Wednesday, January 2, 2013




Away in a manger...
Dear brothers and sisters!
Kindness and truth, justice and peace have met; they have become incarnate in the child born of Mary in Bethlehem. That child is the Son of God; he is God appearing in history. His birth is a flowering of new life for all humanity. May every land become a good earth which receives and brings forth kindness and truth, justice and peace.
Happy Christmas to all of you!

From - Pope Benedict's Urbi et Orbi Christmas message 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012



“I would like to recommend that during this time of vacation, you revivify your spirits by contemplating the splendors of Creation. Parents, teach your children to see nature, respect and protect it as a magnificent gift that presents to us the grandeur of the Creator! In speaking in parables, Jesus used the language of nature to explain to his disciples the mysteries of the Kingdom. May the images he uses become familiar to us! Let us remember that the divine reality is hidden in our daily lives like the seed in the soil. “
--  Pope Benedict XVI on summer vacation



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Children of Mary


Mathilda Lillian Skowronek

Born March 14, 2012

9:48 am

8 pounds

20.5 inches

Her mommy, daddy and sisters Lorelei and Katerina are overjoyed!

Pope Benedict XVI

“The family is fundamental because that is where the first awareness of the meaning of life germinates in the human soul.  It germinates in the relationship with the mother and the father, who are not masters of their children’s lives but are God’s primary collaborators in the transmission of life and faith.


given during a pastoral visit to Palermo in Italy in October 2010


Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 2



Forty Days after the birth of Christ, Mary, according to the Mosaic law, was purified by the prayer of Simeon in the presence of Anna the prophetess in the temple where she redeemed her first-born Jesus and was accompanied by St. Joseph.

The Blessing of Candles and procession represents Jesus, who is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD, into the Temple of Jerusalem.    

Ave Maria!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Today is the feast of Saint Agnes.

Patron of the Children of Mary
Saint Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith.


Pope Benedict XVI, following a centuries-old tradition, blessed several lambs whose wool will be used to make the palliums bestowed on new metropolitan archbishops on the June 29 feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. The ceremony was held on January 21, the feast of St Agnes – a martyr of the fourth century of Christianity.

The pallium is a narrow band of white lamb’s wool that is draped around the neck of the bearer, and is meant to call to mind his duty as a pastor or shepherd of Christians in remembrance of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The garment was originally worn only by the Pope. In Eastern Christianity, it is worn as the omophor by bishops of the Orthodox Church and bishops of Eastern rites of the Catholic Church.

The pallium consists of a loop in the centre resting on the shoulders over the chasuble and two dependent lappets, fore and aft, that make it resemble the letter Y. On it are six crosses, four on the loop and one at the end of each lappet. It is doubled on the left shoulder and sometimes is garnished, back and front, with three jewelled gold pins. The two latter characteristics seem to be survivals of the time when the Roman pallium was a simple scarf doubled and pinned on the left shoulder.

In a 1978 document, "Inter Eximina Episcopalis," Pope Paul VI restricted use of the pallium to the Pope and to metropolitan archbishops. In 1984 John Paul II decreed that the pallium would be conferred on the metropolitans on June 29.

The custom of blessing the lambs takes place every year on liturgical commemoration of St. Agnes, a virgin who suffered martyrdom about the year 305 and whose symbol is a lamb. She is buried in the basilica named after her on the Via Nomentana in Rome, and it is there that the lambs are taken after the papal blessing.

The lambs are raised by the Trappist monks – a Cistercian order of the rule of St. Benedict - of the Abbey of the Three Fountains ‘Tre Fontane’, while the palliums are made by the Sisters of St. Cecilia from the newly-shorn wool.

