Kateri’s sainthood

Setting up the “saints” page on our church website more than four years ago, I came across Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha [pronounced ‘gaderi dega ‘gwita in Mohawk] for the first time.

National shrine

SJIS5112-102Of course, I was fascinated so I looked online for her place of origin— a museum, a church, something someplace to fantasize about visiting one day.

Then I found the national shrine in Fonda, NY; so I subscribed to its mailings, received two or three, and continued to look for Kateri’s name in my daily online searches.

Magazine announcement

Last Friday I set aside reading materials to take to our house in Brownsville since we have no access to the outside world— no TV, radio, or internet service— while there.  The stash included the monthly Messenger of St. Anthony with its article, “Lily of the Mohawks,” (June 2012, pp. 38-40) announcing Venerable Kateri Tekakwitha’s upcoming canonization.

Kateri’s sainthood

Immediately I recalled the large painting outside the Blessed Sacrament Chapel down the hall from Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel at the St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Who could’ve known that Kateri would be canonized just months after our visit there?

Venerable Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) will be declared a saint on October 21, 2012.  Her feast day is July fourteenth in the United States, April seventeenth in Canada.



BlessedKateri-a    BlessedKateri-b     SJIS5112-246     CPC-StK113b    CPC-StK113a


O Blessed Kateri, help us to trust as you trusted.  Help us to see light even in our present difficulties.  Help us to know that God has not abandoned or moved from us.  Help us to know [and] help us to believe God is with us.  Amen.

Blessed Kateri, star of native people and bright light for all!  We thank God for your heroic courage, constant perseverance, and deep love of the cross.

Pray for us that our love for Christ may deepen.  And may we imitate you in following God’s will even when difficulties arise.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Stella Maris Lamar, TX

Stella Maris
Lamar, TX

O God, who desired the Virgin Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to flower among Native Americans in a life of innocence, grant, through her intercession, that when all are gathered into your Church from every nation, tribe and tongue, they may magnify you in a single canticle of praise.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me!  I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.  Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset!  Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.  Make me wise that I may understand all things you have taught my people.  Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.  I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.  Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.  So when my life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame (Sioux Indian prayer).


Kateri’s chaplet consists of eight brown, eight red and eight crystal beads.  Initially intended as a prayer for Kateri’s sainthood, the chaplet is now offered in thanksgiving for answered prayers and can also be recited for the protection of the environment, “our common home” (Pope Francis).

Pray an Our Father on each of the eight brown beads, a Hail Mary on each of the eight red beads, and a Glory be on each of the eight crystal beads.  Then finish with “May the Holy Trinity— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit— through Kateri’s prayers restore the beauty of our waters, skies, forests, and air— the ecology of our entire world.”

July 14, 2014

I am not my own; I have given myself to Jesus.  He must be my only love (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2015

“Who will teach me what is most pleasing to the Lord that I may do it?” (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2016

“I will willingly abandon this miserable body to hunger and suffering, provided that my soul may have its ordinary nourishment” (St. Kateri Tekakwitha).

July 14, 2017

In the host of saints of the Catholic Church, there has never been one so connected to the earth, yet so joined to the Spirit.  The rhythm of the seasons, the cycles of the moon, the bounty of the harvests, and the elements of wind and fire surrounded her each day.  And from this organic simplicity, a huge capacity for spiritual communion with Christ was nurtured and matured like a mighty tree, the symbol of the Iroquois.  Yet Saint Kateri Tekakwitha remained a gentle lily (Emily Cavins in Lily of the Mohawks).

January 6, 2021

When you know who you are, when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will, no cold can touch your heart, no deluge can dampen your purpose.  You know that you are alive (Chief Seattle, 1780-1866, leader of the Suquamish and the Duwamish Native American tribes).


Painting on buffalo hide by Daniel Long Soldier (1999)


Links of interest…  Catholic Prayer Cards: facebook / orders / website (more)…  Creation stories you probably haven’t heard…  Did St. Kateri bring a miracle healing not once, but twice, to the same child…  Promise kept: parts one & two…  Saint of those who are outside waiting to get in…  St. Joseph’s Indian School: blogchapel / culture / museum / website…  Restoring indigenous languages into the Masses…  St. Kateri: about (more) / blessed / care of creation / chapel / chaplet (more) / church / feast (Jul 14) / inspirationlily of the Mohawks: article – celebrating – more / litany / model ecologist / my cousin / national shrine / novena / patron of Native Americans & people in exilepilgrimages to the canonization (Oct 21) / saint & Christian hero (in the Word among us) / star of the natives / special prayers

WP post…  Sioux chapel stations…  St. Joseph’s chapel…  Stella Maris

St. Mary’s


Last Saturday we attended evening Mass at St. Mary’s because Albert Garcia, Brother Knight and longtime parishioner whom we recently met, enthusiastically invited us to see the changes in the church since its remodeling.

Shared thoughts

Although I’d talked to Steven about St. Mary’s over the years— prayer meetings; Sister Margaret; our beloved Monsignor, “Father Gus;” Masses; teaching CCE; Segy’s first communion; and so much more— he really had no idea what the church looked like or even where it was located in Brownsville.



St. Mary’s

I hadn’t been to St. Mary’s since Fall 2005, so I had no idea what to expect when Steven opened the door for us to enter.

What a transformation!

The once dark-carpeted vestibule, now spacious and brightly lit, is impeccably tiled; and a beautiful glass-and-wood wall divides the entryway from the pewed section.

“La casa de Dios y la puerta del cielo”

Within moments parishioners and visitors alike can walk in, brush off the outside world, acclimate to the silence, and proceed to the heart of the church.









Daily prayer of Our Lady…  I prostrate myself in your presence, O God Most High, and I give you thanks and praise for your immutable being, for your infinite perfections, and for having created me out of nothing.

I acknowledge myself as your creature and as the work of your hands.  I bless you, and I adore you.  I give you honor, magnificence, and divinity as the supreme Lord and creator of myself and of all that exists.

I raise up my spirit to place it into your hands.  I offer myself with profound humility and resignation to you,StMC62312- 76 and I ask you to dispose of me according to your holy will during this day and during all the days of my life.  I ask you to teach me to fulfill whatever would be to your greater pleasure.

I consult you.  I ask your advice.  I ask your permission.  I ask your blessing on everything that I do today.  I ask your permission to use my body as your temple, my mind as the mind of Christ, my soul as the souls of Jesus and Mary.  [I ask your permission to use] my memory to remember only you; my will to use it in conformity to your will; and my understanding to understand you, your wisdom, and my brothers and sisters.  Amen.

Morning consecration to Mary…  My Queen, My Mother, I offer myself entirely to you; and to show my devotion to you, I offer you this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve.

Wherefore, good Mother, as I am your own, keep me, and guard me as your property and possession.  Amen.

StMC62312a        StMC62312b

September 5, 2015

“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).

September 7, 2015

“Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children” (St. John Vianney).

November 21, 2015

From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things.  From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.  From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God.  For Mary is not only the Mother of God, she is Mother of the Church as well (St. John Paul II).

February 6, 2016

“When we feel our cross weighing upon us, let us have recourse to Mary, whom the Church calls the consoler of the afflicted” (St. Alphonsus).

January 1, 2017

“Mary’s task as Mother of God and mother of humans has always been to lead her human children to her divine Son” (Catherine de Hueck Doherty).


Pdf files…  MMM novena from CAMM / Stations: 1-7 & 8-14 / audio / for families

Links of interest…  St. Mary, Mother of the Church: facebook / historyMass times / parish the Word among us

WP posts…  Angels all around…  Angels keeping watch…  Faith and prayer…  Lady of sorrows…  Lourdes novenas…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Repeated prayers

San Juan Diego


Steven and I returned to Our Lady of Guadalupe a third time and felt very much at home.  As if we’d never left.

Eddie and Henry were all smiles.  Sister Armida, readying for summer Bible camp, was her sweet self.  And Father Acosta, as animated as ever, encouraged us to unite as a church community, while others clearly demonstrated that mantra through their inclusiveness of us.

Lively spirit

After Mass, we lingered for a while.

The church always comes alive after five o’clock Mass!  Families waiting patiently to baptize their children advance toward the altar, while couples awaiting the wedding afterwards stand out on the front steps until it’s their turn.  Others just observe, converse quietly, or stand around.  In awe, I guess.  Father Acosta is so energized that he’s a sight to behold!


San Juan Diego

One change was apparent, however.  The Easter cross by the ambo had been replaced by a statue of San Juan Diego, which quickly reminded me of our visit to the Tepeyac shrine near the Oblate Madonna Residence in San Antonio.




San Juan Diego, you now enjoy the beatific vision of God and the company of our beautiful Mother Mary.  On this, your feast day, we ask that you and Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us that we may never fear to boldly proclaim the truth in the hope that, if each of us does our part no matter how small, millions will come to know God.  Amen.

scm111712-16For employment…  Dear Juan Diego, when the Lady of Tepeyac Hill gave you her picture, she also gave you a task to fill your days with happy labor.  It was your privilege and joy to spend the hours caring for the chapel of the tilma, telling its story to those who came there.  Here, the time of your earthly pilgrimage passed quickly and happily because you worked for Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Dear Juan Diego, please help me find steady employment that my time and talent may be devoted to the tasks suited to my nature and ability.

May my hours of toil give fair return and more to him who hires me.  May my work not be done for mere profit or just to make a living.  Rather, may it be done to make of myself one more able to honor the Creator.  May it be done with reverence and appreciation of the materials, all supplied by God, and only modified by man.  May my work be done to enjoy the benefits of skilled and honest craftsmanship.  And, especially, let my work be done to make known and lead others to love the same Lady you serve so well.  Through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

sjt102916-87For sanctification of one’s work…  Lord God, by the labor of men and women, you govern and guide to perfection the work of creation.  Hear our prayers and give all people work that enhances their human dignity and draws them closer to each other in the service of their brothers and sisters.  Amen.

Petition…  Dear St. Juan Diego, at Tepeyac Our Lady told you, “I am your mother.  Are you not under my protection?  Why do you fear, if you are in my mantle and in my arms?”

In your humility, you were altogether necessary in God’s plan.  Confidently, you faced a skeptical Bishop Zumarraga, presenting him with roses which miraculously grew on the hillside.  Wondrously, the image of the Virgin appeared on your tilma!

Because of your faithfulness the gospel of Our Lord spread through Mary’s image, and many people came to believe in him.  Your devotion lives on in the people of Mexico, the Americas, and the whole world.

St. Juan Diego, please pray for me….  May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the true God, bring all peoples to Jesus, her son.  Through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

To Juan Diego…  You who were chosen by Our Lady of Guadalupe as an instrument to show your people and the world that the way of Christianity is one of love, compassion, understanding, values, sacrifices, repentance of our sins, appreciation and respect for God’s creation, and most of all one of humility and obedience.

You, whom we know are now in the kingdom of the Lord and close to our Mother, be our angel and protect us.  Stay with us as we struggle in this modern life often not knowing where to set our priorities.

Help us to pray to our God to obtain the gifts of the Holy Spirit and use them for the good of humanity and the good of our Church, through the heart of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the heart of Jesus.  Amen.

StAP21212-105To Our Lady…  Dear Mother, we love you!  We thank you for your promise to help us in our need.  We trust in your love that dries our tears and comforts us.

Teach us to find our peace in your son, Jesus, and bless us every day of our lives.  Help us to build a shrine in our hearts.  Make it as beautiful as the one built for you on the Mount of Tepeyac: a shrine full of trust, hope, and love of Jesus growing stronger each day.

Mary, you have chosen to remain with us by giving us your most wonderful and holy self-image on Juan Diego’s cloak.  May we feel your loving presence as we look upon your face.

Like Juan, give us the courage to bring your message of hope to everyone.  You are our Mother and our inspiration.  Hear our prayers and answer us.  Amen.

solg-sjd-aef        solg-sjd-bcd

December 9, 2014

Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle,” show us the way that leads to “the dark virgin” of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate mother who guides us to the true God.  Amen (Pope St. John Paul II).

December 9, 2015

Am I not here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my shadow and protections?  Am I not the fountain of your joy?  Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the cradle of my arms? (Our Lady to San Juan Diego).

“Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity in which all are called to be children of God” (St. John Paul II).

December 9, 2016

Do not be frightened or grieve or let your heart be dismayed.  Am I not here, I who am your Mother?  And is not my help a refuge? (Our Lady to San Juan Diego).


Our Lady of the Assumption – Ingleside, TX

Pdf file…  Father Acosta’s homily / prayer

Links of interest…  Five saints of color…  Guadalupe Tepeyac: basilica / brochure / movie (YouTube) / play (video) / story…  Missionaries of Jesus (Sr. Armida Rangel, MJ)…  Our Lady of Guadalupe: abbey / about / & Advent / arch of triumph / church (Brownsville, TX) / December 12th / mother of the Americas / patroness of the Americas / prayers / shrine / story / videos…  San Juan Diego: about& our lady / apparition / biography (JPII homily) / cloak / feast day  (Dec 9) / guild for children / hermanos (blog) / his miracle / model of humility / movie (YouTube) / new world apostle / ordinary son of Maryprayer card / relic / saint / talking eagle / tilma / video / witness…  the Word among us…  With St. Juan Diego to the merciful Mother

WP posts…  Christmas year ’round…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Faith and prayer…  Faces of Mary…  Father’s guided tour…  God’s lovely gifts…  Guadalupe Church…  Marian devotions…  Our Lady…  Our Lady’s church

Guadalupe Church


What a wonderful feeling to return to Guadalupe Church for Saturday evening Mass not once, but twice on the same day!  How truly heartwarming to be among those we met the previous week— Eddie Nieto, the sacristan, and Henry Reyna, the greeter— and to discover smiling faces in Olga Tapia and Jessica at the later charismatic Mass!  And, oh, the beautiful bulletin cover (yet again) with its bilingual message related to Sunday’s readings!

OLG52712-2                OLG52712-3

OLG7812-1        OLG52612-15        OLG52612-28






Dedication of a child…  Dear Mary, your message of love and care on Tepeyac Hill floated like a lilting lullaby into the fresh, golden dawn.  Softly you called to Juan Diego, “least of your sons,” a man of middle years, but guileless and childlike in spirit.

Through him you invited all your children to come to you, the ever-virgin Mother of God, to look to you as a mother who wanted only to show a mother’s love.  You would give them whatever they needed, help and protection, strength and comfort.  As a lasting proof you left us your own marvelous picture, unpainted by any human hand.

OLG3715-18cToday we bring to you our child [name] as yet unborn.  May this little one always know and love you as holy Mary, Mother of the true God in whom we live and have our being.  May this new soul, freshly breathed forth from the creator, be like the soul of Juan Diego….

Dear Lady of Guadalupe, touch this petal of our hearts with the wintry roses of Tepeyac so that a fragrant joy and peace may spread along the child’s path in life.  Let your love remind men of you and sweetly draw them to your waiting heart.

Take this child as your own, lovely Lady.  Enfold the child in the mantle of your care until the day when… all your children join with you, their merciful mother, endlessly praising and thanking God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

February 27, 2015

“Fathers and mothers owe four things to their children: maintenance, instruction, correction, and good example” (St. John Baptist de la Salle).

May 11, 2015

“When a child is given to his parents, a crown is made for that child in heaven, and woe to the parents who raise a child without consciousness of that eternal crown! (Venerable Fulton Sheen, 1999).


Pdf file…  Father Acosta’s homily / prayer

Links of interest…  Is “Guadalupe” a Mexican name…  Our Lady of Guadalupe: abbey / about / & Advent / arch of triumph / Brownsville, TX (about – facebook) / December 12th / mother of the Americas / patroness of the Americas / prayers / shrine / story / videos…  St. Juan Diego Guild for children…  Ten “M’s” on the highway to heaven…  Venerable Fulton Sheen: aboutcause for sainthood / Life is worth living (about) / prayer / quotes…  Why church pews were invented…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Faces of Mary…  Faith and prayer…  Familiar yet new…  Franciscan treasures…  God’s lovely gifts…  Heart of hearts…  Lourdes novenas…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Our Lady’s church…  A real church…  Repeated prayers…  San Juan Diego

Lady of sorrows

MnG1991aBack in May 2006, I just couldn’t bear to pray the sorrowful mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays during my daily, self-imposed, therapeutic walks on the beach so I asked God for a kinder, gentler way to pray the rosary.

Joyful mother

Then, ta-dah, I came across the Franciscan Crown.

In a small book I’d started reading that summer I discovered the seven joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  However, with every crown I beaded to share with others, my heart became more sensitive not only to Our Lady’s joys, but also to her sorrows.

Unexpected outcome

Relating to the Blessed Mother as a parent made her suffering very real, and somehow— I don’t know how or when exactly— I began to truly internalize the Child Jesus chaplet prayer.

Divine Infant Jesus, I adore your cross; and I accept all the crosses you will be pleased to send me.  Adorable Trinity, I offer you, for the glory of the holy name of God, all the adorations of the sacred heart of the holy Infant Jesus.

What an invitation to proactive engagement!

Accepting one’s crosses builds resilience and determination to forge ahead despite the obstacles, so now I bear my crosses with greater empathy toward Jesus and Mary.

Lady of sorrows

“No created mind, no created heart, no human force is capable of knowing how much love the heart of Mary had for our Lord” (St. Jerome).  The Blessed Mother would’ve done anything to help her beloved son had she been able to intervene, but Jesus had to fulfill God’s master plan for us.

We remember Jesus suffering in the desert, his self-denial, his dying on the cross for us, and his resurrection.  Above all, however, we remember that the way Jesus gave his all to and for us is the way God avails himself to us daily (Lanoux, 2009).

Similarly, Our Lady of Sorrows, mother extraordinaire, is ready, willing, and able to intercede on our behalf, so why not call on her?

There is no storm that can shipwreck the most sweet heart of Mary.  When you see the squall coming, if you seek safety in the firm refuge that is Mary, there will be no danger of your being hurled off course or going down
(St. Josemaría Escrivá).







From the Servites…  Hail!  Mary, full of sorrows, the crucified is with you; tearful are you among women, and tearful is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of the crucified, give tears to us, crucifiers of your son, now, and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Mary, mother of sorrows, you stood mournful underneath the cross of Jesus, your son.  With his dying breath he lovingly entrusted St. John and all believers into your care and named you as our blessed mother.   We, your children, are confident today that you are with us even in our times of deepest sorrow and pain.

In your own sorrow you trusted in the words of the angel, Gabriel: “He will save his people from their sins.”  We come before you now, sinful and sorrowful, sharing the intentions of our hearts….

