Mary’s miraculous medal

I was so captivated by the Franciscan Crown, as described by Miles and Gianopoulos in Saint Anthony of Padua (1991), that I began praying it using my five-decade rosary.  Of course, no matter where I started decades six and seven I usually lost my place.  So I designed my own!

AMM102509a        AMM102509b        JoCreath81109-ME

Miraculous medal

Because the Franciscan Crown is a celebration of events in the Blessed Mother’s life with Jesus, I envisioned a rosary with Mary in mind.  For this reason, my Franciscan Crown uses Catherine Labouré’s miraculous medal of Mary (MMM) rather than the traditional crucifix.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until a friend asked about the medal on the Crown that I remembered the countless mailings I’d received from both the Association of the Miraculous Medal (AMM) and the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal (CAMM) over the years.

Virtual novena

When I looked online to learn more and read the story behind the miraculous medal, I found not only CAMM’s print version of the prayers, but also the virtual novena to pray aloud with Brother Towey.  The website was such a treasure trove that I included the link on our church website.  Until I discovered the link was broken.

Printable novena

I searched online and discovered CAMM’s revamped, user-friendly site.  I especially liked the YouTube version of the virtual novena, since it had more photos to view during the prayers.  The only drawback, as I told Father Tom in an email, was that “the novena prayers aren’t print-friendly anymore.”

Still, I wasn’t concerned.  I’d enjoyed CAMM’s audio novena so much in the past that I’d saved its accompanying written prayers to a desktop file (2008; below).

But why not spread the word so that others can share in the Blessed Mother’s love?

Intercessory power

AMM-healing-aDuring my convalescence from a triply-broken kneecap, I experienced the healing power of the miraculous medal of Mary and the Franciscan Crown, which prompted me to bead Crowns for friends and interested others.

In no time at all, friends keeping company with the Blessed Mother shared their miracles.  Three didn’t have cancer as numerous tests had suggested.  One in dire need of a kidney suddenly experienced improved health for an extended period of time before finally undergoing a successful organ transplant.  Another received the unexpected blessing of a second son after the tragic death of a firstborn son, and still another regained the sense of feeling she’d lost since her surgery.

After seven whopper miracles, I stopped documenting.  I decided to just walk in faith, give thanks and praise along the way, and rejoice with each shared story.

Imagine.  To experience the Blessed Mother’s intercessory power, I only had to pray the Franciscan Crown.  Alone.  Without meeting others in one locale, without reciting prayers at a specific time.  And I never asked for anything.  I simply conversed with Our Lady through my prayer beads… and envisioned her walking beside me on the beach.  By focusing on Mary’s seven joys with Jesus, I sensed God so strongly that I didn’t have a care in the world.  I forgot myself, and things worked out just fine.

So, yes.  I’m definitely a believer!

Miracles big and small are possible, so why not embark on a special journey with the Blessed Mother through the MMM novena and the Franciscan Crown?  After all, she’s “compassionate… to all… devoted children who… call… with confidence” (Our Lady to San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin; the Word among us, Advent 2011, p. M36).

MMM-sml-a        AMM-healing-b        MMM-sml-b


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.  Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal…  Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to you under your title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.  May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your motherly affection for us and a constant reminder of our filial duties toward you.  While wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your son.  Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives so that, like you, we may live and act according to the teaching and example of your son.  Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the happiness of heaven forever.  Amen.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.
St. Catherine Labouré, pray for us (AMM, 2010).

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (2)…  You are blessed among all women!  Blessed are you who have believed!  The Mighty One worked marvels for you!  The marvel of your divine motherhood!  And in view of it, the marvel of your immaculate conception!  The marvel of your “let it be done to me!”

You were so continually associated to the whole work of our redemption, associated with the cross of our savior [that] your heart was pierced at the side of his heart.  And now, in the glory of your son, you unceasingly intercede for us, poor sinners.

You watch over the Church whose mother you are.  You watch over each of your children.  You obtain from God, for us, all these graces symbolized by the rays of light coming from your open hands.  If only we dare to ask them from you and come to you with the confidence and simplicity of a child.

