Our Lenten journey continues this second week. Time begins to fly past as we look forward to Holy Week. But perhaps as the routine of our promises settles in, we become a little complacent. On the other hand, we might find that we bit off more than we could chew with so many good intentions. Or perhaps we didn’t really give much thought to what to do, or not to do, for Lent this year. Whatever the state of our journey we still have time to take a step back and reflect on how things are going. Perhaps we would do well in re-reading the Grand Master’s Lenten message and pay attention to the little details. In fact, in a world full of distractions, where apps, work, people, family, adverts, alerts, news feeds and tweets (to name a few) all clammer for our attention, it’s the small things that might just help refocus our mind, heart and sight to Christ. After all, little details can often add up to great things.
October 25th, Fest of Our Lady of Palestine
The patronage of Our Blessed Lady, Queen of Palestine, over the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre is quite recent. The title was first used by Patriarch Luigi Barlassina (1920-1947), on the occasion of his solemn entry into the Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on 15 July 1920, when his diocese was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1983 Pope St John Paul II urged the Knights and Dames of the Order to continue their work in the Holy Land under the protection of Our Blessed Mother. Ten years later the then GM, Cardinal Giuseppe Caprio, asked Saint John Paul II to declare the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Palestine, Patroness of the Order. This was eventually granted by Pope Saint JPII in 1994. Since then the members of the Order celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Palestine every 25th October.
This year our Knights and Dames will meet at the Cathedral of St Mary the Crowned at 6 pm, local time, for prayer, adoration (of the Blessed Sacrament) and then Sacred Mass. Knights, Dames and family members will also have a get together after the Mass to chat socially about the upcoming works of the Lieutenancy.
A prayer for peace in the Holy Land:
(taken from OESSH.VA)
Our Lady, Queen of Palestine, extend your hand over the Holy Land and over all who live there:
Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians, Palestinians, Israelis, migrant workers and refugees.
Our Lady, intercede for us all and especially for the Church, the Body of your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord.
We have been sent to preach Good News to all in the land that is yours and His, the land of the patriarchs, kings, prophets, apostles and of the first community formed to walk in the way of your Son, the Mother Church of Jerusalem.
This mission needs the courage and the perseverance, the wisdom and the faith that were yours, pray for us.
On your knees, He, who was your Lord and Master, learnt to speak and to pray, to act and to obey.
We ask you to teach us to speak and to pray, to act and to obey today in the land called to be holy.
In the midst of war and hatred, walls, occupation and discrimination, fear and rejection, instruct us how to be instruments of justice and peace, pardon and reconciliation.
We affirm with you that he is our peace.
Show us the way to incarnate in our life as Church both fidelity to your Son and an embracing love for all in this land, especially for those who are the poorest and the most excluded, the homeless, the refugees, the prisoners, those who are maltreated, oppressed and are victims of injustice.
Our Lady, Queen of Palestine, you are our mother, given to us by your Son on the Cross.
With you, we are called to be witnesses to the Resurrection that already heralds His Kingdom.
Modelling ourselves on you, we ask Him to anoint us as Spirit-filled proclaimers of the Good News that He has vanquished death by His death on the Cross and has given life to those in the tombs.
May we, members of His Body the Church, be living signs that point to the Kingdom that is already among us.
Mother Mary, Queen of Palestine, pray for us.
Grand Prior Launches Safeguarding Policy
Grand Prior Carmel Zammit, KC*HS, Bishop of Gibraltar, launched the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy last week. Together with the Vicar General, Mgr Pardo, Safeguarding Officer Mr A Gordon, and Training Officer Mrs B Cortés, the Grand Prior introduced the local policy. The policy was put together by a local committee over a period of ten months. He thanked all those faithful who had given up their time to help in this endeavour. Bishop Zammit also gratefully acknowledged the involvement of the Arch Diocese of Liverpool and their safeguarding officer, Rev Des Bill, who also delivered a short presentation at the conference. For more information on the safeguarding policy, see below.
Message from the Grand Master
This message can be found on the Order’s Website. We have reprinted it here due to its importance and for member’s ease of reference. We join the Grand Master in prayer as we dig in to face these difficult times together, united with Christ Jesus and His Church.
To the members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre:
Many of you recall the book and movie The Perfect Storm – when several weather patterns meet at once – they clash and create terrible damage.
Our Catholic Church is in the midst of a perfect storm – a perfect demonic storm: Chile, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, the United States – and how many more to come?! The revolting, profoundly shameful double life of a Cardinal of the Church. The almost pornographic 900-page report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury – unspeakable depravities of priests against the young and vulnerable. A former Vatican Nuncio’s accusations against the Church’s highest authorities.
It has been called “A DIABOLICAL MASTERPIECE”!
Satan’s powers at work seeking to undermine the very foundations of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – and from within!
We are at a moment of serious crisis, probably the greatest crisis our Church has faced in many centuries.
Today, as throughout Church history, the faithful – you – are offered a choice:
- There’s the temptation to flee, to abandon the Church – Satan has won a victory.
- Or we can dig in. Our Faith is not rooted in human beings, but in Jesus Christ. Knights of the Holy Sepulchre have never deserted. They have stood their ground in defense of the Church in times of greatest crises.
I would urge all our members to dig in: double-down – return to the God-given resources of our Faith: prayer, the Mass, Eucharistic Devotion, penance and fasting.
- Participate in parish and diocesan sponsored liturgies and assemblies of prayer in reparation for the deplorable sacrileges by those in Holy Orders against the helpless innocent. Scandalous betrayals of trust by those sworn to be other Christs.
- Support the vast majority of good priests in your midst – your priests, struggling daily to be Christ for you. They are suffering greatly.
- Meanwhile, I have joined with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in requesting a Vatican sponsored investigation involving laypeople with special skills to determine responsibility for Archbishop McCarrick’s promotions within the hierarchy.
Throughout history, God has shown he can bring about good from the worst of evils. Just look at a crucifix!
Pray that this nightmare will eventually bring about the purification of our Church and a restoration of trust in her leadership.
Recognize that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Resurrection who turned the ugly moment of a disgraceful death into a moment of salvation.
And pray together with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that Our Lady, who once held the broken crucified Body of her Son in her arms, will do so again – in these days, hold the suffering, battered and bloody body – his Body, the Church, close to her heart, and in prayer for healing.
Thanks to all of you for your steadfast loyalty and faithfulness.
In the Lord,
Edwin Cardinal O’Brien
(September 8, 2018)
Holy Father Calls us to Prayer
The Holy Father has called all the faithful to pray the Rosary on a daily basis during October, the Month of the Rosary. Pope Francis asks us for prayers to Our Blessed Mother and St Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the attacks of the devil. He has encouraged the use of a number of prayers in this fight against evil. The Sub Tuum Praesidium and the prayer to St Michael the Archangel. Members of the Order are encouraged to read the Vatican Press Release and join the Faithful in prayer this October for the Holy Father’s intentions.
Deus Lo Vult
“Sub tuum praesidium confugimus Sancta Dei Genitrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo Gloriosa et Benedicta.”
[We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin].
“Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen.”
[Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen].