The weapons of our spiritual defense and non-violent spiritual warfare are fasting, prayer and alms-giving. Saint Michael the Archangel is our great defender in this our earthly spiritual warfare and is the symbol of the Church Militant on earth:
The Bishops of the United States in response to the HHS Mandate to force Catholic institutions to provide health insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception have asked every diocese and parish in the USA to increase prayer and catechesis for the removal of this mandate.
At Saint Joseph Church in Macon, we will recited the traditional Leonine Prayers after all our daily and Sunday Masses from June 21st through July 4th after the Blessing and Dismissal of Mass. We will have prayer cards printed to be inserted in the plastic cover of our missalettes and these prayers will remain for personal devotion and private recitation after our public recitation after Mass concludes on July 4th. All will be asked to kneel to recite these prayers:
PRAYERS FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND FREEDOM ON CONSCIENCE IN THE USA:
For public recitation after all Masses, June 21st-July 4th ,2012 for the Fortnight of Prayer for the USA
And for personal, private devotional purposes for the USA after July 4th, 2012.
All: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen. (three times)
Hail Holy Queen
All: Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.
P: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R: That we be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
P: Let us pray. O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with favor upon Thy people who cry to Thee; and through the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of her spouse, blessed Joseph, of Thy holy apostles, Peter and Paul, and all the saints, mercifully and graciously hear the prayers which we pour forth to Thee for the conversion of sinners and for the liberty and exaltation of holy mother Church. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
All: St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. We humbly beseech God to command him. And do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who roam through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Invocation after Mass
P: Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
R: Have mercy on us! (three times)
Comments on the state of the Church today around the world and what it was like in the 1800's and the 1920's; just be glad we're living through today's crises rather than yesteryear's many other papal crises! Even the Vatican Leaks today seem like small potatoes compared to yesteryear's big potatoes!
ORIGINS OF THE LEONINE PRAYERS (by Rev. Anthony Cekada)
From the onset of the Napoleonic wars in the late 18th century, the position of the popes as temporal rulers of the Papal States (the civil territories they governed in central Italy) became increasingly more precarious.
Though the Congress of Vienna (1815) had restored the pope’s sovereignty over his temporal domains, Masonry and other secret societies, such as the Carbonari, conspired to stir up revolts against him. In 1830 and 1832 rebellions broke out in the Papal States, and in 1848 the revolutionaries succeeded in driving Pope Pius IX from Rome.
In 1850 Napoleon III sent his army into Italy, restored Pius to his temporal throne and garrisoned Rome with imperial troops — an act prompted not so much by the French Emperor’s devotion to the Holy See as by his desire to undermine Austrian influence in Italy. Meanwhile, the adepts of the secret societies, supported by aid from abroad, took over the governments of the city-states which bordered the papal domains.
Surrounded by hostile states, undermined by secret societies, and supported by a half-hearted ally, Pius IX feared that the triumph of the revolutionaries was imminent.
Early in 1859, the Pontiff ordered that special public prayers — three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina, a versicle and a Collect — be recited after Mass in all churches within the Papal States. The prayers were not obligatory in other countries. But Pius urged Catholics everywhere to pray for the defeat of the enemies of his temporal sovereignty, and granted indulgences to all who would recite the prayers for his intentions.
In 1870 Rome fell to the revolutionaries and the army of the royal House of Savoy. Pius IX shut himself up in the Vatican, excommunicated those who had seized the papal territories and refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government the usurpers had set up. Thus began the “Roman Question” — the issue of what accommodation, if any, could be reached between the legitimate temporal claims of the Supreme Pontiff and the government of the new Italian state which exercised de facto control over the pope’s states. The question would weigh heavily on the hearts of popes for nearly sixty years.
In the 1880s, anti-clerical mobs, egged on by the Masonic lodges, repeatedly demonstrated against Pope Leo XIII, and even attempted to throw the remains of Pius IX into the Tiber. The government enacted a series of laws against the Catholic clergy, and by the end of the decade would confiscate the goods of Catholic charitable associations.
On 6 January 1884, therefore, Leo XIII decreed that the prayers Pius IX had prescribed for churches in the Papal States be recited after Low Mass in churches throughout the world, “so that the Christian people would implore God with common prayer for that very thing which benefits the whole Christian commonwealth.”
A NEW INTENTION
During the pontificates of Leo XIII, St. Pius X and Benedict XV, little progress was made toward resolving the Roman Question, due to the complex and volatile political situation in Italy. The negotiating process finally began to gain momentum after the election of Pius XI in 1922.
On 12 February 1929 the Vatican announced that the Holy See and Italy had signed a treaty which settled the Roman Question, regulated relations between the Church and the Italian state, and stipulated how the Holy See would be remunerated for the territory it had lost. The accord was ratified at the Lateran Palace on 9 June 1929, and was followed by a cordial exchange of telegrams between the Pope and the King of Italy.
In Article 26 of the Lateran Treaty, the Holy See declared “the Roman question definitely and irrevocably settled and therefore eliminated.” The purpose for which the Leonine Prayers had been instituted was therefore achieved.
The Supreme Pontiff, however, had another important intention that he wished to recommend to the prayers of the faithful. The Communist government in Russia had begun a systematic persecution of Catholics. Pius XI asked Catholics in Russia and throughout the world to observe a day of prayer to implore St. Joseph for his aid. On the day appointed, even the eastern schismatics honored the Pope’s request.
In a 1930 address to the College of Cardinals, Pius XI discussed both the Lateran Treaty and Russia. He spoke of the day of prayer for the Church in Russia, expressing his hope that the prayers which had been offered for those suffering would be more fruitful in the future.
The Pontiff then noted sadly that “not so long ago the enemies of God and religion throughout the aforementioned regions kindled a very fierce persecution of the Church.” He immediately added:
Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, is therefore to be implored to permit tranquility and freedom to profess the faith to be restored to the afflicted people of Russia. And, that all may be able to make this prayer with very little trouble and difficulty, We desire that those same prayers which Our Predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, ordered priests to recite with the people after Mass, shall be said for this intention, that is, for Russia. Bishops and the clergy, both secular and religious, should be most zealous in giving notice of this to their people or to all who assist at Mass, and should frequently remind them of it.
The new intention which the Pontiff decreed for the Prayers after Low Mass, therefore, was that Christ “permit tranquility and freedom to profess the faith to be restored to the afflicted people of Russia.”
An action taken by the Pontifical Commission for Russia reconfirms that this is indeed the actual intention the Pontiff laid down. While the Pope’s decree applied only to priests of the Latin Rite, the Commission promptly prepared another decree for Catholic Uniates who employed the Byzantine Rite. The Commission ordered the insertion into the Byzantine Rite Mass of prayers for peace for the clergy, “the brethren,” and “all our people.”
The “freedom of the Church in Russia” (as the liturgist Wuest succinctly put it therefore — and not the conversion of Russia to the Catholic faith in fulfillment of the Fatima promises — was the intention for which these prayers continued to be prescribed.
MY FINAL COMMENT: I would hope and pray that the Holy Father would re-institute the Traditional Leonine Prayers now for the Conversion of Godless Secularists throughout the world who persecute Holy Mother Church. It seems entirely natural to redefine the purposes of the Leonine Prayers as these have been redefined over the course of the last two centuries. These are a perfect antidote for the crisis in the Church and in our world and country today.