And so you guide us unceasingly toward your son, Jesus (AMM Bulletin 44:7; October 2011, p. 3).

November 21, 2012

AMM2016-3a“Let us ask Our Lady’s help today in living our own dedication to the full, in whatever state God has placed us, in accordance with the specific vocation we have received from the Lord” (Father Francis Fernandez Carvajal).

May 8, 2014

“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

September 11, 2014

I simply wish to note that the figure of Mary of Nazareth sheds light on womanhood as such by the very fact that God in the sublime event of the Incarnation of his Son entrusted himself to the ministry, the free and active ministry of a woman (St. Pope John Paul II).

October 11, 2014

“Let us run to Mary and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence” (St. Francis de Sales).

March 25, 2015

O sinner, be not discouraged but have recourse to Mary in all your necessities.  Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine will that she should help in every kind of necessity (St. Basil the Great).

August 22, 2015

“Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us” (St. Francis of Assisi).

October 8, 2015

If you wish to convert anyone to the fullness of the knowledge of Our Lord and of his mystical body, then teach him the rosary.  One of two things will happen.  Either he will stop saying the rosary— or he will get the gift of faith (Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen).

October 29, 2015

The Christian heart has always known Mary as the essence of compassion and love to whom man can turn with particular and unreserved confidence.  This is expressed so well by the intimate name that was given her from the beginning, the name of mother (Fr. Romano Guardini in The Rosary of Our Lady).


Immaculate Conception Cathedral – Brownsville, TX


Pdf file…  MMM novena prayers (printable) from CAMM

Links of interest…  AMM: medal’s story and its meaning / prayers for all occasionsvotive lights / virtual tour of the national shrine…  CAMM: sermons & novenas videos / vigil lights / who we are…  Catherine Labouré: & the miraculous medal (more) / have you got enough / miraculous medal / November 27 / OLRL booklet / sister of charity…  Divine Intimacy meditation: Mary’s hope…  Franciscan Crown: seraphic rosary / seven joys…  God’s special weapon against evil: Spiritual mothers…  Mary: about / & the Holy Spirit / beloved of the Trinity / gate of heaven / page / pray for usprayer corner / untier of knots…  Miracle hunter: Miracles & evangelization…  Our Lady of Corpus Christi (OLCC) website…  St. Anthony’s GuildThat wondrous miraculous medal of the Immaculate Conception…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Faces of Mary…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers
…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Repeated prayers…  Si quaeris miracula

St. Anthony Claret


Reading today’s novena prayer to St. Jude, I inadvertently made some real life connections to St. Anthony Claret.  First, he founded the Claretians, “servants of the word, partners in hope,” in 1849.  Second, the Claretians manage the National Shrine of St. Jude, which hosts solemn novenas, first Wednesday Masses for healing, weekly devotions, and more.  Third, I receive wonderful prayer cards from the shrine on a regular basis and continue to engage in a special relationship with St. Jude, especially where the kids are concerned.

Persistent illness

On January 2, 2004, Kylie, our second grandchild, was hospitalized for the second two-week stay since her birth, October 29, 2003.  Her parents and I took turns staying at the hospital with her; but, even though I was there willingly, it was a miserable time for me.  I’d never had a child in the hospital.  Anytime one of the kids had been ill, I’d always persuaded the doctor that I’d provide better care at home.

During Christmas break from work and UH, I’d traveled to Chicago to help my daughter and her husband take care of the baby during the holidays.  Kylie had been released from her two-week stay just hours before they’d picked me up at O’Hare.  We’d hoped that my being there would allow them to catch their breath and re-energize, but Kylie was readmitted to the hospital days before my return to Texas.

Kylie cried all the time.  She was in a lot of pain from the intravenous drip in her foot, yet the nurses were unfazed.  I just knew they could’ve eased her pain if they’d readjusted the needle, but they merely looked at Kylie’s foot and left.  I prayed and prayed and quietly sang to Kylie until we’d both fall asleep in whiles.  I also racked my brain trying to figure out what else to do.  We’d left written prayers in the book on the chapel’s altar, but I had to do something else.

