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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pope Saint Pius V

Today is the Feast of Pope Saint Pius V
The following is an excerpt from our book, "Defenders of the Faith."
Pope St. Pius V
(1566-1572)
The work of the Council of Trent continues!
We oftentimes think the Lord doesn't let one or two people do everything in Salvation History, because then there would be nothing for us to do except follow what has been passed down to us. The Lord wants us to feel a part of things. Well, here we have the next Pope taking the torch, so to speak, from his predecessor, and running with it. It was crucial that the right man be chosen, who could take the work of Pope Pius IV, and bring it to conclusion. All the work of the years before, since 1521, would be culminated in not only the decrees of the Council, but even more difficult, having those decrees implemented and enforced. It would take a strong man to do that. The man whom the Lord chose to continue the work of the Counter-Reformation was a brilliant man who was able to be molded into a Saint. He became St. Pius V.
Pope St. Pius V, was born Michael Ghisleri in a little village in the Diocese of Tortona near Alessandria[1] in northern Italy in 1504. He was a firm believer in the Truths of the Church. He embraced the Dominican Order at age fourteen and entered the Seminary. From the beginning of his days in formation, it was obvious to all his superiors that he was chosen far above the rest. The Dominicans knew he would go far in the Order, do great things for God and advance the rule of his Father-in-Faith, St. Dominic Guzman.[2] He did move ahead as his superiors thought he would, assuming the posts of lector in Theology and Philosophy for many years. He also served as novice master and in the governing houses of the Order. He did well as a Dominican. St. Dominic would have been extremely proud of him. He was sent to the Dominican convent in Pavia, near Torino. He was for many years second only to the provincial of the Dominican order in Italy. In 1550, he was given a difficult task, that of inquisitor at Como, which borders Switzerland. At that time, it was a hotbed of Calvinist insurgents. His methods of operation caused him to cross swords with the bishop's vicar-general, who thought he enjoyed his job a bit too much. However, it also brought him to the attention of Cardinal Carafa, who would later become Pope Paul IV. Now Cardinal Carafa was a member of the Inquisition in Rome. His philosophy was akin to that of Ghisleri, the young priest from Como. At a time when enemies were more plentiful than friends, he embraced the young priest. He saw in him firmness of purpose and purity of faith. He was Church; and he projected Church to all he met.
As the Dominicans had seen his potential, so had the rest of the Church, especially Cardinal Carafa. After he was elected Pope, he consecrated Michael Ghisleri Bishop of Sutri and Nepi in 1556 at fifty two years old. A year later, Ghisleri was given the title of Cardinal. He took the name Cardinal Alessandrino, after his city. While this was a great honor, it also took him away from the Dominican Order where his heart was, because his duties had to be now focused on the dioceses of which he was in charge. He was a very humble man, and would rather have spent his time praying and writing prayers to be used by others, whom he judged more capable of bringing the Church into the last half of the Sixteenth Century, without losing any more brothers and sisters to the Protestants.
Keep in mind what some of his concerns were. His diocese was just south of the Swiss border. Calvin had made enormous strides in Switzerland, and was sweeping into Italy from the north. France was on the west, not that far away. The French Calvinists, who were called Huguenots, were more vicious in their attacks on Catholics than Calvin, if that's possible. No, that's not possible. No one was worse than Calvin, with the possible exception of Elizabeth I[3] of England, illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. But as a Cardinal and Bishop, you can understand his concerns for the Church at large, and his diocese in particular, being right smack in the middle of the problem, and being the head of the Inquisition for the Italian provinces on the Swiss border. Remember, he was a Dominican. Dominicans had been in charge of the Inquisition all over Europe from the time of St. Dominic. It was an honor, surely, but it was also a major task.
To add more burdens to his job, he was made Grand Inquisitor for life. Cardinal Alessandrino was not someone who would go quietly in the night. To the contrary, he was a bold, solid person when it came to the rights and wrongs of his Church. And he didn't care if he ruffled the feathers of Popes, which he did, or rulers of countries, which he also did. He found himself the recipient of many criticisms from Pope Paul IV, who had been his mentor, his kindred spirit, on more than one occasion. Then when the new Pope Pius IV, the diplomat, came into power, he was again rebuked. You must understand that he was not a diplomat! He was not on good terms with monarchs who were allowing heretical groups to breathe down his neck from two fronts, France and Switzerland. Also, Cardinal Alessandrino would not back down from the Truths of the Church, especially in his position as Grand Inquisitor, even if it meant upsetting one of these monarchs, or, unfortunately at times, even his Pope. By the time Pope Pius IV died in 1565, relations between him and Cardinal Alessandrino were strained, to say the least.
There was even a point in his career when he just wanted to give up his various jobs and go back to his bishopric in Piedmont to live out the end of his career in peace. He had a problem getting back to Piedmont, however, when he took ill and had to recuperate in Rome. Again, this was another area of contention between the Pope and many of his bishops and cardinals. Even the Pope's nephew, St. Charles Borromeo was against it. Cardinal Alessandrino was against bishops living in Rome, which he made no bones about, but which estranged him from the Pope.
We know it has to be pure Holy Spirit that Cardinal Alessandrino was unanimously elected Pope in only nineteen days after the death of Pius IV. More ironic is that the major force promoting him for Pope was Cardinal Charles Borromeo, nephew of the Pope (Pius IV) with whom Cardinal Alessandrino had so much trouble. St. Charles recognized in Cardinal Alessandrino the strength which would be needed, not only to bring the Church through the problems with the Protestant Reformation, but the Moslem dilemma, which we haven't even addressed yet. St. Charles also was given infused knowledge that this man would be able to get the Council of Trent back on track and brought to its conclusion. He was right on all counts. On January 7, 1566, he began his Pontificate as Pope Pius V. The world would know him as Pope Saint Pius V a hundred and fifty years later.
[1]This area of Italy has brought us many holy people, including Don Bosco, Dominic Savio, Aloysius Gonzaga and Pope St. Pius V.

