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Copyright © 2012, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - September, 2012 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of September: Dedicated to The Seven Dolors of Mary / The Sorrowful Mother

* The Most Important Sacramental: "We are soldiers, and this is our weapon"

* Short Exercise in Honor of the Sorrowful Mother

* Liturgical Feasts in September

* 'Catholic Trivia' [Note: All trivia this month is 'saint-related']

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Deny That Jesus Established a Visible, Hierarchical Church?

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Dear Friend,

"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Heb. 13:20-21)

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.

For those who have signed up to participate in our Fourth Annual Rosary Week from 10/22/12-10/28/12, we look forward to your participation and thank you for joining us. If you haven't already signed up for Rosary Week, there is still time. Even if you don't normally get involved these kinds of efforts, we hope you might consider participating in this event as we've tried hard to make everything as easy as possible & also to remove all objections people might have (e.g. you can sign up as 'anonymous', you can participate for just one day, you can pray from any appropriate location, no e-mail address is required to sign up, you can pray at any time of day or night, the event is totally free). Might you please consider giving this worthy Catholic event a try? Others who have participated have called it "a great idea!", "very special", a "fantastic idea", etc. They have also left comments such as..."I love it!", "It is great and our country is desperate for prayer!!", "What a blessing!", "This is the third year for me it's very up lifting", "It has been for me and now for my wife also, very spiritually rewarding." We have also found the experience to be very rewarding and have greatly enjoyed hearing from participants. If by chance we've missed any objections you might have that are preventing you from participating, please let us know so we can see what may be done about it. We'd really like to see everyone join in this important prayer effort. As a couple of 20th century popes have stated, "We desire very earnestly, Venerable Brethren, that the Holy Rosary should be recited in a special manner in the month of October and with increased devotion both in the churches and in homes" (Pope Pius XI, "Ingravescentibus Malis", 1937 A.D.) and "may the beads of the Rosary be in the hands of all" (Pope Pius XII, "Ad Caeli Reginam", 1954 A.D.). Won't you please join us? We think you'll enjoy spending some extra time in prayer with our blessed Mother during this special week, either alone or with loved ones. Please sign up today at

We thank you for being a subscriber to our newsletter. We appreciate your support and always enjoy hearing from you. If there are any suggestions or comments you'd like to share with us, please feel use the subscriber feedback form at to send us a quick note. We thank the subscribers who have commented in the past - please know that your feedback has helped improve our newsletter.

Best wishes to you for God's blessings,

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Prayer of Veneration of the Sorrowful Mother: "O God, in whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of the glorious Mary, Mother and Virgin: grant in thy mercy, that we who call to mind her sorrows with veneration, may obtain the happy effect of thy Passion. Who livest." (Collect)

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MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: If you haven't already signed up for our Fourth Annual Rosary Week from 10/22-10/28/12, please consider doing so 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. And, please invite your friends, family & fellow parishioners too! We'd like as many of our fellow Catholics as possible to join together with us in this powerful prayer to our loving, Blessed Mother and we'd love for you to be a part of this effort. We think you'll be glad you did. To sign up for Rosary Week, please visit . Note: If you'd like assistance in praying the rosary, please visit . For additional information on the holy rosary, please visit

* New! Chat Upgrade: We upgraded our 'live chat' program last month. Despite the upgrade, we do not believe users will notice much of a difference in terms of functionality or features. The upgrade also does not reflect an availability change (please recall that we had to significantly reduce chat availability last year in our efforts to keep online). Should you experience any issue(s) with chat, please let us know.

* Next Month's Newsletter: Our October 2012 newsletter may arrive a bit earlier - OR later - than usual due to vacations. If possible, we may send it out a bit early (e.g. 9/28, 9/29). Otherwise, the newsletter may arrive a bit late (e.g. 10/2, 10/3). Also, there will be an interruption in many of our services early next month (early October) due to vacations. Services affected may include: lending library, live chat, post / ad / order processing, subscription processing, correspondence, site/blog updates, etc. We apologize for any inconvenient this may cause. For dates of service interruption, please visit . Please note that although you may notice delays in the above services, access to the website itself should NOT be affected.

