Spiritual Talk
 
 
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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Sister Consolata Betrone

Sister Consolata Betrone was born in Italy in 1903; when she was 13, she devoutly prayed, “My God, I love You!” and consecrated herself to the Virgin Mary. That day, after receiving the Eucharist, she heard a voice, “Are you willing to belong to me?” She tearfully replied, “I am,” and offered herself totally to Jesus. Over time, she felt God’s calling grow stronger but still felt doubts and spiritual dryness. Aged 21, she realized her calling to the religious life and, after being rejected three times by different convents, was accepted to the Capuchin Order’s Convent of the Poor Clares in 1929. In 1934, she professed her religious vows and was assigned to work as a portress, kitchen helper, secretary, and nurse. At this time, Jesus revealed a special ejaculatory prayer to her: “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!” He explained that the “souls” included those in Purgatory, those in the Church Militant, even those of atheists. Each prayer, when said all day long, would save one soul. Jesus also told her, “The souls I love most are those who love Me most.” And again, “The more you love Me, the happier you will be.” He told Sister Consolata, “Do not limit your trust in Me, and I will not limit My graces to you. Once suffering is accepted with love, it is no longer suffering, but joy.” In 1945, Sister Consolata fell sick and passed away – she had dedicated her life to praying for sinners.
Publish date: 2018 - 10 - 6


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Blessed Solanus Casey

21, he entered the seminary and loved the lifestyle, but theology was taught in German and Latin, so he struggled, and eventually his superiors suggested that he enter a religious order. He applied to the Jesuits, Franciscans, and the Capuchins and all three orders accepted him, so he prayed a novena with his mother and sister, hearing Mary distinctly tell him on the last day, “Go to Detroit”, the headquarters of the Capuchins. After journeying through a snowstorm, he fell asleep at the door of St. Bonaventure Friary. Awoken by bells, he joined the procession to Christmas Midnight Mass. He joined the Capuchins as Friar Francis Solanus, but as his grades were so poor, his superiors ordained him in 1904 as a “simplex priest” – one who can say Mass but not preach or hear confessions. He also served as porter to the Friary and was able to console the sick and the poor. Fr. Solanus supported the Seraphic Mass Association, which would pray for donors to the Capuchins, and every time he enrolled a donor, miracles would occur. Fr. Solanus died in 1957, having served God with the little gifts given to him. His last words were “I give my soul to Jesus Christ.”
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 15


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Pope Pius XII

Born in 1876, the “Marian Pope” Venerable Pius XII was ordained a priest and then consecrated bishop on May 13, 1917 – the day of the first Fatima apparition. In 1939, he was elected Pope and, following Mary’s command at Fatima, consecrated the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942 and 1952 respectively. Sister Lúcia believed that this consecration helped end the Second World War. Throughout the war, he worked for peace and helped the Jewish people escape Nazi atrocities. In Rome, an important rabbi was so moved by this that he was baptized into the Church as “Eugenio Maria”, the Pope’s birth name. In 1950, he defined the dogma of the Assumption and saw the Sun dance miraculously four times. In the aftermath of the war, many bodies were never recovered, and the dogma of Mary’s bodily assumption into Heaven reminded people of God’s promise to resurrect the bodies of all the dead, thus consoling the grieving families. Pope Pius instituted two important Marian feasts. First, he instituted the Feast of the Immaculate Heart in 1944, to bring about world peace, freedom to the Church, and conversion of sinners. Then in 1954, he established the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, for the veneration of Mary’s mercy and motherly authority. The same year, he instituted a “Marian year” and in a message to the Philippine people proclaimed the Rosary their “national Marian devotion” and their country the “Kingdom of the Rosary”. He also wrote an encyclical to promote the praying of the Rosary in families, and so promote a devout spirit of prayer and family unity. Pope Pius XII loved Mary deeply and brought the Church “through Mary to Jesus”.
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 8


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Blessed James Alberione

Blessed James Alberione was born in 1884 in Northern Italy. As a child, he spent hours praying at Marian shrines, seeing Mary as helper of Jesus, and sharer of Jesus’ life with the Apostles – this he developed into a special devotion to Mary as Queen of the Apostles. He was a pioneer of Catholic media, called by Pope John Paul II the “first apostle of the new evangelization”. In 1900, he was inspired during prayer to serve the people of the new century. He established the Pauline family of ten religious organizations, including the male Society of St. Paul and the female Daughters of St. Paul. Through modern telecommunications (such as periodicals, movies, television, radio), they promoted living holy lives and spread holy doctrine. In 1954, he founded the Basilica of St. Mary Queen of Apostles at Montagnola in Rome, which was designated a titular see in 1965, and assigned to Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong in 2012. Blessed James would pray the Rosary constantly, even on the streets, in the bus, on the train, or in the waiting room. Every day, he would rise at 3:30am, pray for seven hours, and recommended spending a Holy Hour before the Eucharist daily. He refused to be lazy, was always vigilant, and extended his prayer to action, sensing the signs of the times to touch people’s souls. He died in 1971 and was beatified in 2003.
Publish date: 2018 - 9 - 1