Mary, mother of joys, you experienced the fullness of hope when your risen Son appeared to you in glory.  We, too, believe that Jesus hears and answers all our prayers until, at last, he brings us home with him where there will be no more sorrow, but only joy and peace.  Amen.

Mother of sorrows…  Father, as your son was raised on the cross his mother, Mary, stood by him sharing his suffering.  May your Church be united with Christ in his suffering and death and so come to share in his rising to new life where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

Our mother of sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus; and, with tender care, you bore him in your arms, mourning and weeping.

We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you.  We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you.  We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of his passion.

Holy Mary may we follow your example and stand by all your children who need comfort and love.

Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs.  Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

O God, who willed that, when your son was lifted high on the cross, his mother should stand close by and share his suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the passion of Christ, may merit a share in his resurrection.  Who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Overcoming adversity…  Lord God, your own son was delivered into the hands of the wicked; yet he prayed for his persecutors and overcame hatred with the blood of the cross.  Protect us all from the violence of others, keep us safe from the weapons of hate, and restore to us tranquility and peace.  Amen.

Petition…  Dearest mother, Mary, mother of sorrows, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet.  I have come to plead for this special favor through the intercession of your faithful servant, St. Peregrine….

Sorrowful mother, I beg you to present my petition to your divine son.  If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused.  I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God’s will in all things.  Therefore, with childlike trust I abandon myself to God’s holy will concerning my request.  If what I ask (state petition) should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.

Sweet mother of sorrows, I love you!  I put all my confidence in you because your prayers before God are most powerful.  For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus through the intercession of St. Peregrine whom you have led to sainthood, hear and grant my prayer.  Amen.

To Our Lady, mother of mercy…  Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent!  Receive our gratitude, and by your prayers obtain the pardon of our sins.  Take our prayers into the sanctuary of heaven and enable them to make our peace with God.

Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God.  May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection.  Be ready to help us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers.  Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, who lives and reigns forever.   Amen.

Pieta-a        Pieta-b        AMM2010b        AMM2010a

Contact information

Prayer card on the right is from the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 1811 West Saint Joseph Street, Perryville, MO 63775-1598; on the left, from an unknown source.

September 15, 2012

Mary, you endured your son’s abandonment and agony, only to share… in his triumphant victory.  Be with us, too.  In our moment of need, lead us to victory in Christ.  Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us (the Word among us, September 2012, p. 35).

“Mary triumphs with the sword not in her hand, but in her heart” (Gertrud von Le Fort).

August 15, 2013

Mary has left death behind her; she is totally clothed in life… taken up body and soul into God’s glory and, thus, placed in glory after overcoming death.  [She] says to us: Take heart [for] it is love that wins in the end! (Pope Benedict XVI).

October 11, 2013

Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son.  There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

May 30, 2014

All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you.  Don’t give up hope!  On the contrary, call your holy mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child.  She will bring peace to your soul (St. Josemaría Escrivá).

September 1, 2014

Queen of Martyrs, your heart suffered so much.  I beg you, by the merits of the tears you shed in these terrible and sorrowful times, to obtain for me and all the sinners of the world the grace of complete sincerity and repentance.  Amen.

September 15, 2014

May she, who followed her Son with faith all the way to Calvary, help us to walk behind him, carrying his cross with serenity and love….  May our Lady of Sorrows support, especially, those who are experiencing difficult situations (Pope Francis).

At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to her Son to the last.  Through her heart his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing, now at length the sword has passed (Stabat Mater).

September 17, 2014

In a time of great sorrow, not knowing where to take refuge, fearing to be misled by the evil one, I remembered the heart of the Mother of Perpetual Help; and I placed myself in her care, like her child, like her property.  I begged her, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to carry me as she carried Jesus when he was a child and to make me become not what I would like to become, but what she herself would like for the greatest glory of her Son, according to his will, according to what she read in his heart (Blessed Charles de Foucauld).

September 15, 2015

“Let us bind ourselves tightly to the sorrowful heart of our heavenly mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul” (St. Padre Pio).

April 8, 2017

O Mary, Mother of Sorrows, at the foot of the cross you became our mother.  I am a child of your sorrows, a child of Calvary.  Let my heart be united to the cross, to the passion of Jesus Christ; and teach me not to be afraid of my own trials and crosses (St. Bernadette Soubirous).

September 15, 2017

Sometimes darkness has its hour and there is nothing we can do to stop it.  Sometimes the blind, wounded forces of jealousy, bitterness, violence, and sin cannot, for that moment, be stopped.

But, like Mary under the cross, we are asked to “stand” under them not in passivity and weakness, but in strength, knowing that we can’t stop the crucifixion but we can help stop some of the hatred, anger, and bitterness that surround it.

And, in this way, we help take away the sins of the world and continue to bring Jesus’s saving death to the world (Ronald Rolheiser in The Passion and the Cross).


Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – Brownsville, TX

Links of interest…  Beholding Our Mother…  Blessed Virgin Mary…  Develop a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows…  Finding comfort…  Jorrowful mysteries…  Michelangelo: about / sculpture…  Mourning with the sorrowful mother…  OLS in McAllen: bulletins / homilies / website…  Our Lady of Sorrows: about / beautiful prayer / chaplet / devotion (more) / feast (Sept. 15) / meditations / mysteries / novena / prayers / quotes / rosary / scriptures / seven prayers…  Pietà: about (more) / chapel / lesson about unexpected grace / statueSeven sorrows rosary: Solace for suffering souls…  Seven sorrows, seven promises, & Fatima’s connection…  Stabat Mater: about / hymn / liturgical sequence / seven sorrows

WP posts…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Faces of Mary…  God’s lovely gifts…  Growing pains…  Lingering memory…  Lourdes novenas…  Marian devotions…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Prayerful ways…  Repeated prayers…  St. Monica…  Sweet Jesus

Tony’s big day

For an entire month my car key was nowhere to be found.  Off and on I searched to no avail, but I wasn’t worried because I knew the key had to be in the house.  But where?

Then, day before yesterday as Steven was preparing to leave for work, he said, “Since you haven’t found the key, I’m thinking of ordering a replacement.  It’ll take a while to get here, though.”

“It’s okay.  Don’t worry about it.” I told him.

Tony, Tony, look around.  The key is lost and must be found.

“Let’s see what St. Anthony comes up with,” I said and quickly forgot about the key.


When Steven got home that afternoon, he needed something from the closet shelf in the office.  Reaching into the box he excitedly proclaimed, “Look at this!  I should’ve opened the door on the left but opened this other one instead.  Look what I found!”

There in his right hand was the missing car key entwined in the coiled cord of the vehicle’s phone charger.  Without thinking he’d opened the wrong door, reached into the wrong box, and discovered the missing key!

“How did the key end up there?  I didn’t put it there.  You didn’t put it there.  Why did I go for this door when I  meant to open the left door?  Serendipity?  How did this happen?”

Steven was beside himself with amusement, delight, relief, and awe.  He’d never before referred to anything as serendipitous.  Three times, no less.

Tony’s big day

“That’s St. Anthony for you!” I enthused.  “I told you he’d take care of it, and he did.  He knew I wanted something special to write about for his feast day, so he took care of both dilemmas with one simple feat.

“Not only that,” I continued.  “Two letters ago I learned that Sister in Australia celebrates her birthday on June thirteenth, so now I have two very special reasons to celebrate
St. Anthony’s big day.”



Contact information

The novena pamphlet, the prayer booklet, and the prayer card are from Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mount Vernon, NY 10551-0598.  St. Anthony relics are also available.  The top large photo (source unknown) and the lower right-hand prayer card I’ve had for decades.  The novena prayer card is from The Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order, 21 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001-2876.

Nine days of prayer in honor of St. Anthony

First day…  Dear St. Anthony, you are renowned all over the world for your unfailing assistance to those who are afflicted, in trouble, or burdened with any great anxiety.  With reliance on your power to intercede with God for those in difficulty, I confidently entrust to you my present intention.  With your gracious support, God’s mercy will meet my need.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, pray for us.

Second day…  Lovable St. Anthony, in your apostolic preaching you insisted on our duty to pray without ceasing.  Please help me now to make my every action a silent prayer to God in my necessity which I have trustingly confided to your care.  In your kindness teach me how to pray patiently, perseveringly, and in a spirit of resignation to God’s holy and saving will.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, intercede for us.

Third day…  Glorious St. Anthony, by the example of your holy life as by your preaching, you inspire us with undiminished trust in God’s mercy and kindness.  In your honor I will fast from some legitimate pleasures of life in order to purify my affections and clarify my intentions.  As you taught us, the good Lord listens with love to the prayers of those who come before him with faith.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, plead for us.

Fourth day…  Powerful
St. Anthony, you have multiplied your favors over the years since your entrance into heaven to show God’s bountiful mercy to those who are in sorrow.  I try, despite my sinfulness and weakness, to imitate your virtues and to obey God’s word so as to honor you sincerely and fittingly.  Please come quickly to my aid in my present necessity.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be our protector.

Fifth day…  Charitable
St. Anthony, in honor of your own goodness and compassion I, too, am trying to help others in need of understanding and mercy.  This prayer in practice I offer to God through your hands in a spirit of confident faith knowing full well that all who call upon you will receive consolation and aid.  Your own merciful assistance so often shown to others I will, I am sure, be mine.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be good to us.

