|Newsletter May 2010|
Dear Friend of HLI (Ireland),
The tour met with a phenomenal response. We have distributed over 16,000 Holy Face booklets, over 2,000 Holy Face Medals, over 200 Golden Arrow books and thousands of prayer cards and leaflets.
All this after just five venues, Knock, Donegal, Belfast, Dublin and Limerick.
I believe this Holy face Devotion is one of Heaven’s remedies to the litany of ills facing our country right now. Those who promote the attack on the Catholic faith have direct access to the media and huge funding.
They are Goliath and we are like David in this battle for souls and like David our dependence must be on God.
So bad have things become that we are compelled to call down Heavenly aid in combating the various threats now endangering the Culture of Life in Ireland especially the threat of abortion.
Dr Rita O’Connor
Dr Rita gave an outline of the work she does with Ask Majella. Her testimony was inspiring and it shows that most women in crisis pregnancy who are abortion minded will choose life if they are given proper counselling and support.
She also showed how the power of prayer can change hard hearts in situations which seem impossible. She told us of a husband who supported his wife in her pregnancy even though the pregnancy resulted from an extra-marital affair and has agreed to look after the child as his own.
Bernie Smyth of Precious Life outlined the dangers to unborn children in Northern Ireland from the recent Dept. of Health Guidelines and from the Bill of Rights.
Bernie gave a passionate call to Catholics and those of good will to get involved in spreading the good news of the Culture of Life in public. It is time to stand up and be counted.
Kate gave a very moving testimony of how she had an abortion in the early 1980s and of how that decision impacted her life so negatively in later years.
Eventually she decided to be ‘silent no more’ and joined Ask Majella so that she could help women, in a similar situation to her own, to avoid making the same grave mistake that she made.
She also spoke of the forgiveness that is available from God and how the organisation ‘Rachel’s Vineyard’ helps post abortive women to come to terms with what they have done, and to seek forgiveness so that they can come back to an active life of faith and trust in Jesus.
(If you know someone hurt by abortion they can get help by contacting Rachel’s Vineyard – Call Bernadette 087-8592877 in the Republic or in the North call Marion 028-9079967 Rachel's Vineyard website
John Lacken is the custodian of a Vatican authenticated relic of the Holy Face in Ireland. He explained the history of the image on the relic which is an artist’s impression of the miracle that occurred with the Veil of St. Veronica in St Peter’s in Rome in 1849.
We have been very blessed on our tour to have accompanied by this Relic of the Holy Face of Jesus which is 124 years old and has the seal of Pope Leo XIII.
John also explained the incredible story of how he came to be in possession of this Relic and of how the devotion has started spreading and the desire of sick people to be visited with the relic.
Attendees at the various venues were led through the prayers associated with this Devotion and had time to venerate the Relic for a while after each talk.
I myself outlined the reasons why HLI are promoting this devotion as a means of overthrowing the plans of the enemies of God in Ireland.
Amongst those evils threatening our country is the Civil partnerships Bill, the A,B and C case in Europe, the forthcoming Children’s Rights referendum, the attack on Catholic Pregnancy agencies, contraception to our young people, legalising of embryo experimentation amongst other things.
One priest commented this Holy Face Devotion is set to spread through Ireland like a Tsunami.
One lady after our Dublin presentation exclaimed; “At last we’ve got something to fight back with!” Yet another lady exclaimed: “This devotion is like spiritual dynamite. It is so powerful!”
Atheistic Communism in Ireland?
One key observations I made each evening was to thank God we didn’t live in a communistic country.
However, mindful of Our Lady of Fatima’s warning that Russia would spread its errors around the world, I had wondered what inroads, if any, atheistic communism had made in Ireland.
Then I read the papal encyclical Divini Redemptoris, written by Pius XI in 1937 on atheistic communism.
Imagine my surprise that atheistic communism’s many beliefs included:
No God, no sacredness of Life
Thus, in the communistic worldview, God is irrelevant, there is no sacredness of life (therefore abortion is acceptable), marriage is dissoluble, a mothers role in the home is not seen as important, children become the property of the State and religion is scorned!
All the more vital then our prayers to the Holy Face of Jesus, our rosaries, masses and adoration and keep working to counteract these ills in our land.
Devotion goes International with EWTN
I had just had the privilege of being on EWTN Global radio for a two hour radio interview promoting the Holy Face Devotion.
