We added a couple of new books to the All the Saint's story for Mary and her own special month, May! We were reading the intro to this one and just had to share, it was so edifying! Also there is a special sale for the month of May on all the Marian titles, get 10% off by using the coupon code MONTHMARY2013.Month of Mary- Conceived Without Sin
Translated from the French of: A. Gratry, Priest of the Oratory of the Immaculate Conception, with and Introduction by the Very Rev. E. W. Faber, D.D. of the London Oratory
With the Approbation of the Most Rev. F. P. Kenrick,
Archbishop of Baltimore.
From the Introduction: ...To all the faithful, therefore, devotion to our Blessed Mother is of supreme importance. It is not a mere beauty of Catholic worship, a graceful accessory, an exquisite adornment, or a lawful consolation. It is an essential element in all Christian piety. Without it, holiness is simply impossible. But to us in an un-catholic country devotion to Mary assumes a very peculiar importance. We are surrounded on all sides by monuments of falsehood. The air is impregnated with its poison. The daily intercourse of life becomes almost contagion of evil. Measures, weights, and standards, which are quite opposed to those of the sanctuary of God, are implied and acknowledged in the common language which we use, so that it is difficult to avoid making a material profession of an unholy faith, even when we have not such intention. The literature of our country is perpetually imbuing us with unchristian principles, the more insidiously the more the subject of it is apparently removed from religion altogether. The habitual perusal of the Protestant newspapers is itself as nearly as possible incompatible with the existence of the spirit of prayer, or with the preservation of intelligent Catholic sympathies. The very sweetest and kindliest parts of our nature are perpetually alluring us to an easy and indulgent view of that deadliest of all sins, the sin of heresy, and thus to an acquiescence in that which ought, both morally and intellectually, to be the most repulsive of all things to us, falsehood about God.
Now, devotion to Mary has been in all ages, as an historical fact, the guardian of the doctrine about Jesus...
The month of Mary devotion "is itself a visible monument of that endless development of devotion to our Blessed Lady which characterizes the life of the Church. It belongs almost to our own times. Although it is not recognized either in the Breviary or in the Missal, it has become as acknowledged a season of the Christian year as Advent or Lent. The Church has enriched it with indulgences." The venerable Grignon de Montfort tells us that the most remarkable development of devotion to our Blessed Lady is that it " is reserved for the last age of the Church, when her sufferings will have reached their height, and the triumph of the world will seem to be most complete. He tells us that God has reserved for those days saints of almost unparalleled grandeur, whose distinguishing characteristic will be their devouring zeal for Mary's honor."
This devotional book is composed of 31 meditations that are profound and sure to inspire new love of our Blessed Mother.TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF MONTH OF MARY AND SEE MORE WONDERFUL BOOKS ON OUR LADY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY VISIT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS!
"You cannot think that the buckling on of the knight's armor by his lady's hand was a mere caprice of romantic fashion. It is the type of an eternal truth- that the soul's armor is never well set to the heart unless a woman's hand has braced it; and it is only when she braces it looselh that the honor of manhood fails." - Ruskin
+++ We shared this wonderful book with you all last August and it is such a wonderful title so we thought we would bump this post up. It is a great title to read in May (the month of Mary) and also makes a great Mother's Day gift, a book for the heart of every mother. +++
In a day and age where every lady dreams of her knight in shining armor and struggles to find him. When doors are not normally opened for ladies by gentleman and when women generally want to be equal with men this book is as fitting (or even more so) today as it was in 1877 when it was written.
Thomas Foley, Bishop of Chicago in 1877 said: This work is "fitted for our times. It will be of vast service to many mothers and daughters in the Church, by showing them how they may practically conform their lives to the bright pictures of womanly virtue you have so felicitously portrayed."
This wonderful book, The Mirror of True Womanhood, was written by Rev. Monsignor Bernard O'Reilly. It covers so many beautiful topics involving true womanhood with Mary as our shining example. From home-life, a woman's love, supernatural virtues, a living faith, hospitality, making our homes a paradise, biblical examples of virtuous women, stewardship, resourcefulness, spirit of charity, education of our children, childhood, building religious character, city life vs. farm life, generosity, formation of boys and girls in childhood, Christian idea of service, social duties and many, many more topics!
This book is chalk full of real life examples about woman and how they mold the men of the world and how they inspire virtue in the home. Today woman think that their power lies in working and providing an income, in making their way in the world. This book shows in so many ways how special the woman is that molds the world though the children she raises, the home that she keeps and the husband that she loves and honors.
One of the most impressive stories in this book (so far, as I haven't finished reading it yet) is about St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland. Because she was so full of virtue, love of God and charitableness she would never allow anyone to leave her table without first saying the meal prayer at the end of the meal. It was not uncommon for people to get up and leave after they were done. Instead of using her queenly authority she, in a more delicate way, provided those finished with their meal with plenty to drink until everyone had finished their meal. In this way she was able to insure that all gave their thanks to God in a most charitable manner.
There are several secular and Protestant books on the market, even a few Catholic ones, that try to show how a woman is head of the house and how she influences her family and even beyond with her womanly talents. One of the more famous biblical quotes for this sort of topic is also stated in this book: "Who shall find a valiant (brave-hearted) woman? ... The heart of her husband trusteth in her... She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands... She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night... She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow." - Proverbs xxxi. This book far exceeds those other books in explanation and its so thoroughly Catholic that it would be hard for any other book to compare to this one.
Mirror of True Womanhood, is one of those books that holds its place in every Catholic home's library, as a wonderful wedding gift, a gift for any young lady, for any mother-to-be as well as one that should be read over and over again. There is true beauty in womanhood and it has its own special place. Not a place that is the same as man's but is different yet equal in importance. The same author has also written a book for men titled "True Men as We Need Them." I imagine it is equally fitting for men in our times. These two books can be found in ebook version online for free.
Download them here:Mirror of True Womanhood True Men as We Need Them
December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Beauties of the Catholic Church
By: Rev. F.J. Shadler copyright 1881
The Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pastor- This evening, as I promised you, we shall speak of the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thomas- Of which, it seems to me, there are altogether too many. It was with difficulty I could pick them all out from the calendar.
Pastor- You are not tardy this evening in making your objection, Thomas. If you had, while counting up the number of feasts celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin, endavored from one or the other of them to draw profit for your soul, you would have found so rich a treasure, that you would greatly wish for the frequent recurrence of these feasts, and you would not now quarrel about their number.
Thomas- It is true, at the moment I only thought of learning how many there are.
Pastor- And I fear at other times it did not give you great concern to learn how to celebrate them in the proper manner, for otherwise it would have been an easy matter for you to reconcile yourself to their number. The Catholic Church has, indeed, always sought particularly to further the honor and veneration of the Mother of God. Did not God choose the Virgin Mary from among all the daughters of Eve, that she might give birth to his Incarnate Son? How, then, can any one refuse to honor her whom God himself has honored in so marked a manner? And if, among all the children of man, God found none more worthy to receive the sublime dignity of Mother of God, how pure and holy, and how worthy of reverence and veneration, must she have been whom He selected for this sublime office! It was she who bestowed upon his sacred body the first cares, and for the services she rendered him we desire to show our gratitude. And, again, how greatly was she beloved by the Saviour himself, who was mindful of her even upon the cross, recommending her to the tender care of his favorite disciple! How ready we find him to grant her prayers when she solicits favors for others! His first miracle - that at the wedding of Cana - he wrought at her request. These are the reasons why the Church delights to see her children cherish love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin. And the Christians of old did not even wait to be called on to do so, but themselves asked that many opportunities might be afforded them to show their veneration for the Mother of their Lord. Thus it is that the feasts which we celebrate in her honor were gradually introduced.
Simon- And their celebration affords us no less joy thank it did our forefathers.
