FEAST OF OUR LADY OF ANGELS International Beer Day
Luke, Chapter 8, Verse 50
On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved.”
When we ask something of our Lord, make it big, and believe He can do it. For the measure of faith that you have determines the measure of the healing from the Lord. I remember over 40 years ago I was a young man stationed in Barbados and became involved with a Christian cult of sorts, where a small group practiced faith as a measure of power. The leader taught that as men we are created in the image of God and we have the power to create miracles if we have the faith to do it. It was explained that even evil men can tap this power provided they believe which explains why some non-Christian’s can-do feats or miracles. As I evolved in Christ, I drifted away from this group but still today I believe all is possible via faith. This group I was in was called, “The Way.” I did an internet search for it but could not find it but I did find an interesting Catholic resource written by Saint Jose Maria Escriva called “The Way.” “You feel a gigantic faith. He who gives you that faith, will give you the means.”
Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula, the Virgin under whose mantle Saint Francis of Assisi was wrapped; Mary's maternal protection made it possible for blessed Francis to experience an intense Presence of the Lord and to receive his vocation to rebuild the Church. Likewise, his intimate devotion to the Blessed Mother, under whose protection did he place himself to do the Lord's work did this place become holy for the members of the Franciscan family and for the Church universal. Without meeting Christ, little makes sense.
The Portiuncula is an ancient church dedicated to Mary under the title Our Lady of the Angels and is located in Assisi, Italy. It was a spot very dear to the heart of Saint Francis.
The Portiuncula is the place where Franciscanism developed, and where Saint Francis lived and died. Here he began and grew in his religious life; here he founded the Franciscan Order; here he manifested his love and great devotion to the Mother of God. When Francis knew he was dying, he requested to be brought to the Portiuncula to end his earthly life.
Saint Bonaventure had this to say about this devotion:
The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned. Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ. This is also the place where St Clare took her vows and where Saint Francis died.
He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.
This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration, and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel.
This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.
As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her
who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently
and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of
the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to
He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.
Consider the words of an early biographer of Saint Francis of Assisi:
From there he moved to another place, which is called the "Portiuncula," where there stood a church of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God built in ancient times. At that time, it was deserted, and no one was taking care of it. When the holy man of God saw it so ruined, he was moved by piety because he had a warm devotion to the Mother of all good and he began to stay there continually. The restoration of that church took place in the third year of his conversion. At this time, he wore a sort of hermit's habit with a leather belt. He carried a staff in his hand and wore shoes. One day the gospel was being read in that church about how the Lord sent out his disciples to preach. The holy man of God, who was attending there, in order to understand better the words of the gospel, humbly begged the priest after celebrating the solemnities of the Mass to explain the gospel to him. The priest explained it all to him thoroughly line by line. When he heard that Christ's disciples should not possess gold or silver or money, or carry on their journey a wallet or a sack, nor bread nor a staff, not to have shoes nor two tunics, but that they should preach the kingdom of God and penance, the holy man, Francis immediately exulted in the spirit of God. "This is what I want," he said, "this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart." The holy father, overflowing with joy, hastened to implement the words of salvation, and did not delay before he devoutly began to put into effect what he heard. (From The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano)
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the hell.
Who can be compared to God? Oh, good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh, divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen.
The Pardon of Assisi Or the Portiuncula Indulgence
The Holy Father made reference to this in his Sunday Angelus address:
... today is the feast of the "Pardon of Assisi," which St. Francis obtained from Pope Honorious III in the year 1216, after having a vision while he was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula. Jesus appeared to him in his glory, with the Virgin Mary on his right and surrounded by many Angels. They asked him to express a wish and Francis implored a "full and generous pardon" for all those who would visit that church who "repented and confessed their sins". Having received papal approval, the Saint did not wait for any written document but hastened to Assisi and when he reached the Portiuncula announced the good news: "Friends, the Lord wants to have us all in Heaven!". Since then, from noon on 1 August to midnight on the second, it has been possible to obtain, on the usual conditions, a Plenary Indulgence, also for the dead, on visiting a parish church or a Franciscan one.
St. Francis Asked and Obtained the Indulgence Of Forgiveness
He awoke one night in 1216 at the Porziuncola and an inspiration stronger than usual prompted him to arise and go into the little chapel. He knelt in prayer and, as he prayed, our Lord, accompanied by His Mother, appeared to him and bade him ask for that which he desired most. "O God," he said, "although I m a great sinner, I beseech You to grant a full pardon of all sins to all who, having repented and confessed their sins, shall visit this church." And Jesus said to him: "Francis, you ask much, but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have."
Our Lord then granted Francis' request and told him to go to
His Vicar for ratification of the indulgence. Honorius III, who was just
beginning his Pontificate, was holding court at Perugia, and it was to him that
Francis presented his petition.
Honorius was a spiritual, unworldly man, yet at such a request he hesitated. "Holy Father," Francis said urgently, "a little while ago I restored a chapel for you in honor of the Virgin Mother of Christ (the Portiuncula), and I beseech you to bestow on it an indulgence."
"For how many years do you want this indulgence?" the Pontiff inquired. "Holy Father," said Francis, "I ask not for years but for souls." "Just what do you want?" Honorius asked. "Holy Father," replied Francis, "the Lord has commanded me to ask you that all those who after confession shall visit the Portiuncula with contrite hearts may obtain full remission of the punishment due to the sins of their whole lives from the day of Baptism to the day they enter this church." Honorius pondered the extraordinary request, and said slowly three times: "I also, in the name of God, grant you the indulgence."
Honorius wanted to give Francis the document of the indulgence, but Francis saw no need for it. "What have you to show that this indulgence has been granted you?" the Pope asked in amazement as Francis prepared to depart for Assisi without any written confirmation of the great permission. "Holy Father," he replied, "Your word is enough for me. If this is the work of God, it is for Him to make His work manifest. I desire no other document. The Blessed Virgin Mary shall be the charter, Christ the notary, and the angels the witnesses." Some days later, before the Bishops of Umbria, Francis said: "Brethren, I want to send you all to Heaven!"
Conditions to Obtain the Plenary Indulgence Of The Forgiveness (for oneself or for a departed soul)
1. Sacramental Confession to be in God's grace (during the
eight days before or after);
2. Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist;
3. Visit to a Catholic Church (especially a Franciscan Church), followed by PROFESSION OF FAITH, in order to reaffirm one's own Christian identity;
4. Say the OUR FATHER, in order to reaffirm the dignity as child of God that one received in Baptism;
5. A prayer for the Pope's intention, in order to reaffirm one's membership in the Church, of which the Roman Pontiff is the foundation and sign of visible unity.
Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney
O Holy Priest of Ars, a witness of your life made this magnificent praise of you:
'We would have taken him for an angel in a mortal body."
You so edified others: the modesty and the exquisite purity radiated from your body. With such charm and with such enthusiasm you preached to others about these beautiful virtues which you said resembled the perfume of a vineyard in bloom.
Please I beg you to join your entreaties to those of Mary Immaculate and Saint Philomena in order that I guard always, as God asks me, the purity of my heart. You, who have directed so many souls towards the heights of virtue, defend me in temptations and obtain for me the strength to conquer them.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER ONE-THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
Article 2 THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
1315 "Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:14-17).
1316 Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
1317 Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian's soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one's life.
1318 In the East this sacrament is administered immediately after Baptism and is followed by participation in the Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation. In the Latin Church this sacrament is administered when the age of reason has been reached, and its celebration is ordinarily reserved to the bishop, thus signifying that this sacrament strengthens the ecclesial bond.
1319 A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.
1320 The essential rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead of the baptized with sacred chrism (in the East other sense-organs as well), together with the laying on of the minister's hand and the words: "Accipe signaculum doni Spiritus Sancti" (Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.) in the Roman Rite, or "The seal of the gift that is the Holy Spirit" in the Byzantine rite.
1321 When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, its connection with Baptism is expressed, among other ways, by the renewal of baptismal promises. the celebration of Confirmation during the Eucharist helps underline the unity of the sacraments of Christian initiation.
· Make a holy hour today. You might find this work — My Eucharistic Day — from the Catholic Culture Library helpful. It was compiled from the writings of Saint Peter Julian Eymard with the permission and encouragement of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Today is National Night Out.
· Let Freedom Ring Day 27