The Knights of Columbus today calls on its over two million members and their families worldwide to join in nine days of prayer beginning March 17, 2022. Initiated by Catholics in Ukraine, the novena leads up to the Feast of the Annunciation, on March 25th, when Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome. This date is historically significant, as on the same day in 1984, Saint John Paul II consecrated Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“During this time of immense suffering in Ukraine, I call on our more than two million Knights to devote themselves in prayer to our Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly. “Together, we’ll ask Our Lady to intercede on behalf of those directly impacted by the conflict, to give strength to our Ukrainian and Polish Knights working so hard to deliver relief, and to help bring peace to the region.”
To date, our generous members and donors have raised over $6.2 million, but the need continues to grow. Please consider making a donation to the Ukraine Solidarity Fund at kofc.org/Ukraine. 100% of your donation goes directly to support those afftected by the conflict in Ukraine.
Thursday in the Second Week of Lent
OF ST. PATRICK
Isaiah, Chapter 44, verse 8
not FEAR or be troubled. Did I not
announce it to you long ago? I declared it, and you are my witnesses. Is there
any God but me? There is no other Rock, I know of none!
Our God knows we are fearful and troubled and that we seek refuge in other god’s such as sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yet still he is patient and tells us plainly there is no other. He is that is. There is no other rock (refuge) from the terrors that bind us.
Introit of the Mass: The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, to be the prince of the sanctuary and of His people, that the dignity of priesthood should be to him forever. O Lord remember David and all his meekness.
Prayer. O God, Who wast pleased to send blessed Patrick, Thy bishop and confessor, to preach Thy glory to the gentiles, grant that, by his merits and intercession, we may, through Thy grace, be enabled to keep Thy commandments. Amen.
EPISTLE. Ecclus. xliv. 17, 20, 22, 21; xlv. 3, 8, 20.
Behold, a great priest, who, in his days, pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath was made a reconciliation. There was not found one like him that kept the law of the Most High. Therefore, with an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people. He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He established with him an everlasting covenant, and gave him a great priesthood, and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praise in His name, and to offer Him a worthy incense for an odor of sweetness.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxv. 14-23.
At that time Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: A man going into a far country called his servants, and delivered to them his goods. And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to everyone according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five. And in like manner he that had received the two gained other two. But he that had received the one, going his way, digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money. But after a long time, the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above. His lord said to him: Well, done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things I will place thee over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliverest two talents to me: behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well, done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
ST. PATRICK was born towards the close of the fourth century, but the place of his birth is not positively known. Britain and Scotland both claim the honor, but the best authorities seem to agree upon Brittany, in France. In his sixteenth year he was carried into captivity by certain barbarians, who took him into Ireland, where he was obliged to keep cattle on the mountains and in the forests, in hunger and nakedness, amidst snows, rain, and ice. The young man had recourse to God with his whole heart in fervent prayer and fasting and from that time faith and the love of God acquired continually new strength in his tender soul. After six months spent in slavery under the same master St. Patrick was admonished by God in a dream to return to his own country, and informed that a ship was then ready to sail thither. He went at once to the seacoast, though at a great distance, and found the vessel. After three days sail, they made land, but wandered twenty-seven days through deserts, and were a long while distressed for want of provisions. Patrick assured the company that if they would address themselves with their whole hearts to the true God He would hear and succor them. They did so, and on the same day met with a herd of swine. From that time provisions never failed them, till on the twenty-seventh day they came into a country that was cultivated and inhabited. Some years afterwards he was again led captive but recovered his liberty after two months. When he was at home with his parents, God manifested to him, by divers’ visions, that He destined him to the great work of the conversion of Ireland. The writers of his life say that after his second captivity he travelled into Gaul and Italy, and saw St. Martin, St. Germanus of Auxerre, and Pope Celestine, and that he received his mission and the apostolical benediction from this Pope, who died in 432. Great opposition was made to his episcopal consecration and mission, both by his own relations and by the clergy; but the Lord, whose will he consulted by earnest prayer, supported him, and he persevered in his resolution. He forsook his family, sold his birthright and dignity to serve strangers, and consecrated his soul to God, to carry His name to the ends of the earth. In this disposition he passed into Ireland to preach the Gospel, penetrating into the remotest corners; and such was the fruit of his preaching’s and sufferings that he baptized an infinite number of people. He ordained everywhere clergymen, induced women to live in holy widowhood and continence, consecrated virgins to Christ, and instituted monks. He took nothing from the many thousands whom he baptized, but gave freely of his own, both to pagans and Christians, distributed large alms to the poor in the provinces where he passed, and maintained and educated many children, whom he trained to serve at the altar. The happy success of his labors cost him many persecutions. He died and was buried at Down, in Ulster. His body was found there in a church of his name in 1185 and translated to another part of the same church.
A WARRIOR’S BREASTPLATE
bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, his
might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need; the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his
heavenly host to be my guard. Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ
behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to
comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger, Christ in the hearts of all that love me, Christ in the mouth
of friend and stranger. Amen
Things to Do
· This is a good day to honor St. Patrick by trying typical Irish fare: corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, scones, stew, Shepherd's pie, potatoes in various forms and the famous beer and spirits of Ireland. For dessert, try making the Irish Porter Cake.
· Read the Lorica (Breastplate) of St. Patrick. Here is an older translation — pray it with your family after your rosary tonight.
