The Chair of Unity Octave

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The Chair of Unity Octave

St. Peter, the Foundation Stone of Christ’s True ChurchThe Feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Rome is celebrated on January 18th. This important Feast was instituted, in part, in response to the ridiculous rumor spread by ignorant Protestant heretics that St. Peter had never come to Rome. Yet, following his seven year reign in Antioch, St. Peter did in fact travel to Rome to establish his See, and there shed his blood for our Crucified Savior. This Feast also enshrines the solemn dogma of Papal Infallibility, and the Supreme Apostolic Authority conferred upon St. Peter by Our Divine Lord. St. Paul the Apostle likewise came to Rome towards the close of his apostolic career, and was also martyred there for Christ. The Feast of his Conversion is observed on January 25th. Holy Mother Church has always united her praises for the Prince of the Apostles, St. Peter, with Her veneration for the zeal and holiness of St. Paul, a “vessel of election” for the spread of the infant Church. Thus, She has reserved eight days of solemn prayer–from the Feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Rome until the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul–for the observance of “The Chair of Unity Octave”; eight days of solemn prayer for the Apostolic Catholic Church.

These eight days of solemn prayer for Unity possess a doctrinal significance which is of critical importance. As Catholics know, one of the chief essential “Marks” (or visible qualities) of the Church established by Christ is that Unity for which He prayed at the Last Supper. As Jesus asked “that they may be one…”, His prayer was immediately granted by the Eternal Father, as it was the request (on the very eve of His death) of His Only Begotten Son, to Whom nothing is refused. Therefore, His Church has now, and will always have, that Unity (or oneness) of teaching, worship, and government which is so evidently a sign of truth, “the same yesterday, today, and the same forever.” It was for this reason that Christ established Peter as “the Rock”, or Foundation of His Church, against which the Gates of Hell could never prevail.

Consistent with Christ’s words, therefore, the only unity for which the Church and her faithful children can pray, is that which results from the conversion of those who are outside the One, True Fold of the Church. Thus, each of the days of the Chair of Unity Octave is dedicated to prayers for the conversion of some poor segment of mankind which is still “walking in darkness,” imploring that they may open their hearts to God’s grace, and return to the true Shepherd of their souls. This is the exercise of true charity. To imagine, as do the liberal ecumenists of our day, that we can achieve “unity” by pretending that those outside the Church do not stand in desperate need of conversion, is to deny the foundation of Christ’s True Church, and to renounce the very reason for the heroic apostolic labors and martyrdom of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

The Church also prays for that unity which draws her faithful children closer together in a spirit of humility and charity, by their fervent living of the great “law of love” taught by Jesus Christ Our Lord. Finally, we are exhorted to pray and to work for that unity which results from our own humble obedience, respect, and loyalty to the Apostolic Authority of the Church, which will, in fulfillment of Christ’s promise, remain with us, even unto the consummation of the world.

DAILY PRAYERS

(January 18-25)

Eternal Father, by Thy infinite mercy, and by the infinite merits of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, make Thyself known and loved by all souls, since it is Thy will that all should be saved. Glory be to the Father…

Through the sacred mysteries of human redemption, send, O Lord, laborers into Thy harvest, and spare Thy people. Eternal Word Incarnate, Redeemer of the human race, convert all souls to Thyself, since for them Thou wast obedient, even to the death of the Cross. Glory be to the Father…

Through the merits and intercession of Thy most holy Mother, and all the Angels and Saints, send, O Lord, laborers into Thy harvest, and spare Thy people. O Holy Spirit of God, by the infinite merits of the Passion and death of Jesus Christ, diffuse Thy most ardent and all powerful charity in all hearts, that there may be one Fold and one Shepherd throughout the world, and that all may come to sing Thy Divine mercies in Heaven forever. Amen. Glory be to the Father…

Prayer to the Queen of the Apostles
Mary, Queen of the ApostlesQueen of the Apostles, and all ye Angels and Saints, pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest and spare His people, that we may all rejoice with Him and the Father and the Holy Ghost forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of Apostles, I know that the Divine precept, by which I am bound to love my neighbor as myself, obliges me to procure by every possible means, not only my eternal salvation, but also that of my neighbor. But I confess that, through my sins, I am not worthy of the grace to labor effectually and constantly for the eternal salvation of my soul and of the souls of my relations and neighbors; much less am I worthy of the grace to promote good works, and to increase the means, both spiritual and temporal, of restoring faith and rekindling charity among Catholics, and propagating the truth throughout the world. Do thou then, O Mother, obtain for me this grace through the mercy of God and the infinite merits of Jesus Christ; and in union with the heavenly court and all the just, who are or will be in the Church of God, from henceforth I intend to offer these same merits of Jesus as a thanksgiving, in anticipation of this grace obtained by thee for us, as thou didst obtain it for the Holy Apostles.

And so, trusting in thy powerful intercession, I resolve from henceforth to use whatever I have from God of power, talents, learning, riches, position, health, sickness, or sorrow, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of my soul, and that of my neighbor, more especially by working for the propagation of piety and the true holy Catholic Faith throughout the world. And when all other means to this end fail me, I will never cease to pray that there may be one Fold and one Shepherd. By so doing, I hope to reach Paradise, there to enjoy the fruit of the Apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity. Amen. Hail Mary thrice; Glory be. (Plenary indulgence once a month — Pope Leo XIII; 200 days, once a day during Octave; plenary at end of Octave.)

