Past Missionary News From Around the World, December 2009


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Mrs. Melvin,

Greetings from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Malawi – Central Africa.

I recently have met your aides, the Rt Fr Remigius Kasawa DP and his companion the Rt Martin Chekanih who are promoting the universal Living Rosary Association of St Philomena in the country.

Having been tremendously moved and inspired by their austerity with regard to the cause in question which purports me to join into your ostensible organization for lapsed souls on earth such as my parish (and Diocese) where I am parish priest in communion with the local ordinary’s office called “Region de Maria” in the evangelization department of the Catholic Diocese of Dedza to which I belong. Henceforth could you immediately forward to us by Airlift your marvelous Box of Sacramentals containing St Philomena Oils, rosaries, scapulars, miraculous medals, crucifixes and Mary Catholic devotions open to you and are at your disposal.

As soon as they arrive, I hope they will contain enrollment forms and Philomena cards for the many hungry souls in the parish who regard the Rosary most important after the Holy Mass and as our relationship and the development of the apostolate last. I am holistically at your disposal again to say tridium of Holy Masses that your members would be glad to offer for their welfare in body and soul and for the welfare of the whole world not least the suffering souls in purgatory whose impeccable indulgences we all need.

Merry Christmas and AVE MARIA!!!

Yours Sincerely, I am, In Christ, Mary and St Joseph,
Fr. Innocent Kanyumbu
Our Lady of Fatima
Chipoka Parish
Chipoka
Salima
Malawi
Central Africa
 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanks mum!

We in Kenya also are wishing you a happy Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Be blessed!

Ave Maria

Fr. Patrick Mary Filomena
Kenya
 
Dear Patti Melvin,

Greeting of Peace, Love and Joy from the Divine Infant Jesus who is born on Christmas Day!

First and foremost, I would like to introduce myself. I’m Fr. Alfredo Jemu, ordained at the age of 28, on 6th April, 2008 at Our Lady of Fatima’s Parish Church, Mong Hsat, and Kengtung Diocese, Myanmar. After my ordination, I was appointed as an associate Pastor at St. Stephen Parish, Tong Kwan, as well as the personal secretary of my Local Ordinary, Bishop Peter Louis Ca Kü. I'm also the member of the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) and pray my Decade for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Bishop Abraham than (Emeritus) of the Kengtung Diocese introduced me to this Powerful Organization.

Now, I am assigned as a Parish Priest (Pastor) at Our Lady of Fatima’s Parish, which is 200 miles away from the Diocesan Pastoral Center. I have to take care of 26 Catholic villages with a congregation of 2500, and many other Catechumens who are preparing to be baptized and many more prospective members for the conversion also. Though they are poor, they are very eager in participating in Parish’s activities; I love their simplicity of heart and mind. I have 40 orphans under my care; they recite the Holy Rosary everyday in the evening. One of the beautiful traditions the parishioners practice in the parish is that, every Saturday and Sunday, they come together before Our Lady’s Shrine and pray the Holy Rosary. Yet, many of the parishioners do not have a Rosary, and some of them have very old Rosaries. If you can support our poor parishioners with Rosaries and Holy Pictures, there would be more devotion to the Holy Rosary. It is very expensive here in our country to buy one, besides most of the parishioners are very poor. So I am optimistic of your positive answer to my request. We would appreciate whatever quantity you send us.
The faithful of Our Lady of Fatima’s Parish join me in promising to be ever united in praying the Holy Rosary for the intentions of the ULRA. Sincerely yours in the mission of Our Lord,

Fr. Alfredo Jemu
Our Lady of Fatima’s Parish
Kengtung Diocese
Mong Hsat
Myanmar
Asia
 

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dearest Patti,

I am very pleased to send you my greetings and my heartfelt thanks for the gift of the visit of Emmanuel Kitandwe. He is a very good man. He is very gifted in sharing his Christian experience. This helped Christians from different people in all the parishes that he visited. Apart from the members of the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) in Ruhengeri diocese I receive many from other dioceses who heard about saint Philomena and the Living Rosary. It’s in that way that they need many Kinyarwanda writings together with saint Philomena holy oil. Emma gave us many Sacramentals but because of the big number of members they are finished.

I also take this opportunity to send you the lists of new members of the ULRA together with the names of those who have passed away

-Daphrosa Nyirakamanzi

-Boniface Serugendo

-Theophila Nyiransengimani

-Eugenie Nyiraruteragirano

- Marie Uwamahoro

May they rest in peace!

May the Almighty God bless you, ULRA benefactors and bless your work.

Saint Philomena Pray for us.

Sincerely yours in Christ.

Fr Longin Niyonsenga
Janja Parish
Ruhengeri Diocese
Rwanda
Africa
 
Dear Patti,

Today we have got the parcel sent by you on 11.25.2009 and we thank you for it.

Romanian people are happy to receive these wonderful Rosaries and Scapulars.


Have a great December month!

Love from Daian
Romania
 
Dear Mother Patti,

This morning, I went to meet Rev. Fr. Nicholas, the Chaplain of Sacred Heart Girls' College, Mokolo, and Yaounde, to collect 800 names of Students that wish to be enrolled. I gave him 3 Crucifixes. The College has about 15 classes, none has a Crucifix. Fr. wished that we (ULRA) work together to help the student go back to the traditional way of family Rosary. I promised father Nicholas more Crucifixes for the College. He at the same time invited me to come to his Parish (Sacred Heart Parish) to speak to his Parishioners on a day to be determined.

About 950 new names are ready to be posted as new members here in the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA). Meanwhile, I will be submitting a Semester report on the activities of the ULRA for this first Semester. I will send you a copy together with a letter I wrote to the Bishop of Buea Diocese in the South West Region of Cameroon on behalf of our members at St. Joseph's Parish Tiko. This letter was to request authorization from the Bishop. The members asked me to write the letter so as to permit them to carry out their activities to both Parishes and Schools within the Diocese.

Please mom, I have no French Cards and Rosaries .I have more names to be enrolled, mostly French.

James of Liberia asked me to thank you for financial assistance. I told him that all that is needed is total commitment.

Ave......................!

Paul E.Ekpe
Yaounde
Cameroon
Africa
 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dearest Director Patti,

Ave Maria!

Thanks so much for your greeting I received on the feast of the immaculate Conception...You really touched my heart since it was also the feast of our congregation.

I received the forex box on the day I left for Mindanao. I'm really thankful for the Rosaries, the books and even for the different novena prayers. I prayed that all your efforts and generosity will bear fruits in the hearts of those who will use it...Thank you so much.

I visited many places all over the Philippines. I am surprise to find many devoted to St. Philomena and to the universal Living Rosary...I shared to some of them the Holy oil, chord, books, and scapulars that I received. I was really touched to see the image of St. Philomena in the cathedral of Mt. Carmel in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. I wanted to keep in touched with the one promoting the Universal Living Rosary in the area, but I was brought to another city in my way back home.

I have more names of new members to send you...I will inform soon when I mail the registration forms.

I already gave the Rosaries, decade cards and booklets you sent to Manilyn Olonan...She will send everything to her family in Bohol.

Best regards to everyone!

Sr. Maria Corazon Lendio
Daughters of Virgin Mary Immaculate
Mindanao Ave., Ayala Alabang Vill.
Muntinlupa City 1780olic Hospital
Windhoek
Namibia
 
Dear Patti Melvin,

Greetings from Dar es salaam-Tanzania. Thank you ever so much for the parcel of rosaries, medals, leaflets books and spiritual books of St. Philomena and Mother Mary that I received a week ago through Postal office.

Thanks a lot for your correction and advice upon the writing of Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena members' names. I will follow suit your directives.

Again, I would like to tell you that the rosaries sent to me this time are so beautifully and well decorated to avoid doubts among Christian’s communities that we serve.

Furthermore, I have successfully put into our new list new names of members from the Institute of Social workers college students. I hope more will be devotees to St. Philomena so soon.

Thanks a lot Patti. I only missed Holy Oil of St. Philomena. May be they are out of stock.

Wish you God's blessings as we prepare to receive the new born messiah at Christmas.

I wish you Merry Christmas,

I remain yours,

In Jesus Christ through St. Philomena,
Rev. Fr. Henry Rimisho AJ
Tanzania
 
 
Dear Patti

just to have you inform that doing the December week I toke some photo of the catholic in the archdiocese of Monrovia along with the priest Fr. Larry of holy innocent but please remain of the list if you have receive it if so please reply me before I turn from barpolu next week.

