Unite us with the sweet chain of love. 

Novena to the Holy Face begins today, Sunday Feb. 1, 2015

Novena begins 2 Sundays before the start of Lent, but it can be said at any time of the year.

(after the Holy Shroud of Turin)
This image is a reproduction of the drawing by Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face 
(Celine Martin) sister of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

February Devotion ~ The Holy Family

Holy Days ~ February 2015
2. Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day) (F) Feb. 2
11. Our Lady of Lourdes (F) Feb. 11
14. Sts. Cyrl and Methodius: (F) Feb. 14
17. Shrove Tuesday, (F) Holy Face of Jesus  Feb. 17
18. Ash Wednesday

February Small Albums:
Small albums ~ Lent:

O God so great, who has made you so small?..  Love.
What do you ask in return?..  Love.
~St. Bernard
I have chosen her  
to dispense all my favors and share my power.
Bouasse Lebel 776

Holy Mother of God
O Virgin
who the King of Glory deigned to choose for His palace, 
Ark [of the New Covenant], Altar of Propitiation where Heaven gave us Peace.
Mon. Bouasse Lebel

My Beloved is Mine and I am His
Jesus Caressing Mary
You are all beautiful O my beloved, and ages shall call you blessed.
By you O Mother and Virgin, heaven trembles with elation and the angels and the archangels rejoice.  ~St Cyril
Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Co- Patrons (with St Benedict, St Edith Stein, and St Bridget of Sweden) of Europe
"...the funeral Mass was held in all three liturgical languages: Latin, Greek, and Slavonic.  Rivers of faithful who had received Christ through the achievements of these two missionaries flowed for days as they paid their respects after the funeral.Their lives are a testimony of love, pure and simple.  They loved their God and the souls they served more than themselves, and so they gave their lives in honor of that love... "
by Father John Bartunek, LC | Source:

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 8

Christ's Prayer for Christian Unity
Matthew 28:18,  John 5:20,  and John 17:2 recount the post Resurrection account of Christ sending forth the Apostles on Mt. Tabor where He prayed to the Father for Christian Unity:

John 17: 20-24
After blessing the Apostles who will carry the Gospel into the world, Jesus prays to the Father for us all:

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Barnes' Commentary:
"Neither pray I for these alone ..."   Not for the apostles only, but for all who shall be converted under the preaching of the gospel. They will all need similar grace and be exposed to similar trials. It is a matter of unspeakable joy that each Christian, however humble or unknown to men however poor, unlearned, or despised, can reflect that he was remembered in prayer by "him whom God heareth always." We value the prayers of pious friends. How much more should we value this petition of the Son of God! To that single prayer we who are Christians owe infinitely more real benefits than the world can ever bestow; and in the midst of any trials we may remember that the Son of God prayed for us, and that the prayer was assuredly heard, and will be answered in reference to all who truly believe.
All may be one - May be united as brethren. Christians are all redeemed by the same blood, and are going to the same heaven. They have the same wants, the same enemies, the same joys. Though they are divided into different denominations, yet they will meet at last in the same homes of glory. Hence they should feel that they belong to the same family, and are children of the same God and Father. There are no ties so tender as those which bind us in the Gospel. There is no friendship so pure and enduring as that which results from having the same attachment to the Lord Jesus. Hence, Christians, in the New Testament, are represented as being indissolubly united - parts of the same body, and members of the same family, Acts 4:32-35; 1Co. 12:4-31;Ephesians 2:20-22; Romans 12:5.

St. Francis de Sales: Memorial, January 24

St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of Writers
Small album ~ Doctors of the Church

"I would rather account to God for too great gentleness than for too great severity. God the Father is the Father of mercy; God the Son is a Lamb; God the Holy Spirit is a Dove..."
~St. Francis de Sales

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength."
~St. Francis de Sales

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 7

Under your eyes, Lord
see their union.
On verso:
Behold how good it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! 

Psalm 133:1
Bourdet, Paris

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 6

Let Christians be united
as the Lord is with His Church.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 5

My God,
make unity of spirits
in the Truth
and the union of hearts
in Love.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Day 4

Sweet unity
in the cross of Jesus.
Hand painted

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 3

It is not alone but in our relationships, our bonds of love, that we come to heaven.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Day 2

Miraculous Icon
of Christian Unity

Our Lady of Soufeniah
(Damascus, Syria)
weeps for sorrow because
of division within the Church.

Octave of Christian Unity: January 18 - 25

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
"If I can unite in myself the thought and devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russian and the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other. If we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all the divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ."~ Fr. Thomas Merton 1915-1968

Small Album ~ Let Christian's Be United by the prayers offered during the internatioanl Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan. 18-25

Happy Birthday, Davy!

Vesper of the Octave of Christian Unity

 Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Gerasimos are pictured at Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross in this 2014 photo. They will again pray as brothers in Christ on Jan.18 at Catholic Immaculate Heart of Mary. (Let us rejoice!)

