4/19 – Holy Saturday

Holy Shroud

In former times the Church held no special service on this day, but a meeting was held in the course of the afternoon for the last scrutiny of the catechumens, which almost immediately preceded the baptism; several ceremonies that precede the conferring of baptism were performed at this gathering.

At night was held the Watch or solemn Vigil of Easter, towards the end of which, before daybreak, the Catechumens plunged in the water of the baptistry were so to speak buried with Jesus; and at the very hour at which Christ rose triumphantly from the sepulcher they were born to the life of grace.

Later the great ceremonies were anticipated, being held in the evening.

The Blessing of the New Fire

The Church, blessing as she does all elements of which she makes use for Divine worship, formerly made a practice of blessing every evening the new fire that was to provide the light for the office of Vespers. The liturgy of Holy Saturday maintains this custom.  She also introduced later on the blessing of the five grains of incense which are to be fixed in the Paschal candle.

The altars are covered with linen cloths, but the candles are not lighted until the beginning of Mass.  Meanwhile a spark is ignited outside, and the fire is kindled.  The priest, accompanied by his ministers with processional cross, holy water and incense, goes outside the church door, if it can be conveniently done, or stands in the entrance of the church and blesses the new fire.

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The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will
Day Twenty-eight 

Lesson of the Desolate Queen and Mother:

… Now, listen to Me (the Blessed Mother), daughter of My Sorrows: as My Dear Son (Jesus) Breathed His last, He descended into Limbo, as Triumpher and Bearer of Glory and Happiness to that prison in which were all the Patriarchs and Prophets, the first father Adam, dear Saint Joseph, My holy parents, and all those who had been saved by virtue of the foreseen Merits of the future Redeemer. I was Inseparable from My Son, and not even death could take Him away from Me. So, in the Ardor of My Sorrows I followed Him into Limbo and was Spectator of the Feast, of the Thanksgivings, which that whole great crowd of people gave to My Son, who had suffered so much, and whose first step had been toward them, to Beatify them and to bring them with Himself to Celestial Glory. So, as He died, Conquests and Glory began for Jesus and for all those who loved Him. This, dear daughter, is symbol of how, as the creature makes her will die through Union with the Divine Will, Conquests of Divine Order, Glory and Joy begin, even in the midst of the greatest sorrows. Even though the eyes of My Soul followed My Son (Jesus) and I (the Blessed Mother) never lost sight of Him, at the same time, during those three days in which He was buried, I felt such Yearnings to see Him Risen, that in My Ardor of Love I kept repeating: “Rise, My Glory! Rise, My Life!” My Desires were Ardent, My Sighs, of Fire—to the point of feeling consumed.

S_StFaustineCannonizationMassDivine-Mercy

Divine Mercy Novena

 

 

4/18 – Good Friday

 

DIVINE MERCY NOVENA STARTS TODAY

On this day the Station was held at the Basilica in Rome, which represents Jerusalem.  It is consecrated to the Passion of Our Lord, and contains earth from Calvary, important fragments of the true Cross, and one of the nails.

On this day, the anniversary of Our Savior’s Death, the Church gives her temples an appearance of desolation.

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Hours of the Passion
Twenty-second Hour: From 2 to 3 PM

… Meanwhile, O Jesus, I (Luisa) see that You open Your dying eyes again, and You look around from the Cross, as though wanting to give the last good-bye to all.  You look at Your dying Mama, who no longer has motion or voice, so many are the pains She feels; and You say, “Good-bye Mama, I am leaving, but I will keep You in My Heart.  You, take care of My children and Yours.”  You look at crying Magdalene, faithful John and Your very enemies, and with Your Gazes You say to them, “I Forgive you; I give you the Kiss of Peace.”  Nothing escapes Your Gaze; You take leave of everyone and forgive everyone.  Then, You gather all Your Strengths, and with a loud and thundering Voice, You cry out, “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit.”  And bowing Your Head, You breathe Your last.

My Jesus, at this cry all nature is shaken and cries over Your death—the death of its Creator!  The earth trembles strongly; and with its trembling, it seems to be crying and wanting to shake up souls to recognize You as True God.  The veil of the Temple is torn; the dead are risen; the sun, which until now had cried over Your pains, has withdrawn its light with horror.  At this cry, Your enemies fall on their knees, and beating their breasts, they say, “Truly He is the Son of God.”  And Your Mother, petrified and dying, suffers pains harder than death.

My dead Jesus, with this cry You also place all of us into the Hands of the Father, because You do not reject us.  Therefore You cry out loudly, not only with Your Voice, but with all Your Pains and with the voices of Your Blood, “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit and all souls.”  My Jesus, I too abandon myself in You; and You give me the Grace to die completely in Your Love—in Your Will, and I pray that You never permit me, either in life or in death, to go out of Your Most Holy Will.  Meanwhile I intend to repair for all those who do not abandon themselves perfectly to Your Most Holy Will, therefore losing or maiming the Precious Gift of Your Redemption.  What is not the sorrow of Your Heart, O my Jesus, in seeing so many creatures escaping from Your arms and abandoning themselves to themselves?  Have pity on all, O my Jesus—have pity on me. 

4/18 – Good Friday: The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 
There is another Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady on September 15th.  The Feast traditionally celebrated on this Friday in Passion week shows us the Divine Mother at the foot of the Cross where Christ is dying.
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Day Twenty-seven
The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will

Finally, I (Blessed Virgin Mary) followed Him (Our Lord Jesus Christ) to Calvary, where, amid unheard-of pains and horrible contortions, He was crucified and lifted up on the Cross.  And only then was it conceded to Me to be at the foot of the Cross, to receive from His dying lips the gift of all my children, and the right and seal of my Maternity over all creatures.  And shortly after, amid unheard-of spasms, He breathed His last

4/17 – Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)

 

The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday traditionally is full of memories of the Redemption.  Formerly the Mass for Maundy Thursday laid special stress on the institution of the Holy Eucharist and of the priesthood.  It’s Mass carried out more than any other the command of Christ to His priests to renew the Last Supper, during which He instituted His immortal presence among us at the very moment His death was being plotted.

After the Mass the altar is stripped in order to show that the Holy Sacrifice is interrupted and will not be offered up again to God until Holy Saturday.  The priest therefore consecrates more hosts, for on Good Friday the Church refrains from renewing on the altar the sacrifice of Calvary.

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Hours of the Passion
Fourth Hour:  From 8 to 9 PM  

O my Sweet Heart, I see that after You (Jesus) have instituted the Most Holy Sacrament and have seen the enormous ingratitude and the offenses of the creatures at the excesses of Your Love, although wounded and embittered, You do not draw back; rather, You want to drown everything in the immensity of Your Love.

I see You, O Jesus, as You administer Yourself to Your apostles, and then You add that they too must do what You have done, giving them authority to consecrate; and so You ordain them priests and institute the other Sacraments.  Thus You take care of everything, and You repair for everything:  the sermons badly given, the Sacraments administered and received without disposition, and therefore without effects; the mistaken vocations of priests, on their part and on the part of those who ordain them, not using all means in order to discern the true vocations.  Ah, nothing escapes You, O Jesus, and I intend to follow You and to repair for all these offenses.

Then, after You have given fulfillment to everything, You gather Your apostles and set out for the Garden of Gethsemane, to begin Your sorrowful Passion.  I will follow You in everything, to keep You faithful company.

4/16 – A Very Blessed and Happy 87th Birthday to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

P_Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s words to people gathered at Castel Gandolfo:

“I am no longer the Pope but I am still in the church.
I’m just a pilgrim who is starting the last part of his pilgrimage on this earth.” 

 

Letter #46 of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.

In Voluntate Dei!

Most esteemed one in the Lord,

I assure you my poor prayers.  Have great confidence, which conquers God, Who surrenders to your needs.  Offer some Holy Masses to plead for what you want.  Then put everything with filial abandonment into the hands of God and of the Queen – They, who love us so much and want to be loved.  All that will happen will be always the best for you and for poor Jesus.  Crosses make us be reborn to a new life of sanctity and of Grace; therefore the crosses which are borne with true resignation make us like Jesus and are our rebirths in good, in Love and in the Divine Volition, which wants to be our life.  So, let us make everything flow in the Holy Will, if we want It to perform Its prodigies of love in our soul…

I commend myself to your prayers, and from the heart I will do it for you.  And sending you the greeting of the Divine Volition, that may bring peace to you and balm to your pains, I say,

most affectionately yours,

the little daughter of the Divine Will

4/16 Spy Wednesday; for our Jewish Brethren today is the Second Day of Passover

Spy Wednesday

Spy Wednesday is the name given to Wednesday of Holy Week.  It marks the fact that on this day, Judas Iscariot agreed with Jewish officials to betray our Lord, for the price of 30 pieces of silver.

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Excerpt from the Hours of the Passion
Third Hour:  From 7 to 8 PM

O Jesus, You now arrive at the cenacle together with Your beloved disciples and You begin Your supper with them.  How much Sweetness, how much Affability You show through all Your Person, as You lower Yourself to taking material food for the last time!  Everything is Love in You.  Also in this, You not only repair for the sins of gluttony, but You impetrate the sanctification of food.

Jesus, my Life, Your sweet and penetrating gaze seems to search all of the apostles; and also in this act of taking food Your Heart remains pierced in seeing Your dear apostles still weak and listless, especially the perfidious Judas, who has already put a foot in hell.  And You, from the bottom of Your Heart, say bitterly, “What is the usefulness of My Blood?  Here is a soul so favored by Me—yet, he is lost!”

And You look at him with Your eyes refulgent with Light and Love, as though wanting to make him understand the great evil he is about to commit.  But Your Supreme Charity makes You bear this sorrow and You do not make it manifest even to Your beloved disciples.

And while You grieve for Judas, Your Heart is filled with joy in seeing, on Your left, Your beloved disciple John; so much so, that unable to contain Your Love any longer, drawing him sweetly to Yourself, You let him place his head upon Your Heart, letting him experience Paradise in advance.

And it is in this solemn hour that the two peoples, the reprobate and the elect, are portrayed by the two disciples:   the reprobate in Judas, who already feels hell in his heart; the elect in John, who rests and delights in You.