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We may judge of the excellence of the Rosary by the attention given to this devotion by the Vicar of Christ. The great Pope Leo XIII issued thirteen encyclicals on the Rosary and recommended this devotion as a family prayer for every Catholic home. The month of October has been specially selected as the “Month of the Rosary,” and the feast of the Holy Rosary is now celebrated on the 7th of this month. This feast of the most Holy Rosary took its origin from the great victory of the Catholic forces over the Mohammedans at the battle of Lepanto on October 7th, 1571. The defeat of the enemies of the Church and of civilization was due to the special assistance of the Mother of God. The Rosary was recited throughout the countries of Europe for the success of the Christian forces, and the victory was attributed to Our Lady, called the “Help of Christians.” The Rosary has been the great weapon against heresy and infidelity, but it is also the chief safeguard for family peace and holiness. Continue reading

Saint Bridget of Sweden

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Saint Bridget of Sweden


Saint Bridget was born into the Swedish royal family in the year 1302, the daughter of very virtuous Christian parents. More than one prophetic episode attended the birth of Bridget, whose voice would be heard with admiration by the entire world, according to a bishop of her country. Curiously, for three years she said not a word, then began to speak with facility and clarity, like persons of mature years. At the age of seven, after her mother had died, she beheld the Mother of God, who presented her with a beautiful crown. She became sober, modest, candid, humble, and peaceful. At the age of ten she saw Our Lord as He was on the Cross, and she began to meditate constantly on the mysteries of the Passion, while occupying herself exteriorly with needlework.

In obedience to her father, she was married to Prince Ulpho of Sweden. Saint Bridget became the mother of eight children, four boys and four girls, one of whom, Saint Catherine of Sweden, is honored as a Saint. Their four sons died young, two during one of the crusades. After some years she and her husband separated by mutual consent; he entered the Cistercian Order, where he died thirty years before his holy spouse. After his death, her life became still more austere; for her guide she had a celebrated Doctor of Theology, a Canon of the cathedral of Linkoeping. Severe for herself, Saint Bridget remained gentle for the poor and nourished twelve persons every day, serving them herself; she established hospices for the sick and the convalescent. She founded the Order of the Holy Saviour for sixty nuns, at the Abbey of Wastein or Wadstena in Sweden.

Saint Bridget received a series of sublime revelations, all of which she scrupulously submitted to the judgment of her confessor. During a famous pilgrimage which she made to Rome at the command of her Lord, He dictated to her the Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget, in honor of His Passion. Saint Bridget also went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land with her daughter, Saint Catherine, and amid the very scenes of the Passion was further instructed in the sacred mysteries. She died in Rome, after her return from this pilgrimage, in 1373.

Reflection: Saint Bridget appreciated in an extraordinary way the grace of the Sacrament of Penance. Is confession a matter of much time or expense? asks Saint John Chrysostom. Is it a difficult and painful remedy? Without cost or hurt, this medicine is ever ready to restore you to perfect health.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Necessary Care of Oneself

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Necessary Care of Oneself


MY CHILD, everyone must take a reasonable care of himself. In time of temptation arouse yourself, warn yourself, guard yourself and avoid idleness. No matter how much you do for others, do not neglect yourself altogether. Beware of too much talking. Whenever possible, try to be alone with Me. Take advantage of My presence. Every moment of your life is lived in My presence. You possess Him Whom the whole world cannot take from you. I am worth more than everything else put together.

2. If you neglect yourself, you can lose in a short time the spiritual strength which was acquired slowly and with great effort over a long period. Reflect often on the eternal purpose of your earthly life. You have to be a spiritual an to reach this goal. I tell you through My Church how to live this earthly life. There is no other way. Examine your progress each day. In a short time your present life will be over. If you have been faithful, you will never again know fear nor sorrow. For the little labor which you do on earth, you will gain a glorious reward and unending joy. I shall not fail those who have been faithful to My Will.

3. The man who has learned to pray and reflect, looks on self-perfection as his first and highest business. One who studies himself honestly, finds it easy to be silent about others. Learn to hold your tongue about the affairs of others unless your duty obliges you to speak. Fix your attention on your own faults and do something about them. If you are a true man of God, the doings of others will not make you worse than you are. If you can remedy a bad situation, do so. Many times, however, you can do nothing but pray over the misdeeds of others. Do this as one sinner praying for another, not as a superior being, praying for inferiors. When you have learned to fix your attention on your own affairs, you will find great peace of soul.

As far as I can, I should strive to help others. In many things however, I can help only by prayer, good example, and silence. Prayer gives grace to me and others. Good example reminds others of what they should be doing. Silence prevents the spreading of scandal and the flaring of tempers. Minding one’s own business is a great virtue. My first task is to save my soul. As far as I can, I must also try to help others live a holier and happier life. Many things, however, are not in my power. After I have done what I can to help matters, I should leave them in God’s hands.

Lord, give me the courage to look at myself, the honesty to admit my faults and limitations, the sincerity to try self-improvement, and the love for You that will keep me at it for the rest of my life. Let me not be concerned about matters that are beyond my control, except to petition Your help. For the rest, let me really live the words: “Thy will be done.” Amen.