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Spiritual Talk – Fr. Ho talks about Fatima 2

This year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, which occurred from May to October 1917. On May 13th, 1917, the three dos Santos siblings were playing outdoors when they saw a beautiful lady appear in a flash of light. She said, “Do not be afraid, I come from heaven. Come back here on the thirteenth day of every month.” All three siblings could see Mary, and Lucia and Jacinta could hear Mary, but only Lucia could speak to her. Lucia asked, “Will we go to heaven?” Mary replied, “Yes, but first you must pray the Rosary frequently.” Thinking of some recently deceased friends, Lucia asked whether they were in heaven. Mary replied, “Mary is, but Amelia will be in purgatory until the Last Day.” Mary then asked Lucia, “Are you willing to offer up all the sufferings which God will give you for the reparation of sins and the conversion of sinners?” Lucia agreed. Mary then said, “Go, you will suffer much, but God’s grace will console you.” The children saw God, and Mary told them to pray the prayer revealed by the Angel before, saying, “Pray the Rosary daily for world peace and cessation of war.” The message of the apparitions was to pray and sacrifice for the reparation of sins and for world peace.
Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 9


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Mother of New France: St. Mary of the Incarnation

In 1639, St. Mary of the Incarnation left France for Canada, a newly founded settlement, so that girls may receive an education. What did she give up in order to fulfill this God-given mission? Fountain of Grace takes a look at how St. Mary of the Incarnation gives her life for Canada.
Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 2


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Spiritual Talk – Fatima

In 1916, an angel, the Guardian of Portugal and the Angel of Peace, twice appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal and taught them to offer up their work and sufferings. The angel appeared a third time and, lifting high the Body and Blood of Christ, prostrated himself on the ground thrice and prayed what are now known as the second of the four Fatima Prayers. Then, the angel administered the Body to Lucia, and the Blood to Francisco and Jacinta, and taught them how to receive the Eucharist as an Act of Reparation, saying, “Jesus has been severely offended by ungrateful sinners – you must receive the Eucharist for the reparation of their sins and console your God.” Then, he disappeared, and Mary eventually appeared to the children in 1917. They noticed that, when the angel appeared to them, they felt tired and afraid to confide in him, but when Mary appeared to them, they felt energized and wanted to confide all to her. It was only later, when Lucia was commanded to write memoirs, that the apparitions of the angel were revealed. We too can learn to receive the Eucharist worthily and console God.
Publish date: 2017 - 12 - 2


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Spiritual Talk – Children can also be saints

Children can also be saints – 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, when Mary appeared to 10-year-old Lucia, 9-year-old Francisco, 7-year-old Jacinta. Francisco and Jacinta died early and were canonized on May 13, 2017. In 1916, an angel told them to pray with him and implore God to forgive the unbelievers; he told the children, “Keep praying. Jesus and Mary will listen to your prayers.” Another time, the children were idle in the shade, and the angel chastised them, telling them to keep praying and offer up their work as sacrifices to God for the sake of the conversion of sinners. The angel continued, “I am the Guardian Angel of Portugal. If you do these, your country will have peace. But you must patiently endure the coming sufferings.” The angel, suspected to be St. Michael, prepared the way for Mary’s apparitions. When we are called to endure things in life, we can also offer these up to God as sacrifices.
Publish date: 2017 - 11 - 25


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (62)

By 1879, St. John Bosco was growing old and began thinking of appointing his successor as superior of the Salesian Order. He frankly consulted Fr. Giovanni Cagliero, saying, “I think there are three probable candidates.” Fr. Cagliero replied, “As of now, there’s only one – Fr. Rua.” Thankful for the advice, Fr. Bosco appointed Fr. Michele Rua his successor. That December, Fr. Cagliero was consecrated in Turin as a bishop to South America, and purposely sought ought Fr. Bosco to be the first to kiss his bishop’s ring. In 1887, Fr. Bosco celebrated Mass at the newly-consecrated Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin; he cried many tears, saying afterwards that he recalled a childhood vision of Mary. Now, he knew that all his work to save souls was worth it. In September, he became sick, and even as visitors came to comfort him, he would still comfort them in return. When his health declined further, Fr. Cagliero returned from South America to visit, and during their visit, Fr. Bosco told him, “Tell the Salesians to work diligently and joyfully, to love each other like brothers.” In 1888, he said, “Tell my children that I will await them in heaven.” In January 31, he passed away in the company of his spiritual children. But even after death, he continues to work, working miracles and interceding for the living – a true spiritual father.
Publish date: 2017 - 11 - 18


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (61)

The Virgin Mary appeared to St. John Bosco in a dream and showed him the martyrdom sites of three martyrs, so he worked hard to raise funds to built a church there. Today, the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin is the resting place of this saint. In 1868, the church was consecrated and many healings were reported; a blind old woman came to St. John Bosco to ask for healing, so he first asked her whether she would use her sight to glorify God. The woman replied in the affirmative, so he prayed the Hail Mary and Hail Holy Queen with her, held up a holy card of Our Lady Help of Christians, and asked, “What am I holding in my hands?” She opened her eyes and exclaimed, “It is a holy card of Mary!” He purposely dropped the holy card, and when the woman picked it up again, he knew her sight was fully restored. In 1880, Leo XIII assigned him to travel across Europe to raise funds for the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Praetorian Barracks in Rome. Although already old and frail, St. John Bosco attracted huge crowds of donors begging for miracles, but he always told them, “I am a sinner. All that I do is through the intercession of Mary working through me.”
Publish date: 2017 - 11 - 11


