Saint Francis of Assisi – God’s Poverello

October 4, 2015

St. Francis of Assisi – God’s Poverello

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”

Francis of Assisi

When a pilgrim goes to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, he is given a pamphlet which reads, “An Encounter with St. Francis in Assisi.”  This is what we will attempt to do in this chapter, introduce you to, and pray you experience such an encounter with the Poverello of Jesus, your heart will burn to learn more about him.  There is so much to know about St. Francis that it’s impossible in this short chapter to tell it all.  In addition, Francis touches everyone in a different way, as does Jesus.  We believe that Francis was the closest human being on earth to mirror Jesus.

Francis draws you like a magnet.  That’s how he got to us.  On our first pilgrimage to Europe and the Holy Land, a side trip was included to Assisi from Rome.  It was our first time in Rome, we had only one day to spend there.  We didn’t want to leave Rome; there was too much we hadn’t seen.  So when our guide told us that the next morning, we would leave bright and early for Assisi, Penny and I thought to ourselves, in your dreams; we weren’t going.  We would explore Rome on our own.  But the morning came, and we found ourselves boarding a bus for the three and a half hour drive to Assisi.

We only spent four hours in Assisi, and an hour and a half of that was lunch.  So for all intents, we had two and a half hours in Assisi.  There’s no way you can even begin to experience Assisi in that period of time.  When the bus was ready to go back to Rome, we begged for more time.  We didn’t want to leave!  But we had to leave.  On our way back to Rome, we vowed that if we ever got back to Assisi, we’d spend a day and a half there.  As it turned out, we returned the following year.  Our planned day and a half extended to a week, and still we didn’t want to leave.  From that time, 1977, to this, we have visited Italy at least once a year, but for the most part, three or four times a year.  We have never gone there and not spent at least two nights in Assisi, to bask in the illumination of St. Francis.

We’ve been asked many times, and even began asking ourselves, “Why do you keep going back to Assisi?”  Is it because of the beauty of the town, and its surrounding area, including Santa Maria degli Angeli, the home of the Portiuncola?  There’s no question that it is truly God’s country, but there are many little towns in Europe that are beautiful.  We believed then, and we do now, there is an air of Francis about Assisi, which has never left.  His presence blankets the town.  You can feel him everywhere you go, in the streets, in the churches, among the people, everywhere.  And for a few years, we were content with that explanation, because it is true.  But it’s only part of the reason.  About ten years ago, while we were doing research on this unique Saint, we came across the reason we keep going back to Assisi.  Francis instructed the brothers, “Come back to the Portiuncola at least once a year.  The Spirit of Jesus and Mary are very strong here.”  Yes, then we understood.  The same Spirit and power that made Francis the exceptional Saint he is, has never left Assisi.  That’s what we felt in the air, the blanket that covers this holy ground.  It is the Spirit, Jesus and Mary.  Praise the Lord.

Francis of Assisi, God’s Heavenly Contradiction

Francis is God’s heavenly contradiction.  Psychologists, psychiatrists, and analysts of human behavior have a field day, trying to determine what it is about this man that makes him beloved of the whole world.  It’s a fact that Francis is embraced by Catholics, Christians, non-Christians, atheists, and dictators.  Lenin, the major molding force of the Bolshevik revolution, which plunged Russia into more than 70 years of Communism, had an extraordinary admiration for Francis of Assisi.  On his deathbed, he said, “If only we had 100 Francis’ of Assisi, the revolution would have been a success.”

Eastern religious leaders go to the Hermitage of St. Francis, on Mount Subasio, high above Assisi, to have retreats, to learn about this man of God.

In Sweden, which has been officially Lutheran for over 450 years, a Franciscan Friar from Assisi, Fr. Max Mizzi, was asked to go there to instruct the people, not in the Catholic Faith, but in the ways of St. Francis.  Each of his visits there were successful; the churches were packed with eager, hungry listeners.  A Third Order of St. Francis was established.  Conversions to the Catholic Faith resulted.  Fr. Max told us his apostolate has extended into Denmark, and all the Scandinavian countries.

During the Reagan administration, while Brezhnev was still alive, relationships between the Communists and Americans were at a boiling point.  The then Superior of the Basilica of St. Francis, Padre Michele, issued an open invitation to the two world leaders to come to Assisi, and talk about peace.

In 1986, Pope John Paul II gathered religious leaders from all over the world to Assisi, for a Day of Prayer for Peace.  And they all came!

Protestant denominations have named churches after St. Francis of Assisi, and set up Religious Orders, based on the Rule of St. Francis.

These are just random examples that we’ve heard, over the years.  There must be thousands of other, more dramatic instances where the name of Francis and his charism, were employed by people or groups outside the Catholic Church.

Who is Francis? 

Francis is everyman.  He is the brilliant, multi-faceted diamond of Jesus.  He appeals to every aspect of humanity possible.  He is Gospel!  Francis encompasses every charism that Jesus taught us.  He appeals to the rich and the poor, the mighty and the humble, the brilliant and the simple.  Everyone can relate to Francis.  He is hope!  We find ourselves sinking and drowning in our world of today, which has buried its people in the quicksand of self love, consumerism, materialism and permissiveness.  The television commercials are lies!  We have finally come to terms with that.  All the things we were told we had to possess to live the American dream, are killing us.  There’s nowhere to turn.  Where is there a voice of sanity in an insane world?  We look to Francis.  He is proof that we can walk away from all of this, and be extremely happy.  It can work.  He did it!  We turn to him in desperation, and he gives us hope in our hopelessness.

We have a very personal relationship with Francis.  This is what gave us the courage to attempt to put the Francis we know, down on paper.  As we delved into research on him, more for dates and facts than anything else, we became intimidated.  There are so many brilliant people, who have written such intellectual studies on him, anything we would write could only be categorized, in the kindest sense, as simple.

But then the Lord gave us a word.  Francis was all things to all people.  He was extremely intellectual to those who needed that from him, but he was basically, like us, a very simple man.  The only book he considered worthwhile to read, to study, and to fashion his life on, was the Gospel.  And we know that the teachings of Jesus are simple; not  always easy, but simple.  With that encouragement to strengthen us, we invite you to meet, and fall in love with, a very powerful man in our Church, St. Francis of Assisi

Francis is so touchable.  These days, when we see young men dressing in the latest fashions, driving the newest sports car, playing guitars, partying all the time, and chasing girls, we have a tendency to shake our heads, and mumble under our breath, admonitions like, “They’ll turn out bad.”  That may be so; but that was also Francis.

Francis came from money.  His father, Pietro di Bernardone, was in the garment business.  The common term for it today would be the rag business.  He imported most of his fabric from France.  He loved France, because he made so much money there.  For that reason, he named his son Francesco, in honor of France.  Pietro’s god was money, and he embraced that god with a passion.  His wife, Pica, on the other hand, was a very spiritual lady.  She was Francesco’s spiritual influence during his youth.  The Lord used the strength of his mother to create a balance in his life, and to bring Francis to Him when the time was right.

Pietro had great hopes for his oldest son, Francesco, even though he was a frail and sickly boy.  In those days, merchants were not nobility, nor were nobility merchants.  Pietro could probably have bought and sold many of the elite in Assisi, but that still did not make him aristocratic.  He counted on this son to bring him into that exalted circle of the town.  Francis was groomed all his life to be a knight.  He wore the finest clothes.  He learned to play five musical instruments.  He was the life of the party.  There were many parties.  That was part of the training.  Young Francesco di Bernardone was the party-planner of his time, and the most sought-after party guest of his clique.  And he loved it!  He enjoyed learning the role he was to play.

Signor, che cosa vuole? (Lord, what do you want?)

Although there was not much to wage war over in the little village of Assisi, shiny coats of armor were the fashion statement of the time, and naturally, the son of Pietro di Bernardone had to have the best coat of armor available.  He had a handsome horse.  He did everything that was required of an up-and-coming member of a noble society.  The proper course of action for a young man of Francis’ station was to go off to war, somewhere, anywhere.

He looked for a battle to fight, a cause to champion.  A controversy arose between Assisi and Perugia, a nearby town.  Francis leapt to the challenge.  He went off to war.  But the Lord’s plan was not for Francis to be a warrior, by the world’s standards.  He was destined to be a warrior for the Gospel.  So Francis was captured early in the game.  He avoided being killed, but was imprisoned, until such time as a ransom could be paid.  It took almost a year before he was released.  He went back to Assisi, sick, but not deterred.  He was going to find a war, if it was the last thing he did.

The Lord began chipping away at his heart during his recuperation period.  He had a dream, in which he saw his father’s house as a palace, with luxurious furnishings, and a beautiful wife.  The dream was to become a prophecy, only the palace was the House of God, and the wife was Lady Poverty.  One day, he traded clothes with a beggar, in the tradition of St. Martin of Tours.  Values were changing for young Francesco.  But he was still determined to find a war.

His opportunity came when Assisi joined with the Papal forces to do battle in Apulia, near the boot of Italy.  Francis, and a group of young men from Assisi, set out for the war zone.  He got as far as Spoleto, fifty miles away, where he stayed overnight.  The Lord spoke to his heart.  “Francis, whom do you choose, the Master or the servant?”  Francis answered, “The Master – Lord, what do you want me to do?”

“Return to your own place,” he was instructed.  “You will be told what to do.  Your dream has to be interpreted differently; the palace and arms you saw are for other knights than those you had in mind; and your principality will be of another order.”

Francis did not go to war.  He returned to Assisi, a changed young man.  He was not the party lover he had been in the past.  He spent time off by himself, listening, waiting for the Lord to tell him what He wanted of him.  The Lord made Francis’ senses very keen.  After He had cleared out all the garbage in Francis’ head, his eyes became very clear; his ears sharp; his nose could smell odors, rather than just the sweet fragrances he had been used to all his life.  He began to see the poor, hear their cries, and smell the squalor they lived in.  He could not reconcile that his family had so much, and these people so little.  It didn’t make any sense.  He felt the need to balance things.  So, in his simplicity, he took valuables from his home and cloth from his father, converted them into money, and gave it to the poor.

One time his mother saw him putting many, many loaves of bread in a sack.  When she asked what this was for, he replied he wanted to share the bread with the poor.  He had made a commitment to give alms to the poor.  His mother attributed this strange behavior to the illness he had come down with during his imprisonment.  His father was not as kind.  He labeled Francis as “pazzo” (crazy).

This was the beginning of Francis’ conversion, his response to the pull, away from the world and toward the Lord.  He went to Rome on pilgrimage.  He saw beggars on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.  He asked one to change clothes with him.  He spent hours on those steps, begging for alms, in French.  He enjoyed the feeling of being dependent on the kindness of others.  After a time, he changed back into his own clothes, and returned to Assisi.

The Lord placed on Francis’ heart, he was to hate the things he had formerly loved, and love the things he had formerly hated.  This instruction stayed with Francis all his life.  He knew how he had been a prisoner to things of the world, possessions which possessed him.  He had to make a conscious decision, every moment of his life, to denounce those things which had owned him.  He also had to use the same determination to accept, no, embrace those things which repulsed him.  High on this list were lepers.  The sight and smell of them had always nauseated Francis.  He couldn’t bear the thought of looking at them, being near them, no less touching them.  So he knew that he had to do just that, touch them.

He met a leper on the road, who was begging.  The same fear and repugnance that Francis had always felt, began to surge up into his consciousness.  As the beggar came closer, Francis fought the sick feeling that was overtaking him.   At their moment of contact, Francis gave him a coin.  As if that was not enough, he kissed his mangled hand.  The leper, in return, gave Francis the kiss of peace.  As the man embraced him, Francis cringed as he anticipated the smell of rotting flesh invading his nostrils.  Instead, he sensed the most beautiful aroma.  He could feel the fear peeling off his body.  He was overcome by a strong sensation of joy and lightness.  He felt as if he could fly.  He was light as a feather.  Soon after, he went to a leper hospital, and handed out coins to all the lepers, kissing their hands as he did.  He calculated the score as one for the Lord, and 9,000 to go.  He felt compelled to seek out Lady Poverty, and take her for his bride.

He found himself in the broken-down church of San Damiano, a mile or so from the city.  It was falling apart.  But there was a beautiful crucifix there.  Francis prayed seriously to the Lord.  The question was always the same.  “Lord, what do you want of me?”  The Cross of San Damiano came alive.  Jesus spoke to Francis, “Go and rebuild my Church, which as you can see, is in ruins.”

Francis was always a simple man.  He took the Lord literally.  He began to rebuild the church of San Damiano.  He believed this was his calling.  He is so beautiful, so simple.  This is why we have the courage to write about him.  There was nothing confusing about the statement.  The Lord asked him to rebuild his churches, so he got mortar and stone, and rebuilt.  Was it simplicity, or humility?  Did Francis know what the Lord really meant by those words, but thought He could not be asking the likes of Francis to be a major force in reforming the Church?  Don’t we all think that way very often?  The Lord speaks to us, and we don’t think it’s possible that He wants us to be instrumental in bringing about change in His Church.  We go back to Gideon in the Old Testament.  We’re not sure if, in his case, it was humility or fear that made him hesitate.  In any event, the Lord used Gideon for His glory.  He was asking the same of Francis.

Antagonism built between Francis and his father.  It came to a head when his father took him to court, for having stolen so many valuables from his warehouse and his home.  Francis considered himself a Religious by this time, and therefore, not subject to civil authorities.  He refused to appear before a civil court.  His father appealed to the Bishop, who convinced Francis that he had better appear before his father.  Francis made a prophetic statement at that meeting, which took place in the center of town.  He took off all his clothes, gave them to his father, and renounced his heritage.  He said, “From this moment forth, I am no longer Francis, son of Pietro di Bernardone, but Francis, child of God.”  It was a very dramatic moment, Francis standing in the middle of the square, stark naked.  His father became enraged; he tried to punch Francis, but his younger son held his arm back.  The Bishop, who had been presiding over the quarrel, took off his cloak and put it around Francis.  God was telling the whole world, through this gesture of the Bishop that Francis was truly under the protection of the Father.  Although we believe the Bishop was fully aware of Francis’ spirituality, we believe the conscious reasoning for giving Francis his cloak was, he didn’t want him walking around town without any clothes on.

