Friday, April 30, 2010

ST. PIUS V

Today’s saint was born in northern Italy and entered the Dominican Order when he was fourteen. After becoming Pope he implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent and helped form an alliance that led to the defeat of the Turkish navy, which was in control of the Mediterranean Sea, at the Battle of Lepanto. He attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory, now celebrated as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Our present Pope is also very devoted to Mary and when he returned to his homeland a year after his election, he offered a special prayer to her which we will use now as we pray for Pope Benedict and his intentions.

Holy Mother of the Lord! Our ancestors, at a time of trouble, set up your statue here, in the very heart of Munich, and entrusted the city and country to your care. They wanted to meet you again and again along the paths of their daily life, and to learn from you the right way to live, to find God and to live in harmony. They gave you a crown and a sceptre, which at that time were symbols of dominion over the country, because they knew that power and dominion would then be in good hands - in the hands of a Mother.

Your Son, just before his farewell to his disciples, said to them: "Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all" (Mk 10:43-44). At the decisive hour in your own life, you said: "Here I am, the servant of the Lord" (Lk 1:38). You lived your whole life as service. And you continue to do so throughout history. At Cana, you silently and discreetly interceded for the spouses, and so you continue to do. You take upon yourself people's needs and concerns, and you bring them before the Lord, before your Son. Your power is goodness. Your power is service.

Teach us - great and small alike - to carry out our responsibilities in the same way. Help us to find the strength to offer reconciliation and forgiveness. Help us to become patient and humble, but also free and courageous, just as you were at the hour of the Cross. In your arms you hold Jesus, the Child who blesses, the Child who is also the Lord of the world. By holding the Child who blesses, you have yourself become a blessing. Bless us, this city and this country! Show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb! Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen!


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