Pink divinity

Last week I finally got the answer to a question I’d pondered since November 2009: Who started the devotion to the Child Jesus in pink?

Three instances

Working on the last post, I thought back to the three times I’ve seen Jesus in pink: At Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville; on the Child Jesus chaplet that Sister sent from the Flower of Carmel monastery in Australia; and, recently, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Robstown, respectively.


Child Jesus devotee

In 1914, Father John Rizzo, an Italian Salesian assigned to Bogotá, Colombia, was told to collect money with which to build a church.  Having had no success since the townspeople were very poor, he prayed for the Blessed Mother’s intercession.  And, only when Father Rizzo asked the Child Jesus for help did the church become a reality.

In 1935, Father Rizzo was reassigned to another impoverished community where he continued his devotion to the Holy Infant.  Only this time he chose a very special visual aid to use in his teachings and devotions— an antique statue of the Child Jesus from the shop of a local Italian artist— and, again, a church was built with a chapel within to honor the holy infant.

Pink divinity

Thanks to Father Rizzo, devotion to the Child Jesus grew.  Miracles abounded, and the church soon became too small for the large numbers attending Mass.

Although Father Rizzo died in 1957, long before the new sanctuary was completed in 1992, the statue he purchased decades earlier continues to grace Bogotá and inspire devotion to the Divine Child.

This beautiful statue of Jesus as a child, dressed in a pink tunic, with his arms wide open to receive us, and his innocent and loving smile is probably one of the most dear representations of our Lord’s infancy; it invokes in us a desire to embrace him and entrust all our cares into his loving arms (Padre Steve, 2008).

 Prayer of Venerable Father Cyril

O Infant Jesus, I run to you, begging you through your Holy Mother to save me in this need (name it), for I truly and firmly believe that your divinity can defend me.

Full of trust I hope in you to obtain your holy grace.

Capuchin St. Joseph Chapel Monastery of St. Joseph & St. Rita Alamo, TX

Capuchin St. Joseph Chapel
Monastery of St. Joseph & St. Rita
Alamo, TX

I love you with all my heart.
I am painfully sorry for my sins; and, on my knees, I beg you,
O Little Jesus, to free me from them.

My resolution is to improve and never more to offend you.  Therefore, I offer myself to you, ready to suffer everything for you and to serve you faithfully.

I will love my neighbor as myself from my heart for the love of you.

O Little Jesus, I adore you.
O Mighty Child, I implore you.  Save me in this need… that I may enjoy you eternally, with Mary and Joseph see you, and with all the angels adore you.

The book with this prayer is displayed in front of the Infant Jesus of Prague at Our Lady Victorious Church in Prague, Czech Republic.  There are more than one-hundred language translations of this prayer in the book.

June 10, 2014

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and, just so, you learn to love by loving.  All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves (St. Francis de Sales).

June 18, 2015

“God always gives a greater blessing to humble beginnings than to those that start with a chiming of bells” (St. Vincent de Paul).

St. Benedict Church – San Benito, TX

Links of interest…  Child Jesus: devotion / infancy & childhood / meditations / miracles (books) / photos / questions & answers / reverence / solemnity…  Divine Child: about / devotion…  Holy Infant of Prague: about / artifacts / chaplet / church / feast / history / league / novena / of good health (more) / petitions / prayer (more) / prayerbook…  Santo Niño de Atocha: about / chapel / history / miracles / origin / prayers / story (more)…  Santo Niño de Cebú: basilica / feast (more) / history / novena / origin / perpetual novena / song (YouTube)…  Shrine of Christ the King rises like the phoenix in Chicago…  St. Francis de Sales: Introduction to the devout life

WP links…  Angels keeping watch…  Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Faith and prayer…  Oh, happy day!…  On being Christian…  Promise of hope…  Santo Niño…  Sweet Jesus…  Venerable Margaret

Franciscan treasures


Sunday night I couldn’t sleep, so I revisited three old posts and got to work.  I’ve found that folks don’t like to access pdf photo files.  The reasons might be that the files take too long to open or there’s lack of interest in the unknown.  What I also know is that some computers are slow to open files so, little by little, I’m replacing pdf files with photos for easier viewing.

Too many photos

Take the monthly TX Tropical Trail Region outing in Hebbronville, for instance.

As part of the day’s activities, we visited the church, its adjoining college, the tortilleria, and the barbecue restaurant where the afternoon presentations took place; so we took lots of photos.  Too many, really, but more is better for selection purposes.

Of course, our favorites that day were taken at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Scottus College so I added some of the extra photos as pdf files on my post.  But why attach them if no one accesses them?  Why not create a second post with the photos instead?  This way, if someone’s interested in visiting Hebbronville, for instance, they have an idea of what to expect.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church










Scottus College




Franciscan treasures

When we first visited in June, the church was in a state of metamorphosis.  When we returned five months later, the church had been restored except for the murals that had yet to be painted; and the college was undergoing a transformation of its own.




Since then, I’ve wondered off and on what all has transpired since November, 2009.  Were the murals painted after all?  What does the interior of Scottus College look like now?  What other changes have been made?

Certainly, we look forward to attending Mass there one day soon; but the biggest draw for us is the amazing spirit of the church community that’s forever grateful for its Franciscan treasures.

Prayer by Pope John Paul II (January, 1979)

O Immaculate Virgin, mother of the true God and mother of the church, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your son, Jesus, our sole redeemer.

St. Michael's - Banquete

St. Michael the Archangel – Banquete, TX

Mother of mercy, teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who comes to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love.  We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities, and our sorrows.  Grant peace, justice, and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our lady and mother.  We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in his church.  Hold us always with your loving hand.

Virgin of Guadalupe, mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the bishops that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life of love and humble service of God and souls.  Contemplate this immense harvest and intercede with the Lord that he may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the son of God.  Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our Hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus; and, if we fall, help us to rise again to return to him by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the sacrament of penance, which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your son left us on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ who, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

February 6, 2017

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” (Thornton Wilder).


Links of interest…  Hebbronville: aboutcounty seat / history / landmarks & legacies…  Mexico: persecution of Christians / plenty of priests / undercover priest (Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro: video)…  Our Lady of Guadalupe Church & Scottus College (more)…  Shades of deep teal…  St. Anthony’s bread…  TX Tropical Trail Region…  Where is your treasure

WP posts…  Franciscan experience…  Grapes of generosity…  Historic nuggets…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Persistence…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Vaquero Fest Saturday

St. Anthony’s finally

For years the small church off Highway 44 on the drive to and from Corpus Christi, TX fascinated me.

Then, at a dinner hosted by St. Joseph Church in Port Aransas, TX in 2009, we happened to sit at a table with some really nice folks from that little church.

“Y’all need to come visit one of these days soon,” they said.

Wish in progress

This past Sunday we took advantage of Steven’s not serving at St. Joseph’s and headed out to St. Anthony Church in Violet between Corpus Christi and Robstown.

Early in the week Steven had checked Parishes Online and found two Sunday morning Masses listed— eight and ten— so we’d agreed on the latter.

We arrived at nine-thirty-eight, and what did we see?  A parking lot full of cars and no one in sight!

“Looks like Mass is in progress,” Steven said.

“Oh, my, gosh!  Did we get the hour wrong?”

Since the day was very cold, we checked the schedule nearby before daring to get off the vehicle.  Only nine o’clock Mass was listed.  What to do, what to do.

“There’s St. Anthony’s in Robstown,” Steven offered.

“Or St. Michael the Archangel in Banquete, and we can surprise Fr. Tito.”

While Steven accessed Parishes Online on his phone, I took photos.

“My heart’s been set on this place for years, but I think God has another plan for us,” I consoled myself out loud.  “Wherever we end up is where we’re meant to be.”

“I hope the listings for St. Anthony’s in Robstown are correct,” Steven said.  “If not, we’ll have to come up with another plan.”

“It’ll all work out.  You’ll see.”

Looking for St. Anthony

Locating the church wasn’t as easy as we’d thought.  We had to stop for Steven to consult his phone again.  We were so concerned about Mass times that we didn’t even think about using Onstar for directions.

Then we saw the church.  The parking spaces were full all around, so we started feeling anxious again.  What if we were late again?  What if we’d missed the last Mass?

We agreed to wait however long we had to for the next Mass— there had to be noon Mass— so Steven parked the vehicle as close to church as possible.

As we made our way to the entrance, we noticed the man on the corner.  Is he waiting to pick up someone after Mass? we wondered.

“Good morning,” he said.

“Good morning!” I smiled.

Walking past my doubts resurfaced.  What if we’re late again?  What if the man thinks us silly for walking to church when Mass is about to end?  “I hope we’re not late again,” I said to Steven.

Entering St. Anthony of Padua, we saw a church full of parishioners through the glass doors in the vestibule.

“Oh, my gosh!  We’re late again!  How can this be?  What time did you say Mass was starting?” I asked with my heart in my hands.

I thought about my students and the magic of threes that added excitement to their written stories.  Is this to be a story to remember?  One to look back on and learn from, as in, next time call ahead to confirm Mass times?

Overwrought with conflicting emotions, I didn’t even think to look for a bulletin when we entered church.

Oh, the drama of it all!  Maybe we should’ve gone to St. Joseph’s instead?  Then my inner voice chided me.  No!  I don’t think so!  It’ll all work out somehow.

I was greatly concerned.  We don’t like to be late for Mass, much less miss Mass.

“We could head back to Flour Bluff,” I suggested.

“We wouldn’t make it in time for eleven o’clock Mass,” Steven replied.

We opened one of the glass doors, slinkered in, and stood in the back waiting for the usher to lead us to our seats.  Only he didn’t acknowledge us!

“May we walk in?” I asked quietly, almost pleading to be allowed in.  Clearly, Mass was in progress and we were very late!

The man smiled calmly, almost like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.  Or like the Mona Lisa.

What does he know that we don’t?  Why did he simply nod and gesture with his hand for us to proceed?  I felt so foolish!

The closer we slithered to the nearest pew with two seats along the center aisle, the more I panicked.  We sat and, with eyes fixed on the priest, I removed my coat.

Oh, my gosh!  How could this be?  The priest was cleaning the cup!  Again we’d arrived too late!  To make matters worse, the Mass was being taped, and the camera was on the church goers— with us prominently in view!

Horror of horrors!!!  We’ve really done it this time!  Wide-eyed and freaking out, I turned to Steven and calmly whispered, “The priest’s wrapping things up.  We’ve arrived late yet again.  Shall we go?”

For a cool cucumber, Steven looked distraught!

We’d wanted so much to be on time, so how could we have messed up so badly?  We quickly and quietly— no doubt sticking out like a sore thumb— got up and, as noiselessly as humanly possible, made our way into the vestibule.  But why was it much fuller than when we’d arrived?


I was beyond dismayed but not about to pass up a golden opportunity.  My third eye had too much to photograph!

Steven rolled his eyes but waited nonetheless by a small table near the exit where a woman stood holding papers— bulletins maybe— in her arms.

I took photos as usual and then, turning toward Steven, noticed a few bulletins on the corner of the small table.  Mass times!  I reached out for one, showed Steven the schedule, and then turned to the woman on my left.

“Is there a Mass after this one?”

“Yes,” she said softly.

Late but early

“So we haven’t missed Mass then?” I asked incredulously.

The woman smiled.  “No.  Nine o’clock Mass is running late, but ten-thirty Mass will start on time.”

“Oh, my, gosh!” I laughed.  “We were so worried we’d missed it!  You see, we drove in from out of town and had no idea what was going on.”  Not feeling shy at all, I told the woman about our brief time in Violet.  “I’m Deli,” I said, extending my hand to shake hers.  “This is Steven.”

“I’m Noemi.”

“We’re friends with Fr. Tito Ayo.”

Noemi’s eyes lit up.

She knows him! I thought, before continuing.

“After we met Fr. Tito last May, I searched online for Catholic churches in Robstown.  I thought he might be at St. Anthony’s, but he wasn’t.  He said that other SOLT priests were in residence here, but I’ve wanted to attend Mass at this church ever since.  Is it okay to take photos?”

St. Anthony’s finally

“Today’s ten-thirty Mass is special,” Noemi explained.  “The children’s Mass happens just once a month.  Twelve o’clock Mass follows right after.  Sunday mornings the first Mass starts at six; the last one, at twelve.  If you want to take pictures, there’s not much time in between so you’ll need to hurry.”

“I’m so glad I asked!  Thank you so much!”

That little confidence eased our waiting.  As parishioners exited and newcomers filled the church, we settled down to enjoying the inclusive ambiance.  I took photos before and after Mass until right before noon when we braced ourselves to endure the damp cold outdoors as I took the last of my photos.

We’d enjoyed ourselves among the wonderful parishioners despite our initial struggle to find Mass earlier, first in Violet, then in Robstown.  Still, we’d ended up where we’d needed to be— at St. Anthony’s, finally.















Links of interest…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song…  SOLT…  St. Anthony (Hwy 44): Discover MassGCatholic / Oktoberfestold church / Violet, TX…  St. Anthony of Padua (Robstown, TX): facebook / parishes online / school

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Familiar yet new…  Holy relics…  Pink divinity…  Prayer…  Quiet prayer time…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Michael chaplet…  Tony’s big day

Prayers and blessings

Neither the dreariness of the day nor the rain, which alternated between a fine mist and serious clusters of heavy drops, kept us from driving to Stella Maris with Mary Ellen and Steve last Saturday.

For two weeks we’d anticipated the payoff.  We’d have lots of time to do what we do best— talk— though, regardless of how much time we spend together, it’s never enough.

Stella Maris

We arrived early enough to chat with Father Ralph before Mass, and right away he asked how Olivia was doing.

A familiar face from St. Joseph Church
came up to us, so I hugged Kathleen hello.

“Tell her the story,” Father prompted.

“Another miracle,” Kathleen concurred in a soft, almost whispery voice.

Then Father asked, “What?  Did you want to see me, Kathleen?”

“Father Deane wants to invite you over for Mulligan stew after Mass.”

“Sure, sure,” said Father Ralph.

Just then a tall, robust man with white hair greeted Father.

“Oh!!!  I’m being invaded by the Irishmen!  I’d better get my kalelis,” Father Ralph laughed.

Conversations here and there

I turned to Mary Ellen as Father Ralph continued to greet the newcomers.

“I was talking about Olivia and—“

“Praise God!” Father Ralph interjected.

“Yes, praise God!” I agreed.

“Always,” Mary Ellen chimed in.

The man with the lovely Irish brogue stopped to greet us on his way to the chapel.

“Hello there.  How are you?” he asked, extending his right hand.

“Hello!  How are you?” I smiled, reaching out to shake hands.

“I’m Father O’Callaghan directly from the old sod.”

“The old sod,” Steve echoed.

“I thought you were coming from heaven,” Mary Ellen twinkled.

“[Mary Ellen’s] family came from the old sod also,” Steve added.

“It’s wonderful to meet you, Father!” I said excitedly, not yet making the connection between Father Deane, our former priest at St. Joseph’s, and Father O’Callaghan.

Angel in our midst

Father and his group headed to the chapel, and I turned to Mary Ellen again.

“After Mass, Father Ralph… will talk and show you the relic.  He stays a little after.  I know Kathleen is here, and she wants [Father to head over to the house for dinner; but he’ll do it].”  Then I realized I hadn’t yet documented the moment.  “I want to take a picture of you all.”

“Should I stand here and smile and all?” Mary Ellen asked.


