Sunday, December 18, 2016

9 Ways a Catholic Student Can Celebrate Christmas on Campus

It's OK to say "Merry Christmas"

Just as the Christ Child was rejected 2,000 years ago, and had nowhere but a cold stable for a birthplace, our world has little to do with Christmas.

Articles questioning the existence of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and other Catholics tenets are disseminated by the media, and lawsuits aim to remove “offensive” Nativity scenes from the public square.
What can be done? TFP Student Action has compiled a list of very concrete actions you can take to celebrate Our Lord’s coming this Christmas Season.

1. Never use the “H” words: “Happy Holidays.” The secular term means nothing and only serves to erase the memory of Christ from Christmas and the Holy Season we celebrate. Avoid “X-Mas” too. Wherever you go, make it a point to wish others a Merry Christmas: at the supermarket, in class, in the cafeteria, on the phone, in e-mails. You’ll be surprised. Many people will appreciate your Christian convictions.
2. Decorate your college dorm: Hang beautiful Christmas ornaments from your dorm window.  Pick up some large poster board and markers at the bookstore and make signs that read, for example, “Just Say Merry Christmas!” Write with big clear letters. Tape one sign to your dorm window facing out for everyone to see. Place another on your dorm door. Encourage your friends to do the same.

3. Send Christmas cards: Send a Christmas card with a religious message to your most liberal professor. Mention that you will pray for him/her. You can also send a card to the president of your college or university. Also, look for an opportunity to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about Christmas. Letters receive avid and wide readership. Try it.

4. Organize a Christmas celebration: Set up a Nativity scene on the quad or “free speech” area of campus. Invite your friends to help you. Be creative. Sing traditional Christmas carols. St. Augustine said: “He who sings prays twice.” You might also choose to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary as a group. Close the celebration with Silent Night. Meet somewhere for refreshments. Talk about Christmas.

5. Plan a Eucharistic adoration: Find an Adoration Chapel near you, ask your friends to join you for a holy hour before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in honor of Christmas. Mark your calendar for a convenient time before Christmas break. Evenings are best for students.  After your holy hour, go out for coffee.
Find a chapel near you.

6. Visit the sick: Those suffering in hospitals and nursing homes faintly remember the joy of Christmas. Illness, pain and loneliness overwhelm them as they spend their last days. It is a work of mercy to visit the sick and suffering. You can bring joy and Christmas cheer to someone forgotten in a hospital or old folks home. Your local nursing home will likely welcome visitors. Take something to give away; for example, Miraculous Medals. Everyone likes them. To order free Miraculous Medals, call 1-888-317-5571.

7. Prepare yourself spiritually: The Season of Advent prepares us to celebrate the Birth of Our Lord worthily. We should erect a throne in our souls to receive the King of kings. For that reason, it is an excellent time to make a good Confession and make sacrifices. For example, give up watching TV or surfing the Internet.

8. Write a Christmas message to the troops: Thank them for their sacrifice and service. Show them your support. Wish the troops a blessed Christmas and tell them you will remember them in your prayers. Remind them that people back home appreciate them. Send a message to the troops.
9. Do you have any suggestions? Please contact TFP Student Action with your suggestions to complete number nine. We would like to hear from you. Send your e-mail to: mail@tfpstudentaction.org and thank you for your efforts to restore the real meaning of Christmas.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Blessed Virgin Mary first gave the Rosary to St. Dominic of Guzman in a vision in 1208, as he earnestly begged God for a solution to the Albigensian heresy then aggressively infecting the south of France. After St. Dominic began to preach the Rosary, the days of the Albigensian error were numbered.

The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by Pope St. Pius V in honor and thanksgiving for the great victory of the Christian Maritime Coalition against the Muslim fleet at Lepanto in 1571. The "League" was formed in response to the Muslim advances made in Cyprus, with the intent of invading Western Europe. Once its forces were gathered ready to meet the Turk in the Mediterranean, St. Pius V blessed the banner of the fleet, which was solemnly consigned to its Commander in Chief, the young Don Juan of Austria, the twenty-four-year-old half-brother of King Phillip II of Spain.

As the fate of Europe hung in the balance, on October 7, 1571, the Sovereign Pontiff called for a Rosary procession in Rome and it was during that procession that the victory was decided for the Christian fleet.

At first St. Pius V instituted October 7 as the feast of Our Lady of Victory. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title to that of “Feast of the Holy Rosary”.