James
Monrovia
Liberia
West Africa
 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear Mrs. Patti,

On behalf of our St. Philomena group of Katunda Parish, Windhoek I would like to thank our good Lord through you, together with all staff members as well as our benefactors for participating in the healing ministry of our Lord Jesus. We always read about the ministry of Jesus in the Bible, today the kingdom of God is with us, in our time. Believers are experiencing the Love of God in many different ways according to their needs.

May I include the life experience through the intercession of St. Philomena?

One lady writes,

I had arthroscopy on my left knee, after the procedure I had still pain on the same knee, now and then I have to visit the doctor for some pain killers. In October this year, the whole leg got swollen, I had difficult in walking, I went to Sr. Elizabeth Haingura, she explained to me about St. Philomena. Immediately I asked her to please pray for me and asked for St. Philomena oil. Before I went off duty, she prayed with me and smeared the Holy oil on my pain leg, since then my leg is healed no more pain or swelling.

I thank St. Philomena for her powerful prayers to Jesus. (Maleska, Windhoek - Namibia)

It was this year when I became a member of St. Philomena.

I am a married woman with 4 children; I have 3 boys and 1 girl. After I heard about St. Philomena and joined, I started praying to the intercession of our lovely Saint to have a daughter.

The Lord is so good, I conceived and after some weeks I week to see the Dr. for check up and the result came out that I have a baby girl. Thank you Lord for giving us your Mother Mary and through the intercessions of St. Philomena who through your love to us doing great miracles still in nowadays.

(Mrs. E. Kufuna, Rundu - Namibia)

God is good all the time and it is his nature.

Sr. Elizabeth Haingura
Roman Catholic Hospital
Windhoek
Namibia
 
A reminder that December 7th is a day of Fast and Abstinence, and December 8th is a Holy Day of Obligation. Renew your Holy Slavery to Jesus through Mary on December 8th to gain the special Indulgence.
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.

SANCTIFYING GRACE, THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT.

“Ave, gratia plena.”

“Hail, full of grace.”—St. Luke: 28.

These words, with which the Angel saluted Mary, the tender Virgin, in the little room at Nazareth, might have been applied to Her before She saw the light of this world. Whilst all other men, in consequence of their descent from Adam and Eve, are stained with original sin, Mary was, from the first moment of Her existence, by a special favor of God and the merits of His divine Son, free from original sin, and so adorned with sanctifying grace, which preserved Her from sin, that not for one moment of Her life was She deprived of sanctifying grace. For this reason the Angel salutes Her with the words: “Thou art full of grace.” And from this salutation of the Angel’s, the holy Fathers conclude that Mary was conceived and born without sin. The sanctifying grace, with which Mary was conceived and born, always increased during Her blessed life, and therefore She was “full of grace.”

According to the opinion of St. Augustine, the Mother of God was more blessed because She bore the Son of God in Her heart, than that She bore Him in Her womb; that is to say, more blessed through sanctifying grace, than through the divine Motherhood. What a precious gift from heaven, then, must sanctifying grace be! We have become partakers thereof in holy Baptism, and when we have lost it by a grievous sin, we have obtained it again, by worthily re¬ceiving the Sacrament of Penance. Oh! if we only knew how to prize this grace of God; for it is more precious than all that the world offers. It is:

I. Our true dignity.

II. Our true wealth.

III. Our true happiness, here, and hereafter.

Holy Mary, full of grace, stand by us, in to-day’s contemplation, so that we may, for the future, after your example, guard carefully and increase the precious treasure of sanctifying grace, so that we may live and die in the grace of God.