“She wants to see natural, though,” Mary Ellen told Steve and Steven.  “Don’t act silly now!”

I snapped a few photos.


“And I want to get the bell.  I got you in the back, too,” I said to the sacristan.

“Good, good,” Mary Ellen said, “Like our little guardian angel back there.”

“Nowhere to go when I’m breaking the camera,” the sacristan quipped as he walked over to us.

“Hello.  How are you?” I smiled.

Two weeks before, the sacristan had stood in our midst as I’d prayed for Olivia’s healing with the St. Peregrine relic; so I shared her remarkable news.

“It was awesome; so, of course, I’m going to tell the world.  Earlier, Father Ralph told Kathleen and me about a woman from Cuero.”

“Yeah,” nodded the sacristan.

“And there was a miracle, too?” Mary Ellen finished my sentence.

“Then there was… a lady with a tumor in her shoulder,” I continued.  “And she had been completely healed.”

“There’s been a lot of them,” the sacristan said.  “An awful lot of them.  Father’s trying to help me right now [with my] cancer.”

“Well, may you be healed!” Mary Ellen offered.

SMC12112-13a“I’ll be healed,” the sacristan asserted.

“Absolutely!” I agreed wholeheartedly.

“[Father Ralph’s] a healer,” continued the sacristan.  “Anyone who comes here for that, he’s here for them.  I just love him to death.  We came here two years ago, and I became the sacristan….  I serve at all the Masses except Sunday when I work.”

“Of all days,” I said.

“But you’re able to be here all the others?” Mary Ellen asked.

The sacristan elaborated.  “I train and schedule the altar servers so that they know what to do when I can’t be here.”

“That’s wonderful!” enthused Mary Ellen.

“Before I leave here today, I’ll set the altar up for tomorrow.  And my wife… in the white [robe… is] a Eucharistic Minister, so we’ve both been serving for two years.  We just love it.”

“Just enchanted to be here, huh?” added Mary Ellen rhetorically.

Then we all turned to acknowledge the folks whose path we were blocking on their way to the chapel.

“Hello!  Excuse us,” they said.

“Hello!  We’re the official welcoming committee,” I teased.

Everyone laughed.

“We’re here to bless everybody.”

“Well, Sister Mary, you think you’re ready to go inside?” asked Steve.

“Oh, this is their first time,” I told the sacristan about Mary Ellen and Steve.

“Come again.  We always need people.”

Before heading to the chapel, I introduced the four of us to the sacristan.

Then he did the same.  “I’m Joe, and my wife’s Sharon.  We’ll see you after church, probably.”

“Yes.  It’s such a blessing to be here!”

“It’s a blessing to have you,” Joe replied.


More conversations

After Mass I asked Mary Ellen, “Are you going to ask Father about the relic?  I want to photograph that.”

Mary Ellen had wanted to have her chaplets blessed, too.

“I have both of them [in my purse].”



“Good to see you,” Father O’Callaghan said to Steven.

“Thank you for visiting, Father.”

During Mass, Father Ralph told us that Father O’Callaghan has known Father Deane since their seminary days in Ireland.

So that’s the connection between them!  That’s why Father O’Callaghan attended Mass at Stella Maris.  He’s visiting Father Deane here on Goose Island.  That’s why Kathleen showed up to invite Father Ralph to dinner!

Interestingly, Father O’Callaghan served at Our Lady of Victory Church in Victoria; so I shared that we’d been to Our Lady of Victory Church in Prague.

“Prague, TX?” Steve asked.

“Czechoslovakia,” I said, quite surprised to hear there’s a Prague, Texas, too.

Prayers and blessings

Waiting for Father Ralph was a joy.  We listened as folks spoke with him in littles.

“Thank you for joining us tonight,” Father said as folks departed.

“Oh, my goodness!  How long has he been on crutches?” a woman asked as a man gingerly made his way out.

“Three weeks, and then it’ll be another week or two,” the man’s wife answered.

“On the seventeenth… I’ll get a boot,”  the man added.

Then Father asked both the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Peregrine to intercede on the man’s behalf, but I only heard part of the prayer:

I ask for you to put your protective mantle around him.  I ask you to open up the providence of the gifts and talents that you have right now….  Amen?

“Amen!” we all responded resoundingly.

“Come back again when you can,” Father said, bidding the man and his wife a good night.

“I will.”

“We’ll be praying for you!” Father Ralph told the man.

Finally, Mary Ellen had her chance.

“Okay.  You have things to be blessed?”


Mary Ellen showed her two chaplets to Father Ralph.


“Oh, my goodness!  What’s this a chaplet of?”

“One’s for St. Anthony; the other, for the Holy Infant.”

Father Ralph said that he’s belonged to the St. Anthony Guild for many, many years.

“Do you think I could see the relic?” Mary Ellen asked.

“You want to see the relic of St. Peregrine?” Father wanted to know.

Mary Ellen was quiet.

“I’m serious!” Father Ralph offered.


“Oh, she wants a full meal deal, John.  What do you do with someone like that?  Better be like McDonald’s.  Give her the whole thing.”


“I’ve seen real miracles— a lot of them— with this saint.  A lot.  A lot of them, including two today.  The one you talked about that other people were involved in,” Father said, referring to Olivia, “and one this morning.  I was told about someone whose tumor on the shoulder totally disappeared before they could go through surgery.  So okay.  We’ll pray for you.”

“Pray for my sister,” Mary Ellen requested instead.

“I’ll let you kiss [the relic],” Father told Mary Ellen.  “And you, too,” he said to me.

Mary Ellen repeated, “Please pray for my sister because she’s ill.”

“Oh, okay.”

Father touched the relic to Mary Ellen’s forehead as he prayed; and then he did the same with me.

“Amen!  Amen!  Thank you, thank you!” Mary Ellen and I said.


In the meantime, Father O’Callaghan had been observing.  “I see four angels with halos.  May I receive a blessing, too?” he asked.

“Yes!” Mary Ellen and I both said at once.

Then Father Ralph prayed over Father O’Callaghan.

Mary and St. Peregrine:  Mother Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Prompt Succor, the mother of your vocation, the one that’s kept you, prospered you, and blessed you all these years.  Mother, we ask you to go to Jesus so that he that began a good work in the Monsignor will bring it to a satisfactory conclusion in the right time.  Keep him healthy, well, and wise.  And we pray, in virtue of your Queenship, that you would dispatch Raphael, the archangel who’s the archangel of healing and deliverance and of travel that he would go with you as you do these trips.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Amen!” Father O’Callaghan agreed with childlike enthusiasm.

“And for all for whom you may be praying in holy sod, Ireland,” Father Ralph added.


On that note, Father O’Callaghan reminded Father Ralph about dinner.

“Oh!  Yes.  I’ll come by.”

We took that as our cue to depart; so Steve, Mary Ellen, Steven, and I effusively thanked all those remaining.

“I’ll say one thing for sure,” Steve noted as we walked to the vehicle.  “With you, there’s never a dull moment.”

How very nice indeed!


Our Lady, Queen of Ireland…  Holy Mary, if you will, hear your supplicant.  I put myself under the shelter of your shield.  When falling in the slippery path, you are my smooth, supporting hand staff.  There is no hound in fleetness or in chase, north wind, or rapid river as quick as the Mother of Christ to the bed of death to those who are entitled to her kindly protection.  Amen.

March 17, 2015

May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us….  Always ours this day and evermore (St. Patrick).

August 28, 2015

“God is more anxious to bestow his blessings on us than we are to receive them”
(St. Augustine).

Chaplet prayers…  Child Jesus / St. Anthony (WP posts)

Father Ralph’s homilies: 10 Oct 2010 / 22 Jan 2012 / 16 Sept 2012

Links of interest…  Relics: (more)…  St. Patrick’s prayers…  St. Peregrine: aboutarticles (prayer card) / “cancer saint” / chaplet / feast / friends ofhealing powerMay 1stnovena / prayers (requests) / shrineanniversary / facebook / history (more) / Lamar, TX / mapmarker

WP posts…  Christmas year ’round…  Delightful visit…  Father’s roses…  Healing service…  Holy relics…  Memorable as ever…  Powerful intercessor…  Saintly connections…  Stella Maris…  Stella Maris moments…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Peregrine relic

St. Peregrine relic


We first attended Mass at Stella Maris on October 9, 2010; so we could hardly wait for our second visit.  Mary Ellen and Steve were supposed to have joined us, but they asked for a last-minute rain check instead.

“Well, do we go or not?” Steven asked.

We’d been waiting for Mary Ellen and Steve for half an hour, so we were ready.

“Let’s do it!” I said.  “Then we’ll go again two weeks from now.”

Be still my heart!

Standing on the brick walkway that led to the chapel completed in 1858 was exciting enough.  Looking at the historic cemetery from our spot was special, too.  But the very best part was conversing with Father Ralph before five o’clock Mass.

First-class relic

Having waited long enough, I dared to ask, “Did you, by any chance, bring your
St. Peregrine relic with you today?”

“You mean you didn’t see it the first time you were here?” Father asked.

“No,” I replied.  “I wish you had it with you, so I could pray for Olivia.”

Father Ralph continued talking to Steven as I stood among them in silence.

I guess he didn’t bring the relic with him.  Oh, well.  At least I asked.

Then Father Ralph extended his hand palm side up.

“Oh, my gosh!  St. Peregrine’s first-class relic!”  I was thunderstruck!  “May I hold it?”


I asked for St. Peregrine’s intercession on behalf of Olivia and her loving spouse, George, and promptly placed the relic back in Father’s hand, which he kept extended for me to continue looking at the relic.

SMC12112-34St. Peregrine

Another couple joined us just then.

“Something special’s going on.  May I ask what it is?” the woman asked, wanting to be included.

Excitedly, I told her about St. Peregrine’s relic; and she wanted to touch it, too.

As her husband and Steven touched the relic, Father Ralph began telling us about the saint’s intercessions.  “We can use him, too, for another reason.”

“There was another reason, but I forgot what it is,” the woman interjected.

“With him, it could be cancer.  He’s mainly known for that, but it could be any potentially terminal illness or chronic [disease] but also for children that cause you problems, especially wayward teenagers and young adults.  He slapped a priest, hit a priest when he was a young man.  Since he got victory over that, we can ask him to pray for young people,” Father Ralph continued.

“You’re so wonderful!” I exclaimed.