The morning of January 5th, Kylie was to undergo a medical procedure that would take several hours.  I was to depart for Texas at 5:30 the following morning, so I got an idea.

The shrine

“Take me to the nearest church, preferably one dedicated to St. Jude,” I told Kylie’s parents.  I’d attended Mass at two different churches in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago; but I wanted one where I’d feel super close to St. Jude.  I’d never been in Chicago before, but I suddenly remembered the shrine.  “Take me to the St. Jude Shrine,” I insisted, even though none of us knew where it was.

Oh, what a place!

StJude-SarahMaxhamI knew I was home when I saw the encased statue of the Holy Infant of Prague.  I walked around and dialogued with God.  I knew everything would be all right with Kylie, that we’d get good news when we got back to the hospital.

Even though my heart had already raced back to Kylie, to spend as much time with her as I could, I wanted to first visit the gift shop across the street.  I wanted a memento of that day.

In the gift shop I found two wonderful little books, The Infant Jesus of Prague (Nemec, 1978, 1986) and Saint Anthony of Padua (Miles & Gianopoulos, 1991), which would keep me company on the flight back home but which wouldn’t make a dent in my pea brain until I broke my right kneecap in three places May 2006.

The hospital

On arriving at the nurses’ station on Kylie’s floor, we were told that Kylie had been returned to her room within half an hour.  The procedure hadn’t been done because, oddly enough, the doctor hadn’t been able to follow through with it and had given up.  We had no idea what that meant, but we were relieved that Kylie wouldn’t have another wound on her tiny body.  I stayed with her until evening when I went to pack and returned to spend my last night with her until I left for my early morning flight.

Kylie endured some harrowing times at the hospital due to negligence, but she went home after two weeks.  She went in again for an infection one more time after that, but it was just for one week.

“You sang to me”

Since then, Kylie’s gone through the usual childhood illnesses, but she’s been home.  She’s a perfectly beautiful little girl with what her parents call “macaroni hair:” flyaway, golden-brown curls.  She’s spunky, loves shoes, and is very bright.  She really surprised me when, at age three, she said, “You were there with me at the hospital.  You smiled at me.  Lon, you sang to me.”

I hadn’t seen her since she was a baby, much less mentioned the hospital.  I hugged her and smiled.  “Yes, Kylie, I was there with you.”

Praise God for his angels and his saints who watch over us daily and intercede on our behalf.  Thank you, St. Jude and St. Anthony Claret; and thanks to the Claretians who support us through prayer at the National Shrine of St. Jude.

November 26, 2009: Thanksgiving

Until writing this post I had no idea, or didn’t remember, that Chicago has two St. Jude shrines: one maintained by the Claretians; the other, by the Dominicans.  Yet, the shrine I visited had a very old statue of the Holy Infant encased in glass in the back of the church.

I wanted to be sure which shrine we’d visited, so I emailed the Dominican shrine.

Since I didn’t receive a reply, I posted my entry with that question still unanswered.  My thinking at the time was that St. Jude listens no matter where we are when we ask for his intercession.

Before posting my entry, I also looked for photos I might’ve taken at the shrine but found none.  However, on looking then and now at the online photos of the two shrines, I think we visited the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus.  For this reason, and because I’ve received mailings from both shrines for many years and feel an attachment to both, I’ve also included links below to the Dominican shrine.

And, if anyone has photos of either of these two shrines, please share them with me, especially if any includes the Holy Infant of Prague.

December 1, 2009 

Mystery finally solved thanks to Father Brummel’s response to my email regarding the Holy Infant statue.

Now I know that I went to pray at the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus.

November 16, 2011

Will wonders never cease!

I was looking for photos of St. Thérèse when I happened upon a stash hidden for years in one of the bedroom closets.  Safely ensconced within two Walmart bags were two dozen photo packets; inside one of those, the nine photos taken at the Dominican shrine in Chicago, January 5, 2004 (including the Christmas scene at the bottom).

Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I did both with heartfelt gratitude.

What an incredible find!



April 29, 2012

At long last, I saw the Holy Infant again when we attended 9:15 A.M. Mass at
St. Pius V in Chicago.  Sweet!



St. Anthony Mary Claret is the helper of those suffering from cancer, heart trouble, and other serious ailments of the body and/or the soul.  His feast day is October 24th.

Please note that the petition (third prayer below) can be said on behalf of someone afflicted with illness or someone whose conversion is desired.

For the addicted…  God of mercy, we bless you in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who came to him.  Give your strength to (name), one of your children; enfold him (her) in your love; and restore him (her) to the freedom of God’s children.

Lord, look with compassion on all who have lost their health and freedom.  Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy, strengthen them in the work of recovery, and help them to resist all temptation.  And to those who care for them, grant patience and understanding and a love that perseveres.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

For the sick…  Lord Jesus who went about doing good and healing all, we ask you to bless your friends who are sick.  Give them strength in body, courage in spirit, and patience in pain.  Let them recover their health so that, restored to the Christian community, they may joyfully praise your name for you live and reign forever and ever.  Amen.

Petition…  St. Anthony Mary Claret, during your life on earth you often comforted the afflicted and showed such tender love and compassion for the sick and the sinful.  Intercede for me now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues in heavenly glory.  Look with pity on me and grant my prayer, if such be the will of God.  Make my troubles your own.  Speak a word for me to the immaculate heart of Mary to obtain, by her powerful intercession, the grace I yearn for so ardently and a blessing to strengthen me during life.  Assist me at the hour of death and lead me to a happy eternity.  Amen.

Request…  Lord, renew in our congregation the spirit that moved our father, St. Anthony Mary Claret, so that filled and strengthened by it we may come to love what he loved and put into practice what he taught us.  We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

October 24, 2012

“The man who truly loves God also loves his neighbor” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2013

My God, how good you are!  How rich in mercy you have been to me!  Mercy, Lord: I’ll begin to be good from now, with the help of your grace
(St. Anthony Mary Claret).

July 5, 2014

That which God commands seems difficult and a burden.  The way is rough; you draw back; you have no desire to follow it.  Yet do so and you will attain glory (St. Anthony Maria Zaccaria).

October 24, 2014

“Christ charges us in the Gospel: We must oppose or deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow him” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

Mary is the heart of the Church.  This is why all works of charity spring from her.  It is well known that the heart has two movements: systole and diastole.  Thus Mary is always performing these two movements: absorbing grace from her most holy Son, and pouring it forth on sinners (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2015

“The sole reason why society is perishing is because it has refused to hear the word of the Church, which is the word of life, the word of God” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

August 6, 2016

“Christian perfection consists in three things: praying heroically, working heroically, and suffering heroically” (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

October 24, 2016

Nothing deters Jesus.  He does not flinch from heavy tasks; he embraces hardships.  He rejoices in the midst of suffering (St. Anthony Mary Claret).


Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus  – Chicago

Links of interest…  Claretian: historyinitiativeorder / St. Jude shrine (about – directions – eprayers – novena schedule – slideshow)…  Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus…  Holy Infant: bookconsecrationdevotion / national shrine / novena /  prayers…  How to cope when a child is ill…  Pope to Dominicans: Your good works give glory to God…  St. Jude novena: book / chaplet (printable; photo)…  Prayers for the sick…  St. Anthony Claret: about (more) / autobiography (book – chapter – pdf) / biography / bishop / images of relics (photo) / life / memorial / missionary zeal / novena (healing & conversion) / saint / Spanish light / very special patron / weaverwritings

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Finding St. Rita…  Forever grateful…  Lady of Sorrows…  October novena…  Prayer power…  Promise of hope…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Jude novena (Dominican)…  St. Jude shrine: Chicago (Claretian) & Corpus Christi…  Sweet Jesus

Mary’s seven joys

The Blessed Mother appeared to a Franciscan novitiate who daily had visited her in prayer from the time he was a child.

“Would you like to learn how to pray in a manner pleasing to me?” Our Lady asked.

The Franciscan Crown, known also as the Rosary of the Seven Joys of Mary, is more than a celebration of the Blessed Mother’s life with Jesus.  It’s an endearing journey resplendent with everyday miracles.