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Maximilian Kolbe

In the early 20th century, the Church responded to Freemasonry and Modernism with two lay movements – one from Western Europe and another from Eastern Europe. In 1917, St. Maximilian Kolbe from Poland founded the Knights of the Immaculata, a group of Catholics dedicated to proclaiming the message of Mary in a society of error and indifference, taking the Miraculous Medal as their symbol. Fr. Kolbe was recognized early for his sanctity, and his hair was secretly collected for relics. In 1941, he was brought to the Nazi concentration camps and became a light in the dark – he led the praying of the Rosary and was executed after voluntarily taking the place of another prisoner. In 1921, Frank Duff founded the Legion of Mary in Ireland. In 1917, he read Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary” and used his spirituality to lead his group “to Jesus through Mary”. Every year, the members of the Legion reconsecrate themselves – body, soul, possessions, and fruits of work – for Mary to use as she sees fit. The Legion of Mary spread throughout the world, especially in mission territories. Members pray the Rosary at weekly meetings, as Frank Duff believed its mysteries to be the work of the Holy Spirit. In 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council as a lay observer and died in 1980, aged 91.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 25


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about St. Anthony Claret

St. Anthony Claret was born in 1807, a Spaniard who grew up praying the Rosary with his family and became devoted to the Rosary after reading a book on it. He would often go to church with his younger sister to pray the Rosary, even leading other parishioners. In 1829, he entered seminary and began to pray three decades daily. In 1835, he was ordained as a diocesan priest, having left the Jesuit novitiate due to ill health. He was a prolific preacher, sometimes preaching twelve times in a day. In 1839, he went to Italy, and became devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary after seeing the people’s devotion. In 1847, he started a Marian sodality and the Claretian missionary order dedicated to the Immaculate Heart in 1849. In 1850, he was consecrated bishop to Cuba. There, he stipulated that all parishes publicly pray the Rosary on Sundays and feast days, and sometimes made unannounced inspections. He was called the “St. Dominic of the 19th Century”, so great was his promotion of the Rosary. But St. Anthony suffered fifteen assassination attempts on his life. Once, an assailant stabbed his cheek but St. Anthony was able to commute his death sentence to a prison sentence. After seven years as bishop, he was called back to Spain to serve as confessor to Queen Isabella II. With plentiful time, he dedicated himself to printing theological publications. After a revolution in 1868, St. Anthony followed his dethroned queen into exile in France, where he died in 1870, aged 62. St. Anthony Claret taught us to venerate the Immaculate Heart and diligently pray the Rosary.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 18


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary in Banneux, Belgium (2)

At the third Banneux apparition, Mariette asked Mary, “Who are you?” Mary replied, “I am the Virgin of the Poor.” She brought Mariette to a spring, saying, “This spring is for the sick of all nations.” On January 20th, Mary indicated that a chapel ought to be built at the site. The day after, Mariette dipped her Rosary into the spring. Mary told her, “I have come to lessen the sufferings of others.” On February 15th, Mary said, “Trust in me. I will trust in you.” On March 2nd, it rained heavily in the afternoon and stopped suddenly once Mary appeared at 7pm. Mariette spread her arms to welcome Mary, who looked even more beautiful, but had a stern unsmiling expression. She said, “I am the Mother of the Saviour, the Mother of God. Pray more.” She made the Sign of the Cross above Mariette’s head and said, “Farewell, until we meet again in God.” Mariette, knowing this was the last apparition, wept. Although Mary is in heaven, she still continually cares and intercedes for her children on earth.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 11


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary in Banneux, Belgium

Mary also appeared to Mariette Beco at Banneux, Belgium in 1933 as Our Lady of Banneux. Mariette was the eldest of seven children. Her family was not pious and she stopped attending First Communion classes. But on January 15th, 1933, at 7pm, the eleven-year-old Mariette saw a woman clothed in white, wearing a blue sash, holding a Rosary, and with a flower at her feet through her kitchen window. Her mother also saw the white figure, but thought her a witch. Mariette, though, knew that she was the Virgin Mary, and began to pray the Rosary. The woman spoke inaudibly, and gestured to come inside, but Mariette’s mother would not allow it, and the woman disappeared. The next day, Mariette’s friends encouraged her to tell the priest about the apparition. After Mariette decided against it at the last minute, they did so in her stead. The priest initially believed that Mariette’s imagination was merely fuelled by the Beauraing apparitions. But Mariette began to seriously prepare for her First Communion, impressing the priest, who encouraged Mariette to tell him the truth. He said, “The woman you saw sounds very similar to the Lourdes apparition. Did you not just see a statue?” That night, Marita was moved to kneel in prayer at her family’s garden. Mary appeared again, and directed Mariette to run to a stream, and said, “Submerge your hands in it – it has been reserved for me. Farewell.” That night, the priest arrived at their home and Marita’s father, formerly a lukewarm believer, inspired by his daughter’s example, declared his intention to become a fervent believer again to the priest, and made a general confession.
Publish date: 2018 - 8 - 4


