Seeing the photo circulating of Cardinal Sarah, a man of burgeoning worldwide interest, praying the Rosary before the Ordinary Public Consistory for the recent creation of five Cardinals seems to have gone viral. Why? Perhaps because so many bishops today are seen as having lost interior devotion. Luckily not all are like this.
When I saw this photo of Robert Cardinal Sarah circulate on social media, I thought of St. Louis de Montfort’s devotional book The Secret of Mary which, I believe, echos St. Benedict:
When you follow Mary, you will not go astray; when you pray to her, you will not despair; when you think of her, you will not err; when she sustains you, you will not fall; when she protects you, you will not fear; when she leads you, you will not become tired; when she favors you, you will arrive safely.
Cardinal Sarah (and other holy cardinals) has a long journey ahead. We don’t know what the future brings but may he always go into this world of spiritual battle–now engulfing Rome–protected and strengthened by Our Lady.
Cardinal Sarah is a man known for his calmness, thoughtfulness, and his silence, yet he is wielding a most powerful weapon in his hands…a weapon most of his adversaries are likely ignoring as it gathers dust on a shelf. ☩
The richness of the Catholic faith is deepened by the witnesses we recognize in heaven, the Church Triumphant, praying for their brethren on Earth. There has been some need in our family to invoke the intercession of some saints whose patronage includes vision and eye health that are worth sharing. Looking to alleviate eye and vision troubles for either you or a loved one? Look into some of the saints below!
St. Lucy – December 13
Lucy is a virgin and martyr whose Latin name, Lucia, is rooted with the meaning light. Lucy was tortured and killed during the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians (the last and most severe of Christian persecutions in the Roman Empire) for refusing an arranged marriage to a wealthy pagan man.
“…whatever you give away at death for the Lord’s sake you give because you cannot take it with you. Give now to the true Savior, while you are healthy, whatever you intended to give away at your death.”
-St. Lucy explaining to her mother why she was giving her large dowry away to the poor
Lucy’s powerful would-be fiancee denounced her to the Governor of Syracuse demanded Lucy be forced into sexual servitude at the brothel but when the guards were unable to move her, even with the help of oxen, she was ordered to have her eyes gouged and burn on a stake. They then bundled wood around her to set on fire but it wouldn’t burn. She met her ultimate death by way of sword after having her eyes removed. When her body was prepared for burial it was discovered that her eyes had been miraculously restored.
Devotions to St. Lucy
Prayer for healthy vision
Saint Lucy, whose beautiful name signifies ‘LIGHT’, by the light of faith which God bestowed upon you increase and preserve His light in my soul so that I may avoid evil, Be zealous in the performance of good works and abhor nothing so much as the blindness and the darkness of evil and sin.
Obtain for [enter name], by your intercession with God healthy eyes and the grace to use them for God’s greater honour and glory and the salvation of souls.
St. Lucy, virgin and martyr hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. Amen.
This was a new saint to me. What a name…and what a story. From Wikipedia:
Also known as St. Harvey, Hervé was born blind and lived near Plouvien as a hermit and bard. His legend states that he had the power to cure animals and was accompanied by a domesticated wolf.
According to a legend, this wolf had devoured the ox or donkey Hervé used in plowing. Hervé then preached a sermon that was so eloquent that the wolf penitentially begged to be allowed to serve in the ox’s stead. Hervé’s wolf pulled the plow from that day on.
He was joined by more disciples and refused any ordination or earthly honor, accepting only to be ordained as an exorcist.
St. Leodegarius – October 2
From Catholic Online: Benedictine bishop and martyr. He was educated at Poitiers, France, and in 653 became abbot of St. Maxentius. When King Clovis II died, Leodegarius assisted the regent, Queen Bathildes, and became bishop of Autun in 659. Erchinoald, the mayor of the royal palace, had Leodegarius imprisoned, blinded, and murdered. Leodegarius is revered in France as St. Leger.