Sixth day…  Humble St. Anthony, how patient you were in humbly doing God’s will and leaving to him your life and its future.  Kindly obtain from God for me the grace to reconcile myself to his holy will for me in my great concern.  I cast all my cares on you who will, I am sure, entrust them to the Lord who is never deaf to those whose full trust is in him.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, watch over us.

Seventh day…  Most pure St. Anthony, by your singleness of heart you steadfastly pursued the task God gave you.  By your example and help, I turn to you in faith so that you may be my patron and steady voice before God’s throne.  You are a friend in great trials as in the smallest difficulties, so I implore you to come also to my assistance now.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, keep us faithful.

Eighth day…  St. Anthony, consoler, you are ever attentive to those who come to you with their difficulties whether large or small.  Those who know your kindness learn to rely with faith on your power with God and your desire to help God’s people.  Please make my present concern your own and intercede for me and for those I entrust to your care.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be our comfort.

Ninth day…  Faithful St. Anthony, I thank you for your many favors in the past.  In the certainty you will assist me in my present need, I will show my appreciation by imitating your virtues and example, by avoiding sin, and by patiently persisting in prayer so as to conform my will to God’s purpose for me and for those I pray for.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, remember my needs.

Quote…  “Nothing apart from God can satisfy the human heart that is truly in search of him” (St. Anthony of Padua).

Links of interest…  Basilica in Padua…  Dear St. Anthony…  Ever heard of “everyone’s saint” basilica…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  Franciscan saints & blesseds…  Lost & found (blog)…  Mail deliveries (S.A.G.)…  Recipe…  Sardine heaven: Portugal…  St. Anthony: bread / feastJune 13thof Padua / saint for lost things / shrine / to the rescue

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. AnthonySt. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerating St. Anthony

Gift of love

Monday afternoon I received another heartwarming letter from Sister in Australia.  So, naturally, I sat back in my chair and opened the gift.  I gingerly removed its contents, set the items on the computer desk, and counted— four.

Sister’s letter

I examined the two laminated photos of St. Thérèse.  The first had a child’s offering on the back; the second, a petition.


Next, I picked up the custom-made greeting card on orange cardstock.

I love orange! 

Having read the poem adhered to the front, I opened Sister’s card.  The paper-thin, silky-smooth photo within was laminated, two-sided.

Ecce Homo.  Behold the man.


Love and prayers

I wondered about the photo, but I really wanted to read Sister’s message.  I relaxed in my chair as if to share a cup of tea and conversation.


Dearest Deli & Steve,

Praised be the Holy Child Jesus!  Thank you for your lovely letter… most grateful for it.  I hope you had a happy trip and break at Minneapolis and the pilgrim centers that you visited.  You are most kind.  I thank God for you, and I am very appreciative of it at this time.

I am well by the grace of God and had a good retreat early this month.  I feel that the Holy Child Jesus has showered me with his graces.  Deo Gratia.

If you do not hear from me, remember, you and all your family and intentions will be always close to my heart in prayer.  God bless you with lots of love and prayers.

Gratefully in Jesus…

Unexpected surprises

I didn’t know what to think.  I read and reread the card a bunch of times, trying to read between the lines, trying to contain my tears.  Then I heard Steven in the kitchen.  He’d gotten home from work.

“Sister sent a letter!  Just wait till you see what she sent!”

I gathered the items to show Steven.

Oh, my gosh! 

I had miscounted.

Gift of love

My sadness turned to joy when I saw the fifth item.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Steven walked over to my thoughtful spot at the computer, and I couldn’t stop jabbering.

I was so excited!  Over the moon, in fact.

“Yesterday in the chapel at Montserrat— for just a fleeting moment as I was praying my Child Jesus chaplet— I wished for a St. Teresa relic.  And here, today, I received a second-class relic from Sister in Australia!!!

“Oh, my gosh!  And I have just the frame for it, too!”
I continued.  “Thursday afternoon I found it atop my books on the shelf here.  How it got there, I don’t know.  But I didn’t move it just in case we needed it later on.  Talk about everything falling into place.”

What a gift of love!

Oh, my gosh.  First, the vintage postcard of
St. Teresa!  And now this?!!  I’m sooo blessed!

Thank you, Sister!  You’re in my forever thoughts and prayers!  I’m sending you heartfelt hugsss…


St. Thérèse, teach us how to open our heart without reserve to the Holy Spirit.  Help us to seek and find God’s will not only in the crises and choices, but also in the joys and disappointments of our lives.  Gain for us the grace to do God’s will with courage and untroubled hearts so that we can radiate joy and  gladness like yours in the service of our Lord.  Amen.


July 2, 2014

“He wills that I should love him because he has forgiven me not much, but everything” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

October 1, 2014

We can never have too much hope in God.  He gives in the measure we ask (St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus).

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice: here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word, always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

October 15. 2014

“God dwells within you, and there you should dwell with him” (St. Teresa of Avila).

