerful, or greater than another? No; they are all three, from eternity, equal in power, sublimity, and majesty, and must therefore be equally adored.

From Whom is the Father? From Himself, before all eternity.

From Whom is God the Son? The Son is begotten of the Father before all ages.

From Whom is God the Holy Ghost? He proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Holy Sunshine and Rain[6]

After the Son revealed His relation to the Father through Good Friday and Easter, and the Spirit revealed Himself at Pentecost, the most Holy Trinity can now be fully worshipped.

Though the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the greatest dogma of the Christian faith and the Feast of the Holy Trinity one of the beloved annual feasts of Christianity, there are not many customs or rituals quintessentially associated with this day. It has always been the custom, however, to keep this day with great reverence and solemnity. Festivals after Mass featuring thunderous preachers and thunderous bands aroused their listeners to joyful heights, while Holy Trinity Confraternities (which were once very influential) would sponsor special events and devotions on this their name day. Superstition also ascribed great powers to the weather on Holy Trinity Sunday, regardless of what it was: "Trinity rain" was considered as healthy as "Trinity sunshine."

Trinity Sunday Facts[7]

·         The Nicene Creed and similar Apostle's Creed often recited during mass for many denominations affirms the Trinity.  The creeds are a profession of faith.  The Catholic version of The Apostle's Creed is:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.  Amen.

·         The Trinity does not explicitly appear in the Bible.  The interpretation and belief in the three-in-one God came out of several councils in the early church that wrestled with the question of the divinity of God the Creator, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

·         St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, taught non-Christians the Trinity with a shamrock.

·         The Orthodox Church celebrates the Trinity in its Feast of the Pentecost.  Pentecost Sunday is sometimes even called Trinity Day.

Trinity Sunday Top Events and Things to Do

·         The Trinity is often described as a holy mystery beyond complete human understanding.  To mark Trinity Sunday, consider other things that are beyond human understanding, like the universe, or the concept of time never ending.

·         Listen to a sermon on Trinity Sunday to see what examples the pastor uses to illustrate the concept of God in three persons.

·         Johann Sebastian Bach wrote music to celebrate the Trinity.  Listen to one of his Trinity Sunday cantatas on YouTube.

·         Experience the Trinity in art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  One painting that depicts this is The Trinity by Italian painter Angulo Gaddi.

Joan of Arc-her defeat was her Victory[8]


 

John McCain notes in his study of leadership that Saint Joan of Arc (feast day: May 30) was an example of leadership that was characterized by authenticity. At the command of voices that only she could hear, she rode to battle and saved her country. SHE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE, BUT SAINTS AND ANGELS SPOKE TO HER. Michael the Archangel, and Catherine and Margaret, the patron saints of France, commanded the thirteen-year-old peasant girl to pray vigilantly and attend Mass regularly. She is remembered as very beautiful, a slight seventeen-year-old girl with black hair who could ride for long hours in heavy armor without any sign of discomfort. She kept silent for long periods but could be roused to great anger at men swearing or behaving in some other sinful manner.

She prayed and fasted often and seemed most comfortable in the company of poor priests. Before they embarked, she had dictated to a priest a letter for the English commanders in Orléans, warning them to “go away back to England . . . or I will drive you out of France.” This is the first the English had ever heard of Joan of Arc. To the French, and their dauphin, who now placed their trust in her, she was becoming a saint. As they marched to Orléans, she saw to the spiritual needs of her soldiers, ordering them to abandon their vices, to refrain from looting and harming civilians, to confess their sins and attend Mass regularly, which they did. Men who had refused to serve Charles in what they believed was a losing cause now rushed to her standard and prepared for battle. A few days later, the rest of her army began to arrive with much needed supplies, just as word was received that another English army was marching to the aid of her enemies. She went to sleep that night happy in the knowledge that the moment was at hand when she would accomplish what her saints had commanded her to do. She awoke in the middle of the night and stirred her generals with the news that they must attack immediately. In fact, a battle had already begun at the nearest English fortification. Joan commanded her page to bring her horse, as she dressed in her armor, and then raced to join the fight carrying her banner. When she reached her soldiers, she saw that they were losing the battle, but her presence inspired them, and they rallied to take the fort. After the battle Joan wept for the fallen, French and English alike. On the next day they took another English fort, and the day after one more. But the fighting during the third battle had been ferocious. Joan was wounded by an arrow through her shoulder as she attempted to scale one of the fort’s walls and was carried to safety. Seeing her hurt and carried from the field, her troops lost courage, and the assault was suspended. Some witnesses say she removed the arrow herself. Others remembered her soldiers treating the wound. Whatever the case, legend has it that she responded to her soldiers’ fears by telling them to rally to her when they saw her banner strike the fort’s wall. And when they did see it, they recovered their courage and took the fort. The next day the English abandoned the siege. Orléans was saved. Both English and French generals gave the credit to Joan. She gave it to God. Then she rode to meet Charles. When they met, she bowed to him, and urged him to hasten to Reims, where his crown awaited him. But Charles hesitated. His will was weak, for he was not a man of great courage, and his advisors at court, some of whom resented Joan’s interference, cautioned him to proceed slowly, for there were still many powerful English armies in France that had to be destroyed. Joan, as always, rode in the front, carrying her banner, urging her soldiers to victory. Inspired by her courage, and by the obvious favor of God that protected her, they carried the day, routing the English and opening the road to Reims. The English and all the French, those loyal to the dauphin and those who fought for Henry, recognized that this strange young girl, now known as the Maid of Orléans, must be in the service of a sovereign more powerful than any earthly king. Joan in the end like the eternal King she served was abandoned by her earthly King and was captured by the Burundians. John of Luxembourg took her to his castle, where, she twice tried to escape, once by jumping from a castle tower into the moat below. Attempts to ransom her were refused, as were French attempts to liberate her by force. After several months, Luxembourg handed Joan over to the English, and she was taken to the city of Rouen, where a corrupt bishop, Pierre Cauchon, was instructed to put her on trial for heresy. The rules of war did not permit the English to condemn Joan for opposing them in battle. So, they sought her death by falsely accusing her of witchcraft. Cauchon tried for weeks to compel her to confess, but despite threats of torture and execution, she steadfastly refused to divulge her conversations with Charles or to concede that the saints who spoke to her were demons or merely inventions of her own blasphemy.

She was denied permission to attend Mass and receive the sacraments.

She was often kept in chains and became very ill. Yet she stayed true to herself, and to her saints. She wore a dress when they brought her to a church cemetery to hear her sentence read, condemning her to be burned at the stake. She asked that her conviction be appealed to the pope. Her persecutors refused her. And then, Joan of Arc, for the first and only time in her brief life, tried to be someone she was not. Fearing the flames, she confessed to being a heretic and recanted her claim to have heard and obeyed her saints, and begged her enemies for mercy. Mercy they had little of but having taken from her what their armies could not, they no longer thought her life such a great thing that it could not be spared. She was now nothing more than a confessed imposter. They had wanted to destroy her truth, that she was God’s messenger. Having done so, it mattered little whether she died or suffered long imprisonment. Their work done, they left her in her cell, to the taunts and abuses of the guards, and commanded her to dress only in women’s clothes. When they next saw her, a few days later, she was attired in the clothes of a boy. She had recovered her courage and her truth. Her saints had reproached her for denying them, and she had begged their forgiveness. She had become her true self again. She was the Maid of Orléans, a pretty, pious nineteen-year-old girl who had left her father’s house and taken up arms for more than a year, as heaven had commanded her. And with heaven’s encouragement she had defeated France’s enemies in battle after battle, frightened and awed the bravest English heart, rallied a nation to her banner, and made a weak, defeated man a king. God’s messenger went bravely to her death, forgiving her accusers and asking only that a priest hold high a crucifix for her to see it above the flames. She raised her voice to heaven, calling out to her saints and her Savior. Even her enemies wept at the sight. Her executioner was shaken with remorse, and an anguished English soldier who witnessed the crime feared for his soul. “God forgive us,” he cried, “we have burned a saint.”

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary



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