Milan: January 1, 2004
TO THE NATIONAL AND REGIONAL DIRECTORS OF THE M.M.P. :
At the beginning of this new year, I am spiritually close to you to offer you my fraternal wish of peace. From every part of the world, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is gathering her little children, to form with them her victorious army.
In these times of the purification and the great tribulation, in which Satan has set up his reign in the world, has seduced humanity with theoretical and practical atheism, making it the victim of a materialistic and hedonistic civilization, and in which the Law of God becomes violated and publicly trampled, I invite you to trust and to hope. If the days in which we live are dominated by violence, by terrorism, and by wars, our hope must be ever greater.
The name of our hope is Mary. “… so too does she shine forth on earth [on our path]…, as a sign of sure hope and solace…” (Lumen Gentium, Chap. 8, V., #68) As a support for our hope and as a maternal refuge in the painful and bloody trials which await us, she offers us her Immaculate Heart. In her Immaculate Heart she forms the Apostles of the last times.
“ (…) Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, down-trodden and crushed as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God’s graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be great and exalted before God in holiness. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal and so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.”
(St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, No. 54)
This is the task that Our Lady is entrusting to those who belong to the Marian Movement of Priests: to be the Apostles of the last times.
In 2003, I was able to take part in regional cenacles in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Italy, Slovenia and Lebanon. With 38 flights, I visited 52 cities and presided over 72 cenacles, in which 70 bishops, 1,750 priests and 530,000 faithful participated.
In Collevalenza [Italy], at the Spiritual Exercises [Retreat] held in the form of a continuous cenacle, one Cardinal, 10 archbishops and bishops, and 280 priests from the five continents took part.
I feel very united to all of you, in particular to those who carry the Cross of moral or physical sufferings, thus seconding the action of Our Lady who is purifying this work of hers [the M.M.P.] so that it may become, for the Church and for humanity, an extraordinary sign of her presence and of her maternal comfort.
I entrust to the Will of the Lord and to the design of the Immaculate Heart of Mary the fulfillment of the schedule of cenacles which I have prepared for this year.
1. THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES
In Collevalenza, from June 27 – July 3, at the Shrine of Merciful Love, there will take place the Spiritual Exercises [Retreat] for the bishops and priests of the Marian Movement of Priests from Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
I inform you of the following:
a) There will be room for all in the same house. Few laypersons will be allowed to attend, and only those who have a position of responsibility in the M.M.P.
b) I invite the priests to bring with them their surplus Mass intentions to be offered as fraternal assistance to those who find themselves in financial difficulty.
c) As always, address all inquiries and reservation requests to:
[Please note Fr. Quercia’s new address.]
P. Florio Quercia S.J.
Via Fagiuoli, 1
Tel. +39 0586 896059 (Community)
Tel. +39 333 6322248 (Personal)
Priests from the United States may contact:
Rev. Albert G. Roux, National Director
St. Francis, ME 04774-0008
Tel. (207) 398-3375
2. REGIONAL CENACLES ABROAD:
Feeling increasingly burdened by my age, my fatigue, and my precarious state of health, I entrust myself totally into the arms of the heavenly Mother for the completion of the schedule that I have prepared for abroad.
From January 15 to April 2, I will be in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru; from May 15 to 29 in Spain; on June 26 in Slovenia; from August 28 to September 1 in Austria; from September 2 to 25 in Germany; from October 11 to 14 in Portugal, and from November 11 to December 2 in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
3. REGIONAL CENACLES IN ITALY:
Florence-April 20; Collevalenza-April 22; Bari-April 26; Rome-April 28; Pompei-April 30; San Gabriel-May 4; Bologna-May 6; Genoa-May 8; Turin-May 11; Caravaggio-May 13; San Vito-June 1; Padua-June 3; Loreto-June 10.
4. THE APOSTLES OF THE LAST TIMES
56. “But what will they be like, these servants, these slaves, these children of Mary?
They will be ministers of the Lord who, like a flaming fire, will enkindle everywhere the fires of divine love. (…) They will carry the gold of love in their heart, the frankincense of prayer in their mind and the myrrh of mortification in their body. They will bring to the poor and lowly everywhere the sweet fragrance of Jesus, but they will bring the odor of death to the great, the rich and the proud of this world.
57. (…) Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers…
58. They will be true apostles of the latter times…”
(St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, Nos. 56-58)
“I am the Mother of the Second Evangelization. Mine is the task of forming the apostles of the second evangelization. During these years, I have formed you with particular care and through the gift of my words, to be the apostles of these last times.”
(To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons (TTP), December 8, 1994, 533h)
5. THE APOSTLES OF FAITH
“Apostles of the last times, because you must announce to all, to the very ends of the earth, the Gospel of Jesus, in these days of the great apostasy. In the great darkness which has descended upon the world, spread the light of Christ and of his divine truth.” (TTP, December 8, 1994, 533i)
“There is a great uneasiness, at this time, in the world and in the Church, and that which is in question is the faith. (…) What strikes me, when I think of the Catholic world, is that within Catholicism, there seems sometimes to pre-dominate a non-Catholic way of thinking, and it can happen that this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism, will tomorrow become the stronger. But it will never represent the thought of the Church. It is necessary that a small flock subsist, no matter how small it might be.” (Pope Paul VI)
“Jesus is the Truth because it is He – the living Word – who is the font and seal of all divine revelation. [Yet some] work to obscure his divine word, by means of natural and rational interpretations and, in the attempt to make it more understandable and acceptable, empty it of all its supernatural content. Thus errors are spread in every part of the Catholic Church itself. Because of the spread of these errors, many are moving away today from the true faith… The loss of the faith is apostasy.” (TTP, June 13, 1989, 406l)
“The apostasy has now been spread into every part of a Church betrayed even by some of her bishops, abandoned by many of her priests, deserted by so very many of her children, and violated by my Adversary.” (TTP, August 26, 1983, 270j)
Therefore it is necessary that, in these times, we become true apostles of faith.
“I bring you to a great love for Jesus-Truth, making you courageous witnesses of the faith (…) making of you strong proclaimers of all the truths of the Catholic faith, as you set yourself in opposition, with strength and courage, to all errors.” (TTP, June 13, 1989, 406 s,u)
Let us preach all the truths of our faith, especially those which today are no longer preached. Let us speak of death, of the judgment of God, of hell, of purgatory, of heaven, of the Cross that saves us, of sin that separates us from God, of the necessity of the sacrament of Reconciliation, of the obligation to follow the way that Jesus traced out for us in his Gospel.
“— Spread my light, by preaching the Gospel of Jesus with force and fidelity. His divine word must be proclaimed by you with the same clarity and simplicity with which Jesus has announced it to you. If you are faithful ministers of the Gospel, set up the strongest possible defense against the continual propagation of [errors]. (…) In this way you become the apostles of the second evangelization, so much asked for by my Pope, and the precious instruments of my motherly triumph.”
(TTP, Nov. 15, 1995, 557 f, l)
6. THE APOSTLES OF HOLINESS
“Apostles of the last times, because you must give to all the very life of God, by means of grace which you communicate with the sacraments of which you are the ministers. And thus you spread the fragrance of purity and of holiness in these times of great perversion.” (TTP, Dec. 8, 1994, 533j)
“59…they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favor to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior.” (…)
(St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, No. 59)
“I want all the priests of the Marian Movement of Priests to be like this. They must be my priests! (…)
Because these priests are mine, they must become accustomed to letting themselves be guided by me, with simplicity, with abandonment.
My joy is that of leading them, as Mother, to the great goal of sanctity. I want them to be fervent; I want them to be in love with my Son Jesus; I want them ever faithful to the Gospel. They must be docile in my hands for the sake of the great plan of mercy…” (TTP, August 24, 1973, #13 f, i-k)
“…you – little babes consecrated to me who live from my very own spirit – are the apostles of these last times.
Live as faithful disciples of Jesus, in contempt for the world and for yourselves, in poverty, in humility, in silence, in prayer, in mortification, in charity and in union with God, while you are unknown and despised by the world.
The moment has come for you to come out from your hiddenness in order to go and shed light upon the earth.
Show yourselves to all as my children, for I am with you always. Let the faith be the light which enlightens you in these days of darkness, and let zeal alone consume you, zeal for the honor and glory of my Son Jesus.
Fight, children of the light, because the hour of my battle has now arrived. In the harshest of winters, you are the buds which are opening up from my Immaculate Heart and which I am placing on the branches of the Church to tell you that her most beautiful springtime is about to arrive.
This will be for her the second Pentecost.”
(TTP, Dec. 31, 1997, #604 r-w)
“…you are being called to bring down the dew of the merciful love of Jesus upon a world parched by the inability to love and menaced more and more with hatred, violence and war.”
(TTP, Dec. 8, 1994, 533k)
“Spread my light, dispensing about you the balm of my motherly tenderness. Go out to meet, above all, the little, the poor, the sinners, those far away, the stricken, the innumerable victims of every injustice and every act of violence, and bring them all into the safe refuge of my Immaculate Heart.”
(TTP, Nov. 15, 1995, 557k)
7. THE APOSTLES OF UNITY
“…[some] seek to destroy the foundation of the unity of the Church, through subtle and insidious attacks on the Pope. [They] weave plots of dissension and of contestation against the Pope; [they] support and reward those who vilify and disobey him; [they] disseminate the criticisms and the contentions of bishops and theologians. In this way the very foundation of its unity is demolished, and thus the Church becomes more and more torn and divided. (…)
…I make of you precious instruments of its unity. For this reason, I have given you, as a second pledge of my Movement, a special unity with the Pope. By means of your love and of your fidelity, the divine plan of perfect unity in the Church will
once again shine forth in all its splendor.”
(TTP, June 13, 1989, #406 r,w)
“In the person and the work of the Holy Father, John Paul II, I am reflecting my great light which will become stronger, the more the darkness envelops everything.
Priests and faithful consecrated to my Immaculate Heart…unite, all of you, about the Pope, and you will be clothed in my own strength and in my marvelous light! Love him; pray for him; listen to him! Obey him in all things…”
(TTP, January 1, 1979, #167k-m)
“Unite yourself, through love and prayer, with all the priests of my Movement, whom I myself am bringing to an ever greater love for the Pope and for the Church united with him. You must support him with prayer, with your love and with your fidelity. You must follow him, carrying out to perfection whatever he determines for the good of the Church. In this, be a good example to all. You must defend him at those times when my Adversary lets loose his fury upon him, deceiving those of my poor children who oppose him.”
(TTP, Oct. 17, 1978, 162d-f)
“ Today I confirm for you that this is the Pope of my secret, the Pope about whom I spoke to the children during the apparitions, the Pope of my love and of my sorrow. (…)
My Immaculate Heart is wounded in seeing how, all about him, there is an expanding emptiness and indifference; contestation on the part of some of my poor children – bishops, priests, religious and faithful; haughty opposition to his Magisterium. For this reason, my Church is today wounded by a deep division; it is threatened with the loss of the true faith; it is pervaded with an infidelity which is becoming greater and greater.” (TTP, May 13, 1991, #449 c,e)
8. THE APOSTLES OF THE EUCHARIST
“Apostles of the last times, because you must announce the closely approaching return of Jesus in glory, who will lead humanity into the new times, when at last there will be seen new heavens and a new earth. Proclaim to all his forthcoming return: ‘Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!’ ” (cf. Rev 22:20)
(TTP, Dec. 8, 1994, 533 l-m)
“…The coming of the glorious reign of Christ will coincide with the greatest splendor of the Eucharist. Christ will restore his glorious reign in the universal triumph of his Eucharistic reign, which will unfold in all its power and will have the capacity to change hearts, souls, individuals, families, society and the very structure of the world.
When He will have restored his Eucharistic reign, Jesus will lead you to take joy in this habitual presence of his, which you will feel in a new and extraordinary way and which will lead you to the experience of a second, renewed and more beautiful earthly paradise.” (TTP, August 21, 1987, 360 v-w)
In the Holy Mass, under the sacramental sign, the same sacrifice completed by Jesus on Calvary is renewed. In the Eucharist, Jesus makes Himself truly present with his body, his
blood, his soul and his divinity.