As Francis was stripped of material possessions, he became happier.  He took to wearing a coarse hermit’s tunic, tied with a leather strap.  He strolled through the town, so joyful, so light and airy, without a care in the world.  He begged crusts of bread from the local people.  They thought he was crazy.  Very often, his begging was returned with insults.  He praised God, blessed his attackers, and continued on his way.

We love you! 

What you have just read is a small excerpt from the chapter on

St. Francis of Assisi from Bob and Penny Lord’s book,

Saints and Other Powerful Men in the Church. 

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saint francis of assisi minibook

Oh Angel of God, My Guardian Dear

October 2, 2015

Oh Angel of God, My Guardian Dear

Heavenly Army of Angels BookAngel of God

My Guardian dear

To Whom His love

Commits me here

Ever this day

Be at my side

To light and guard

To rule and guide.



In Italy, in my grandparent’s day, when a baby was born of the aristocracy, a child was chosen to be his or her companion for life.  When my grandmother was born, such a girl-child became her companion.  When grandmother grew up and married, the companion went with her to America.  After they arrived in the New World, although my grandparents released her from any obligation to remain with them, she stayed with them until she died, and is buried in a plot between my grandmother and grandfather.

Our Church teaches us that at birth we are given a Companion who will remain with us until the day we die, and then continues with us, even to visiting us in Purgatory to console us in between his trips to our loved ones, pleading with them to pray for us.  This Companion, whom we call our Guardian Angel faithfully stays by our side right up to the day, his work done, he presents us at the entrance of the Kingdom of God.

Angels Unaware

There are many stories that can be told of a mysterious voice warning you of danger, of something or was it someone interfering in the nick of time.  As we started to write this book on Angels, we found ourselves remembering incidents in our lives we had long forgotten.  Could it be our Guardian Angels reminding us?  Why not?

Penny and her Guardian Angel on the Road

Many years ago, when our children were very young, Bob and I decided to bring them and my mother on a tour of the Southeastern part of the United States.  We thought we could incorporate a vacation with business, by selling merchandise to retail stores, as well.

We lived on Long Island, in New York, at the time.  The night we began our journey, Bob had to remain behind.  He would join us in a couple of days.  I had been up for about 17 hours, when we set out for Washington, D.C.  I was so excited to be bringing our family on this holiday, I was not sleepy.  Besides, I thought there would be less traffic on the highway at night, and I could make better time.

My family and I arrived in Washington D.C. early in the morning.  I left my mother and two children at a very pleasant family-type motel where they could swim and relax, until I returned from calling on my two accounts.  The only problem was, the two accounts were department stores in Richmond, Virginia, about 150 miles from Washington, D.C., and I had to see the buyers in the daytime hours; so, I set out without resting.  I worked until 7 in the evening.  When I left Richmond to return to Washington, I had been up, without sleep, for 36 hours.

Not even stopping to have a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, eager to return to my family (as I was sure my mother would be worried), I got in my car and began the long drive back to Washington, D.C.  I was not aware I had fallen asleep until I’d hear a sharp commanding voice call me by my baptismal name: Pauline!  I would snap my head upright and swerve my car to the right, just as I was about to collide head-on with a huge Mack truck coming straight at me from the other side of the highway.

This went on for hours, over and over again, because I was too much of a fool to even stop to get a cup of coffee.  I’d fall asleep, and a voice would sharply awaken me, just in the nick of time.  Not having been brought up with knowledge of the Angels and in particular my Guardian Angel, I could not explain it.  I just knew someone kept waking me up, calling me by a name I had not used in years.  While we were researching this book, I found a passage which explains to me what had happened during that trip.   “They (Angels) protect our spiritual and corporal bodies…They often shield us from sudden dangers that threaten our lives, or come to our rescue when some harm has befallen us.”

I now believe it was my Guardian Angel.

“And the Angel who talked with me

came again, and waked me,

like a man that is awakened out of his sleep.”


The Angels and the Rosary

How many times, Dear Friends, have you been there to save us, even from ourselves?  Bob and I were still in the business world.  On this particular day, I was receiving some very upsetting phone calls from customers and manufacturers.  Time came for me to pick up my grandson from high school; he was not old enough to drive.  As I drove toward his school, I became concerned that the anger that had invaded my heart and soul might spread to my boy.  Seeking peace, as only the Lord and His Mother can provide, I prayed the Rosary for a half hour, right up to the parking lot of his school.

Rob (my grandson) got in the car, and we then tried to get onto the freeway.  I was in the far right lane trying to merge into traffic.  I could barely squeeze into the slow lane on my left.  Cars were barely moving.  Finally, having entered it, I tried to get into the faster lanes, to no avail.  I was blocked in: first by the car in front, then by the car in the rear, and then by the car on the left who would not move up and give me room to get in, no matter how much I flashed my left-turn signal.  Well, this was not helping my former attitude a bit.  Now, I was really getting upset!

Suddenly, I felt the car go out of control!  I tried to steer the wheel; it was locked!  I shot out my right arm to block my grandson from going through the window.  I shouted, “No, Lord, not him.”  The car stopped dead!  My foot started to shake.  It was still on the brake which had not worked.  I had tried to push the brake pedal through the floor board.  When my trembling had subsided, I got out of the car on my side.  On Rob’s side, we were on the edge of a precipice about forty feet above the road below.

A highway patrolman came to our aid.  He shook his head and said there was no earthly reason why we were not dead.  The tow truck arrived.  The driver used some expletives, I will not repeat, and shook his head as he helped us into the cab of his tow truck.  Our car was helplessly raised in the air behind us.  When we arrived at the gas station, the mechanic dialed the phone for me.  I burst into tears, as I tried to tell Bob what had happened.  I really didn’t know myself.

The mechanic later told Bob if Rob and I were not standing there in front of him, and if the highway policeman had not verified the story, he would not have believed it.  He showed us how the axle had snapped in two, severing the wheel from the rest of the car.  The wheel should have spun off; we and the car should have capsized and plunged into the road and the cars below.  Instead, it became wedged in the fender, and prevented the car from moving and turning over.  No one could explain it at the time.  They had never seen anything like it.  It was as if someone had jammed the wheel, bracing the car.

Was that an Angel who had wedged the wheel beneath the car?  Were they Angels who blocked my path, and locked me in the right lane, not allowing us to go into the fast lane?  If we had been in the fast lane, we would have been going so fast, not only would we have died but we would have taken other lives with us.  There would definitely have been a pile-up.  Maybe it was someone else’s Angel who interceded.  Maybe it was the Guardian Angel of someone who would discover the cure for Cancer.

Or could it be, it was that God heard my cry and called upon our Guardian Angels to save my grandson?  Or was it the Queen of Angels to whom I had been praying the Rosary before I picked up my grandson.  Had She summoned her army of Angels?  After all, our grandson had always loved her.  He had been in the Junior Legion of Mary when he was a little boy.  Did she have a special plan for him?

