What I Like About Catholicism

What I Like About Catholicism

Our Lady of Mental Peace 

Our Lady of Mental Peace

Our Lady of Mental Peace

Our Lady of Mental Peace

About Our Lady of Mental Peace:
Our Lady of Mental Peace was first founded by Monsignor William Sullivan of the Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts. He was a psychiatric hospital Chaplain for some 27 years. In the 1950’s he invited the Legion of Mary to set up a presidium in one of three psychiatric hospitals. They would say the rosary with the patients on a regular basis.
Blessed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, it draws many who seek solace from a world that challenges them to the very core, sufferers and carers alike. This is a private devotion. It reaches out to everyone in our society.   (Information directly copied from Day For Life Archive.)

Prayer to Our Lady of Mental Peace:
O Lady of Mental Peace,
Mother of Tranquility
and Mother of Hope,
look upon me in this time
of my weakness and unrest.

Teach my searching heart
to know that God's Love
for me is unchanging and
unchangeable, and, that
true human love can only
begin and grow by touching
His Love.

Let your gentle Peace -
which this world cannot give
- be always with me.
And, help me to bring this
same Peace into the lives
of others.

Our Lady of Mental Peace,
- Pray for me!

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

Miraculous Medal

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

About Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal:
On June 6 the Lord appeared to the young (age 24) Daughter of Charity novice Catherine at Mass, and again on the nights of July 18-19 when she was summoned to the chapel by a "child clothed in white" to converse with the Virgin Mary. Catherine was told prophecies and charged with "a mission" that manifested itself on November 27 in an early morning (5:30am) appearance of the Blessed Virgin who was "clothed in white" standing on a globe and "a serpent." Rays of light issued forth from rings on her fingers and Catherine was told to commission a medal of what she was seeing. Then, turning the letter "M surmounted by a bar and a cross" underneath which were the hearts of Jesus and Mary all surrounded by the words "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."   (Information directly copied from In Defense of the Cross).

The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal:
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labour. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary's sinlessness, full of grace and blessed among women (Luke 1:28) that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.   (Information directly copied from In Defense of the Cross).

The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal:
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The M stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary's close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this we see Mary's part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).  (Information directly copied from In Defense of the Cross).

Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal:
Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate,
we unite ourselves to you under your title of
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of your motherly affection for us and a
constant reminder of our filial duties towards you.
While wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection
and preserved in the grace of your Son.
Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior,
keep us close to you every moment of our lives
so that like you we may live and act
according to the teaching and example of your Son.
Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death
so that in union with you we may enjoy
the happiness of heaven forever. Amen.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (written by Pope John Paul II):
You are blessed among all women!
Blessed are you who have believed!
The Mighty One worked marvels for you!
The marvel of your divine motherhood!
And in view of it,
The marvel of your immaculate conception!
The marvel of your "let it be done to me"!
You were so continually associated
to the whole work of our redemption,
associated with the cross of our Savior;
your heart was pierced, at the side of his heart.
And now, in the glory of your Son
you unceasingly intercede for us,
poor sinners.
You watch over the church whose mother you are.
You watch over each of your children.
You obtain from God, for us, all these graces
symbolized by the rays of light
coming from your open hands.
If only we dare to ask them from you
and come to you
with the confidence and simplicity of a child.
And so you guide us unceasingly
toward your Son Jesus.

~~ Pope John Paul II

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes

About Our Lady of Lourdes:
See "About St. Bernadette"

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes:
O ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen.

Pope John Paul II's Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes:
Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman, Blessed by the Most High! Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era, We join in your song of praise, to celebrate the Lord’s mercy, to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom and the full liberation of humanity.
Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord, Glorious Mother of Christ! Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word, Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word, and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit, attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience and to his manifestations in the events of history.
Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows, Mother of the living! Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve, Be our guide along the paths of the world. Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ, to stand with you before the innumerable crosses on which your Son is still crucified.
Hail Mary, woman of faith, First of the disciples! Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always to account for the hope that is in us, with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love. Teach us to build up the world beginning from within: in the depths of silence and prayer, in the joy of fraternal love, in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.
Holy Mary, Mother of believers, Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
This prayer was said during the Holy Father's August 15, 2004 visit to Lourdes, France. The Pope asked her among other things to "be our guide along the paths of the world."

Our Lady of Fátima

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima

About Our Lady of Fátima:
On May 13, 1917, on a hillside outside Fatima, Portugal, three shepherd children saw a lady "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal glass filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun." For the next six months, on the 13th day of each month, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto.
The final apparition, on October 13, 1917, was accompanied by the "Miracle of the Sun." As many as 70,000 people saw the sun dance in the sky, then plunge toward the earth. The sheer number of witnesses weighed strongly in the decision to proclaim the apparitions at Fatima "worthy of belief" in 1930.
Sixty-four years after the first apparition, on May 13, 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square. Despite massive blood loss, the Holy Father survived, a fact he credited to Our Lady of Fatima: "For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet."
There is no better way to celebrate the 95th anniversary of Fatima than to pray the rosary, which the Blessed Virgin asked the children to recite every day. In fact, most Catholics incorporate into the rosary a prayer known as the Fatima Prayer, which was revealed by Our Lady to the children on July 13, 1917. Recited at the end of each ten Hail Marys, it is also known as the Decade Prayer.   (Information directly copied from About's Catholic page).

Prayer to  Our Lady of Fátima:
Queen of the Rosary, sweet Virgin of Fatima, who hast deigned to appear in the land of Portugal and hast brought peace, both interior and exterior, to that once so troubled country, we beg of thee to watch over our dear homeland and to assure its moral and spiritual revival.
Bring back peace to all nations of the world, so that all, and our own nation in particular, may be happy to call thee their Queen and the Queen of Peace.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for our country. Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for all humanity a durable peace. Amen.

Prayer to Our Lady of Fátima: 
Most holy Virgin, who hast deigned to come to Fatima, to reveal the treasures of graces hidden in the recitation of the Rosary, inspire our hearts with a sincere love of this devotion, that meditating on the Mysteries of Our Redemption recalled therein, we may obtain the conversion of Russia. And (here name other favors you are praying for); which we ask you in this Novena, for greater glory of God, for your own honor, and for the good of souls. Amen.

Our  Lady of Guadalupe 

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

About Our Lady of Guadalupe:
The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec Indian convert to Catholicism named Juan Diego on Tepayac Hill, near Mexico City on December 9, 1531. She asked him to tell the local bishop that she would like a church to be built there in her honor. When the bishop, Juan de Zummaraga, a devout Franciscan, asked Juan Diego for a sign proving the authenticity of her request, Mary helped out in two very special ways!
First, she instructed Juan Diego to gather fresh Castilian roses not normally found in the rocky barren landscape of Tepayac Hill (and certainly not in the beginning of winter!) Then she had him carry them to the bishop in histilma, (his cloak), instructing him not to open his cloak until he saw Zumarraga. The bishop, a devout Franciscan was so moved when he saw Juan Diego this time, on December 12th, that he fell to his knees and granted our Lady’s request!
Not only was he amazed at the roses falling out of Juan Diego’s tilma. Even more incredible was the image he saw of Mary as our Lady of Guadalupe, imprinted on his cloak as shown above, with the appearance of a Mestizawoman (of both European and Native American descent), just as Juan Diego had described her!
Mary also miraculously cured Juan Diego’s uncle, Juan Bernardino from a serious illness that same day, telling him that the image on his nephew’stilma pictured above should be known as “The Ever Virgin, Holy Mary of Guadalupe.” (Information directly copied from Our Catholic Prayers.)

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mystical Rose,
make intercession for holy Church,
protect the sovereign Pontiff,
help all those who invoke you in their necessities,
and since you are the ever Virgin Mary
and Mother of the true God,
obtain for us from your most holy Son
the grace of keeping our faith,
of sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life
of burning charity, and the precious gift
of final perseverance.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin of Guadalupe, that in your apparitions on Mount Tepeyac you promised to show pity and compassion to all who, loving and trusting you, seek your help and protection.
Accordingly, listen now to our supplications and grant us consolation and relief. We are full of hope that, relying on your help, nothing can trouble or affect us. As you have remained with us through your admirable image, so now obtain for us the graces we need. Amen.

How to Pray the Catholic Rosary:

A sign of the cross on the Crucifix and then the "Apostles' Creed";

I believe in God,the Father almighty,Creator of heaven and earth,and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,born of the Virgin Mary,suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died and was buried;he descended into hell;on the third day he rose again from the dead;he ascended into heaven,and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit,the holy catholic Church,the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,the resurrection of the body,and life everlasting. Amen.

An "Our Father" on the first large bead;

Our Father who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come.Thy will be doneon earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us,and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.For thine is the kingdom,and the power, and the glory,for ever and ever.Amen.

A "Hail Mary" on each of the three small beads with the following intentions (the theological virtues):
For the increase of faith
For the increase of hope
For the increase of charity

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

A "Glory Be to the Father";

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Announce the mystery
An "Our Father" on the large bead
A "Hail Mary" on each of the adjacent ten small beads;
A "Glory Be to the Father";
Announce the next mystery, again an "Our Father" on the next large bead, followed by ten "Hail Marys" on the small beads, the "Glory Be to the Father," for each of the following decades;
In conclusion, "Hail Holy Queen" and a sign of the cross.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you we cry, the children of Eve;
to you we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this land of exile.

Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
lead us home at last
and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus:
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

The Saints:

Saint Joan of Arc

Saint Joan of Arc is the patron of Captives; France; Imprisoned people; Martyrs; Opposition of Church authorities; People ridiculed for their piety; Prisoners; Soldiers; Victims of Rape; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Woman's Army Corps.

File:Joan of arc miniature graded.jpg
Joan of Arc (1450-1500) 

St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc holy card

Stained glass window of St. Joan of Arc in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dover, New Jersey, USA

About St. Joan of Arc:
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
At first the messages were personal and general. Then at last came the crowning order. In May, 1428, her voices "of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret" told Joan to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and gobbling up evermore French territory.
After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seige of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.
In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.
Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30.
Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.   (Information directly copied from Catholic Online).

Prayer for the Intercession of St. Joan of Arc:
Dear Sweet Patron Saint,
I implore you in the name of God to intercede on my behalf and guide me. Help me to be strong when people are against me and question my belief in God. Help me to stand by my faith and my decisions concerning my faith. I wish to do only God's will, and I beg of you, O Patron Saint, to help keep me on His true path, and guide me in His will. I need friends now, more than ever before, and I choose God as my first and foremost best friend, above all others. But I also choose you as a close and special friend to relate to and to talk to. Please counsel me by any means necessary that is in the will of God to do.
Please let me have the wisdom and understanding to receive his message and the patience and virtue to listen so that I may understand his word.
St. Joan, Pray for us.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous 

Patroness of bodily ills, illness, people ridiculed for their piety, poverty, shepherdesses, shepherds, sick people 


St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette

                  St. Bernadette of Lourdes

About St. Bernadette:
Born at Lourdes, France, on January 7, the oldest child of miller Francis Soubirous and his wife, Louise, she was called Bernadette as a child, lived in abject poverty with her parents, was uneducated, and suffered from asthma. On February 11, 1858, while collecting firewood on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes, she saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a cave above the riverbank.
Her report provoked skepticism, but her daily visions of the Lady from February 18 through March 4 drew great crowds of people. Despite great hostility on the part of the civil authorities, she persisted in her claims, and on February 25 caused a spring to flow where none had been before. On March 25, the vision told her it was the Immaculate Conception and directed her to build a chapel on the site.
In 1866, she became a Sister of Notre Dame at Nevers, and she remained there until she died at Nevers on April 16. Lourdes soon became one of the great pilgrimage centers of modem Christianity, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring, and after painstaking investigation the apparitions were ecclesiastically approved. Bernadette was canonized in 1933 by Pope Pius XI.  (Information directly copied from Catholic Tradition).

St. Bernadette is one of the Incorruptible Saints:
After thirty years undisturbed in the tomb, Sister Marie Bernard's body was exhumed for examination. The cause for sainthood had begun. When the stone was lifted from the vault, the coffin was immediately seen. It was carried to the room prepared for it and placed on two trestles covered with a cloth. On one side was a table covered with a white cloth. The remains of Bernadette were to be placed on this table. The wooden coffin was unscrewed and the lead coffin cut open to reveal the body in a state of perfect preservation. There was not the slightest trace of an unpleasant smell. The Sisters who had buried her thirty years earlier noted only that her hands had fallen slightly to the left.  (Information directly copied from Catholic Pilgrims).

Prayer to the Immaculate Conception (the Virgin Mary):
O ever immaculate VirginMother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen. 

Prayer by St. Bernadette in Times of Affliction:
O my God, I beg You, by Your loneliness, not that You may spare me affliction, but that You may not abandon me in it. When I encounter affliction, teach me to see You in it as my sole Comforter. Let affliction strengthen my faith, fortify my hope, and purify my love. Grant me the grace to see Your Hand in my affliction, and to desire no other comforter but You. Amen.

Prayer to St. Bernadette:
O Saint Bernadette, who, as a meek and pure child, did eighteen times at Lourdes contemplate the beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God and received her messages, and who afterwards wished to hide yourself from the world in the convent of Nevers, and to offer thyself there as a victim for the conversion of sinners, obtain for us the grace of purity, simplicity and mortification that we also may attain to the vision of God and of Mary in Heaven. Amen. 

Saint Dymphna

Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill, and those with Nervous Disorders, especially Epilepsy.

St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna

About St. Dymphna:
St. Dymphna was born in the seventh century. Her father, Damon, a chieftain of great wealth and power, was a pagan. Her mother was a very beautiful and devout Christian.
Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon, her father, is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his own and other lands to find some woman of noble birth, resembling his wife, who would be willing to marry him. When none could be found, his evil advisers told him to marry his own daughter. Dymphna, with St. Ocrebran, her confessor and two other friends ran away.
Damon found them in Belgium. He gave orders that the priest be executed. Then Damon tried to persuade his daughter to return to Ireland with him. When she refused, he drew his sword and executed her. She was then only fifteen years of age.
Dymphna was made a martyr in defense of her purity about the year 620. She is the patron of those suffering from nervous and mental afflictions. Many miracles have taken place at her shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium.  (Information directly copied from Ainglkiss.)

Prayer to St. Dymphna:
Almighty and loving Father, by the example of St. Dymphna, Virgin and martyr, and by her intercession protect all those afflicted by tension and emotional stress, to enjoy your protection in life, and eternal happiness in your presence now and forever. Through Christ, our Lord, I ask. Amen. 

Prayer to St. Dymphna for Help with Mental Illness:
O Virgin and heroic Martyr, we know very little about your origin, but many have learned to invoke you and several have claimed to have been helped. It is said that you remained faithful to your Divine Bridegroom to the end, resisting the lusts of your pagan father and preferring a martyr's death. Please intercede for (Name), a mental patient, that he/she may give glory to God. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Dymphna:
Prayer: Hear us, O God, Our Savior, as we honor St. Dymphna, patroness of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen.

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