NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL
FEAST APRIL 26
Holy Virgin, moved by the painful uncertainty we experience in seeking and acquiring the true and the good, we cast ourselves at thy feet and invoke thee under the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel. We beseech thee: come to our aid at this moment in our worldly sojourn when the twin darknesses of error and of evil that plots our ruin by leading minds and hearts astray.
Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the victims of doubt and of error so that they may not be seduced by evil masquerading as good; strengthen them against the hostile and corrupting forces of passion and of sin.
Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from thy Divine Son the love of virtue and the strength to choose, in doubtful and difficult situations, the course agreeable to our salvation. Supported by thy hand we shall thus journey without harm along the paths taught us by the word and example of Jesus our Savior, following the Sun of Truth and Justice in freedom and safety across the battlefield of life under the guidance of thy maternal Star, until we come at length to the harbor of salvation to enjoy with thee unalloyed and everlasting peace. Amen.
(By Pope Pius XII, 23 January 1953)
HISTORY OF OUR LADY OF GOOD COUNSEL
Records dating from the reign of Paul II (1464-71) relate that the picture of Our Lady, at first called "La Madonna del Paradiso" and now better known as "Madonna del Buon Consiglio", appeared at Genazzano, a town about twenty-five miles southeast of Rome, on St. Mark's Day, 25 April, 1467, in the old church of Santa Maria, which had been under the care of Augustinians since 1356. The venerated icon itself, which is drawn on a thin scale of wall-plaster little thicker than a visiting-card, was observed to hang suspended in the air without the slightest apparent support; thus early tradition, which furthermore tells how one might have passed a thread around the image without touching it. At once devotion to Our Lady inSanta Maria sprang up; pilgrim-bands began to resort thither; while miracles in ever-increasing numbers, of which a register was opened two days after the event, were wrought, as they still continue to be, at the shrine. In July following, Pope Paul deputed two bishops to investigate the alleged wonder-working image. Their report, however, is not known to be extant. The cult of Our Lady increased. In 1630 Urban VIII himself went to Genazzano on a pilgrimage, as didPius IX in 1864. On 17 November, 1682, Innocent XI had the picture crowned with gold by theVatican Basilica. In 1727 Benedict XIII granted the clergy of Genazzano an Office and Mass ofOur Lady for 25 April, anniversary of the apparition, elsewhere the feast being kept a day later so as not to conflict with that of St. Mark the Evangelist. On 2 July, 1753, Benedict XIVapproved of the Pious Union of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful at large, and was himself enrolled therein as its pioneer member; Pius IX was a member, and also Leo XIII. On 18 December, 1779, Pius VI, while re-approving the cult of Our Lady, granted all Augustinians anOffice with hymns, lessons, prayer and Mass proper of double-major rite; with a plenary indulgence also for the faithful, to which Pius VIII added another for visitors to the shrine. On 18 December, 1884, Leo XIII approved of a new Office and Mass of second-class rite for allAugustinians, while on 17 March, 1903, he elevated the church of Santa Maria — one of the four parish churches at Genazzano — to the rank of minor basilica; and, on 22 April following, authorized the insertion in the Litany of Loreto of the invocation "Mater Boni Consillii" to follow that of "Mater Admirabilis". The same pontiff, ten years earlier (21 December, 1893) hadsanctioned the use of the White Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel for the faithful. In theUnited States there are many churches and institutions in honour of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
John Ridsdel was held since September 2015 had been kidnapped along with another Canadian, his Filipina girlfriend and a Norwegian. Ottawa condemns "a cold-blooded murder, for which responsibility falls on the head of those who did it". In the same area it the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio was released a few days ago.
Manila (AsiaNews) - The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the "brutal cold-blooded murder" of his countryman, John Ridsdel, hostage of the Filipino Islamist group Abu Sayyaf since September 2015.
The man, a former executive of a mining company , was beheaded yesterday: the fundamentalists had demanded a ransom of 80 million dollars for him and three other hostages, including a Filipino woman.
Authorities have found the severed head of a foreign man on the island of Jolo. Ridsdel had been brought there after the kidnapping, which occurred in a tourist resort near the city of Davao. Also kidnapped with him were another Canadian, Robert Hall, together with his Philippine girlfriend Marites Flor, and the Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.
In a video sent by the kidnappers to the authorities in November 2015, Ridsdel sought help from his government and made it clear that he would be killed on April 25 if the ransom was not paid. The Canadian government has long had a "zero tolerance" policy towards abduction, and will not pay money to terrorists.
Canada, stated Prime Minister Trudeau, "Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage-takers, and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage". The deceased, according to Canadian media, was semi-retired and worked sometimes as a freelance journalist.
According to some sources, the group that kidnapped him could be the same that a few days ago released the former PIME missionary Rolando Del Torchio, which is part of some autonomous extremist groups. Among them, the most formidable is Abu Sayyaf - "sword-bearing" in Arabic – it is one of the bloodiest Islamist groups in the galaxy, who split from the Moro National Liberation Front in 1991 to pursue an even more aggressive fundamentalist politics . The stated purpose is to create an independent Islamic Caliphate in the southern Philippines from the rest of the nation, for the vast majority of Catholic faith.
Shared from AsiaNewsIT
Let your voice be heard - contact the Ministers of Parliament to STOP Assisted Suicide -
A fictional Letter to God that makes you think about the new laws on Euthanaisia....
A fictional Letter to God that makes you think about the new laws on Euthanaisia....
Dear God,Hi, it’s me again. Sorry to bother you. I have a tough question. And I’m losing a lot of sleep. Maybe it’s because deep down inside I kind of already know the answer? It’s this whole physician assisted dying or suicide thing here in Canada. Many of my Christian, Muslim, and Jewish friends tell me it’s wrong, but why can’t people have a choice when they die? Will this assisted dying really hurt anyone? Why did you design a world with so much pain and suffering? I guess there’s the doctors, and nurses. Maybe pharmacists too. They might be hurt. I know there’s lots who don’t actually want to kill these suffering people. Maybe if we make it a law that they have to refer to someone else who will? Will that work?
But what if they can’t in their consciences? Then we’re stuck. (Why did you give us consciences?) Do we take away their medical licenses? That will only leave more Canadians without a family doctor or specialist. And would that just cause more pain and suffering to more Canadians in the end? I just don’t know what to do. Then there’s my friends who are police officers. They are worried they might have to break into homes and use physical force to pry away depressed teenagers who want to die from horrified, sobbing parents. Or wrench away the elderly from their grandchildren’s arms. Will the screams ever go away in their heads? Will my friends need counselling for delivering these people to their death? I hope my three children when they become teenagers never ask to die. My heart would ache so much. I don’t know if I could go on living myself.
I’ve always wondered if a person can change their mind after they die. Like if they kill themselves then discover they made a bad decision? I mean, when they get to heaven—they will go to heaven, right? (You use the word “hell” a lot in the Bible.) Maybe when they are in eternity, let’s use that word, they could change their minds?
Would you hold that against me?
I know depressed people can get better. But what if they don’t? Didn’t you give man the ability to control his own destiny however he wants? I learned in my Alpha courses that man is made in the image of God. What does that mean exactly? And that when a sparrow falls to the ground you know about it. The instructor told me you care more about us than sparrows. That’s kind of cool! The guy also said your Spirit gives us life. Is it wrong to take a life? Would you be angry? When you said, “Thou shalt not kill” (my Bible uses the word, “murder”) did you mean “killing,” like, going against their wishes? They didn’t explain this in teacher’s college. But the person is suffering. There’s absolutely nothing I can do!
… well … that’s not totally true, I suppose. More doctors, providing more end-of-life care would help. I guess we really do need more doctors in Canada after all? And then there’s Christopher Reeve. Paralyzed from the neck down. What an inspiration he was to millions of people. He got standing ovations almost everywhere he went. He was courageous, with a fight to live. A real hero!
But aren’t the people who want to end their suffering heroes too? If a paralyzed person wants to die, shouldn’t that be their right? And what about the courageous doctors who will administer the lethal drugs? Aren’t they heroes too? This is all so confusing to me. I can’t logically figure it out. Nothing is making sense….
What’s worse, I keep having these nightmares. I dream that I get out of bed, go to the bathroom, turn on the tap, and blood comes gushing out. I run to another tap. Same thing. I turn on the shower. Blood. I open the dishwasher. A wave of blood hits me. I run out the door—the driveway is covered in blood. I look down at my hands. Blood.
I suddenly wake up, gasping for air. I look down at my hands. They are clean.
I realize you are very busy. And I know there’s lots of people who need your help. But I truly need your assistance on this one.
Many people are counting on me.
Sincerely, Justin T.
DearGodLetter.ca CherDieuLettre.ca (Release from Dear God Letter)
POPE AND MARTYR
Feast: April 26
He succeeded St. Caius in the bishopric of Rome, in 296, about the time that Diocletian set himself up for a deity and impiously claimed divine honours. Theodoret says that in those stormy times of persecution Marcellinus acquired great glory. He sat in St. Peter's chair eight years, three months, and twenty-five days, dying in 304, a year after the cruel persecution broke out, in which he gained much honour. He has been styled a martyr, though his blood was not shed in the cause of religion, as appears from the Liberian Calendar, which places him among those popes that were not put to death for the faith.
It is a fundamental maxim of the Christian morality, and a truth which Christ has established in the clearest terms and in innumerable passages of the gospel, that the cross, or sufferings and mortifications, are the road to eternal bliss. They, therefore, who lead not here a crucified and mortified life are unworthy ever to possess the unspeakable joys of his kingdom. Our Lord himself, our model and our head, walked in this path, and his great apostle puts us in mind that he entered into bliss only by his blood and by the cross. Nevertheless, this is a truth which the world can never understand, how clearly soever it be preached by Christ and recommended by his powerful example and that of his martyrs and of all the saints. Christians still pretend, by the joys and pleasures of this world, to attain to the bliss of heaven, and shudder at the very mention of mortification, penance, or sufferings. So prevalent is this fatal error, which self-love and the example and false maxims of the world strongly fortify in the minds of many, that those who have given themselves to God with the greatest fervour are bound always to stand upon their guard against it, and daily to renew their fervour in the love and practice of penance, and to arm themselves with patience against sufferings, lest the weight of the corruption of our nature, the pleasures of sense, and flattering blandishments of the world, draw them aside and make them leave the path of mortification, or lose courage under its labours, and under the afflictions with which God is pleased to purify them and afford them means of sanctifying themselves.
SOURCE: History of the Christian Church