Our Lady holding Jesus as He accepts flowers from the shepherd child

Our Lady holding Jesus as He accepts flowers from the shepherd child

Welcome to our intercessory prayer ministry for families, babies, little ones and those who love them.

In our prayers for families, we pray for the sanctity of all life and for vocations to marriage, the priesthood and consecrated life, which are born and nurtured in families.

Prayer of Entrustment to Mary was prayed for this ministry at the icon of the Madonna Salus Populi Romani (Salvation of the Roman People, Our Lady of Good Health) in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Mary Major) in Rome, Italy, in Nossa Senhora do Rosario da Fatima (Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary) in Fatima, Portugal, in Eglise du Sacre-Coeur (Sacred Heart Parish Church), the site of St. Bernadette's baptismal font, in Lourdes, France and at The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents before Our Lady of Guadalupe and at Basilica Papale de San Pietro in Vaticano (St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City) at the Tomb of St. John Paul II in Rome, Italy.

This ministry is consecrated to Jesus Christ, Wisdom Incarnate, through the hands of Mary and dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. In our prayers to Mary, we honor and worship her Son Jesus. When He was on the Cross, He gave His Mother to John and she became our Mother as well. "Behold, your Mother." John 19:27

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
For the greater glory of God

December 12, 2018

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Patroness of the Unborn and of the Americas  
Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A poor Indian Juan Diego was a 57 year old widower who lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady. He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. She told him that bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego:

"Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of your joy?"

“My dearest son, I am the eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God, Author of Life, Creator of all and Lord of the Heavens and of the Earth...and it is my desire that a church be built here in this place for me, where, as your most merciful Mother and that of all your people, I may show my loving clemency and the compassion that I bear to the Indians, and to those who love and seek me.”

Juan Diego went to the bishop who told him to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. Poor Diego tried to avoid the lady but she appeared to him and assured him that his uncle would recover and she provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma. Juan Diego told his story to the Spanish bishop, who instructed him to return and ask the Lady for a miraculous sign to prove her claim. The Virgin told Juan Diego to gather some flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. It was winter and no flowers bloomed, but on the hilltop Diego found flowers of every sort, and the Virgin herself arranged them in his tilma, or peasant cloak. When Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees. On Juan Diego’s tilma appeared an image of Mary miraculously imprinted exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was December 12, 1531.

The Image on the Tilma

The imprint of Mary on the tilma is striking, and the symbolism was primarily directed to Juan Diego and the Aztecs. Mary appears as a beautiful young Indian maiden with a look of love, compassion, and humility, her hands folded in prayer in reference to the Almighty God. Her rose dress, adorned with a jasmine flower, eight petal flowers, and nine heart flowers symbolic to the Aztec culture, is that of an Aztec princess. Her blue mantle symbolized the royalty of the gods, and the blue color symbolized life and unity. The stars on the mantle signified the beginning of a new civilization. La Morenita appeared on the day of the winter solstice, considered the day of the sun's birth; the Virgin's mantle accurately represents the 1531 winter solstice! Mary stands in front of and hides the sun, but the rays of the sun still appear around her, signifying she is greater than the sun god, the greatest of the native divinities, but the rays of the sun still bring light. Twelve rays of the sun surround her face and head. She stands on the moon, supported by an angel with wings like an eagle: to the Aztec, this indicated her superiority to the moon god, the god of night, and her divine, regal nature.

Most important are the black maternity band, a jasmine flower, and a cross that are present in the image. Mary wore a black maternity band, signifying she was with child. At the center of the picture, overlying her womb, is a jasmine flower in the shape of an Indian cross, which is the sign of the Divine and the center of the cosmic order to the Aztec. This symbol indicated that the baby Mary carried within her, Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh, is Divine and the new center of the universe. On the brooch around her neck was a black Christian cross, indicating she is both a bearer and follower of Christ, the Son of God, our Savior, who died on the Cross to save mankind. The image signified Mary bringing her Son Christ to the New World through one of their own.

Our Lady's apparition was an event of great significance for Native Americans. Nine million Indians became Catholic in a very short time. Our Lady of Guadalupe shows us God's love for the poor and for the unborn.  Our Lady said to Juan Diego, "I will give all my protection to the people. I am the merciful Mother of all mankind. Am I not your fountain of life."  Our Lady of Guadalupe protects all her children, born and unborn.