“I’m so glad we came!” the woman exuberantly professed.

“Yes!  Yes!” I enthused.

“This is job security.  Do you think I could last a day without any of this?  My goodness,” teased Father Ralph.

“We came all the way from Alabama;” the woman offered, “and here we are discussing [St. Peregrine].  This is amazing!”

“Are you far from EWTN?” Father Ralph asked.

The woman said that she’d been there quite a few times; Father Ralph, once.

Then the conversation turned to other folks who were also arriving for Mass.

“What a blessing to be here!  Thank you!” I said to Father Ralph as Steven and I made our way to the chapel, no doubt missing out on more lively conversations before everyone headed in for Mass.

Wow!  What a glorious experience!

I was on Cloud Nine for the remainder of the evening and not much lower after that.



SMC12112-14         SMC12112-15         SMC12112-16






St. Peregrine, as a humble servant of Mary, you experienced human weakness and the pain and suffering of sickness.  Knowing that medicine and human knowledge have limits, we pray for all those involved with the medical profession that they will be a true source of healing and comfort to all people.

Like you, we also turn to God in our suffering.  Just as Jesus reached out and touched you with his healing hand, we pray that our loved one(s) will be strengthened in body and spirit and cured of their illness by Jesus Christ through your intercession.  (Mention the name(s) of your sick one(s).)

In gratitude we pray for all the people of the world that they will come to know you, St. Peregrine, and the love that God has for each of them.  Amen.

February 10, 2012

Having received an email from Genevieve and Harold, the couple from Alabama whom we met and prayed with at Stella Maris, I replied asking if I could add their emails here.

February 13, 2012

Genevieve emailed not only giving her consent, but also asking that we keep her son in our prayers.

Date: Friday, February 10, 2012 10:48 AM

Saw your piece on the Mass we attended.  Since we came back we found out our grandson has cancer.  Please put him on your prayer list.  His name is Adam Harrison.

We enjoyed meeting and praying with you.  May God bless you and your family.

Date: Friday, February 10, 2012 11:42 AM

I so very much appreciate your email, as it’s always good to connect with such lovely people.  I’ve had you in my thoughts and prayers since January 21st, believe it or not; and I’ve been wishing to know your names for my post.  Then again, I’m not surprised.  God’s always listening, always providing in his own time, in his own way.  Awesome, isn’t he?!!!

I’ve added Adam to the “petitions” and “praise” pages.  I’m a believer that one must walk in faith to receive what one asks, so giving thanks and praise is the way to go.  (Read “two angels.”)  If you’re interested, the WP posts listed below the St. Peregrine relic post have links to prayers.  (Read “powerful intercessor” and/or “Stella Maris.”)

Please know that I’ll continue to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers, especially since you’re part of my story from January 21st.  May I have your permission to add your email to the bottom of my post so that others who read it can also intercede for Adam’s well-being?  It’s okay to say no.

Date: Monday, February 13, 2012 6:14 PM

Very glad to give permission for any and all prayers.  Have found it the most treatable of leukemia, but need all prayers.  We are going to Ohio to visit with Adam and his wife this weekend.  Please keep us in your prayers.  God bless.

Date: Monday, February 13, 2012 9:26 PM

I’m so glad that your miracles are unfolding.  As Father Ralph told us, St. Peregrine can be called on for preventive measures… and/or to help lessen the trials of illness.

I’ll most certainly continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers… so that Adam continues to do well, so that his wife is comforted in knowing that God has indeed heard your pleas, and so that you and Harold have a safe trip.  God bless you most abundantly.

Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua before a trip

Dear Saint Anthony, today I greet you as the special guardian of those who must travel or go on a trip.  I appreciate your continued interest in my welfare and your unfailing help.  I’m sure you’ll continue to watch over us and protect us.

You were constantly on the move from one country to another… Sicily, France, Spain… and in many other cities of Italy, so you know the perils of being on the road.  You’ve seen the troubles along the way.

In the journeys my family and I make, please guide and guard us.  Let us move with caution even as we rely on your assistance.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, told us, “I am the way.”  Pray to him for us to keep us always on the right path.   Amen.

V.  Pray for us, Saint Anthony.
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:45 AM

We visited Adam this weekend and found him to be in good health and feeling fine.  Thanks be to God.  [His] blood work was almost where [the doctors] want it.  Thanks again for your prayers.

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:12 AM

I’m delighted that Adam’s health is much improved.  There’s power in prayer, and miracles do happen!  Thank God for his angels and his saints!  I’ll continue to keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

November 9, 2015

“For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints” (St. Augustine).



Father Ralph’s homilies: 10 Oct 2010 / 22 Jan 2012 / 16 Sept 2012

Links of interest…  Relics…  St. Peregrine: about / articles (prayer cards) / “cancer saint” / chaplet / feast / friends of / healing intercessor & friend / healing power / May 1st / novena / prayers (requests) / shrine…  Stella Maris: anniversary / facebook / history (more) / Lamar, TX (more) / marker

WP posts…  Healing service…  Holy relics…  Memorable as ever…  Powerful intercessor…  Prayers and blessings…  Saintly connections…  Stella Maris

St. Anthony chaplets

Days before the New Year 2012, I requested five St. Anthony relics from Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates; so I was thrilled to tears when I received them January fourteenth.