Bernie Smyth, John Lacken, Liam Gibson (S.P.U.C.) and myself have just been filmed for a EWTN TV documentary to be broadcast later this year based around The Holy Face Devotion and the pro-life movement.
Become an Apostle of the Holy Face
We have already been invited to present the devotion in both Malahide and Cork in May – the Cork venue being the Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig at 7:30pm.
Our Lord said to Sr. Marie of St Peter that whoever promotes this devotion performs the glorious office of St Veronica wiping the face of Jesus.
Will YOU help us to organise a talk in your area so that this devotion spreads throughout Ireland? We would hope to bring the actual authenicated Holy Face relic with us.
You can contact us in the office to arrange the details 01-8552504 or tick box on enclosed reply form.
Why Marriage Matters
The Irish Bishops’ Conference on 10th March 2010, published a leaflet ‘Why Marriage Matters’ in support of marriage and family life. This leaflet calls for the protection of marriage and expresses concern about aspects of the Civil Partnership Bill, currently before the Oireachtas.
The leaflet summarises key elements of Catholic teaching on marriage between a man and woman. It reiterates the importance of the family as the natural primary and fundamental unit of society and therefore deserving of special protection by the State.
It also highlights that other forms of relationships are not of the same nature and status as that of marriage as the basis of the family.
Our Bishops encourage everyone concerned about this issue to read ‘Why Marriage Matters’ which is available to download from their website
So serious is this matter is that the Bishops have encouraged everyone to contact their local T.D.s and local media to register their objections.
New HLI Ireland Developments
We have been very busy putting together a new programme of action for the years ahead and there are some very exciting and adventurous new undertakings in the pipeline some of which we will include in our next mailing.
We have recently appointed a new Operations Manager to HLI (Ireland). Please join me in welcoming John Lacken, a long time supporter and promoter of the pro-life cause in Ireland, (married to Naomi and blessed with eight beautiful children), to our HLI team. I know that you will give John the support of your prayers and fasting in his new role with HLI.
I had the privilege recently of speaking at a Charismatic Leaders weekend in Larne, Co Antrim. My wife Therese and I were invited to speak to seminarians at a vocations weekend in Down and Connor Feb 2010.
I also had the opportunity of sharing my testimony at a seminary in the USA and was invited to speak at two parish missions in Donegal hosted by the Franciscan Friars of the renewal in Feb 2010.
I had the invitation to speak at a mass in Christ the King parish, Co Meath in March.
Most recently, my wife and I were invited to speak at a weekend for married and engaged couples in Roscrea Abbey, Co. Tipperary. A blessed weekend was had by all.
Fr Paul Marx OSB
Our esteemed founder Fr Paul Marx died in March. I had the privilege of meeting him several times and he and I shared a car on his speaking tour around Ireland in 1998.
Fr Marx set up Human Life International in approximately ninety countries of the world with unparalleled results in globally promoting the Culture of Life.
It is our privilege now to be part of his legacy. Please pray for his soul.
Order more Holy Face Booklets
The HLI booklets outlining this powerful Devotion which include the recommended prayers of reparation are available from the HLI office.
Please indicate on the web contact form how many copies you think you will be able to distribute.
On a personal note, I am delighted to announce the birth of my latest son John Bosco McCrystal. All are doing well!
The life of Leo Dupont – Apostle of the Holy Face – is described as one of the finest biographies of a man of faith you will ever read.
Read this exciting book and find out why Pope Pius IX declared Ven. Leo Dupont to be perhaps the greatest miracle-worker in church history as he prayed before a relic of the Holy Face (similar to the one we had for our recent speaking tour.)
Leo Dupont, Apostle of the Holy Face practiced the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus privately in his drawing room for hours, where a true likeness of Veronica’s veil was perpetually venerated by a burning lamp.
Soon miracles began to occur by the application of the oil from this perpetual lamp to the afflicted members of sick people and invalids.
Whilst the “Golden Arrow” book details the actual revelations of Sr Mary of St. Peter, “Holy Man of Tours”, outlines the fascinating story of the spread of this devotion against seemingly insurmountable difficulties to have it officially recognised by the Church.
The “Holy Man of Tours” is our gift to you for your donation of €35/£30 or more to our pro-life, baby-saving work. Thank you!