· From the Catholic Culture library: The Conversion of Ireland by Warren Carroll, The Irish Soldiers of Mexico by Michael Hogan, The Irish Madonna of Hungary by Zsolt Aradi and Our Lady in Old Irish Folklore and Hymns by James F. Cassidy.
· Don your friendliest green for St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is the place to be, with the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade drawing anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million people every year.
Saint Patrick's Day Facts & Quotes
· St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Trinity to non-Christians. The leaves stood for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
· Approximately 5.5 million pints of Irish Guinness stout are consumed on an average day. On St. Patrick's Day, nearly 13 million are consumed.
· Wearing the shamrock, a three-leaf clover is a St. Patrick's Day tradition. The official three-leaf clover is known scientifically as Trifolium dubium however clovers can also have more leaves. Four-leaf clovers are said to be lucky, however the odds of finding one are about 1 to 10,000.
· The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. - St. Patrick
· Sláinte! - used when clinking glasses with friends at a bar (equivalent of Cheers or Health!)
Saint Patrick's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Wear green! In some parts of the world, the custom is to pinch people who aren't wearing the color of shamrocks.
· Attend a St. Patrick's Day parade. Major cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Boston host marching bands and floats.
· The heart of any Irish neighborhood is its local pub. Share a couple of green Guinness beers with friends at a local Irish pub or try Magner's (Bulmer's) apple cider as an alternative.
· St. Patrick was a brave and humble man. Have you been putting off something because you are afraid to do it? Do it today in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
Ireland has a long tradition of holy pilgrimages, dating back to St. Patrick’s fast on what is now known as Croagh Patrick in 441. In the pasts few years, the Pilgrim Paths foundation has been restoring the ancient penitential paths and has so far created five guided walks. After pilgrims get their “passports” stamped after completing each of the five routes, they receive an Irish Pilgrim Paths completion certificate from Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo.
· When to visit: This
Pilgrim Paths is holding its second annual Irish Pilgrim Journey, offering local guides for the 5
pilgrim paths. Other pilgrimages can be found by tour groups in conjunction
with this year’s
World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which takes place between August 21 and
Read: Yesterday, we read about the corporal works of mercy, and today we will focus on the spiritual works of mercy, which have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history.
Reflect: Forgiving others is difficult at times because we do not have God's limitless mercy and compassion. But Jesus teaches us that we should forgive as God forgives, relying on him to help us show others the mercy of God. Are there grudges you are holding on to that you should let go of?
Pray: the Chaplet of Divine Mercy today.
Act: In practicing one of the spiritual works of mercy, forgiving others, make an effort to go to Confession before Easter.
When we consider God valued the human person as so precious enough to die for, we should make a concerted effort to aid others.
The giving of Alms has everything to do with devotions and piety. Almsgiving is a powerful form of prayer. “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness…It is better to give alms than to store up gold; for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life” (Tob 12:8-9) To give alms is to give to God. If we are giving alms righteously then most likely we are doing it though some form of fasting giving from our substance. The giving of Alms should not philanthropy with a smiling photo op and boost to our pride. The earliest Christians knew they could not make a good Communion if they neglected the poor. St. Ignatius noted that the twin marks of heresy are the neglect of the poor and neglect of the Eucharist. “The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus and what you do for them you do to him.” (Dorothy Day) The Eucharist is the key to a civilization of love. It saves us from misguided tenderness and feel-good philanthropy, because it gives us the grace to sacrifice as Jesus did. Our main focus must be widows and orphans. (Single parents and children) “Widows and orphan are to be revered like the altar of sacrifice.” (Pope Paul VI) We should give as much as we can and we should give it responsibly making sure the alms are not wasted.
Mormons in their almsgiving, for example, do fast offerings in addition to tithing. This offering accompanies a monthly 24-hour fast. All the money that would have been spent to buy food during those 24 hours is donated to the Church for the purpose of feeding the hungry and caring for the needy.
Aids in Battle When the enemy seeks to discourage
When dismayed or grieved let these scriptural promises lift up your soul in trust and hope. Listen to our Lords words of encouragement, and consolation.
· Because children have blood and flesh in common, so He in the same way has shared in these, so that through death He might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is, the Devil; and might deliver them who, throughout their life, were kept in servitude by fear of death. Heb 2: 14– 15
· Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made to live. But each in his own turn, Christ as first-fruits, then those who are Christ’s, who have believed, at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He does away with all sovereignty, authority, and power. For He must reign until “He has put all things under His feet.” 1 Cor 15: 20– 25
· You shall not fear them; for it is the LORD your God who fights for you. Dt 3: 22
· You draw near this day to battle against your enemies: Let not your heart faint; do not fear, or tremble, or be in dread of them; for the LORD your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. Dt 20: 3– 4
· No evil will befall the man who fears the LORD, but in trial He will deliver him again and again. Sir 33: 1
· I give them everlasting life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. Jn 10: 28
Catechism of the Catholic Church
23 The accent of this catechism is placed on the doctrinal exposition. He wants, in fact, to help deepen the knowledge of the faith. For the same reason, it is oriented to the maturation of this faith, its rooting in life and its irradiation in witness (cf. CT 20-22; 25).
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 30
 Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896.
 St. Patrick
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 33. Almsgiving.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.