The original statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague in the Czech republic

Happy Feast Day Mary, Help of Christians

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The history of the devotion to Mary Help of Christians  (from Lepanto to Australia) and also St John Bosco’s promotion of the devotion. 

Advice from St John Bosco:

  It is the office of a mother to give help to her children in all their needs. This title expresses in practice Our Lady’s position as our mother. She has all the help we need and she wants to give it to us, if only we will ask for it.

Call on Mary in all your difficulties with the little prayer, “Mary Help of Christians, Pray for us” and you will never call in vain. “Spread devotion to Mary, Help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are”.

A personal testimony

I have silently said the prayer:

Mary Help of Christians, pray for us,

(and added come to my aid in this situation), while seeing in my mind a picture of Mary Help of Christians in the sky, and below her the sea battle of Lepanto: the famous one in which Mary Help of Christians, helped the Christians gain a great victory, and have found that through this prayer, Mary has speedily sent me help in difficult situations on a number of occasions. Mary Help of Christians is the patron of Australia.

The following prayer was said in Australian Catholic schools for many years.

Prayer for the conversion of Australia

O God Who hast appointed Mary, Help of Christians, St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Infant Jesus, patrons of Australia, grant that, through their intercession, our brethren outside the Church, may receive the light of Faith, so that Australia may become one in Faith, under one Shepherd. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Help of Christians pray for us.

St Francis Xavier, pray for us.

St Therese of the Infant Jesus pray for us.

Special note

St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus were patrons of Australia when it was considered to be a missionary country. They are no longer patrons of Australia. (I think that we need them back) besides I am very devoted to St Therese. (She is one of my all time favourites) and I was married on December 3 (the feast day of St Francis Xavier).

This is:  The novena to Mary, Help of Christians that was recommended by St John Bosco. 

My email enquiries to the Archdiocese of Sydney to find out exactly when Australia was no longer considered to be a missionary country, so as a consequence no longer had St Francis Xavier and St Therese of the Child Jesus as patrons of Australia have so far drawn a blank.

The prayer for the conversion of Australia was taken from a little booklet that was published in 1961.

Happy feast Day St Rita (the saint of the impossible)

I thank St Rita for the special things that she has done for me.  St Rita really is the saint of the impossible.

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The picture above is from the shrine church of St Rita in Rome.

St Rita (The Saint of the impossible)

This Friday May 22 is the feast day of St Rita, the saint of the impossible. I thank St Rita for favours received; especially for the healing of a family friend from a serious health problem without an operation nor any other kind of medical intervention and also to promote devotion to St Rita. St Rita was a model daughter, wife, mother and religious. As a wife St Rita suffered patiently the rough ways of her husband, as a mother she tried to help her two sons curb their tempers and prayed that they would die rather than avenge their father’s murder by committing murder themselves. They both became ill and repented of this evil intention before they died. St Rita then applied to enter the Augustinian Sisters in Cascia but was refused entry.  Because of her persistent prayers she was at last admitted to the order. She often meditated on the passion of Christ and was noted for her obedience to her superior. Once when she was praying before a crucifix she asked Our Lord for a share in his Passion and a thorn detached from the crucifix and pierced her forehead causing a wound which remained for the rest of her life. This wound caused Rita great suffering.  After St Rita’s death she worked such great wonders and miracles that she well and truly earned her title of Saint of the Impossible. St Rita’s incorrupt body is in her main shrine at Cascia in Italy. Her feast is on May 22.

St_Rita_in_the_sactuary_of_Maria_Incoronata

The Rosary (Poem)

In the Rosary
There is great power.
Miracles on earth,
It can shower.

Miracles of healing
And every kind of grace,
The Rosary can bestow,
Upon the human race.

Take up the Rosary,
And say it well,
It’s a weapon against,
All the powers of hell.

More of my poems

The Heroic Act (in favour of the Holy Souls in Purgatory)

There is a way which you can help the Holy Souls in Purgatory after your own death. The following information will show you how to do this. The Heroic Act, consists in offering to God in favour of the Souls in Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practice during life and all the suffrages that will be offered for us after death.  If God rewards so abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man in His name what an immense reward will he not give to those who offer all their works of satisfaction in life and death for the Souls He loves so dearly. This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions they wish, or lay-people from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire.  We counsel everyone to make this act. Will you be disadvantaged by doing this? The following story shows that this is highly unlikely. 

St. Gertrude was fiercely tempted by the devil when she came to die.  The evil spirit reserves dangerous and subtle temptations for our last moments.  As he could find no other ruse sufficiently clever with which to assail the saint, he thought to disturb her beautiful peace of soul by suggesting that she would surely remain long years in the awful fires of Purgatory since, he reminded her, she had made over long ago all her suffrages to other souls. Our Blessed Lord, not content with sending His angels and the thousands of souls, she had released, to assist her, came Himself in person to drive Satan away and comfort His dear saint.  He told her that in exchange for all she had done for the Holy Souls He would take her straight to heaven and would multiply a hundredfold all her merits.

More ways to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory   and also information on their powerful intercession for their benefactors.

Have you ever prayed the Mother Teresa Emergency Novena? (It is also known as the Mother Teresa Express Novena.)

Have any of you ever prayed the Mother Teresa Emergency Novena consisting of the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row for an intention? If you did so, could you tell me if you prayed it by yourself, or with one or more people and what the results of the novena were. If you prayed it with more than one person, how many people prayed it with you?   (The novena was named after Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who received striking favours through this novena).  I would also like to know if you prayed a variation of this novena and the results of that.

This is the Memorare prayer:

Remember O most loving Virgin Mary that never was it known in any age that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided, inspired by this confidence, therefore I fly to thee O Virgin of Virgins my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful, do not O Mother of the Word Incarnate despise my prayers but in thy mercy graciously hear and answer them.  Amen.

A few suggestions
Life is full of situations that need help immediately, not in a week’s time.  If a mortgage is going to be foreclosed at lunchtime today, because you can’t pay it, a nine day novena or even an eight hour novena is not quiet the way to go!  Think of this emergency novena as being like an express train. It is 10.30 a.m. and  you have an appointment in the city at 11 a.m. so you catch the express train that speeds pass many stations, not the slow train that stops and picks up passengers at every station!  Imagine also that you leave at petition station and arrive at miracle station!  I like to see a picture of Mother Teresa on the outside of the train, with the words: The Mother Teresa Express novena on it. It helps to use your imagination when praying.
Update
On this blog I have another posting on this novena. It is called the Mother Teresa Emergency novena is  a real winner!

Here are some testimonies to this novena

A terrible smell

Julia noticed a very bad smell in the back room of her house. She searched for the source, but could not locate anything that could be causing this smell.  It was summer and the smell got worse and worse.  Julia remembered that a dog had got into the yard and went under her house a few weeks earlier.  She had been too scared to check whether it was still there.  It had been raining a lot and it crossed her mind that the dog might have got trapped under the house and died there. The smell did seem to be coming through the floor boards. Some relatives came to visit.  Julia was really embarrassed by the awful smell, but the relatives said that they could not smell anything.  Maybe they were just being polite or their noses did not work anymore!

Before Julia went to bed that night she said The Mother Teresa Emergency Novena for a solution.  In the morning when she came out to the back room, much to her dismay, the smell was still there. In the back room there were some boxes with cartons of long life milk in them. The boxes were stacked up on top of one another.  She looked down and saw a white gooey substance leaking from under the boxes. The box at the bottom of the pile had been damaged by the other boxes on top of it and one of the cartons of milk inside it had leaked. The leakage had obviously started on the previous day, but it had not yet leaked out from under the box, so it was hidden at that time. This was the source of the dreadful smell. Julia was very relived to know what had happened.  It was an unpleasant smelly mess to clean and fix, but when that was finalised the horrible smell was gone!

Permission granted after a firm refusal!

The Mother Teresa Express Novena was prayed, plus prayers for and to the Holy Souls in Purgatory asking for their help, and also to the saints, when work leave was refused to a girl, who wished to take time off to go on a pilgrimage.  She had accumulated lots of leave, but the particular time off that she had requested could not be accommodated.  After the novenas were prayed, the favour was granted.

Computer trouble

My brother telephoned to tell us that he had a problem with his computer, and to seek our advice regarding same. We were unable to help him. He was cleaning the keyboard when the screen picture turned on its side. No matter what he tried, the situation could not be remedied, e.g. trying various keyboard combinations, rebooting the computer etc. To make matters even worse, it was a five day holiday period over Easter, when it would be more difficult to find computer experts to help out.  I made a Mother Teresa Emergency Novena (nine Memorares in a row), in order to get help. The next morning when my brother phoned, I inquired about the computer and was informed that it was fixed. My brother had found the correct combination of key strokes to get the screen picture to go back to the correct position.