While in Christian iconography St. Agnes is represented by a lamb because of the similarity of her name to the Latin word for lamb (agnus), her name is derived from the Greek word 'agni', which means 'chaste', 'holy' or 'saint.' She is revered by Christians of Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and Orthodox Churches. Known as St. Agnes of Rome, she is also known as St. Juma and St. Ines or Inez.
Speroforum editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


by Giotto

Monday, January 10, 2011


Dear brothers and sisters, let us allow ourselves to be guided by the star, which is the Word of God, let us follow it in our life, walking with the Church, where the Word has pitched its tent. Our way will always be illumined by a light that no other sign can give us. And we too will be able to become stars for others, reflection of that light that Christ made to shine over us. Amen.

Benedict XVI Homily for Feast of the Epiphany 2011

Pope Benedict XVI prayer Intentions for January 2011

"That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This new family of God begins at the moment when Mary wraps her first-born in swaddling clothes and lays him in a manger.

Let us pray to him:
Lord Jesus, who wanted to be born as the first of many brothers and sisters, grant us the grace of true brotherhood.

Help us to become like you. Help us to recognize your face in others who need our assistance, in those who are suffering or forsaken, in all people, and help us to live together with you as brothers and sisters, so as to become one family, your family. At the end of the Christmas Gospel, we are told that a great heavenly host of angels praised God and said: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”  

2010 Christmas Mass Homily — Pope Benedict XVI

Ave Maria!
(Lk 2:14).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mary Gardens

Do you need a fun and enjoyable activity to do with your children in the yard besides going to the swimming pool? Well, we are suggesting that you and your children get your hands a little dirty and plant your very own Mary Garden. The purpose: “The Mary Garden is an act of faith. It is first of all an envisioning of the Flowers of Our Lady with which it is to be composed, with loving reflection on their meanings. That garden is an appeal to the heart. May it be that, as you read the names and descriptions of the Flowers of Our Lady, they may bloom spiritually within your interior life. Then, with your garden stewardship, foliage, buds, blooms will come of God's creatures the seeds, in due season and according to his established order.” Each of the flowers that you can choose for your Mary Garden has a biblical story connected to Mary. This fun activity will illustrate to the young children responsibility and care for something, as well as teach them a little more about the faith in an exciting and interactive way.

In addition to this fun summer activity, the Children of Mary will be hosting our very first summer camp with some of the neighborhood children in August. We look forward to spending time with these children by doing arts and crafts, swimming, and attending church every afternoon.

We are very excited with all these activities and events that we have planned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Edel Quinn

Legion of Mary Envoy to Africa
Born September 14, 1907
Died May 12, 1944
Cause for the Canonization opened in 1952

"In regard to Mary,

I must preserve the attitude of

a child to its mother.

Total confidence!"

Edel Quiin



Eternal Father, I thank Thee for the grace

Thou didst give to Thy servant, Edel Quin,

of striving to live always in the joy of Thy presence,

for the radiant charity infused into her heart

by Thy Holy Spirit,

and for the strength she drew from the Bread of Life

to labour until death for the glory of Thy name,

in loving dependence on

Mary, Mother of the Church.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

"The First Form of Witness That Awakens Vocations Is Prayer"

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2010 ( Here is a translation of the public address Benedict XVI gave today before praying the midday Regina Caeli with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this Fourth Sunday of Easter, which is called "Good Shepherd Sunday," the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is celebrated, which has as its theme this year "Witness Awakens Vocations," a theme that is "closely linked to the life and mission of priests and consecrated persons" ("Message for the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, April 25, 2010"). The first form of witness that awakens vocations is prayer (cf. ibid.), as is shown to us by the example of St. Monica, who, supplicating God with humility and persistence, obtained the grace of seeing her son Augustine become Christian. St. Augustine wrote: "Without a doubt I believe and affirm that through her prayers, God granted me the intention not to propose, not to want, not to think, not to love anything else but the attainment of truth" ("De Ordine," II 20, 52; CCL 29, 136).

