Month: January 2019

Pope Leo XIII & The Prayer to St. Michael the Arch-Angel

Mention is often made of Leo XIII and a famous vision that he saw – that of an attack being made or planned by the devil against the Church. The facts about this vision, however, have been unclear for many decades, for there are different versions of what occurred, and of what was or was not said in that vision. What is fact and what is fiction about this event in modern papal history? To provide clarity about Pope Leo’s vision, Kevin J. Symonds began a historical investigation to arrive at the facts, and to distinguish between rumor or hearsay and the authentic history of the event, as well as to explain its meaning for our time in the light of the teaching of the Church, and in particular of the contemporary Popes. Related to this vision is the well known Prayer to St. Michael and a special prayer of Exorcism. What became known as the Leonine Prayers began to be recited after Masses throughout the world, taking their name from Leo XIII, but their origin came from his predecessor, Blessed Pius IX. Moving into the twentieth century, the author then examines the relationship between Pope Leo’s vision and Fatima, and the decision of Pius XI, after the Vatican’s reconciliation with the Italian government, to continue the Leonine Prayers while adding the conversion of Russia as their intention.

Still, the author’s research does not end there, because the events of the second half of the twentieth century have raised even more questions regarding the assaults of the devil, the importance of the message of Fatima, and the tragedy of what Pope Paul VI called the “smoke of Satan” entering the Church. The account goes all the way to the most recent Popes, who were instrumental in the dedication of a new statue of St. Michael inside the Vatican.Short Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

The well-known short version of this prayer follows in English and Latin. The Pope ordered this prayer to be recited daily after Low Mass in all the churches throughout the Catholic world. However this practice was almost completely swept away in the 1960s by liturgical changes made in the wake of Vatican Council II.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice 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, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen

A Theology of the Body Day at UMD: Saturday, Feb. 2

What is love? It’s what you’re made for…so come learn more about it!

Adult and couples retreat: Sat, Feb 2
8am: Mass (hopefully) or prayer
8:30am: Theology of the Body Conference at UMD
4:30pm: Dinner at Tavern on the Hill

I hope you can join us!


(Saturday) 8:30 am – 4:00 pm CST


UMD Bohannon Hall (BohH) Room 90


The ‘Theology of the Body’ is Pope John Paul II’s integrated vision of the human person – body, soul, and spirit. As he explains, the physical human body has a specific meaning and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:

Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
Why were we created male and female?
Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
Why were man and woman called to communion from the beginning?
What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
What exactly is “Love”?
Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?

All of these questions and many more are answered in Pope John Paul II’s 129 Wednesday audiences, which were given between the years 1979 and 1984. His reflections are based on Scripture (especially the Gospels, St. Paul and the Book of Genesis), and contain a vision of the human person truly worthy of man. John Paul II discusses who man was in the beginning, who he is now (after original sin), and who he will be in the age to come. He then applies this message to the vocations of marriage and celibacy, in preparation for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Want to learn more? Join us on the UMD campus for a one-day conference featuring presenters Father Mike Schmitz and Nic Davidson! Registration for the day begins at 8:30am, the actual conference will begin at 9am. There will be coffee and rolls provided in the morning, and while lunch will NOT be provided, time will be given for it. There will also be time for Q & A to close out the day, so bring your questions and invite your friends!

*Please keep in mind that mature topics will be addressed during this time.*

We look forward to seeing you there!

9 Days for Life: Day 9

Hello! Today is Day 9  of the  9 Days for Life novena, which you are automatically subscribed to receive because of your participation in other communications and prayer initiatives from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Did You Know?
In the Catholic Church in the United States, January 22nd is designated as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” As Catholics, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting, and/or giving alms.
More Information:
May the tragic practice of abortion come to an end.Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Today, on this 46
th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers.
Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (
Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
Learn how to pray the Angelus (, and consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).
Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention
One Step Further
More women and girls consider abortion than we may realize. They are our relatives and friends, people who work with us or for us. Even if someone identifies as being pro-life, the shock of an unexpected pregnancy, the devastation of a difficult prenatal diagnosis, shame, pressures, or fears may influence her to consider abortion.If someone shared with you she was pregnant and hadn’t ruled out having an abortion, would you know how to respond in a loving way that is life-affirming for both her and her baby? Learn about the four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*:
Listen and LearnOpen OptionsVision and Value, and Extend and Empower(
For other simple tips on how to provide loving, life-affirming support for a friend who is unexpectedly pregnant, read “10 Ways to Support Her When She’s Unexpectedly Expecting” (