Sanctifying grace raises man to the highest dignity, namely, the dignity of a child of God. We became child¬ren of God in holy Baptism. When we came into this world we were laden with original sin, and therefore, as the apostle says, “Were by nature the children of wrath” (Eph. 11: 3), objects of God’s displeasure. Through holy Baptism, that bath of regeneration, we were cleansed from original sin and adorned with sanctifying grace, and through this grace we be¬came an object of the Divine good pleasure, children of God. As at the Baptism of Jesus, so at the Baptism of a child, the heavenly Father speaks from heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I well pleased” (Matt. iii. 17). And here the beloved disciple cries out in admiration: “Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called and should be the sons God” (I John iii. 1). Dear Christians! to be a friend of God is truly a great happiness, a great honor. Now, was it not a great honor for Abraham that God spoke to him, as friend to friend? But the honor of a child of God is still greater, for the child belo¬ngs to the family and is an heir. And does not the world consid¬er it glorious to belong to a royal family, to be the child of a king, or possibly the heir to the throne? And yet, what is this dig¬nity in comparison with the dignity of a child of God, the King of Kings, and the heir to the Kingdom of Heaven! By this dignit¬y the Christian enters into the family of God, and so into the most intimate fellowship with God (John xvii. 21). And to this high dignity even the beggar is raised through sanctifying grace. If he possesses this, he is a child of God, a son of the Almighty King. Oh! that Christians would think of their high dignity, to which you are raised by Baptism, or if they have lost it, to which they are restored through the Sacrament of Penance. A wise king gave his son this advice: “Wherever you may be, always remember that you are a King’s son and behave befitting this dignity.” Yes, dear Christian, you too remember that you are a child of God, and bear yourself according to this dignity; avoid everything which is low and mean, avoid conversations and actions which dishonor and offend God, and which are unbecoming a child of God. Be con¬tented with your state, do not envy others, who are placed higher than you are; remember that earthly greatness and grandeur are vain and transitory. For what brings man respect and dignity? Virtue, according to the words of Holy Scripture: “Oh, how beauti¬ful is the chaste generation with glory! For the memory thereof is immortal; because it is known both with God and with men” (Wis. iv. 1). Sin on the other hand causes disgrace and shame. There¬fore this prayer is recommended to all, but especially to Christian young women: “Preserve us from sin and shame.” What gives man real greatness? A self-sacrificing love for God and our neigh¬bor. For this reason we honor a St. Martin, a St. Vin¬cent de Paul, and so many others. What gives an un¬dying fame? Briefly: holiness of life, the fruit of grace. Mary was unimportant in the eyes of the world, and in her own eyes, a lowly maiden; but great was her holiness before God, and in her unto this day are these words fulfilled: “Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed” (Luke i. 48).

II. As sanctifying grace makes us truly great, so it makes us truly rich. In the Apocalypse (iii. 17) it says: “Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing; and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Many in this world are rich, like the rich glut¬ton, but poor before God. Many are poor in this world, like poor Lazarus, but rich before God. For he who has not sanctifying grace is poor, but he who has it is rich before God, rich in real treasures, truly rich.
What the old law says of wisdom is true in the new law of sancti¬fying grace. “Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands” (Wis. vii. ii). Yes, with sanctifying grace come all the other graces. For by sanctifying grace, which is the life of the soul, we are living members of that body, of which Christ is the head. By it we partake of the merits of Jesus Christ and His Saints, par¬take in all the treasures of grace which Jesus Christ has left to His Church, so that we can say with the Psalmist: “I am a partaker with all them that fear thee, and that keep thy commandments” (Ps. cxviii. 63). We partake in all the prayers and good works of the Saints and the just, because we stand with them in a living com¬munion, which is called the Communion of Saints. Through sancti¬fying grace we shall be like a good tree, which yieldeth good fruit (Matt. vii. 17), so that the least good action, the cup of cold water, given in the name of Jesus, will bring us a heavenly reward (Mark ix. 40). On the other hand, he who has not sanctifying grace can do nothing meritorious for heaven, not even if he made the greatest sac¬rifice (I. Cor. xiii. 3.) Therefore, sanctifying grace is a rich source of heavenly treasures, in comparison with which all earthly treasures are to be considered as naught. “What do you possess,” cries out St. Augustine, “if you do not possess the only good, which is God?” The possessions of this world cannot satisfy the heart of man, be¬cause it is created for God, and therefore can only find rest in God, as the same Saint says: “Thou hast created us for Thyself, O God, and our heart is uneasy until it rests in Thee.”
Mary, who was adorned from the first moment of her concep¬tion with sanctifying grace, not only carefully preserved it, but by a holy life co-operated with it faithfully, and every moment of her life increased this sanctifying grace, so that She was filled with grace, and also overflowing with merits for heaven; yes, She was not only the fullest in grace, but also the richest in heavenly treas¬ures. We can apply to her the praise of Holy Scripture: “Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them all” (Prov. xxxi. 29). Let us follow Mary’s example. Let us pre¬serve sanctifying grace, as the most precious treasure; let us take care not to commit grievous sin. And should we fall into grievous sin, let us not delay to purify our hearts therefrom in the Sacrament of Penance. And as Solomon prayed for one thing, namely, wis¬dom, with which all good came to him at the same time, let us pray to God and Mary for one thing, sanctifying grace, with which comes all good.

