“Be strong and steadfast; do not be AFRAID or dismayed because of the king of Assyria and all the horde coming with him, for there is more with us than with him.
“The more of us” above is speaking of the power of the angels of God.
Kings come and Kings go
· After taking over Israel, King Sennacherib of Assyria comes gunning for Hezekiah in Judah.
· King Hezekiah immediately gets to work building up defenses in all the most important cities in Judah. He's a good strategic thinker, but he also has one thing that the Assyrians don't—God is on his side.
· He tells the people of Judah not to worry because God will help them out. Sure, he didn't help Israel or any of the other countless nations the Assyrians have smashed to bits, but he's totally going to help Judah.
· King Sennacherib sends his people to Jerusalem to give the city a message—you're going down.
· He throws some shade at Hezekiah, too. Their king is lying to them about God being able to protect them. Seriously, Hezekiah is so bad at ruling that he actually took down all the altars in Judah and just left this one in Jerusalem.
· Look, King Sennacherib tells them, we've conquered a lot of nations. No god has ever been able to hold us back. What makes you think your God is different?
· So King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah start to pray and God listens.
· He sends an angel to kill a lot of people in the Assyrian camp. With his army depleted, King Sennacherib is forced to head back home. Later, his own sons kill him.
· Hezekiah gets deathly sick and successfully prays to God for healing. He gets into some minor trouble with God, but repents and goes on to do all kinds of successful things as king.
· God blesses him with immense wealth. Gold, gems, spices, weapons, food, wine, oil, and livestock—you name it, the guy has a whole warehouse full of it.
· Finally, after a lifetime of righteousness, King Hezekiah dies. Everyone mourns him.
When Sister Lúcia experienced the Pontevedra apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she heard her promise to grant great graces, especially at the hour of death, in particular the salvation of the soul, for the believer who for Five Consecutive First Saturdays of Month (5 Saturdays in 5 months) receives Holy Communion and practices the following exercises as an Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven:
· Sacramental confession
The confession can take place within eight days before or even after the Holy Communion is received, but the Holy Communion shall be received with dignity, in a state of Grace, keeping in mind that Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist (Transubstantiation). The Intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be kept to oneself; it is not necessary to notify the confessor priest.
· To receive Holy Communion
The Holy Communion has to be received within the 24 hours of the first Saturday of the Month. Attendance to Holy Mass is optional. Receiving Holy Communion as part of this devotion must be consciously intended as an Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart. The devotee need not tell anyone else, but keep it in mind. To avoid omitting the Intention every Saturday, the General Intention for the devotion of the Act of Reparation can be mentally or outspokenly stated before starting the First Saturdays (or in between).
If a person has a valid reason not to attend Mass (Masses not available on Saturdays, difficult mobilization, other major event), the devotee may consult a priest about receiving Communion privately or on another day with the intention of making this Communion as part of the devotion.
· A 5-Decade Rosary is recited
of St Thomas
St. Thomas was one of Jesus' disciples. He is best known for being the one disciple who wanted proof of Jesus' resurrection. St. Thomas is celebrated with a feast day in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. He is often referred to as Doubting Thomas, and also the name The Twin. Many Christians see themselves in St. Thomas because he doubted the resurrection until he received proof from Christ himself. He also confessed to not understanding Jesus when Christ told his disciples at the Last Supper that he was preparing a place for them.
St Thomas Facts
· An early church text claims that Thomas was the only witness to the Assumption of Mary into heaven. As her body entered heaven, she dropped her girdle. Medieval art often depicts Thomas catching the girdle.
· Thomas didn't believe the apostles when they saw Jesus the first time after the resurrection. He saw Jesus himself during his second appearance and touched the wounds on his hands and side (John 20:24-29).
· Church tradition says that Thomas traveled to eastern lands, including Persia, to evangelize to the people there about Jesus. He is thought to have settled in India.
· The feast day is held July 3, but sermons the following Sunday may also mention St. Thomas and faith. Originally the feast day for St. Thomas was on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. All sorts of traditions surrounded the day, including serving meat pies and charitable giving.
St Thomas Top Events
and Things to Do
· Read writings by St. Thomas. Several early church documents bearing Thomas' name are popular, including the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings. Other texts include the Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. None of these texts were included in the Bible.
· Thousands of Indians claim to be descendants of the Christians that Thomas helped to convert. Join them on a pilgrimage in Paylador to the traditional spot of Thomas' tomb, Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Trichur (Kerala, India).
· If you are a single woman, try an ancient custom performed on the Feast of St. Thomas to get an idea who you will marry. Unmarried Austrian women would climb into bed over a stool, throw their shoes with toes pointing downward toward the bedroom door, and then sleep with their head at the foot of the bed. Women who performed this ritual were thought to dream about their future husbands.
· Say a blessing prayer for your property on the feast of St. Thomas. An ancient custom was for farmers and their sons or hands to drive off evil spirits in preparation for Christmas. They were sprinkling holy water across the land, while other family members stayed inside and prayed the rosary.