Or was it because one day the Lord would fill us with the desire to write about Him, His Mother, His Saints and now the Angels?  Were the fallen angels upset?  Did they not want you to know you are not alone?  Was there another battle between the good Angels and the fallen angels being waged?  Did the good Angels block the fallen ones from trying to prevent us from doing God’s work?  I don’t know; your guess is good as mine.  But the Angels were there; you can count on that.

As you drive up to EWTN, you immediately become aware of the Angels and their Queen.  Right in front of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel an Army of Angels is posted on a hill, honoring Mother Mary and protecting Mother Angelica, her Nuns, the Monastery and her Apostolate, The Eternal Word Television Network.  Even the truck containing her portable studio, including a satellite uplink, that EWTN uses to go on-site to bring us so much of their fine programming, is named after the Angel Gabriel.

When we first began delving into Mother Angelica’s story, we wondered how a little girl with so little to live for became the powerful woman she is, today.  As we studied more about her, we discovered the strong place the Angels have always played in her life.

To the eyes of the foolish, it would have appeared she was alone much of the time.  When we wrote one part of her story, in particular, we could see how, like the Prophets before her, the Lord had a plan and He never left her alone until that plan was fully executed.  Thank God, she and He are not finished, yet.

“With no earthly father to watch over her, Rita (Mother Angelica) was to have the love and watchful care of The Father, our Lord and Savior.  One day, as a young girl, when crossing a heavily trafficked street, tired and a little distracted, she did not see an oncoming automobile until it was too late to avoid the speeding, fatal impact.  She closed her eyes, waiting for the worst, when she felt hands lifting her up.  Upon opening her eyes, she discovered herself standing on the median, safe and untouched.  It was her first experience with the protective love of her Guardian Angel.  The bus driver who witnessed the event, later recounted the story to Mae (Mother Angelica’s mother).  He said it was as if Rita leaped in the air, or had been hurled high above the car and onto the median.”

Padre Pio and the Guardian Angels

Padre Pio would ask Padre Agostino to stay with him during some of his ecstasies.  As he was having ecstasies, Padre Agostino would hurriedly try to jot down Padre Pio’s words.  He said that Padre Pio’s Angel would laugh as Padre Pio playfully teased him.  This is an excerpt from one of Padre Pio’s ecstasies recorded by Father Agostino.  It’s dated November 29, 1911.  You can see that Padre Pio and his Guardian Angel were like two very close friends.  My Bob only teases people he trusts.  And so, it is obvious Padre Pio trusted his Angel enough to kid with him.

“…Angel of God, my Angel…Are you not taking care of me?…Are you a creature of God?…Either you’re a creature of God or a creator…You’re a creator?  No?  Therefore you are God’s creature and you must have laws which you must obey…You must stay beside me whether you want to or not…He laughs…what is there to laugh about?  Tell me one thing…who was here yesterday morning?…He laughs…an Angel laughs!…Tell me …I won’t leave you until you tell me…”

“If not, I will ask Jesus…and then you’ll catch it!”  Padre Pio turns to Mother Mary.  She laughs.  Seeing he is getting nowhere fast, Padre Pio turns to Jesus…”Jesus, You tell me.”  Father Agostino assumes the Angel answers Padre Pio because he says, “It took a lot for you to say it, little man.”

As close as he was with his Guardian Angel, so he was under constant attack from the fallen angels.  During one of his ecstasies, Father Agostino heard him say,

“Jesus, will the evil one come tonight?  Well, help those who assist me, protect them and defend them.”  (Padre Pio is referring to the friars, he would ask to stay with him, at times to help him ward off the onslaught of the fallen angels.)  He continues,  “I know you are there…but Angel of mine, stay with me!”

Padre Pio would always tell his spiritual children to send their Guardian Angels to him.  Then he  would complain that their Angels kept him up all night.

Pope John XXIII and the Guardian Angels

Angelo Roncalli, known to the world as Pope John XXIII, the rotund little man who was supposed to be an “interim Pope”, but wound up being responsible for changing the Church as we know it today, had an unbelievable devotion to the Angels, especially his Guardian Angel.  He never had a problem talking about the Angels, not only to his priests and bishops, but to non-Catholics and non-Christians for that matter.

Pope John XXIII had more to say about his Guardian Angel than anyone in the Church, with possible exception of Padre Pio.  John XXIII encouraged familiarity with the Guardian Angel.  “Get to know him.  Talk to him.  He will answer you.”  This Pope was a very simple man.  He took the Lord’s words at face value.  There was never in his mind, any question regarding the existence of Guardian Angels or their role in the lives of humans.  It came from the Word of God, and that was good enough for him.  He didn’t argue the fact.  He didn’t try to blow the Angels out of proportion, or make them into something they were not.  They were important enough; their role in salvation history was overwhelming.

He used every opportunity he could to expound on the Guardian Angels, especially how they were working in the world during his time.  He encouraged parents to teach their children about Guardian Angels.

“Parents should teach their children that they are never alone, that they have an Angel at their side, and show them how to have a trusting conversation with this Angel.”  On another occasion, he said, “Your Guardian Angel is a good adviser; he intercedes near God, on your behalf; he helps us in our needs; he protects us from dangers and accidents.  The Pope would like the faithful to feel the wonderful help the Angels give.”

Send your Guardian Angel

We can send our Guardian Angel to link wings with the wings of the Guardian Angels of loved ones, encircling them, protecting them from danger.  If our loved ones are in danger of being hurt physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally, we can send our Guardian Angel to speak to the Angel of the person who could hurt them.  Either the two Angels could join together to block that person from hurting our loved ones, or to talk to him to convince him not to harm them.

John XXIII was the greatest proponent of having your Guardian Angel appeal to the Guardian Angel of another person that you may be having difficulty with.  Very often, when he was preparing to go to a meeting with someone or someones he knew to be antagonistic, he would call upon his Guardian Angel to speak to the Guardian Angel of his adversary, and soften his heart.  He could not recall how many times this had changed the course of some very important meetings.

Pope John XXIII also gave credit to his Guardian Angel for the inspiration of convening Vatican Council II.  He claimed always, to pray to Our Lord through his Guardian Angel.  He believed sincerely that his Guardian Angel brought him the message from Jesus for Vatican II.

Bring my  husband back to me

There was a famous television personality who, one day, told his wife he was leaving her.  There was no other woman, he said, but he didn’t want to be married any longer.  She cried.  She pleaded, but all to no avail.  Good solid Christian friends told her she must pray, to remember that Jesus abhors divorce!  She was to live her life as if her husband would come through the door the next moment.  Believing, praying and hoping, she persevered as the months turned into almost two years.  There was no sign of her husband coming back.  The gossip columns and scandal magazines were having a party!

Often alone in her home, (or was she alone) she could barely keep from running out and making a life for herself.  Then one night, she answered the door and who do you think was standing before her?  Her husband!  He asked her if he could come back home, if she would take him back.  He said, he didn’t know what happened to him, but all of a sudden, he was sitting in a restaurant and he had this irresistible urge to return to her and his home.  Not only have they reconciled, but they are actively giving testimony on the power and hope of prayer.  Who put that thought into his mind and that desire into his heart?  Could it be Guardian Angels at work?

