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May, the Month of Mary

This article consists of extracts taken from an Italian book of the same
title written by Father Stefano Manelli. The book is written in Italian
and we are working on making it available in English in the near future.
Please pray that we shall be able to complete this project soon. The
Fatima Crusader first published, in English, Father Manelli's book "Jesus
Our Eucharistic Love" which has now gone into several hundred
thousand copies. We are sure you will also enjoy these beautiful
writings of Father Manelli.
By Father Stefano Manelli, O.F.M. Conv., S.T.D.

Padre Pio of Pietrelcina once wrote at the beginning of the month of May,
"Finally, here comes the month of the beautiful Mother."
As it has been for ages, the month of May is the month of Mary par excellence.
It is the most beautiful month of the year because of its splendid springtime;
thus, it is consecrated to Her to whom the Church sings and praises as "All
Fair".
It is the month when fragrant roses bloom in the warmth of bright nature; and
so it is consecrated to Her whom the Church exalts as "Mystical Rose".
"The month of May", says Pope Paul VI, "reminds us of our childhood joy where
we bring flowers before the altar of Our Lady. The lamps, the songs, the prayers
and the little flowers are joyful expressions of our devotion to Mary Most Holy,
who has become for us the Queen of springtime, the spring of nature and the
spring of souls."

The Most Important Thing...


He who cares for the salvation of his soul is like Mary of Bethany at the feet of
Jesus listening to the word of eternal life. Martha, instead, "worried about so
many things", stands for those who busy themselves with earthly and
secondary things and have no time to care for their souls. Yet the salvation of
souls remains "the one thing necessary". (Lk. 10:42.)
It would be foolishness on our part if amidst the dangers in the world we
neglect to see the "one thing necessary"!

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There's a letter written by St. Gabriel of the Mother of Sorrows, to his friend in
high school in which he wrote: "You are right in saying that the world is full of
dangers and troubles and that it is very difficult to save our own soul; but this
should not discourage us ... Do you want to be saved? Avoid bad companions
and theaters where frequently you enter with the grace of God and come out
losing it or putting it in great danger.
Do you want to be saved? Avoid useless conversations, bad books that harm
all ..."
Let us listen to the Saints. Let us use the means to safeguard our souls so as
not to ruin them.
There is nothing of more value than the salvation of our soul. "What exchange
shall a man give for his soul?" (Mt. 16:26.)

What Does It Profit A Man...


Is it possible that we don't understand the primary importance of working first
of all for the salvation of souls?
Profit, study, work, recreation, business, family, career are things of secondary
importance to the salvation of the soul.
"For what doth it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and suffer the loss of
his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26) and again in parable: "A rich man had land
which bore good crops. He began to think of himself; 'I will tear my barns down
and build bigger ones, where I will store the grain and all my other goods. Then
I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many
years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!' But God said to him, 'You
fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; and who will get all these
things you have kept for yourself?' So is he that layeth up treasure for himself,
and is not rich towards God." (Luke 12:16-21.)
Was Christ not clear in His gospel? Why do we forget it, nor listen to it as we
should?
It is good that Our Lady comes to remind us of it with maternal love even
during this Her month.

"Does It Profit Me ...?


St. Bernard said: "Any time not spent for God is lost."
For this reason St. Aloysius Gonzaga, like the other Saints, suggests asking
oneself before every action: "Does this serve me for eternity ...?" And reflecting
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deeply, he understood well how worthy is the pain of renouncing the possession
of power and earthly glory, to consecrate oneself wholly to Jesus and to attain
eternal glory by consuming oneself for the love of God and neighbor.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori absolutely bound himself with a vow: the vow of not
wasting even a single moment, and he observed it with great heroism. After
writing for hours the pages of doctrine and piety which have enlightened many
souls, he would get headaches. Then while pressing his forehead with one hand,
he would continue to write with the other.
If we are to examine the use of our time and the motive of our actions, we
might find ourselves scratching our heads.
How much time wasted! Perhaps we are prompt to speak of not having time
even for the morning and evening prayers, to recite the Rosary (for fifteen
minutes), or to perform good works ...; then are we not aware of the time we
waste every day, spending our free time in front of the television or in the
movie house, in bars or in the streets or stadiums, on cigarettes, on popular
music hits, or on gossip ... This is how many Christians waste their time!