Five relic chaplets

Mary Ellen and Steve were supposed to accompany us to Stella Maris for Mass on the twenty-first, so I beaded her relic chaplet first.  Two days later, Olivia was having surgery, so I had hers ready by then.  The ones for Junebug, Neli-Beli, and the Lovely Ning waited until January twenty-ninth.

Since Steven wasn’t scheduled to serve at our church, we attended Mass at St. Paul’s, met up with the gang afterwards, and celebrated over lunch.

I was able to present each chaplet personally, but I gave Neli’s to Ning, since we thought she hadn’t yet returned from visiting her family in the Philippines.  Then off we went to Alice and Roger’s house for the pilgrim rosary that afternoon.

“Little booklet”

Imagine my surprise at seeing Neli looking more radiant than ever as I entered Alice’s house!

Before I even had the chance to say anything about her chaplet, Neli-Beli with her Mona Lisa smile handed me a blue tote.

“There’s a little booklet in there for you,” she teased.

Reaching into the bag, I found the novena booklet from her recent trip.

Wow!  Perfectimundo!

Right away I knew that I’d be adding some of the prayers to this post.

St. Anthony chaplets

Unlike my Franciscan Crowns, which are all different from each other, these St. Anthony relic chaplets are not only very much alike, but also almost identical to the prototype.



Prayer card

Accompanying each relic chaplet was the card that Steven printed for me.  The prayers are from my “Si quaeris miracula” post; the photos, those taken of the statue Steven bought for me at the Oblate gift shop right before Christmas.



Before study…  O light of the world, infinite God, father of eternity, giver of wisdom and knowledge, and ineffable dispenser of every spiritual grace, who knows all things before they are made, who makes the darkness and the light, stretch forth your hand and place your spirit, O Lord, in my heart that I may understand and retain what I learn and meditate on.  Do lovingly, mercifully, and gently inspire me with your grace.  Do teach, guide, and strengthen the thoughts of my mind and let your discipline instruct me to the end and the council of the most high help me, through your infinite wisdom and mercy.  Amen.

Grace of dying well…  Great St. Anthony of Padua, sweet hope of all who implore you, [please help me obtain] by your powerful intercession the greatest of all blessings, the grace of dying well.  Do not allow [that I should die in] mortal sin.  By your intercession obtain for me that, at the last moment, I may experience the most profound sorrow for the sins of my whole life; that I may be [filled] with love for Jesus; [and that I may have] confidence in the power of his blood which was shed for me.  May my hands’ last movements be to carry the crucifix to my lips; my last words, the names of Jesus and Mary.  In [your embrace may I] have the happiness to see God, to love him, and to possess him with you for all eternity….  Amen.

Grace of God…  O glorious St. Anthony, God has given you the power of miracles, a power you have exercised for centuries.  Since God has given you… the power of finding that which is lost, I come to you with the confidence of a child….  By your intercession obtain for me… the grace of God, if I have had the misfortune to lose it.  May I also find my former fervor in [both] the service of God and the practice of virtue.  As a pledge of these graces so important for my eternal salvation, may I also find what I have lost [so that I can] experience… your goodness and increase my confidence and my love for you.  Amen.

To the Infant Jesus…  O sweet Jesus, best and only hope of afflicted souls, I prostrate at your feet and beseech you, through the immeasurable love and grace with which you visited, comforted, and embraced your blessed servant, St. Anthony, come to me at his intercession and let me taste how sweet your presence is in the souls that trust in you.  Amen.

Zeal…  Glorious St. Anthony, who by your sanctity and your eloquence triumphed over the hardest heart, obtain for us the grace to follow faithfully the divine call….  Amen.

Contact information

To request a St. Anthony relic, contact Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

Links of interest…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  Messenger of St. Anthony (editorials)…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song…  St. Anthony: bread / hymn / lifenine Tuesdays devotion / relic / S.A.G. (miraculous mail deliveries) / shrine / tongue’s feast

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Franciscan experience…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Tony’s big day…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies

Two prompt replies

New Year’s Eve 2010, I began an experiment.  I wrote five notecard messages and mailed them the following day.

Of the five, I received two responses: an email within days and a five-page letter shortly thereafter.

The email exchanges continued only for a few days; but the letter exchange became a mutual expression of friendship, joy, and sharing that continues on a regular basis even in 2012.

Old wives’ tale

So maybe just maybe there’s something to be said about Tía Quina’s urban legend regarding New Year’s Eve: “Whatever you’re doing as the old year passes sets the tone for what awaits you in the new year, so be sure your house is clean and all else is in order?”  Or maybe it was just plain contrivance on my part to lend credence to the old wives’ tale while simultaneously doing my small part to bolster the economic status of the United States postal service?

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Of course, 2011 may simply have been a serious case of mail tag— for every letter received, one was sent in return— but 2012 already appears to be a continuation of New Year’s Eve 2010.

Tía Quina’s theory

Therefore, based on personal observation and the log I kept of both incoming and outgoing letters from and to friends and acquaintances, respectively, my well-timed New Year’s Eve 2010 experiment wasn’t so much about receiving responses from all five to whom I’d initially written.  Instead, Tía Quina’s theory was a more of a predictor of mail to come and go in 2011, refreshing, appealing, and enjoyable for sure!

Two prompt replies

On that note, I have to say that I was thrilled to the moon to receive prompt replies from both Sister in Australia and Father Primo at Franciscan Mission Associates, Saturday, January 14, 2012.  And, oh, what glorious responses they were!

Letter from Sister


Carmelite Monastery – 591 Ballina Road
Goonellabah, NSW 2480 Australia
8/1/12 – Feast of the Epiphany

Praised be the Holy Child Jesus!  Thank you for your lovely card, wishes, letter….

I am happy to hear from you and, as I read your letter, I find the Holy Child Jesus has taken us along the same road of suffering which is grace filled.  I offer my condolences and prayers on [the] passing away of your dear mother….

I will continue to pray for your family… and keep their names under the Child Jesus and ask Little Margaret to help them….

How wonderful [that] you have found your help in the guidance of
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila).  Our Holy Mother, as we call her, is great and speaks to everyone individually [through] her writings, which were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), after reading her biography, put it down and said this was the truth and became a Catholic and a Carmelite!

With regard to myself, the Holy Child Jesus has given me the grace to share in his sufferings, affronts, and his poverty in a real way.  Finally, one can say [that] Jesus is the only one that matters and repeat [the] fiat: “Jesus, I trust in you!”

I do not have an email address now, nor a computer, [nor] access to the Internet, hence, please write to me….

Today, being Epiphany here, we have a custom in Carmel that the Sister who gets the bean in the cake is the king and chooses the intercessor for the year.  I got the bean (the first time in my sixteen years [at] Carmel!), so I have chosen Little Margaret as the intercessor.  The Little King has arranged all this for his spouse!

A lady in England has been cured of stomach cancer after praying to Little Margaret and [using] the chaplet.  It is being investigated.  Please pray for [its] success.

I pray that the Holy Child Jesus will bless this New Year 2012 for you, Steve, and all your family and make it a brighter one, full of joy and peace.

Thank you… and may St. Teresa help you grow closer to Jesus.

I hold you close to my heart in prayer.  God bless you abundantly….

With loving gratitude….

Sister’s cantique

It is a custom in Carmel to prepare a cantique by each Sister to be sung before the crib during Christmas.  This year I got the card, Going to a Crib in a Farm Cart, [and] this is a copy of it [from] January 3 (our titular Feast of Holy Name).  God bless [you].

The angels singing the mystery which was full of jubilee

Gloria in excelsis deo.  Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

The Baptist pointing to the Lamb of God / The shepherds singing good tidings of joy of the eternal shepherd boy

Verbo caro factum est et habitatarit in nobis!

Hastening in a farm cart in bad weather / In poverty, affronts, and sufferings / On a journey that takes a lifetime / With many falls along the way / Always confident of your merciful hand to pick me up and start afresh / And to sing my fiat— “Jesus, I trust in you”— along the way

The way of nothing takes me quickly / The night of faith, my illumination— porta fidei to our mystical Bethlehem / Where the Eternal Child, God the King of Grace and Glory, is born

To worship the joy of the beauty of Jesus, our Savior / Wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger / Concealing your infinite riches of your divinity / To show your infinite love for us, the Word made flesh

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

With Mary, his immaculate mother / Adoring the earthly beatific vision of Jesus, the inexpressible sweetness of the incarnation / The face of the Eternal Word

And with Joseph, the shadow of the Eternal Father / In deepest reverence of the Holy Child Jesus / In bright light in the hidden sweetness of the mysteries of the holy childhood

My office at the crib is to be your aid of the verbo caro factum est / The joy of all joys of all the earth / Making visible the Queen of all mysteries / The mystery of the Blessed Trinity

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

The first drops of your precious blood / Little Lord Jesus, seal and consecrate this New Year 2012 Annus Domini / May thy name, Jesus, resound in our voices / Unite all peoples and all nations around your manger in peace

Glory, glory to God.  Alleluia!  Jesus, be my Jesus.

Maranatha / Come, Lord Jesus.

Letter from Father Primo

FMA11412aFranciscan Mission Associates
274-280 West Lincoln Avenue
P. O. Box 598
Mount Vernon, NY 10551-3017
December 30, 2011

The joy of the Lord fills my heart as I write to wish you His peace, love, and blessings….

Your love, sacrifice, and generous heart have been a source of inspiration for us to go forward.  Your sacrifice is acceptable and pleasing to God and that is why we are able to achieve a little bit of establishing the kingdom of God.  “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Jesus Christ” (Philemon 4:19) is my prayer for you.

Drs. Lanoux, the seminarians and our friars join me to thank you sincerely and pray for you.  Be assured of a remembrance of your intentions in our Novena of Masses in Bethlehem.

May the grace and blessing of the Infant Jesus be with you.


August 3, 2012

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart” (Phyllis Theroux).

December 31, 2016

“New Year’s Eve— this is the moment of beginning again…, the moment in which the old touches the new, in which we offer gratitude to God” (Catherine Doherty).


Links of interest…  Child Jesus: about / chaplet (more) / history / little crown / petitions…  Flower of Carmel (Goonellabah): contact info / home / prayer…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Is there a new etiquette about writing thank-you notes…  Letters of note…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song

WP posts…   Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Franciscan experience…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Two letters…  Venerable Margaret