St. Raphael – September 29
Admittedly, Raphael is overlooked by me too often in comparison to the other named archangels, Gabriel and Michael. But he has a biblical story in why he is a patron to sight; quoting from Catholic Online:
Disguised as a human in the Book of Tobit…travels alongside Tobit’s son, Tobiah. Once Raphael returns from his journey with Tobiah, he declares to Tobit that he was sent by the Lord to heal his blindness and deliver Sarah, Tobiah’s future wife, from the demon Asmodeus. It is then that his true healing powers are revealed and he makes himself known as “the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord” Tobit 12:15.
The demon Asmodeus killed every man Sarah married on the night of the wedding, before the marriage could be consummated. Raphael guided Tobiah and taught him how to safely enter the marriage with Sarah.
Raphael is credited with driving the evil spirit from Sarah and restoring Tobit’s vision, allowing him to see the light of Heaven and for receiving all good things through his intercession.
There are even more saints than these who are called upon to pray for those with eye problems. But these are some great names to have in your back pocket for your daily prayers and devotions to help yourself or a loved one who has vision or eye health problems either find healing or grace to accept it.
Thanks be to God for our diverse, dynamic, and downright awesome family in heaven watching over us. ☩
This quote from a morning devotional on the feast of St. John Neumann today. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill: help the needy, provide for one’s family, sacrifice in marriage, praying in a monastery, being the best at whatever their job is, etc. Saint John Neumann, ora pro nobis.
The Advent season seems to be lost among many Christians, especially with the dominance of popular culture’s emphasis on December-long Christmas celebrating, ending immediately on December 26. Many Catholics have also lost sight of the season, especially with many parishes downplaying, if not ignoring, the penitential nature of the season. The truth is Advent is a time of preparation where we ready ourselves for the coming of Christ on Christmas.
This means practicing self-denial and taking up prayer to properly orient our souls towards the most monumental day in history, the day God became man among us. So it’s a good practice to, like Lent, give something up, take up prayer, and to do acts of charity while enjoying all the season’s traditions we cherish (both secular and Christian).
I think it would serve the Church in America well if the bishops sought to reemphasize the nature of the Advent season. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) even points this out on their website:
Changing customs, especially in connection with preparation for Christmas, have diminished popular appreciation of the Advent season. Something of a holiday mood of Christmas appears now to be anticipated in the days of the Advent season. As a result, this season has unfortunately lost in great measure the role of penitential preparation for Christmas that it once had.
The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas.
So, let’s be joyful this Advent and make proper preparations for the real reason for the season, the Feast of the Nativity. That way we can celebrate all 12 days of the Christmastide properly and not be burnt out on December 26! ☩
In the wake of the horrendous transgression against God and humanity this past weekend, there has been many calls to #PrayForOrlando on social media. If the people sharing this hashtag are indeed determined to pray for those harmed by this act of terrorism there are important prayers everyone (especially Catholics) should be familiar with. Real prayer takes time and requires one to say “no” to something else, something they may want to do more. Real prayer, especially paired with fasting, is powerful. Simply talking about praying is not.
Lord please grant unto the victims in Orlando eternal rest and let perpetual light shine upon them, comfort their families and friends by bringing them close to your Sacred Heart, and give the perpetrators and others sympathetic to their cause the grace for conversion. Amen.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
O glorious prince St. Michael,
chief and commander of the heavenly hosts,
guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits,
servant in the house of the Divine King
and our admirable conductor,
you who shine with excellence
and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil,
who turn to you with confidence
and enable us by your gracious protection
to serve God more and more faithfully every day.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary that never was it known that anyone who fled to Your protection, implored Your help, or sought Your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To You we come; before You we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in Your mercy, hear and answer us. Amen.
Jesus, Prince of Peace,
You have asked us to love our enemies
and pray for those who persecute us.
We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may all people learn to work together
for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.
To You be glory and honor for ever and ever.
Prayers associated with the Rosary
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.