Prayer wins again

Late last week a situation arose which was very difficult.  Prayer to and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the Mother Teresa Express Novena turned the situation around dramatically in two days.

The choir

Anna was organizing Divine Mercy Sunday devotions for her group. She had asked several choirs if they could help out, but they were all unable too. She mentioned this to her friend Cathy. Cathy promised to say the Mother Teresa Express Novena, (the Memorare prayer said nine times in a row) for a solution. She said the novena, and also prayed for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and asked for their intercession to obtain the favour. Anna found a suitable choir a couple of days later.

Other Information

Read accounts of the gratitude of  the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors

Read my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer), free on-line

Food for the needy (The power of the Hail Mary)

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The following story should go far to show how acceptable to God the Hail Mary is. Jason is a volunteer worker for a charitable organisation which distributes food to the poor.  He purchased eighteen hams from the supermarket on the organisation’s credit card for distribution to the needy.  This would have been an expensive purchase.  For some unexplained reason the hams were not credited to the card. Jason brought this matter to the attention of the supermarket’s manageress. She shrugged her shoulders and said that nothing could be done about it and that the organisation did not have to worry about paying for the hams. Jason attributes this favour to his regular practice at the beginning of each undertaking of saying of one Hail Mary and simply asking Mary to help him with the charity work. Jason has received other striking helps in his work from this simple way of invoking Mary, including a large donation of the exact amount that he had assessed that the organisation was in need of to carry out its works and that he was about to apply to the head office of the organisation for.

 This is one of the stories in my book Help from Heaven (Answers to Prayer).

Press here   to read the book.

The elephants and the tsunami

This story comes from the Asian Tsunami. Elephants picked up children with their trunks and took them to higher ground. After the Tsunami they picked up the dead bodies and put them together in one group. What an wonderful act of God’s providence.  I was told this story by a friend, who learnt it from her family doctor.

The Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

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 My backyard Lourdes Shrine

A severe cough  (The devotion of the Three Hail Marys)

During a long bus trip, Clare developed a very severe cough that was loud and prolonged. The lady who was sitting behind her took out a holy card of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and silently continuously prayed a devotion that is known as The Three Hail Marys, to ask for a healing of the cough. Later on another passenger came up to the lady and touched her with a relic of Saint Philomena. The next morning Clare was completely free of the cough. 

The Three Hail Marys Devotion consists of saying three Hail Marys followed by the invocation “O Mary my mother keep me from mortal sin”. This devotion is in honour the power, wisdom and love with which the Blessed Trinity has infused into the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many favours have been granted throughout the centuries to those who practice this devotion. 

This story comes from the book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayer), which can be read free-online by pressing  here.

The Hail Mary Prayer

Hail Mary full of grace
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among 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.

Protection from danger at sea (The Holy Infant Jesus of Prague)

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A friend told me the following story about her grandfather Joseph.  Joseph was on a ship off the coast of China prior to World War I.  A gale blew up and large waves lashed the ship. The ship was in danger of sinking.  Joseph was very devoted to the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague. He went to his cabin and took out his Infant Jesus of Prague statue and then stood on the deck and held it while praying. He received a vision of the Infant Jesus walking on the waves.  The gale stopped and the waves died down. The ship was no longer in danger of going down.

This story comes from my book: Answers to Prayer (Help from heaven), click here to read the book free on-line.

Only a Taste of Lourdes Water

A Jesuit Father writes the following account to a religious paper :

 

The horse which was to have brought me to the railway station, fell on the slippery streets, and, so I missed my train. This was indeed very vexing as I had taken every precaution to be in time. We arrived at the station just as the train was moving off; regrets were useless, so I patiently submitted to my lot, and thought I would say my Office during the time which would elapse before the next train, which was due in about an hour. This was no easy task in a busy station, but if I went away, I did not know what to do with a large bottle of Lourdes water, which I had with me. To put it in the luggage room did not seem quite reverent, but I noticed in the corner of the waiting-room, a man, closely wrapped up, who, to all appearance, meant to sit there for several hours. So I walked up to him, and asked if he were going to remain there for some time. “Yes,” was the reply. This ‘Yes’ was uttered shortly, and signified, rather, ‘What does it matter to you?’  “Are you going to stay till eleven o’clock?” “Yes,” was the curt rejoinder. His voice sounded still gruffer. “If I leave this article here, will you look after it?”  “What is it”? he asked. “Oh, nothing very particular; but will you have, the kindness to take care of it?”

