Wednesday after the Second Sunday after Easter.

Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Confessor and Patron of the Universal Church

St. Joseph, ora pro nobis.

On the Different Ways in which our Lord Appeared after His Resurrection, and the Significance of these Apparitions.


My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Different Ways in which our Lord Appeared after His Resurrection, and the Significance of these Apparitions.

After His resurrection our Lord remained upon earth for forty days. This was truly a season of grace for the apostles, to whom our Lord frequently appeared, at one time to console and cheer them, at another to instruct them, or again for the purpose of bestowing upon them some special favor. Imagine the disciples joyful and happy frame of mind during those forty days; think of the holy longing, the eager expectation wherewith they waited for their Lord to appear to them again after each of His gracious visits.

1st. Consider that our Lord only appeared now and again to His beloved disciples, and that He appeared to some more often than to others, according to the needs of each individual. John was privileged to behold the risen Saviour more frequently than Thomas, and to the seventy disciples He appeared less often than to the apostles. Our Lord is accustomed always to act thus. He visits devout souls more or less often in a spiritual manner, with His consolations and His grace, to enlighten them and fortify them, just as it seems right to His divine bounty, or as the needs of the soul in question require; or again the number of His visits is proportioned to the greater or less intensity of her desire and her longing for the presence of the heavenly Bridegroom. Ponder this last reason more particularly. You long for all manner of things, you wish for the various pleasures and diversions, you seek the honors and possessions of this world; it seldom occurs to you to aspire after heavenly things, to seek the things that are above. Not until you find that your earthly desires are not gratified, not until you feel a dreary void within your breast, do you begin to long for your Lord. Wonder not in such a case that His first visits are to souls whose yearning has always been for Him, or those at any rate who have begun to look eagerly for His coming much earlier, not so late as you have done.

2d. Consider that our Lord usually appeared without warning to the apostles, at a time when they were not expecting Him; observe also how short His visits were, how quickly He departed from them, and oftentimes at the very moment when they were deriving the most pleasure from His presence amongst them. Here, my soul, you see one of the peculiar characteristics of our Lord’s visitations. He visits with His grace souls who are consecrated to Him when they least expect Him, while on the other hand He holds aloof from them when they are waiting and longing for Him with eager impatience. And when at length He permits the soul to be sensible of His divine consolations, to feel them near and to rejoice in them, suddenly, at the moment when she thinks to enjoy them in their fulness, He departs, leaving the soul desolate and cold which but an instant before was filled with consolation and glowed with the fire of divine charity. Perfect satisfaction can never be our portion here below, nor can real repose be attained on earth. Remember this and resign yourself to the will of God. “Seek true peace,” our Lord says to you in the words of the Imitation, “not on earth but in heaven. Thou wouldst already be in the glorious liberty of the children of God; but thine hour has not yet come; rather there is yet another time, a time of war, and toil, and trial.” (B. iii. ch. 49.) Learn therefore to be content if the Lord visits you as He did His disciples, at rare intervals and for a brief moment only.

3d. Consider that the risen Saviour appeared to His disciples at different times, in different places and under different circumstances. To Magdalen He appeared near His sepulchre, to Cleophas on the road to Emmaus; John saw Him on the day of His resurrection, Thomas eight days later; He appeared to the eleven apostles while they sat at meat, to the seven apostles when they were out on the lake fishing. In like manner our Lord favors you with His gracious visits at divers seasons, now when you are at prayer, again when you are at work. Sometimes you are sensible of extraordinary devotion on an ordinary week-day, while, contrary to your expectations, the great festivals have left you cold and dry; at one time you will experience the fire of divine charity during your meditation; at another time while you are pursuing the most lowly avocations either within or without the cloister. “The Spirit breatheth where He will.” Take heed therefore, my soul, to be ready at all times to receive the inspirations of divine grace; walk continually in the presence of God and see that whether you are at prayer or at work, whether you eat or drink or take your rest, you keep your heart fixed upon God and are always prepared to welcome Him as your Guest. But if you feel scant consolation and little delight at the time of His divine visitations, you have yourself to blame; it is because you did not hasten to open the door when our Lord knocked for admission into your heart; because your thoughts were so distracted by other things that you did not hear Him calling to you.


My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.


Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,

Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.


April Devotion: The Holy Ghost

Virtue to practice: Patience

Vexilla Regis prodeunt

The royal banners forward go;
The Cross shines forth in mystic glow,
Where Life for sinners death endured,
And life by death for man procured.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood
Where mingled, Water flowed, and Blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
‘Amidst the nations, God,’ saith he,
‘Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.’

O Tree of beauty! Tree of light!
O Tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
Those holy Limbs should find their rest.

On whose dear arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world’s ransom hung:
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail,
Thou glory of the saved, avail*
To give fresh merit to the Saint,
And pardon to the penitent.

*Instead of: ‘Thou Glory of the saved,’ during Passiontide, say: ‘This Holy Passiontide’, during the Paschal Season: ‘Thou joy of Eastertide’, on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: ‘On this triumphant day.

To Thee, Eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
Whom by the Cross Thou dost restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.

Vexilla Regis pródeunt,
Fulget Crucis mystérium,
Qua vita mortem pértulit,
Et morte vitam prótulit.

Quæ vulneráta lánceæ
Mucróne diro, críminum
Ut nos laváret sórdibus,
Manávit unda et sánguine.

Impléta sunt quæ cóncinit
David fidéli cármine,
Dicéndo natiónibus:
Regnávit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decóra et fúlgida,
Ornáta regis púrpura,
Elécta digno stípite
Tam sancta membra tángere.

Beáta, cuius bráchiis
Prétium pepéndit sæculi,
Statéra facta córporis,
Tulítque prædam tártari.

O Crux, ave, spes única,
Gentis redémptæ glória!*
Piis adáuge grátiam,
Reísque dele crímina.

Te, fons salútis, Trínitas,
Colláudet omnis spíritus:
Quibus Cricis victóriam
Largíris, adde præmium. Amen.

(ex. Breviario Romano)

An indulgence of 5 years.

A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this hymn throughout an entire month (S.C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886; S.P.Ap., April 29, 1934).


Prayers in Time of Calamity

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