Exile in Babylon

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Today’s Offertory verse for today “Thursday in Passion Week”( TLM) was Psalm  136:1 –  “Upon the rivers of Babylon there we wept, when we remembered Sion.”

God’s chosen people were in exile in a foreign country, that only adored false (pagan) gods. They felt abandoned; they did not have the Temple where God’s Presence was – (in the Ark of the covenant). They could not gather together as a God’s chosen nation to worship Him in the temple. They missed their special celebrations, such as the Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.

The Israelites gathered on the banks of the river and wept as they remembered these things.

This is so true for us today. The churches are closed. We cannot gather together and celebrate God’s word or worship together.We are in exile in a secular world, without being able to receive Jesus. He is locked away, where we cannot receive Him. We can watch the Mass on our electronic devices, but we are separated from our priests. It is like a distant memory where we remember how it should be, and we weep.

 

 

 

We will miss the celebration of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and all the beautiful prayers and rituals that go with them. We miss receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. Due to new tightening of laws yesterday, we are in lockdown for 3 months- and our priests had to cancel outdoor Confession arrangements.

We should also weep for other reasons. At the beginning when this all started, we were told to make “Spiritual Communions”. Father said that this was a “chastisement”. None of us, reading this, doubt this. We need to make reparation for all the times we did not receive Jesus as we should.

Today’s Gospel was about Jesus and the Apostles, who were invited to eat at Simon the Pharisee’s house. He wanted to check Jesus out. He did not offer him the usual welcome – a kiss on the cheek, water to wash his feet, etc. Mary Magdalen came in, crying and weeping when she saw Jesus, she went down on her knees and bent down to wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. She sacrificed her beautiful hair, and the very expensive ointment. She repented of her sins, and later stayed at the foot of the Cross. After the Resurrection she was the one to whom Jesus appeared.

How many of us are like Simon the pharisee? Or like Judas? We need to have the love and sorrow for our sins as Mary Magdalen did; we need to kneel before our Blessed Lord in humility; we need to have Faith and Reverence, and silence in His Presence. We need to dress modestly, as befits greeting our King and Saviour, and welcoming Him into our soul.

We need to make retribution for all the Sacrilegious Communions that have been committed. Offering up our suffering in not being able to access Confession easily, or even receive Him in Holy Communion is a worthy sacrifice for us. We need to pray more, abstain more, fast more. We need to make more Reparation!

 

My Missal’s  “My Daily Thought From the Following of Christ”:

“If thou carry the cross willingly, it will carry thee, and bring thee to thy desired end, namely, to that place where there will be an end of suffering, though here there will be no end.”

 

Good Friday – Via Crucis

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Holy Week: The Hidden Homilies of Pope Benedict

Sandro Magister, in this collection, explains that the homilies were Hidden, except for those who were able to listen to them in person: a few thousand out of 1.2 billion Catholics in the world. Here are the complete texts. Required reading for understanding this pontificate”

No. 4: Good Friday

“Dear brothers and sisters, this year too we have walked along the way of the cross, the Via Crucis, evoking again with faith the stages of the passion of Christ. Our eyes have turned to contemplate the sufferings and the anguish that our Redeemer had to bear in the hour of great sorrow, which entailed the highpoint of his earthly mission. Jesus dies on the cross and lies in the tomb. The day of Good Friday, so permeated by human sadness and religious silence, closes in the silence of meditation and prayer. In returning home, we too, like those who were present at the sacrifice of Jesus, beat our breasts, recalling what happened. Is it possible to remain indifferent before the death of the Lord, of the Son of God? For us, for our salvation he became man, so as to be able to suffer and die.

Brothers and sisters, let us direct today our gaze toward Christ, a gaze frequently distracted by scattered and passing earthly interests. Let us pause to contemplate his cross. The cross, fount of life and school of justice and peace, is the universal patrimony of pardon and mercy. It is permanent proof of a self-emptying and infinite love that brought God to become man, vulnerable like us, unto dying crucified.