“The Mass makes present the sacrifice of the Cross. (#12)
By virtue of its close relationship to the sacrifice of Golgotha, the Eucharist is a sacrifice in the strict sense (#13)
The sacramental re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice, crowned by the resurrection, in the Mass involves a most special presence which – in the words of Paul VI – ‘is called ‘real’… because it is a presence in the fullest sense: a substantial presence whereby Christ, the God-Man, is wholly and entirely present.’22 ” (#15)
(Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #12, 13 & 15)
22 Encyclical Letter Mysterium Fidei (3 September 1965): AAS 57 (1965), 764.
In these times, “…in many and subtle ways [some] seek to attack the ecclesial devotion towards the sacrament of the Eucharist. They give value only to the meal aspect, tend to minimize its sacrificial value, [and] seek to deny the real and personal presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host. In this way there are gradually suppressed all the external signs which are indicative of faith in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, such as genuflections, hours of public adoration and the holy custom of surrounding the tabernacle with lights and flowers.” (TTP, June 13, 1989, #406q)
“In some places the practice of Eucharistic adoration has been almost completely abandoned. In various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament. At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet.”
(Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #10)
In these times, the practice of approaching Eucharistic Communion in the state of mortal sin is propagated. It is necessary that we preach to the faithful the necessity of sacramental Confession prior to receiving the Eucharist, for whomever finds himself in the state of mortal sin. And by means of us priests there can flourish again, in all the Church, the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“If a Christian’s conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of Reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.” (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #37)
“But above all, it is the sacrileges which today form, around my Immaculate Heart, a painful crown of thorns. In these times, how many communions are made, and how many sacrileges perpetrated! … If you only saw with my eyes, you too would shed copious tears with me.”
(TTP, August 8, 1986, #330A)
“And so, my beloved ones and children consecrated to my Heart, it is you who must be today a clarion call for the full return of the whole Church Militant to Jesus present in the Eucharist. Because there alone is to be found the spring of living water which will purify its aridity and renew the desert to which it has been reduced; there alone is to be found the secret of life which will open up for it a second Pentecost of grace and of light; there alone is to be found the fount of its renewed holiness: Jesus in the Eucharist!”
(TTP, August 8, 1986, #330B)
“I ask that there be once again a return to the practice of making everywhere hours of adoration before Jesus, exposed in the Most Holy Sacrament. I desire that there be an increase in the homage of love towards the Eucharist (…)
Priests and faithful of my Movement, go often before the tabernacle; live before the tabernacle; pray before the tabernacle.” (TTP, August 21, 1987, #360 r,t)
“It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.
It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart.”
(Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #25)
“…Then, just as John was the beloved apostle, called to a profound intimacy of life with Jesus, living in his human body, so too, you become the new Johns, called to have a profound intimacy of life with Jesus in his glorified body, really present in the condition of a victim and hidden under the appearance of consecrated Bread, which is kept in every tabernacle of the earth.” (TTP, March 31, 1988, 377k)
“It is not your pastoral plans and your discussions; it is not the human means on which you put reliance and so much assurance, but it is only Jesus in the Eucharist which will give to the whole Church the strength of a complete renewal, which will lead it to be poor, evangelical, chaste, stripped of all those supports on which it relies, holy, beautiful and without spot or wrinkle, in imitation of your heavenly Mother.”
(TTP, August 8, 1986, #330C)
(…) “Above all, let us listen to Mary Most Holy, in whom the mystery of the Eucharist appears, more than in anyone else, as a mystery of light. Gazing upon Mary, we come to know the transforming power present in the Eucharist. In her we see the world renewed in love. Contemplating her, assumed body and soul into heaven, we see opening up before us those ‘new heavens’ and that ‘new earth’ which will appear at the second coming of Christ. Here below, the Eucharist represents their pledge, and in a certain way, their anticipation: ‘Veni, Domine Iesu [Come, Lord Jesus]!’ ” (Rev 22:20).
(Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #62)
I entrust to you, who are the directors, the task of sending this letter to the members of the Marian Movement of Priests, so that it may bring to all my affectionate greeting along with my priestly blessing.
I await your response, informing me of your news.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Your little brother,
Don Stefano Gobbi