* Free app offer: If you've donated to within the past 3 months (between 6/1/12 - 9/1/12) - either online or by mail - and if you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, we would like to offer you a promotional code for a free app. Just contact us by 9/30/12 with your e-mail address, name, and date of donation (you can reply to this e-mail). Please also indicate your app preference (e.g. Catholic Bible References, Saints4U, iStations, Just Checkin' In, or Speedy Dial!). Limit one code per donor. Available while supplies last. Please request a free code only if you have access to a supported device. Note: Code is good for app indicated and must be used before the expiration date & according to App Store rules. Offer is subject to change without notice.

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- - - - - App News...

* We are happy to report that our newest productivity app, Speedy Dial!, has been featured in iPhone Life Magazine! You can see a screenshot near the bottom of this page: . For more information on this useful app, please visit (or see Reminder: Sales of BFSApps' productivity apps may help support 

* Sale: iStations for the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch® is presently available for just $0.99 - about the price of a holy card. This app is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). It features beautiful images, two traditional methods, a handy audio option with optional auto-advance, selected prayers in English & Latin, easy navigation, and in-app help. It's great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times, family devotions, and daily meditation - any time you can't make it to your parish. Users of the app (both platforms) have called it "penetrating and profound", "excellent", "great", "simply beautiful", "wonderful", and "beautifully sublime". Three reviewers have referred to a version of the app as the "best" stations app. Download it today at . For more information & screen shots, please visit . Note: For more information, download links and screen shots for the Android version of this app, please visit

* Despite obstacles, we haven't given up developing Android versions of our apps. Nevertheless, we still face significant challenges. (We'd certainly be happy for any prayers you might be able to offer!) Currently, two Android versions of our apps are available - iStations for Android & Just Checkin' In. For more information on these apps, please visit . If you'd like to be placed on our waiting list to be notified when Android versions of our other apps are available, please visit . Thank you for your support!

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The Month of September: Dedicated to The Seven Dolors of Mary / 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, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (Jn. 19:25-27)

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Related Resources...

* Devotion to the Seven Sorrows -

* Mary / The Passion & Death of Jesus Reflections -

* Scapulars (Incl. Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary) -

* Marian Prayers -

* Marian Facts -

* Blessed Virgin Mary Reflections -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Papal Writings) -

* Marian Scriptural References -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Mary, Our Mother Section -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"In martyrs, the intensity of their love mitigated their sufferings, but with Mary it was different; the more she loved, the more she suffered, and the greater was her martyrdom." {Richard of St. Victor}

"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.)

"[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!" (Gueranger)

"In the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is in an agony; in the judgment-hall, where He is scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death, not there do we find Mary. But she knew beforehand all these agonies; she knew and saw them. When she professed herself the handmaid of the Lord for the mother's office, and when, at the foot of the altar, she offered up her whole self with her Child Jesus - then and thereafter she took her part in the laborious expiation made by her Son for the sins of the world. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments. Moreover, it was before the eyes of Mary that was to be finished the Divine Sacrifice for which she had borne and brought up the Victim. As we contemplate Him in the last and most piteous of those Mysteries, there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother, who, in a miracle of charity, so that she might receive us as her sons, offered generously to Divine Justice her own Son, and died in her heart with Him, stabbed with the sword of sorrow." (Pope Leo XIII, "Iucunda Semper Expectatione", 1894 A.D.)

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The Most Important Sacramental: "We are soldiers, and this is our weapon"

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The following is taken from a 20th century publication entitled "The Externals of the Catholic Church". The original publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. capitalization, spelling & punctuation changes, shortening / combining paragraphs, etc.)]

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The most important sacramental of our Church, and the one most frequently used, is the sign of the cross. The sacramentals are intended, as the Catechism tells us, "to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion," and these results are accomplished most effectively by this holy sign, for whenever we use it we are reminded of the sufferings and death of our Blessed Savior, and thereby we are filled with more fervent love, more profound gratitude and more earnest contrition. The sign of the cross is the symbol of our deliverance and the emblem of the mercy of God giving redemption to sinful man.