 

In a sulky voice, I at length got the reply- “Very well, leave it there.” I then went off to a quiet spot under some trees, near the station. Having finished my Office, I bought a newspaper, in order to pass away the remaining twenty minutes. Scarcely had I begun to read, when I seemed to hear a voice saying to me: “Go and see what has become of the bottle!” “Stupid bottle!” I could have said but the remembrance of its contents restrained me. I wanted to read, but the voice seemed to repeat: “Go and see what has become of your bottle!” I could stand this no longer, so I went; the man was still there, the man of the slow, rough and morose answers, but he sat with his face buried in his hands, and the tears welling through his fingers. “Oh, Father”, he said, “I will tell you all, yes all.” (How I wondered at this unexpected manner of address.) “You see that I am already an old man. I was born and baptized in the Catholic Church, and until the age of eleven, I practised my religion; then I lost my mother, and my father being already dead, I was left alone in the world.

 

Fortunately, I was in the hands of a good master, but he was a staunch Protestant, and he eventually constrained me to embrace his religion; and to please him, I became a Protestant. Later on I married, and God gave me a good Catholic wife who continually entreated me to return to the religion of my childhood; but I put it off from year to year. When you went away, leaving this bottle standing here, I was curious to know what it contained, and to try what a papist priest’s brandy tasted like, but I soon perceived that it was only water after all. As soon as I had taken a mouthful, a change came over me, I felt determined to become a Catholic once more; and I will do so immediately. So I beg of you, Father, to hear my confession.” This announcement was so strange that at first I believed the good man had been drinking something more than my water, and so I wanted to get rid of him. “We have not any time now,” I replied, “for the train will be here in a few minutes; besides, this is not the place for such things. Come to me at X.”

 

“Now, Father, now,” was the rejoinder. “I cannot come to X; do hear my confession and I promise you that I will go to church next Sunday with my wife.” “Do you know,” I asked, “where this water comes from?” “No” he replied. “It is from the miraculous spring of the Immaculate Mother of God at Lourdes.” “Well then, it is the Blessed Virgin Mary who has obtained this grace for me,” he said. Thereupon I lost no more time and before the train left, I had reconciled this aged sinner to his God.

 

St Philomena and the doctor’s Bill

A lady told me this story which happened over eighty years ago in Ireland.  One of her relatives was very ill.  The family did not telephone the doctor to come to the house because they knew that if they did not have the money to pay him that he would refuse to come. They prayed to St. Philomena for help for the sick family member.  Later on in the day the doctor came to the house to see the sick girl.  They were stunned and asked him who had asked him to come.  He said that a tall girl with long black hair had come into his office and had paid the fee and asked him to come down to their home to visit the sick girl. The family had not talked about the matter to anyone except to St. Philomena in prayer. 

 Novena to St Philomena the Wonder Worker for the healing of autism 

Please visit the autism novena webpage for the details of how to enrol a person who has autism in the novena.

The 54 Day Rosary Novena

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 The 54 day rosary novena is a simple devotion which was revealed by Our Lady to a girl in Italy in the 19th Century. It is done in the following way: You say the Rosary for 54 consecutive days in a row. The first 27 days are for the petition and the next 27 days are for thanksgiving. Regardless of anything that has happened, you still go ahead and thank Our Lady for the outcome.                            

I and many other people have experienced terrific answers to prayers that seemed to have been bordering on the impossible. One of these petitions was very big and I had prayed my heart out for it for about two years and this seemingly impossible request was granted in the most wonderful way after I did a 54 day Rosary Novena as a final resort to get it granted and the answer was far more abundant than I had even requested or imagined when I made my petition. I can highly recommend this devotion to you.  Its power has been demonstrated to me in wonderful ways and I certainly am not alone in enjoying its fruits.  Many people throughout the world had done so too. Making this novena is a good way to keep up your motivation for saying the rosary on a daily basis.  

Read my book: Help from Heaven (Answers to prayer) including those from the 54 day Rosary novena by pressing here.

 

St Therese and the fishing expedition

There was a fishing village which was in danger of starvation becausethe fishermen had been very unsuccessful in catching fish that year. Then one of the boats in the fishing fleet was put under the protection of Sister Therese as she was then known. (This was well before her canonisation).  The boat which was put under her protection was amazingly successful in its catch on the first fishing night that Sister Therese was asked for her help.  The other boats in the fishing fleet did not invoke her protection. They caught nothing at all.