I Gather What I Sow...


What then is the supreme motive of our actions? To work only to earn? To do
everything for one's own interest? To work only for money, with that prompt
repugnance to suffer any inconveniences, discomfort or loss? Everything is
calculated. Everything must give us the maximum advantage and satisfaction
with minimum effort. There may be in our actions not even the spark of God's
love, a sign of the supernatural intention, a desire to elevate our motive to a
higher level for which the Christian must act. "Whatsoever else you do, do all to
the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31)
How are we before God? If it is true that one day we will render an account
even "of every idle word" (Mt. 12:36), much more so we will have to render an
account of every single moment we wasted, that moment could have become
an act of love of God. This was done by St. Bertilla Boscardin who spent her
days in the hospital reciting ejaculatory prayers with devotion and love. We,
instead, pass from one act to another, from one place to the other, thinking only
of our own interest. But we cannot deceive ourselves: "what things a man shall
sow, these also shall he reap" (Gal. 6:8). If we fill our time with acts done for
God, one day we will reap the beatific vision of God; otherwise we will reap the
sufferings of Purgatory or, may God forbid, the eternity of hell.

To Heaven, To Heaven with Her


The popular song "I will see Her one day", gives strength to desire Heaven, to
see Our Lady and be always with Her.
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St. Bernadette confided that Our Lady is very beautiful and she expressed the
desire to die a thousand times just to be able to see Her again.
One time Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe received well wishes from friends that he
die a quick death so that he would soon be with the Immaculata in Heaven. And
the Saint, deeply moved, thanked them. St. Leonard of Porto Maurizio, an
ardent apostle gave a homily and asked for prayers from the faithful for the
grace to die so that he could be with the Immaculate Virgin soon. Once from the
pulpit he said to the faithful, "I want to die to live with Mary, so recite one Hail
Mary for me. Obtain for me the grace to die now on this pulpit ... I want to see
Mary."
When one truly loves Our Lady, he thinks and aspires untiringly for Heaven
because it is there that Our Lady waits for us and attends to us. The Cur of
Ars said, "She waits for us like a mother waiting for the arrival of her children to
have them all around Her in eternal joy.

We Need Our Lady


One thing, however, must console us. If it is true that one does not go to
Heaven without doing penance, it is also true that to go there by the most
secure and easy road, we must go there with Mary.
Once a bishop went to Padre Pio with a friend who was a mediocre Christian. He
presented him to Father Pio saying, "Father, this friend of mine would like to be
assured of his entrance to Heaven. It is not easy, what would you advise him,
Father?"
Pondering while nodding his head, Father Pio answered smilingly, "Ah, he needs
Our Lady, he needs Our Lady."
This happened also to St. Bernard. Once a great sinner confessed to him that he
was already full of despair because of his terrible sins. St. Bernard spoke to him
of the divine mercy and he opened a passage of the Gospel of the Annunciation,
where the Angel says: "Fear not, Mary, for Thou hast found grace with God."
(Lk. 1:30) And St. Bernard commented saying that Mary "full of grace" has
found grace for us sinners. That poor sinner was enlightened. After his
confession he went immediately to the altar of Our Lady and found perfect
peace.

The Dawn That Rises


However, another stupendous scene appears to us from the beginning of
mankind, subdued by satan and oppressed by sin.