[2]Read about St. Dominic in Book I of this series, Journey to Sainthood.

[3]As Pope Pius V, he would excommunicate Elizabeth I of England on February 25, 1570.
For more information about this and other Popes click here
For more information on our book, "Defenders of the Faith." Click here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saint Catherine of Siena

Today April 29th is the Feast day of
St. Catherine of Siena
The following is an excerpt from our book, "Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church."

"O Eternal God, accept the sacrifice of my life
for the mystical body of Thy holy Church."


Catherine of Siena, what an impressive woman and Saint! As I start on our sister's story, like with the other powerful women in the Church, I can feel tears coming to my eyes, tears of joy. Thank You, Lord for the privilege of passing on what we have learned through our travels to the Shrines, as well as through the historians before us, who have felt this lady and her life so essential a part of the Story of our Church. As we write on the lives of these women we experience the same feelings we have had when we have walked on the cobblestone roads they walked, and touched the walls of the rooms they touched. If these walls and stones could talk, they would sing of the Glory and Love of Jesus and His Mother, as They spoke to and guided these Saints in their journey of faith to the Kingdom.
I'm so excited! Please stop a moment and pray with me that the words that flow on these pages be those of our Lord, the message He has for you today.
In 1347, Catherine was born into a large, wealthy family, the 23rd child of a family of 25 children. Catherine's parents built their huge home, which you can visit till today, in the heart of the city on Via dei Tintori (Street of the Dyers). Their home included their Dye Works on the lower level and rooms above, where most of their surviving twelve children (thirteen having died at infancy), with their spouses, the family servant and dye workers lived and ate. It was, all in all, a very impressive home, with its courtyard and beautiful gardens, but not a very peaceful one. The hustle and bustle of the business, right there in the house, drowned out whatever quiet family life they might have enjoyed. The choking, putrid fumes from the dyes below, permeated all the rooms of the house, clinging to everything; the stench on their clothes following them, lingering long after they had ventured out into the streets.
One day, Catherine and her brother were slowly returning from the country home of their married sister Buonaventura, as Catherine loved and preferred the peaceful countryside. She paused on the hillside to look over the valley. Her eyes travelled toward the great Basilica of San Domenico (St. Dominic). She saw a Vision which would affect and determine the rest of her life.
Catherine saw Jesus seated on a throne, dressed in the white, gold-embroidered vestments of the Pope. On His Head He wore the Papal Tiara which has been passed on for almost two thousand years from Pope to Pope. Standing beside Him were the Apostles St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist, but He was not looking at them. Instead His Eyes were on Catherine, His Love and Smiling Face filling her with a joy she had never known before. He stepped toward her and blessed her with the sign of the Cross. Her eyes fixed on Him, she felt herself rising out of her body, being removed from the world around her, losing consciousness of her very self. There was such a magnetism drawing Catherine to the Lord, that although only six years old, she knew her childhood was over. Catherine reminds us of the children, who after our Lady touched their lives at Fatima, their toys meant nothing to them. ...