A Summary of Our Faith: The form of words which we use in making this sign, together with the action performed, manifests our belief in the principal truths of our religion. We say: "In the name" -- not "names" -- and thereby express our faith in the unity of God. We mention the three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and thus show our belief in the Adorable Trinity. The cross itself, made with the hand, manifests our faith in the incarnation, death and resurrection of our Blessed Savior, and shows that we regard Him not only as God but as man -- for that He might be able to die on the cross it was necessary that He should possess a human nature. Thus we have in this brief formula a summary of the most important articles of our faith. And the sign of the cross is more than this. It is a prayer to God, made in the name of our Mediator Jesus Christ, Who has declared: "If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it unto you." [Ref. Jn 16:23]

How the Sign is Made: The making of the sign of the cross is a very ancient practice. It probably goes back to Apostolic times, and was in common use in the second century. Among the early Christians it was usually made very small, by a slight movement of the finger or thumb, on the forehead or breast. In the days of persecution the faith of the Christian had to be concealed, and any more conspicuous sign would have put him in danger of death. The devotion to the sign of the cross in those distant days is attested by many writers. They tell us that it was used by the more devout on every occasion. No work was begun without invoking God's blessing by this holy sign. The triple sign of the cross was employed very commonly in the early centuries of the Church and in the Middle Ages. It is not used at present except at the beginning of the Gospels at Mass. It is made by marking the forehead, the lips and the breast with a small cross, using the thumb, and is intended to remind us that our intellect must be attentive to the Word of God, our lips ready to announce His truths, and our hearts filled with love toward Him. The ordinary method of making the sign of the cross is that which every Catholic learns in early childhood -- the putting of the right hand to the forehead, to the breast and to the left and the right shoulder, with the words: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." In past centuries the formula varied greatly...

[Note that] important indulgences are to be gained by the sign of the cross, but only when it is made correctly and devoutly. [The sign of the cross is also used in the] Church's liturgy. This is not only the greatest but the most frequently used of all the sacramentals. No ceremony is performed without it. When a priest is ordained, his hands are anointed with holy oil to give them the power to confer blessings by the sign of the cross. In the administration of all the sacraments this holy sign is used at least once, and in some of them it is employed many times... This holy symbol of our salvation, then, should be frequently used by us. It teaches us our true dignity. It reminds us that we are the brethren of Jesus Christ. In making the sign of the cross we become partakers in the wonderful history of our faith, and companions of the glorious saints of our Church. We are soldiers, and this is our weapon. The cross of our Redeemer has vanquished death, has overthrown the dominion of Satan. Let us, then, re-echo the words of St. Paul: "God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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"We make the sign of the cross to show that we are Christians and to profess our belief in the chief mysteries of our religion." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The sign of the cross is formidable to the devil, because by the Cross we escape from him." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon against the Devil. Thus the Church wishes not only that we should have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ, but also that we should make it at every juncture ourselves: when we go to bed, when we awaken during the night, when we get up, when we begin any action, and above all, when we are tempted." (St. John Vianney)

"He who, when tempted, makes the sign of the cross with devotion, makes Hell tremble and Heaven rejoice." (St. John Vianney)

"And while in times past demons, occupying springs or rivers or trees or stones, cheated men by deceptive appearances and imposed upon the credulous by their juggleries, now, after the divine coming of the word, an end is put to their deceptions. For by the sign of the cross, a man but using it, their wiles are put to flight." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, c. 318 A.D.)

"Let us make the sign of the cross with trust in its power. It is the great means of protection, a sign for believers and a dread to evil spirits." (St. Cyril, Doctor of the Church, 386 A.D.)