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Luke 1:46-47

Our Lady of Guadalupe, we entrust all the names we receive through this prayer ministry to you, our most loving and merciful Mother.

December 09, 2018

Reflection: Prepare the way of the Lord...

It is the second week of Advent, a time of waiting and a time of preparing. As we await the coming of the birth of Jesus on our journey to Bethlehem, let us ask Him to prepare our hearts.

A voice of one crying in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths."  Mark 1:3

In the wilderness, John the Baptist proclaimed the saving Presence of God. After the Baptism of the Lord, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit rested upon Him in the form of a dove. The voice of the Father was heard: This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him.  

God came to a deserted place. He calls us into a deserted place, into the silence, where we can hear Him. Find a place to be quiet and sit with the Lord. Stop into a chapel or church. Place yourself in His Presence and just be. When you quiet your mind and heart, He will speak to you in the silence.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortable unto her.  Hosea 2:14  

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

Be still and trust in God. You are His beloved child. He never leaves you alone, unaided, or forgotten. God comes when you call Him. Be still. When the noise and storms of the world are all around you, come into the quiet Presence of the Lord and the storms will not come into your heart. Place your worries and fears in His hands and place yourself in His Presence. When you are in pain or anguish, God comes and He heals your broken heart. 

Be still. Pray and ponder God's Word, rest, take a walk, slow down and free your mind and heart so God can dwell within you. Prepare the way of the Lord...

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

December 08, 2018

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

You are all beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

Today is the Feast Day of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On this day, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was conceived without sin. The Immaculate Conception means that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from original sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. God made Mary a pure vessel to carry His Beloved Jesus in her womb.

We celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8; nine months before is December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, a fourteen year-old girl in Lourdes, France on February 11, 1858. The Blessed Mother told Bernadette to drink from the fountain within the grotto. This fountain was unknown and there was no sign of its location. Bernadette scratched the ground and a spring gushed forth from the spot from which she was asked to build a chapel. This is where the Blessed Mother proclaimed. "I am the Immaculate Conception." Ever since Our Lady appeared to Bernadette, Lourdes has been a site for countless miracles.

Today is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States of America. May Our Lady bless our country and protect and guide us as we pray for the protection and sanctity of all Life, especially for life in the womb, for the restoration of the sanctity of Marriage and for the protection of Religious Freedom in our beloved country.

Christ is the "new Adam". The Church Fathers, Saint Justin in 150AD and Saint Irenaeus 180AD, saw Mary as the "new Eve". Mary humbly obeyed God; Eve disobeyed. The Church Fathers also called Mary the "new ark of the covenant" and theotokos, God-bearer. From these titles came the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception and her sinlessness unfolded. Saint Ephrem, the Syrian, in 373AD spoke of Mary as without stain or blemish, calling her "all pure, all immaculate, all stainless, all undefiled, all incorrupt, all inviolate." Saint Augustine left open the possibility of Mary's sinlessness, using language similar to the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

From the Diary of Saint Faustina 564
On the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, during Holy Mass, I heard the rustling of garments and saw the most holy Mother of God in a most beautiful radiance. Her white garment was girdles with a blue sash. She said to me, "You give Me great joy when you adore The Most Holy Trinity for the graces and privileges which were accorded Me."

Heavenly Father, You prepared the Virgin Mary to be the worthy Mother of your Son. You kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception. Help us, by her prayers, to live in Your Presence without sin. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

December 06, 2018

Saint Nicholas and a Prayer for Children

Today we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas. The story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents raised him to be a devout Christian. They died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young.

Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals, murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and he died December 6, AD 343 in Myra. He was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, Saint Nicholas Day, December 6th.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of Saint Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

O God, we pray that through the intercessions of Saint Nicholas that you will guide and protect our children. Keep them safe from all harm and help them grow to become loving disciples of Jesus in your sight. Give them strength to always mature into deeper faith in you, and to keep alive joy in your creation. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

God of joy and cheer, we thank You for Your servant, the good bishop Nicholas. In loving the poor, he showed us Your kindness. In caring for Your children, he revealed Your love. Make us thoughtful without need of reward, so that we too, may be good followers of Jesus. Amen.

December 02, 2018

Reflection: How can you prepare your heart for the Baby Jesus on Christmas Day?

