Archive for the ‘Culture of Life’ Category

August 31st: Feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

St. Raymond Nonnatus was born in Portella in the Diocese of Urgel, Catalonia, around the year 1203. He received the name of Raymond at his Baptism and the nickname of Nonnatus [non natus in Latin means not born] because he was not born normally, but was delivered by a caesarian operation. His father was a shepherd according to some, and a member of the noble family of Cardona, according to others.

From the time he was very young, he manifested a great devotion to the Most Holy Virgin. He prayed the Rosary every day in the hermitage of St. Nicholas of Mira. Once Our Lady appeared to him and promised him her protection. Afterward he was strongly tempted to sin against chastity, but did not fall. He went to thank his Patroness and consecrated his virginity to her. Mary appeared to him again, showing her satisfaction and advising him to enter the Order of the Mercedarians, whose foundation she had inspired St. Peter Nolasco to make only shortly before, in 1218.

He was ordained a priest and dedicated himself to the redemption of captives until 1231. He liberated 140 captives in Valencia, 250 in Argel, and 28 in Tunis. It was in this last city that he had the occasion to fulfill the special fourth vow of the Mercedarians to offer themselves to remain in captivity in the place of Catholic prisoners. Since he was unable to pay the ransom demanded by the slave dealers in Tunis, Raymond offered himself to take the place of some prisoners.

The trade was made, and he began a hard captivity. To prevent him from speaking about Our Lord, for his engaging words were converting numerous Muslims, the Arabian slave masters pierced his lips with a red-hot iron and closed them with a padlock. This padlock was only opened for him to eat. After eight months of this torment, other Mercedarians arrived from Spain bringing the demanded ransom.

The last ten years of his life were spent in Rome, where he became the representative of his Order and in traveling throughout different countries to preach the Crusade. As a cardinal representative of Pope Gregory IX he was sent to meet with St. Louis of France and encourage him to go on the Crusade, which actually took place 10 years later.

St. Raymond Nonnatus died in Cardona, a Spanish village close to Barcelona, on August 31, 1240. He was only 37-years-old.

The life of St. Raymond Nonnatus is a life filled with extraordinary facts. Among them, let me note first the sign Our Lady gave him that led him to the Order of the Mercedarians.

Second, you can see that the epopee of his action in the redemption of slaves reached its apex with his offer to deliver himself as a slave to ransom Catholic prisoners.

Third, consider the torment he suffered of having a padlock perforating his lips. Imagine the enormous pain and discomfort of having a padlock cutting through one’s lips even in sleep. Think how this would bother a man and disturb his nervous system! Then, each time that he had to eat, a Moor would come and open the padlock, breaking the wounds anew and causing new sufferings. Closing it would produce additional torments. Was he allowed to drink water during the day? Can you imagine the discomfort of drinking anything in this situation? He endured this life for the period of eight months.

What did he do when he was freed? Did he have a psychological breakdown? Become discouraged? Feel sorry for himself? No. He took an extraordinarily manly attitude and returned to a life of intense activity. You see how he resisted the temptations to feel sorry for himself and stop fighting for the Catholic cause. His attitude demanded a highly supernatural spirit and a strong virile personality. You see the astonishing fortitude of soul such a man had. He returned and continued an active life for another ten years or so.

He traveled throughout Europe as an ambassador of the Pope and a preacher of the Crusade. What a powerful impression the word of his sermons delivered by his wounded lips must have made on the people!

The hearts of the knights begin to be touched, the ladies weep and give their consent for their husbands to go and fight for the Holy Land. Everyone goes to Confession and the date of the Crusade is announced. The practical preparations start. All this happens because a saint passes through that area. He was a character worthy to preach a Crusade. You understand why the Crusades were so well accepted in the Middle Ages when you know that men like St. Raymond Nonnatus preached them. Their audiences accepted the great sacrifice of going on the Crusades following the examples of the sacrifice of the Saints that preached them.

Imagine such a scene. St. Raymond Nonnatus arriving in a city; the bells ringing and the word spreading that Fr. Raymond – the one with the wounded lips – is in town to preach a Crusade on behalf of the Pope. All the nobles and people of the area gather around with their families and he begins to speak.

He speaks about the meaning of the Sepulcher of Our Lord Jesus Christ and what its profanation represents. How it is necessary to re-conquer it for the glory of God and Catholic honor. He speaks with the voice and prestige of a saint, with the supernatural power of communication that only the saints have.
This imaginary scene may help you to understand what the Middle Ages was. The influence of the saints and the good reception the people gave them is what really explains why the Middle Ages had so many wonderful things and our epoch does not. The key is the presence of the saints and the openness people had for them. How few saints there are today! Knowing this, we understand the tragedy of the contemporary situation of the Church and the world.

Let us ask St. Raymond Nonnatus to give us more saints to regenerate the Church and the world, and make the modern man recognize them and be receptive to their message
.

FEAST OF ST. PHILOMENA THIS MONDAY, AUGUST 11th

Friday, August 8th, 2014

CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF ST. PHILOMENA ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 11th AT ST. MARY CHURCH, SALEM, SD:  All are invited to participate in a special Evening Mass on Monday, August 11th at 7:00 pm in celebration of the Feast of St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, and Patroness of the Children of Mary.  Following Holy Mass, we will have devotions in honor of St. Philomena with veneration of her holy relic.  After the devotions, we will process to the parish school and bless the new statue of St. Philomena located in the school vestibule.

The Mass will be celebrated in the Ordinary Form this year.  Please spread the word, especially to those who have a devotion to the Little Saint, so loved by the Cure of Ars.  All are invited to participate!

Parish Announcement:

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Parish Knights of Columbus to Sponsor

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Program

at St. Mary’s on September 7th and 8th

           The Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Program began August 3, 2011 at the 129th Supreme Convention in Denver. This program features an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Our Lady of Guadalupe, as patroness of the Americas, has special significance to the Knights of  Columbus. When the Order sponsored a tour of a relic of St. Juan Diego’s tilma in 2003, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s role as mother of all in the Americas became very clear.  In city after city, crowds of tens of thousands of people came to venerate Our Lady of Guadalupe. What was most striking was not the number of people, but the number of nationalities and ethnicities represented in each gathering. Likewise, at the Guadalupe Festival sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in 2009 in Phoenix, more than 20,000 people came to venerate and celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is our hope that this prayer program will continue to expand devotion to Our Lady and the evangelization of the Americas.

The pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be venerated in our church sanctuary next Saturday and Sunday, with a prayer service following the Saturday evening Vigil Mass (beginning around 6:15pm).  All are encouraged to attend.

External Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

6th Annual Novena to St. Joseph: March 10th through 18th

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

 Click below for a PDF copy of the Novena Prayers we use at St. Mary Church in Salem, SD:

NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH PDF

Salem’s Bulletin Cover for Catholic Schools Week 2013

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

St. Mary Catholic School was founded in 1888 – three years after the Parish was founded.  This year, beginning with Catholic Schools Week, we begin a year-long celebration of the Quasquicentennial (125 years) of the presence of Catholic Education in Salem, under the protection of Our Lady, Help of Christians:

The Novena in Preparation for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady: November 29th through December 7th

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Incorrectly listed in the Parish Bulletin as beginning on November 30th, the Immaculate Conception Novena is in preparation for that great Feast of Our Lady, and therefore begins on November 29th and ends on the Vigil of the Feast, December 7th:

 


August 31st through September 8th: Novena in Honor of Our Lady’s Nativity

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Maria Bambina as venerated in Milan, Italy

Holy Child Mary of the royal house of David, Queen of the angels,

Mother of grace and love, I greet you with all my heart.

Obtain for me the grace to love the Lord faithfully during

all the days of my life. Obtain for me, too, a great devotion

to you, who are the first creature of God’s love.

 

Pray the “Hail Mary…”

 

O heavenly Child Mary, who like a pure dove was born

Immaculate and beautiful, true prodigy of the wisdom of

God, my soul rejoices in you. Oh! Do help me to preserve

the angelic virtue of purity at the cost of any sacrifice.

 

Pray the “Hail Mary…”

 

Hail, lovely and holy Child, spiritual garden of delight, where,

on the day of the Incarnation, the tree of life was planted,

assist me to avoid the poisonous fruit of vanity and pleasures of the world.

Help me to engraft into my soul the thoughts, feelings,

and virtues of your divine Son.

 

Pray the “Hail Mary…”

 

Hail, admirable Child Mary, Mystical Rose, closed garden,

open only to the heavenly Spouse. O Lily of paradise,

make me love the humble and hidden life;

let the heavenly Spouse find the gate of my heart always open

to the loving calls of His graces and inspiration.

 

Pray the “Hail Mary…”

 

Holy Child Mary, mystical dawn, gate of heaven,

you are my trust and hope.

O powerful advocate, from your cradle stretch out your hand,

support me on the path of life.

Make me serve God with ardor and

constancy until death and so reach an eternity with you.

 

Pray the “Hail Mary…”

 

Prayer:

Blessed Child Mary,

destined to be the Mother of God

and our loving Mother,

by the heavenly graces you lavish upon us,

mercifully listen to my supplications.

In the needs which press upon me from every side

and especially in my present tribulation,

I place all my trust in you.

 

O holy Child,

by the privileges granted to you alone

and by the merits which you have acquired,

show that the source of spiritual favours

and the continuous benefits

which you dispense are inexhaustible,

because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited.

 

Deign through the immense profusion of graces

with which the Most High has enriched you

from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception,

grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition,

and I shall eternally praise

the goodness of your Immaculate Heart.

 

(IMPRIMATUR: In Curia Archiep. Mediolani, 31 August 1931, Can. CAVEZZALI, Pro Vic. Gen)

 

Fortnight for Freedom: June 21st through July 4th

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Parish Observance of Fortnight for Freedom

Totus Tuus Schedule

Thursday, June 14th, 2012