“That all may be one as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”

V. I say to thee, that thou art Peter.
R. And upon this rock I will build My Church.

Let us pray: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast said to Thy Apostles: “Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you”; regard not my sins, but the Faith of Thy Church, and do Thou grant it peace and unity, Who livest and reignest, God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen. (200 days, once a day during Octave; plenary indulgence at end of Octave.)

Prayer to St. Peter

O glorious St. Peter, who, in return for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility, and thy burning love, wast honored by Jesus Christ with singular privileges, and, in particular, with the leadership of the other Apostles and the primacy over the whole Church, of which thou wast made the foundation stone, do thou obtain for us the grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself openly, in its entirety, and in all its manifestations, even to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and to the sacrifice of life itself in preference to surrender. Obtain for us likewise, a sincere loyalty to our Holy Mother, the Church; grant that we may ever remain most closely and sincerely united to the Heir of thy Faith and thy Authority, the one, true, visible Head of the Catholic Church, that mystic Ark outside of which there is no salvation. Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in all humility and meekness, Her teaching and Her counsels, and may be obedient to all Her precepts, in order to be able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undisturbed, and to attain one day in Heaven to everlasting happiness. Amen.

V. Pray for us, St. Peter the Apostle.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, Who hast given unto Thy blessed Apostle Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and the power to bind and loose, grant that we may be delivered, through the help of his intercession, from the bonds of all our sins, Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen. (500 days.)

“My God, make us to be of one mind in truth and of one heart in charity.” (300 days — St. Pius X.)

Prayer to Mary, Help of Christians

St. Nicholas of MyraImmaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, Mary, thou seest the attacks that are everywhere made by the devil and the world upon the Catholic Faith, in which, by God’s grace, we intend to live and die, in order that we may attain to eternal glory. Do thou, the Help of Christians, renew thine ancient victories and save thy children. They entrust to thee their firm purpose never to enroll themselves in societies hostile to our holy Religion; do thou, who art all holy, present to thy Divine Son our good resolutions, and obtain for us the grace we need to be unshaken in their observance, even to the end of life. Console the visible Head of the Church, sustain the Catholic Episcopate, protect the clergy and people who proclaim thee Queen; by the power of thine intercession hasten the day when all nations shall be gathered at the feet of the chief Shepherd. Amen. Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us! (500 days.)

Prayer to St. Nicholas

Glorious St. Nicholas, our special patron, from thy throne in glory where thou dost enjoy the presence of God, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, and obtain for us from Our Lord the graces and helps that we need in our spiritual and temporal necessities. Be mindful, likewise, O glorious and saintly Bishop, of our Most Reverend Bishop, of Holy Mother Church, and all of the remnant faithful. Bring back to the right way of salvation all those who are living steeped in sin and blinded by the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy. Comfort the afflicted, provide for the needy, strengthen the fearful, defend the oppressed, give health to the infirm, cause all men to experience the effects of thy powerful intercession with the Supreme Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

V. Pray for us, O Blessed Nicholas;
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, Who hast glorified blessed Nicholas, Thine illustrious Confessor and Bishop, by means of countless signs and wonders, and Who dost not cease daily so to glorify him, grant, we beseech Thee, that we, being assisted by his merits and prayers, may be delivered from the fires of Hell and from all dangers, through Christ Our Lord. Amen. (300 days.)

(Insert here the special prayers for each day of the Octave)

Prayer to Sts. Peter and Paul

St. Paul, Apostle of the GentilesO Glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, we earnestly beseech thee to intercede with Our Divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who founded the one, true, holy Catholic Church to lead us to salvation, on behalf of the remnant flock of faithful Clergy, Religious and laity. Do thou, O glorious St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, implore the Heart of Our Divine Redeemer to guide and sustain our Most Reverend Bishop in guiding and governing the remnant Catholic flock; to grant to all faithful members of the Church the precious gift of perseverance; and to grant also that every member of the Church will grow daily in their love and fervent practice of their holy Catholic Faith.

O glorious St. Paul, who was converted while persecuting God’s holy Church, do thou implore the merciful Hearts of Jesus and Mary to convert and bring back to the true Catholic Church all those who have gone astray throughout the world.

Finally, O glorious Saints Peter and Paul, do thou implore Mary, the Immaculate Queen of the Apostles, to make every member of Christ’s remnant Church fervent apostles in zealously spreading the true Catholic Faith, and loyally supporting and defending the holy Catholic Church against all of Her enemies and detractors; through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church

Daily Prayer to St. Joseph

O glorious St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, we implore thee during this Chair of Unity Octave, to obtain from the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the preservation of our remnant Catholic Community and all its members, from all division, dissension and discord. Do thou, faithful guardian of the Holy Family, grant that our spiritual family shall ever be united in the bonds of faith and charity, and shall remain always of one heart, mind and soul in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. St. Joseph, special protector of our Community, do thou guide, bless and protect us against the attacks of all our enemies and detractors; through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Closing Hymn: Faith of our Fathers.

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