Through the sorrowful way of the cross, the men of all ages, reconciled and redeemed by the blood of Christ, have become friends of God, sons of the heavenly Father. “Friend,” is what Jesus calls Judas and he offers him the last and dramatic call to conversion.Friend,” he calls each of us, because he is the authentic friend of everyone. Unfortunately, we do not always manage to perceive the depth of this limitless love that God has for us. For him, there is no distinction of race or culture. Jesus Christ died to liberate the humanity of old of their ignorance of God, of the circle of hate and violence, of the slavery to sin. The cross makes us brothers and sisters.

But let us ask ourselves, in this moment, what have we done with this gift, what have we done with the revelation of the face of God in Christ, with the revelation of the love of God that conquers hate. Many, in our age as well, do not know God and cannot encounter him in Christ crucified. Many are in search of a love or a liberty that excludes God. Many believe they have no need of God.

Dear friends: After having lived together the passion of Jesus, let us this night allow his sacrifice on the cross to question us. Let us permit him to challenge our human certainties. Let us open our hearts. Jesus is the truth that makes us free to love. Let us not be afraid: upon dying, the Lord destroyed sin and saved sinners, that is, all of us. The Apostle Peter writes: “He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). This is the truth of Good Friday: On the cross, the Redeemer has made us adoptive sons of God who he created in his image and likeness. Let us remain, then, in adoration before the cross. Christ, give us the peace we seek, the happiness we desire, the love the fills our heart thirsty for the infinite. This is our prayer for this night, Jesus, Son of God, who died for us on the cross and was resurrected on the third day. Amen.”

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Let us all contemplate Jesus and His Passion this Holy Week , that we too, out of love for Jesus, may carry our Crosses willingly at this time.

See his other homilies for Holy Week here:

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/195041bdc4.html?eng=y

 

How to pray — Part II

via How to pray — Part II

How to pray — Part II

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

In the first article in this series I spoke about the material preparations for prayer. In this article, I will speak on the correct manner to say vocal prayers.

Vocal prayer, what is it?

Vocal prayer is prayer which is made through the instrumentality of words. This is the most common prayer. Indeed, most everyone thinks this is the only kind. I will explain why that is not so, in subsequent articles, but for now, let us speak about prayers which are expressed in words.

Vocal prayer can be in any language, whether you understand the language or not. If you do not understand the language, but you use those words to pray, the efficacy of your prayer depends upon your intentions and dispositions alone. Not on whether you pronounce that foreign language correctly or know what it means. It suffices to know its an approved prayer.

What makes a vocal prayer efficacious?

This was the first lesson in prayer which I had as a boy. My mom taught me how to say the Rosary, and suggested I say it every night. I said it for a whole month I think, and then one night my Mom had time to say it with me again. I found that I was saying it all wrong, and being very stupid I gave up saying the Rosary, because I thought my prayers were worthless if I did not do it perfectly and, since I realized I could not understand how to do that, I did not see the point in praying.

Years later, when speaking with my Confessor, he explained to me how wrong that reaction was. He was an old priest of the Missionary Order of the Holy Ghost Fathers, from whence came Archbishop Lebfevre. He explained that God rewards the intention. If we persevere and are humble, it does not matter even if we make mistakes out of ignorance. Because God looks first to the hearts and He rewards humility and zeal.

What does it mean, then, for a prayer to be efficacious?

Hence, it is important to understand that a prayer is efficacious in the sense that the praying of the prayer, not the prayer itself. A prayer written on paper or on your computer screen or cellphone display is simply words. But prayed it becomes a voice raised to God or the Saints.

Praying is efficacious when we pay attention to it. Just like your father it not apt to grant you any special request when you make it while engaged in watching your favorite TV program while he is trying to work at his desk, so your prayers to God require that you put yourself in the proper dispositions and present yourself to God in a manner pleasing to Himself.

