"I have made a pact with the Lord: when my soul has been purified in the flames of purgatory and deemed worthy to be admitted to the presence of God, I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."
~ St. Pio, from a letter to spiritual daughter Antonietta Pompilio ~
O Saint Padre Pio,
holy bearer of the Wounds of Christ,
accept us this day as your spiritual
sons and daughters and keep us
always on the narrow path
by your intercession.
And do thou, O our Spiritual Father,
stay there at the Gates of Heaven until
all of your spiritual children have entered
through, even and including us.
Through Christ our Lord,
Dear Padre Pio, I recall your promise to the Lord, "Lord, I will stand at the gates of heaven until I see all my spiritual children have entered."
Encouraged by your gracious promise, I ask you to accept me as a spiritual child and to intercede for my prayer requests...(Here state your petitions)
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
The following quotes from Padre Pio tell how he looked after and loved his spiritual family:
"I love my Spiritual Children as much as my own soul, and even more."
"Once I take a soul on, I also take on their entire family as my spiritual children."
"To my Spiritual Children, my prayers for you will never be lacking."
"If one of my spiritual children ever goes astray, I shall leave my flock and seek him out."
"Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice [Job 1:5], why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them" (Homilies on First Corinthians 41:5 [A.D. 392]).
"Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extent of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? " (Homilies on Philippians 3:9–10 [A.D. 402]).
There is another duty of strict Justice which regards children; they are obliged to pray for their deceased parents. Reciprocally in their turn parents are bound by natural right not to forget before God those of their children who have preceded them into eternity. Alas ! there are parents who are inconsolable at the loss of a son or of a dearly beloved daughter, and who, instead of praying for them, bestow upon them nothing but a few fruitless tears. Let us hear what Thomas of Cantimpre relates on this subject; the incident happened in his own family.
The grandmother of Thomas had lost a son in whom she had centred her fondest hopes. Day and night she wept for him and refused all consolation. In the excess of her grief she forgot the great duty of Christian love, and did not think of praying for that soul so dear to her. The unfortunate object of this barren tenderness languished amid the flames of Purgatory, receiving no alleviation in his sufferings. Finally God took pity on him. One day, whilst plunged in the depths of her grief, this woman had a miraculous vision. She saw on a beautiful road a procession of young men, as graceful as angels, advancing full of joy towards a magnificent city. She understood that they were souls from Purgatory making their triumphal entry into Heaven. She looked eagerly to see if among their ranks she could not discover her son. Alas ! the child was not there ; but she perceived him approaching far behind the others, sad, suffering, and fatigued, his garments drenched with water. " Oh, dear object of my grief," she cried out to him, " how is it that you remain behind that brilliant band ? I should wish to see you at the head of your companions."
" Mother," replied the child in a plaintive tone, " it is you, it is these tears which you shed over me that moisten and soil my garments, and retard my entrance into the glory of Heaven. Cease to abandon yourself to a blind and useless grief. Open your heart to more Christian sentiments. If you truly love me, relieve me in my sufferings; apply some indulgences to me, say prayers, give alms, obtain for me the fruits of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is by this means that you will prove your love ; for by so doing you will deliver me from prison where I languish, and bring me forth to eternal life, which is far more desirable than the life terrestrial which you have given me."
Then the vision disappeared, and that mother, thus admonished and brought back to true Christian sentiments, instead of giving way to immoderate grief, applied to the practice of every good work which could give relief to the soul of her son.
The great causes of this forgetfulness, this indifference, guilty neglect, and injustice towards the dead, is lack of faith. For do we not see that true Christians, those animated by a spirit of faith, make the most noble sacrifices in behalf of their departed friends. Descending in spirit into those penal flames, there contemplating the rigours of Divine Justice, listening to the voice of the dead who implore their compassion, they think only how to give relief to those poor souls, and consider it their most sacred duty to procure for their parents and departed friends all the suffrages possible, according to their means and condition. Happy are those Christians; they show their faith by their works; they are merciful, and in their turn they shall obtain mercy.
~ Excerpt from Purgatory: Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
"1. God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory—we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.
"2. God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion [sic] between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
"3. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about.
"O Adonai, O Ruler of Israel, Thou that guidest Joseph like a flock, O Emmanuel, O Sapientia, I give myself to Thee. I trust Thee wholly. Thou art wiser than I—more loving to me than I myself. Deign to fulfil Thy high purposes in me whatever they be—work in and through me. I am born to serve Thee, to be Thine, to be Thy instrument. Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used."
~ Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, excerpt from Meditations and Devotions ~
“Oh! if it were but known how great is the power of the good souls in purgatory with the Heart of God, and if we knew all the graces we can obtain through their intercession, they would not be so much forgotten. We must, therefore, pray much for them, that thev may pray much for us.”
It is well for you to consider what you lose every time that you pass up Holy Communion.
1. You miss a personal visit with Jesus, Author of all spiritual energy and of all holiness;
2. You lose a special increase of sanctifying grace, which makes your soul more pleasing to God;
3. You lose a quota of sacramental grace which entitles you to special help in times of temptation and in the discharge of your daily duties;
4. You lose a precious opportunity of having all of your venial sins wiped away;
5. You miss the special preserving influence which each Holy Communion confers against the fires of passion;
6. You miss the opportunity of having remitted a part, or all, of the temporal punishments due to your sins;
7. You lose the spiritual joy, the sweetness and particular comfort that come from a fervent Holy Communion;
8. You lose a part of the glory that your body might enjoy at its resurrection on the Last Day;
9. You lose the greater degree of glory you would possess in Heaven for all eternity;
10. You may lose: a) complete victory over some fault or passion; b) some particular grace long prayed for; c) the conversion or salvation of some soul; d) deliverance of a relative or friend from Purgatory; e) many graces for others, both the living and the dead.
Will a few extra minutes of sleep repay you for all these losses?
What riches hundreds of thousands of Catholics deprive themselves daily by neglecting Mass. It in itself is the best preparation for Holy Communion. At the hour of death our greatest consolation will be the Masses we have heard and the Holy Communions received.
With Ecclesiastical Approval Chicago, December 6, 1940
"Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice (Job 1:5), why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them."
"Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extent of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense?"
Consoling indeed are the promises of help made by Jesus Christ to those who have devotion to the name of Mary; for one day in the hearing of St. Bridget, He promised His Most Holy Mother that He would grant three special graces to those who invoke that holy name with confidence: first, that He would grant them perfect sorrow for their sins; secondly, that their crimes should be atoned for; and, thirdly, that He would give them strength to attain perfection, and at length the glory of paradise. And then our Divine Savior added: "For thy words, O My Mother, are so sweet and agreeable to Me, that I cannot deny what thou askest."
... Thomas a Kempis affirms "that the devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire." The Blessed Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget "that there is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determination to repent." On another occasion she repeated the same thing to the saint, saying, "that all the devils venerate and fear her name to such a degree, that on hearing it they immediately loosen the claws with which they hold the soul captive." Our Blessed Lady also told St. Bridget, "that in the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke the name of Mary, so also do the good angels approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name with devotion."
~ Excerpts from The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori ~
"I speak of Father Michel de la Fontaine, who slept sweetly in the Lord on February 7, 1606, at Valencia, in Spain. He was one of the first missionaries who laboured for the salvation of the people of Peru. His greatest care when instructing the new converts was to inspire them with a sovereign horror of sin, and to lead them to great devotion towards the Mother of God, by speaking of the virtues of that admirable Virgin, and teaching them to recite the beads in her honour.
"Mary, on her part, did not refuse the favours asked of her. One day when, exhausted with fatigue, he lay prostrate in the dust, not having strength to rise, he was visited by her whom the Church styles with reason Comforter of the Afflicted. She reanimated his courage, saying to him, " Confidence, my son; your fatigues will take the place of Purgatory for you; bear your sufferings patiently, and on leaving this life your soul will be received into the abode of the blessed."
"This vision was for Father de la Fontaine during life, but especially at the hour of his death, a source of abundant consolation. In gratitude for this favour, he each week practised some particular penance. At the moment when he expired, a Religious of eminent virtue saw his soul take its flight to Heaven in company of the Blessed Virgin, the Prince of the Apostles, St. John the Evangelist, and of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Company of Jesus."
~ Excerpt from Purgatory: Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
"Death and dying have always been a disturbing challenge to human beings. In founding the Pious Union of St. Joseph for the dying, Blessed Louis Guanella has inspired continuous prayers to help all people on the point of crossing the threshold of eternal life."
~ Pope John Paul II, October 30, 2004 ~
St. Joseph was a person of hope. He trusted in God, even in times of uncertainty and suffering, and he has been consoled by the presence of Jesus, the Son of God and his foster son; and Mary, his wife, and Mother of Our Lord. He shared his life, feelings, his whole being with them; they were the source of his strength, faith and courage. Jesus and Mary were with St. Joseph at the hour of his death.
Blessed Louis Guanella, priest (1842 - 1915), was deeply devoted to St. Joseph and expressed an unconditional trust in his intercession.
Under the protection of Pope St. Pius X, who sponsored his project, Fr. Guanella began in 1909 to build a church in Rome, named for St. Joseph and dedicated on March 19, 1912. Today it is a Minor Basilica.
When the construction was complete, he confided to St. Pius X his desire to establish an association of devotees to St. Joseph, who pray each day for his intercession for the benefit of the suffering and dying. "Your idea has been inspired by God," said the Pope. "We ourselves wanted to suggest it to you. We will be the first to be enrolled in this great Crusade of prayer."
Canonically recognized on February 12, 1914, the Pious Union of St. Joseph for the Salvation of the Dying was declared a "Primary Confraternity" by Pope St. Pius X.
He wrote: "We desire to make known how much we appreciate this most praiseworthy Association and we wish our name to be the first inscribed among the members of the same, exhorting all our dear Brothers in the priesthood not to forget the dying each day in the Divine Sacrifice. We, likewise, exhort all the faithful, and especially Religious, to accustom themselves to raise up special prayers to God and to St. Joseph in favor of the dying"
Fr. Guanella felt deeply, "there is a need to live well, but there is even a greater need to die well. A peaceful death is everything, especially today when people value only material things and earthly enjoyments, rejecting eternal values."
If you wish to become a member of the Pious Union of St. Joseph for the Suffering and Dying send your name and complete address to:
Pious Union of St. Joseph For the Suffering and Dying 953 East Michigan Ave. Grass Lake, MI 49240-9210
All members ardently honor St. Joseph on March 19th and every Wednesday. Daily, we pray our prayer and perform sacrifice and good deeds for suffering and dying people.
Membership is without charge. A free-will donation upon enrollment, and at least once each year accomplishes many good works.
Spreading devotion to St. Joseph, Patron of the Suffering and Dying Maintaining and improving St. Joseph's Shrine Expanding the Tent of Charity according to the ministry of the Servants of Charity
Members commit themselves to pray daily to St. Joseph for the suffering and dying, trusting in his intercession while reciting this prayer:
"O St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus Christ and true spouse of the Virgin Mary,pray for us and for the suffering and dying of today."
"Tell my friends three things. When I was bodily in the world, I adjusted my words so that good men were made stronger and more fervent in doing good things, and evil men became better, as was seen in the conversion of Magdalene, Matthew, and many others. I also adjusted my words so that my enemies were not able to refute them. For that reason, may they to whom my words are sent, work with fervor, so that through my words, the good may become more ardent in goodness, the evil repent from wickedness, and that they themselves be on guard against my enemies so that my words are not obstructed. In truth, I do no greater injustice to the devil than to the angels in Heaven. For if I wanted, I could speak my words so that the whole world hears them. I could also open up hell so that everyone may see its torments, but this would not be justice, since all men would then serve me out of fear, when they should serve me out of love. For no other than the one who has love shall enter the kingdom of Heaven. For I would be doing injustice to the devil if I took away from him one who is rightfully his, because of sin, and who is devoid of good deeds. I would also do injustice to the angel in Heaven, if I placed the spirit of an unclean man as an equal to the one who is pure and most fervent in my love.
"Therefore, no one shall enter Heaven, but the one who has been purged like gold in the fire of purgatory or who has proved himself over a long duration of time in good deeds on earth so that there is no stain in him left to be purged away. If you do not know to whom my words should be sent, I will tell you: The one who is worthy to have my words is the one who wants to gain merit through good deeds in order to come to the kingdom of Heaven or who already has deserved it with their good deeds in the past. To such as these shall my words be opened up to and enter into them. Those who have a taste for my words and who humbly hope that their names are written in the Book of Life keep my words. But those who have no have taste for my words, consider them first, but then throw up and vomit them out immediately."
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy...."
"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior".
franciscanfriars June 19, 2009 Jesus allowed His Sacred Heart to be pierced so that we can be saved. But so often this greatest of gifts is met with Sacrilege, Indifference and Ingratitude. Listen as Father explains how great a tragedy this is and why we should love Our Lord ever more. Ave Maria! To Download Audio go to http://airmaria.com/?p=5356
"To do penance is to bewail the evil we have done, and to do no evil to bewail."
"If we knew at what time we were to depart from this world, we would be able to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance. But God, who has promised pardon to every repentant sinner, has not promised us tomorrow. Therefore we must always dread the final day, which we can never foresee. This very day is a day of truce, a day for conversion. And yet we refuse to cry over the evil we have done! Not only do we not weep for the sins we have committed, we even add to them.... If we are, in fact, now occupied in good deeds, we should not attribute the strength with which we are doing them to ourselves."
“ The chief plenary indulgence, which is within reach of everybody, and can be gained without the ordinary conditions, is that of charity--which ‘covers a multitude of sins.’ ” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux ~
St. Michael the Archangel
Photo by Brother Lawrence Lew, O.P. Click on photo to link to his site.
St. Gertrude Prayer
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
St. Pio's Words of Hope
"For the Lord, the past does not exist; the future does not exist. Everything is an eternal present...even now I can pray for the happy death of my great- grandfather!"
Pious Union of Saint Joseph Prayer
O St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus Christ and true spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray for us and for the suffering and dying of today.
I am a Roman Catholic wife, mother, and grandmother who -YES- has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! What could be more personal than
receiving His Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion every day, or spending precious time with Him in daily Eucharistic adoration? Outside of heaven, I can't be closer to Jesus than when He gives Himself to me in Holy Communion or when I bask in His Eucharistic Presence.