"It is a grave offense not to work for the extermination of heresy when this monstrous infection requires action"
(Council of Vienne)

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Worried about the Coronavirus? Prayer, Longing for God and Repentance Bring healing 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 


“The sins of men are the cause of all the woes which happen on earth”: Our Lady of La Salette



Two saints miraculously cured plagues: St. Roch and St. Rosalie.



Prayer to St. Roch

O Blessed Saint Roch,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.


Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.


Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.
(Repeat the following 3 times)


Saint Roch, pray for us,
That we may be preserved
From all diseases of body and soul.

Prayer to Saint Roch

Dear medicant Pilgrim, you once took care of sufferers from the plague and were always ready to help other by kind service and fervent prayers. You yourself had no home and you died in a dungeon. No wonder countless invalids have confidently invoked your help. Please grant a cure to {name of the sufferer}, and help us all become spiritually healthy.




Worried about the Coronavirus? Pray to St. Sebastian, as Catholics have been doing for centuries


St. Sebastian is considered the protector against the plague, a nasty contagious illness that wiped out millions of lives in Europe during the Middle Ages.
In recent weeks, the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease has led millions of people around the world to worry about their health. For centuries, Catholics have been counting on an early Christian martyr to protect them from infectious disease.

St. Sebastian is considered the protector against the plague, a nasty contagious illness that wiped out millions of lives in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was during the 7th century in particular that believers started to address their prayers toward St. Sebastian during a violent outbreak of plague in Pavia, in northern Italy. Known for the suffering he endured during his death, St. Sebastian was killed around 288 during Roman emperor Diocletian‘s persecution of Christians. His death has inspired countless artists over the centuries. (aleteia.org)

“The plague protector.” 



Prayer to St. Sebastian Against Illness


O Glorious St Sebastian, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the God the Father all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of living a holy life, courage to face all perils of my believe and even to sacrifice my life as the cost of my faith and this special favour we now implore………(mention it). O, special guardian from the diseases and accidents, we feel animated with confidence that your intercession on my behalf will be graciously heard before throne of God.


Amen.


    St. Sebastian was named defender of the Church by Pope St. Caius

St. Sebastian is considered a protector against the plague. Celebrated answers to prayer for his protection against the plague are related of Rome in 680, Milan in 1575, and Lisbon in 1599. His feast day is 20 January.

Prayer

O Lord, grant us a spirit of strength. Taught by the glorious example for Your martyr, Saint Sebastian, may we learn to obey You rather than men. Amen. 


Prayer 
Brave Soldier of our Emmanuel! Thou art now sweetly reposing at the foot of His throne. Thy wounds are closed, and thy rich palm-branch delights all heaven by the freshness of its unfading beauty. Look down upon the Church on earth, that tires not in singing thy praise. Each Christmas, we find thee near the Crib of the Divine Babe, its brave and faithful sentinel. The office thou didst once fill in an earthly prince's court, is still thine, but it is in the palace of the King of kings. Into that palace, we beseech thee, lead us by thy prayers, and gain a favourable hearing to our own unworthy petitions.


With what a favourable ear must not our Jesus receive all thy requests, who didst love Him with such a brave love! Thirsting to shed thy blood in His service, thou didst scorn a battle-field where danger was not sure, and Rome, that Babylon which, as St. John says, was drunk with the blood of the Martyrs, Rome alone was worthy of thee. And there, it was not thy plan to cull a palm, and hurry on to heaven; the courage of some of thy fellow-christians had wavered, and the thought of their danger troubled thee. Rushing into their prisons, where they lay mutilated by the tortures they had endured, thou didst give them back the fallen laurel, and teach them how to secure it in the grasp of holy defiance. It seemed as though thou wast commissioned to form a pretorian band for the King of heaven, and that thou couldst not enter heaven unless marshalling thither a troop of veterans for Jesus.

Thy turn came at last; the hour of thy confession was at hand, and thou hadst to think of thine own fair crown. But, for such a soldier as thou, Sebastian, one martyrdom is not enough. The archers have faithfully done their work--not an arrow is left in their quivers; and yet, their victim lives, ready for a second sacrifice. Such were the Christians of the early times, and we are their children!

Look, then, O Soldier of Christ! upon us, and pity us, as thou didst thy brethren, who once faltered in the combat. Alas! we let everything frighten and discourage us; and, oftentimes, we are enemies of the Cross, even while professing that we love it. We too easily forget that we cannot be companions of the martyrs, unless our hearts have the generosity of the martyrs. We are cowardly in our contest with the world and its pomps; with the evil propensities of our nature, and the tyranny of our senses--and thus we fall. And when we have made an easy peace with God, and sealed it with the sacrament of his love, we behave as though we had now nothing more to do than to go on quietly to heaven, without further trials or self-imposed sacrifices. Rouse us, great Saint! from these illusions, and waken us from our listless life. Our love of God is asleep, and all must needs go wrong.

Preserve us from the contagion of bad example, and of those worldly maxims which gain currency even with christian minds, because christian lips call them rules of christian prudence. Pray for us, that we may be ardent in the pursuit of our sanctification, watchful over our inclinations, zealous for the salvation of others, lovers of the Cross, and detached from earthly things. Oh! by the arrows which pierced thee, we beseech thee shield us from those hidden darts, which satan throws against us.