Therefore, I invite parents to pray that the heart of their children open to listening to the Good Shepherd, and "each tiny seed of a vocation ... grow into a mature tree, bearing much good fruit for the Church and for all humanity" ("Message"). How can we hear the voice of the Lord and recognize it? In the preaching of the Apostles and their successors: In it there resounds the voice of Christ, who calls us to communion with God and to the fullness of life, as we read today in St. John's Gospel: "My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never be lost and no one will take them out of my hand" (John 10:27-28). Only the Good Shepherd leads his flock with immense tenderness and defends them from evil, and only in him can the faithful place absolute confidence.

On this special day of prayer for vocations I especially exhort the ordained ministers, so that, inspired by the Year for Priests, they are moved to "a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today's world" ("Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests"). May they remember that the priest "continues the work of the Redemption on earth;" may they know how to "stop frequently before the tabernacle;" may they remain "completely faithful to [their] own vocation and mission through the practice of an austere asceticism;" may they be available to listen and forgive; may they form the people entrusted to them in a Christian way; may they cultivate with care "priestly fraternity" (cf. ibid.). May they take wise and zealous pastors as an example, as St. Gregory Nazianzus, who wrote to his dear friend and bishop, St. Basil: "Teach us your love for your sheep, your solicitude and your capacity for understanding, your vigilance ... the austerity in sweetness, the serenity and meekness in activity ... the combats in defense of the flock, the victories ... achieved in Christ" (Oratio IX, 5, PG 35, 825ab).

I thank everyone who is present and those who with prayer and affection support my ministry as the Successor of Peter, and upon everyone I invoke the heavenly protection of the Virgin Mary, to whom we now turn in prayer.

[After the recitation of the Regina Caeli, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In Italian he said:]

This morning, in Rome and in Barcelona respectively, two priests were beatified: Angelo Paoli, a Carmelite, and José Tous y Soler, a Capuchin. I will speak about the latter shortly. In regard to Blessed Angelo Paoli, who was from Lunigiana and lived between the 17th and 18th centuries, I would like to recall that he was an apostle of charity in Rome and was called "Father of the Poor." He dedicated himself especially to the sick of the Hospital of St. John, also caring for the convalescents. His apostolate drew strength from the Eucharist and from devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and from an intense life of penance as well. In the Year for Priests I gladly propose his example to all priests, in a special way to those who belong to religious institutes of the active life.

[In English he said:]

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking visitors present for today's Regina Caeli prayer. This Sunday the Church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. As we rejoice in the new life that the Risen Lord has won for us, let us ask him to inspire many young people to center their hearts on the things of Heaven (cf. Col 3:1-2) and to offer themselves joyfully in the service of Christ our Good Shepherd in the priesthood and religious life. Confidently entrusting this petition to Mary, Queen of Heaven, I invoke upon you God's abundant blessings of peace and joy!

[The Pontiff concluded in Italian:]

I direct a special greeting to the Meter Association, which, for the past 14 years, has promoted the national day for children who are victims of violence, exploitation and indifference. On this occasion I would like above all to thank and encourage those who dedicate themselves to prevention and education, especially parents, teachers, many priests, sisters, catechists and leaders who work with the young people in the parishes, schools and associations. I greet the faithful from Brescia, Cassana near Ferrara, from parishes in Umbria and Toronto, Canada; the young people of the parishes in Valposchiavo, in Switzerland, and those from Francavilla al Mare; and the group of engaged couples from Altamura. I wish everyone a good Sunday.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Never forget me, because if I thought you would,

I'd never leave.

A. A. Milne

Monday, May 3, 2010


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than

true friendship.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Monday, April 26, 2010


“…may the beauty you pass on

to generations still to come

be such that it will stir them to wonder!”

Pope John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 16, 1999


“With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do

no less than to transform the world with Beauty.

If I have succeeded in some small way,

if only in one small corner of the world,

amongst the men and women I love,

then I shall count myself as blessed,

and blessed, and blessed,

and the work goes on.”

William Morris

Friday, April 23, 2010


"A year ago I had the grace of visiting the Holy Land

and praying before the Lord's empty tomb.

