St. Rose of Lima – 1st canonized saint of the Americas…what true beauty is, true beauty does

St. Rose of Lima, is the 1st person canonized a saint in the Americas and is considered the patron of Latin America and the Philippines.

Her story is really as lovely as her name.  Born Isabel (which in itself means Beauty) in 1586, she was so beautiful that they simply called her Rose.   She felt a special relationship with Jesus in her heart at very young age; and felt a close tie to St. Catherine of Siena.   Undoubtedly a she experienced deep mystical experiences in prayer.  Like many who have those types of graces, she felt called to extraordinary acts of penance not only for herself but  for all mankind.  It is said that she would place a pepper/lye-based oil on her skin in order to marr her complexion so as not to be a source of temptation for others and to eliminate the potential for vanity in herself.  Ok, so that may seem extreme today, but don’t forget it was an act not unlike that of St. Clare, who cut her hair in order to become unmarriageable…St. Rose’s motivation may have shared some of that intention.  She had a great devotion to and relationship with the child Jesus; you will see him with her in many of the paintings depicting her life.  She died in 1617 and was canonized 1671.

The video is a wonderful one; the images tell the story.  For those of you who do not speak Spanish don’t sweat it…remember it was her native language  (her father was Spanish, her mother part Spanish and Inca), and well…well allow yourself to stretch a little, it’s so worth  viewing, if only to get to know St. Rose and her people better.

St. Pius X – to renew all things in Christ

The Pope of the Blessed Sacrament

“Itching Ears Among Us

Saint Pius X exemplified the words of the Apostle to Timothy: “Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Tim 4:2–4). One hundred years after Pope Saint Pius X we have to ask ourselves if there are not still “itching ears” among us.

What causes one’s ears to itch? Curiosity. Lack of discernment. A weak background in Catholic doctrine. Faithful Catholics cannot permit themselves to read just anything. To read authors of dubious orthodoxy or authors critical of the Magisterium is like scratching an itch. It becomes worse. Why would one would even want to read such authors when one can choose from among the inexhaustible richness of the writings of the saints of every age?

 Children and the Eucharist

It was Saint Pius X who opened Holy Communion to little children. He invited the Catholic faithful to frequent, even daily Holy Communion. Pius X came to be known as the “Pope of the Eucharist,” a title that he now shares with Pope John Paul II, the author of Ecclesia de Eucharistia and of Mane Nobiscum, Domine.” – for more go to Vultus Christi

I see that serious face of the young boy to the right, and I wonder what he is thinking.  His family was so poor.  Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto was born in 1835, the second of ten children.  His father was the village postman.  Though poor, his parents valued education and made every effort in securing that gift for their children.

Pope Pius was a Marian Pope, whose encyclical Ad Diem Illum expresses his desire through Mary to renew all things in Christ, which he had defined as his motto in his first encyclical. Pius believed that there is no surer or more direct road than by Mary to achieve this goal (no wonder he had such a beautiful heart). Pius X was the only Pope in the 20th century with extensive pastoral experience at the parish level, and pastoral concerns permeated his papacy; he favoured the use of the vernacular in catechesis. Frequent communion was a lasting innovation of his papacy. He spoke plainly and with strength, and because of that he was not well like by the elite and the rich.   He often referred to his own humble origins, taking up the causes of poor people. I was born poor, I have lived poor, and I wish to die poor

This is a wonderful prayer by the saint himself:

O Lord Jesus Christ, let Your passion be my strength to sustain, guard, and protect me. Let Your wounds be my food and drink to nourish, fill, and invigorate me. Let the shedding of Your Blood cleanse me of all my sins. Let Your death obtain eternal life for me and Your cross lead me to everlasting glory. Let these constitute for me refreshment and joy, health and uprightness of heart.   Amen.

St. Pius X Statue at St. Peter’s…It’s so high up. I suspect he probably would have preferred more to be on the level of the people.

The Feast of St. Philomena

St. Philomena by Mic Carlson
St. Philomena by Mic Carlson

Despite the “lack of historical evidence” surrounding St. Philomena, the heart just “knows”.  The  relationships that this lovely little saint has had with us in the temporal order from her seat in the Cloud of Witnesses is the greatest evidence of all for her presence there.  The great Cure de Ars, St. John Vianney,  had a great devotion to St. Philomena, along with many, many others.   Beloved St. Philomena, pray for us!

J. S. Bach – Rest in Peace (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750)

J. S. Bach died on this date 260 years ago.  I just couldn’t let the date pass without a small tribute to the great talent the Lord blessed him with.  From the “Sanctus” in the Mass in B minor, to the Toccata and Fugue in D minor…oh you name it, who can possibly pick from his legacy a favorite?  But I have to say, it always makes me sigh when I hear “May Sheep Safely Graze”, so for all you lambys out there a little reflection:

Also here is a conversation Bruce and I had with R. J. Stove on the importance of Western Classical Music

May 13, 1917, the First Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

“Say the Rosary everyday….”






As the second millennium gives way to the third, Pope John Paul II has decided to publish the text of the third part of the “secret of Fatima”.

The twentieth century was one of the most crucial in human history, with its tragic and cruel events culminating in the assassination attempt on the “sweet Christ on earth”. Now a veil is drawn back on a series of events which make history and interpret it in depth, in a spiritual perspective alien to present-day attitudes, often tainted with rationalism.

Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel.

Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions. The first and second parts of the “secret”—which are here published in sequence so as to complete the documentation—refer especially to the frightening vision of hell, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Second World War, and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism. 

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