*The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is trademarked by Heartbeat International, Inc. and may not be adapted or modified. The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is used in “What to Do When a Friend Is Considering Abortion” with permission from Heartbeat International, Inc. 
9 Days for Life: Day 8

Hello! Today is Day 8  of the  9 Days for Life novena, which you are automatically subscribed to receive because of your participation in other communications and prayer initiatives from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

May those nearing life’s end receive medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
The dying process is a sacred time—a final season to seek closure in this life and prepare for the next. We know earthly death is not the end, but rather the door through which we must pass to gain eternal life. The deadly practice of assisted suicide—now legal in several states—shortens or even eliminates this sacred season, carelessly cutting short the life of the patient. To support the “false compassion” of assisted suicide is to see people as a problem to be eliminated. End-of-life care should instead help eliminate or alleviate the patient’s problems, whether they are physical, spiritual, or emotional.
Those who die in God’s grace and friendship live forever with Christ. Because of our belief and hope in the Resurrection, we can face death not with fear, but with trust. We pray that society might recognize that every day of our lives is a gift and is always worth living, 
especially our final days. We need not fear. Christ is with us.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)Sacrifice some of your free time to do a small act of service, such as making breakfast for a family member, writing a note of encouragement for a coworker, or praying for the intentions of a friend.
Pray a decade of the rosary ( for your friends and family who have passed away, as well as the departed who have no one to pray for them.
Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intentio
One Step Further
Assisted suicide is in the news and on lawmakers’ agendas. Supporters call it “aid in dying” and claim it is just another option for ending intolerable pain as part of end-of-life care. Learn why assisted suicide is radically different from end-of-life care and the practice of palliative care in “Killing the Pain, Not the Patient: Palliative Care vs. Assisted Suicide” (
When family members or friends approach life’s end, we may not know how best to accompany them. For suggestions on authentically compassionate care anchored in unconditional respect for human life, read “Caring for Loved Ones at Life’s End” ( 

Hello! Today is Day 7  of the  9 Days for Life novena, which you are automatically subscribed to receive because of your participation in other communications and prayer initiatives from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

May those who long to welcome a child into their family be filled with trust in God’s loving plan.Prayers
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
It can be very difficult and painful when the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we hope. A couple that finds themselves unable to bring a child into the world through their loving union can experience this disappointment very deeply. During such times of trial, we may wonder why we face the particular challenges that we do. Yet even though suffering is often shrouded in a sense of mystery, we believe that the Lord loves us with great tenderness and compassion that is beyond our imagination. Knowing this, we can trust that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (
Rom 8:28). 
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share Christ’s love with those who need encouragement the most today.
Offer the Prayer for Those Hoping to Conceive or Adopt a Child (, and spend some time reflecting on the accompanying excerpt from Psalm 145.
Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intentio
One Step Further
“Seven Considerations While Navigating Infertility” ( seeks to provide compassionate guidance that is both practical and informative for married couples who are walking on this road. Although geared to such couples, the article is also helpful for anyone to read, offering insight into the experience of infertility and giving awareness of the need for sensitivity in our relationships with those who may be affected.

Morning Prayer, Psalm 92 & the Voice of Pope St. John Paul II

It never gets old hearing Saint John Paul II utter the beginning of this beautiful psalm in English in today’s Morning Prayer. 

We are featuring the video that was made of it, and thereby bringing you the opportunity to hear him again.

Saint John Paul II, pray for us this day and all days..


It is good to give thanks to the LORD,

to sing praise to your name, Most High,a

To proclaim your love at daybreak,

your faithfulness in the night,

With the ten-stringed harp,

with melody upon the lyre.b

For you make me jubilant, LORD, by your deeds;

at the works of your hands I shout for joy.


How great are your works, LORD!c

How profound your designs!

A senseless person cannot know this;

a fool cannot comprehend.

Though the wicked flourish like grassd

and all sinners thrive,

They are destined for eternal destruction;

but you, LORD, are forever on high.

10Indeed your enemies, LORD,

indeed your enemies shall perish;

all sinners shall be scattered.e


You have given me the strength of a wild ox;f

you have poured rich oil upon me.g

My eyes look with glee on my wicked enemies;

my ears shall hear what happens to my wicked foes.h

The just shall flourish like the palm tree,

shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon.i

Planted in the house of the LORD,

they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

They shall bear fruit even in old age,

they will stay fresh and green,

To proclaim: “The LORD is just;

my rock, in whom there is no wrong.”j