Pray for us, that we may be clad with the armour of God, described to us by the great Apostle. May we have on the breast-plate of justice, which will defend us from sin; the helmet of salvation, that is, the hope of gaining heaven, which will preserve us from both despair and presumption; the shield of faith, which will ward off the darts of the enemy, who seeks to corrupt the heart by leading the mind into error; and lastly, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, whereby we may put all false doctrines to flight, and vanquish all our vices; for heaven and earth pass away, but the word of God abides forever, and is given us as our rule and the pledge of our salvation.

Defender of the Church! as the Vicar of Christ called thee, lift up thy sword and defend her now. Prostrate her enemies, and frustrate the plots they have laid for her destruction. Let her enjoy one of those rare periods of peace, during which she prepares for fresh combats. Obtain for christian soldiers, engaged in just wars, the blessing of the God of Hosts. Protect the Holy City of Rome, where thy Tomb is honoured. Avert from us, by thy intercession, the scourge of pestilence and contagion. Hear the prayers, which, each year, are addressed to thee for the preservation of the creatures, given by God to man to aid him in his daily labour. Secure to us, by thy prayers, peace and happiness in this present life, and the good things of the life to come. Amen 

The town of Coimbra (Portugal) having been visited by a violent pestilence, the nuns of St Clare offered their prayers in the following form, whereupon the contagion instantly ceased. This ancient holy prayer, left to the above-named monastery, has preserved many places from contagion where it is recited daily with confidence in God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has arrested this scourge in many places.
Prayer in times of pestilence--The Stella Coeli
Stella Coeli
The Star of Heaven that nourished the Lord
drove away the plague of death which the first
parents of man brought into the world.  May
this bright Star now vouchsafe to extinguish
that foul constellation whose battles have
slain the people with the wound of death.

O most pious Star of the Sea, preserve us from
pestilence; hear us, O Lady, for Thy Son honours
Thee by denying Thee nothing.  Save us, O Jesus,
for whom Thy Virgin Mother supplicates Thee.

V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.

R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

 Let us pray
O God of mercy, God of pity, God of benign clemency, Thou Who hast had compassion on the affliction of Thy people, and hast said to the angel striking them, “Stop thy hand;” for the love of this glorious Star, whose breasts Thou didst sweetly drink as antidote for our crimes, grant the assistance of Thy grace, that we may be safely freed from all pestilence, and from unprovided death; and mercifully save us from the gulf of eternal perdition: through Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory, who livest and reignest, world without end.  Amen.
Stella caeli exstirpavit
Quae lactavit Dominum
Mortis pestem quam plantavit
Primus parens hominum.

Ipsa Stella nunc dignetur
Sidera compescere,
Quorum bella plebem caedunt
Dirae mortis ulcere.

O gloriosa Stella Maris
A peste succurre nobis;
Audi nos, nam te Filius
Nihil negans honorat.

Salva nos Jesu pro quibus
Virgo mater te orat!
Pope Saint Gregory the Great 

 «When Gregory was just two years old in 542, the Plague of Justinian swept through the region. This plague was caused by a now-extinct strain of Yersinia Pestis, more commonly known as the Black Death. The plague was the most severe outbreak of deadly disease the world had ever known and remained the worst such incident until the Black Death in the 14th century. About a third of the population in Italy was wiped out by the disease. 
February 24: Plague in Rome ends after Pope St. Gregory the Great leads a procession with a painting of Our Lady by Saint Luke (591)

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “On this day, in the year 591, St. Gergory the Great, having had the picture of Our Lady, which was painted by St. Luke, carried in procession, the plague ceased at Rome.”



The miseries that afflicted Rome in the year 591 were substantial. The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Goths had substantially depopulated Italy, so much so that a Germanic tribe of Lombards had entered the peninsula and established their own kingdom. They were pagans and Arians who did not respect Catholics, burning the famous Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino and pillaging the land at will. 


The instability and warfare caused famine in large regions, though Rome was still able to obtain grain by sea. Then came earthquakes and flooding to further the suffering, and from this plague Rome was not immune. The banks of the Tiber overflowed, and when the waters did not recede, all of the low-lying lands became swamps that brought death and plague. The disease struck with such rapidity that the victim would often die shortly after realizing he had contracted the disease, although there were some who sickened but recovered. Our custom of saying, “God Bless you,” to someone who sneezes came about at this time, for sneezing was one of the signs that someone had contracted the disease.

Even the Roman Pontiff (Pope Pelagius II) died of the plague on February 7th, 590. His successor was Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who was both a humble and pious man.

Saint Gregory the Great  understood that the plague was a chastisement from God, and encouraged the faithful to repent of their sins and pray for deliverance while he and the religious cared for the people of Rome. 

Finally, Saint Gregory called for a procession to take place at dawn on April 25th. On that day the faithful first assembled in their groups throughout Rome and then walked through the streets of the city praying and singing as they approached the church of Saint Mary Major. The plague was so potent at that time that eighty people collapsed and died as they walked toward the meeting place.


Pope Saint Gregory met them upon their arrival, joining them in prayer as he took his place with them holding aloft the miraculous image of Our Lady painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. As the procession neared the Vatican the participants all saw Saint Michael the archangel standing upon the cupola of Hadrian’s mausoleum as he sheathed his flaming sword. It was a sign that the chastisement had come to an end, and at once the heaviness in the air abated and the air itself seemed to freshen and clear. Indeed, at that moment the plague ended as the faithful rejoiced and lifted up their voices to thank the Mother of God. 

"Regina Coeli laetare, Alleluia! (Queen of heaven,rejoice, Alleluia!) 

Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia! (Son whom you merited to bear, Alleluia!) »

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia! (He has risen as He said, Alleluia!)
(Roman Catholic Saints)

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