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May 26, 2020


VA gov heads to beach for selfies as he reportedly mulls a mask mandate: Live coronavirus updates

Live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to pro-life issues, faith, and freedom.
Tue May 26, 2020 - 1:23 pm EST
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam sans mask stands right next to a woman as they snap a selfie over Memorial Day weekend screenshot
Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.

This Memorial Day weekend, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – who, as the commonwealth begins easing its lockdown, is rumored to be contemplating ordering all residents to wear masks – was photographed at a newly reopened beach not wearing a mask and standing close to beachgoers to take selfies with them. Northam’s governorship has been marred by his apparent endorsement of infanticide in January 2019 and the revelation that he is pictured in his medical school yearbook either wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood or blackface.

Should he mandate masks in certain settings, the mandate would have to be instituted as an exception to a Virginia law making covering one’s face in public a felony. The law, which has exceptions for events like Halloween, theatrical performances, and a “public health emergency,” was apparently “ response to the KKK presence in Virginia,” according to a Virginia Beach attorney.

May 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Last week, The Federalist published an interview with an addiction expert who says there is a “pandemic within a pandemic.” He said drug addicts are relapsing and overdosing because of conditions caused by the coronavirus lockdowns.

“People need purpose, they need connection, they need fellowship,” Tim Ryan of A Man in Recovery Foundation said. “Now they’re all alone.”

The doctor in charge of a California trauma center offered a similarly grim observation: “we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.

In a May 6 article that remains relevant, pro-life bioethicist Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute explored the “dangerous temptation to remove control over policy from democratic deliberation in favor of a technocracy, i.e., rule by ‘experts.’ In health care, such a system would be particularly perilous since the experts placed in charge of policy would be ‘bioethicists’ whose predominant views disparage the sanctity of human life.”

He wrote:

The most influential of our would-be health-care overlords hold immoral and amoral values not shared by most of those who would be impacted by their policy prescriptions. For example, most mainstream [bioethics] practitioners reject the belief that human beings have unique value and — unless they have a modifier such as “Catholic” or “pro-life” in front of their identifier — embrace a utilitarian “quality of life” approach to medical decision-making, according to which some of us are judged to have greater worth than others based on discriminatory criteria such as cognitive capacity, state of health, and age.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s husband is the latest public figure to be criticized for apparently ignoring strict lockdown rules.

The New York Post reports, “The governor of Michigan — whose strict coronavirus lockdown policies have caused infamous revolts in the state — is taking heat after her husband appeared to have flouted some of her own advice about holiday travel.”

The man whose “doomsday” predictions about the coronavirus led to the U.K.’s strict lockdown and influenced those of other countries, Neil Ferguson, resigned as a government advisor after it was revealed he broke his own rules to visit his mistress. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, after closing hair salons and declaring, “getting your roots done is not essential,” received a haircut anyway and defended doing so because “I’m the public face of this city.”

Recent LifeSiteNews coverage of the coronavirus crisis includes:

  coronavirus, live coronavirus updates


Top EU diplomat: Coronavirus is ‘the great accelerator of history’

'The end of the American-led system and arrival of an Asian century…is now happening in front of our eyes,' said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission.
Tue May 26, 2020 - 11:30 am EST
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Josep Borrell YouTube / screenshot
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

PETITION: No to mandatory contact tracing and government surveillance for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

BRUSSELS, May 26, 2020  (LifeSiteNews) – A top European Union (EU) diplomat has said that the coronavirus is accelerating “the end of the American-led system and arrival of an Asian century,” while urging EU nations to work together with “collective discipline” to form a “more robust strategy” for engagement with China.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the European Commission, made the remarks in a recorded address to a conference of German ambassadors on Monday, with Germany set to take over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU in July. 

Borrell described COVID-19 as “the great accelerator of history” before saying that “the end of the American-led system and arrival of an Asian century…is now happening in front of our eyes.”

“If the 21st century turns out to be an Asian century, as the 20th was an American one, the pandemic may well be remembered as the turning point of this process,” he said.

The EU diplomat said that the increasing rivalry between the U.S. and China means “the pressure to choose sides is growing,” but that the EU should “follow our own interests and values and avoid being instrumentalized by one or the other.”