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (60)

Many miracles occurred in St. John Bosco’s life. Once, a 16-year-old boy named Francisco entered the Oratory, but after a few days, tired of the simple food, told his mother he wanted to go home. Then, he witnessed a miracle—with only 15 to 20 loaves of bread, St. John Bosco fed the entire Oratory of 400 boys—and he told his mother, “Mother, I am sorry you had to needlessly come to Turin. But I have witnessed a miracle here, and I cannot leave a place so blessed by God.” He later became a Salesian priest. St. John Bosco had long prayed to the Virgin Mary for the gift of giving guidance to others. Because of this, he would frequently give helpful words of caution to his students. He would tell them to avoid obsessing over worldly things and focus on heavenly things. In doing so, he met their spiritual needs and brought them closer to God.
Publish date: 2017 - 11 - 4


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (59)

St. John Bosco received knowledge from his dreams and used it to teach his students. Once, he dreamt he was in a beautiful place with his students led by the deceased St. Dominic Savio. Dominic was wearing a beautiful red sash on his waist, pure white robes, and a garland. The sash represented the sacrifices he made, the robes his baptismal purity, and the garland his many virtues. Dominic said, “What gave me the greatest solace before death was the strength that Mary gave us to love. The Salesians will bring many souls to God, but you must remember to venerate the Virgin Mary and preserve virtue.” In another dream, St. John Bosco heard two girls talking: “Purity comes from adhering to the holy law of God.” He would teach his students to restrain themselves in word, thought, and appetite; he also warned them to avoid idleness and excessive busyness, because the Devil loved to tempt people at such times.
Publish date: 2017 - 10 - 28


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (58)

Once, St. John Bosco had a dream. In it, the students of his Oratory were dining in three levels: a few students dined miserably on the floor, most of the students dined at tables set with tablecloths and cutlery, and only very few students dined from on high with exquisite food and joyful sharing. He recognized his students and understood that the lowest level were in grave sin, the middle level were those who had repented, and the highest level had never lost their baptismal purity. On awaking, he encouraged those in grave sin, although unable to reach the highest level, to repent and be saved. St. John Bosco had another dream of the Devil ensnaring souls with sins. But beside each trap, God’s providential hand would place helpful weapons. The two biggest were meditation and spiritual reading, the two swords were adoring the Eucharist and venerating Mary, the axe was Confession, and the assorted knives were venerating the saints. He also had a third dream that the Church would face rough seas of sin and conflict but a Pope would guide its ship between the two columns of the Eucharist and Mary.
Publish date: 2017 - 10 - 21


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. John Bosco (57)

After his death, St. Dominic Savio was interred at Turin’s Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians (St. John Bosco’s later burial place). Nearby are many baby items left in thanksgiving: St. Dominic especially interceded for sick babies. After Dominic’s death, St. John Bosco dreamt the Virgin Mary telling him that the shepherds would come from the sheep – clearly, his order’s priests would come from his students. In 1854, he gathered followers to form the Salesian Order under the example of St. Francis de Sales, who emphasized the universal call to sainthood. While devising the order’s rule, he was attacked by devils – he would hear crying, his inkwell spilled onto his papers, and his desk would shake. But he received support from the Italian government and Blessed Pope Pius IX. In 1859, he and 17 followers formally established the Salesian Order and once he received approval from the Holy See, the Order grew to 251 members. In addition, a Salesian Family of Don Bosco grew to bring about the Salesian mission. The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was a sister order established to educate girls, and the Association of Salesian Cooperators was established for laity to cooperate with the Salesians.
Publish date: 2017 - 10 - 14


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Guardians of Canada: Our Lady of the Cape and Blessed Frédéric Janssoone

Trois-Rivières, a French-speaking city in Quebec, is the home of treasures of the Catholic Church in Canada. Blessed Frédéric Janssoone, a Franciscan friar who devoted all of his energy in spreading the Good News of Christ, might become Canada's next saint. A little-known stone chapel ultimately became a Marian shrine which attracts thousands of pilgrims yearly. Fountain of Grace uncovers these treasures for you.
Publish date: 2017 - 10 - 7


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Dominic Savio

St. Dominic Savio was a holy student of St. John Bosco. When a classmate refused to pray in the cold chapel, he gave him his coat. Another time, a stranger visited the Oratory’s students and interspersed his jokes with criticisms of Catholicism. When Dominic found out, he got the students to walk out, saying, “This sinful man is trying to destroy our souls.” Another time, one of the students shared an impure newspaper, so Dominic angrily ripped it up and said, “Have you forgotten? Jesus said even one impure look can damage our souls!” The boy protested, “We’re just playing.” Dominic said, “We’ll see if you’ll still have fun in hell!” In 1856, John Bosco’s mother Margherita passed away and appeared singing to him in his dreams, saying, “I’m awaiting you, we must be together.” And a year later, Dominic fell sick and died, later appearing to his father asking for prayers.
Publish date: 2017 - 10 - 7