Friday, June 1, 2012


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:

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.

Hail Mary

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!


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.[2]

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,[3] and granted in­dul­gences to all who would recite the prayers for his intentions.[4]

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.”[5]


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,[9] 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.”[10] 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.


Joseph Johnson said...

Perhaps, at least, they could be used at all Masses in our Diocese as a part of the "Fortnight of Prayer." Hopefully our Bishop might pick this up from what you have shown us on this blog.

Seeker said...

Tis Good News!

ytc said...

Great idea, Father. I only wish you would keep them and not stop after July 4.

Keep them going!

cemeterypicnic said...

I'll include in praying these prayers the intention that you, Father, see fit to continue reciting the Prayers After Mass after July 4th.

There is no reason to stop - I doubt the attacks on the faith will suddenly cease on July 4, so we must keep praying.

Carol H. said...


I mentioned weeks ago that I thought that the St. Michael prayer would be good for after Mass. I hope we start immediately (we could always use the practice) and why stop after July 4th? It never hurts to start a good habit.

ytc said...

Someone get St. Joseph's digits and ask the answerer to speak to Fr. M, then tell him to keep the Leonine Prayers forever!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind that adding and subtracting devotions before and after Mass on one's own authority is a bit much for parish priests--I'm doing this for a short fortnight (two weeks) as the best way possible to get as many people praying for this cause. I'm leaving the prayer cards in our missalette for anyone to pray on their own and if someone wants to organize it themselves, they are welcome to do so. We have the Holy Rosary following our 8:00 AM Daily Mass, Monday through Saturday led by a dedicated group of laity. So, these Leonine Prayers are no longer prescribe from on high (in fact the 1962 missal does not indicate them for he low Mass) They are not permitted after the High Latin Mass either--fyi