We can send our Angel to summon someone to Church. 

One day, in Little Rock, Arkansas, there was a Healing Service to be given by Father Ralph Di Orio.  But before it began, the Bishop of Little Rock processed into the Arena with the Blessed Sacrament.  As he passed by and raised the Blessed Sacrament, blessing the people, you could hear “I can walk.  I can hear.  I can see.”  People were throwing away crutches, rising from wheel chairs.  There were those who began to hear and see with the eyes of the heart as well as those of the body: healings of hurts and painful memories were taking place.  The faithful sought reconciliation, forming long lines to have their confessions heard.  There was an air of peace and joy that filled the room. As all the people who had come there to be helped had been healed, what could Father Di Orio do but praise the Lord for the next hour and a half.

A man came up to him and gave this testimony.  He had come there to disrupt the Service, to expose Father Di Orio and the Catholic Faith.  He had been away from the Church and the Sacraments for 25 years.  But, he said, when the Blessed Sacrament was raised and the Bishop blessed him, he felt something like a bolt of lightning shoot out of the monstrance and knock him down.  He went on, crying, that he was suddenly filled with the desire to come back home to his Church.

Maybe when this man set out, he thought his intention was to disrupt the Service and discredit the Church; but did his Guardian Angel know his heart’s true desire?  Did he know that, as with the Crucifixion, what may begin as a negative can be resurrected into a positive?

The Guardian Angels – Teaching of the Church

Our Lord Jesus referred to the Guardian Angels when He said, “See that you despise not one of these little ones, for I say to you that their Angels in Heaven always see the Face of My Father Who is in Heaven.”  He said their Angels, not the Angels, therefore we know that He was speaking of the Guardian Angels of the “little ones.”  This Truth of the Guardian Angels comes to us as a revelation from the Lord, Himself.  The doctrine of the Guardian Angels comes down to us, by the teaching authority of the Universal Church.  It reflects Holy Scripture and our Catholic Tradition down through the ages, right from the times of the early Fathers of the Church.

St. Basil the Great said, “…each one of the faithful has an Angel who directs his life as a teacher and a shepherd.”

Our Saint John Chrysostom, who wrote extensively on the Angels and the Sacrifice of the Mass, said, referring to Jacob of the Old Testament, “Every faithful Christian has an Angel, for every just man had an Angel from the very beginning.”  And then quoting Jacob:  “The Angel that nourishes me and delivers me from youth.”

The early Fathers of the Church taught that every good Christian has the special protection of a Guardian Angel.  But that is not to say that God, in His unlimited love and generous Heart, does not have the same concern and does not likewise grant the same fatherly protection over non-believers and sinners.  They are His children, just as we are, and as their Creator, He has never stopped loving them.  I believe that we, in the narrow scope of our ability to love and forgive, have a difficult time understanding how much God loves us, how He remains faithful as we turn our backs on Him, how He continues to love us even as we continue to take part, in His Crucifixion by crucifying others.

When I think how difficult it is to see our loved-ones go off, whether to college, to Seminary, to a Convent, to get married, or to the missions, all good things, my heart aches for our Heavenly Father Who sends His precious creations, the Angels down to be with us.  How very much He loves us!  And if God is willing to part with them, out of love for us, then it must be important that they are here, and it follows, we should listen to them and love them.

So now you know.  There are no more excuses.  When you find yourself in the occasion of sin, when the temptation is so strong to do whatever it is you know you shouldn’t be doing, and an even more powerful voice within you keeps telling you not to do it, that’s your Guardian Angel.  Or if you are with your friends, and an instance arises where you’re called upon to do something good but not necessarily popular, for someone in need but not particularly socially acceptable, when that voice inside of you urges you to go beyond yourself, pleading with you to allow yourself to be ridiculed for the sake of a child of the kingdom, that’s your Guardian Angel bugging you until you give in.  He won’t force you, but he won’t let you live either, until you do what’s good for you.  It’s a fact that he loves you.  And you can’t even see him.  Or can you?


Kneeling before Your Majesty, we thank You, O God

that You have given each of us a Heavenly companion

to be at our side, one who leads us according to Your Will

directs us to Your Glory, and manifests to us Your Love.

Here before Your eyes, we promise to love our holy companion

as a brother, and heed him when he speaks to us in the voice of conscience.  He shall surely lead us to Heaven.


Take my hand and place it in the hand of my Angel, and make the sign of Redemption over it, Your blessing for our Salvation.

 More information on the Angels go here

St. Thérèse, God’s Little Flower

October 2, 2015

St. Thérèse, God’s Little Flower

“If God grants my desires, my Heaven will be spent on earth until the end of time.  Yes, I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth….I will return!  I will come down!”

Saint Therese of Lisieux minibook

St. Thérèse is one of the most powerful Saints of the Twentieth Century.  We have never prayed for the intercession of another Saint who lived so close to our time.  She died in 1897 at the age of twenty four, and was canonized in 1925.  When she died, she was virtually unknown, even in her own Community.

Within two years of her death, the power of her intercession began to be felt all over Europe.  Prayers and novenas were made to her for favors, which were answered in abundance, usually preceded by the reception of a flower.  She called herself the Little Flower of Jesus, a name which has remained with her until today.  The swiftness of time in which devotion to this Saint grew, would be called in secular terms, a phenomena.  We call it a Miracle.

On March 15, 1907, Pope St. Pius X, in a private conversation, called her “The greatest Saint of modern times”.  This statement, made ten years after her death, from a man who would himself be raised to the Communion of Saints, is a great tribute to the little Carmelite that no one had known at the time of her death.

A year later in the Vatican, the Prefect of the Congregation of Rites, Cardinal Vico, stated, “We must lose no time in crowning the little Saint with glory, if we do not want the voice of the people to anticipate us.”  He was about eight years too late.  People began calling Thérèse a Saint as early as two years after her death.

The power of intercession given to Thérèse was undeniable.  Truly, her prophecy made towards the end of her life, “God will have to do my will in Heaven, because I have never done my own will on earth,” was coming about.  Within a short twenty eight years after her death, in 1925, the little cloistered Carmelite was proclaimed St. Thérèse.

Saints beget Saints

We believe that statement to be true.  The parents of Thérèse, Louis and Zélie Martin, who have now both been beatified,  both felt drawn to the Religious life.  Louis wanted to enter a Religious order, but was turned down because he didn’t know Latin.  He moved to Paris, where he stayed for three years.  It was too sinful a city for him.  He couldn’t stay there any longer, so he went to Alençon, where his parents had a jewelry business.  He lived there for eight years in virtual seclusion.  He opened up a watch and clock shop, which took up much of his time.  He was very spiritual, and kept to himself pretty much.  He enjoyed being alone on fishing trips, or spending time at Church.  He did involve himself in a young Catholic organization in his parish.  He had no qualms about closing his shop each Sunday, which was one of the busiest days in Alençon.

