As a community, we take Saint Joseph, Most Pure, Most Obedient, and Most Patient, the Protector of the Virgin, as our Model and Protector. To his intercession we entrust our temporal needs. To him we commend our vocations, both relying on his care for perseverance in our vocations and for his guidance of those who will join us. During his month, we turn to him in thanksgiving for all the graces he has obtained for us and beseech him to intercede for us in our need. It is our custom to pray to him each day as we begin our daily labors, using this prayer:
February: The Passion of Our Lord
We See the Star
During this second week of Advent, we behold a Star arise in our hearts. It is our Mother Mary, who points the way to her Divine Son. The rays of light that issue from this bright Star are the virtues that shine forth with such resplendence from her Immaculate Heart. The golden rays of her humble obedience, the silver rays of her immaculate purity, and the azure rays of her self-effacement furnish us with abundant matter for meditation and imitation. As we go about our duties, however humble or great, we endeavor to keep our eyes faithfully fixed upon this celestial Star in order to reproduce her virtues in our daily lives; striving to think speak and act as Mary would. Finding ourselves in any difficulty, we pray that we may heed St. Bernard's advice: "If temptation storms, or you fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the Star and call upon Mary..."
Focus of the Second Week: Union with Our Lady
O Mary, do thou bring thy holy Child to me!
The Meaning of Advent
During this first week, we recall the longings of the Patriarchs and Prophets, the holy souls living years before the coming of the Messiah. With what intense yearning they desired but a glimpse of that blessed Light of the World Who now gives Himself daily, in the fullness of His Love, to all who will receive Him. On each Christmas Day, He comes with a special plenitude of grace to all hearts who have prepared for Him. Our time of preparation is short! Let us warm our cold hearts in the furnace of Love issuing from the Sacred Heart of the unborn Infant reposing in His Immaculate tabernacle! His Mother will assist us in being attentive to the whisperings of His grace, His little voice asking for this or that little sacrifice or act of fidelity to our daily duties.
Focus of the First Week: Silence and Recollection
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
Divine Infant King Jesus, come down into our souls!
Divine Infant King Jesus, come down into our souls!
As we leave the month of November, specially dedicated to praying for those who have gone before us, we remember that praying for our loved ones is not limited just to November. On the contrary, November is devoted to the Holy Souls to re-kindle our love and our prayers for all the souls in purgatory, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Moving into the remembrance of the Incarnation by which we, and all the Holy Souls, were redeemed, we present them in a special way to our Infant King, asking Him Who Is Love Incarnate to pour forth His loving compassion upon these souls who long to see His face and to bring them fully into the Kingdom of His Love this Christmas season. Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace!
Through Thy Nativity, O Lord, deliver them!
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis: requiescant in pace. Amen.
November, the month dedicated to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, is observed with special love by the Sisters. It is our custom to write out the names of our deceased loved ones and place the list on the altar so that they can be particularly remembered in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the month. Each of the Sisters includes the Holy Souls in her daily prayers for the month and we strive to visit the graves of the faithful departed frequently, especially this first week when plenary indulgences can be gained for the souls in purgatory.
Indulgences for the Holy Souls
Visiting a Church or an Oratory on All Souls Day
A plenary (“full”) indulgence, which is applicable only to the souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on November 2nd, All Souls Day.
Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day
Visiting a Cemetery
Praying for the Souls in Purgatory
A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when saying the “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen." or " Resquiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis: requiescant in pace. Amen."
~ From the Handbook for Indulgences
“The Rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus,
Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother.” ~ St. Louis de Montfort
In praying our rosary, we follow the method of St. Louis de Montfort who assigned to each decade a fruit to be meditated on and asked for. These seemingly simple reflections add an additional layer to the beauty of this prayer. Thus, before praying the first Joyful mystery, for example, the Sister who is leading the rosary would pray:
"I unite with all the saints in Heaven, with all the just on earth, and with all the faithful here present. I unite with Thee, O my Jesus, in order to praise worthily Thy Holy Mother and to praise Thee in her and through her. I renounce all the distractions that I may have during this Rosary, which I wish to say with modesty, attention, and devotion, just as if it were to be the last of my life. We offer Thee, O Most Holy Trinity, this Creed in honor of all the mysteries of our Faith; this Our Father and these three Hail Marys in honor of the unity of Thy Essence and the Trinity of Thy Persons. We ask of Thee a lively faith, a firm hope and an ardent charity. Amen." ~ St. Louis de Montfort
Francesco Botticini's Assumption of the Virgin shows the three hierarchies and nine choirs of angels
More commonly known as the month devoted to Our Lady and the Most Holy Rosary, October is also devoted to the Holy Angels. We are blessed to be surrounded by angel guardians at all times, spirits who pray and intercede for us, who protect us and guide us throughout our lives.
The Sanctus that we pray at each and every Mass is the prayer of the angels, a prayer that we join with in profound adoration of Almighty God. Of this great prayer, the Benedictine Abbot Prosper Guerrenger writes,
"After confessing the holiness and Strength of God, the Church adds: Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua. There is no way, more magnificent than this, of expressing the Glory of God; verily there is no nook or corner of Creation where shines not forth the Glory of God; everything is produced by His Power, and everything gives Him Glory. Holy Church transported on beholding this, cries out aloud: Hosanna in excelsis. We read in the Sacred Scriptures that this cry was uttered by the Jews, when Jesus was entering into Jerusalem, on Palm Sunday, and the people shouted Hosanna filio David; yes, Hosanna,which means Salvation, a salutation of deep respect. Holy Church blends both of these together, making one of the Sanctus and of this solemn salutation: Hosanna in excelsis, Hosanna in the highest.... Just as at the commencement of Mass, she would have us unite with the Angels in chanting the Kyrie a very cry of distress, so now she bids us mingle our voices once again with their Angelic Choirs, but in a manner totally different to the former occasion; lo! now she has entered into the mysteries, - she is on the point of coming into complete possession thereof; - therefore is she seized with enthusiasm, and her one thought now is to sing to her God: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Hosanna in excelsis. Verily, the Jews did well to shout their Hosanna, as they went, wending in glad procession down the Mount of Olives, towards Jerusalem, entering by the Golden Gate; all was in harmony, and breathed triumph; but how far more fitting is it for us to sing it, at this portentous moment, when the Son of God is about to come down in the midst of us who truly know Him!"