Blog Archives

A Prayer to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, by Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Immaculate Conception

O Mary, our Immaculate Mother,
On your feast day I come to you,
And I come not alone:
I bring with me all those with whom your Son entrusted to me,
In this city of Rome and in the entire world,
That you may bless them and preserve them from harm.

I bring to you, Mother, children,
Especially those who are alone, abandoned,
And for this reason are tricked and exploited.
I bring to you, Mother, families,
Who carry forward life and society
With their daily and hidden efforts;
In a special way the families who struggle the most
For their many internal and external problems.
I bring to you, Mother, all workers, both men and women,
And I entrust to you especially those who, out of need,
Are forced to work in an unworthy profession
And those who have lost work or are unable to find it.

We are in need of your immaculate gaze,
To rediscover the ability to look upon persons and things
With respect and awareness,
Without egotistical or hypocritical interests.
We are in need of your immaculate heart,
To love freely,
Without secondary aims but seeking the good of the other,
With simplicity and sincerity, renouncing masks and tricks.
We are in need of your immaculate hands,
To caress with tenderness,
To touch the flesh of Jesus
In our poor, sick, or despised brethren,
To raise up those who have fallen and support those who waver.
We are in need of your immaculate feet,
To go toward those who know not how to make the first step,
To walk on the paths of those who are lost,
To find those who feel alone.

We thank you, O Mother, because in showing yourself to us
You free us of all stain of sin;
You remind us that what comes first is the grace of God,
The love of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us,
The strength of the Holy Spirit which renews all things.
Let us not give in to discouragement,
But, trusting in your constant help,
Let us engage ourselves fully in renewal of self,
Of this city and of the entire world.
Pray for us, Holy Mother of God!

– Pope Francis, Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception at the Spanish Steps, 12/8/16; courtesy of here.  Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church.  Mary is also the patroness of the United States under the title of “Immaculate Conception”.

Quote for the Week

While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.

–Pope Francis, “The Joy of the Gospel” (2013), Section 56

A Papal Mass and Three Chants for Epiphany

Epiphany–the Twelfth Day of Christmas–is today.  The Catholic Church in this country celebrates it on the nearest Sunday, and thus celebrated it this past Sunday this year; but the real Epiphany is today.

Papal Mass for the Solemnity of All Saints


All Saints was yesterday, so this is slightly belated; but still relevant.

The Canonization Mass of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II

Belatedly for Easter

Between being a bit under the weather and also involved in the Easter Vigil at our parish, I didn’t get anything up for the day itself.  Nevertheless, here is the full footage of Pope Francis’s first Easter Vigil Mass.

A Chant for the New Pope

Habemus Papam!

Pope Francis


I actually saw the live broadcast of the announcement, around 3 PM this afternoon, but didn’t get around addressing it here until now.

It was really a Rorschach test to read the responses.  Across the spectrum the responses were pretty much predictable  and could have been written beforehand, really.  “He opposes gay marriage!  Booo!”  “He’s for the poor!  Yaaay!”  “The Church is still an eevul patriarchal institution!  Booo!”  “He lives a simple life and eschews pomp!  Yaaay!”  “He’s not in favor of the Latin Mass!  Booo!”  And so on–mindless fawning adulation, mindless venom, very little thought.

All I have to say is that he seems to be a good man who is certainly not perfect; that we should actually wait and see how he does things; that everyone ought to try to be charitable towards those of different ideological or theological beliefs or opinions; and that whether we’re Catholic or not, we ought to hope that Francis is what the Church needs at this difficult point in its history.

Vivat papa, et Deus eum benidicat!