30 April 2017

O Mary! We crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

“The Pilgrims of Emmaus” by Jacques Stella. Source: wikiart.org.

The month of May finds us especially honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary for these thirty-one days. This month of the Marian Year is particularly important because it is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance among several to the three children at Fatima, Portugal that would eventually culminate in October’s Miracle of the Sun in 1917. 

     This is the true feast and celebration of the year. Although 2017 marks the anniversaries of several other events, they have all proved disastrous: the heretic, Martin Luther, began his Protestant revolt in 1517 which has split Christianity into thousands of sects instead of maintaining Christ’s unity in His one Catholic Church (even though many Catholic bishops today scandalously praise Luther and his narcissistic protest that was ultimately aimed only to benefit himself); organized Freemasonry began in England with the Grand Lodge founded on 24 June 1717, which is another organization Catholics are forbidden to join because of its anti-Catholic, universalist aims; and Vladimir Lenin successfully sparked the Russian Revolution on 8 March 1917, which as the Blessed Virgin said, led to Russia spreading its atheistic, totalitarian errors throughout the world, including the systematic butchering of anyone who opposed the Communists (many of whom were Freemasons themselves, and this was no mere coincidence).

     The Blessed Virgin Mary always stands in opposition to everything that is ugly, deformed, and divisive as seen in Protestantism, Freemasonry, and Communism. That is why the month of May is appropriate when we honor her in a unique way because it is the month when our corner of the world wakes from its winter slumber, as it were, and the natural beauty that God has created once again emerges. Since Mary is all-beautiful interiorly and externally, as well as being God’s greatest creation par excellence, May’s blossoms remind us of the love that should blossom in our own lives each day for God with His own Mother as our safest, most sure guide to Him.

     Our patroness, St. Marguerite, had a special devotion to our Blessed Mother, as indeed all the saints demonstrated in their time. To foster greater devotion to Our Lady in our day, we are pleased to announce that on the First Saturday of every month beginning in May, the Knights of Columbus will be leading the Rosary at 4:00 pm in the Church with everyone in the parish invited to join in meditating on the mysteries of Our Lord’s life. This is the perfect way to prepare well for the Vigil Mass at 4:30 pm. The First Saturday Devotion of Reparation for sinners is important for every Catholic’s spiritual life—both for themselves and their loved ones. The Blessed Virgin Mary asked that we do four things:

  1. Go to Confession (within one week before or after the First Saturday).
  2. Receive Holy Communion on the First Saturday.
  3. Pray 5 Decades of the Rosary.
  4. Meditate at least 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary.

     Our Blessed Mother promised that she would assist those souls with all the graces necessary for their salvation at the hour of their death who practiced the First Saturday Devotion in Reparation for sinners for five successive months. By consoling her Immaculate Heart in this way for the countless blasphemies committed against her and Our Lord, Mary promised that she would provide us with final perseverance, which is exactly what we pray for at the end of every Hail Mary: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”

     In addition to the First Saturday Rosary, our parish offers a Children’s Rosary every 3rd Friday of the month at 3:30 pm in the Church. Everyone is invited, and this is a perfect opportunity for families to come together and for children to learn how to meditate on Jesus’ life, suffering, and resurrection. Through the Rosary, we see how Jesus’ life in all His aspects is reflected in our own when we unite our hearts to His each day.

     Finally, Pope Francis has granted a special opportunity to gain an indulgence this year in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. A person may obtain a plenary indulgence (a remission of the eternal and temporal punishments due to our sins) during this Jubilee Marian Year when

the pious faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October (2017), and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary (André Pereira, Executive Secretary of the Rectory of the Fatima Shrine in Portugal, quoted by the Catholic News Agency, 1 December 2016). 

     Here at St. Marguerite, therefore, we will celebrate the votive Mass of Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th of each month from May to October with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima present in the Chapel for that daily Mass. To obtain the plenary indulgence attached to this devotion, the usual conditions apply: 

  1. Go to Confession.
  2. Receive Holy Communion.
  3. Be detached interiorly from sin.
  4. Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father saying one Our Father, the Apostles Creed, and invoking Our Lady of Fatima.

     Whenever we honor God’s own Mother, we pay respect and honor to God Himself. We grow closer to the Son of God by talking with His Mother each day. May this month be a privileged time of growing in union with both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

     May you have a most blessed and holy week!

     Fr. Shawn William Cutler

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