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The best way to prepare for Advent is to spend it with Mary, asking her to accompany you and reflecting on how she pondered God's Word. Mary was still. 

Gaze at the image of the Madonna with Child. She is awaiting the birth of Jesus. Let us wait with Mary and ask her to teach us how to ponder as she did.

Mary invites you to be still. to listen and ponder as God speaks to you during this beautiful season of Advent, as you prepare your heart for the birth of Jesus. 

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:11

How can you prepare your heart for the coming of the Baby Jesus on Christmas Day? 

Ask Our Lady to accompany you. She is your most loving Mother and she will always lead you to her Beloved Son. Be still like Mary. Spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. It is there, in the silence, that Jesus will speak to your heart. 

The message of Advent is to bring light into a world of darkness. The Advent candles symbolize Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. It is He who dispels the darkness and brings hope. The Lord is always coming to those who seek Him. Let us seek Him through the eyes and heart of Mary.

The silent soul is capable of attaining the closest union with God. It lives almost always under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God works in a silent soul without hindrance. In order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one's soul and to keep silence; not a gloomy silence but an interior silence; that is to say, recollection in God. Diary of Saint Faustina 198, 477, 118

Prepare the way of the Lord!

In the wilderness, John the Baptist proclaimed the saving Presence of God. After the Baptism of the Lord, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit rested upon Him in the form of a dove. The voice of the Father was heard: This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him. 

God came to a deserted place. He calls you into a deserted place, into the silence, where you can hear Him. 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and lead her into the wilderness, and speak persuasively to her. Hosea 2:16

Open the door of your heart, be still and rest awhile...

November 30, 2018

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Andrew the Apostle. As Mary, our Blessed Mother, always leads us to Jesus, Saint Andrew brought others to Jesus. Andrew told his brother Simon, "We have found the Messiah, the Christ" and he brought him to Jesus. 

When Jesus called Andrew and his brother Simon Peter, He said to them, "Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

They immediately dropped their fishing nets and followed him. Let us say Yes to Jesus the way Andrew, Simon and Our Blessed Mother Mary did. Let us call on their intercession in our need.

A novena is normally a nine day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. This prayer is often called the "Christmas Novena" or the "Christmas Anticipation Prayer" because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle until Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in the honor of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary, perhaps five times at each meal. Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent season.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Saint Andrew, you gave your life to follow Jesus. Help us offer our lives to follow Him in all we do and in all we say. Saint Andrew, pray for us.

November 27, 2018

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us!

Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Saint Catherine Labouré. In 1830, on the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, Sister Catherine and her community were gathered in the chapel for afternoon prayers. Suddenly, Our Lady appeared to Catherine and entrusted her with the mission of making and distributing the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, now known as the Miraculous Medal.

At first Mary appeared standing on a globe and dressed in white having with a long white veil which fell to her feet. The Virgin held in her hands, at the height of her shoulders, a golden ball which she seemed to be offering to God as she raised her eyes to heaven. Her fingers were covered with rings whose precious jewels sparkled brilliantly and showered down innumerable rays of light on the globe beneath her feet, almost obscuring the view of her feet. Mary lowered her eyes and looked directly at Catherine. Mary said nothing, but Catherine heard this message, 

"The ball which you see represents the world, especially France, and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The jewels which give no rays symbolize the graces that are not given because they are not asked for." 

Then the apparition changed. Our Lady appeared with a white dress, a blue mantle, and a white veil which draped back over her shoulders. She was still standing on the globe, and had one foot on the head of a serpent which lay at her feet. The 1830 was marked on the globe. The Virgin had her arms and hands pointed downwards, and a cascade of rays was falling down from both hands onto the globe. An oval frame formed around the Blessed Virgin, and written around within it, in letters of gold, was the beautiful prayer, 

"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

Then the vision revolved to show the reverse side of the medal. Catherine saw a Cross with a bar at its feet with which was intertwined an "M" and beneath the "M" were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, both surmounted by flames of love, one having a crown of thorns, and the other pierced with a sword. Encircling all of this were twelve stars around the oval frame. 

Sister Catherine died on December 31, 1876. In 1895, the cause for sainthood was introduced in Rome and she was beatified on May 28, 1933. When her body was exhumed, after fifty-seven years of burial, it was found to be completely incorrupt and supple. She was canonized a Saint on July 27, 1947.