"The virtue of the sign of the cross, in the conflict with Satan, is easily understood. To make that sign, is to remind him of the whole history of his defeat, to invoke against him the just reprisals of the Almighty Crucified." (Fr. Delaporte)

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For more reflections, please visit

For more on sacramentals, please visit

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Short Exercise in Honor of the Sorrowful Mother

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Note: The following is taken from a 19th century publication entitled "The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations". The publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. spelling, punctuation & capitalization changes)]

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I. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mother, in the grief thy tender heart underwent when the holy Simeon prophesied to thee. Dear Mother, by the griefs of thy heart then so wounded, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of holy fear of God. Ave Maria...+

II. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mother, for the anxiety which thy heart so sensitive underwent in the flight and sojourn in Egypt. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so sorrowful, obtain for me the virtue of liberality, especially towards the poor, and the gift of piety. Ave Maria...

III. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, for the terrors felt by thy anxious heart when thou didst lose thy dear Son Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so agitated, obtain for me the virtue of holy chastity, and with it the gift of knowledge. Ave Maria...

IV. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, for the shock thy Mother's heart experienced when Jesus met thee as he carried his cross. Dear Mother, by that loving heart of thine, then so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Ave Maria...

V. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, for the martyrdom thy generous heart bore so nobly whilst thou didst stand by Jesus agonizing. Dear Mother, by thy heart then so martyred, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Ave Maria...

VI. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, for the wound with which thy tender heart was riven when Jesus' sacred side was cleft with the lance. Dear Mother, by thy heart then pierced through, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Ave Maria...

VII. I compassionate thee, sorrowing Mary, for the anguish felt by thy loving heart when Jesus' body was buried in the grave. Dear Mother, by all the bitterness of desolation thou didst then know, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Ave Maria...

V. Pray for us, Virgin most sorrowful.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray...

Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of thy mercy, now and at the hour of our death, through whose most holy soul in the hour of thine own Passion the sword of sorrow passed. Through thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever. Amen.


+ Ave Maria (Hail Mary): Ave María, grátia plena, Dóminus tecum. Benedícta tu in muliéribus, et benedíctus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta María, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatóribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostræ. Amen. (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.)


For more prayers, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in September

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for September as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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September 1 - St. Giles (T)

September 1 - Twelve Holy Brothers (T)

September 2 - St. Stephen, king of Hungary (T)

September 3 - St. Pius X, pope (T)

September 3 - St. Gregory the Great, pope (N)

September 5 - St. Laurence Justinian (T)

September 7 - St. Cloud (T)

September 8 - Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 8 - St. Adrian (T)

September 8 - The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 9 - St. Gorgonius (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (T)

September 9 - St. Peter Claver (N)

September 10 - St. Nicholas of Tolentino (T)

September 11 - Sts. Protus & Hyacinth (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of Mary (T)

September 12 - The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

September 13 - St. John Chrysostom (N)

September 14 - Exaltation of the Holy Cross (T)

September 14 - The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (N)

September 15 - Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

September 15 - St. Nicomedes (T)

September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows (N)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (T)

September 16 - Sts. Euphemia, Lucy & Geminianus (T)

September 16 - Sts. Cornelius (pope) & Cyprian (N)

September 17 - Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi (T)

September 17 - St. Robert Bellarmine (N)

September 18 - St. Joseph of Cupertino (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius & others (T)

September 19 - St. Januarius (N)

September 20 - St. Eustace & others (T)

September 20 - Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & companions (N)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (T)

September 21 - St. Matthew, apostle & evangelist (N)

September 22 - St. Maurice & others (T)

September 22 - St. Thomas of Villanova (T)

September 23 - St. Linus, pope (T)

September 23 - St. Thecla (T)

September 23 - St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (N)

September 24 - Our Lady of Ransom (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cyprian & Justina (T)

September 26 - Sts. John de Brebeuf, Isaac Jogues & companions (T)

September 26 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (N)

September 27 - Sts. Cosmas & Damian (T)

September 27 - St. Vincent de Paul (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (T)

September 28 - St. Lawrence Ruiz & companions (N)

September 28 - St. Wenceslaus (N)

September 29 - Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (T)

September 29 - Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, archangels (N)

September 30 - St. Jerome (T)

September 30 - St. Jerome (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


9/19/12 - Ember Wednesday (T)

9/21/12 - Ember Friday (T)

9/22/12 - Ember Saturday (T)

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'Catholic Trivia'

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Note: This month there are 20 trivia questions & all items 'saint-related'.

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1. Which saint wrote the "Summa of cases of conscience", has been called the "eminent minister of the sacrament of penance", crossed the sea miraculously, and died in 1275 A.D. at the age of 99?

2. The end of the patristic age is marked by the death of which saints?

3. What does St. Bonaventure say a person who wants to increase in virtue and grace should do?

4. What does St. Elizabeth Ann Seton say we should give time to each day and why?

5. St. Syncletice calls illness a what?

6. According to St. Louis de Montfort, what is a sure sign that God loves you?

7. According to St. Francis de Sales, what will happen to those who desire to be saved without the cross?

8. What does St. Ambrose say are the three principal weapons of the devil to wound our souls?

9. According to St. Bernard, what are the four points in contemplation?

10. According to St. Therese of Lisieux, how does God give?

11. St. John Vianney says we should be careful not to do anything before what?

12. According to St. Augustine, prayer is the key to what?

13. According to St. Mary Mazzarello, what does true charity mean?

14. What does St. Claude de la Colombiere say Christian parents will be judged on?

15. What does St. Gregory the Great say we should be anxious about?

16. How does St. Augustine divide the human race in 'The City of God'?

17. According to St. Ephraem the Syrian, a person makes his tongue a harp for the music of the Devil when he does what?

18. What does St. Thomas More say gives a "serious cause to tremble and quake in every joint of [the] body"?

19. Does Pope St. Clement I indicate that the this world and the next are friends or enemies?

20. What does St. Gregory of Nazianzus say is the proof of holiness?



1. St. Raymund of Pennafort wrote the "Summa of cases of conscience", has been called the "eminent minister of the sacrament of penance", crossed the sea miraculously, and died in 1275 A.D. at the age of 99.

2. The end of the patristic age is marked by the death of St. Isidore of Seville in the West (c. 636 A.D.) and of St. John Damascene in the East (c. 749 A.D.)

3. "Whosoever wishes to increase always in virtue and grace, should meditate without ceasing of the Passion of Jesus; for nothing conduces more to sanctify a soul than the frequent remembrance of the sufferings of Christ." (St. Bonaventure)

4. "Give some time, if it is only a half an hour in every day, to devotional reading, which is as necessary to the well ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener is to prevent weeds destroying your favorite flowers." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

5. "In the same way that a powerful medicine cures an illness, so illness itself is a medicine to cure passion. And there is much profit of soul in bearing illness quietly and giving thanks to God." (St. Syncletice)

6. "The cross is a sure sign that He loves you." (St. Louis de Montfort)

7. "All those who are willing to be saved through the cross will find salvation there. But those who desire to be saved without it will perish miserably. There is no salvation except in this cross." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

8. "There are three principal weapons that the devil likes to carry in order to wound our souls. They are gluttony, arrogance and ambition." (St. Ambrose)

9. "The first point in contemplation is to marvel at God's majesty; the second, at His judgments; the third, at His benefits; the fourth, at His promises." (St. Bernard, 12th century A.D.)

10. "We can never have too much hope in God. He gives in the measure we ask." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

11. "We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers... The Devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest." (St. John Vianney)

12. "Prayer is the key to heaven." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

13. "True charity means returning good for evil - always." (St. Mary Mazzarello)

14. "If you do not bring up your children well, what do you do? It is the only thing you have to do; it is this that God requires of you, for this that he established Christian marriage; and it is on this that you will be judged." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

15. "Don't be anxious about what you have, but about what you are." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

16. In 'The City of God', St. Augustine writes, "We distribute the human race into two kinds of men, one living according to man, the other living according to God. Mystically, we call them the two cities, or two societies of men: the one of which is predestined to reign eternally with God, the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil."

17. "Whenever you tell the shortcomings of someone who is not present, your tongue has made a harp for the music of the Devil." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

18. "God was so displeased with pride that He did not spare to drive down into hell the noble, high, excellent angels out of heaven for the sake of their pride. So who in this wretched world could have a status so high that he would not have serious cause to tremble and quake in every joint of his body as soon as he feels a high, proud thought enter his heart?" (St. Thomas More)

19. "This world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy." (Pope St. Clement I)

20. "And the proof of holiness is not to work miracles, but to love our neighbor as ourselves, to think truly of God, and of our neighbor better than of ourselves." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)


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 at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Deny That Jesus Established a Visible, Hierarchical Church?

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 Deny That Jesus Established a Visible, Hierarchical Church? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* Do you reject the concept of authority in the Church? Do you believe that obedience is not due to any hierarchy in the Church? Visit

* How can you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when Scripture clearly shows St. Peter received the supreme office in the Church (see Mt. 16:18-19, Jn. 21:15-17)?

* How can you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when Scripture clearly shows the apostles received an office in the Church (e.g. Mt. 10:1, Mt. 28:19-20, Mk. 16:15-16, Jn. 20:21)?

* How an you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when Scripture clearly tells us that when persons reject those whom Christ sent they reject Him (see Lk. 10:16)? 

* How can you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when Scripture clearly shows a successor being appointed to take over Judas' office (see Acts 1:15-26)?

* How can you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when Scripture clearly refers to the hierarchical nature of the Church (especially, the New Testament letters clearly demonstrate this fact - e.g. 1 Cor. 12:28, Eph. 4:11, 1 Thes. 5:12, Heb. 13:17)?

* How can you deny that Christ established a visible, hierarchal church when history shows that Christ's Church has always been visible and hierarchical?

* Why would we be commanded to obey the ministers of the church if the church was not visible or hierarchical (e.g. 2 Thes. 3:14, Heb. 13:17)?

* How can the faith be passed on to future generations without a visible, hierarchical church?

* How can Sacraments be dispensed without a visible, hierarchical church (cf. Acts 8:14-18)?

* Can you not see that there has to be a visible structure in the church to ensure that the authority given to the apostles by Christ is passed on (e.g. the power of the keys, the power to forgive sins)?

* Can you not see that there had to be a visible authority to determine the books of the bible since "there is no 'inspired table of contents"? (How would you expect a visible bible from an invisible church?)

* Considering that all groupings of people have a visible structure (e.g. families, governments, companies, etc.), why do you deny this to the church? Those without structure would certainly perish.

* "An invisible church is not biblical."

* "An invisible church does not take into account the realities of this world with visible people!"

* How can the Church be invisible considering that Christ said..."You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Mt. 5:14-16)...?

* How would Christ, being visible, have established an invisible Church?

* Since when does a visible flock not need a visible shepherd? How would visible sheep be protected by visible wolves without a visible shepherd?

* Considering that Jesus said that we must consume His flesh (see Jn. 6:22-69), can you not see how this alone necessitate a visible church? [Note: If you deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, visit ]

* Why would God establish a visible, hierarchical 'church' (so to speak) in the Old Testament, but not in the New Testament?

* In this world, men must be governed visibly - it is unreasonable to expect that visible people on earth could be governed invisibly. Even in the family setting, we know that children would get into much trouble without parents, police, schools, etc. How can one expect better in a much larger grouping of people? Does not common sense tell you that visible people need a visible government?

* A visible structure has been necessary throughout history for protection - there have been many enemies of the faith who would capture Christians (including men, women, and children) and torture & kill them. They have also been captured and forced to submit to false religions. Under such fierce attacks, it is clearly necessary that the Church have a visible structure in order to protect her members.

* The Church's very mission requires her to be visible. How can she teach if she is invisible? How can an invisible church apply visible Sacraments? How can an invisible church preserve doctrine intact?

* How can Christ expect us to obey the church if she is not visible? Is it not necessary that she be visible to all?

"Considering that forthwith upon salvation being brought out for mankind, Jesus Christ laid upon His Apostles the injunction to 'preach the Gospel to every creature,' He imposed, it is evident, upon all men the duty of learning thoroughly and believing what they were taught. This duty is intimately bound up with the gaining of eternal salvation: 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be condemned.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

* How can there be "one flock" (Jn. 10:16) if the church is invisible and without structure?

* Since Christ established that the forgiveness of sins would come through men (Jn. 20:23), this alone necessitates a visible church.

* How could St. Paul have persecuted the Church if it was invisible (see Gal. 1:13)?

* We see from Scripture that the apostles had authority. How can this be if the church was not visible and hierarchical?

* How can St. James speak of calling "the presbyters [priests] of the church" (see Jms. 5:14-15), if the church is not visible and hierarchical?

* How can Jesus tell us to "tell the church" (see Mt. 18:17), if the church is invisible?

* How can Scripture speak of bishops, presbyters (priests), and deacons, etc. (cf. Acts 14:23, Acts 15:4, Phil. 1:1, 1 Tm. 3:1, 1 Tm. 3:8, 1 Tm. 5:17, Ti. 1:5, Ti. 1:7-9) unless the church is visible and hierarchical?

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"Moreover as our Savior does not rule the Church directly in a visible manner, He wills to be helped by the members of His Body in carrying out the work of redemption." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"Such is the Church: a spiritual, but at the same time an exterior and visible society; just in the same way as man is spiritual and because of his soul and material because of his body, which is an essential part of his being. The Christian, therefore, should love the Church such as God has made her; he should detest that false and hypocritical spiritualism which, with a view to subvert the work of Christ, would confine religion within the exclusively spiritual domain. We never can admit such a limitation. The Divine Word has assumed our flesh; he permitted his creature man to hear and see and handle him; and when he organized his Church on earth, he made it speaking, visible, and so to say palpable." (Dom Gueranger)

"[T]hose who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error: as also are those who regard the Church as a human institution which claims a certain obedience in discipline and external duties, but which is without the perennial communication of the gifts of divine grace, and without all that which testifies by constant and undoubted signs to the existence of that life which is drawn from God. It is assuredly as impossible that the Church of Jesus Christ can be the one or the other, as that man should be a body alone or a soul alone. The connection and union of both elements is as absolutely necessary to the true Church as the intimate union of the soul and body is to human nature." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"[W]e are told that [the Church] was to spread, and actually has been spread, throughout the whole world. Now how could such progress and conquest have taken place, if the spiritual society founded by our Redeemer had not also been exterior and visible? On earth, souls cannot hold intercommunication without bodies. Faith cometh by hearing, says the Apostle: and how shall they hear without a preacher? When, therefore, our Risen Jesus says to his Apostles: Go, teach all nations! He distinctly implies that the word of God will be heard, that it will resound throughout the world, and that its sound will be heard both by them that obey and by them that reject the teaching of his ministers... [I]f this people, which is to attract all others to itself, be not visible, how can it do its work?" (Dom Gueranger) 

"Thus it is that the divine Founder of the Church, who willed that she should be a city seated on a mountain (Mt. v. 14), gave her visibility; it was an essential requisite; for since all were called to enter her pale, all must be able to see her. But He was not satisfied with this. He moreover willed that the spiritual power exercised by her pastors should come from a visible source, so that the faithful might have a sure means of verifying the claims of those who were to guide them in His name. Our Lord (we say it reverently) owed this to us; for, on the last day, He will not receive us as His children, unless we shall have been members of His Church, and have lived in union with Him by the ministry of pastors lawfully constituted [cf. Lk. 10:1-16]. Honor, then, and submission to Jesus in His vicar! Honor and submission to the vicar of Christ in the pastors he sends!" (Dom Gueranger) 