How to pray the Franciscan Crown

Begin each decade with an Our Father and follow with ten Hail Mary’s.  Then, at the end, pray two additional Hail Mary’s for a total of seventy-two, which represent the years Our Lady lived on earth.  The Crown has no other prayers before, between, or after the decades, unless you count the sign of the cross before and after the rosary.

Mary’s seven joys

First, the annunciation…
Second, the visitation…
Third, the nativity…
Fourth, the adoration of the Magi…
Fifth, the finding in the temple…
Sixth, the apparition of the risen Jesus…
Seventh, the assumption and coronation of Mary…

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Ave Regina Caelorum

Hail, Queen of the heavens.  Hail, Lady of the angels.  Root of our salvation and our gateway to heaven, the light of the world was born to you.  Be joyful, Virgin of glory, most beautiful of all in heaven.  We greet you now, true beauty.  Pray for us to Christ.

Solemn Act of Consecration by Pope Pius VII

Most holy virgin, Mary, tender mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the sacred heart of Jesus and the request of the vicar of your son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your sorrowful and immaculate heart, queen of the most holy rosary; and we recommend to you all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest mother, and use us as you wish to accomplish your designs in the world.

O sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary, queen of the most holy rosary and queen of the world, rule over us together with the sacred heart of Jesus Christ, our king.  Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to you, throne of grace and mother of fair love.  Inflame us with the same divine fire which has inflamed your own sorrowful and immaculate heart.  Make our hearts and homes your shrine; and, through us, make the heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.  Amen.

 January 20, 2013

Mary can teach us kindness….  “They have no wine,” she told Jesus at Cana.  Let us, like her, be aware of the needs of the poor, be they spiritual or material; and let us, like her, give generously of the love and grace we are granted (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).

March 25, 2013

The Virgin Mary teaches us what it means to live in the Holy Spirit and what it means to accept the news of God in our life.  She conceived Jesus by the work of the Holy Spirit; and every Christian, each one of us, is called to accept the Word of God, to accept Jesus inside of us, and then to bring him to everyone (Pope Francis).

August 3, 2014

“A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than one that is cast down” (St. Philip Neri).

August 20, 2014

“Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her son” (St. Bernard).

October 10, 2014

Go to the Madonna.  Love her!  Always say the rosary.  Say it well.  Say it as often as you can!  Be souls of prayer.  Never tire of praying; it is what is essential.  Prayer shakes the heart of God; it obtains necessary graces!
(St. Pio of Pietrelcina).

October 11, 2014

You must know that when you “hail” Mary, she immediately greets you!  Don’t think that she is one of those rude women, of whom there are so many.  On the contrary, she is utterly courteous and pleasant.  If you greet her, she will answer you right away and converse with you! (St. Bernardine of Siena).

October 7, 2015

The rosary is a very old devotion which has exercised an immeasurable influence.  It is, above all, dear to pious people and belongs to their lives like the work they do and the bread they eat (Romano Guardini, The Rosary of Our Lady).

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!”  No creature has ever said anything that was more pleasing to me, nor will anyone ever be able to find or say to me anything that pleases me more (Our Lady to St. Mechtilde).

April 28, 2017

O Mary, my queen and my mother, remember I am all yours.  Keep me and guard me as your property and possession (St. Louis de Montfort).

May 15, 2017

Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother.  Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today.  All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother (St. Padre Pio in The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare).