October 27, 2014

“For me prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven; it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

January 9, 2015

“When we accept our disappointment at our failures, God immediately returns to us”
(St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

February 15, 2015

So the divine love is sacrificial love.  Love does not mean to have and to own and to possess.  It means to be had and to be owned and to be possessed.  It is not a circle circumscribed by self, it is arms outstretched to embrace all humanity within its grasp (Venerable Fulton Sheen).

April 1, 2015

My strength lies in prayer and sacrifice…, invincible weapons [that] touch hearts more surely than words can do, as I have learned by experience
(St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

September 17, 2015

The school of Christ is the school of [love].  On the last day, when the general examination takes place….  [Love] will be the whole syllabus (St. Robert Bellarmine).

October 1, 2015

“When one loves, one does not calculate” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

“I will work for your love alone, my sole aim being to give you pleasure, to console your sacred heart, and to save souls who will love you forever” (The Little Catechism of St. Thérèse).

October 23, 2015

Charity works.  It gets good jobs done.  It gives form and life to all of the virtues.  Infused by God, it reigns supreme in loving goodness over the talents of learning and the talents of living (Kevin Vost in Unearthing Your Ten Talents).

November 17, 2015

To discover that you are loved is the center of all existence.  And when we are filled with this total and delirious love, little by little, we grow and love in turn.  That gradualness in our journeys is a sign of the infinite tenderness of God (Chiara Corbella Petrillo).

January 11, 2016

Be a soul of love in order to become an apostle, and you will discover a very beautiful thing: that at the bank of love, the more you give, the richer you become (Fr. Jean C. J. d’Elbée in I Believe in Love).

October 1, 2016

I have not the courage to force myself to seek beautiful prayers in books.  Not knowing which to choose I act as children do who cannot read.  I say quite simply to the good God what I want to tell him, and he always understands me (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

March 28, 2017

The Holy Spirit gives us himself as a free, gratuitous, nonreturnable gift of love, as we do when we give loving gifts to others with no expectation of personal gain, because we wish them well.  Love itself, then, is the first gift through which all free gifts are given (Kevin Vost in The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit).

June 15, 2017

At last I have found my calling!  My calling is love! (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

July 17, 2017

O how glorious our faith is!  Instead of restricting hearts, as the world fancies, it uplifts them and enlarges their capacity to love (St. Thérèse of Lisieux).

July 22, 2017

“We were born to love, we live to love, and we will die to love still more” (St. Joseph Cafasso).

October 16, 2017

Charity works.  It gets good jobs done.  It gives form and life to all of the virtues.  Infused by God, it reigns supreme in loving goodness over the talents of learning and the talents of living (Kevin Vost in Unearthing Your Ten Talents).

October 30, 2017

Love is a force more formidable than any other.  It is invisible— it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment and offer you more joy than any material possession could (Barbara DeAngelis).

October 31, 2018

Receive our Lord, and keep him as long as you can.  Make plenty of room for him within you.  To let Jesus Christ increase in one’s soul is the most perfect act of love (St. Peter Julian Eymard in How to Get More out of Holy Communion).

August 14, 2019

Of all the possible motives that can account for our actions, the most powerful of all is the motive of love.  Love is God’s own motive.  He does all things for love (Fr. Philip Dion in The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection).

October 27, 2020

“Love is its own reward” (Thomas Merton).


Links of interest…  Carmelites (saints)…  Catholic books & podcasts (free downloads)…  Child Jesus: chaplet (more) / devotion / petitions…  Cloistered communities: about / a day within the walls…  Daily inspirations…  Flower of Carmel (Goonellabah): contact / home / prayer…  Friendship rooted in charity…  In response to the little girl who broke my son’s heart…  Montserrat…  Need a saint you can relate to (more Carmelite saints)…  Polish mystic from Poland & her conversations with Jesus…  September martyrs…  Sisters of Carmel…  St. Teresa: about (more) / chaplet /  facts / Infant of Prague / little way of piety / novena / poems / prayers /  quotes (more) / saint…   St. Thérèse of Lisieux: 54 incredible photos taken by her sister, Celine / 1873-1897 / about / Carmelite / celestial roses / centenary / chaplet / faith endures in the dark / feast day homilyhistory / holy face / inspiration / invocation / life / live simply in great love / oblation / Oct 1 / little way / novena / petitions / prayer / relic / secret of the little waystory…  Story of a soul (1898; free): audio / ebook…  Various rosaries & chaplets…  Vatican mystery solved: An old photo identifies 4 nuns who cataloged half a million stars…  Venerable Margaret:  1619-1648 (Parigot) / aboutbiographybookchaplet / religious order

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Kindred acorns…  Making meaning…  Seven dwelling places…  Soulful…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret