Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (5)

From 1933 to 1936, St. Faustina lived in Vilnius, present-day Lithuania. She found a spiritual director in Fr. Michael Sopocko, who asked her to ask Jesus about the meaning of the red and white rays in the Divine Mercy Image. Jesus responded that they represented the blood and water that flowed from his Sacred Heart after it was pierced, and that those souls who took refuge in it were blessed. In 1934, St. Faustina was told by Mary that she would suffer much for her mission to the Divine Mercy devotion and was told to pray for the souls of the dying. At 3pm one day, she heard a sister’s voice from Warsaw, “Please pray for me until I tell you to stop. I am nearing death.” St. Faustina prayed without ceasing until, at 5pm, she heard the voice again: “Thank you.” The next day, she received news that Sister Philomena had passed away in Warsaw the previous day at 4:45pm. In 1935, a marshal was on his death bed, and he was admired for his achievements but was far from the Church, and his sins caused him to suffer a hell on earth. Nonetheless, he had a strong devotion to the Virgin Mary, and through the intercessory prayers of St. Faustina, he entered Purgatory instead of Hell. St. Faustina also had a gift of prophecy and she told Fr. Sopocko that a beautiful Polish city would be destroyed because of the sin of abortion. After World War II, he realized that she had prophesized the destruction of Warsaw by the Nazis after the Warsaw Uprising.
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 24


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (4)

In 1931, St. Faustina received a vision of the Divine Mercy Image: Jesus with His right hand raised in blessing and his left hand over His Heart, out of which shone two rays of light – one red and one white. Jesus commanded St. Faustina to depict the vision on an image with “Jesus, I trust in You” at the bottom, to promote its veneration, and promised special protection to the souls who venerated it, especially at the hour of death. He also promised the special grace of conversion to those who prayed the Conversion Prayer. He said, “The faithlessness of sinners rends My Heart, and the lack of trust in the elect increases my anguish.” In the five months that St. Faustina spent in Warsaw in preparation for taking her perpetual vows, she struggled to find a confessor who could tell her whether her visions came from God. Eventually, she found a priest who understood her at a retreat, and she understood that her mission was from God. After taking her perpetual vows in 1933, she commissioned an artist in Warsaw to paint the vision, but on first seeing it, she was so distraught at its inferiority to the vision of Jesus that she tearfully ran back to the convent chapel to pray. Jesus told her, “The importance of the image lies not in the beauty of the paint, but in the grace of God.”
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 16


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (3)

In the five years between her first and perpetual vows, St. Faustina was transferred constantly, because she took her vow of obedience very seriously, and her superiors knew she would never complain. Once, she experienced standing before God, who revealed that even the smallest sin required repentance. Jesus said, “Would you like to suffer for a day in Purgatory or on earth?” “I want both,” said St. Faustina. Jesus replied, “One is enough. You will suffer greatly on earth.” Another time, God revealed to St. Faustina that he was angry at a city in Poland, and wanted her to offer up Jesus’ Precious Blood and Sacred Wounds to the Father in reparation for its sins for seven days each year. When she renewed her vows, God tied a golden cincture around her waist, promising her that she would never be tempted to be unchaste.
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 10


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (2)

From 1926 to 1928, Sr. Faustina was a novice sister. Her novitiate teacher taught her to be humble and trust in God like a child, and she did not hold grudges against others, only praying to God about them. At the end of her first year of the novitiate, she experienced her 18-month Dark Night of the Soul. She felt abandoned and despaired, prayer and meditation were difficult, and temptations great. She was supported by her teacher, who told her that God had favoured her. Once, she received a vision of St. Thérèse de Lisieux after praying a Novena to her, and was told, “I suffered like you, but if you trust in Jesus, you will be a saint too.” In 1928, she took her first vows and left the novitiate. After the ceremony, she told her parents, “The one I took my vows to, is the son-in-law you have betrothed me to, Jesus Christ.”
Publish date: 2018 - 3 - 3


Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Faustina (1)

Born in Poland on August 25, 1905 and named Helena, St. Faustina was the third of ten children and first heard God’s voice calling her to join the religious life at age seven. But her parents refused, so she suppressed the calling and worked to earn money. One day, while at a dance, she saw a sorrowful Jesus asking, “How much longer must I wait?” Helena went to the cathedral and prayed, and Jesus told her to enter the convent at Warsaw. In 1925, a priest led her to enter the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw. After a few weeks, Helena considered leaving for a stricter convent but Jesus appeared to her looking sorrowful and she asked Him, “Who has hurt You?” Jesus said, “You – I have prepared many graces for You in this order.” Helena decided to stay. Once, she asked Jesus, “For whom shall I pray?” The next night, her guardian angel showed her Purgatory, filled with souls suffering from desire of God in futile prayer. She understood that only the prayers of others could help. Jesus said, “My mercy does not desire it, but justice demands it.” In 1926, Helena was sent to Krakow, took the habit and the name Sr. Maria Faustina.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 24


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (12)

One night in 1929, whilst in a Spanish convent, Lucia received an important vision. The vision was extraordinarily brilliant, and Lucia saw the Holy Trinity: Jesus nailed to the Cross, His Precious Blood flowing into a chalice below; the Holy Spirit was a dove above Him; and the Father was an old man above the Spirit. To Jesus’ right stood Mary, and to His left were the words “Grace and Mercy”. These words, just like the Sign of the Cross, succinctly summarized the Faith. Mary spoke, “The time has come. The Pope and all the bishops must consecrate Russia to my Immaculate Heart to save her.” In 1989, the Immaculate Heart Messenger magazine edited by Fr. Robert Fox reported from Sr. Lucia that God accepted the 1984 consecration and would keep His promise. That fall, the Communist regimes of East Europe collapsed. Before passing in 2005, she said, “For the Pope, Mary, the angels, Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are going to Heaven!” Sr. Lucia, an exemplary advocate of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is currently under investigation of sainthood.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 17


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (11)

If children can be saints, all the more so can adults. After the Fatima apparitions, Lucia suffered greatly until her death in 2005. Francisco, her father, and then Jacinta died in quick succession, and she fell into severe depression and spent much time in the cemetery mourning them. Her bishop eventually decided to move her away from Fatima. In 1925, while living in a Dorothean convent, she received a vision of Mary and the Child Jesus. Mary said the offences of ungrateful sinners had caused her a lot of suffering and promised special grace at the hour of death to those who followed the Five First Saturdays devotion. On the first Saturday of five consecutive months, they would need to go to Confession, receive Holy Eucharist, and pray and meditate on the Rosary. Jesus revealed that these practices would repair the offences done to Mary. Of course, we can receive the Sacraments on days other than first Saturdays – the important thing is to do this for the reparation of sinners. The Opus Dei Prelature has a tradition of praying five decades of the Rosary daily and meditating on the remaining fifteen, for the reparation of offences to the Virgin Mary.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 10


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (10)

The July apparition and the three Fatima secrets revealed there deeply affected Jacinta’s spiritual development. Having seen the pitiful souls suffering in Hell, she loved making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, such as fasting and frequenting the Church even when it wasn’t Sunday. She was also devoted to the Immaculate Heart, loved the prayer “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.” and encouraged Lucia, who was entrusted with the mission of spreading devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Jacinta, having seen the Holy Father being martyred, also loved offering prayers and sacrifices for the Pope. In 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta and publicly thanked Jacinta for her prayers and sacrifices. Mary let Jacinta know that she would be brought to hospital in Lisbon to die alone, and then be brought to Heaven. When it was time to leave, Jacinta tearfully embraced Lucia and, knowing this was their final farewell, she asked Lucia to keep praying for her until she reached Heaven and to keep sacrificing for sinners. While in Lisbon, Mary revealed to Jacinta that it was the sin of impurity that brought the most souls to Hell. After Jacinta died, her body was discovered to be incorrupt and the Pope commanded Lucia to recount the stories of Francisco and Jacinta to the world.
Publish date: 2018 - 2 - 3


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (9)

After the October 13th apparition, Francisco dedicated himself to solitary prayer to console Jesus, while Jacinta dedicated herself to sacrifices to save sinners from Hell. When Lucia questioned Francisco, he replied, “When you saw Mary’s face, didn’t you see how saddened she was by the offenses shown to God? I want to first console God and then convert sinners so they will cease offending Him." When Lucia went to school one day, Francisco felt death nearing, so he stayed in the church to pray, saying, “I must stay with the hidden Jesus.” But when Francisco fell sick and could not go to church, he asked Lucia to visit the hidden Jesus on his behalf. Although he suffered greatly from the sickness, he remained joyful for the sake of Jesus. When his sickness worsened, he asked Lucia and Jacinta to help him recount his sins so he could make a good Confession and receive the Eucharist. Having received the “hidden Jesus”, he promised Lucia, “I will not forget about you – I will plead to God to bring you to Heaven soon.” Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, May 13, 2017, Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 27


Pioneers of New France

Many consider Canada to be one of the best countries to live in. However, in the 17th century, when Canada was just newly founded, it was considered the country of crosses. Fountain of Grace takes a look at how Blessed Catherine of St. Augustine and St. Francois de Laval sacrificed their comfort and contributed to the well-being of Canadians.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 20


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima (8)

On August 12 and 13, there was a great downpour, but many people still came to the site of the apparition, hoping to witness the promised miracle there. The mother of the Dos Santos children also came. Although she still did not believe their visions, she wanted to protect them against angry crowds in case no miracle took place. Lucia led the crowds to pray the Rosary, and seeing the Virgin Mary, she asked, “What must I do?” The Virgin Mary replied, “Build a chapel for me here, and pray the Rosary, so that the war will end.” When Lucia brought the needs of the crowd to Mary, Mary replied, “Some I can grant, others I cannot. They must first change their lives. God has already been deeply wronged.” Then, Mary stretched out her arms, and a bright light appeared, showing Jesus and Joseph blessing the world – the Holy Family. At the same time, the crowds saw the Sun dancing in circles across the sky. Many thought that Judgment Day had arrived, but after eight to ten minutes, the sun returned to normal, and the formerly wet ground was dry. Many doubters of the Fatima visions believed that day. Clearly, God performed a miracle to emphasize to humans the importance of praying for peace.
Publish date: 2018 - 1 - 20


Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima 4

After Lucia saw the Immaculate Heart of Mary, her mother thought her a liar and her parish priest thought her possessed by demons. Over time, Lucia herself began to suspect a demonic origin to the visions, but Jacinta was adamant, saying, “No, the Mary we saw was beautiful, not ugly like the demons!” But Lucia lost interest in prayer, had nightmares about demons, grew estranged from Francisco and Jacinta, and finally decided not to return to the place of the visions. On July 13th, though, Lucia felt compelled to go to her siblings – seeing them too afraid to go to Mary without her, Lucia relented and went with them. When they arrived, Mary told them she would give a vision in October which would make many believe. To rekindle Lucia’s interest in offering up her sufferings, Mary taught her to pray this with every sacrifice, “O Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 23