Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubiroux in the hollow rock of Massabielle in southern France. That year Bernadette would report a total of 18 apparitions of a woman she described as “lovelier than I have ever seen.” The woman in the vision revealed herself as the “Immaculate Conception,” in confirmation of this dogma of the Catholic faith which was infallibly defined by the Holy Father just four years previous. Our Lady told Bernadette to drink from an unseen fountain at the grotto, and called for a chapel to be built there. When Bernadette scratched at the ground, a stream of pure spring water surged forth. This stream demonstrated healing properties, and it continues to draw pilgrims to the grotto from around the globe. A basilica was built upon the rock of the Massabielle in response to Our Lady's request, and in 1876 it was consecrated as the "Church of the Rosary.” Due to the multitudes of medically documented miraculous healings, the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world.
Blessed Bartholomew of Olmedo (1485-1524) was a Spanish Mercedarian priest, and the first priest to arrive on Mexican soil in 1516 at the age of 31. He was chaplain for the expedition of Spanish Conquistador Fernando Cortés, who began the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the downfall of the Aztec empire. Bartholomew was well-liked by the native people. He taught them the Christian faith and exhorted them to end their practice of human sacrifice. He also defended them against injustice and restrained Cortés from acting out in violence against them. Bartholomew taught the native Mexicans devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mercy, which they embraced. Blessed Bartholomew of Olmedo baptized more than 2500 people before he died in Mexico in 1524 at the age of 39. He was buried in Santiago de Tlatelolco. His feast day is February 11.
The month of February is traditionally dedicated to the Passion of Our Lord in anticipation of the liturgical season of Lent. In this month, we begin to meditate on the mystery of Jesus' sufferings which culminated in his death on the Cross for the redemption of mankind. Saints who had a special devotion to Christ's passion include St. Francis of Assisi, who was the first known saint to receive the stigmata; St. John of the Cross; St. Bridget of Sweden; and St. Catherine of Siena.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Universal: For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence.