The Holy See has issued a new plenary indulgence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information


April 2 — Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

St. Francis Chapel, Boston

Thursday Devotion to St. Jude, Patron of Desperate Causes

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude,
faithful servant and friend of Jesus,
the Church honors and invokes you universally,
as the patron of difficult cases,
of things almost despaired of,
Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Intercede with God for me
that He bring visible and speedy help
where help is almost despaired of.
Come to my assistance in this great need
that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven
in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings,
particularly protection amidst the Coronavirus pandemic,
and that I may praise God with you and all the saints forever.

I promise, O Blessed St. Jude,
to be ever mindful of this great favor granted me by God
and to always honor you as my special and powerful patron,
and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.
Amen.


April 1 — Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Marian Title of the Month for April: Our Lady of Health (Madonna della Salute)

Between 1630 and 1631 the city of Venice, Italy was struck with a particularly strong epidemic of the bubonic plague. In the city of Venice 46,000 people died, while another 48,000 died in the Venetian Republic as a whole. Processions and vigils took place in the city in 1631 imploring the intercession of Our Lady to end the plague. The Doge of Venice and the Senate of the Republic pledged to build a basilica in honor of Our Lady should she answer their prayers for relief. Within weeks the plague had died out. Madonna della Salute (Our Lady of Health) was finally completed in the 1681. To this day, Venice celebrates a festival in honor of Madonna della Salute on November 21 each year.

Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Novena to Our Lady of Health

[Say the following prayers daily for 9 days.]

O Most Holy Virgin!
You were chosen by the Most Adorable Trinity
from all eternity to be the most pure Mother of Jesus.

I beg you to obtain for me the favours
which I petition for in this novena,
if it be the Holy Will of God to grant them;
to ask for me whatever graces I most stand in need of.

O Tender Mother of the afflicted!
Grant me under my present necessities
that special protection You have promised
to those who devoutly commemorate this ineffable joy.
Relying on the infinite mercies of your Divine Son,
trusting in the promise which He has made
that those who ask should receive,
and penetrated with confidence in your powerful prayers,
I most humbly entreat you intercede for me.

(Here specify your requests…)

O Mother of God,
accept these salutations
in union with the respect and veneration
with which the Angel Gabriel first hailed you,
“Full of Grace”.

Say 9 times the Hail Mary…

I beseech you, O comfortress of the afflicted,
by the joy you received,
when the word was made flesh,
to obtain for me the favours and graces,
which I have now implored through your powerful intercession.
For this end I offer you all the good works
which have even been performed in your honour.
I most humbly entreat you
for the love of the amiable Heart of Jesus,
with which yours was ever so inflamed,
to hear my humble prayers
and to obtain my requests.

Amen.


March 31 — Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Tune in to the Lanterian Holy Hour at 8:29 PM tonight. Click here.

WE SHALL OVERCOME (Part II)
by Fr. Isaac Abu

In the time of Noah, there was the challenge of a great flood. Though Noah and his family overcame it, it was not an easy period from them.

There are two important words I would like for us to remember, as far as Noah’s challenge is concerned: the Ark (which was their abode during the flood) and the Covenant (“Never again will I destroy the world with water”).

We happen to be battling a flood of virus. We must not be tired of combatting it both in the spiritual and the physical dimensions. Luckily we are privileged to have a Mother who is titled with (coincidentally) the combination of the two important words (Ark and Covenant) mentioned above in the story of Noah. Mary, the New Ark of the Covenant. What is Our Mother Mary, the New Ark of the Covenant, saying in this situation? “Do whatever My Son tells you.” (He made the profound promise above).  She is saying don’t be socially distant from the important weapon, the Rosary, which I gave to you long ago to fight every battle. When fear is creeping into your mind, keep calling on the Heavenly Health Consultant, St. Raphael the Archangel (the Medicine of God) for assistance. So says Our Mother also the Health of Sick.

Brothers and sisters, by the special grace of God, we shall overcome! By the Motherly intercession of Mary, the Ark of the Covenant, we will overcome; by the constant assistance of Archangel Raphael and all the saints we must overcome! Let us be strong wherever we are.  we hope that soon we shall sing to the glory:  We have overcome, we have overcome today…

Finally, St. Bernard and our Founder, Bruno Lanteri, have always asked us to call on Mary, everytime, especially in difficult times such as these. For our spiritual comfort, I recommend one of the most ancient Marian prayers, Sub Tuum Praesidium (We Fly to Your Protection). It should always be on our lips.  Let us run to her to deliver us from the danger of COVID-19 while observing all the health tips recommended by those of the Center for Disease Control, like the washing of hands and social distancing.

Let us stay with Christ by appreciating his Passion as we approach Holy Week.

We Fly to Your Protection

We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Our Lady health of the Sick, pray for us.

Archangel Raphael, pray for us.

Venerable Bruno Lanteri, pray for us.


March 30 — Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

WE SHALL OVERCOME (Part I)
by Fr. Isaac Abu

In this fifth week of Lent, we are two weeks nearer to the celebration of Easter. Traditionally, the Fifth Sunday of Lent marks the veiling of the crucifix. The Gospel of St. John, chapter 11, says that Jesus is at Bethany. That means he is very close to Jerusalem where the ultimate price for our salvation will be paid by him. There he met a challenging situation in the house of Mary and Martha. Their beloved brother Lazarus is dead. Consequently, they were in sorrowful mood.

Our Lord Jesus Christ responded to their challenge making some comforting declarations: “I am the resurrection and the Life,” “Lazarus come out,” “Untie him let him go.” The desired happiness returned to the home that was once sorrowful. We are once more reminded that Jesus has power over death. He demonstrated this when he came across the Widow of Nain who lost her only Son (Lk 7: 11-15); and also in the Gospel of Mark 5: 21-24, 35-42 he brought back to life the daughter of one the synagogue officials, Jairus.

From time to time, various happenings remind us that life is full of ups and downs. So long as we are alive, we are bound to encounter some forms of difficulty. Even now we are on lockdown as a result of COVID-19, this is very distressing to everyone world-wide. The temptation to abandon Jesus is real. For some it is stronger in the time of difficulty; while for others, it is easier to leave him when things are rosy. Whatever the case may be, God permits certain happenings in life for different reasons. Perhaps he permitted this for the total submission of humanity to his Divine Will.

What then can we make of this challenge: COVID-19 ? Where is Christ in all this? He is assuring us. I am the Resurrection and the Life. All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. I have authority over COVID-19 . I am with you to the end of time. Do not be afraid. Hand over all your anxieties, fears, worries to me. Worries, fears, troubled-mindedness are not helpful in the fight against virus. Stay Positive to improve your constantly negative attitude to COVID-19. Don’t compromise your immunity. A healthy body needs a sound mind. You will overcome!


March 29 — Fifth Sunday of Lent

Spiritual Communion Prayer

My Jesus, 
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 
I love You above all things, 
and I desire to receive You into my soul. 
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.