Borrell stressed that relations between the U.S. and China were having “paralyzing effect on the multilateral system” and that the “globalization model is under pressure,” with the world becoming more “state-driven.” 

However he urged the 27 European nations to form a “collective discipline” in order to engage effectively with China, saying that relations between China and the EU were not always “based on trust, transparency, and reciprocity.”

Borrell said a “real common strategic culture as a ‘Team Europe’” is required for a “more robust strategy for China,” but lamented that the EU bloc was often unable to reach a consensus because “member states cling to their national viewpoints instead of understanding that there is a broader common interest.”

Later in the conference, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas openly questioned China’s lack of transparency during the coronavirus crisis.

“China's self-image shows a country that is emerging from the crisis better than anyone else. But what does it mean for global trust in China as a leading power if demands for transparency are consistently ignored? And will international companies continue to produce ‘just in time’ in China if the causes of such a crisis are not verified?” Maas said.

China’s failure to accurately report coronavirus cases has been repeatedly questioned by U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. halted funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) in April, after Trump said that the U.N. health group had “failed to investigate credible reports [on coronavirus cases] from sources in Wuhan that conflicted directly with the Chinese government's official accounts.” On April 30 the WHO’s China representative appeared to blame the Chinese government for having covered up the true number of coronavirus cases in the country. 

On May 23 in an interview with Breitbart News, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said China has “let the world down” in its response to the coronavirus.

“China let the world down and [the] World Health Organization was their willing partner, in withholding from the United States and the wider world vital information about the coronavirus that would have made it possible for us to stand up a national response sooner.”

  communist china, coronavirus, european union, josep borrell, united nations, world health organization


Join our daily worldwide rosary HERE

LifeSite's rosary for May 26, 2020.
Tue May 26, 2020 - 11:24 am EST
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LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

May 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews)

– In response to the coronavirus crisis, LifeSite is offering Catholics throughout the world a chance to be united in praying the rosary together, at the same time, every day at 12:00 noon EST.

The rosary is led by Father Anthony Pillari, an American priest currently in Italy.

To date, Catholics from Israel, Uganda, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, India, and Indonesia, as well as other countries, have been joining in.

The whole world – including the Church – has been thrown into chaos because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Thousands of people have passed away as a result of the viral outbreak, while thousands more have been sickened.

And, across the world, business has come to a grinding halt, resulting in sudden job loss and threatening economic recession.

If there ever was a time for prayer, this is it. Catholics around the planet are aching for Mass and the Sacraments, but in many places are unable to access them because of bishops’ orders or government restrictions. 

We know that community with other believers is vital all the time, but especially during this time of global calls for “sheltering-in-place” and quarantine.

“The rosary is the weapon for these times,” St. Padre Pio said. Through prayer, we can shape history, change the world, and bring this painful crisis to an end. Join us today!

Send photos or videos of you and your family praying the rosary with Father Pillari to [email protected]

  anthony pillari, catholic, coronavirus, rosary


Austrian bishops commission book calling same-sex relationships ‘image of God’s goodness’?

A new book commissioned by the bishops demands that Church teaching on homosexuality be overturned
Tue May 26, 2020 - 10:48 am EST
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Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

PETITION: No to mandatory vaccination for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

LINZ, Austria, May 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A new book commissioned by the Austrian bishops argues that homosexual relationships come from God, revealing God’s “goodness and humanity.” The book calls upon the Church to change her teaching against homosexuality and to bless homosexual relationships. 

According to liturgical scholar Fr. Ewald Vollger OT, who contributed to the book, changing Church teaching on homosexuality “can be not only discussed, but also demanded.” The Church could only bless homosexual relationships after a previous change to Church teaching, as Vollger pointed out himself.

Talking to the diocesan newspaper of the Diocese of Linz, he said, “There is also a considerable number of bishops that would like to see a rethinking in the area of sexual morality for the evaluation of same-sex relationships.”

While making sure to distinguish the blessing from the sacrament of marriage, Vollger nevertheless claimed that homosexuality needs to be seen in a positive light.

“Just as marriage between a man and a woman is an image of God’s creative love, so is a same-sex relationship an image of God’s attention to human beings,” he said. “If partners live the gift of mutual love in faithfulness to one another and live their lives with the spiritual gifts of God such as kindness, forbearance, patience, reconciliation, etc., their relationship is also an image of God’s goodness and humanity.”

Vollger praised the blessing of homosexual couples on Valentine’s Day, as it takes place annually, for instance, in Cardinal Christoph Schönborn’s cathedral in Vienna. The blessing proposed in the book commissioned by the Austrian bishops, however, goes beyond that.

“A benediction, as proposed from the point of view of the theology of liturgy, would also have an official character through which the Church expresses the obligation of fidelity and the exclusivity of the relationship,” according to Vollger.

In his interview with the diocesan newspaper, Vollger did not explain how Church doctrine could change. The Church’s condemnation of homosexuality goes back to ancient biblical times.

“The rejection of homosexual behavior that is found in the Old Testament is well known,” writes Catholic Answers. “In Genesis 19, two angels in disguise visit the city of Sodom and are offered hospitality and shelter by Lot. During the night, the men of Sodom demand that Lot hand over his guests for homosexual intercourse.”

After Lot’s refusal, “the angels blind the men of Sodom. Lot and his household escape, and the town is destroyed by fire ‘because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord’ (Gen. 19:13).”

It is because of this passage that homosexuality is called one of the four sins that cry out to God for vengeance. 

In the New Testament, St. Paul is clear that active unrepentant homosexuals cannot enter heaven. 

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God,” he writes.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity,” pointing out that tradition has “always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’”

“They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism. 

The Catholic Church furthermore teaches that the homosexual inclination is also “objectively disordered” since God created sexual attraction for the purpose of drawing a man and a woman together to become husband and wife in marriage. 

The book commissioned by the Austrian bishops looks at the blessing of homosexual relationships not only from the point of view of liturgy. It also contains a section on ethics and moral theology, a biblical section, as well as a chapter looking at the current situation in Austria, where homosexual “marriage” was legalized in 2019.

Advocates for changing Catholic teaching on homosexuality in North America used the publication of the book to push their agenda.

Pro-homosexual Jesuit Fr. James Martin tweeted about it:

New Ways Ministry, which, according to its website, “educates and advocates for justice and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Catholics, and reconciliation within the larger church and civil communities,” also wrote about it.

German-speaking bishops are a significant force in advancing the homosexual agenda.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, at the time head of the German Bishop’s Conference, said in 2019, “I insist: we welcome homosexuals, they belong to the Church, also to the sacramental community.” He added that homosexual couples can receive “a blessing in the sense of a pastoral accompaniment, we can pray together.”

The current president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, has also called for changing the Church’s official teaching on “practiced homosexuality” by “jumping over trenches.”

“Here the statement of the Catechism is first of all that these people are to be met with esteem and respect,” Bätzing said in an interview earlier this year. “But every single sexual act is seen as evidence of a disordered sexual life. This is something that many people no longer want or can understand.”

Bätzing claimed that in moral theology, “we have long since moved towards saying” that if “true love and faithfulness are lived,” even among same-sex partners, “we must acknowledge that.”

On the other hand, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller has come down strongly on the side of Church doctrine during a talk in 2018.

“If a priest blesses a homosexual couple, then this is an atrocity at a holy site, namely, to approve of something that God does not approve of,” the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith pointed out.

  austria, austrian bishops, blessing, diocese of linz, ewald vollger, homosexuality, same-sex blessing


From the gay lifestyle back to his wife and family: The story of Doug Mainwaring

Twenty years ago, Doug Mainwaring left his wife and two children to live as a gay man. His story may or may not surprise you, but it will definitely bring you hope.?
Tue May 26, 2020 - 10:04 am EST
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May 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty years ago, Doug Mainwaring left his wife and two children to live as a gay man. His story may or may not surprise you, but it will definitely bring you hope. 

A new video, produced by LifeSiteNews, tells the story of Mainwaring’s abandonment of his family to live as a gay man and eventual reunion with his family from the most unlikely of roads: same-sex marriage activism.  

In his search for ways to argue in favor of same-sex marriage, Mainwaring discovered the Truth, which eventually led him back to Christ and to opposition of same-sex marriage and LGBT activists in the political square.   

Having lived his life as an activist on the other side of the tracks, Mainwaring reflects on the battle raging against the family saying:   

“The sexual revolution has been the bloodiest war in history, and after having violently taken hundreds of millions of children’s lives through abortion, and after millions more have been critically wounded through divorce and adult selfishness, the fate of children is more precarious than ever. The lies of LGBT ideology are inflicted on our children in our schools, in the media, and even at drag queen story times in our public libraries. In the few short years since Obergefell, we have been plunging down a slippery slope into the ghastly world of transgenderism. Obergefell opened a door that should never have been opened, releasing the contagion of transgenderism on an unsuspecting, unprepared public and our kids are now its most susceptible, tragic victims.” 

Mainwaring then urges readers to help in LifeSite’s effort to “expose and strike back at the dark forces attacking and pillaging the Church and our families with impunity” by joining their growing army of sustaining supporters.  

Thanks to the generosity of a family close to LifeSite, everyone who becomes a monthly donor to the mission in 2020 will have their monthly gift matched for the entire year up to $120,000.  

If you’d like more information on how you can have an impact in bringing truth to the world through the pro-life and pro-family news reporting of LifeSiteNews, visit for more information

  conversion, doug mainwaring, frontlines 2020, lgbtq+, obergefell


I believe the Fatima-predicted chastisement has begun

'It seems to me we’ve entered the prophesied chastisement. Not only has Russia spread her errors but for the first time in history the greater part of Catholic humanity has been deprived of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.'
Tue May 26, 2020 - 2:09 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

May 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – We just passed the 103rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima on May 13 – the Mother of God appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal to warn them and all mankind of coming chastisement unless the world turned from its wicked ways back to Christ.

The October 13, 1917 Fatima miracle of the dance of the sun was witnessed by 70,000 people with coverage in all the secular papers at the time. It was the most spectacular public miracle of all time. What was it that heaven was trying to communicate with this stupendous event?

Specifically, she warned of coming grave offences in terms of impurity which leads more people to hell than any other sin. She asked for prayer of the rosary and consecration to her Immaculate Heart as remedies to the outrages caused against the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She said she would also come back again to ask for the consecration of Russia by the Pope and all the world’s bishops.

Our Lady warned specifically that if Russia was not consecrated there would be "wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated." 

She predicted the Second World War, and it happened. She predicted “fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much. Woe to women lacking in modesty.” And it happened like never before in the history of the world. She predicted wars, and there have been more wars in the last thirty years than ever before. We have not yet seen whole nations annihilated.

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph,” she promised. “The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” We await that peace eagerly both in the world and in the Church.

When we fulfill Our Lady’s requests for Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays and the Holy Father responds to the explicit request of Our Lady of Fatima as Cardinal Burke spoke of Wednesday to consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, we will see the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. That is – a glorious never-before seen peace on earth. A time of great rejoicing and faithfulness is coming and in fact is around the corner.

There is immense hope in this truth, in this promise. And I don’t think we have too long to wait.

Heaven seems to have offered a bit of a timeline on these things which is recorded in the writings of Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the only one of the three Fatima seers who lived to adulthood.

It was to Lucia that Our Lady appeared again in 1929 - June 13, 1929 to be exact. She then requested that the Pope, in union with the world’s bishops consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. The only problem was that it never happened, and heaven showed It’s frustration.

Listen to the full episode: 

Our Lord Himself appeared to Sr. Lucia in a vision in 1931, expressing dismay that the Pope would not carry out the consecration of Russia as requested. “Like the King of France, they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will already have spread its errors in the world.” He added, “Make it known to My ministers, seeing that they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My demand, they will also have to follow him into misfortune.”

That warning has implications for our days and perhaps a bit of a timeline too. The mention of the King of France by Our Lord refers to the request he made of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. On June 17, 1689 Jesus asked her to have the King of France consecrate France to His Sacred Heart. For 100 years the Kings of France failed to make the consecration. 

On June 17, 1789, 100 years to the day of the request, the King of France was stripped of his legislative authority and four years later executed.

So, Our Lord’s warning to Lucia that the Pope and bishops are following in the example of the King of France in refusing to do the consecration and that they’d follow likewise in misfortune is very significant indeed – perhaps significant also in terms of the 100 years-to-the-day timeline.