III. Our true happiness, in time, as well as in eternity, consists in sanctifying grace. “For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins” (Wis. i. 4). Even so, sanctifying grace, and with it the Holy Ghost, cannot enter and dwell in a soul which is not at least free from grievous sin. Where sanctifying grace is, there is also a good conscience. “For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God” (Rom. viii. 16). Where sanctifying grace is, there is in ad-dition the hope of eternal life, for the Apostle says: “And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ; yet so if ye suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him” (Rom. viii. 17). And this hope fills us with consolation in suffering, as often as we say with the Apostle:
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. viii. 18).
Yes, sanctifying grace is the surest pledge of eternal life itself; for, if we die in it, we are sure of heaven, and we shall be eternally happy. The world cannot make us happy in time and eternity, only holy religion and sanctifying grace, and all those who claim they make the world happy without religion are false prophets.
How sanctifying grace, joined to the testimony of the con¬science, brings consolation, we see in Mary, who, being full of grace, was also full of consolation in the greatest and bitterest sufferings. On the other hand, man, even when the world offers him so many charming pleasures, has no real happiness, if he fails to have sancti¬fying grace, the testimony of a good conscience. For “there is no peace to the wicked, saith the Lord” (Is. xlviii. 22). And if the wicked have no peace, neither have they consolation in life or death; they are therefore unhappy for time and eternity. It is then sancti¬fying grace which makes us great before God, truly rich in God, and eternally happy with God. Indeed, he who has found it, has found a precious treasure, more precious than all the treasures of the world, which cannot make us really happy. And we lose this pre¬cious treasure by grievous sin. Oh, how foolishly the sinner be¬haves, who for a vain honor, for a miserable desire, sells this pre¬cious gift, his kinship of God, his heirship to heaven, his soul and his blessedness!

Let us then avoid sin, and pray to Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, for a pure heart. “Ave Maria, gratia plena!” Holy Mary, as you were full of grace on earth, so you are in heaven full of glory, as Queen of Heaven. But you are still full of grace for us poor pilgrims of earth. For thou art, as the Holy Father tells us, the treasurer of heavenly grace. Through thy hands graces are dispensed, which thy divine Son has merited. Thy hands are filled, as thou didst once appear to a Saint with shining jewels, the heav¬enly treasures of grace. Oh, stretch forth thy merciful hand, en¬rich and bless us, Mary! and keep us in the state of grace. Pray for us, Mary! Amen.

Thank you for visiting: http://www.JMJsite.com. Please share this information and tell others about this website.
Patrick Henry
United States
 
Dear Mrs. Patti

Greetings from Yaoundé. I just compiled a reflection on the Immaculate Conception. Can it be published on the website?

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Be my salvation.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf

Théologat Clarétain
Republic of Cameroon
Central Africa

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Reflection by Rev. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf

I am that woman born Immaculate
I lived Immaculate
I died Immaculate
I enjoy everlasting bliss Immaculate

Introduction
In a world full of consumerism, hedonism and sexism, can there be any hope for salvation in the world? Yes of course, we can find some useful tips in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Many people mistakenly believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ conception was most assuredly immaculate…but the Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus at all. The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in regards to Mary, Jesus’ mother. It was on the 8th of December, 1854 that Pope Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin”. This can be found in the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus. It is based on the biblical idea of Mary's holiness (Luke 1:28), early church teachings on Mary as the "new Eve," and the belief that Mary is the mother of God (Theotokos, or "God-bearer"), articulated at the Council of Ephesus (431).

 

This implies according to Roman Catholic Dogma that the conception of the Virgin Mary was without any stain of original sin. Etymologically, macula is the latin word for stain. immaculata then will mean without stain. Under this aspect Mary is sometimes called the Immaculata (the Immaculate One), particularly in artistic contexts. It affirms the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from sin right from the very beginning of her life. That means that by the grace of God, she was shielded from original sin which all humankind inherit at the very moment they begin to live, i.e. at the moment they are conceived in their mother's womb. That means that Mary was not burdened with a defective human nature with which you and I come into the world. She came into the world with a perfect human nature like that of Eve and Adam before they sinned and fell from grace. God gave her this perfect human nature not as a reward for anything she did, not on account of any merit on her part, but in view of the singular role she was to play in life, namely, that of being the mother of God's Son. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception tells us something about who Mary is. But maybe it tells us more about who God is and who we are in light of God's providential love.