There, echoing the witness of the Apostle Peter,

I proclaimed that Christ, by rising to new life,

has taught us:

"that evil never has the last word, that love is

stronger than death, and that our future, and

the future of all humanity, lies in the hands

of a faithful and provident God."

In every time and place, the church is called to proclaim

this message of hope and to confirm its truth by her

practical witness of holiness and charity."

Pope Benedict XVI
April 2010 to members of the Papal Foundation


Sunday, April 18, 2010

If you live to be a hundred

I want to live to be a hundred

minus one day,

so I never have to live without you.

A. A. Milne
Winnie the Pooh

And by and by

Christopher Robin came to an end of things,

and he was silent,

and he sat there,

looking out over the world,

just wishing it wouldn't stop.

A. A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Dear Risen Jesus

I didn't write to You on Easter day but I want to write

to You today and I want it to be a beautiful letter.

Dear Jesus my heart is bursting with love for You

and I love You so much.

Dear Jesus I want to do what You want me to do.

I want to abandon myself in Your hands oh Jesus,

dear Jesus. Let me get well so that I can go

to school, dear Jesus save a lot of souls and convert

a lot of sinners, dear Jesus tell God the Father

that I entrust myself to Him too to get well, tell Him I

love Him so much dear Jesus tell the Holy Spirit to

enlighten me and to fill me with Grace

and let It bless me.

(Nennolina letter 151 of the 30th of March 1937-she herself signed it)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dear Virgin my dear Virgin Mary

   You who are so pure, make me pure as You are.

   You who have suffered so much in these days,

   I want to bear my Cross with You.

Dear Virgin Mary tell Jesus I love Him so much,

   my dear Virgin Mary help me confess well,

   and let me remember all my sins and help me so that

   I can commit them no more and I want to

   correct my faults to become better so

   Jesus and You my dear Virgin Mary can like me.

My dear Virgin Mary I love You so much

   and tell the Holy Spirit to enlighten

   and bless me.

My dear Virgin Mary tell God the Father

   that I entrust myself to Him

   and that I love Him so much

Dear Virgin Mary bless the Church and

   the Clergy and especially my father confessor

   and help him in everything he has to do,

   bless my family and all the world

My dear Virgin Mary lots of greetings and kisses

   and tell Jesus I kiss all His Wounds.

Antonietta and Jesus
(letter 145 of the 17th of March 1937- she herself signed it)

by Giotto


Giotto's Lamentation

"Dear child, evil is so insidious that it often passes for good. The simple and pure of heart alone can detect
the difference. Many good works and many a good person or persons are thwarted and destroyed by apparently good people who are manipulated by the powers of evil because they do not possess that finer sense of being able to detect a false spirit from a true one."
Our Lady of America - Holy Saturday (4/18/91)

Beloved daughter, to many the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass no longer has meaning.  These have lost that spiritual sensitivity of reaching out and touching the wounded hand of my son.  In a special way, during the Holy Sacrifice Jesus comes in close contact with those who meet Him in a profound act of faith in a deep sense of His Divine and human presence.  It is a great loss when one loses the spiritual sight of the Son that the Father sent to guide us into the Eternal Vision." 
Our Lady of America - April 3, 1981



Dear Scourged Jesus

dear Jesus You who suffered so much for us

   in the Scourging, oh Jesus You didn't deserve

   to suffer and I admit all my sins and I ask

   Your forgiveness.

Dear Jesus we have been really bad and I ask

   Your forgiveness for my sins and for all the sins

   of the others and You who are so good forgive them

   and let them go to Paradise.

Dear Jesus You have suffered so much during the

   Scourging with patience and I want to learn that

   if someone gives me a slap or teases me I mustn't

   give it back but I have to be kind with him

   in the name of Your love.

(Antoinetta Meo - letter 146 of the 26th of March 1937 - 6 years old)

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