In 1716 Pope Clement XI inserted the feast into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and extended it to the whole of the Latin Rite, assigning the feast to the first Sunday in October. In 1913, Pope St. Pius X changed the date back to October 7.
On May 13, 1917, there began in Fatima, Portugal a series of apparitions of a luminous lady to three little Portuguese shepherds, Lucia dos Santos and Francisco and Jacinta Marto. She asked them to return to the same spot for five consecutive months, and that in October she would work a miracle for all to believe and reveal who she was. In every apparition the lady asked for the daily recitation of the Rosary as a remedy to life’s ills, and for peace in the world. On October 13, 1917, a crowd of 70,000 people witnessed the astounding miracle of the sun, as the fiery orb performed a fantastic dance in the sky above. The heavenly lady then revealed her name: “I am the Lady of the Rosary”.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reminder: First Saturday Devotion is Tomorrow!

Dear Friend of Our Lady,
 
    I’ll be very quick – DON’T FORGET the Fatima Saturday devotion tomorrow!
 
    Receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and of course, spend 15 minutes with Our Lady, thinking prayerfully (meditating) on the mysteries of the rosary.
 
    Finally, please get to Confession within 8 days, as Mary asked at Fatima.
 
    Then you can rest assured that once again you have made a huge investment in your eternal salvation!
 
    Haven’t started your Five First Saturdays devotion yet?
 
    Well, there is no time like the present – click here and see what all the excitement is about!
 
    In a nutshell: Our Lady of Fatima revealed Heaven’s solution for the times we live in and is asking for 5 days (first Saturdays of 5 consecutive months) in exchange for Eternity!
 
    Not a bad deal, my friend.
 
    Be sure to take Our Lady up on it.
 
 
I remain your friend,
In Jesus and Mary,
 
 
Robert E. Ritchie
 
Robert E. Ritchie
America Needs Fatima
www.anf.org
 
PS:  Click here to read all about the Five First Saturday devotion. The forgotten part of the Fatima message!
 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Rosary, the Devil and the Queen

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that Blessed Thomas of St. John was a great devotee of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As such, he was known for his powerful, moving sermons on the Rosary, which led people to adopt this devotion to their great benefit.
Furiously jealous of the holy man’s success with souls, the devil began to so torture Thomas that he fell sick, and was so ill for so long that the doctors gave up on saving his life.
One night, when the poor man thought he was near death, the devil appeared to him in a hideous form, coward that he is, seeking to frighten Thomas into despair.
But, making an effort, the good priest turned to a beautiful picture of Our Lady near his bed crying out with all his heart and strength:
“Help me, save me, my sweet, sweet Mother!”
No sooner had he pronounced these words, the picture came alive and extending her hand, the heavenly Lady laid it reassuringly on the priest’s arm, saying:
“Do not be afraid, Thomas my son, here I am and I am going to save you. Get up now and go on preaching my Rosary as you did before. I promise to shield and protect you from your enemies.”
No sooner had Our Lady pronounced these words, than the devil fled in a hurry. Getting up, Thomas found that he was perfectly healed.
Thanking the Blessed Mother with tears of joy, Blessed Thomas again went about preaching the Holy Rosary, now with renewed favor and gumption, and his apostolate and his sermons were enormously successful.
St. Louis the Montfort concludes this story saying, “Our lady not only blesses those who say her Rosary, but also abundantly rewards those who, by their example, inspire others to say it as well.”

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Origin of the Holy Rosary


Second Rose, from the Secret of the Rosary, by Saint Louis de Montfort

Rosary Guide Booklet Banner

Since the Holy Rosary is composed, principally and in substance, of the Prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, that is, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, it was without doubt the first prayer and the first devotion of the faithful and has been in use all through the centuries from the time of the Apostles and disciples down to the present.
But it was only in the year 1214, however, that Holy Mother Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by Saint Dominic who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a powerful means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.
I will tell you the story of how he received it, which is found in the very well-known book "De Dignitate Psalterii" by Blessed Alan de la Roche.
Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse where he prayed unceasingly for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and do harsh penances in order to appease the anger of Almighty God. He used his discipline so much that his body was lacerated, and finally he fell into a coma.
At this point Our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said:
"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"
"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."
Then Our Lady replied:
"I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament. Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."
So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal, for the conversion of the people in that district he made straight for the Cathedral. At once unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together and Saint Dominic began to preach.
At the very beginning of his sermon an appalling storm broke, out, the earth shook, the sun was darkened, and there was so much thunder and lightning that all were very much afraid. Even greater was their fear when looking at a picture of Our Lady exposed in a prominent place they saw her raise her arms to heaven three times to call down God's vengeance upon them if they failed to be converted, to amend their lives, and seek the protection of the Holy Mother of God.
God wished, by means of these supernatural phenomena, to spread the new devotion of the Holy Rosary and to make it more widely known.
At last, at the prayer of Saint Dominic, the storm came to an end, and he went on preaching. So fervently and compellingly did he explain the importance and value of the Holy Rosary that almost all the people of Toulouse embraced it and renounced their false beliefs. In a very short time a great improvement was seen in the town; people began leading Christian lives and gave up their former bad habits.