Rosary Blog Archive - Jul-Dec 2007

To go to our current blog, click here. To return to our main blog archives page, click here.

December 2007 Bloglets

"Evangelization Answers a Prayer, Says Pope"
A December 23 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "Benedict XVI says the Church's mission to evangelize is an answer to the Advent prayer 'Come, Lord Jesus'. The Pontiff reflected on Christmas as an impetus to evangelize. He said: 'Being reached by the presence of God, who draws near to us at Christmas, is an inestimable gift, a gift that is capable of making us live in the universal embrace of the friends of God, in that network of friendship with Christ that binds heaven and earth, that directs human freedom toward its fulfillment and that, if lived in its truth, flourishes in a gratuitous love and a concern for the good of all people. Nothing is more beautiful, urgent and important than freely giving to people what we have freely received from God. Nothing can exempt or discharge us from this fascinating duty. The joy of Christmas of which we already have a foretaste, as we are filled with hope, moves us at the same time to proclaim to all the presence of God in our midst'. Benedict XVI concluded his meditation calling on Mary, 'the incomparable model of evangelization' who 'did not communicate an idea to the world but Jesus, the incarnate Word', to obtain the grace for the Church to proclaim Christ the savior."

In a related December 21 article from Catholic World News, called Evangelization comes first, Pope tells Curia, the Holy Father "emphasized the duty of all Christians to evangelize in his Christmas message to the Roman Curia. The Pope acknowledged that the duty to spread the Gospel is questioned today, with skeptics asking 'whether it is still legitimate to evangelize today'. He expressed the position of the skeptics: 'Should not all the religions and philosophies of the world coexist peacefully and together seek what is best for humanity, each in its own way?' In his lengthy address, the Pope answered those questions in the context of a review of memorable events from the past year." [The Roman Curia is "the ensemble of departments or ministries which assist the sovereign pontiff in the government of the Universal Church". (from]

Embracing Mary's Maternal Tenderness
This December 21 article appeared in Canada's oldest English Catholic weekly newspaper, The Catholic Register (CR). Written by Carine Lee of the CR's Youth Speak News, it examines the power of the Rosary, Mary's role in our lives, and personal consecration to Jesus through Mary in the method taught by St. Louis de Montfort.

"After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI asks for prayers for world peace"
A December 16 article from the Catholic News Agency. "At the end of today's Angelus prayer, the Pope urged that, in this time of Advent, the faithful pray 'for a renewed peace in the places of the world that live in conflict'...In closing, the Holy Father" added "that the Third Sunday of Advent is a time to 'renew our hope in Christ, the Savior who has been promised to us. As we look forward to his coming may we experience the joy of his salvation'."

"Theotokos sums up all that Mary is"
A December 16 article from the Ignatius Press Blog, Ignatius Insight Scoop. "This is the third of four reflections that consider the relationship between four phrases of the "Hail Mary" and the Advent season. These pieces were originally published during the Advent season of 2004 in Our Sunday Visitor..." The word 'theotokos' translates from Greek literally as 'God-bearer', meaning 'Mother of God', and is a title of the Virgin Mary which originated within the Eastern/Greek Orthodox Church.

"Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 12"
Catholic Culture's websites provides this account of the story and significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Three related news articles are the Catholic News Agency's Mexico celebrates Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Catholic World News' 2 million pilgrims visit Guadalupe shrine for feast, Zenit's Our Lady of Guadalupe Attracting Record Numbers, and the Catholic News Service's Our Lady of Guadalupe called 'Mother Without Borders' in Los Angeles.

"Mary Inspires Believers to Fight Evil, Says Cardinal"
A December 11 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "The papal envoy sent to open the jubilee year of the Marian apparitions in Lourdes said that Mary inspires an attitude of 'permanent battle' for good against the forces of evil...The weapons are 'conversion of heart, a great devotion to the holy Eucharist, daily recitation of the rosary, constant prayer without hypocrisy, and accepting sufferings for the salvation of the world...The final victory will be God's'."

"New Vatican Prayer Campaign for Priestly Renewal"
A December 10 article from Catholic World News. "The Vatican has launched a campaign of prayer - specifically, Eucharistic adoration - for a spiritual revival among the world's priests. The Congregation for Clergy, in a document released on December 8, calls for a major worldwide drive to promote Eucharistic adoration 'for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests'...The Vatican directive - signed by Cardinal Claudio Hummes and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza: the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Congregation for Clergy - explains:

In order to continually maintain a greater awareness of the ontological link between the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and in order to recognize the special maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for each Priest, it is our intention to bring about a connection between perpetual Eucharistic adoration for the reparation of faults and sanctification of priests.

The letter from the Congregation for Clergy is dated December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In explaining their plan, Cardinal Hummes and Archbishop Piacenza make it clear that this was no coincidence, saying that the 'intend in a very particular way to entrust all Priests to Mary, the Mother of the High and Eternal Priest'."

This December 11 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, entitled Vatican Seeking Spiritual Moms for Priests - And Dioceses Willing to Offer Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, offers a link - with "explanations and resources both for the campaign to begin Eucharistic adoration and for those who would like to be spiritual mothers of priests, following the example of the Virgin Mary" - to the Congregation for the Clergy's webiste.

"Mary's Purity: Antidote for Consumerism"
A December 10 article from Catholic World News.

"Shootings Leave Churches in Mourning, Archbishop of Denver Offers Prayers"
A December 10 article from the Catholic News Agency. "Two churches in Colorado are mourning the deaths of five of their members since gunmen opened fire yesterday at a missionary training center in Arvada and New Life Church, 80 miles south, in Colorado Springs...a gunman dressed in black, shot worshippers in the parking lot of the [second] church killing one and injuring four before a security guard shot and killed the gunman, [saving] this tragedy from becoming a lot worse than it is...In a statement released Monday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver also offered his prayers for the community: 'The violence...would be heart-rending in any season, but it is especially bitter during this time of preparation for Christmas, the birthday of the Prince of Peace. Along with the whole Catholic community in Colorado, I pray that God will heal the suffering inflicted by these terrible events, and sustain the hope and faith of the people at New Life Church, Youth with a Mission and Faith Bible Chapel. For those struggling personally with this sorrow, may God penetrate and redeem even this tragedy with the peace of Christmas and Christ's promise of eternal life'."

"The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin - Part 2 of 4"
A December 9 article from the Ignatius Press Blog, Ignatius Insight Scoop. "This is the second of four reflections that consider the relationship between four phrases of the "Hail Mary" and the Advent season. These pieces were originally published during the Advent season of 2004 in Our Sunday Visitor...".

"Mary: Model and Mother of Love for the Young"
A December 8 article from EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) News. "At midday today, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Pope addressed thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus. 'What a great gift it is to have Mary Immaculate for a mother', Benedict XVI [remarked]. 'A mother resplendent in beauty and transparent to the love of God'. He then referred to young people of today who are, he said, 'growing up in an atmosphere pervaded with messages that propose false models of happiness. These boys and girls risk losing hope because they often seem to be orphaned of that real love which fills life with meaning and joy'. After highlighting how John Paul II had often presented Mary to young people as the 'Mother of beautiful love', the Pope went on: 'Many experiences show us, unfortunately, that adolescents, young people, and even children fall easy victims to the corruption of love, taken in by unscrupulous adults who...draw them into the blind alleys of consumerism'."

"Pontiff Presents Mary as Road to Peace"
A December 9 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "On the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Benedict XVI presented Mary as the guide toward peace. During his visit Saturday to the image of the Immaculate Conception in Rome's Piazza de Spagna, the Pope proclaimed a 'message of light and hope' to humanity. After having been welcomed by the applause and cheers of the rain-soaked crowd of around 10,000, the Pontiff said that Mary 'reminds us that we are all brothers and that God is our Creator and our Father'...Benedict XVI invited 'men of every nation and culture' to welcome 'this message of light and hope: They receive it from the hands of Mary, Mother of all humanity'. If life is a journey, and this journey is often dark, difficult and wearisome, what star can illuminate it?' the Holy Father asked...'On our common voyage on the ocean of history we need 'lights of hope', people who draw light from Christ and who thus offer light for our passage...And who better than Mary [who] can be for us 'Star of hope?'".

The Soleminity of the Immaculate Conception (of Mary in her mother's womb) - December 8
This article from Catholic Culture's webiste explains this important aspect of Mary's identity. It also links to the following documents & articles:

Papal Bull Ubi Primum (On The Immaculate Conception) by Pope Pius IX

Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (On The Immaculate Conception) by Pope Pius IX

Encyclical Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum (On The Immaculate Conception) by Pope Pius X

The Message of the Virgin of Lourdes by Bishop Donald Montrose

The Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin by Abbot Gueranger

...and much more!

Also, you may read the following articles from the Ignatius Press blog, Ignatius Insight Scoop:

Immaculate Mary, Matchless in Grace, excerpted from John Saward's book Cradle of Redeeming Love

Mary Immaculate, a homily for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, written by Fr. Kenneth Baker for America's leading pastoral magazine, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

"The Virgin Without Sin - Gospel Commentary for Feast of Immaculate Conception"
A December 6 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, giving an English translation of the commentary on the gospel reading of Luke 1:26-38, scheduled for Mass on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This commentary, from the Pontifical Household preacher Father Raniero Cantalamessa, explains the reassuring significance of Mary's holiness and the grave danger of sin to each person. "With the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the Catholic Church affirms that Mary, on account of a singular privilege bestowed by God and in view of the merits of Christ's death, was preserved from contracting the stain of original sin and came into existence already completely holy. Four years after being defined by Pope Pius IX, this truth was confirmed by the Madonna herself at Lourdes in an apparition to Bernadette with the words: 'I am the Immaculate Conception'. The feast of Mary Immaculate reminds humanity that there is only one thing that truly lowers man - sin. It is a very urgent message to repeat. The world has lost the sense of sin. We joke as if it were the most harmless thing in the world. The world presents its products and spectacles as sinful to make them more attractive...The world is afraid of everything but sin. It is afraid of pollution, the obscure maladies of the body, nuclear war, terrorism; but it is not afraid of the war against God, who is the eternal; the all-powerful; love. Jesus says, however, not to be afraid of those who kill the body, but only of him who after he has killed has the power to cast into Gehenna [Hell] (cf. Luke 12:4-5)."

"Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words"
This interesting article was posted December 7, 2007, on the site The author, Edward Sri, is assistant professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, an author, and a frequent contributor to the magazine Lay Witness. "Mary's command to the servants at Cana - 'Do whatever he tells you' (Jn. 2:5) - represents her last recorded words in the Bible. And they serve as much more than an exhortation to obedience. They echo the Old Testament spousal covenant of love between Yahweh, the divine Bridegroom, and Israel, His bride." Christ's first public miracle of changing water to wine at the wedding in Cana is the Second Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary.

"Volunteers to Launch Lourdes Jubilee"
A December 5 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "Volunteers from the world over will converge on Lourdes to open up the Jubilee year celebrating the 15oth anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the French town...The jubilee officially opens Saturday, Dec. 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and will conclude on the same day in 2008. Organizers of the jubilee year have organized 12 missions, one for each month of the year, organized around themes such as volunteerism, Mary, the sick, youth and peace. They estimate some 8 million people will visit the city in the Pyrenees [mountains] this year. An estimated 3,500 people will participate in the first mission titled 'The Church in Mission With Its Volunteers in the Service of Others'."

Pope's December Prayer Intentions - "Pope Praying for AIDS Victims"
A December 3 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency.

"Mary's Gift of Self Points the Way - 'The Blessed Mother and Advent', Part 1 of 4"
A December 1 article from the Ignatius Press blog, 'Insight Scoop'. "This is the first of four reflections that consider the relationship between four phrases of the 'Hail Mary' and the Advent season. These pieces were originally published during the Advent season of 2004 in Our Sunday Visitor..."

November 2007 Bloglets

"Pope Pens New Hymn to Mary in 'Saved by Hope'"
A November 30 article from the Catholic News Agency. The article summarizes the content of the conclusion of Benedict XVI's new encyclical released today entitled Spe Salvi ('In hope we are saved'). The conclusion is entitled 'Mary, Star of Hope'. Catholic Culture's website also has an article by Dr. Jeff Mirus that gives an overview of the encyclical; it's entitled Saved by Hope.