Archbishop, Orthodox prelate to pray vespers for peace, unity
By Valerie Schmalz
"Orthodox Metropolitan Gerasimos and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will celebrate solemn vespers on Jan. 18 to pray for those suffering persecution for their faith and to begin together the international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Archbishop Cordileone will preside and Metropolitan Gerasimos will deliver the homily at the vespers service at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Belmont. In April, the archbishop and metropolitan celebrated the Service of Salutations to the Holy Cross at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross.
At the April 8 service, Archbishop Cordileone preached and Metropolitan  Gerasimos presided.
The Belmont Orthodox church possesses a relic of the true cross and for nine years has invited Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Lenten service, IHM pastor Father Steve Howell said. Last year was the first time Archbishop Cordileone and Metropolitan Gerasimos were involved, partly to pray for an upcoming May 2014 meeting between the heads of both churches in Jerusalem.
“We are continuing a long-standing tradition of praying together,” Father Howell said, part of a history of cooperation and friendship between the two parishes. “This is an opportunity to pray together and share together.”
The Greek Orthodox and the Catholic Church recognize each other’s sacraments and at the April 8 service those present prayed the Greek Orthodox version of the Nicene Creed.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international and ecumenical faith practice sponsored by The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and The Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. It was first promoted by a one-time Episcopal priest, Father Paul Wattson who joined the Catholic Church more than a century ago along with the members of the Society of the Atonement, which he co-founded. The U.S. bishops voted Nov. 11 at their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore to approve forwarding his cause for sainthood.
Father Wattson, whose father was himself an Episcopal priest, was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1886, according to Auxiliary Bishop John J. O’Hara of New York, in remarks to the bishops prior to the vote. The Society of the Atonement, made up of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement, has its headquarters in Graymoor, New York, which is in the New York archdiocese. Father Wattson saw the need for both a Franciscan spirituality in the Episcopal Church and a way to serve the poor, Bishop O’Hara said.
A third need arose before the end of the 19th century: “Repair the breach in a divided church,” Bishop O’Hara said. In 1903, Father Wattson started the Church Unity Octave. Now more commonly known as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, it “continues to this day,” Bishop O’Hara said. The week is observed each January."

Catholic News Service contributed to this story.
From January 16, 2015 issue of Catholic San Francisco.
The pure simplicity of the soul is my joy and delight.  
Bouasse Lebel 826

Jesus Loves the Innocent

Behold the Savior of the World

first day in Ordinary Time 2015

Although today sees the beginning of Ordinary Time, and Christmas trees came down after Epiphany, the close of the Christmas season is actually not until Candlemas (Feast of the Presentation) on February 2nd. I find this a lovely excuse to continue posting images of the Christ Child throughout January:-)

Jesus, my sweet Lamb,         
that my heart might be your cradle. 
I hold Him and will not let Him go.

Baptism of the Lord: : Solemnity, January 11, 2015 (USA)


"He came to save all through himself – all, I say, who through him are reborn in God; infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . . so that he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age." ~Tertullian (Against Heresies A.D. 189)


Full of grace and gentleness,
the child Jesus has given
drink to his small precursor.
In Heaven, happy conqueror,
I will get drunk on glory
at the source of his Heart.

Hide me in Thy bosom. I want to lose myself in Thee.
Mary, Mother of the Savior, pray for us.

Mary Mother of God, pray for us.
Mother of the Savior

Epiphany Sunday 2015

At your feet surrendered,
I leave my life, my love!

Fruits of Salvation
The Angels collect our virtues
and good actions to offer them
to Jesus.
Bouasse Lebel 1085

THE MITE OF THE POOR. There is no need of rich presents to please Jesus; a pure heart will satisfy Him.
Bouasse Lebel 1087

Holy Name of Jesus, Feast Day January 3

He is come who his mother calls Jesus,
that name so sweet and yet so powerful.   ~ Fr. Faber
Bouasse Lebel 
The Perfect Gifts of the Heart of Jesus
Faith that illumines, Hope that consoles, Love that vivifies.
Bouasse Lebel 3005
The Redeemer of the World

First Friday


Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

The Vladimir icon 

The Feast of Mary Mother of God was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1931 in view of fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus. Oct.11, 431 AD was the date historians believed to have been the date of the close of the the Third Ecumenical Council. In the Council of Ephesus Mary was proclaimed Theotokos the Mother of God.
Mary is devoutly honored as Theotokos in the Eastern Church, and the pope, in instituting the feast, asked prayers for Christian unity.
The feast day was moved by Pope Paul VI to January 1, Solemnity of the Mother of God.

For New Year's gifts, Lord,
make our love bear fruit worthy of You.

Hymn to the Mother of God

JANUARY: Devotion, The Holy Name

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to Holy Name of Jesus and also to the childhood of Jesus.
Feasts in January:
1. Mary, Mother of God: (S) Jan. 1
3. Holy Name of Jesus: Feast Jan. 3
5. Epiphany Sunday: (S) Jan. 4, 2015 (USA)
12. Baptism of the Lord  (S) Jan. 11, 2015 (USA)
20. Infant of Prague: 2nd Sunday after Epiphany
24. St. Francis de Sales: (M) Jan 24 (formerly Jan. 29)
31. St. John Bosco: (M) Jan 31  

Small Albums ~ January

Small albums for Christmas Season (until Baptism of the Lord)

Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary Mother of Goc

Mother of the Creator
The One who created me
has rested in my tabernacle. ~ Eccl. 24
Klauber engraving
Come let us adore Him!
A green shoot came forth
from the Root of Jesse 
and moved forth from the roots
her to climb.

Oh when his eyes are fixed on you,
speak, Mother, for me...
It is not possible to be rejected 
the flower presented by You! 
FLOWER OF THE FIELDLove Child, no spines for You
in the stem of my flower!
Light of light, Flower of flowers... shone in the cold night 
Your divine resplendence.