Today, at 3pm, is the day and time that Jesus died on the Cross according to all of the best research, though April 3 was a Friday 1,985 years ago. I’m preparing for a Holy Hour from 2-3 and Mass at 3 for Divine intervention regarding the Crisis in the Church which has been brought to a head by Pope Francis.
A couple of hours later, I received another message from the same priest:
Praised be Jesus Christ Risen From the Dead! Praised Be Him Who Has Died and Risen By Whom Death is Eternally Vanquished!
I know that you understand spiritual combat and so I share this with you. I informed you of my Holy Hour and Mass offered in union with Jesus’s Death on the Cross 1985 years ago today. The Holy Hour was difficult, I prayed the Divine Office and offered the Holy Rosary before our Blessed Lord exposed on the altar in the monstrance for Adoration. When I offered the Holy Mass for divine intervention regarding the crisis in the Church which has been brought to a head in the pontificate of Pope Francis things got really tough. I was beset with interior doubts (about almost everything) and assailed in my body with pain and lethargy. Immediately prior to Mass, the image of the Blessed Virgin in the chapel fell forward and the glass covering it broke on one of the candles on the Gospel side of the altar.
Father passed along an image of the Immaculate Heart after her inexplicable fall:
He also described other things that transpired:
At the beginning of the Holy Hour, the candle on the gradine on the Gospel side of the altar next to the Image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which broke on the candle on the Gospel side of the altar right after the holy hour and right before the start of Mass … went out, after it was clearly lighted and burning. I had to relight it during the holy hour after the ‘O Salutaris Hostia.’ I was so filled with lethargy during the Mass that twice I was leaning my body on the altar with my forearms completely on it and my chest against it to hold myself up. The pain in my back and shoulders began during the holy hour and increased during the Mass.
Also, I began to have a hard time breathing, the incense from the Holy Hour became a choking cloud… I was being filled with the desire to end the Mass without the consecration. God Blessed me and I persevered, and as I did my breathing cleared and I was able to say the words of the Mass as I have never been able to say them before, with more breath for the prayers so that I could say them without pausing. After the Mass I felt/feel very good in body, mind and spirit. All doubts gone, all pain gone, breathing restored to normal.
Father’s conclusion was inescapable:
Satan really didn’t want me to offer this Mass.
Father and I have traded some stories over the years of several of our encounters with the preternatural. The experience he described yesterday when offering a Mass and holy hour for the intention of seeking Divine intervention for the crisis in the Church — a crisis not started by, but brought to a head by Pope Francis — struck me immediately as characteristic of a spiritual attack. The kind of thing that happens when the devil would really like to dissuade us from doing something of some real spiritual benefit.
So of course, Father tells me he’s going to offer this intention more frequently, and I’m here to encourage you all to begin praying for it as well. If you’re willing, offer your rosaries, your Holy Communions, your little sacrifices throughout the day for this intention. If you are a priest and your calendar of Mass intentions isn’t booked up, please consider offering whatever Masses you can for this purpose.
And don’t be afraid if the devil tries to trip you up.
So often, people write to us and ask, “What can we do about the crisis in the Church?” It seems pretty clear to me that there’s precious little we can do, but a great deal God can do, only He asks us to ask Him.
I am reminded of the story of how the August Queen prayer came to us — allegedly having been given by Our Lady herself to a priest in the 19th century:
On January 13, 1864, a soul (Father Louis Cestac, who died in 1868) accustomed to the favors of the most Holy Virgin, was suddenly struck as if with a ray of divine clarity. He believed to have seen demons spread out over the earth, causing unbelievable ravage. At the same time, he had an elevation towards the Holy Virgin. This good mother would have told him that as a matter of fact, the time had come to pray to the Queen of the angels, and to ask Her to send the holy legions to combat and overthrow the powers of hell.
“My Mother,” said this soul, “you who are so good, could You not send them without our having to ask?”
“No,” replied the Holy Virgin. “Prayer is a condition set by God Himself in order to obtain graces.”
“Well then! my mother,” replied the soul, “would you teach me Yourself how we must pray to You?” And he received from the most Holy Virgin the prayer: “August Queen”:
August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send Your holy Legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. Who is like God? O good and tender Mother, Thou will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend me and to drive far away from me the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.
This prayer is said at the conclusion of each day’s devotions in the Auxilium Christianorum, which I also urge you to prayerfully consider joining as we face this present darkness.
As Father said to me after his ordeal was over:
Things are critical at this moment, let us redouble our prayer to our Blessed Lord for Divine Intervention for His Holy Bride, Our Beloved Mother the Church.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.