Historical development of the feast
The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics free to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma. The Immaculate Conception as already affirmed became a dogma only on 8 December 1854.

 

The Catholic Church believes that the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g., Mary's being greeted by the Angel Gabriel as "full of grace") as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Ambrose of Milan. Catholic theology maintains that since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat. n 1904 Pope Saint Pius X also addressed the issue in his Marian encyclical Ad Diem Illum on the Immaculate Conception.

 

In the Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant.

Proof from Scripture
Genesis 3:15
No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. But the first scriptural passage which contains the promise of the redemption, mentions also the Mother of the Redeemer. The sentence against the first parents was accompanied by the Earliest Gospel (Proto-evangelium), which put enmity between the serpent and the woman: "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and her seed; she (he) shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her (his) heel" (Genesis 3:15). The translation "she" of the Vulgate is interpretative; it originated after the fourth century, and cannot be defended critically. The conqueror from the seed of the woman, who should crush the serpent's head, is Christ; the woman at enmity with the serpent is Mary. God puts enmity between her and Satan in the same manner and measure, as there is enmity between Christ and the seed of the serpent. Mary was ever to be in that exalted state of soul which the serpent had destroyed in man, i.e. in sanctifying grace. Only the continual union of Mary with grace explains sufficiently the enmity between her and Satan. The Proto-evangelium, therefore, in the original text contains a direct promise of the Redeemer, and in conjunction therewith the manifestation of the masterpiece of His Redemption, the perfect preservation of His virginal Mother from original sin.

Luke 1:28
The salutation of the angel Gabriel -- Hail, full of grace (Luke 1:28) indicates a unique abundance of grace, a supernatural, godlike state of soul, which finds its explanation only in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. But the term kecharitomene (full of grace) serves only as an illustration, not as a proof of the dogma.


Other texts
From the texts Proverbs 8 and Ecclesiasticus 24 (which exalt the Wisdom of God and which in the liturgy are applied to Mary, the most beautiful work of God's Wisdom), or from the Canticle of Canticles (4:7, "Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee"), no theological conclusion can be drawn. These passages, applied to the Mother of God, may be readily understood by those who know the privilege of Mary, but do not avail to prove the doctrine dogmatically, and are therefore omitted from the Constitution "Ineffabilis Deus". For the theologian it is a matter of conscience not to take an extreme position by applying to a creature texts which might imply the prerogatives of God.