Saint Catherine Labouré, pray for us!  

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us and all the intentions we receive through this ministry! 

November 25, 2018

Solemnity of Christ the King

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It is the last day of the liturgical year. The new Church Year begins next Sunday on the first Sunday of Advent, a time of waiting in hope and expectation, a time of longing for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Pope Pius XI began this feast day to honor the authority of Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to overcome the rise of evil and so that we will place Jesus in the center of our hearts and lives.

“King” was one of the earliest titles given to the Son of God. The title does not refer to a status of an earthly king, which many of the Jews had been expecting; someone to overthrow the Roman rule and be an earthly king of the Israel. Rather He came to be the spiritual king; His kingdom is in heaven, not confined to the earth alone. It is an eternal Kingdom of light and truth, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace.  The King is love.

We receive Christ the King into our hearts through the Blessed Virgin Mary. She walked with Jesus and always brings us to Him. It is through her love that we have the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

“In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus in Holy Communion, it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul.” Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church

"The Virgin Mary, being obedient to His Word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God."  Saint Irenaeus, Father of the Church

"I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy."  Our Lady to Saint Faustina

And this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.  1 Timothy 6:15

The good thief, hanging next to Jesus on the cross said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into Your Kingdom." Jesus replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Luke 23:42-43

Jesus Christ, King of Divine Majesty, have mercy on us. Remember us when You come into Your Kingdom. Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us.

November 22, 2018

A Mass in Thanksgiving for you...

In thanksgiving, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered monthly for the John 10:10 prayer partners and prayer intentions. 

On this Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for you and all your prayers. The Lord receives all our prayers and little offerings and places them where they are needed. Prayer is a spiritual work of mercy.

There is so much to be thankful for: God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother Mary, the Gift of Life, God's Loving Providence, Family, Special Friends, the Beauty of God's Creation, our Crosses (which draw us close to Jesus and Mary), the Sacraments and our Beloved Priests.

Catechism of the Catholic Church #1330  The Eucharist is a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Father, a blessing by which the Church expresses her gratitude to God for all His benefits, for all He has accomplished through creation, redemption, and sanctification. Eucharist means, first of all, "thanksgiving."

The Lord is good to all, compassionate toward all Your works. All Your works give You thanks, Lord and Your faithful bless You. Psalm 145:9-10

Our Blessed Virgin Mary is Mother of the Eucharist. She offered her life and gave her Fiat through obedience and humble service. This is true worship of God, surrendering to His Will. In heaven, she leads a song of eternal praise, like incense raising up to God.

Listen, my faithful children: open up your petals, like roses planted near running waters; send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily. Send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all He has done!  Sirach 39:13-14

O give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Let us give thanks to the Lord and ponder all He has done for us, especially in giving Himself to us in the Eucharist and giving His Mother Mary as our Mother.

The Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist

November 21, 2018

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In accordance with Jewish custom Mary's parents, Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, named her eight days after her birth, and were inspired to call her Mary.

When Mary was three years old, her parents brought her to the temple and presented her to the Lord. After suffering with infertility for years, they made a promise to dedicate and consecrate Mary her to the Lord.

Let us pray the words of Saint Bernard who invites us to become a trusting child before Mary, even as the Son of God did:

Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary. In danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart. If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.

The meanings ascribed to Mary's name by the early Christian writers and perpetuated by the Greek Fathers. "Bitter Sea," "Myrrh of the Sea," "The Light Giver," "The Enlightened One," "Lady," "Seal of the Lord," and "Mother of the Lord" are the principal interpretations. From the time of Saint Jerome until the 16th century, preferred interpretations of Mary's name in the West were "Lady," "Bitter Sea," "The Light Giver," and especially "Star of the Sea." Stella Maris was by far the favored interpretation. The Hebrew name of Mary, Miryãm, (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign; this Mary is in virtue of her Son's sovereign authority as Lord of the World.

We call Mary our Lady as we call Jesus our Lord, and when we pronounce her name we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.

Saint Ephrem said, "that the name of Mary is the key of the gates of heaven," in the hands of those who devoutly invoke it.

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and Holy is his Name." Luke 1:46-49

O Mary, on this Memorial of your Presentation in the Temple, we call upon you and entrust our prayers to you, our most loving Mother.