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Copyright © 2009, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - September, 2009 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of September: Dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Mary (or the Sorrowful Mother)

* Catholic Trivia

* Selected September Feasts (Marian)

* Angelic Resources

* Why Pray the Rosary in Latin?

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Praying to Saints

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Dear Friend,

Greetings & best wishes! We hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones doing well. May you be rested and refreshed as Summer gives way to Fall.

The following quotation of St. Athanasius seems especially appropriate for reflection at this time of year. Hope you enjoy it.

"Who that sees things of opposite nature combined, and in concordant harmony, as for example fire mingled with cold, and dry with wet, and that not in mutual conflict, but making up a single body, as it were homogeneous, can resist the inference that there is One external to these things that has united them? Who that sees winter giving place to spring and spring to summer and summer to autumn, and that these things contrary by nature (for the one chills, the other burns, the one nourishes the other destroys), yet all make up a balanced result beneficial to mankind, can fail to perceive that there is One higher than they, Who balances and guides them all, even if he see Him not?" (St. Athanasius, Against the Heathen)

May God bless you & keep you,

Your Friends at

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MCS News & Notes

* There will be an interruption in many of our services early next month (early October) due to vacations. Services affected may include: live chat, post & ad processing, subscription processing, blog updates, lending library, and various e-mail responses. News updates will also be affected. Dates will be posted on our site & blog as the time nears (please visit and ). Although you may notice delays in the above services, access to the website itself should NOT be affected.

* We have added some new Vatican links to the Catholic Web Links Section. New additions include Vatican web cams & Vatican City State Government - including: history, services, institutions, philatelic & numismatic (Vatican City State postage & coins), photo galleries. To view web links, please visit

* If you haven't already signed up for our First Annual Rosary Week from 10/25-10/31/09, please consider signing up now. Participation is FREE & easy and can be done from any appropriate location - simply say a 5 decade Rosary each day that week (or for as many days as you can) for the indicated intentions. We hope you will join us. To sign up for Rosary Week, please visit 

* Our news archive has been redesigned so that news briefs & selected news links will be archived by month instead of aggregated. We believe this change makes the archive more convenient. The news brief archive index remains unchanged. To view the archive, go to

* The 'post of the month' page has been updated for 8/09. This month it was chosen from the Saints Section and it concerns invoking the patron saint for the Internet before going online. To view the 'post of the month' page, please go to:  To submit a post in your choice of hundreds of categories, visit 

* Do you like to get involved? You might be interested in knowing that there are over two dozen fliers on our site that may be printed and handed out at no charge. There are free fliers on various topics such as: modesty, reasons for priestly celibacy, proper conduct in church, biblical references for Catholic beliefs, liturgical practices, necessity of being Catholic, challenges for non-Catholics, Latin Mass postures (based on the user submitted article), why women can't be priests, liturgical calendars, etc. Why not print some out today and keep them on hand?

* Attention advertisers, sponsors & other interested parties: We have transitioned to PayPal. As a result, you may notice a few changes. For example, some changes may be made to ad requests & donations may be accepted through PayPal. We anticipate that this transition will bring a number of benefits (e.g. decrease in costs, potential for increased security for financial transactions for advertisers, eases our PCI compliance burden, allows advertisers to pay with a wider variety of credit cards, allows us to more easily take donations online). Unfortunately, however, the change may reduce some of our flexibility with regard to financial transactions (e.g. for advertisers) and makes us dependent upon the payment processing "giant". It may also require some changes with regard to ad content submissions. Please note that although we plan to process all payments through PayPal, it is NOT necessary for users to have a PayPal account to pay with PayPal.

* The link for ordering Vatican gift items in our fundraiser has changed. The new location is . Also, shipping amounts have changed - but they are still low (just $1.50 per item or bundle). We hope you like the new "neater" appearance of this page and we hope you also find that this page opens much faster than it did before.

* Our new server is up and running. It offers increased bandwidth, memory & storage over our old server, so we hope you might notice performance improvements. [Please note: We are presently testing and addressing any remaining issues as we are able to get to them. Should you experience any difficulties using the site during this transition time, please let us know.]

* Please visit the "Notices" page for timely news and other important information regarding - 

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The Month of September: Dedicated to the Seven Dolors of Mary (or the Sorrowful Mother)

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"And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed." (Lk. 2:34-35)

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother" (Jn. 19:25)

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Devotion to the Seven Sorrows


The devotion to Mary's Seven Sorrows was handed down by St. Bridget and involves the daily saying of seven Hail Marys in honor of the "Seven Sorrows of Mary". One should recite these prayers and compassionately meditate on each of Seven Sorrows of Mary. It has been said that Mary finds tears shed in compassion for her to be pleasing. The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady for meditation are:

1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Lk. 2:34-35)

2. The Flight into Egypt (Mt. 2:13-15)

3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Lk.2:41-51)

4. The Meeting of Jesus & Mary on the Way to Calvary

5. Jesus Dies on the Cross (Lk. 23:46)

6. Mary Receives the Dead Body of Jesus in Her Arms

7. Jesus is Placed in the Tomb. (Jn. 19:40-42)

Various promises of graces have been associated with this devotion, including: family peace, enlightenment, consolation, accompaniment, defense in spiritual battles, protection, and assistance at the hour of death. Additional graces have been promised to those who propagate this devotion.

Note: The above refers to the traditional devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Other 'alternate' forms exist (e.g. with different sorrows), but these may not be associated with the same promises of graces as the traditional form.

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Selected Quotations


"As the sun surpasses all the stars in luster, so the sorrows of Mary surpass all the tortures of the martyrs." (St. Basil)

"Oh! In what floods of tears, in what an abyss of sorrow is she whelmed, that Virgin Mother, as mourning she beholds her Son taken down from the blood-stained tree and laid in her arms!" (Liturgical Year)

"It was in the presence and under the very gaze of Mary that the divine sacrifice of our redemption was consummated; she took part in it by giving to the world and nourishing the divine Victim, she the Queen of Martyrs." (Pope St. Pius X)

"[W]hat anguish unutterable must have filled the soul of this Mother, when raising up her eyes, she sees the mangled Body of her Son, stretched upon the cross, with His face all covered with blood, and His head wreathed with a crown of thorns!" (Dom Gueranger)

"Thirty-three years ago Mary looked down at His sacred face; now He looks down at her. In Bethlehem heaven looked up into the face of earth; now the roles are reversed. Earth looks up into the face of heaven - but a heaven marred by the scars of earth. He loved her above all the creatures of earth, for she was His Mother and the Mother of us all. He saw her first on coming to earth; He shall see her last on leaving it. Their eyes meet, all aglow with life, speaking a language all their own. There is a rupture of a heart through a rapture of love, then a bowed head, a broken heart. Back to the hands of God He gives, pure and sinless, His spirit, in loud and ringing voice that trumpets eternal victory. And Mary stands alone a Childless Mother. Jesus is dead!" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"I bless, praise, and highly commend you, holy and immaculate Virgin Mary, for taking your sorrowful station at the foot of Jesus' Cross, where you stood for a long time careworn and afflicted, transfixed by the sword of sorrow, as foretold by Simeon; for your many tears, which you abundantly shed; for the great loyalty and unwavering allegiance you manifested to your dying Son in his most dire moment; for the acute heartbreak you felt the instant he died; for your tear-filled countenance when you saw him hanging dead before your eyes; for your blessed embrace when in your Mother's arms you received him from the Cross and amid laments clasped him to your breast; for your dolorous journey to the sepulcher, walking behind those who bore that sacred corpse and seeing it placed in a tomb with a large stone sealing it; for your rueful return from the tomb and your entering your home where many of the faithful had gathered, and there you again bitterly bewailed the death of your loving Son. Inasmuch as everyone's eyes were upon you, they too broke out into tears." (Thomas a Kempis)

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For more information, please try the Mary, Our Mother Section at

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Catholic Trivia

1. What two famous stigmatists have feasts falling in September?

2. Blessed are _____, for they shall see God.

3. Who said the following?: "If your brother sins, rebuke him"

4. Who said the following?: "If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed."

5. What might Psalm 6 also be known as?

6. What is the equivalent name for "The Second Book of Chronicles"?

7. Who said the following?: "I firmly believe, and in this I find joy, that God guides those who give themselves up to His leading and that He takes care of the least things that concern him."

8. What 13th century Pope: (1) condemned the emperor, (2) commissioned an authoritative compendium of Church law, (3) legislated against heresy, (4) instituted the papal inquisition, and (5) canonized St. Francis & St. Dominic?

9. What two "Pio trio" feast days fall in September?

10. What does the Catholic symbol with three interconnected rings symbolize?



1. September 17: Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (traditional calendar), September 23: St. Pio of Pietrelcina ("Padre Pio") [new calendar]

2. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.

3. Our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk. 17:3)

4. St. Paul (1 Cor. 16:22)

5. The first penitential psalm ("A prayer of a penitent sinner, under the scourge of God")

6. The Second Book of Chronicles is traditionally referred to as the Second Book of Paralipomenon

7. St. Claude de la Colombiere

8. Pope Gregory IX

9. St. Pio of Pietrelcina ("Padre Pio) on 9/23 (new calendar) and Pope St. Pius on 9/3 (traditional calendar). Note: "Pio" is the Italian version of Pius. Padre Pio was named after Pope St. Pius V and was devoted to Pope St. Pius X. Pope Pius V was the last canonized pope until Pope Pius X was canonized in the 20th century.

10. The Holy Trinity (three rings for the three Persons of the Trinity, triangular shape for the Trinity, ring shape symbolizes no beginning or end)

For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest page at

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Selected September Feasts (Marian)

September 8: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad./New)

September 12: The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad./New)

September 15: Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad.) / Our Lady of Sorrows (New)

For more feasts, please visit:

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September 8: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The "Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary" refers to the birthday of Our Lady. It is celebrated on September 8 (nine months after the Immaculate Conception).

"O Virgin undefiled, undefiled is your birth." (St. Andrew of Crete, a. 740 A.D.)

"The blessed and glorious ever-virgin Mary, sprung from the royal stock and family of David, born in the city of Nazareth, was brought up at Jerusalem in the temple of the Lord. Her father was named Joachim, and her mother Anna. Her father's house was from Galilee and the city of Nazareth, but her mother's family from Bethlehem. Their life was guileless and right before the Lord, and irreproachable and pious before men." ("Gospel of the nativity of Mary", apocryphal writing)

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September 12: The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad./New)

"May Mary's name be held in highest reverence, a name sweeter than honey and more precious than jewels; may none utter blasphemous words, the sign of a defiled soul, against that name graced with such dignity and revered for its motherly goodness; let no one be so bold as to speak a syllable which lacks the respect due to her name." (Pope Pius XII, "Ad Caeli Reginam", 1954 A.D.)

The Name Mary in Other Languages:

Mary in Aramaic = Maryam

Mary in Hebrew = Miryam

Mary in Latin = Maria

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September 15: Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Trad.) / Our Lady of Sorrows (New)

Please see above for more information on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Angelic Resources

Since September 29 is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in the traditional calendar and the feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, archangels in the new calendar, it seems a good time to include some "angelic resources" below. We hope you find them helpful.

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"Angels are bodiless spirits created to adore and enjoy God in heaven." (Baltimore Catechism) They may be ranked as follows: 1. Seraphim, 2. Cherubim, 3. Thrones, 4. Dominations (Dominions), 5. Virtues, 6. Powers, 7. Principalities, 8. Archangels (there are seven, including: Michael, Gabriel & Raphael), 9. Angels

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Selected Quotations:

"The whole air about us is filled with angels." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"The justest of men can not without fear behold an angel" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"The first thing about the angels that we ought to imitate is their consciousness of the presence of God." (St. John Vianney)

"He has given His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways' (Ps. 91:11). These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection." (St. Bernard)

"In every place show respect to thy angel. Let gratitude for his benefits incite thee to honor his greatness. Love this thy future coheir, the guardian appointed for thee by the Father during they childhood. For though we are souls of God, we are as yet but children, and long and dangerous is our journey. But God hath given His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone...Yes; where the road is smooth enough for a child they will content themselves with guiding thee, and sustaining thy footsteps, as one does for children. But if trials threaten to surpass they strength, they will bear thee up in their hands. Oh those hands of angels! Thanks to them, what fearful straits we have passed through, as it were without thinking, and with no other impression left upon us, than that of a nightmare suddenly dispelled!" (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

For more Angels reflections (quotations regarding angels, guardian angels), please visit

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Angels in Scripture

"For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways." (Ps. 91:11)

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 18:10)

"...(Jesus) remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him." (Mk. 1:13)

"In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 15:10)

"...for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:10)

For more Scripture regarding angels, please visit

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Angelic Prayers

Morning Prayer to One's Guardian Angel: "O my good Angel, whom God, by His divine mercy, has appointed to be my guardian, enlighten and protect, direct and govern me this day."

Evening Prayer to One's Guardian Angel: "Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; ever this night be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen."

Fore more prayers to angels, please visit

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Additional Resources

Definitions (angel, guardian angel, archangel, etc.) -

Q & A Resources -

Angels Coloring Pages -

Angels Crossword Puzzle -

For more, try the General A-Z Index at

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Why Pray the Rosary in Latin?

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"In addition, the Latin language 'can be called truly catholic.' It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed 'a treasure...of incomparable worth.' It is...a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity." (Pope John XXIII, "Veterum Sapientia", 1962 A.D.)

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The following is based primarily on content from

Many English-speaking Catholics find that praying the Rosary in Latin brings many benefits. This majestic language is the official language of the Church. Catholics who learn to pray the Rosary in Latin ("the language of the angels") can go anywhere and pray the Rosary with their follow Catholics "in one voice", without being affected by language barriers. Praying in Latin also links Catholics to the past; your Catholic ancestors and the saints prayed in Latin. Also, Popes, Saints, and councils recommend the use of Latin. Latin helps uplift your mind to God, and you may even find that praying in Latin helps you to better focus on the mysteries of the Rosary and avoid distractions. Some consider learning and praying the Rosary prayers in Latin a special act for the glory of God. You should note that it is not very difficult to learn the small amount of Latin needed to pray the Rosary in Latin (see links below for assistance).

Catholics should be aware that the enemies of the Church have always hated our use of the Latin language and have tried to discourage us from using Latin. Bishop Gemma, "one of the Roman Catholic Church's leading experts on exorcism", has said that the devil has a "horror" of Latin (see ). And, as Dom Gueranger has stated, "Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the heart of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond of Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. They consider it the most efficient weapon of the papacy." Don't let your enemies discourage you from praying in Latin and teaching it to your children!

"And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons...are fully determined to restore this [Latin] language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives... so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored." (Pope John XXIII, "Veterum Sapientia", 1962 A.D.)

For assistance in praying the Rosary in Latin (including the Rosary prayers in Latin), please visit

For more benefits of Latin, please visit

For Latin language facts & pronunciation tips, please visit

For more on the Latin language, please visit

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Praying to Saints

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Praying to Saints? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* Do you reject the concept of saints in heaven interceding for those on earth? If so, please visit and select "Do You Reject the Concept of Saints in Heaven Interceding For Those on Earth?"

* Do you reject the concept of praying to saints because you think its necromancy? If so, you should know that the Catholic Church rejects necromancy, teaching that such a practice is sinful (clearly it is prohibited in Scripture, and it even caused the death of Saul in 1 Chron. 10:13). However, praying to saints is not the same as necromancy (e.g. conjuring up the dead, particularly to prophesy). Rather, when Catholics pray to saints they are merely asking the saints to pray to God for them. Catholics do not ask saints to prophecy or attempt to conjure them up! Such actions would, of course, be gravely sinful.

* Are you unaware that prayers to saints are merely petitions for them to pray for us? Where does Scripture prohibit persons from asking for prayers from the saints in heaven?

* Are you confused about the term 'prayer' when used with regard to saints? Do you not realize that it just means directing a petition to a saint? Prayer to the saints does not mean the saints are worshipped. Catholics do not believe the saints are gods or that they have any power on their own.

* Are you concerned about the type of prayer directed at the saints? Consider these words from the Catechism of the Council of Trent: "We do not address God and the Saints in the same manner, for we implore God to grant us blessings or to deliver us from evils; while we ask the Saints, since they are the friends of God, to take us under their patronage and to obtain for us from God whatever we need. Hence we make use of two different forms of prayer. To God, we properly say: Have mercy on us, Hear us; but to the Saints, Pray for us. Still we may also ask the Saints, though in a different sense, that they have mercy on us, for they are most merciful. Thus we may beseech them that, touched with the misery of our condition, they would interpose in our behalf their influence and intercession before God. In the performance of this duty, it is strictly incumbent on all not to transfer to any creature the right which belongs exclusively to God. For instance, when we say the Our Father before the image of a Saint we should bear in mind that we beg of the Saint to pray with us and obtain for us those favors which we ask of God, in the Petitions of the Lord's Prayer - in a word, that he become our interpreter and intercessor with God. That this is an office which the Saints discharge, St. John the Apostle teaches in the Apocalypse [cf. Rv. 8:3]." Also, consider these words of St. Thomas Aquinas, "Prayer is offered to a person in two ways: first, as to be fulfilled by him, secondly, as to be obtained through him. In the first way we offer prayer to God alone, since all our prayers ought to be directed to the acquisition of grace and glory, which God alone gives, according to Psalm 84:11, 'The Lord will give grace and glory.' But in the second way we pray to the saints, whether angels or men, not that God may through them know our petitions, but that our prayers may be effective through their prayers and merits. Hence it is written (Apocalypse 8:4) that 'the smoke of the incense,' namely 'the prayers of the saints ascended up before God.' This is also clear from the very style employed by the Church in praying: since we beseech the Blessed Trinity 'to have mercy on us,' while we ask any of the saints 'to pray for us.'... To Him alone do we offer religious worship when praying, from Whom we seek to obtain what we pray for, because by so doing we confess that He is the Author of our goods: but not to those whom we call upon as our advocates in God's presence."

* What is the difference between sending a letter to a friend on earth to ask for their prayers and petitioning those in heaven for their prayers? Since we cannot send those in heaven letters, we simply petition them using our prayers.

* Do you reject the concept of praying to the saints because you prefer to go to God alone? Consider these words of St. Thomas More: "You say you see no reason why we should pray to the saints since God can hear us and help us just as well, and will do so gladly, as any saint in heaven. Well, then, what need, I ask, do you have to ask any physician to help your fever, or to ask and pay any surgeon to heal your sore leg? For God can both hear you and help you as well as the best of doctors, He loves you more than they do, and He can help you sooner." Also consider, "Should it be said, as some say, that the patronage of the Saints is unnecessary, because God hears our prayers without the intervention of a mediator, this impious assertion is easily met by the observation of St. Augustine: There are many things which God does not grant without a mediator and intercessor. This is confirmed by the well-known examples of Abimelech and the friends of Job who were pardoned only through the prayers of Abraham and of Job." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* Do you think its wrong to "speak to the dead"? If so, would you also dare to find fault with Jesus for conversing with Moses and Elijah (Mt. 17:3, Mk. 9:4, Lk. 9:30)? Clearly it would be wrong for humans to speak to the dead to prophecy, but it is not wrong to direct prayers to the saints to request their intercession before God.

For more apologetics resources, please visit

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Closing Quotations...

"And here Jesus teaches us how to die, for if He would have His Mother with Him in the hour of His great surrender, then how shall we dare to miss saying daily: 'Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.'?" (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"Nor was Mary less than was befitting the Mother of Christ. When the apostles fled, she stood before the Cross and with reverent gaze beheld her Son's wounds, for she waited not for her Child's death, but the world's salvation." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 396 A.D.)

"Look at the holy and immaculate Mother; she holds in her lap the lifeless body of her divine Son. Could you possibly imagine that the sorrowful Mother would murmur against God? That she would ask the reason for such suffering? We would not have been redeemed, if that Mother had not seen her Son die in torment and there would not have been for us any possibility of salvation." (Pope Pius XII)

"The blood of Christ shed for our sake, and those members in which he offers to his Father the wounds he received as the price of our liberty are no other than the flesh and blood of the Virgin: 'The flesh of Jesus is the flesh of Mary, and however much it was exalted in the glory of his resurrection, nevertheless the nature of his flesh derived from Mary remained and still remains the same.' (St. Augustine)" (Pope Leo XIII)

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