For more information on St. Catherine of Siena click here * Special offer for today only
For more information on Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church book click here

Monday, April 28, 2008

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort




Today is the Feast day of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort and we want to share with you one of his prophecies about the last days.
The following is an excerpt from the Chapter on St. Louis de Monfort in our book "Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists."

The reason we call St. Louis Marie de Montfort a prophet of the last days, even though he lived between the last half of the Seventeenth Century and the first part of the Eighteenth century is because of what we read in his prophecies which deal with these last days:
“....towards the end of the world, ....Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.”
“These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other. With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin... “
“They will be like thunderclouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin; they will storm against the world; they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.”
“They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from His enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are, with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.”
“They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the bloodstained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the Crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart.
“Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ... But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly
revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.”
Thank you Jesus and Mary for St. Louis Marie de Montfort.
For information on our book, "Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists click here."
For information on our dvd on St. Louis Marie de Montfort, click here.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Vision of Don Bosco - for our time?

There is one dream of Don Bosco's that Penny and I use in all our talks, to accentuate the focus of our ministry and what we believe has to be the direction the Church has to take, in order to survive. He shared this vision with his boys, on May 30, 1862.
"A few nights ago I had a dream. True, dreams are nothing but dreams, but still I'll tell it to you for your spiritual benefit, just as I would tell you even my sins - only I'm afraid I'd send you scurrying away before the roof fell in. Try to picture yourselves with me on the seashore, or better still, on an outlying cliff with no other land in sight. The vast expanse of water is covered with a formidable array of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp, spearlike beaks capable of breaking through any defense. All are heavily armed with cannons, incendiary bombs and firearms of all sorts - even books - and are heading toward one stately ship, mightier than them all. As they close in, they try to ram it, set it afire and cripple it as much as possible.
"This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high into the sky: one surmounted by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians; the other, far loftier and sturdier, supports a Host of proportionate size and bears beneath it the inscription Salvation of believers.
"The flagship commander - the Roman Pontiff - seeing the enemy's fury and his auxiliary ships' very grave predicament, summons his captains to a conference. However, as they discuss their strategy, a furious storm breaks out and they must return to their ships.
"When the storm abates, the Pope again summons his captains as the flagship keeps on its course. But the storm rages again. Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hang many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.
"The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.
"Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up, firearms and beaks fall to pieces, ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In blind fury the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded, He is instantly helped up, but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance waned.
"Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers the ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other.
"Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns. Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then, they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea."

Brothers and sisters,
This last April, our Pope Benedict XVI visited our land and brought the message of hope and affirmation. As we watched him opening his arms to all his children: Jews, Muslims, Christians - Catholics and non-Catholics , we knew the Lord had raised up the pontiff in Don Bosco’s dream. When we lost our Pope John Paul II to the Angel of Death, a sadness clouded our days and our hopes for a new world – one of Peace and Harmony, a world where the Lamb will lay down beside the Lion. But Our Lord did not leave us orphans, alone to brave the storm. Jesus said He would be with us till the end of the world. He always used loyal, faithful men, our Pontiffs, to guide and save His children. Be not afraid, Pope John Paul II said endearingly and often. And his successor Pope Benedict XVI has picked up the battle cry!
We are not afraid, Lord, for “You are with us; You love us; we trust in You.” (Abbot Jerome of Subiaco Monastery, in Subiaco, Arkansas.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Role Models for the young- Dominic Savio - Pier Giorgio Frassati

Family, we have been blessed with a visit from Pope Benedict XVI. He said a lot of really important things during his time here. We just want to focus on his talk on Saturday in Yonkers, New York to a group of young people. He said
"The Saints are the Role Models for the young!"
We have been trying to get that message across for many years now.
Today, we want to stress two very strong young Saints, both of whom share the title of Patron Saint of the Young.
Dominic Savio was a protege of St. Don Bosco, during a turbulent time in Turin, Italy, during the height of the Industrial Revolution, when young people were thrown away as garbage, or worse yet, used as thieves and prostitutes. Dominic Savio was sent to us to prove that we don't have to buy into that lie, no matter what our circumstances are. He had two mottoes which we find very powerful. "Without Compromise!" and "Death, but not sin!"
At a time when peer pressure was far greater than today, he was able to maintain his values and be a strong role model for all the young people he met. He died at 15 years old.