St. Joseph Chapel – Capuchin Monastery – Alamo, TX


Immaculate Conception Cathedral – Brownsville, TX

Pdf files…  MMM novena prayers (English/Spanish; printable) from CAMM

Links of interest…  AMM: medal’s story and its meaning / prayers for all occasions /
votive lights / virtual tour of the national shrine…  Ave Maria Caelorum…  Blessing of herbs on the feast of the Assumption…  Blue rosary…  CAMM: sermons & novenas videos / vigil lights / who we are…  Catherine Labouré & the miraculous medal / have you got enough / miraculous medal / Nov 27 / OLRL booklet  / sister of charity…  Christ in us through the rosary…  Does Mary hear our prayers like God…  Five ways to approach Jesus through Mary / Franciscan Crown: seraphic rosary / seven joys…  Hope, the rosary, & the Blessed Mother…  How children keep us humble…  Mary: beloved of the Trinity / celebrating May / corner / devotion / gate of heaven / litany / meditations / mother (of the church) / page prayers (miracles – more – novena –  queen of angels) / untier of knots  Our Lady of Corpus Christi (OLCC) website…  Rosary: album treasurebest prayer for men / spiritual sword of Mary…  St. Anthony’s Guild…  St. Mechtilde: about (more) / book / for souls in purgatoryprayers / revelations…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Faces of Mary…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Repeated prayers

October novena

StPV61513-84  OLG61513-32

Chicago has two St. Jude shrines each distinctly different from the other.  The Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus (above left) can be found at St. Pius V Church on Ashland Avenue, while the National Shrine of St. Jude is situated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on East 91st Street and is managed by the Claretians.

October novena

OLG51912-138Since St. Jude’s feast day is October 28, both shrines host solemn novenas at their respective locations.  However, their schedules differ, so be sure to check the online “links of interest” below.

What’s really nice is that one can sign up via mail and/or email for solemn novena updates.  Additionally, one can download prayers, read more about St. Jude, leave comments on the various website pages and/or blogs, participate in the virtual novenas, and take a virtual tour of the national shrine any time of the day or night.


Petition…  O glorious apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many; but the Church invokes you universally as the patron of hopeless cases and things despaired of.  Pray for me that I may receive the consolations and succor of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly [state petition] and that I may bless God with you and the Elect throughout eternity.  Amen.

Thanksgiving and praise…  O glorious apostle, St. Jude, true relative of Jesus and Mary, I salute you through the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Through this heart, I praise you and thank God for all the graces he has bestowed upon you.  Humbly prostrate before you, I implore you through this heart to look down upon me with compassion.  Despise not my poor prayer and let not my trust be in vain.  To you has been assigned the privilege of aiding mankind in the most desperate cases.  Oh, come to my aid that I may praise the mercies of God.  All my life I will be grateful to you and will be your faithful client until I can thank you in heaven.  Amen.

StJude-FMA-a      StJude-FMA-b      StJude-FMA-c      StJude-FMA-d

StJude-NatlShr-StA-StJ-a      StJude-NatlShr-StA-StJ-b      DSJS-StJ-a      DSJS-StJ-b

Contact information

Prayer leaflet R36 is from Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.  The two prayer cards are from the National Shrine of St. Anthony and
St. Jude (Providence, RI) and the Dominican Shrine in Chicago, respectively.

October 28, 2013

Lord, help me to be the person you have called me to be— to step out in faith and share your love with the world.  St. Jude, pray for us! (the Word among us, October 2013, p. 48).


National Shrine of St. Jude – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – Chicago

Links of interest…  Dominican Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus…  National Shrine of St. Jude (Claretians): ecards / facebook / novena / petitions / schedule / virtual tour / why pray the novena…  Shrines now under auspices of Congregation for the Promotion of the New Evangelization…  St. Jude: about / armed (online article) / faith & intercession / in suffering & desperate timesnovena / Oct 28 / prayerthank-you’s

WP posts…  Forever grateful…  Prayer power…  Revisiting St. Simon…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude novena (Dominicans)…  St. Jude shrine: Chicago (Claretian) & Corpus Christi

Timely message


Having finished with laundry Tuesday afternoon I came back here to work on the church website, but I couldn’t stop thinking about an article in the Word among us (October, 2009).

The ol’ pea brain processes information at warp speed and goes off on many tangents; but only meaningful connections, usually prompted by discomforting disequilibrium, impact real learning.

Sunday, Sunday

Then, out of the blue Sunday afternoon I got a call from a saintly woman I met while teaching CCE at St. Paul’s.

Irene’s gone through a lot in life, especially these past two years.  Her oldest child was killed in a car collision as he and his younger sister drove to their grandfather’s house in the Valley.  What an emotional roller coaster ride it’s been!  Irene misses her son so much that, oftentimes, she’s inconsolable.  Still, she accepts God’s will and continues to be proactively involved in prayer and at church.