Zélie had suffered an unhappy childhood.  She felt that no matter what she did, her mother never considered her as good as her sister.  Perhaps because of this, she became an over-achiever, excelling in anything into which she put her energy.  She was very hard on herself, suffering from Scrupulosity, which her daughter Thérèse inherited from her.   At age 22, when Louis met Zélie, she had mastered the art of making Alençon lace, for which the region was world famous.  She had her own little shop, and was doing quite well.  She, too, had wanted to enter the Religious life, but was turned down, which only added to her poor self-image, seeing as how her sister had become a Visitation Nun.

It was Louis’ mother who brought the two together.  She was concerned about her son, who was now 34 years old.  After a very short courtship of three months, Louis and Zélie were married.  However, Louis wanted to live a celibate life with Zélie, as brother and sister.  She wasn’t happy about the idea, but begrudgingly agreed, for almost a year.  Finally, the couple asked guidance from their Confessor, who convinced them that they were to live the full married life.  They were so obedient that they had nine children in ten years.  Only five of them survived, all girls, of which Thérèse was the youngest and the last.  Our little Saint was born on the 2nd of January, 1873.

The family had lost four children, three in infancy, and one at age five.  When Thérèse became very ill as an infant, they feared she might join her brothers and sisters in Heaven.  They tried everything they could.  Finally, the doctor insisted the child be breast-fed, so little Thérèse was sent to a wet-nurse in the country for over a year.  She came back healthy, beautiful, and with a great love for the country.  Her health was always delicate, however.  Even as a child, she became sick from the slightest thing, and the illness always lingered.

Thérèse was everybody’s favorite.  The older girls, Marie and Pauline, wanted to mother the child.  Céline, only four when Thérèse was born, became her closest friend.  Pauline was Thérèse’s ideal.  She felt a great attraction to this sister.  Thérèse had her own inbred love for God, and had talked about being a Nun at the earliest age.  Her sister Pauline wrote to a friend when Thérèse was only four years old, that she could see a vocation in her.  But it was when Pauline entered the Carmel, that Thérèse’s vocation was sealed.

Thérèse’s life at Alençon was a happy one.  The family was well-to-do.  The Franco-Prussian war had ended, and it seemed for a time that peace had come to France.  Zélie’s lace business had grown and grown so, that Louis sold his watch shop to take over the management of her business.  But Louis and Zélie never allowed their good fortune to get in the way of their spirituality.  Jesus and the Church were primary in their home.

Thérèse was a spiritual girl from the very beginning.  She had a great love for everything that had to do with her Faith.  And being who she was, it was not a quiet, subdued love.  It was an alive, exciting, vibrant spirituality.  She embraced with fervor Jesus, Mother Mary, all the Angels and the Saints.

Thérèse was spoiled by everyone.  She was the youngest, the prettiest, the most coquettish.  Not only her family, but her relatives, family friends, virtually everyone who met her as a child adored her.  And she knew it!  It became one of her strongest weapons to get her way when she wanted it.  She was spoiled, but she was never a brat.  Everyone wanted to do for her, and she just took it all in.  She was also vain.  She would have been hard-pressed not to have everybody fawning all over her.  But in later years, as a teenager, and then in the Carmel, these became her two greatest obstacles to overcome.

She had a very strong personality, which she herself admits.  When she couldn’t get her way, she would roll on the floor in tantrums, to the point where she sometimes choked.

Her mother once noted: “Thérèse is not as gentle as Céline and has an almost unconquerable stubborn streak in her; when she says no, nothing can make her give in, and you can put her in the cellar for the day and she would rather sleep there than say yes.”

It became cute to talk about the naughty pranks that Thérèse did.  Zélie wrote letters mentioning her pranks.  Her sister Pauline wrote letters mentioning “naughty tricks” and misdeeds.  The little Saint herself wrote letters, accusing herself of being impish, answering back, and playing tricks on her sisters.  These were all exaggerations, which the family understood.  However, there came a time during the Process for Beatification, that these innocent charges were used against her.  It was only Divine Intervention that most of the people who knew her were still alive to testify to her character.

In 1877, at four and a half years old, Thérèse’s world came tumbling down on her.  Her dear mother, after a lengthy illness, died.  Thérèse took this very hard.  In her own words,

“The moving ritual of Extreme Unction impressed itself on my soul.  I still see the spot where I was told to kneel; I still hear the sobs of our poor father. . .  I do not remember that I wept much.  I spoke to no one of the profound feelings which filled my heart; I looked and listened in silence.”

Louis Martin felt it best to move his five girls to Lisieux, to be close to Zélie’s brother and sister-in-law, who could be helpful in raising them.  They rented a beautiful little home, called Les Buissonnets, which still stands today.  The atmosphere was different from Alençon.  There, their home faced the main street.  Zélie was outgoing, and there were many friends visiting all the time.  In Lisieux, they knew nobody, except of course, Zélie’s family, the Guérins.  The home was a distance from the main street, and very secluded.  For Thérèse it was good in a way, in that she had a big garden, which was reminiscent of her infancy in the country.  For all of them however, it was a time of being alone, just family.  Louis went back to his old ways of solitude, a luxury he was not able to enjoy while Zélie was alive.

The two older girls took charge of the household, under the supervision of Madame Guérin.  Thérèse had two more playmates however, her cousin Jeanne, who was much older, ten, and Marie, seven and a half.  But soon, her sister Céline, closest in age to Thérèse, went off to school, and our little Saint found herself alone much of the time.  She wrote about this time in her life.

“After Mamma’s death my happy disposition changed completely.  I, who had been so full of life, so outgoing, became shy, quiet and oversensitive.  A look was enough to reduce me to tears.  I was only happy when no one paid attention to me.  I could not bear the company of strangers, and only regained my cheerfulness within the intimacy of my family.”

It was a time, however, that brought Thérèse closer to her sister, Pauline.  Marie, the oldest, and Pauline took charge of teaching Thérèse during the mornings.  It was during this time that Pauline became her second mother.  Thérèse always referred to her in those terms, even in the Convent.  In the afternoon, she got to go out with her father for long walks.  It was good for Louis, too, because he would have stayed alone up in the belvedere at the top of the house, if he were allowed to.  But he enjoyed this time with his little princess, the last of his children.  People stopped to stare at Thérèse no matter where they went.  They always had a compliment to pay to her father, about how pretty she was.  There had been a time when she loved to hear these flattering words, but now she wanted to hide behind her father.  The compliments, however, remained in her subconscious.

It was during this time at Les Buissonnets that Thérèse had a Vision, which she did not understand for years to come.  One day, she was up in her room.  Her father had gone back to Alençon to visit friends.  All of a sudden, she saw a man who looked exactly like her father, walking in their garden.  But he was all stooped over, and wore something over his head like an apron.  She called out to him, “Papa!  Papa!” but he disappeared without turning back.

Her two older sisters, alarmed by the sound of her voice, ran into her room.  She cried aloud what she had seen.  She was on the verge of hysteria.   Marie and Pauline ran downstairs and looked all over the grounds.  They found no one.  They spoke to the maid, who had a habit of finding ways of teasing Thérèse.  She knew nothing of what the child had seen.  Thérèse was confused and frightened by this Vision.  She had never seen her father this way.  She couldn’t get it out of her mind.  A time would come after she had entered the Carmel when this would prove to have been a prophetic Vision.

Thérèse felt a security at home, among family, which extended to the Guérins, but not much beyond that.  She didn’t want to be with other people.  She was not happy with other people.  This was all contrary to the outgoing personality she’d had before her mother died.  At one time, she actually expressed a desire to be a hermit, to her sister Pauline.

Therefore, her entry into school was a traumatic experience for her.  She was very good with her subjects, with the possible exception of Mathematics.  But in everything else, she excelled.  She actually threw herself into her studies to avoid relationship with any of her classmates.  She couldn’t stand playtime.  She didn’t get along well with the other children.  And this from a girl who loved and was loved by all she encountered.  There was something wrong.  She did not feel safe in this atmosphere.  She once wrote that this period, the time spent in  school at the Benedictine Convent in Lisieux, was the saddest time of her life.

She read a lot.  Actually, she buried herself in books, got lost in books.  It was a way of escaping from the world she lived in.  Her heroine was Joan of Arc, who was not yet canonized.  Did Thérèse know somewhere in her subconscious that one day she would be proclaimed Secondary Patron of France with St. Joan of Arc? (1944)  Joan of Arc was to play an important part in the life of our Saint.  Thérèse felt a kinship with her always.  On two different occasions during her life in the Carmel, she wrote, directed and starred in productions about Joan of Arc.

There were many ups and downs in her life during this period.  She lost her sister Pauline to the Carmel in Lisieux in 1882.  This was a very difficult time for her.  Pauline had been her second mother.  Now she was gone.  Thérèse was only nine years old at the time.  She had felt such a closeness to this sister.  She thought Pauline would wait for her, until she could go with her.  Once, some years before, Pauline had made that statement, not thinking anything of it.  She had evidently forgotten this commitment she made to her sister.  Thérèse had not.

When she was ten years old, Thérèse was stricken with an illness that was difficult to diagnose.  It seemed for a time like it would kill her.  She was in a constant state of hallucinations and violent trembling, her shivering body, ice-cold.  It began on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, and stayed with her almost seven weeks.  She was completely debilitated.  She rallied once on April 6, because she wanted desperately to attend the ceremony of her sister Pauline’s receiving the Carmelite habit.  She was able to go to the ceremony, but when she returned, her relapse was so severe, all thought it was the end for her.

It got so bad that her family took turns praying around her bed.  Then, in the month of Mary, on May 13, a miracle took place.  She kept calling out “Mama!  Mama!”  Her three sisters knelt at her bedside, and prayed to the statue of Our Lady which was on the bureau.  Thérèse tells what happened:

“Finding no help on earth, poor little Thérèse also turned to her Heavenly Mother and prayed with all her heart for her (Mary) to have pity on her at last.  All of a sudden the Blessed Virgin appeared to me beautiful, more beautiful than anything I had ever seen.  Her face expressed an ineffable goodness and tenderness, but what went right to the depths of my soul was The Blessed Virgin’s ravishing smile!  Then all my pain vanished, two large tears welled up on my eyelashes and silently rolled down my cheeks, but they were tears of pure joy.  Ah!  I thought, the blessed Virgin has smiled at me, how happy I am – but I will never tell anyone, for then my happiness would disappear.”

Thérèse was completely healed on May 13, 1883, through an apparition by Mary.  Another miracle would take place through another apparition by Mary, on another May 13, 1917, in a little town in Portugal, called Fatima.

Ironically, during this period, which she referred to as the saddest of her life, Thérèse had one of her most spiritually uplifting experiences.  She received her First Holy Communion.  This was an event she had waited for as far back as she could remember.  The whole family took this very seriously.  Her sister Marie prepared her for the upcoming event.  From the Carmel, her sister Pauline sent home a book of daily sacrifices for Thérèse to do in preparation for the long awaited day.  This went on from February until May, when she finally received the Lord.

It was an extra special day for the Martin family.  While the youngest, Thérèse, was to receive First Holy Communion, the first daughter who had entered the Carmel, Pauline, was making her final profession.  The day chosen was May 8, 1884.  Thérèse refers to her First Holy Communion as the “First sweet kiss of Jesus”.  As she got closer and closer to the Communion rail, thoughts of when her sister Céline had received her first Holy Communion went through her mind.  How sad she had been that time when she could not receive the Lord with Céline.  But today was her day, hers and Jesus’.  She described her feelings,

“Ah, how sweet was that first kiss of Jesus!  It was a kiss of Love; I felt that I was loved, and I said, `I love you and I give myself to you forever!’  There were no requests, no struggles, no sacrifices; for a long time Jesus and poor little Thérèse had looked at each other (from a distance) and understood each other.  That day it was no longer simply a look, it was a fusion; there were no longer two, Thérèse had vanished like a drop of water lost in the depths of the ocean.  Jesus alone remained.  He was the Master, the King.”


This has been a short excerpt of the chapter on

St. Thérèse from Bob and Penny Lord’s book,

Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church.

For more information, go here

Bob and Penny Lord’s Ministry Special Sale Event

September 30, 2015

Bob and Penny Lord’s Ministry


Special Sale Event
October 1 through October 15
50 per cent off
all books and dvds

Coupon code 50off2tt

Go here now and browse our catalog


Special 50 per cent off all items Sales Event Oct 1 through October 15

September 28, 2015


Our 50 per cent discount event will begin October 1 and end October 15.

50% off all books and dvds

Coupon code to use at checkout = 50off2tt

No other discounts apply and discounts do not apply on bundled discounted items mini books and religious items.

Celebrating the Gift of Mary on her Birthday Sept 8

September 7, 2015

The Gift of Mary

goodcounselMy most precious family; this is an exciting and important month for us Catholics, especially those who love Mary.  It’s something that could pass you by, because it’s not promoted as much as other things in our Church.  That’s why I’m just here to remind you of it, because I love you.

Next Tuesday is Mother Mary’s Birthday.

Our Lady has given us many gifts during our lifetime.  She has been there for us in many ways; she has worn many faces for us.  She is our Mother; she is our friend; she is our confidant; she leads us to her Son Jesus.

In our book, The Many Faces of Mary, we share with you just some of the miraculous apparitions she has made here on earth.  She came to a little illiterate girl in Lourdes, France and proclaimed her Immaculate Conception.  From that time until this, she has given us miracles at Lourdes, at the Baths, and at the Blessing of the Sick. 49lourdes

In Paris, at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, we told you about how Our Lady sat in a chair with St. Catherine Labouré kneeling, her arms in Our Lady’s lap.  Our Lady gave us a gift which will be with us forever. She said:

47miraculous Meda'“But come to the foot of the Altar.  Great graces will be poured out on those who ask for them.”  There is a catch.  You have to   ask for them.  Our Lady’s hands had rings on each finger.  But rays only beamed down from certain fingers.  She said to Catherine Labouré, “the fingers with no rays are graces that have not been asked for.”  The gifts are there.  You have but to ask for them.

It’s so much like the gifts we received at Confirmation, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They’re wrapped up like Christmas presents, sitting under the tree.  But you have to    take them.  When Penny and I taught Confirmation Class, we walked around the room with a $5 bill, offering it to the students.  Everybody thought it was a trick, and didn’t take it, until one brave soul took it.  He said “Thank You.”  I said “You’re welcome.”  Then everyone in the class was upset that they hadn’t taken the gift.  When was the last time any of us used the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?  Who even knows what the Seven Gifts are?

Go up to the foot of the Altar.  Take the gift from Our Lady!

Media on Mother Mary

Mother Mary Info

Okay.  We’re coming to the big climax.

I think you’ll agree with me that we were all given tremendous gifts by Our Lady during our lifetime. And she never stops giving.  But now it’s time to give back.

Next Tuesday, September 8, is Mary’s Birthday.  Honor her.  Go to Mass.  I know it’s not a Holy Day of Obligation, but do it anyway.

I know you’re going to say, “Oh I can’t get off work!”  “I’ve got to be on the job!”  “I have a full schedule at school.” I don’t know where there’s a church that’s having Mass.”

Don’t let the world get in your way.  She is your Mooother.  She has given to you.  Give to Her.  Or She will get you.  Just sayin…  I’m telling you this because I love you.  Mary loves you.  Love her back.

And FYI, the next day is my birthday.  So while you’re at Mass on Mother Mary’s birthday, pray for my special intention.  We love you!

Pray the Rosary.
Media on Mother Mary

Mother Mary Info


Saint Gregory the Great

September 2, 2015

Father of Medieval Christianity – Doctor of the Church
The First Monk to be elected Pope

gregory 1
One day, I called a brilliant, holy priest-friend, complaining about the attacks against the Church and our country. His advice to me was, “Don’t despair! The world and the Church have been under attack for generations and we are still here!
To study the history of the world, especially Europe, is to discover the history of the Church. For the Church has always played an integral part in the annals of history, as she continues to follow her Master Jesus Christ, who told the Apostles, “I will be with you till the end of the world.” For since the children of God are living in the world, then so must the happenings of the world be intertwined with Mother Church as her children are affected by the world they live in.
The way the Lord protects us and saves us from the enemy is to send down from Heaven a powerful man or woman, a Super Saint, who is the right instrument for the job at the time when he or she is needed the most.
Rome and Italy under siege

Our Latest book
Heroes – Popes in Hard Times

We want to share a little of what was going on in the world of the 5th Century. The world was in a turmoil! This was the beginning of the end of the Western emperors. The collapse of the Roman empire begins with Italy being taken over by one barbarian army placing Italy under the thumb of the Eastern emperors of Constantinople, only to be invaded and ravaged by another barbarian, the Ostrogoth Theodoric, who would rule Italy from Rome, from 493, until his death in 526.
We are now in the 6th Century and we see yet another war brewing. Seeing Theodoric’s demise as an opportunity, we meet another conqueror, Emperor Justinian. He wanted to bring back to Rome some of the glory that it had during its glorious days. He was determined to reclaim North Africa and Italy from the Goths for the Western Roman Empire. He went about it by sending the ominous Belisarius with his Greek armies, who set out by first plowing through North Africa, triumphantly; and then focusing his sights on Italy, he went on to invading Sicily. That engagement successful, he was on to Rome and the rest of Italy. This Italian war lasted from 535 to 553. Through the tenacity of Belisarius, Justinian accomplished what he had set out to do, re-establish the glory that was Rome.
Not to know any respite, Rome was once again invaded by the Goths, with the fierce Totila now leading the charge, laying waste anything or anyone in his way, with nothing less than the occupation of Rome, in mind. The new charging hordes looted everything in sight, destroying that which they could not take. Cities after cities were laid waste, along with the farms in the tiny villages. There was an anger and a helplessness which made monsters out of otherwise good people, trying to cope with the famine which was widespread; and so as a direct result we find Rome and the rest of Italy attacked now from within, with rioting and all forms of chaos.
People were almost out of their minds, not knowing where to turn. And to compound the cross they were forced to carry, an epidemic spread throughout the countryside, claiming those who had not died through starvation and mistreatment. Tossed from conqueror to conqueror, the 500 citizens of Rome who were left alive, suffered the worst persecution and horrible deprivation. All their crops confiscated by the invading armies, and that which they couldn’t take burned and destroyed, the suffering citizens were reduced to near starvation.
For the Goths, the sweet taste of victory and conquest was to be short-lived. General Belisarius returned, and once again led the charge, forcing the Goths to retreat. Once again the victor, the intoxicating smell of conquest for Belisarius was to be as fleeting as a breath of fresh air on a hot, smoldering day. The Emperor Justinian replaced Belisarius with Narses, another general. This was not a good move, because it gave the Goths the opportunity to recapture Rome, which they did.
For the poor citizens of Italy, their lives were like living on a see-saw. Each day, some new tragedy befell them. it must have felt like the sun would never shine on them and their land, again, what with being under the subjugation of one Emperor after another, one conqueror replacing the one before, raising havoc and despair; it seemed even Mother Nature was against them. A great feeling of despair overtook the land. And God’s children cried!
This is where God comes in. Well, He’s always there. He always helps us. During this terrible time, He gave us St. Benedict, who, according to tradition, had an encounter with the Goth conqueror, Totila.
“The vile and murderous tyrant Totila the Goth, spreading his evil ways throughout the Roman Empire, finally came to central Italy and Saint Benedict. Now, Totila had heard of Benedict’s miracles and prophetic gifts, and he thought he would test him. So he took Riggo, the captain of his guards, and dressed him in his regal purple robes (the color of royalty), and sent him to Benedict at Monte Cassino, along with three counts from his court who always escorted him. But the disguise did not fool Benedict, who, upon Riggo appearing before him, addressed the impostor: “My son, why are you wearing these robes, as they do not belong to you?” Riggo fled and reported what had transpired to Totila. Upon hearing his testimony, Totila went in haste to visit St. Benedict. It is written that when Totila appeared before Benedict, he was in such awe and wonder, he fell prostrate before him. Benedict, in his always charitable heart, after inviting him to stand several times, rose and helped Totila to his feet.

Benedict spoke severely and prophetically: “It is time you ceased your vile and contemptible conduct. You are doing much evil, and much evil you have done. You will enter Rome; you will rule for nine years; and on the tenth you will die.” Totila remained alarmed and never forgot the prophecy. It was as if he were getting another chance. He went about altering his rule, lending more clemency to his sentencing. It came to pass, as Benedict prophesied: Totila reigned for nine years and died on the tenth year, in 542 A.D.”
God raises up a Saint for this time

God’s children were suffering! Never leaving us alone, into this topsy-turvy world, God sent us a future Saint, whose voice would ring strong down through the ages, summoning God’s children to pray and believe in the One True Triune God,
Who is with us; Who loves us; Who we can trust.
This future Saint Gregory the Great, God was raising up, who was destined to be one of the most powerful Popes the world would know, was sent to strengthen the Church He had founded, to guide His most precious lambs that they not wander and get devoured by wolves.


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