1917 saw one of the bloodiest revolutions in history: the Communist Revolution in Russia. That said, communism has never limited itself to Russia. When Pope Pius XI condemned communism in the 1930s, he wrote the encyclical in Latin – for the whole world (as opposed to the two encyclicals condemning Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany were written in Italian and German respectively).
1917 also witnessed the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three poor shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. On July 13, 1917 Our Lady showed the children Hell. She also spoke to them of the sins and offenses against her Son that had caused World War I and would possibly lead to another war if mankind did not repent of its offenses against Jesus. To avoid impending suffering, Our Lady asked the children to spread the following message (which is relevant today):
Mary said, “To prevent this I come to ask the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If they listen to my requests, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not she will scatter her errors through the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyrized, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and it will be converted and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.” (The First Saturday Communion of reparation is to receive Holy Communion on the first Saturday of each month in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.)
In other apparitions Blessed Mother asked the children to pray the Rosary for the conversion of poor sinners.
Our Lady’s promise has come true as in 1984 St. John Paul II consecrated Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. It was soon thereafter that communism in Eastern Europe fell, beginning in Poland. The Catholic Faith is free in most of the former ‘Eastern Bloc’. Communism also fell as a political party in Russia, though there are many ‘former communists’ in power. The Catholic Faith is ‘mostly free’ to operate in Russia today.
Was there bloodshed in this Revolution of Our Lady? The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe was, for the most part, a bloodless revolution led by Our Lady
Herself through Pope St. John Paul II. It was this pope who consecrated himself to Our Lady as a 20 year old. He loved to pray the Rosary daily. He was miraculously spared by an assassin’s bullet on May 13, 1981 – the anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima. It was this saint who was ordained a priest in secret during the communist rule of Poland. He consecrated his papacy to Our Lady. He it was who led this revolution through the Rosary, his courageous teaching and courageous action.
In the midst of an attempt to a social revolution in our country to socialism and a removal of a government ‘by the people’, may we follow Our Lady’s words to pray the Rosary daily and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and peace! May we learn from St. John Paul II to use the weapon of Truth in action to shine on the errors of darkness that seek acceptance of immorality as well as limit our freedoms, especially our religious liberty!
September 3rd is the feast of St. Gregory the Great who was pope from 590-604. During his reign as pope, he endured a plague in Rome. In bringing about an end to the plague he processed through Rome with the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. At the conclusion of the procession, he saw an angel in the sky sheathing his sword. It was at this point that he – with the angel’s cooperation – composed the ‘Regina Coeli’ prayer – ‘Queen of heaven rejoice, Alleluia! For He Whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia! Has risen as He said, Alleluia! Pray for us to God, Alleluia! Rejoice and be glad of Virgin Mary, Alleluia! For the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!’
The castle over which the angel appeared is called to this day, ‘Castel San Angelo.’
As we continue to live through tumultuous times it is vital that we, as Catholics, realize and use the weapons of peace and unity that God has given us. In addition to the sacraments, it is His Mother’s Intercession!
One hundred years ago Our Lady gave the Rosary to the three children of Fatima for the world to pray as a weapon for peace. When was the last time you we prayed the Rosary? When was the last time our family prayed the Rosary?
If we want peace and unity in our country, Our Lady’s Rosary is the weapon against the Divider – the Devil. Every day, can I, can my family commit to five decades of the Rosary? Twenty minutes for God and His Mother? For the good of our nation and our families?
May we follow the example of St. Gregory the Great – and so many others – who have gone to Our Lady in trouble for her protection and intercession!
Bishop Burbidge is inviting the faithful of the Diocese of Arlington to join with him in offering the attached novena to Our Lady, which begins on the August 6 to entrust healthcare workers and all who suffer from or have died from COVID – 19 to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
Thank you to everyone who has committed to an hour or more to Adore Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It has been tremendous to witness as a priest.
As we go forward, can we see if we can regularly have adorers for the weekend hours? Presently, we have a good many hours open on Saturday mornings, afternoons, evenings and Sunday mornings. One can see the open hours through the SignUpGenius on this blogspot. Please consider spending an hour in Adoration over the weekend.
Thank you to everyone who spent an hour (or two) with Jesus last weekend! Please again, can I ask that you consider looking at the SignUpGenius on this blogspot for open hours this weekend? Adoration will be in our chapel through the weekend until 1pm on Monday. As we celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday, spending time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration would be a tremendous way to celebrate – in addition to Mass.
Over the last two and a half months you noticed two young men at our Masses, Holy Communion Outside of Mass Rites and the daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Rosary. Ricky Malebranche and Ray Goins both finished their first year of the seminary while with us. Almost all of our seminarians were placed in parishes when the seminaries shut down in late March. Each would continue his studies online until exams in mid-May. Ricky and Ray were extremely helpful. As you saw, they were always available for Masses and other liturgical functions. When we were quarantined, they were the ones troubleshooting and setting up for live streamed Masses, Chaplets and Rosaries from the rectory. They were quarantined when Fr. Carr had COVID after Easter. They helped with meals. We had some great conversations throughout those two and a half months. I am grateful they were assigned at Holy Trinity for the time they were. As of this past Monday, they began their summer assignments at other parishes. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to follow Our Lord’s call.
This Sunday is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). The feast dates back to the 1260s following a Eucharistic Miracle. A young priest, Fr. Peter, implored Our Lord in his prayers to help him have a deep faith in Jesus’ Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. In the midst of one Mass, as Fr. Peter completed the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, the Host actually began to bleed.
Fr. Peter wrapped the Host in the corporal and walked a few miles to the next town, Orvieto, where the Pope was living. The Pope was given the news of the miracle and met Fr. Peter outside the city walls. He knelt before Our Lord in the Eucharist then brought the Eucharist to a church in the town. He soon pronounced the Solemnity of Corpus Christi to be celebrated. In Orvieto, you can still see the Blood-stained corporal in the cathedral built for It. Ever since the Miracle there has been a yearly Eucharistic Procession throughout the town with Jesus in the Host followed by the Corporal that is stained with His Blood. Our Corpus Christi Procession takes its roots from Orvieto’s Eucharistic Procession. Our altar on the front steps for Benediction mirrors the Benediction at the end of the Eucharistic Procession in Orvieto.
Finally, on July 4th our new music director will begin his work at Holy Trinity. Mr. Trevor Rowland comes to us from St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hagerstown, Maryland where he has worked in the music ministry for the last nine years. He and his wife, Bebhinn, and their baby daughter are happy to be in his wife’s native state! Mr. Rowland is humble and a gentleman. He comes to us with a love for the Mass as well as a love and knowledge of liturgical music in the tradition of the Church. I look forward to working with him at Holy Trinity.
Since March 16 when we were no longer able to have public Masses, many of you committed to hours of Adoration so we could have Our Lord on our altar in Adoration for over two months. It has been incredible.
As we begin public Masses again, we still have the opportunity to continue Eucharistic Adoration through the weekends. Of course, to do so we need adorers to spend time with Our Lord. Please look at the SignUpGenius on this blog for hours to sign up throughout the weekend. There are many hours unfilled for this weekend.
If we need to go back to the former schedule without Exposition most of Saturday and Sunday, then we can. I just thought it would be tremendous if we could continue through the weekends.
Thank you again to everyone who waited patiently to receive Jesus in Holy Communion last Sunday! It was a true testament to our Faith and very humbling for the priest.
Tomorrow, Sunday, May 24, we will have Holy Communion Outside of Mass two times: after our 9:00am Ordinary Form live streamed Mass – probably around 10:00am; and, after our 11:30am Extraordinary Form live streamed Mass – probably around 12:30pm.
We will have two (2) stations for Holy Communion tomorrow: outside the chapel entrance – same as last week – and one in front of the church under the main arch.
Please follow the guidance of our parking lot ‘ushers’ so that Holy Communion can be received reverently and safely – never thought I’d need to say ‘safely’! The lead-foot drivers should probably not be at the wheel in the parking lot tomorrow!!
All good? Now, on to read a little more about St. John Paul’s 1979 Pentecost visit to Poland. Wonder what the Holy Spirit has in mind for the world this Pentecost!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers – spiritual and physical! We hope Our Lord blesses all of you through His Mother for your countless sacrifices.
As is our custom at Holy Trinity on Mother’s Day to crown Our Lady publicly, we will do so again. We will also have Her Son Exposed for Adoration.
Sunday, May 10th at 1:55pm we will crown an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary outside the church. We will then place Our Lord on the altar under the front door arch for Adoration until 3:00pm. During Adoration, we again invite all our parishioners to drive in front of the church for Adoration of Our Lord. At 2:30pm we will pray to Jesus through His Mother, Mary, in reciting the Rosary.
All will be live streamed on Holy Trinity’s Youtube channel: HT Videos.
We again ask everyone to remain in your cars during May Crowning, Adoration and Benediction. On Divine Mercy Sunday things worked very well.