Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Mother of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who invoke you with confidence, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who are devout toward the Infant Jesus, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining a lively faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for sustaining the hope of Christians, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining and persevering in charity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing the law of God, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for observing perseverance in virtue and good works, pray for us. Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every spiritual necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the revolt of self-will, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in the occasion of sin, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temptation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the evil spirit, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for obtaining contrition, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those wishing to re-enter the path of salvation, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the conversion of sinners, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every temporal necessity, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every affliction, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of afflicted families, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the sick and the poor, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against contagious diseases and epidemics, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in every accident, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by fire, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against lightning and tempest, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against destruction by flood, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of travelers, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of navigators, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of the shipwrecked, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of our country, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor in time of war, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of those aspiring to the Holy Priesthood and the religious life, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of laborers in the Lord's vineyard, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of missionaries who spread the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of our Holy Father the Pope, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for those searching for the faith, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor against the enemies of the Church, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor at the hour of death, pray for us.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor for the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
O Almighty and Eternal God! Who sees us surrounded by so many dangers and miseries, grant in Your infinite goodness that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Your Divine Son, may defend us from the evil spirit and protect us against all adversities, that always, and with PROMPT SUCCOR, she may deliver us from every evil of soul and body, and safely guide us to the kingdom of heaven, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (3 Times) (partial indulgence)
PRAYERS TO OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR
O, Mary, Mother of God, who, amidst the tribulations of the world, watches over us and over the Church of your Son, be to us and to the Church truly OUR LADY OF PROMPT SUCCOR, make haste to help us in all our necessities, that in this fleeting life you may be our succor, and obtain for us (here ask the particular favor you desire). Help us to gain life everlasting through the merits of Jesus, your Son, our Lord and Redeemer. Amen. (partial indulgence)
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. (Three times)
O Queen of the Universe, Our Lady of Prompt Succor, sovereign full of kindness, you are the advocate of sinners, a haven of safety to the shipwrecked; you are the resource of the world, the ransom of captives, the health of the infirm, the consolation of the afflicted, the refuge and salvation of all on earth. We beseech you to grant us the help of your prayers, which incline our Heavenly Father to forgive our sins and grant our petitions in all the necessities of this miserable life, prayers which obtain for us an abundance of graces to receive the pardon of our faults and arrive at the practice of virtue, prayers which stop our enemies, confound their designs, and triumph over their efforts. Amen. (partial indulgence)
Taken from, “Divine Intimacy,” by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., pp. 706-707
PRESENCE OF GOD – Teach me, O Lord, the secrets of Your mercy that I may finally profit by them.
1. God’s love for us assumes a very special character, one that is adapted to our nature as frail, weak creatures: the character of mercy. Mercy is love bending over misery to relieve it, to redeem it, to raise it up to itself. It almost seems that God, in loving us, is attracted by our weakness, not because it is lovable, but because being infinite goodness, His compassion stoops to compensate for it by His mercy. He wants to heal our imperfection by His infinite perfection, our impurity by His purity, our ignorance by His wisdom, our selfishness by His goodness, our weakness by His strength. God, the supreme, eternal good, wants to be the remedy for all our ills, “for He knoweth our frame, He remembered that we are dust” (Ps 102, 14).
Since our greatest evil-rather, the only real evil-is sin, infinite mercy would be the remedy. Assuredly, God hates sin, but, although He is forced to withdraw His friendship, that is, His grace, from the soul of the sinner because of the offense, His mercy still finds a way of continuing to love him. If He can no longer love him as a friend, He loves him as a creature, as the work of His hands; He loves him for the good that is still in him and which gives hope of his conversion. God’s mercy is so immense that no misery, however great, can exhaust it; not even the most infamous sin, provided it is repented of, can halt it. This sad power is reserved to one thing only: the proud will of man by which he disdainfully shuts himself up in his wickedness, not wishing to admit how great is his need of God’s infinite mercy. In such a case, in spite of the immensity of divine mercy, the solemn words of the Gospel are fulfilled: “God hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart, He hath put down the mighty from their seats…the rich He hath sent empty away” (cf. Lk 1, 51-53).
2. There is no limit to God’s mercy. He never rejects us because of our sins, He never grows weary of the infidelities, He never refuses to forgive us, He is always ready to forget all of our offenses and to repay our in gratitude with graces. He never reproaches us for our offenses, even when we fall again immediately after being forgiven. He is never angered by our repeated failures or weakness in the practice of virtue, but always stretches out His hand to us, wanting to help us. Even when men condemn us, God shows His mercy to us; He absolves us and sends us away justified, as Jesus did the woman taken in adultery. “Go, and now sin no more” (Jn 8, 11). By His words and example, Jesus has shown us the inexhaustible depths of God’s mercy: let us think of the prodigal son, the lost sheep, Magdalen, and the good thief. But He has also said to us: “Be ye therefore merciful, as Your Father also is merciful” (Lk 6, 36). How far does our mercy go? How much compassion do we have for the faults of others? The measure of our mercy toward our neighbor will be the measure of God’s mercy toward us, for Jesus has said, “With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Mt 7, 2).
God does not require us to be sinless that He may shower upon us the fullness of His mercy, but He does require us to be merciful to our neighbor, and moreover, to be humble. In fact, to be sinners is not enough to attract divine mercy; we must also humbly acknowledge our sins and turn to God with complete confidence. “What pleases God,” said St. Therese of Lisieux, “is to see me love my littleness and poverty; it is the blind hope I have in His mercy. This is my sole treasure” (L, 176). This is the treasure which supplies for all our miseries, weaknesses, relapses and infidelities, because by means of this humility and confidence we shall obtain the divine mercy. And with this at our disposal, how can our wretchedness discourage us?
In "The Blessed Eucharist," Father Michael Muller describes how Christ's love for us moved Him to create this most beautiful Sacrament. He explains why Our Lord veils Himself in the appearance of bread - a garment so humble He is little known, little loved even neglected and insulted. Fr. Muller helps the reader discover what a treasure the Sacrament is, sharing countless compelling accounts of miracles involving the Eucharist, quotations from Scripture and the Saints reflecting the virtues that can be obtained from Communion worthily received and the consequences of an unworthy reception of Our Lord. He instructs the reader on how to best prepare for receiving the Sacrament, and how to properly offer thanksgiving afterwards. "The Blessed Eucharist" awakens a deeper awareness of the incredible gift that God has given us in His Presence in the Eucharist, allowing us to embrace all the wondrous fruits this Sacrament has to offer.
Note from The Saint's Administrator:
This book is so beautiful! This is such a wonderful work that I recommend it to all who wish to increase their devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and who wish to know Him better in the Most Blessed Eucharist! This book made me realize how much lack of devotion there is in myself and in the world towards our Savior as He is in the Eucharist. Fr. Muller really helps us to see Our Lord therein and to increase our love for Him in this Holy Sacrament. We forget how much is in the tiny piece of consecrated Host. We forget that it is Our Lord-Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity-and that it isn't just a piece of bread. Think of what we have, we receive Our Lord Jesus Christ, the real gold, the real food on earth for our souls. The only Article (before the Rosary) that can release souls from Purgatory and Who can give us all that we ask for (as long as it is good for our souls). This Sacrament was the sanctification of the Saints and conversion of many souls.
So, I highly recommend this book!
Rita, The Saint's Administrator
In her liturgy the Church reproduces every phase of the life of her divine Founder.
Scarcely was He born than the Infant-God was persecuted by Herod; the Church while still in her cradle sent to heaven her first martyr in the person of the deacon Stephen, and her first twenty-five Popes met their death as martyrs. On his return from Egypt Jesus grew in age and wisdom at Nazareth where he spent some years in peace; during the pontificate of Sylvester I (314-35), after three hundred years of persecution the Church began to enjoy that freedom which is her greatest boon. She spread throughout the Roman empire and the Council of Nicea (325), under Sylvester’s presidency, which pervades the whole Christmas liturgy. “At the first Council of Nicea”, the Breviary tells us, “the Catholic faith concerning the divinity of Christ was expounded by three hundred and eighteen bishops; Arius and his sect were condemned. At the request of the Fathers of the Council Sylvester again confirmed this Council at a Synod held in Rome at which Arius was condemned afresh.”
St. Sylvester was buried at the cemetery of Priscilla on the via Salaira under a small basilica which he himself had caused to be built.
This Saint was the daughter of one of the richest men of Rome. She and her family were Christians, but her father was not willing to let Melania follow her vocation to become a religious. He engaged her to Pinian, the son of the ruler of Rome, and when she was only fourteen, they were married. Melania told her young husband that she would be happy if they could give themselves completely to Jesus. Pinian, however, was like Melania’s father-a good man but very much concerned about pleasing important people and being admired.
After a couple of years, Melania became gravely ill, and her husband promised God that if He would spare her life, he would let her live in the holy way she desired. She got better, but her father made her keep on dressing and behaving like the other great ladies of Rome. Then, he too, fell ill, and as he lay dying, he asked her forgiveness. “Fearing the ridicule of evil tongues,” he said, “I have made you sad by opposing your heavenly vocation.”
Melania’s mother and husband joined her in giving up worldly pleasures. They moved to a country village and made it a center of charity to travelers, poor people, slaves, and even whole families. St. Melania had huge estates all over the empire, left her by her father. Now she sold them and gave the money to churches, monasteries, captives, sick people, pilgrims and everyone who needed help. In two years, she set eight thousand slaves free.
Melania’s husband, too, became so holy and good that wherever they visited people recognized the virtues of this blessed couple. After living in Africa and practicing great mortifications, St. Melania went with her dear ones to the Holy Land. There her beloved husband and mother died. The Saint built a cell for herself near their graves and many disciples came to share her holy life. It was there, in the land of Jesus, that she died peacefully, surrounded by her religious, and saying over and over: “As the Lord willed, so it is done.”
We should obey our parents in all things. But should God call us to be His, and should our parents oppose it, first we must obey God.
Anysia lived in Thessalonica, an ancient city to which St. Paul himself had first brought the faith of Jesus. Anysia was a Christian and after her parents' death, she used her great fortune to help the poor.
In her day, there was a cruel persecution of Christians in Thessalonica. The Governor Dulcitius was especially determined to stop all Christians from meeting together for Holy Mass. But Anysia started out one day to try to go to a Christian meeting. As she passed a certain gate, called Cassandra, a guard took notice of her. Stepping out in front of her, he demanded to know where she was going. Frightened, Anysia stepped backwards, making the sign of the cross on her forehead.
At that, the soldier grabbed her and shook her roughly. "Who are you?" he shouted. "And where are you going?" Anysia took a deep breath and replied, "I am a servant of Jesus Christ," she said. "And I am going to the Lord's assembly."
"Oh yes?!" sneered the guard. "I will stop that. I will take you to sacrifice to the gods. Today we worship the sun." At the same time, he snatched off the veil that hung over her face. Anysia put up a good struggle, and the pagan grew more and more furious. Finally in a rage, he drew his sword and ran it through her. The Saint fell dead at his feet.
When the persecution ended, the Christians of Thessalonica built a church over the spot where St. Anysia had given her life for Christ.
I will take this Saint's resolution for my own-"Death, but not sin!"
Thomas was born in London and after his parents died, he went to work in an office. As a young man, he loved hunting and other sports, and nearly lost his life in a roaring mill stream. When Thomas was about twenty-four, he found a position in the household of the Archbishop of Canterbury and began to study to become a priest. He was handsome, very intelligent and so pleasant to talk with that before long, he had become a great favorite of the King himself. People said that the King and Thomas had only one heart and one mind-such close friends were they. When Thomas was thirty-six, King Henry made him his Chancellor.
As Chancellor of England, Thomas had a great household and lived in splendor. Yet he was also very good to the poor, and although he was proud and quick-tempered, he made many mortifications and prayed even during the night. When the Archbishop of Canterbury died, the King wanted the Pope to give Thomas this position, after he had been ordained a priest. But Thomas told him plainly that he did not want to be Archbishop of Canterbury because he knew that at times the King would want him to give him what belongs to the Church. And Thomas realized that since he would have to defend the Church, there would be trouble. “Your affection for me would turn into trouble. “Your affection for me would turn into hatred,” he warned King Henry. The King paid no attention, and Thomas as was made Archbishop.
At first, things went along as well as ever, but all too soon, the King began to demand money which Thomas felt he could not rightly take from the Church. The King grew more and more angry with his former friend, and finally he began to treat him harshly. For a while, Thomas was tempted to give in a bit, but when he realized just how Henry hoped to control the Church, Thomas was very sorry that he had even thought of giving in to the King. He did penance for his weakness, and ever after held firm.
One day, the King, in a fit of anger, said, “Will no one rid me of this pesky archbishop?” Some of his knights took him seriously and went off to murder the Archbishop. They attacked him in his own Cathedral, and he died, saying, “For the name of Jesus and in defense of the Church, I am willing to die!”
All the people of Christendom were horrified at such a crime, and at once King Henry did penance for forty days and then again in public, and once more, after Thomas a Becket was canonized.
Who are my friends? I can recognize the good from the bad by what they say and what they do.
This second Christmas Station dates from the 6th century, when there was on the Palatine at Rome a Byzantine governor with a court Eastern functionaries; their nearest church was St. Anastasia’s. Besides, this saint (mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, second list) was an oriental virgin and martyr, burnt alive at Sirmium (the present Mitrowitza in Yugoslavia) one 25th December, during the persecution of Diocletian (beginning of the 4th century). The Byzantine court obtained from the Pope that, between the Night-Mass at St Mary Major, and the Day-Mass (then at St. Peter’s) he should celebrate at dawn a Mass in honour of St. Anastasia, on her “dies natalis” and in her church.
When Rome ceased to belong to the Byzantine empire, this Station remained, but the text of the Mass was altered into a second Nativity-Mass, keeping only the commemoration of St. Anastasia.
After this Mass at dawn, the Pope, instead of going to St Peter’s for the third Station, returned to St Mary Major, because the distance was shorter.
The Child whom the liturgy makes us greet with gladness, lying in the crib, is in reality He who should in truth be called “Wonderful, God, the Prince of peace, the Father of the world to come: of whose reign there shall be no end” (Inroit). He is the Man-God who comes to transform our human life and, by allowing us to partake of His divine life, to make us “heirs of life everlasting” (that is the note running through the whole of this Mass). The dawn which the Church calls on us to greet this morning is, therefore, the dawn of that day of salvation which, begun on earth, stretches out into eternity and never comes to a close.
Let us make haste to go with the shepherds to whom almighty God showed forth the Incarnation of His Son (Gospel), to adore at the altar, our manger, the Word born from all eternity of His heavenly Father, born of Mary upon earth, and who should be born increasingly by grace in our hearts, while we await the time when He will cause us to be born into His glorious life in heaven.
When the time had come in which the Son of God was to become man for love of us, His mother Mary and St. Joseph had to leave this home in Nazareth and go to Bethlehem. The reason for this journey was that the Roman Emperor wanted to count the number of his subjects, and so every Jewish family had to go to the city of their ancestors. Since Mary and Joseph belonged to the royal family of David, they had to go to David’s city of Bethlehem. The Emperor had made the law, but it served to fulfill God’s plan, for in the Holy Bible, it was written that the Savoir was to be born in Bethlehem.
It was a slow, hard journey for our Blessed Mother over the mountainous country to Bethlehem, but she knew she was doing God’s will and she was happy thinking of her Divine Son soon to be born. When Mary and Joseph reached Bethlehem, they found that there was no place for them to stay. At last, they had to go into a cave, where the breath of an ox and a donkey kept them warm. There in that rough stable, the Son of God was born on Christmas Day. His Blessed Mother wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. Our Lord chose to be born in such poverty so that we would learn not to desire riches and comforts.
The very night in which Jesus was born, God sent His angels to announce His Birth. The angels were not sent to the Emperor or the King, nor even to the learned doctors and chief priests. They were sent to poor, humble shepherds who were watching their flocks on the hillside near Bethlehem. As soon as they heard the angels’ message, these good, simple men hurried to adore the Savior of the world. Then they went home giving praise and glory to God.
The great Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament had been comforted by the thought that someday the Savior would come into the world. Now that He had come, all good men rejoiced. Christ came for all of us. The Bible says: “God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son.” If those who lived in the hope of His coming were happy, how much more ought we to rejoice! We have His teachings, His Church, and Jesus Himself on our altars. Christmas is the time when we realize more than ever how much God loves us!
Today I will offer myself to Baby Jesus with all my heart.
The Birth of Jesus
Now it came to pass in those days, that a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that a census of the whole world should be taken. This first census took place while Cyrinus was governor of Syria. And all were going, each to his own town, to register.
And Joseph also went to Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem – because he was of the house and family of David – to register, together with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds at the Crib
And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone round about them, and they feared exceedingly.
And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will.”
And it came to pass, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds were saying to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen, they understood what had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard marvelled at the things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken to them.
Paula’s name before she became a nun was Constance. She was the last of sixteen children born to an Italian countess. When Constance was only nineteen, her parents arranged a marriage for her with a rich man who was sixty years old! He was a good man, but a bit odd and quite unattractive. The poor girl could have been miserable all her life, but instead, she made the best of things, and drew closer and closer to Jesus. She counted on His help always.
Constance’s husband died nineteen years later, and she was left with a great fortune. Something her parish priest happened to say made her decide to devote her time and money to poor children and orphans. At once she took two orphans into her great mansion, and her work had started.
Other ladies joined her and they took the vows of a nun. The new community was called the Sisters of the Holy Family. Constance tool the name, Sister Paula. Some years afterwards, a group of men formed themselves into a community of brothers to help Sister Paula in taking care of orphan boys.
Sister Paula especially wanted to train farm children so that they would know how to farm the land well and not suffer poverty. She knew they would all probably spend their lives on farms and she wanted them to be happy in this way of life.
Sister Paula was always very devoted to the Holy Family, and God gave her the grace of dying peacefully one Christmas Eve.
Since I cannot offer much to help poor children, I will be very kind to them.
From boyhood, this Saint of Rome had the disease called palsy. All his life, he was helpless. He could not stand or even sit up straight. He could not feed himself or even turn from one side to another.
Every day, his mother and his brother carried him to the great Church of St. Clement. There on the church steps he stayed, and people passing by gave him money. But Servulus was by no means an ordinary beggar. First of all, he never complained about his sufferings or asked for pity. Indeed, he was so cheerful that people were amazed to hear him singing hymns of thanksgiving to God. And any money he had left over after paying for his own needs he would give to people poorer than himself.
St. Servulus’ one great desire was to give God praise and honor. He offered up his constant pain for the love of God. Little by little the Saint saved up enough money to buy himself some books of the Bible. He could not read, but he would ask others to read to him, and he listened so carefully that he learned all the books he had by heart.
After years of living in pain and spiritual joy, Servulus fell ill. As he lay dying, he asked the poor people he had helped to gather round him and sing hymns with him. Then he suddenly cried out, “Listen! Do you hear the marvellous music of heaven?” Right afterwards, he passed away, and his body was buried in St. Clement’s Church, where he had spent his life.
This Saint had a very good heart. What about me? Am I generous?
Flannan was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. He was educated by the monks and also learned from them all manner of farming chores. When he was a grown man, Flannan decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome.
In Rome, Pope John IV made him a bishop, for he recognized the wisdom and holiness of this man. When St. Flannan returned to Ireland, all the people of his region, Killaloe, came to meet him. They were eager to learn the instructions the Saint had brought back from the Holy Roman See.
St. Flannan taught his people so well that even his father, the chieftain Turlough, decided to become a monk. The old man went to St. Colman to be instructed in the life of a monk. At the same time, he asked for a blessing for his family, since three of his sons had been killed. The Saint predicted: “From you shall seven kings spring.” And so it happened.
St. Flannan was afraid that since he was one of the family, he, too, might be made king. So he prayed to become ugly, and his face was soon covered with big scars and rashes. Thus he could be sure that he could devote himself entirely to the service of God and his people.
The honors, riches and pleasures of this world last only a short time. The happiness and glory of Heaven, instead, lasts forever. Let us often think of this, as the Saints did, and we too, shall become saints.