Pier Giorgio Frassati - Born into a wealthy family, whose father was well known and founder, editor-in-chief and owner of Turin's most important daily paper, La Stampa and state senator, whose views were anything but those of his blessed son, Pier Giorgio grew up a very normal boy, who loved all the things the young of his time and surroundings loved, mountain climbing, football and the rest. But one thing he loved more was Jesus, and he followed Jesus' love of the poor. Pier Giorgio gave most of his possessions away to help the poor, and even managed to get others to do the same. He was given the title, "Man of the Beatitudes" by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his Beatification in 1990.
This summer, we will be going to his hometown in Italy to make a program on his life.
We have already made one on the life of St. Dominic Savio.
Consider these two brave Super Saints as Role Models, especially with regards to peer pressure.
God bless you.

Minibook now available - $5.00 includes shipping click here for more information


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Friday, April 18, 2008

Mini books on the Popes


We have decided to bring to you a series of Mini-books on some of the Popes.
The first is this new series in on the life of Pope Leo XIII.

God chose a very strong, but very peace-loving Cardinal from Perugia, Gioacchino Vincenzo Raffaele Luigi Pecci, to be known for all time as Pope Leo XIII, God’s diplomat.
One of the most powerful encyclicals written by Pope Leo XIII was Rerum Novarum, the Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor, issued in May 0f 1891
Pope Leo XIII composed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, asking his protection. It goes as follows:
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him and do you, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen”

This mini-book is available now. More information at http://www.bobandpennylord.com/leo13.htm

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We are committed to bringing you the stories of the lives of the Saints and Blesseds.
We believe they are the true role models for our times and they have so much to offer us.

During his visit to America this month, Pope Benedict XVI told the young men and women assembled at St. Joseph's Seminary on April 19 that they should study the Saints, the true role models for our time.

Pope Benedict told the young, "God is our origin and our destination, and Jesus the way. The path of that journey twists and turns ─ just as it did for our saints ─ through the joys and the trials of ordinary, everyday life: within your families, at school or college, during your recreation activities, and in your parish communities."
"How then can we as believers help others to walk the path of freedom which brings fulfillment and lasting happiness? Let us again turn to the saints. How did their witness truly free others from the darkness of heart and mind? The answer is found in the kernel of their faith; the kernel of our faith. The Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, tells us that God does indeed find a place among us. Though the inn is full, he enters through the stable, and there are people who see his light. They recognize Herod’s dark closed world for what it is, and instead follow the bright guiding star of the night sky. And what shines forth? Here you might recall the prayer uttered on the most holy night of Easter: “Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world … inflame us with your hope!"
"At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints. The diversity of their experience of God’s presence prompts us to discover anew the breadth and depth of Christianity. Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship. Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith."

And how shall we know them?
How shall we know who to follow? How shall we know who will lead us to Eternal Life with Jesus, beginning here on Earth?

We have spent the last 30 years traveling the four corners of the Earth to bring you over 200 Saints and Blesseds and we are not finished yet!
Saints like Dominic Savio, Patron Saint of Youth said, "No compromise!"
We must seek the truth which will set us free. How will we know who speaks the truth, who would lead us to Eternal Life with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The truth lies between the pages of the Saints we have written about and the programs we have made over the last 22 years on EWTN.

For a complete lisiting and information on the Saints and Blesseds we have written about and made programs on click this link http://www.bobandpennylord.com/vidalpha.htm

This week we completed the editing of Blessed Angela of Foligno, a blessed who considered herself a great sinner.
After she turned to the Lord she was named a "Theologian to the Theologians" by her peers.
We feel this Blessed is very important for our times. You may check out more information at http://www.bobandpennylord.com/yg188.htm Thanks

Welcome to Bob and Penny Lord Blog

We are starting this blog to have a forum for discussion of mutual interest to our Ministry.
Our goals early on are the following:
1.To keep you informed on the day to day happenings at Holy Family Mission
2. To inform you on issues that are particularly important to us
3. To provide you a forum for discussion with us

Feel free to ask questions or post your comments. Please limit the comments and questions to information pertaining to the work of our Ministry. Any other comments will be removed.
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