Proof from Patristic writings and from some saints.
• The Fathers call Mary the tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption (Hippolytus, "Ontt. in illud, Dominus pascit me");
• Origen calls her worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, most complete sanctity, perfect justice, neither deceived by the persuasion of the serpent, nor infected with his poisonous breathings ("Hom. i in diversa");
• Ambrose says she is incorrupt, a virgin immune through grace from every stain of sin ("Sermo xxii in Ps. cxviii);
• Maximum of Turin calls her a dwelling fit for "Christ", not because of her habit of body, but because of original grace ("Nom. viii de Natali Domini");
• "Theodotus of Ancyra" terms her a virgin innocent, without spot, void of culpability, holy in body and in soul, a lily springing among thorns, untaught the ills of Eve nor was there any communion in her of light with darkness, and, when not yet born, she was consecrated to God ("Orat. in S. Dei Genitr.").
• In refuting Pelagius "St. Augustine" declares that all the just have truly known of sin "except the Holy Virgin Mary, of whom, for the honour of the Lord, I will have no question whatever where sin is concerned" (De naturâ et gratiâ 36).
• Mary was pledged to "Christ" (Peter Chrysologus, "Sermo cxl de Annunt. B.M.V.");
• it is evident and notorious notorious that she was pure from eternity, exempt from every defect (Typicon S. Sabae);
• she was formed without any stain (St. Proclus, "Laudatio in S. Dei Gen. ort.", I, 3);
• she was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than all other natures (Theodorus of Jerusalem in Mansi, XII, 1140);
• when the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to anticipate the germ of grace, but remained devoid of fruit (John Damascene, "Hom. i in B. V. Nativ.", ii).
• The Syrian Fathers never tire of extolling the sinlessness of Mary. St. Ephraem considers no terms of eulogy too high to describe the excellence of Mary's grace and sanctity: "Most holy Lady, Mother of God, alone most pure in soul and body, alone exceeding all perfection of purity ...., alone made in thy entirety the home of all the graces of the Most Holy Spirit, and hence exceeding beyond all compare even the angelic virtues in purity and sanctity of soul and body . . . . my Lady most holy, all-pure, all-immaculate, all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-incorrupt, all-inviolate spotless robe of Him Who clothes Himself with light as with a garment . ... flower unfading, purple woven by God, alone most immaculate" ("Precationes ad Deiparam" in Opp. Graec. Lat., III, 524-37).
• To St. Ephraem she was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Ghost, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate ("Carmina Nisibena").
• "Jacob of Sarug" says that "the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary". It seems, however, that Jacob of Sarug, if he had any clear idea of the doctrine of sin, held that Mary was perfectly pure from original sin ("the sentence against Adam and Eve") at the Annunciation.
• St. John Damascene (Or. i Nativ. Deip., n. 2) esteems the supernatural influence of God at the generation of Mary to be so comprehensive that he extends it also to her parents. He says of them that, during the generation, they were filled and purified by the Holy Ghost, and freed from sexual concupiscence. Consequently according to the Damascene, even the human element of her origin, the material of which she was formed, was pure and holy. This opinion of an immaculate active generation and the sanctity of the "conceptio carnis" was taken up by some Western authors; it was put forward by Petrus Comestor in his treatise against St. Bernard and by others. Some writers even taught that Mary was born of a virgin and that she was conceived in a miraculous manner when Joachim and Anne met at the golden gate of the temple (Trombelli, "Mari SS. Vita", Sect. V, ii, 8; Summa aurea, II, 948. Cf. also the "Revelations" of Catherine Emmerich which contain the entire apocryphal legend of the miraculous conception of Mary. (CF; http://mb-soft.com)

Conclusion
Belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary is belief in a provident God, i.e., a God who provides for the future, who prepares His children for their assigned task in life even before they are born, a God who foresees and equips us with all the natural and supernatural qualities we need to play our assigned role in the drama of human salvation. God anoints them already in the womb those men and women whom He created to be His prophets. As He told Jeremiah, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). As we rejoice with Mary, God's most favoured one ("full of grace") on the feast of her conception, let us thank God for His love and mercy which embraces us right from the moment of our own conception. As Scripture says, "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" (1Corinthians 4:7). Everything is gift, everything good in us is God's grace. For we all, children of God, are also favoured ones and heirs of God's grace. Yet Mary remains the most favoured one, the mother of all favoured ones, the one that enjoys the fullness of grace (cf. http://www.munachi.com/ ).

 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Patti!

I am pleased to tell you that now in Malawi Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) has taken strong roots. Last week I prayed over two young men who had different health problems. I gave and advised them on the usage of the Holy Oils, the Medal and the Cord. Surprisingly, this morning both of them came almost at the same time to testify of their instant healing. It is now cultivating period in Malawi and they are both happy that they can effectively now work in their fields.

Bravo!

Ave Maria!

Rev. Fr Remigius Lazarus Kasawa, DP
Nzama Catholic Parish
NTCHEU
Malawi
C. Africa
 
Dear Mother Patti,

Today I collected about 600 names from an Elementary School beside St. Kisito's Parish, Yaoundé-Cameroon.

The School Directress, Rev. Sister Joseph Scholarstica was delighted and more than happy seeing ULRA coming to help her pupils. The School is managed and controlled by Sisters of Daughters of Mary Immaculate.

I was also opportunity to meet, Rev. Fr. Esommba, the Secretary General of in-charge of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Yaounde. He thanked the ULRA for going all the Schools to help our children to pray the Rosary as recommended by Our Lady at Fatima in 1917. I promised him that I shall send in report on the number of Schools covered in this first Semester and how I wish to work this coming 2010/2011 Academic year.

I hereby attach some pictures of my visit.

I hope you will be able see the images.

Ave Maria

Paul E.Ekpe
Yaoundé-Cameroon
Africa
 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Children members of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood, Cathedral Parish, diocese of TUNDURU -Masasi, Tanzania. They are members of the Living Rosary
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena

Patti Melvin, Director

Universal Living Rosary Association

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