I explained this in Part I, as regards Confession and being in the state of grace. But more than that is required for your prayers to be heard by God and for you to obtain the infusion of sanctifying grace and virtue, the grant of actual graces and favors, and the light to know, discern, recognize what you are and are not to do in serving God and fulfilling your duties or caring for those around you.

Pay Attention if you want God to pay attention to you

The most important requirement when you actually begin to pray is that you pay attention. This is overlooked in so many manuals of prayer, that it is astounding. God loves the humble, and humility requires that you pray in such a way as to show that you really mean what you say and you say really what you mean. And this requires attention.

It is very wrong to let vocal or oral prayer, as it is also called, become something which you chant over and over, but do not pay attention to the words, allowing your heart and mind to wander to your vain cares or worries or vain hopes.

Rather, the words you say aloud or silently must be willed by you with your whole heart and mind and spirit. You must not let their recitation be something in the background of your mind, nor something flying overhead like music, listened to, but they must be like the horse you ride and direct pulling the reins this way and that to arrive where you want.

Let me give an example, with the Our Father.

Praying the Our Father with attention, or efficaciously

Begin with the sign of the Cross, if you have not already done so.

Our Father, who art in Heaven….

The Saints urge us when we say these words, to look up to the Heavens. That is why it is so much more inspiring to do this outdoors or in a Church where Heaven is depicted high above, where our yes can focus.

But we should say the words, Our Father, with love and affection and confidence, recognizing that God as Our Father and Creator and Redeemer has truly a great desire that we speak with Him and talk to Him and ask Him for needs.

Hallowed be Thy Name.

Here, when saying these words our hearts should expand and our wills should surge in consent, that God’s Name be always held Holy and that His Dignity and Majesty be revered and respected by all.

Thy Kingdom come!

In this prayer we express our will to be loyal subjects of God’s Kingdom in Heaven and on Earth, and to see that Kingdom defended, grow and spread. We should say this prayer with much more enthusiasm than soccer fans or football fans shout out those words they usually shout urging their team to victory. It is really silly that modern man has more zeal at sporting events for their local team, that Christians have when they say these words.

Thy Will be done!

In this prayer, we submit our wills to God. We should say these words with profound humility and a spirit of sorrow for having failed to do the will of God perfectly, but with a profound penitence that we are now resolved to do that Will. And also with the desire to obtain the grace of God to do it, recognizing that without that grace we are not capable of doing it.

On earth as it is in Heaven.

With these words we should look to the Angels and Saints in Heaven and aspired to serve God as they serve Him. Nothing less. By this prayer we are to reject the imitation of any limited human examples of serving God and aspired to imitate the greatest examples which are the Saints in Heaven. We expressly reject the idolatry of earthly gurus, here.

Give us this day, our Daily Bread.

With these words, we begin the Petitions of the Our Father, that is, the requests. First we ask for all that is necessary for body and soul. Here the words daily bread refer to both, the first under the common metanym for food, bread. The second under the signification of the Most Holy Eucharist. This petition therefore is a Spiritual Communion, and while saying it we should understand that we are asking Lord Jesus Christ to enter our hearts and nourish them.

And forgive us our trespasses.

With these words we make a spiritual confession. And we should say them with a most profound humility and sorrow for our own personal sins, recognizing that they are not simply failings, mistakes, errors or deficiencies, but that they are sins, which we need to confess to God and in confession, when they are mortal.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

Here, we should forgive all our enemies from our hearts, recognizing that if we want great mercies from God, we need to grant mercy to those around us. Catholics have fallen into the worst habit of never admitting they were wrong or asking forgiveness. This prayer should be a confession that we will now undertake such a life.

And lead us not into temptation.

Here the Greek original and the Latin mean, and put us not to the test. This is because temptatio in Latin means a test. And the good monks of Britain loved Latin so much, they kept the word in English, though not all us are well schooled enough to know its meaning. I do not fault the monks, I fault our modern Church catechetical programs for not teaching us English.