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A sublime Lady with Her Son "crushes the head of the serpent" (Gen. 3:15).
The Immaculate Virgin, who conquered satan, shines through the darkness of
sin, with Her Divine Son. The Immaculate Virgin is the defeat of satan.
The Immaculate Virgin is likened to a dawn that rises in the darkness of
mankind's sinfulness as God Himself presents Her in the pages of Genesis. The
inspired author of the Canticle of Canticles thus exclaims: "Who is She that
cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible
as an army set in array?" (Canticle of Canticles 6:9.)
This is the Immaculate Virgin, the invincible warrior, the Lady of Victories, the
terror of the devils.
It is enough for us to recall a particular story from St. Bernadette Soubirous on
the Immaculate Virgin at Lourdes. The young visionary saw from the side of the
grotto a crowd of bustling devils shouting infernal screams. Frightened, St.
Bernadette soon raised her eyes to the Immaculate Virgin. It was enough for
Mary to cast a severe look at the devils that they soon vanished.
Thus the devil, before the Immaculate One, demonstrates himself to be truly
what his name Beelzebub signifies, namely "god of the flies."

She Crushes satan's Head

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Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe wrote that today "the serpent raises its head on the
whole world, but the Immaculate Virgin crushed its head victoriously".
To beat the devil in a more humiliating way we need to have recourse to the
Immaculate Virgin. As St. Louis de Montfort explains (in his True Devotion No.
50 - 52) the devil is primarily afraid of Her who is as "terrible as an army in
battle array" (Song of Songs 6:9).
When St. Veronica Giuliani was assailed physically by the devil before she could
hardly invoke Our Lady, the devil ran away shouting "Do not call on my enemy."
The strongest Marian prayer against the devil is the Rosary. Once the devil was
asked during the exorcism which prayer he fears most. He replied, "The Rosary
is my scourge."
If Christians would carry with them and use often this "scourge of the devils",
how many damages, misfortunes and sins will be removed from the world.

She Who Conquered Heresy


We Catholics must never get discouraged in the face of this distressing scene of
errors and deviations which afflict humanity. We have Her who conquered satan,
who overcame all errors, the Immaculate Virgin. She who "crushed the
serpent's head".
The Church sings this old antiphon to Mary: "You alone O Blessed Virgin, have
overcome all heresies in the whole world."
All of us must love Our Lady, pray to Her and imitate Her with generosity. She
protects us and snatches us away from all dangers. Like St. Philip Neri, let us
talk to Her with filial confidence: "Blessed Mother take my head with Your hand,
otherwise I may become ... a heretic or a communist!"
Let us entrust ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, because it is this Heart which
"in the end ... will triumph".
However let us defend Our Lady from the attacks of Her enemies who today
deny not only the honor due to Her but even the due recognition of the wonders
God had done in Her (Lk. 1:49), we must defend Her perpetual virginity of soul
and body, and the virginal birth of Jesus which did "not reduce but consecrated
the virginal integrity" of His Blessed Mother (from the Liturgy).
Today it is not uncommon to hear doubts cast upon the Immaculate Conception
and the Assumption; and they empty of all content the truth about the universal
mediation of Mary; they reduce a great deal Her Queenship and presence by
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grace. They attack the forms of Marian devotion, even the most venerable like
that of the holy Rosary and the month of May.
We must react and defend with the vigor of sons, the honor and the beauty of
our Heavenly Mother. Let us recall St. Alphonsus de Liguori that when he took
up his pen to defend the Madonna from the attacks of Her enemies, he cried
scalding tears. What a great heart of a son he had.

In The Immaculate Heart


At Fatima the Rosary was the gift of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We want to
conclude the Marian month putting our Rosary in the Immaculate Heart of Mary
with the commitment of reciting it daily.
The Rosary and the Immaculate Heart of Mary mark the final triumph of the
Kingdom of God for this epoch.
Devotion to the Rosary and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary guarantee
salvation. Even Our Lady says that the souls devoted to the Rosary and to Her
Immaculate Heart "will be chosen ones of God like the flowers I place before His
throne".
Our Lady Herself wants to light and to keep burning in us the love for the
Rosary and for Her Immaculate Heart.
* Recite a Rosary in thanksgiving.
* Offer a Mass and Communion in thanksgiving.
* Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Say to Her "I am all
Thine O Blessed Virgin Mary".
Make Your Pledge Now To Help Bring Our Lady's Fatima Words To
Millions!

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