When are the 100 years up for the request of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia? Remember in 1917 Our Lady said She would return to ask for the consecration, and then appeared again to say it was the time to do it on June 13, 1929. And we’re less than a decade from the centenary of Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia which would be June 13, 2029.

Let us play our part in hastening the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Let us pray the Rosary, wear the Scapular, make the First Saturdays devotion and request the not yet done explicit consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart as Cardinal Raymond Burke called for Wednesday at the Rome Life Forum. Let’s pray that it may come before June 13, 2029.

It’s seems to me we’ve entered the Fatima-prophesied chastisement for not only has Russia spread her errors all over the world, but for the first time in history the greater part of Catholic humanity has been deprived of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

We will never be able to comprehend the gravity of this fully. But in order to appreciate it somewhat, hear the words of St. Alphonsus Ligouri in his Discourses on the Mass and Office. He wrote: “A single Mass gives more honor to God than can ever be given to Him by all the prayers and austerities of the saints, all the labors and fatigues of the Apostles, all the torments of the martyrs, and all the adoration's of the Seraphim, and of the Mother of God.”

For the last few months, this, the greatest of treasures on earth, the very pearl of great price, has been taken from us. It is a loss beyond comprehension. And as this deprivation continues it brings to mind the apocalyptic warnings of Christ Himself which we read in the gospel of Matthew. “When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that reads let him understand.  Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains.”

The verse from Daniel which Our Lord references is this Daniel 12:11 “And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred ninety days.”

In a conversation with some of my closest friends I mentioned that the removal of the Mass from nearly all the faithful throughout the earth seems like a fulfillment of that prophecy, and I’m praying that it will not last as long as predicted – 1290 days or about three and a half years. It was pointed out to me, however, that of course the Holy Sacrifice has not in fact ceased since priests continue to offer the Mass privately. Nonetheless, it seemed to me that even in the worst of times to come, should all Masses be banned under pain of death, there will always be faithful priests who secretly offer the Holy Sacrifice happy to risk their lives for doing so.

This notion was bolstered by the interpretation of St. Robert Bellarmine in his famous workOn The Roman Pontiff, who interprets this passage from the Book of Daniel as saying that “all public ceremonies and sacrifices of religion will cease.”

There are likely all sorts of other explanations too of course, but it seems to me the chastisement predicted at Fatima has begun, and I’d guess things will likely get much worse before they get better but the good news is that the Fatima chastisement is the prelude to the most glorious time of peace and conversion that will ever be granted the world. 

Thirty years ago now, Pope Benedict XVI hoped and prayed for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. On May 13, 2010 he hoped it would occur by the centenary of the first apparition of Fatima – May 13, 2017. 

Pope Benedict said: “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” 

Let us too be hopeful in this same way and pray that we will see the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart within this decade that corresponds to the message Our Lord gave to Sister Lucia comparing the King of France to the Pope. ‘May the nine years which separate us from the centenary of Our Lady’s request for the consecration of Russia hasten the fulfillment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity!’

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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  fatima, our lady of fatima, rome life forum 2020, the john-henry westen show


St Philip Neri, inspiration to St John Henry Newman, can inspire us all

Many centuries after his death, St. Philip's Congregation of the Oratory would number among its famous members the former Anglican cleric and eventual cardinal John Henry Newman.
Tue May 26, 2020 - 8:41 am EST
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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

May 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Today is the feast of St. Philip Neri (July 21, 1515–May 26, 1595), one of the most beloved saints of recent centuries and well known as the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory. St. Philip lived exactly during the eruption and spread of Protestantism, although his own energies were focused more on the conversion of Catholics at the heart of Christendom, leading to his nickname “Second Apostle of Rome.” Nevertheless, many centuries after his death, his Congregation would number among its famous members the former Anglican cleric and eventual cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–1890). In the second half of his life (1845 onward), Newman became a great promoter in England of the gentle spirituality of St. Philip and the model of the Oratorian life.

At some point in his later years, Newman began to compose a novena of prayers to St. Philip, which he never finished, having written texts for the first four days. These prayers were published after his death in a book of devotions edited by William P. Neville of the Birmingham Oratory. Here we find many touching expressions of Newman’s deep personal devotion to the one he had taken as his primary patron:

O my dear and holy Patron, Philip, I put myself into thy hands, and for the love of Jesus, for that love’s sake which chose thee and made thee a saint, I implore thee to pray for me, that, as He has brought thee to heaven, so in due time He may take me to heaven too.

Thou hast had experience of the trials and troubles of this life; thou knowest well what it is to bear the assaults of the devil, the mockery of the world, and the temptations of flesh and blood. Thou knowest how weak is human nature, and how treacherous the human heart, and thou art so full of sympathy and compassion, that, amidst all thy present ineffable glory and blessedness, thou canst, I know, give a thought to me.

Think of me then, my dear St. Philip, be sure to think of me, even though I am at times so unmindful of thee. Gain for me all things necessary for my perseverance in the grace of God, and my eternal salvation. Gain for me, by thy powerful intercession, the strength to fight a good fight, to witness boldly for God and religion in the midst of sinners, to be brave when Satan would frighten or force me to what is wrong, to overcome myself, to do my whole duty, and thus to be acquitted in the judgment.

Vessel of the Holy Ghost, Apostle of Rome, Saint of primitive times, pray for me. (“Four Prayers to St. Philip,” I, in Prayers, Verses, and Devotions [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1989], 323)

Readers cannot but smile to find Newman, who was one of the most influential public figures, prolific writers, and effective spiritual directors of the nineteenth century, whose legacy lives on into the twenty-first century, accusing himself in the fourth prayer of having done “nothing” worthy of St. Philip and of lacking those very virtues in which the Oratorian was particularly outstanding:

Thou art my glorious protector, and, after Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, canst do most for me in life and death. In thy labours thou didst follow thy Lord and Saviour, and in thy hidden life and hidden virtues, in thy purity, humility, and fervour, art nearest to Mary and Joseph of all saints. I have long dedicated myself to thee, but I have done nothing worthy of thee, and I am ashamed to call myself thine, because thou hast a right to have followers of great innocence, great honesty of purpose, and great resolution, and these virtues I have not. Thou, Philip, hast no anxiety about thyself, for thou art already in heaven, therefore thou canst afford to have a care for me. Watch over me, keep me from lagging behind, gain for me the grace necessary to keep me up to my duty, so that I may make progress in all virtues[.] ... Director of souls, Patron of thine own, who didst turn so many hearts to God, pray for me.

We can understand this as the holy humility of one who does not pride himself on any good but who sees rather where he has failed, where he is wanting, and how much he needs the powerful intercession of the saints and the grace of God to do any good at all.

Newman left us with a treasure trove of other reflections and prayers for St. Philip Neri. He completed a different “Novena of St. Philip” with meditations adapted from Bacci’s biography as translated by Father Faber (the text is available here), looking at the saint’s humility, devotion, exercise of prayer, purity, tenderness of heart, cheerfulness, patience, care for the salvation of souls, and miraculous gifts. Each meditation is accompanied by a prayer written by Newman. Attached to this novena is a Litany of St. Philip, which Newman wrote out in English and in Latin.

I find the final petitions especially noteworthy and fitting to pray today in honor of this great saint:

[St. Philip,] who didst observe chastity in thy youth, pray for us.

Who didst seek Rome by divine guidance, pray for us.

Who didst hide so long in the Catacombs, pray for us.

Who didst receive the Holy Ghost into thy heart, pray for us.

Who didst experience such wonderful ecstasies, pray for us.

Who didst so lovingly serve the little ones, pray for us.

Who didst wash the feet of pilgrims, pray for us.

Who didst ardently thirst after martyrdom, pray for us.

Who didst distribute the daily word of God, pray for us.

Who didst turn so many hearts to God, pray for us.

Who didst converse so sweetly with Mary, pray for us.

Who didst raise the dead, pray for us.

Who didst set up thy houses in all lands, pray for us.

  catholic, saints, st. john henry newman, st. philip neri

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EpisodesTue May 26, 2020 - 1:24 pm EST

During the coronavirus, we need to focus on God not our fears

By Mother Miriam

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Watch Mother Miriam's Live encore show aired on 5.26.2020. Mother continues her series reading from The Catechism Explained. Today, she focuses on the need to have both scripture and Tradition. The true faith can be found through a deep study of the history of the Church.

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