But the prayer when prayed should be a supplication, a humble request, that God avert from us His anger and that we return to His paths, because of our selves we will fail the test, since the proud man is without the grace to stand, but the humble man walks always at the Lord’s side.

But deliver us from evil.

Here the Greek and the Latin say, from the Evil one. That is from the Father of Lies, Satan. But the English expands this, because the prayer not only should be said with the intention of not falling into the power of the Devil through sin, but suffering from the punishments for sin, which are the only true evils in this world. We also pray here to be delivered from the grasp and will of wicked men. And this petition, which is last, is the one most necessary in the present times.

Amen!

This Hebrew word means, Let is be so! It is the assent to all which has been said. And we should never omit it, but say it with firm resolve.

Praying with Attention requires discipline

Praying with attention requires just as much discipline of the mind and heart as standing at attention required of a soldier when he is on parade or subject to review by his Commanding General. We should pray the Our Father with infinitely more care, without obsessing with our failures, but returning to saying the prayer. That is why Saint Francis has us his friars say this prayer 72 times daily. Because he knew that we simple minded men need to practice to get it right and to train ourselves in doing it correctly, but also because the ones we say rightly make up for the ones we say badly.

For these reasons, I included 72 Our Fathers in the Perpetual Supplica because so many of us do not know how to pray, and we need to practice doing it rightly on a daily basis.

But above all, keep in mind the great things you can obtain by prayer

It is important, obviously, to be motivated to pray. Here is a short excerpt from Saint Peter of Alcantara, a great Franciscan Saint, and spiritual director to Saint Teresa of Avila, to motivate you in praying. He is quoting the Franciscan Doctor of the Church, Saint Bonaventure:

“If you would suffer patiently the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer.  If you would gain power and strength to overcome the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer.  If you would mortify your will with all its affections and lusts, be a man of prayer.  If you would understand the cunning devices of Satan, and defend yourself against his deceits, be a man of payer.  If you would live joyfully, and with sweetness walk in the path of penitence and sorrow, be a man of prayer.  If you would drive out the troublesome gnats of vain thoughts and cares from your soul, be a man of prayer.  If you would sustain your soul with the richness of devotion, and kept it ever full of good thoughts and desires, be a man of prayer.  If you would strengthen and confirm your heart in the pilgrimage with God, be a man of prayer.  Lastly, if you would root out from your soul every vice and in their place plant the virtues, be a man of prayer, for in this is obtained the unction and grace of the Holy Spirit who teaches all things.

“And besides all this, if you would climb to the height of contemplation, and delight in the sweet embraces of the Bridegroom, exercise yourself in prayer, for this is the way by which the soul mounts up to contemplation and to the taste of heavenly things.

“You see, then, of how great virtue and power is prayer, and for proof of all that has been said (to say nothing of Holy Scripture) let this now be sufficient assurance that we have seen and heard, and see, day by day, many simple persons who have attained to all these things above mentioned and to others greater, through the exercise of prayer.”

The Miraculous Medal – for these times.

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The Miraculous medal  is well known for its miracles. Maybe you or someone you know has a story to tell – whether big or small. Our dearly beloved Mother cares for her children. It is a very good idea not to ignore the blessings from Heaven. Wear a Miraculous medal round your neck. I am sure that this Corona Virtus will not be the last disease/plague that will be imposed on us. We must never cease asking our Blessed Mother for protection.

“Almost 200 years ago Our Blessed Mother instructed Saint Catherine Laboure to “have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” Our Blessed Mother also told Catherine, Now it must be given to the whole world and to every person.” (https://churchpop.com/2016/03/03/5-reasons-wear-miraculous-medal/ )

“Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck”. The miraculous healing power of Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal at the time of the 1832 Paris Cholera outbreakand in light of today’s anxiety around Covid 19.

“As the first medals were being made, a terrible epidemic of cholera, coming from Eastern Europe, struck Paris. The disease first appeared on March 26, 1832, and carried on until the middle of the year. By April 1, seventy-nine people had died; on the 2nd, 168; on the 3rd, 216. In this way the death toll rose until reaching 861 on April 9.

In total, the official records say that 18,400 people died. In reality, the number was much greater because the official statistics and the media purposely under-estimated the numbers to avoid even greater panic.

On 30 June 1832, the first 1,500 medals were delivered by Vachette House and the Daughters of Charity began distributing them among those afflicted. The epidemic receded immediately and a series of prodigies began that very quickly made the Miraculous Medal world famous.”

Source: The Miraculous Medal: Medal of Many Graces
27 November 2016, Armando Santos

Note: It is right that we should take extra precautions with our personal hygienic practices as an act of charity to our fellow human beings and especially at a time where there are those who are intentionally inciting fear amongst the general public.

Please join us to pray for our Cardinal!

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Novena for the spiritual and temporal needs of His Eminence, George, Cardinal Pell
(Monday 2nd March – Tuesday 10th March, 2020)

Cardinal Pell’s appeal will be heard by the High Court of Australia on 11th and 12th March.

This novena was organized by http://newmanparish.org/

Memorare to Our Lady

(This version of he Memorare is from the 1741 edition of the Couleste Palmetum)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession
was left unaided by thee.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, Mary, Virgin of virgins, Mother of Jesus Christ; to thee do I come; before
thee I stand, sinful, sorrowful and trembling.
O Mistress of the World and Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer wretched me crying to thee in
this vale of tears.

Be near me, I beseech thee, in all my necessities, now and always, and especially at the hour of my death.
O clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

Prayer to St John Fisher

O GOD, Who didst grant to Thy blessed Bishop John, the grace courageously to give his life for truth
and justice, grant through his intercession and example that we may so lose our life in this world for
Christ, that we may find it in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who liveth and
reigneth with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.

Prayer to St Thomas More

O GOD, Who didst bestow upon the blessed Martyr Thomas –  the grace to embrace Thy Cross with a
joyous and resolute spirit amidst the snares of the world, and the sufferings of prison and death, grant,
we pray Thee, through his intercession and example, that eagerly striving for faith and justice we may
merit to come to the joys of everlasting life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who liveth
and reigneth with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.

Mary, Mirror of Justice, pray for him.
St John Fisher, pray for him.
St Thomas More, pray for him.

Our Lady requested prayers at Midnight, Rome time

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Today is the Feastday of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich as determined by Pope John Paul II in 2003. This article includes her prophecies. Please join in 40 Days Novena for the true Church and the true Pope.

FromRome.Info

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Bl. Catherine Emmerich was given to know much about the future of the Catholic Church, nearly 200 years ago. She was given to see the time of two popes, and how one would lead the Church into apostasy, the other would be isolated and paralyzed by inaction.

As a remedy, Our Lady revealed to her that Catholics should join together to pray a special prayer at Midnight, Rome Time.  It is presently midnight here at Rome, so please read these prophecies of Bl. Emmerich, approved by the Church, and say the prayers Our Lady asked for. (Sources: here and here)

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May 13, 1820: “I saw the relationship between the two Popes. I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome). The local clergy…

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Families are under attack

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A Traditional Catholic Family in the Making

Families are under attack today in so many ways – spiritually, morally and temporally. The law mandates now that there are all sorts of families eg. co-parented families,  same sex parent families, three parent families, broken families, families created through surrogates, families of co-habiting, unmarried couples and families of couples with ‘open’ marriages. Large families are discriminated against. Abortion and euthanasia laws are slaughtering millions of true family members; divorce laws are tearing families apart; transgender laws are destroying our children’s true identities and laws make it easy to live together without permanent commitment thereby eroding the base and security of the family. The family and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony are no longer revered. And since chastity is also no longer revered either, is it any wonder that The Holy Family Itself is not given the reverence and wonder which is its due?

Today, in the Traditional Rite (Latin Mass) – we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. The Holy Family had to struggle from the very beginning.

Joseph and Mary had to undertake quite a journey – they had no choice – it was the law – they had to register for a census. Mary, with her Babe almost due, rode a donkey – imagine the bumpy ride and the discomfort – and Joseph’s concern.The journey was long and arduous and over rough terrain.

They finally  reached Bethlehem, but so had thousands of other people. It was crowded and the inns were full. No-one seemed to have any compassion. Finally they found a stable – a cold, dark, damp and probably smelly (due to the animals)  place. But there was nowhere else to stay. I imagine Joseph tried his best to make it comfortable, spreading dry straw around and perhaps using his cloak as a blanket on the straw.

Some poor and lowly shepherds were the first to visit their new-born King. Finally, the Three Kings arrived to pay him homage. But they couldn’t relax.

An angel told Joseph he had to leave – immediately – during the night – because Jesus’ life was in danger. They had to go to Egypt. Imagine trying to face this journey – with not much notice – gathering a few meagre supplies for this long journey through the desert.

When they got there, they were in a strange land. Joseph had to somehow work and provide for his family. But he trusted in God and finally was told – 7 years later, that it was safe to return.

The Book of Truth describes some of these difficulties:

“When my time approached, every obstacle, planted by the spirit of evil, was placed before us, every step we took. Doors were slammed in our faces; people we knew shunned us and we were cast out into the wilderness. And so we ended up without a roof over our heads and in a shelter fit only for animals, while the Holy Messiah came into the world as a pauper. There were no ceremonies, no coronation, no acknowledgements. There were only a few people left to comfort me in my loneliness. But then, when my Son was born, all feelings of anxiety left me. All I felt was a love of the most Divine Presence. Peace finally reigned in my Heart.   …

When it was made known that Jesus Christ, the Messiah promised to humanity, was born, the opposition began to mount. The vicious attack by Herod and all his servants, demonstrated how much the Presence of God puts fear into the hearts of evil men.

From that day forward, I became the protector of my Son and my beloved spouse, Joseph, organized our safety on many occasions after that. We spent many years fleeing from one place to another. So much opposition we faced – so much fear, so much hatred. That was our lot…

And now that His Second Coming is imminent, every obstacle will be placed before His Arrival. Every Word out of the mouth of His prophet will be torn asunder and mocked. Only a handful of people will be privy to the Truth surrounding this Mission and many doors will be slammed in the faces of those who follow His instructions. This Mission is a lonely one for you, my child, and you are instructed to remain obedient in all things made known to you by God. …”

Read the complete message at: https://missionofsalvation.com/message-1010/

So for us, too, in the face of all difficulties, the presence of  Jesus brings us peace.

Families today also suffer persecution – also from their own (eg the Catholic Church today and from many of the bishops and priests).

We are all part of God’s family – the Christian family. They still want to kill Jesus  (Head of our family) – to get rid of God in the world. They have introduced paganism, changed  and questioned church teachings, blasphemed against Jesus and our Holy Mother Mary. Some do not want to recognise the True Father of Jesus or to recognise Him as His Son.

Let’s not forget the power of the Holy Rosary.  It is our weapon. It will bind the evil one. We need to do this now, more than ever. We need it for protection. Remember the miracles of Lepanto, Vienna, Hiroshima, Brazil …? There are many other amazing miracles. It is the prayer that Our lady asked us to pray in many of her apparitions.

To pray this together in our families today, and everyday,  is a must!

We have to safeguard our own immediate families and keep them true to God and to their Faith, and in so doing, we can help to keep the True Faith, and God, present in the world today, in order to defeat evil.

After Mass today, our priest led the congregation in the following prayer:

Consecration to the Holy Family

“O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us The holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities, that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Saviour Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity. Amen.”