Read more about St Therese here.

The promise of St Therese of the Child Jesus (The Little Flower).

“I will let fall from heaven….a shower of roses”

These ‘roses’ are favours and miracles.

Loretta Young

The following story was told by the late Father Aeden McGrath an Irish missionary priest at a talk which he gave in Sydney, Australia.  Father McGrath was in China during World War II when the Japanese Army were in the country.  The Japanese were advancing toward the area where his parish was located. The local women were terrified of what was going to happen when the Japanese soldiers arrived. They begged Father McGrath who was a very short man to protect them.  There was very little that he could do. He prayed to Our Lady for help.  The Japanese soldiers arrived.  The Japanese sergeant had a big crush on Loretta Young the Hollywood actress, who he had seen in movies. He was keen to find out if Father McGrath had ever met Loretta Young.  As a matter of fact Father McGrath had met her, probably through association with Father Patrick Peyton (the founder of the Family Rosary Crusade). The sergeant ordered his soldiers to leave the people in peace, because Father McGrath knew Loretta Young!
This is one of the stories in my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayers). The book can be read free on-line by pressing here
            

St Anthony’s bread

True son of St Francis that he was St Anthony had a great love for the poor and even now he still continues to help them by encouraging the devotion known as St Anthony’s bread. This is a very old devotion too and it had its origin in Padua as the result of another miracle.  

 

A little child whose parents lived near the Basilica, which was then being built fell into a vessel of water and drowned. The poor mother was heart broken but great as was her grief she had a greater confidence in the power of St Anthony. She begged him to help and give her back her babe promising that if her prayers were heard she would give the child’s weight in grain to the poor. Towards midnight while the bereaved mother was still praying the child rose up as if from sleep. After this miracle the practice developed of promising alms to the poor in return for favours received through the intercession of the saint. Today this practice is widespread and in most of our churches boxes are provided to receive alms for the poor from those who have been assisted by this great friend of the poor. 

 

Great impetus was given to this devotion by a simple incident that occurred towards the end of the last century. A pious French girl Louise Bouffier who owned a small linen store in Toulon, found difficulty, one morning, in opening the door of her shop. After repeated efforts she sent for a locksmith, whose assortment of keys proved useless. Deciding that the lock must be forced, the man departed to get tools for the purpose. While he was away, Louise prayed earnestly to St. Anthony, promising him bread for his poor if the door was opened without injury to the lock. When the locksmith returned she asked him to try his keys once more, telling him of her promise to the Saint. The man did as she asked, and with the first key he tried, opened the door without any difficulty. 

 

This incident greatly strengthened Louise Bouffier’s confidence in St. Anthony.  She increased her devotion to him, always promising bread to the poor.  Her friends followed her example with the result that, in a short time the rear of her store became a centre for St. Anthony’s Bread in Toulon. People of all ranks and conditions came there to pray before the statue of St. Anthony which had been erected.  

 

Alms of bread arrived in great quantities, until the task of distributing it became too difficult. Then it was decided to accept money offerings for the poor, who were thereby enabled to purchase not only food, but clothing and other necessities. The thank-offerings also took the form of alms for the education of poor boys for the Priesthood

 

More customs in honour of St Anthony

 

Senility (poem) Don’t take this seriously!

When I was young
My mind was bright,
Alhemizers has
put out the light.

I’ve lost my keys,
I’ve lost my books,
and I forgot
to feed the chooks.

Can you tell how
the toothpaste I should use,
and what I’m supposed to do,
with this pair of shoes?

Don’t laugh at me,
Your turn will come.
being old and senile
is not much fun.

 

St Therese’s Roses (The healing of cancer)

My aunty was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I went to her home with a 1st class relic of Saint Therese.  Her daughter-in-law said that my aunty and uncle were attending Mass at the parish church. My husband and I then drove down to the church. Mass has just ended.  I looked down the hill, and I could see my aunty and uncle leaving the church.  As soon as I saw them I smelt the heavy scent of roses. There were no roses nearby. Saint Therese was giving a sign that all would be well. My aunty underwent chemotherapy and surgery, which was successful in eradiating the cancer. It is a well documented fact that Saint Therese sometimes allows people to smell roses in connection with her favours and miracles.
Relics of saints
First class relics are part of the saint’s body. Second class relics are objects which belonged to the saint during their lifetime. Third class relics are touched to the saint’s body or tomb after their death.

This story comes from the book: Help from heaven (Answers to Prayer). To read the book please click here.