“The Brothers and Sisters of Jesus”
A November 30 article from the First Things website, written by Matthew Levering, co-editor of the quarterly theological journal Nova et Vetera and the author, most recently, of Ezra & Nehemiah. First Things has posted this fifth of five articles on Mary, written by participants in the Catholics and Evangelicals Together group. Below are the first four contributions, entitled The Mother of God at Prayer for the Kingdom, Call Me Blessed, Mary: Mother and Disciple of Christ Jesus the Lord and Sola Gratia and Mary's Immaculate Conception.

"Prayer Seen as School of Hope - Pope Offers Practical Ways to Attain Virtue"
A November 30 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "Through prayer, we can attain the virtue of hope, and become witnesses of the theological virtue for others, says Benedict XVI. The Pope said this in his encyclical Spe Salvi ('Saved in Hope'), released today, in which he offers practical ways of attaining the theological virtue. The title refers to St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, 8:24: 'For in hope we were saved'. 'A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer', said the Holy Father."

"The Mother of God at Prayer for the Kingdom"
A November 29 article from the First Things website, written by Cornelius Plantinga Jr., an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and president of Calvin Theological Seminary. First Things has posted this fourth of five articles on Mary, written by participants in the Catholics and Evangelicals Together group. Below are the first three contributions, entitled Call Me Blessed, Mary: Mother and Disciple of Christ Jesus the Lord and Sola Gratia and Mary's Immaculate Conception.

"Call Me Blessed"
A November 28 article from the First Things' website, written by T.M. Moore, dean of the Wilberforce Forum's Centurions Program and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic tradition. First Things has posted this third of five articles on Mary, written by participants in the Catholics and Evangelicals Together group. Below are the first two contributions, entitled Mary: Mother and Disciple of Christ Jesus the Lord and Sola Gratia and Mary's Immaculate Conception.

"Pope Offers Prayers for Families of Millions Who Died of AIDS in 2007"
A November 28 article from the Catholic News Service. At the end of today's weekly general papal audience at St. Peter's Square, "the pope spoke about the Dec. 1 commemoration of World AIDS Day". "Pope Benedict XVI offered his prayers for the families of the estimated 2.1 million people who have died of AIDS this year, and he asked all people to work to end discrimination against those living with AIDS and HIV...UNAIDS estimated that in 2007 about 33.2 million people were living with HIV, 2.5 million became infected and 2.1 million died of AIDS. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most affected, with an estimated 22.5 million people infected, it said...The UNAIDS data estimated that 2.5 million children under the age of 15 were living with HIV/AIDS, including 420,000 children who contracted the virus in 2007. More than 330,000 children under 15 died of AIDS during this year."

"Mary: Mother and Disciple of Christ Jesus the Lord"
A November 27 article from the First Things' website, written by J.I. Packer, Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and executive editor for Christianity Today. First Things has posted this second of five articles on Mary, written by participants in the Catholics and Evangelicals Together group. Below is the first contribution, entitled Sola Gratia and Mary's Immaculate Conception.

"Bishop of Lourdes Announces in Washington 150th Jubilee Anniversary Celebration of Apparitions"
A November 27 release from the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) Office of Media Relations. "The Bishop of Lourdes, France, Most Reverend Jacques Perrier, announced November 27 in Washington the opening of a year long celebration of the 150th Jubilee anniversary of the apparitions of the Immaculate Conception to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the Grotto at Lourdes...The Jubilee Year will officially open December 8, 2007, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and conclude the following year on the same day. Each pilgrim going to Lourdes will be invited to follow the 'Jubilee Path' in four steps: The Baptismal Font where Bernadette was baptized, The Cachot where she lived with her family throughout the apparitions, the Grotto where the saw the Blessed Virgin 18 times and the chapel where Bernadette made her First Communion. In light of the New Evangelization, the Message of Lourdes contributes to the mission of the Church focusing on twelve areas: conversion, service to others, Mary, the youth, the sick, the disabled, the marginalized, peace, Christian unity, inter-religious dialogue and through the Eucharist. A novena will be offered, downloadable from the Internet, for all those desiring to be pilgrims at home and to make possible the involvement of communities throughout the world associated with Lourdes and St. Bernadette. It is estimated that over 500,000 American Catholics visit the sanctuaries at Lourdes, France, every year."

Please also visit our illustrated page on Our Lady of Lourdes, which links to the portal of official Lourdes websites & the Jubilee website!

"Sola Gratia and Mary's Immaculate Conception"
A November 26 article from the American Institute on Religion and Public Life's website, called First Things - The Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life (They also publish a magazine called First Things). The article is by Edward T. Oakes, teacher of theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, the seminary for the Archdiocese of Chicago. "The project known as 'Evangelicals and Catholics Together' is now in its thirteenth year - following its initial statement, 'The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium' - with much-discussed statements on salvation, Scripture, and the Communion of Saints. The group is currently engaged in studying what can be said together about the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a number of participants were asked to prepare preliminary papers. With the permission of the authors, we will be posting five of these papers over the next five days..." Stay tuned!

"New Iraqi Cardinal: 'Pray for Us, Pray for Iraq' "
A November 26 article from the Catholic News Agency. "At a Mass at Saint Peter's Basilica on Saturday elevating twenty-three clerics to the cardinalate, Pope Benedict XVI created the first Iraqi cardinal... The Pope expressed special concern for all Iraqis in his sermon. He said that by calling the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church Emmanuel Delly to the College of Cardinals he wanted to express his spiritual closeness and affection for the Iraqi people. He called for the Church to reaffirm her solidarity with Iraqi Christians and asked God to bring peace and reconciliation to all Iraqis...The Chaldeans, who have one of the most ancient rites of the Church, are Iraq's largest Christian group but their numbers are in decline. Many Iraqi Christians have fled the country since the war began in 2003 to escape the sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Several Iraqi churches have been bombed and priests have been among those kidnapped and killed." A related article, from Rome's Zenit News Agency, is Red Hat Signals Solidarity With Iraq

"Pope Asks New Cardinals to Pray for Peace and Unity"
A November 25 article from the Catholic News Agency reporting on the Holy Father's address to 23 new Catholic cardinals elevated to the office on Sunday.