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Beauring, Belgium

On November 29, 1932, Mary appeared to children in Beauring, Belgium as a blue-eyed, 18 to 20-year-old woman, holding a Rosary. One of the children asked, “Are you the Immaculate Virgin?” Mary smiled and nodded. “What do you want?” he asked. “Always be good.” Mary answered. The children would meet Mary again in the garden of their convent school. Once, Mary asked them to come on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. A large crowd followed the children at the place, and they saw the garden bathed in light by Mary. Some doctors examined the children and found them in the Spirit. Then, Mary disappeared, and the children tearfully cried, “She has left!” On December 17, Mary asked for a chapel to be built at the site, and four days later, she declared herself the Immaculate Virgin. On December 29, she bid the children farewell, extended her arms, and revealed her golden heart, hence the name “Virgin of the Golden Heart”. On January 3, her 33rd apparition, Mary said to Andree, “I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. You must pray constantly. Farewell.” To Fernande, she asked, “Do you love my Son? Do you love me?” She replied, “Yes.” Mary said, “Then sacrifice yourself for me.” Then Mary disappeared.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 28


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Blessed Bartolo Longo (2)

Starting from 1873, Bartolo Longo began organizing a confraternity of the Rosary and invited Dominican priests to preach. He needed an image of Our Lady of the Rosary, so he found an old, dilapidated image at a nearby convent, showing Mary carrying the Child Jesus, handing the Rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. In 1879, the image was restored and many miracles were subsequently attributed to it. He set up orphanages and sought to form orphans into honest people through work and prayer. He set up a large printing press for propagating the Rosary and arranged for religious brothers and sisters to educate orphan boys and girls in the faith. The widowed Countess Mariana di Fusco funded Bartolos’s charitable works, but many rumours were spread about their close relationship, so Pope Leo XIII suggested they get married, which they did in 1885. Husband and wife remained continent and continued charitable works, donating all their property to the Holy See in 1906. The Countess died in 1924 aged 88, and Bartolo continued fervently promoting the Rosary until he died too in 1926 aged 85. His dying wish was to see Mary, who had rescued him from the clutches of Satan. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 21


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Blessed Bartolo Longo

In 1841, Blessed Bartolo Longo was born into a wealthy family. When he studied law in university, he was influenced by the anti-Catholicism there and became a satanic priest. On hearing the voice of his deceased father, “Return to God,” Bartolo visited his alarmed friend who said, “Do you want to die in a mental institution and lose your soul?” He convinced him to confess to a Dominican priest. After a month of guidance, he once again received the Eucharist. He served at a hospital and saw their patient suffering for God as a manifestation of authentic joy. In 1871, he became a Dominican tertiary, publicly renounced satanism as a “maze of error” at their meeting places, and recounted his conversion story at the university. He went to take care of the affairs of a wealthy widow in Pompei, and saw the people’s religion distorted by superstition and prayed for their conversion. For some time, he despaired and had suicidal thoughts, thinking that his past still bound him to Satan. But he thought of St. Dominic’s promise, “he who propagates my Rosary will be saved.” At that moment, he heard church bells ringing and dedicated his life to spreading the Rosary and making Mary loved and honoured.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 14


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Spiritual Talk – Fr Ho talks about Apparition of Mary at Lourdes, France (4)

On July 16, 1858, the day of the final Lourdes apparition, the grotto was closed off. Accompanied by her aunts and neighbours, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary at 8pm in a nearby field. That day, Mary appeared as in the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and, just as in the final Fatima apparition in 1917, was silent. After this apparition, Bernadette became increasingly famous, and she retreated to a life of contemplation at a Sisters of Charity of Nevers convent. There, the Mother Superior was especially strict with her and gave her menial tasks, thinking the visions had made her proud. Later, her health failed, so she was assigned to stitching vestments. Once, a sister asked her whether she had ever been tempted to pride; she replied, “How could that be? Mary picked me because I am most ignorant!” Suffering from tuberculosis in her right knee, she grasped the cross, crying three times, “Repent!” and finally, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, a pitiful sinner!” Bernadette passed away on April 16, 1879, aged 35, and the people, on receiving the news, flocked to the convent, singing, “The saint has passed away!” In 1808, her body was exhumed at Nevers and discovered to be incorrupt. And in 1933, she was canonized.
Publish date: 2018 - 7 - 7