"And, since it was necessary that His divine mission should be perpetuated to the end of time, He took to Himself disciples, trained by himself, and made them partakers of His own authority. And, when He had invoked upon them from Heaven the Spirit of Truth, He bade them go through the whole world and faithfully preach to all nations what He had taught and what He had commanded, so that by the profession of His doctrine and the observance of His laws, the human race might attain to holiness on earth and never-ending happiness in Heaven. In this wise, and on this principle, the Church was begotten. If we consider the chief end of His Church and the proximate efficient causes of salvation, it is undoubtedly spiritual; but in regard to those who constitute it, and to the things which lead to these spiritual gifts, it is external and necessarily visible." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"So that we could fulfill our duty of embracing the true faith and of persevering unwaveringly in it, God, through his only begotten Son, founded the Church, and He endowed his institution with clear notes to the end that She might be recognized by all as the guardian and teacher of the revealed word. To the Catholic Church alone belong all those things, so many and so marvelous, which have been divinely ordained to make for the manifest credibility of the Christian faith. What is more, the Church herself by reason of her astonishing propagation, her outstanding holiness and her inexhaustible fertility in every kind of goodness, by her Catholic unity and her unconquerable stability, is a kind of great and perpetual motive of credibility and an incontrovertible evidence of her own divine mission. So it comes about that, like a standard lifted up for the nations, she both invites to herself those who have not yet believed, and likewise assures her sons and daughters that the faith they profess rests on the firmest of foundations." (First Vatican Council)

"That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. 'Christ,' says the Apostle, 'is the Head of the Body of the Church.' If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: 'Though many we are one body in Christ.' But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: 'the Church is visible because she is a body. Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely 'pneumatological' as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond. But a body calls also for a multiplicity of members, which are linked together in such a way as to help one another... Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order; so for this reason above all the Church is called a body, that it is constituted by the coalescence of structurally united parts, and that it has a variety of members reciprocally dependent. It is thus the Apostle describes the Church when he writes: 'As in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: so we being many are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"Christ our Lord, when about to leave this world and return to the Father, entrusted to the Chief of the Apostles the visible government of the entire community He had founded. Since He was all wise He could not leave the body of the Church He had founded as a human society without a visible head. Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. For Peter in virtue of his primacy is only Christ's Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisibly, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same. They, therefore, walk in the path of dangerous error who believe that they can accept Christ as the Head of the Church, while not adhering loyally to His Vicar on earth. They have taken away the visible head, broken the visible bonds of unity and left the Mystical Body of the Redeemer so obscured and so maimed, that those who are seeking the haven of eternal salvation can neither see it nor find it." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"The Apostles received a mission to teach by visible and audible signs, and they discharged their mission only by words and acts which certainly appealed to the senses. So that their voices falling upon the ears of those who heard them begot faith in souls - 'Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the words of Christ' (Rom. x., 17). And faith itself - that is assent given to the first and supreme truth - though residing essentially in the intellect, must be manifested by outward profession - 'For with the heart we believe unto justice, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation' (Rom. x., 10). In the same way in man, nothing is more internal than heavenly grace which begets sanctity, but the ordinary and chief means of obtaining grace are external: that is to say, the sacraments which are administered by men specially chosen for that purpose, by means of certain ordinances. Jesus Christ commanded His Apostles and their successors to the end of time to teach and rule the nations. He ordered the nations to accept their teaching and obey their authority. But this correlation of rights and duties in the Christian commonwealth not only could not have been made permanent, but could not even have been initiated except through the senses, which are of all things the messengers and interpreters. For this reason the Church is so often called in Holy Writ a body, and even the body of Christ - 'Now you are the body of Christ' (I Cor. xii., 27) - and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible: and because it is the body of Christ it is living and energizing, because by the infusion of His power Christ guards and sustains it, just as the vine gives nourishment and renders fruitful the branches united to it." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"Being the sure means and the straight and immaculate way to go to Jesus Christ and to find Him perfectly, it is by [the Blessed Virgin Mary] that the souls who are to shine forth especially in sanctity have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life (cf. Prov. 8:35), that is, Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6). But no one can find Mary who does not seek her; and no one can seek her who does not know her; for we cannot seek or desire an unknown object. It is necessary, then, for the greater knowledge and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, that Mary should be more than ever known." (St. Louis Marie de Montfort)

"Here learn the science of the saints: All is to be found in the Passion of Jesus." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Is there one who would not weep, Whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ's dear Mother to behold? Can the human heart refrain From partaking in her pain, In that Mother's pain untold?" (From the Stabat Mater)

"Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of her merits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God. Her foot has crushed the head of Satan." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Ubi Primum", 1849 A.D.)

"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)

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs "Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen." (Raccolta)

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