"Pontiff Urges Prayer for Annapolis Meeting"
A November 25 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. Also from Zenit is this same-day article, "A Day of Prayer for the Mideast - 'To Implore the Spirit of God for That Region So Dear to Us'"

"Prayer is Best Way to Aid Pope, says His Brother"
A November 22 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. Pope Benedict XVI's older brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, "recommended, in addition to prayer, supporting [the Pope] 'above all in affirming and living out in one's own environment his exhortations, and everything he teaches'." During a September 2006 papal visit to Bavaria, the two brothers, who were ordained on the same day in 1951, visited "the cemetery...where [their] parents (Maria and Joseph) and [their] sister, Maria, are buried". "Monsignor Ratzinger, like his brother, recorded his memoirs, stressing the deep devotion that continually shaped the life of his family. He said the principle that always guided the three siblings was one they found in the catechism: 'Why are we here on this earth? So we can give glory to God and get to heaven'."

"Pray for Peace, Cardinal George Urges Catholics"
A November 21 release from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Media Relations. "Ahead of an international peace conference to pursue a just and lasting peace among Israelis and Palestinians, to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, on November 27, Cardinal Francis George, of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged bishops in dioceses across the country to encourage Catholics to pray for peace, especially this coming Sunday, November 25. The announcement of the peace conference was made November 20 by the State Department. 'This call to prayer has a special timeliness this week, but the path to a just peace will be long and will stretch beyond the peace conference itself,' he said. 'In the weeks and months ahead, may we persevere in prayer for a just peace for Israelis, Palestinians and the whole region'."

"Prayer is to Carry Christ in One's Heart, Says Pope"
A November 21 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. In concluding his general audience to over 15,000, the Holy Father pointed to the fourth century teachings of Syriac "Bishop Afraates 'the wise', who lived in what is modern day Iraq". "He noted that one of the most important teachings of the bishop is on prayer, 'and particularly on Christ as the master of prayer. According to this ancient sage', the Pontiff said, 'prayer is achieved when Christ dwells in the heart of Christians, inviting them to a coherent commitment of charity toward their brethren'."

"Mary, The Woman the World Loves"
A November 20 article from Ignatius Press' Blog, Ignatius 'Insight Scoop', taken from Archbishop Fulton Sheen's classic book, The World's First Love.

"Celebrations organized for the 150th anniversary of Lourdes apparitions"
A November 13 article from the Catholic News Agency. A Jubilee Year was announced during a Holy See press conference this morning. It will take place from December 8, 2007 - the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - until the same day next year, and within the context of "the new evangelization". "It is expected than an estimated eight million pilgrims will visit Lourdes for the Jubilee Year" - two million more than the annual average!

"Benedict XVI to Join Celebrations at Lourdes"
A November 13 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes...confirmed that the Pope would visit 'though we still do not know the exact date'. 'Shrines and pilgrimages', the prelate went on, 'today occupy an important place in religious life, especially among people who do not habitually follow religious practices. Shrines are places of silent evangelization'.

Kicking off a Jubilee year this Dec. 8, will be the inauguration of additional "mosaics representing the luminous mysteries of the rosary" within "the dome of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary", in homage to Pope John Paul II.

You can link to the Lourde's Jubilee website via our page, Our Lady of Lourdes.

"Pope mourns Fatima accident victims"
A November 7 article from Catholic World News reporting about "an...accident that...killed 13 people and injured 24...when a car crashed into a bus carrying students on their return trip after a pilgrimage to Fatima".

"Fearful of war, Turkey's Christian minority gathers in prayer"
A November 6 article from Catholic World News. "With fears of war mounting in the Middle East, members of Turkey's Christian minority gathered to pray at Antioch...Conflict between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish region would be a disaster for the peoples of the whole region of the Middle East, southern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq".

October 2007 Bloglets

Papal Prayer Intentions for November
An October 31 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, announcing Benedict XVI's November prayer intentions for the faithful to support. His general prayer intention is "That those dedicated to medical research and all those engaged in legislative activity may always have deep respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural conclusion". And the Holy Father's missionary prayer intention is "that in the Korean peninsula, the spirit of reconciliation and peace may grow".

"National 40-Day Pro-Life Prayer Campaign Makes Progress Against Abortion"
An October 27 article from, reporting that "The national campaign by pro-life groups across the country" (the U.S.) "to pray at abortion centers for 40 days is making inroads into stopping abortions...The campaign includes prayer and fasting, and a constant vigil and community outreach that is being conducted simultaneously in more than 80 communities in 33 states. Many of the efforts involve round-the-clock prayer vigils at abortion facilities that will continue through November 4".

"Pope says: Pray for a 'New Pentecost' at Sydney's World Youth Day"
An October 26 article from the Catholic News Agency. The theme of the July 15-20 2008 World Youth Day to be held in Sydney, Australia is "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8). Pentecost is the Third Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary.

"Anglicans, Catholics Meet on Mary, Ecumenical Relations"
An October 24 article from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)'s Office of Media Relations.

"In Naples, pope urges people to trust [that] God will hear their prayers"
An October 22 article from Catholic World News reporting on an October 21-23 interreligious gathering of Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Anglican, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and other religious leaders (following in the footsteps of such meetings convoked by Pope John Paul II in 1986 and 2002).

"On a more local level, Pope Benedict used the morning Mass to speak openly about Naples' persistent problems with poverty, violence, organized crime, crumbling infrastructure and unemployment. He told the people that 'at first glance' the Gospel message about the need to pray without ceasing could appear irrelevant in the face of so many real problems and even violent deaths'...But, the pope insisted, 'the force that, in silence and without fuss, changes the world and transforms it into the kingdom of God, is faith -- and the expression of faith is prayer'. Pope Benedict said it is obvious that sometimes it seems prayers are not being answered, but people must have faith that if they persevere in prayer, God will intervene with justice. However', he said, 'God cannot change things without our conversion, and our real conversion begins with the cry of the spirit that begs for forgiveness and salvation'."

On another, interesting note, "In Naples, a city known for its veneration of the blood of fourth-century martyr St. Januarius, Pope Benedict told Massgoers that the deadly symbol of blood has been transformed by the death of Christ and the Christian martyrs into a sign of self-giving life and of nonviolence even in the face of persecution. The pope ended his stay in Naples with a visit to the cathedral where the reliquary containing a vial of St. Januarius' dried blood is kept. Kneeling before the altar, the pope kissed the vial, but the miracle of the blood liquefying did not occur. Msgr. Vincenzo de Gregorio, custodian of the relic, told reporters that the blood, which often liquefies on the saint's feast day, has never liquefied when a pope visited on a day other than the feast day. The blood is said to liquefy three times a year -- on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, the feast of the transfer of the saint's relics to Naples; Sept. 19, his feast day; and Dec. 16, the local feast commemorating the averting of a threatened eruption of Mount Vesuvius through the intervention of the saint."

"Christ's Parable About the Need to Pray Always"
An October 19 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, reporting the text of the commentary of Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa (Pontifical Household preacher) on the coming Sunday's gospel reading (Luke 18:1-8). In it, he says "Sunday's Gospel begins thus: "Jesus told them a parable about the need to pray always and not to lose heart." The parable is the one about the troublesome widow. In answer to the question 'How often must we pray?' Jesus answers, 'Always!' Prayer, like love, does not put up with calculation. Does a mother ask how often she should love her child, or a friend how often he should love a friend? There can be different levels of deliberateness in regard to love, but there are no more or less regular intervals in loving. It is the same way with prayer." Then, "Now, this secret desire for God, a work of memory, of need for the infinite, of nostalgia for God, can remain alive, even when one has other things to do: 'Praying for a long time is not the same thing as kneeling or folding your hands for a long time. It consists rather in awakening a constant and devout impulse of the heart toward him whom we invoke'." Also, "Christ's example tells us something else important. We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can pray always, make prayer a kind of respiration of the soul in the midst of daily activity, if we do not set aside fixed times for prayer, when we are free from every other preoccupation". We modern Christians should take our inspiration from the words that, in 305, St. Saturnius and his fellow martyrs addressed to the Roman judge who had them arrested for participating in the Sunday rite: 'The Christian cannot live without the Sunday Eucharist. Do you not know that the Christian exists for the Eucharist and the Eucharist for the Christian?'"

"Fatima’s message is that following Gospel is path to peace, Pope says"
An October 15 article from the Catholic News Service

"Cardinal Bertone's new book reveals details of his encounters with the 'last visionary of Fatima'"
An October 15 article from the Catholic News Agency

"Fatima opens 'one of the world’s largest churches' in time for 90th anniversary"
An October 15 article from the Catholic News Agency

"Rosary ban for Beijing Olympics?"
An October 12 article from Catholic World News

"Fatima conference concludes tomorrow"
An October 12 article from Catholic World News

"The Past Her Prelude: Marian Imagery in the Old Testament"
An October 8 article from the Ignatius Press blog, Insight Scoop

"Pray the Rosary, Pope urges"
An October 8 article from Catholic World News

October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
An October 7 article from Catholic Culture's site

"Pray Rosary for Peace, Benedict XVI urges"
An October 7 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency

"Month of the Rosary – 'A Means for Contemplating Jesus'"
An October 7 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency

"Pontiff Hopes Fatima Event Increases Charity"
An October 2 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency

"Myanmar Catholic clergy avoid protests, urge prayer and fasting"
An October 1 article from the Catholic News Agency

"I hope for a peaceful solution and give my assurances of intense prayer, says Pope about Myanmar"
An October 1 article from the Catholic News Agency

"Papal envoys named to Fatima, Reims anniversary celebrations"
An October 1 article from Catholic World News

"Hundreds of thousands celebrate feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in Argentina"
An October 1 article from the Catholic News Agency

"Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month of October"
An October 1 article from the Catholic News Agency

September 2007 Bloglets

"Bishop Aquila led the prayers of the Rosary at North Dakota’s only abortion facility"
A September 30 article from the Catholic News Agency

"Six Army of Mary sisters in Arkansas excommunicated"
A September 27 article from the Catholic News Agency, related to our September 14 blog entitled Army of Mary excommunicated by the Vatican

"Bas-reliefs of Korean images of Mary dedicated at national shrine"
A September 26 article from the Catholic News Service. "Commemorating 100 years of their ancestors' migration, Korean-American Catholic pilgrims filled the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Sept. 22 dedication of two bas-reliefs that symbolize the permanence of their place in the Catholic Church...Korean-American Catholics contributed to the sculpture project, which took four years and cost about $1 million. A gift to the national shrine, the bas-reliefs symbolize the faith and love of the Korean Catholic family and serve as a sign of gratitude for the heroic examples of faith witnessed by their ancestors and passed down to them. During the Mass, a prayer was offered for the Korean Martyrs who gave their lives for the Catholic Church, which was established in overwhelmingly Buddhist Korea in 1784. The tradition of martyrdom began almost immediately and claimed more than 10,000 lives over the next 100 years. In 1984, Pope John Paul II canonized 103 martyrs in Seoul. In 2002, Father Lee petitioned the shrine's rector for a place where Mary could be honored by Koreans".

"Vatican rejects woman’s claim to have received Marian apparitions"
A September 25 article from the Catholic News Agency. "The Vatican has rejected the appeals of a British woman for formal recognition of her community and her claims that she has received Marian apparitions for the last 20 years. Patricia De Menezes, 67, has developed an international following since she first began 'seeing' the apparition, dubbed 'Our Lady of Surbiton', in 1984."

"Cardinal Bertone unveils book on Fatima secrets"
A September 25 article from Catholic World News

Our Lady of Ransom - observed on September 24
A September 24 article from Catholic Culture

"Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)"
A September 15 article from Catholic Culture

"Knowing Mary Through the Bible: New Wine, New Eve – Mary in the Second Luminous Mystery"
A mid-September article from the Catholic Education Resource Center

"Army of Mary excommunicated by the Vatican"
Note: Although the Quebec-based 'Army of Mary', a.k.a. 'Community of the Lady of All Nations' includes a devotion to the legitimate 'Lady of All Nations' (from the 1945-59 approved Marian apparitions to Ida Peerdeman of Amsterdam), the 'Army of Mary' is distinctly different and heretical.

A September 14 article from the Catholic News Agency, reporting the excommunication "of the controversial Community of the Lady of All Nations, beter known as the Army of Mary, based in the Archdiocese of Quebec", Canada..."after extensive consultations with the Canadian bishops and the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life...The investigation into the Army of Mary has been going on for six years". Despite warnings, the group attempted to perform ordinations and promoted teachings that are contrary to those of the Church - including that their 86 year-old foundress is the reincarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A letter that accompanied the Vatican declaration of excommunication reads, "It is our hope that the clarification provided by this present Declaration will assist those whose faith may be harmed by this schismatic group to remain faithful to the Catholic Church".

"Last surviving witness says third Fatima secret is fully revealed"
A September 12 article from the Catholic News Agency

Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary
A September 12 article from the website "Catholic Culture"

"'Look to Christ' by 'going towards Mary who shows us Jesus' says Benedict, recalling Austria"
A September 12 article from the Catholic News Agency, reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's Wednesday audience in which he recalled his recent pastoral visit to Austria. "The main purpose of the visit was a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mariazell, on its 850th anniversary. The venerable statue of Our Lady pointing to her infant Son inspired the theme of the visit (to look to Christ)".

"On Loving Jesus as Mary did – 'She allowed God to fill her with love'"
A September 10 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency

"Look to Mary, Pope urges faithful – Makes 1st Stop on Mariazell Pilgramage"
A September 7 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency

"Imitate the Humility of Mary"
A Sep. 2 article from EWTN News which recounts the Holy Father's homily at "the esplanade of Montorso near Loreto, Italy, where he presided at a Eucharisitic concelebration in the presence of half a million young people. 'In Loreto', said the Pope, 'our thoughts naturally go to the Holy House of Nazareth which is the shrine of humility: the humility of God Who became flesh and the humility of Mary who accepted Him in her womb; the humility of the Creator and the humility of the creature. Today', he continued, 'the humble are seen as resigned and defeated, as people who have nothing to say to the world. Yet the truth is that humility is the best way, and not only because it is a great human virtue but also, and primarily, because it is God's own way of acting'. The Holy Father launched a message to the young people 'who wish to follow Christ and to be part of His Church...Do not follow the path of pride but that of humility. Swim against the tide. Do not listen to biased and persuasive voices advocating lifestyles based on arrogance and violence, on self-importance and success at all costs, on appearance and possession to the detriment of being.'..."

August 2007 Bloglets

Pope's September Prayer Intentions - "Benedict XVI Praying for Ecumenical Event"
An August 31 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, reporting that the Pope's general prayer intention for September is "that the ecumenical assembly of Sibiu in Romania" (September 4-6) "may contribute to the growth of unity among all Christians, for whom the Lord prayed at the Last Supper. His apostolic intention is: 'That, following Christ joyfully, all missionaries may know how to overcome the difficulties they meet in everyday life'."

"Beads to Unite Believers on Rosary Day - Marian Devotion on the Rise, Says Scholar"
An August 31 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, regarding plans for the upcoming 'Worldwide Rosary Day'. Events, to be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, are scheduled for October 7, the Feast of the Holy Rosary. The article also contains an incomplete link to the Worldwide Rosary Day website.

"Cardinal Bertone Promotes Rosary in Peru"
An August 30 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. Here is a related August 27 article from the Catholic News Service which reports that Cardinal Bertone presented rosaries from the Holy Father in the cities of Pisco and Ica - "Peruvians join Vatican official in prayer near quake's epicenter". These also refer back to our bloglet from August 27 entitled "Peruvians to consecrate country to Virgin Mary in wake of devastating earthquake", and from August 20 entitled "Pope sends Cardinal Bertone with donation, prayers and the promise of his spiritual closeness to Peru".

"Peruvians to consecrate country to Virgin Mary in wake of devastating earthquake"
An August 27 article from the Catholic News Agency. "On August 30, at noon local time, Peruvians will consecrate their country to the Virgin Mary during the closing of the National Eucharistic Congress presided over by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in front of the Cathedral of Chimbote in northern Peru. The official consecration prayer, which makes specific reference to the devastation that Peru is experiencing from the earthquake that left 500 dead and more than 100,000 homeless, has been disseminated by the Apostolate for the Family Rosary." The article includes the text of the consecration prayer to be used.

"Benedict XVI's Homily on the Assumption - 'Take Heart, it is Love that Wins in the End'"
An August 25 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, with "a Vatican translation of the homily Benedict XVI delivered August 15, solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary" (the fourth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary). Related, is Zenit's August 24 shorter article with "a Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered" the same day to several thousand, entitled "On Mary's Glorification" - which, the Holy Father explains, is "deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture". These refer back to our Aug. 17 bloglet entitled "Mary triumphs over 'dragon' of materialism, Pope says", and our Aug. 15 bloglet "On the Feast of the Assumption: 'The protection of Mary accompanies us throughout our lives'".

"Feast of the Queenship of Mary"
August 22 is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Read all about it on this page from Catholic Culture which links to the text of Pope Pius XII's 1954 encyclical, 'Ad Caeli Reginam' (On the Queen of Heaven), which established this Feast Day of the Queenship of Mary (originally May 31, now August 22), as well as the article The Queenship of Mary. Also excellent is this 'Saint of the Day' feature from American Catholic's website, Queenship of Mary. Finally, here is an August 22 aticle from Rome's Zenit News Agency, entitled ""Pontiff Invites Youth: 'Let Mary Protect You'".

Feast of Our Lady of Knock on August 21
On a rainy August 21 evening in 1879, Mary appeared in the Irish village of Knock, next to the church of St. John the Baptist. For more that 2 hours, 15 villagers witnessed this silent apparition of Our Lady, and prayed the Rosary. Bathed in a heavenly light, Mary stood between her earthly husband, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist (the 'son' to whom the crucified Jesus entrusted his mother). The Blessed Mother, who appeared more prominently than the other two, stood at the center of the light, wore a long white gown, a large crown that seemed to blaze like fire, and a golden rose over her forehead; her raised hands reached out to the people and pointed heavenward. Beside and slightly behind St. John, appeared a Lamb standing on an altar, above and behind whom hung a large cross surrounded by adoring angels. (In this apparition, Mary is also referred to as 'Queen of Angels'.) The same apparition repeated three more times, on January 6 and February 10 & 12 of 1880, and was witnessed by many more people. Soon, thousands of pilgrims were visiting Knock, and hundreds of medically documented, miraculous cures took place (over 300 were recorded by the parish priest by the end of 1880!). The Catholic Church officially investigated the apparition in 1879, then again in 1936, and found that the witnesses - none of whom ever changed or recanted their stories - were believable and that the apparitions contained nothing contrary to the Faith. During the 20th century, four popes have honoured Knock: Pius XII who, in 1954, blessed the Banner of Knock and established the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, John XXIII who presented a special candle to Knock on Candlemas Day in 1960, Paul VI who blessed the foundation stone for the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, in 1974, and John Paul II who visited the Knock Shrine in 1979.

Here, from EWTN's website, is a 1996 article from a Fr. James, The Story of Knock

And here are two articles from Catholic Culture's website: Knock by Zsolt Aradi and Lessons from Our Lady of Knock by Paul E. Duggan.

"Pope sends Cardinal Bertone with donation, prayers and the promise of his spiritual closeness to Peru"
An August 20 article from the Catholic News Agency, reporting that the Vatican is donating $200,000 in aid money "to those devastated by the earthquake that occurred on August 15th in the southwestern coastal region of Peru".

"Papal letter to Chinese Catholics causing greater unity, offers focus for Marian feast day
An August 20 article from the Catholic News Agency. On this August 15 Feast of the Assumption, Fr. Xia of the Diocese of Xuanhua, Hebei province, China, said "the Pope's letter has prompted some conservative 'underground' come to his parish and to be in communion with other parishioners. This is also happening in other areas of the diocese as well". "During his homily" before about 1,000 parishioners, "Fr. Xia...highlighted Pope Benedict XVI's emphasis on one Church in his June 30 papal letter. 'No matter which way we have taken before, we should now return to the side of our Blessed Mother on this feast day', the priest reportedly said". This bloglet refers back to our Jul 1 bloglet entitled "Letter Proposes Day of Prayer for China".

"Papal Delegate Named for Fatima Event"
An August 16 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. "Benedict XVI named Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, as his delegate to attend the closing celebrations marking 90 years since the last Marian apparition in Fatima. The celebrations will take place Oct. 12-13, coinciding with the sixth Marian apparition to three Portuguese shepherd children: Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Mary appeared to the children for the last time in Cova da Iria, close to Fatima, on Oct. 13, 1917. She said: 'I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the rosary every day'. On that occasion, an estimated crowd of 70,000 witnessed what is know as the miracle of the sun -- the sun appeared to dance in the sky and radiate various colors of light before plunging toward the earth and then returning to its normal place.

"Lourdes is Home to French Bishops, Says Prelate"
An August 16 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. French Archbishop Robert Jean Louis Le Gall confirmed that Benedict XVI accepted the bishops' invitation to visit Lourdes as part of the celebrations marking 150 years since Bernadette Soubirous witnessed the 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the French town from Feb. 11 to July 16, 1858. No date has been announced for the visit...The jubilee year commemorating the apparitions, with the theme of "The Church in Mission Nourished by the Eucharist," will commence Dec. 8" 2007, "the feast of the Immaculate Conception."

"Marian inspirational program finds internet home"
An August 16 article from Catholic World News reporting on Mary's Touch, a new program on Catholic Radio International's website. "Already airing on 47 Catholic radio stations across the US, Mary's Touch will now be broadcast on the internet exclusively by Catholic Radio International . New shows will be posted once a week on Mondays...Mary's Touch is an inspirational program designed to bring a greater understanding of Mary's role in the life of the world, to remind us of her loving presence in our lives, and help us recognize the healing grace she still brings to this world. This happens through the stories of people's real-life encounters with the Mother of God and how those experiences have changed their lives. Mary's Touch has received ecclesiastical approbation from Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, Texas." This article links to the Mary's Touch site.

"Mary triumphs over 'dragon' of materialism, Pope says"
An August 16 article from Catholic World News which outlines the main message of Benedict XVI's homily the previous day, the Feast of the Assumption - the fourth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. (See our August 26 bloglet for the English translation of the Holy Father's homily.) He explained that "'courage and love, exemplified by the Virgin Mary, can overcome any material power, including the power of death'"..."the Holy Father offered a meditation on the image found in the Book of Revelation, of the 'woman clothed in the sun' who prevails over the frightening power of the dragon...Today, the Pontiff continued, the powerful forces of materialism -- the 'dragon' -- are found most prominently in materialist ideologies that encourage 'consumerism, selfishness, and pleasure-seeking', denigrating the importance of faith and scoffing at the 'absurdity of thinking about God'.

For a more detailed but still brief Aug. 16 report located on Ignatius Press' weblog called 'Ignatius Insight' (including accolades for the Holy Father's body of writings whereby Catholics - and all - may educate themselves!), check out Benedict on the Woman and the Dragon.

"On the Feast of the Assumption: 'The protection of Mary accompanies us throughout our lives' --Pope Benedict XVI"
An article from the Catholic News Agency on the Holy Father's words marking the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, August 15. The assumption of Mary's body and soul into heaven is the fourth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. Benedict XVI "explained that because Our Lady is now assumed into heaven, she 'is not far from us, but rather remains ever closer to us, and her light is projected on our life and on the entire history of humanity'...'The Feast of the Assumption', the Pope said, 'reminds us that the Blessed Virgin Mary is one with her Divine Son and always in agreement with Him. Mother and Son', he added, 'are closely associated in the struggle against the infernal enemy until there is complete victory over him. That victory' he said, 'is over sin and death. For this reason' the Pope went on, 'just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was the definitive mark of this victory, so the glorification of Mary in her virginal body constitutes the final confirmation of how much she is in full solidarity with her Son in the struggle for that victory'"

On Aug. 14, Ignatius Press' weblog, 'Ignatius Insight', re-printed this 1999 article by South Dakotan Rev. Charles Mangan, offering a truly excellent explanation of Mary's significance. A list of awesome articles and book excerpts also about Mary appears at the bottom of this article, entitled Fairest Daughter of the Father: On the Solemnity of the Assumption.

At the website 'Catholic Culture', you can also read about the Assumption of Mary.

Memorial of St. Dominic, priest, on August 8
This page from the website 'Catholic Culture' offers an article on Saint Dominic Guzman, to whom "is attributed the origin and spread of the Holy Rosary". In fact, Church Tradition holds that Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic in 1208 and instructed him on how to use the Rosary in his preaching for conversions. The fifteen-decade and shorter five-decade Rosary, familiar today, is called the "Dominican" rosary. The Dominican 'Order of Preachers' has been the steward of the worldwide 'Confraternity of the Holy Rosary' for centuries.

Feast of the Tranfiguration on August 6
This page from the website 'Catholic Culture' offers an article on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ...which happens to be the 4th Luminous Mystery of the Holy Rosary. Here also are links to a few articles earlier this & last year on the Transfiguration.

From March 2, 2007 Father Cantalamessa on the Transfiguration - Pontifical Household Preacher Comments on Sunday's Readings

From August 6, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI's address "On Feast of Transfiguration" - "It Is Christ Who Constitutes the Full Manifestation of God's Light"

From March 12, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI's address "On the Transfiguration" - "No One Lives 'on Tabor' While on Earth"

"Benedict XVI calls for prayers for China during month of August"
The Holy Father's prayer intentions for this month also include "that all those who are going through moments of inner difficulty and trial may find in Christ the light and support which leads them to discover authentic happiness".

July 2007 Bloglets

"Rosary rallies planned for Fatima anniversary"
A July 27 article from the Catholic News Agency. "Ninety years after the Marian apparitions in Fatima [Portugal], Catholics in the United States are gearing up to commemorate the anniversary with 2,000 public square rosary rallies...set for Oct. 13, the day of the Miracle of the Sun. The article links to the organizers' website, where resource materials are available. In the words of the executive director of the "America Needs Fatima" campaign, Robert Ritchie, "If anything can reverse the moral crisis in society, it's the power of the Rosary".

"Father Cantalamessa on Jesus' Prayer"
This July 27 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency gives "a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on" the Lord's Prayer / 'Our Father', found in "the readings [Luke 11:1-13] from this Sunday's liturgy" (Mass). Fr. Cantalamessa refers to Pope Benedict XVI's recent book 'Jesus of Nazareth', in which the Holy Father writes: "Without the rootedness in God, the person of Jesus remains elusive, unreal and inexplicable. This is the point on which my book is based: It considers Jesus from the perspective of his communion with the Father. This is the true center of his personality."

"Americans Urged to Join Nationwide 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting Campaign for an End to Abortion"
The abortion industry "claims the lives of 4000 unborn babies each day in America". This July 26 article from LifeSite reports on the upcoming annual "40 Days For Life" (40 DFL) campaign which began in 2004 in College Station, Texas. This year's 40 DFL is scheduled to take place from September 25 through November 4, immediately following an August 16 to September 25 period of training in as many as 400 communities across 45 states. At the end of the article are links to a downloadable 40 DFL report, a sign-up site, as well as previous LifeSite articles on this topic.

"Korean bishop issues caution on alleged Marian revelations"
A July 19 article from Catholic World News.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16
This page from the website 'Catholic Culure' describes the origin of this Marian feast day.

Here are 3 additional links on the Pope Benedict XVI's public message on this day:

"I Invite Special Prayers for Peace in the Holy Land"

Holy Father celebrates devotion to the Virgin of Mount Carmel

Pope Praises Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Prays for Contemplatives; Asks Their Prayers for Conflicts' End

"Pope plans visits to New York, Lourdes next year"
A July 16 article from Catholic World News outlining probable trips by Pope Benedict XVI during 2008 - to New York, Quebec City and Lourdes, France, "to mark the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions there". It also mentions that "the Holy Father will make an 'internationally important' statement on world affairs during a September visit to Austria'.

"Franciscans of Mary receive pontifical approval"
A July 2 article from the Catholic News Agency, about the Franciscans of Mary, an international association "founded 19 years ago in Madrid by a group of young people who felt called to live a spiritually based devotion to St. Francis of Assisi and the Virgin Mary...the movement has some 10,000 members...The Franciscans of Mary seek to live and spread [a] spirituality of thankfulness not only to those in need, but also to those catechists and evangelists who 'are misguided, lack spiritual motivation and are victims of secularism'. Nowadays, the movement stresses, people 'tend to do good works not for religious or transcendent motives, but only for human or humanitarian ones. The mission of this association will be to help the believer discover that in one's neighbor in need, including one who is in need of faith or of deeper formation, Christ is present'." The article includes a link to the Franciscans of Mary website.

"Papal Prayer Intentions for July"
A July 2 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency. Pope Benedict's XVI general intention this month is "that all citizens, individually and in groups, may be enabled to participate actively in the life and management of the common good". His apostolic intention for July is "that, aware of their own missionary duty, all Christians may actively help all those engaged in the evangelization of peoples".

"Letter Proposes [Marian] Day of Prayer for China"
A July 1 article from Rome's Zenit News Agency, which links to the Pope's extraordinary Letter to the Catholic Church of China, published the previous day and issued by the Pope on the Solemnity of Pentecost (May 27). In it, "Benedict XVI has marked May 24, the memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, as a day of prayer for the Church in China".

For further reading on the Catholic Church in China - where approximately one fifth of the world's population lives - and Pope Benedict XVI's letter, you can also link to any of the following articles:

A hard-earned victory for Chinese Catholics - a July 5 article by Fr. Raymond J. DeSouza in Canada's National Post newspaper, reprinted with permission by the Catholic Educators Resource..."In an historic letter to Catholics in the People's Republic of China, Pope Benedict XVI has declared victory on behalf of China's Catholics over their communist rulers."

Two Chinese Churches? Or One? - pre-dates the Pope's Letter, but gives a 'nutshell' history of the Catholic Church in China during the 20th century

Pope's Magnificent Letter to China - from Catholic author Stephen K. Ray's blog, a personal account of his & his wife's experiences during their trip to China

Pope's Letter to Chinese Catholics Points Toward Path to Unity - a brief summary of the letter, but no link to it

Pope's Letter To Catholics Asserts Faith Values, Urges Reconciliation - a very good summary of the letter from The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN); below article is a link to the letter, as well as to a Vatican UCAN Explanatory Note of the letter

Beijing Suppresses Pope's China Letter

Some Chinese welcome papal letter; others need time to digest it