Although we seldom communicate, other than through an occasional letter, Irene called because she’d just found my telephone number on the little piece of paper I’d given her two years ago!  She wanted to hear my voice because I always make her feel better, she said.  So we talked for almost an hour, crying, laughing, praising God.  Then, at the end, she asked me to pray over her.

What a simple request!  Irene’s a terroncito de azucar, a sweet innocent, despite her grandmotherliness.  I’m so in awe of her faithfulness to God and her devotion to the Blessed Mother through the Franciscan Crown, that she’s truly a hero in my eyes.  So, of course, I felt like the mouse that helped the lion in one of Aesop’s fables.  And,  afterwards, we got so quiet that we just hung up.

A bit later I received an email from my friend, Rose.  She’d missed seeing us at Mass that morning because her illness had kept her home from church.  And, since I didn’t have time for a chatty email, I sent her an ecard instead.

You’ve been ill because God wants to spend quality time with you.  He has something to tell you.  I, too, have something to share.  Last Tuesday I was struck by the enormity of three— not one, not two, but three— messages from the Word among us.  I wanted to email then and there but had to start dinner before Steven got home from work.  I’ll email you later.

Feeling hopeful, Rose replied that she’d be on the lookout for God’s message.

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Heartfelt prayer

So, messages?  We get them all the time from God, who responds to our faith and trust.  “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

“The heart of an intercessor” suggests that we engage in heartfelt prayer by focusing, first, on quality versus quantity; second, on clear-mindedness; and, third, on praying in secret.  “It’s in these situations that we may be more likely to sense God’s presence in our hearts and to receive his comfort or his guidance” (the Word among us, October 2009, p. 14).  In other words, persistence works, but “do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7).

When we feel overwhelmed we can reach out to others who’ll pray with and for us, but spending alone time with God means sharing our innermost thoughts and feelings unconditionally.

Timely message

As Rose and Irene well know, God also avails himself through others.  So, imagine my delight in finding a timely, heartwarming message about messages— a link to Johnny the Bagger— in my Yahoo inbox when I sat to email Rose later that evening.

Feel better, Rose!  Be happy, Irene!  God’s right there with you!

Complete trust in God

Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life with fear.  Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God to whom you belong will, in his love, enable you to profit by them.  He has guided you thus far in life.  [Just] hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials.  Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.  The same eternal Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day of your life.  Either he will shield you from suffering, or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace, then, and put aside all useless thoughts, all vain dreads, and all anxious imaginations (St. Francis de Sales).

February 5, 2017

Just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands, and leave it with him.  Then you will be able to rest in him— really rest (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).

September 8, 2017

Nothing and no one can take us from the hands of Jesus, because nothing and no one can overcome his love.  Jesus’s love is invincible.  The evil one, the great enemy of God and of his creatures, attempts in many ways to take eternal life from us.  But the evil one can do nothing if we ourselves do not open the doors of our hearts to him by following his deceitful enticements (Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis).

May 1, 2018

Hope is an eminently practical virtue; it is the virtue that drives far from our heart the specter of discouragement, the most frequent dangerous temptation in the spiritual life.  As the inseparable companion of suffering, it confirms and strengthens peace in our soul (Luis M. Martinez in When God is Silent).


Links of interest…  Aleteia: religionsaints / spirituality…  Faith prayers…  God only knows (song)…  How to pray for physical healing…  I can only imagine (song)…  Johnny the bagger (video)…  Listening is pastoral care, and even you can do it…  Monica’s miseries & fortitude’s strength…  Paying attention is the key to spiritual life…  Perseverance in prayer: How & why…  Powerful prayers (free booklets)… Pray with all your heart…  Relationship of faith to prayer…  Sainthood isn’t for the strong…  Safe in God’s hands…  Simple truths: inspirational videos…  What is the prayer of faith…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Backtracking…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Budding relationships…  Faith and prayer…  Little gifts…  Making meaning…  Messages…  My Franciscan Crown…  One prayer…  Repeated prayers…  Two angels