02 Apr Liturgical Events Post Easter
The Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar has listed many significant dates as either Feast Days or as days to commemorate important events that are part of The Church. These events have been celebrated since centuries, decades and some have been added some years ago.
Easter will be celebrated on Sunday 4th April 2021. Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and his ascension to heaven. In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II ordained the Sunday after Easter as the Divine Mercy Sunday. It is on this day that the Feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated.
The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday till the Divine Mercy Sunday, though it may be said anytime. It is also called as the Divine Mercy Chaplet or the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is recited for nine days usually at 3:00 pm or 15:00 hrs which is called the Hour of Mercy.
It is a rosary based prayer recited on the rosary beads of five decades but may be recited without the rosary by counting the prayers on the fingers along with the veneration of the Divine Mercy Image. The Divine Mercy Devotion and Message was promoted by the Marian Fathers.
How to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet:
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- Opening Prayer:
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!
- Our Father.
- Hail Mary.
- The Apostles’ Creed.
- Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
- On the small beads of each decade :
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- Repeat for the remaining decades:
Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.
- Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat 3 times)
10. Closing Prayer:
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
Saint Faustina noted in her diary about Jesus’ specific promises regarding the recitation of the Divine Mercy prayer.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet’s prayers for mercy are :
1) To obtain mercy.
2) To trust in Jesus Christ’s mercy.
3) To show mercy to others.
“All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.” (No. 1507)
Whoever recites this chaplet at the hour of death or in the presence of the dying will receive great mercy as promised by Jesus.
“….When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying not as the just judge but as the Merciful Saviour.”
Jesus also promised that anything can be obtained with this prayer if it is compatible with His will.
The Divine Mercy Devotion is based on the apparitions of Jesus Christ as reported by Saint Faustina Kowalska. Saint Faustina is known as the Apostle of Mercy or the Secretary of Divine Mercy”.
HISTORY OF SAINT FAUSTINA
Born on the 25th of August 1905 in Poland. Her original name was Helena. Saint Faustina was a Roman Catholic nun who belonged to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.
She reported having visions of Jesus Christ and conversations with Christ including the Divine Mercy Devotion. All this was noted by Saint Faustina in her diary, which was later published as The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska : Divine Mercy in My Soul.
“When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyse it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: “You can do all things.” And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him.” (1033, page 392)
She expired on 5th October 1938 in Poland at the age of 33 years. Hence, the Feast of Saint Faustina is celebrated on the 5th of October.
Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament was canonized as a Catholic Saint on 30th April 2000 by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Saint Faustina Kowalska’s Healing Prayer:
“ Jesus may Your pure and healthy blood circulate my ailing organism and may Your pure and healthy body transform my weak unhealthy body and may a healthy and vigorous life throb within me, if it is truly Your Holy will. Amen ” ( Diary 1089)
MONTH OF MARY
The month of May is called the Month of Mary. The entire month is dedicated to the devotion, praise and worship of the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May and Octoberare considered special months in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar and are exclusively dedicated to the Our Mother Mary, the Queen of Heaven. It is during this time, the faithful are encouraged to be more prayful, to offer their prayers, to venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy Rosary is to be recited daily and especially during the Marian Months of May and October with fervent prayers, praise and worship including singing the Marian Hymns. October is the Month of the Rosary.
The devotion to Mother Mary during the Month of May was supported and promoted by all the Popes especially Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II who declared Marian Years. Pope Pius XII declared the Marian Year from December 1953 to December 1954. From 7th June 1987 to 15th August 1988 was promoted as the Marian Year by Pope John Paul II. During the Marian Years, the Marian Devotion, fervent prayers, sermons, discourses, Marian pilgrimages, theological teachings about Mother Mary were promoted and the devotees have been encouraged to reflect about the life, graces and the Ten Principle Virtues of Our Mother Mary.
St. Louis de Montfort mentioned the Ten Principle Virtues of the Blessed Mother Mary in the True Devotion To Mary :
• deep humility,
• lively faith,
• blind obedience,
• unceasing prayer,
• constant self-denial,
• surpassing purity,
• ardent love,
• heroic patience,
• angelic kindness,
• heavenly wisdom.
The month long May devotion is observed by the Roman Catholics around the world. It is a time to honour Mother Mary for her virtues, for her blessings and protection upon us. The faithful are always encouraged to honour Mother Mary, to practice these virtues in our daily lives.
In churches and in homes , a May Altar is erected. The May Altar is an altar or a prayer corner that is specifically dedicated to Our Mother Mary. A statue or a picture of Mother Mary is placed at the altar and it is adorned with pretty flowers, usually offered by little children.
Thousands of pilgrims pay homage and offer their prayers at the various churches dedicated to Mother Mary including at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lourdes in Southern France and other Marian pilgrim centres. During this ongoing pandemic, it may not be possible to visit the pilgrim centres and churches, however, individuals may attend online prayer services and can offer their prayers, worship and praise God, Jesus Christ and Our Mother Mary even within the confines of one’s home
THE MARIAN DEVOTIONS INCLUDE :
• The Holy Rosary
• The Memorare *
• The Regina Caeli *
• Hail Mary, Holy Mary *
• The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( the Litany of Loretto)
• The Brown Scapular
• Marian Hymns – Ave Maria Gratia Plena *
( * Kindly refer to the Divine Retreat Newsletter – Reflections – 5th March 2021 Transcribed Talks on Mother Mary – The Powerful Weapon Against The Devil – Fr. Joseph Edattu VC )
The First Saturday of each Month is dedicated to the Marian Devotions.
THE LORETTO LITANIES
mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
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.
Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
Christ, pray for us.
Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.
Mother of Hope, pray for us.
Mother Most Pure, pray for us.
Mother Most Chaste, pray for us.
Mother Inviolate, pray for us.
Mother Undefiled, pray for us.
Mother Most Amiable, pray for us.
Mother Most Admirable, pray for us.
Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Saviour, pray for us.
Prudent, pray for us.
Virgin Most Venerable, pray for us.
Virgin Most Renowned, pray for us.
Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.
Virgin Most Merciful, pray for us.
Virgin Most Faithful, pray for us.
Justice, pray for us.
Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.
Spiritual Vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of Honor, pray for us.
Singular Vessel of Devotion, pray for us.
Mystical Rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of Ivory, pray for us.
House of Gold, pray for us.
Ark of the Covenant, pray for us.
Gate of Heaven, pray for us.
Morning Star, pray for us.
the Sick, pray for us.
Refuge of Sinners, pray for us.
Solace of Migrants, pray for us.
Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen Conceived without Original Sin, pray for us.
Queen Assumed into Heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Families, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God,
who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech you, O Lord God, that we your servants, may enjoy lasting
health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary,
ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enter into the joy of eternal
happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
The Feast of St. Dominic Savio will be celebrated on May 6th.
Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Ascension of the Lord will be celebrated on May 13th.
24th May is the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.
31st May is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The next important Feast is the Feast of Weeks or Feast of Pentecost. Also, known as the Feast of Fifty Days or the Festival of Reaping or Harvest.
“You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord your God blesses you.” ( Deuteronomy 16:9-10 )
The term Pentecost is derived from the Greek word Pentēkostē which means Fiftieth. Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles of Jesus Christ and other disciples after the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Christ.
It is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday and marks the end of Easter Season and this year, Pentecost will be celebrated on Sunday, 23rd May 2021.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)
The Pentecost Symbols:
- Flame – Flames of Fire / Tongues of Fire.
- Pentecost Dove signifies the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a Dove.
POINTS TO PONDER AND REFLECT ABOUT:
- Prayers should be recited everyday of the year.
- In preparation for the Feasts and other liturgical events, there should an increased devotion, prayers, worship and praise of Abba Father, Jesus Christ and Mother Mary.
- Feasts should be celebrated spiritually in a most holy manner as opposed as considering feasts as an occasion to display unnecessary extravagance and excuse of enjoyment.
- Gluttony is considered as one of the seven deadly sins and hence, should be avoided. “ Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
- The Seven Deadly Sins are envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath should be kept in mind and avoided at all times.
- Mother Mary should be honoured, worshipped and praised each day of our lives not only during the Month of Mary or Month of the Rosary.
- We need to understand and honour the presence of the Holy Spirit in our Spiritual lives.
- Gratitude to Abba Father, Jesus Christ, Mother Mary and Thanksgiving for all our lives and blessings received.
- We need to remember the Passion of Christ and we should not crucify Jesus Christ in our daily lives by our words, thoughts, deeds, actions, behaviour, habits.
- “ Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. ” ( Psalm 100:3)
Praise You Jesus, Thank You Jesus. Thank You Mother Mary.