A Novena for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

peter-receives-the-keysJoin us in praying a novena in honor of the Chair of St. Peter, beginning Monday, February 13th.  The nine days will conclude on the 21st, the day before the feast day of the Chair of Peter.  This ancient feast reminds us of the authority entrusted to St. Peter the apostle by Our Lord himself, which has been passed down to each of his successors for over 2000 years.

Thank you Fr. Phillips for sharing this novena with us!


V. In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
R. Amen.

Antiphon: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter;
R. And upon this Rock I will build my Church.

[Each day’s scripture and intention is read aloud. After a brief silence, the final prayers are offered.]

February 13th.
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
– St. Mark 1:16-18

Intention: That we may follow the call of Christ without hesitation.

February 14th.
[Jesus] said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
– St. Luke 5:4-8

Intention: That we may obey our Lord’s commandments with humility.

February 15th.
[Jesus] asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Eljjah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
– St. Matthew 16:13-18

Intention: That we may confidently confess our faith in Jesus Christ.

February 16th.
After six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
– St. Mark 9:2-3

Intention: That with Peter, we may see Christ as he is.

February 17th.
Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
– St. John 6:67-69
Intention: That we may know Christ as the Incarnate Word, and follow him.

February 18th.
[Jesus asked the soldiers,] “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.
– St. John 18:7-8,10a

Intention: That we may refrain from hasty or imprudent words and actions.

February 19th.
Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.
– St. John 20:3-4, 6-7
Intention: That our lives may give witness to the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

February 20th.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
– St. John 21:15-17

Intention: That we may remain in close communion with the Successor of St. Peter, whose task it is to strengthen us in the faith.

February 21st.
Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.”
Acts 2:14
Intention: That in union with St. Peter we may proclaim the Gospel to the whole world.

FINAL PRAYER (to be offered each day)

O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock: make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same; that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

V. St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles;
R. Pray for us.

V. In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
R. Amen.

Bl. Pope Paul VI: Courageous Christian, Tireless Apostle

Another blessed has been added to the Church’s roll of holy exemplars and intercessors- and it’s another pope!  Today in Rome Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI.  This has been an extraordinary year with two popes canonized and now another beatified.  What gratitude to God we should have in our hearts that He has blessed us with holy pontiffs to steer the Barque of Peter in these modern times.  Below is the English translation of Pope Francis’ homily from this mornings Mass:

We have just heard one of the most famous phrases in the entire Gospel: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt22:21). Continue reading

The Great War

Gassed, by John Singer Sargent

The world marks a sad anniversary today, the beginning of the Great War.  Tragically, the war to end all wars was not.  World War II gets a lot of attention in the media, being fresher in our minds, but World War is worth pondering.  This excellent video from Catholic News Service, which we first found here at Rorate Coeli, sheds a lot of light on the role the Great War played in the disintegration of Europe and Christianity.  Then, as in recent wars, the lone voice of the pope, crying out for peace, went unheeded. If hindsight is 20/20, the century that has passed since the outbreak of the war has given us ample time to understand its far-reaching effects, and often unanticipated, effects.



Adopt a Cardinal today!

We know all of you are praying for the upcoming conclave, and for all the Cardinals who will be electing our next Holy Father.  But you can go one step further and adopt a Cardinal to pray for specifically.  Click on the above link to adopt a Cardinal today!

From our “Roman correspondent”

Today we’d like to introduce a guest on our blog, Deacon Matthew Furgiuele, whom we’ve wrangled into contributing posts here and there.  From his vantage point we can see Rome through the eyes of a transitional deacon, living and studying canon law in the Eternal City.

I have been asked by the Sisters to be a Roman correspondent for their blog.  At first glance, a transitional Deacon making guest appearances on a contemplative nun blog might seem a bit strange, but then, the Sisters have been so good to me with their prayers that I could not say no to them.  For those of you who don’t know, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration have as a particular aspect of their charism prayer for priests, so this association may not be as strange as it seems.

I am a Deacon with the Diocese of Gaylord in Northern Michigan, and, God willing (and if the Sisters prayers are powerful enough) next summer I will be ordained as a Priest.  In the mean time, I am in Rome studying Canon Law at Santa Croce University and living at the Casa Santa Maria, a house of the US Bishops for American Priests pursuing advanced degrees in Rome.  Bl. Pius IX erected it, and it was originally the American Seminary in Rome. After the Second World War, the Bishops built a new House, the Pontifical North American College, and they decided to use the Casa for Priests. Before Pius gave it to the US Bishops, it was a convent of cloistered nuns, so, I seem to have all sorts of ties to cloistered nuns!

Today was an historic moment in the Church:  Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed two new Doctors of the Church: St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard von Bingen.  Including them, there are only 35, which considering the thousands of canonized saints (you must be a saint before you can be a doctor) makes them a very rare breed.

I have been to many Papal masses before, and I have even read at one, and received communion from the Holy Father at another, but this time it was totally different.  I was ordained a Deacon on August 6th, the Transfiguration, and so, for the first time, I was able to help with the distribution of Holy Communion.  They gave us clear instructions that we were only to distribute Communion on the tongue, never in the hand.  We all gathered in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Peter’s Basilica, where we were given a surplice and a stole.  We then were escorted to the Sanctuary, where we were about 20 feet from the Papal throne, and 50 feet from the altar.  At the start of the Eucharistic prayer, we were escorted back into the Basilica where we each received a Ciborium filled with hosts.  We then went out and down in front of the altar.  When it was time for Communion, we were escorted out into St. Peter’s Square to begin the distribution.

It was a remarkable thought for me that, only two months after my ordination, there I was standing in front of the Pope and holding hosts that by his words became the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Up until the consecration, my whole focus was on the Pope.  As soon as he said the words of consecration, I immediately was able to transfer my attention from the Vicar of Christ to Christ Himself.  Of course regardless of whom the celebrant is, the transformation from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ takes place, but, I thank God that even though this was such a remarkable event, I was able to focus on the most important thing of all: Jesus my Savior, now present in my hands.  The sisters may never get the chance to attend a Papal Mass, and many of you may not either, but that is not important.  I hope and pray that during this upcoming Year of Faith, strengthened by the example of the Poor Clares in San Antonio, you may increase your Eucharistic faith, and that you come to see the value of the Eucharist in your life!

Thanks, Dn. Matthew!  Please keep him in your prayers as he prepares for priestly ordination.

And while we’re at it, let’s all pray for our Holy Father this month as he leads the bishops’ synod on the New Evangelization.

V. Let us pray for Benedict our pope.

R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.