Pastor- The feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary are the following: 1. THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, on the 8th of December/ St. Augustine (Nat. et Grat., c. 36) says: "The honor of the Lord forbids to speak of the Blessed Virgin as having been infected with any kind of sin." In harmony with these words of this illustrious Doctor of the Church, Christian tradition declares that she who was to bring forth the Saviour was free from every stain of original sin, even from the first moment of her conception. (On the 8th of December, 1854, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared an article of Catholic faith by Pope Pius IX. of blessed memory.) This perfect purity and exemption of Mary from original sin we celebrate on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. While we give thanks to God for having shown such favor to the Mother of the Redeemer, we also beg him, for the sake of Mary, to give us, who have entered this world stained with original sin, the grace to preserve unsullied the purity conferred upon us in the water of baptism. Are you familiar with the picture of the Blessed Virgin called the Immaculate Conception?
Simon- Oh! yes; I have a copy of it at home. The Virgin is represented standing upon a globe; her foot rests upon a serpent, and in her hand she hold a lily. At her feet there is the half-moon, and a crown of stars encircles her head.
Pastor- Your description is perfect. But can you also tell me the meaning of the various objects by which the Virgin is surrounded?
Simon- Hardly. The lily, I presume, indicates her purity.
Pastor- That is right. The fact that she was exempted from original sin by the grace of God, and that the tempter of Paradise never possessed any power over her, is expressed by the serpent, whose head she crushes under her heel. Because of her purity and sanctity she is raised far above all men, and as Queen of earth she is represented standing upon a globe. The moon, every changing - now growing, now diminishing - is at her feet, to show that she was above all earthly change, and free from all vacillation between good and evil. That herm ind ever dwelt on high with God, and was occupied with him alone, is typified by the stars to which she lifts her eyes, and which, like a halo, surround her head to proclaim her sanctity.
Simon- How beautiful and how full of meaning! Now my picture is doubly dear to me.
Pastor- You may not only derive pleasure, but also much profit from your picture, Simon, if you strive to realize in yourself everything it expresses. You were not exempted, it is true, from original sin, but you were washed clean from it by holy baptism; hence it is now your duty to crush the head of the serpent, and never to give ear to the voice of the tempter. It behooves us, therefore, not to allow ourselves to be deceived by his artful devices, and particularly to fly from sin when it seems to us most inviting. We must tightly grasp in our hand the lily - that is to say, carefully guard the purity and sanctity of our hearts; and, finally, we must lift our thoughts and desires above the stars, to God on high, and trample under foot the ever-changing goods of earth, deeming it beneath us, for their sake, to violate the will of our Heavenly Father. Our first mother, Eve, has left us a sorry example; let us as sedulously follow the example of the Blessed Virgin, shown in the picture, as we frequently have followed the the example of Mother Eve, and listened to the voice of our enemy. By her conduct Mary has become the very opposite of Eve; as Mother of the Redeemer, she has brought us blessing and salvation, while Eve brought upon us dire malediction; hence, in a beautiful hymn of the Church, Mary is said to have reversed the name of "Eva," so that it has become "Ave," the Latin for "Hail."
Simon- Please, Your Reverence, make us acquainted with this hymn.
Pastor- I shall be surprised if you are not already familiar with it. However, I will read it for you, and at some other time I will give it to you printed, together with other hymns to the Blessed Virgin. This is the text:
Hail, thou star of ocean!
Portal of the sky!
Ever Virgin Mother
of the Lord Most High!
Oh! by Gabriel's Ave
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
'Stablish peace below.
Break the captive's fetters;
Light on blindness pour;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.
Show thyself a mother;
Offer Him our sighs
Who, for us incarnate,
Did not thee despise.
Virgin of all virgins!
To thy shlter take us;
Gentlest of the gentle!
Chase and gentle make us.
Still as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor,
Till with thee and Jesus
We rejoice for ever.
Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen.
Sweet heart of Mary be my salvation!
August is dedicated by Holy Mother Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (also know as the Most Pure Heart of Mary).
The files for August for the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board may be found at the end of this post or on the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board Page
.Some special feasts coming up in August:August 6th - The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ AugustAugust 14th- Vigil of the AssumptionAugust 15th- The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryAugust 22nd- The Immaculate Heart of Mary