“The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation, at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb. Indeed, the ecce venio in the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 10: 5-9)* is the primordial act of the Son’s obedience to the Father, an acceptance of his redeeming sacrifice already at the time ‘when Christ came into the world’.”
* “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired;
but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, Lo, I have come to do your will, O God.”
On May14, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI visited the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. Here is an excerpt from his homily:
“What happened here in Nazareth, far from the gaze of the world, was a singular act of God, a powerful intervention in history, through which a child was conceived who was to bring salvation to the whole world. The wonder of the Incarnation continues to challenge us to open up our understanding to the limitless possibilities of God’s transforming power, of his love for us, his desire to be united with us….
The Spirit who “came upon Mary” (cf. Lk 1:35) is the same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the dawn of Creation (cf. Gen 1:2). We are reminded that the Incarnation was a new creative act. When our Lord Jesus Christ was conceived in Mary’s virginal womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, God united himself with our created humanity, entering into a permanent new relationship with us and ushering in a new Creation.”
The narrative of the Annunciation illustrates God’s extraordinary courtesy (cf. Mother Julian of Norwich, Revelations 77-79). He does not impose himself, he does not simply pre-determine the part that Mary will play in his plan for our salvation: he first seeks her consent. In the original Creation there was clearly no question of God seeking the consent of his creatures, but in this new Creation he does so. Mary stands in the place of all humanity. She speaks for us all when she responds to the angel’s invitation. Saint Bernard describes how the whole court of heaven was waiting with eager anticipation for her word of consent that consummated the nuptial union between God and humanity. The attention of all the choirs of angels was riveted on this spot, where a dialogue took place that would launch a new and definitive chapter in world history. Mary said, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the Word of God became flesh.”
“When we reflect on this joyful mystery, it gives us hope, the sure hope that God will continue to reach into our history, to act with creative power so as to achieve goals which by human reckoning seem impossible.”
“Vessel of the Preborn Jesus in Watercolor” by Lea Marie Ravotti
Last week, we had a post about St. Louise de Marillac’s chaplet to Unborn Jesus. Amazingly, there is a new apostolate that has just formed with a similar idea to St. Louise’s. A few months ago we became aware of this new apostolate. This apostolate encourages Christians to make rosaries while praying the Joyful Mysteries and meditating on Preborn Jesus. These prayers would be said for mothers with unplanned pregnancies.
How did this originate? Bernie Conklin tells the story:
“It started in the spring of 2009 after completing the 33 day St. Louis de Montfort consecration to Jesus through Mary. A practicing OBGYN I know mentioned to me that a girl was considering an abortion. I told her that I would pray a rosary for the young girl and after seeing her baby on a sonogram, this young mother chose life for her child. Isn’t that a beautiful miracle?
This incident lead me to begin discerning about creating a ministry where cord rosaries, using knots instead of beads, could be made and prayed. Then, the mother with an unplanned pregnancy could be given one of these rosaries as a token of love. The following thoughts kept coming to me, ‘ We meditate on Jesus as the Risen Savior, the Crucified Lord, a Babe in the manger, but not as Preborn Jesus in the womb!’ I thought it would be enlightening if people could visualize Jesus’ presence in Mary’s womb. So as a favor to me for my birthday in July one of my sons sketched the image of Preborn Jesus.”
At this point Bernie prayed:
“Lord, this is a beautiful image of You in the womb. It is estimated at about $50.00 to enlarge it onto an 18×24 foam board, which seemed like a lot. If you want this done, I know You’ll open a window.”
And here is how our Lord answered her prayer:
“I had cleaned this patient’s teeth a few times before, but on this day in July when I was done with his cleaning, he placed money in my hand and complimented my work. Well, you certainly don’t tip your hygienist, but after a few rounds of back and forth he curled my hand around the money and left, yelling, ‘Merry Christmas’ as he went out the door of our office.
As my eyes fell upon the $50 bill, I recalled my prayer from the night before…‘If you want this done, I know You’ll open a window.’
Of course I immediately had the image of the Preborn Jesus enlarged and since then it has been at pregnancy centers, the ‘Truth Booth’ at the Butler Farm Show, an abortion clinic in Pittsburgh and at church functions.”
She adds: ” Presently, we are making the variegated pink and blue cord rosaries with a medal of Baby Jesus attached. As the rosary is made, the ‘Joyful Mysteries’ of the rosary are prayed. Meditation on the image of Preborn Jesus in the womb is central to this devotion. The rosary is a gift to the mother as well as her child.”
Recently Lea Ravotti, an artist from Pittsburgh, completed the watercolor after seeing the original sketch that Bernie’s son drew. They have worked together to distribute pamphlets that encourage others to take up this devotion. The pamphlets are beautifully illustrated with both images. Also included in the pamphlet is a poem from Preborn Jesus to the mother with child.
If you want to obtain one of these pamphlets you can email Preborn Jesus Ministry at:
or visit their website
Filed under: Pro-life
I received this email today from a wonderful pro-life Priest urging me to call my congressman. He listed 10 House representatives who he thinks it would be especially effective to call. I would urge you to call your House representative even if they are not listed below. Please pass this on….
Dear family and friends,
As you probably know, the US House of Representatives is getting ready to cast its final vote on the health care reform bill. The current version contains massive funding for abortion with our tax dollars. There are 10 key representatives whom I invite you to call today to express your opinion. My message has been: “Please, do not coerce me into paying for abortions with my tax dollars.”
The 10 representatives are:
Rep. Steve Driehaus (OH) 202-225-2216, 513-684-2723 Fax: (202) 225-3012
Rep. Brian Baird (WA) – 202-225-3536, 360-695-6292 Fax: (202) 225-3478
Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) – 202-225-2565, 724-226-1304 Fax: 202-226-2274
Rep. Jim Cooper (TN) – 202-225-4311, 615-736-5295 Fax: 202-226-1035
Rep. John Boccieri (OH) – 202-225-3876, 330-489-4414 Fax: (202) 225-3059
Rep. Mike Arcuri (NY) – 202-225-3665, 315-793-8146 Fax: (202)225-1891
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH) 202-225-4146, 419-259-7500 FAX: (202) 225-7711
Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) 202-225-4231, 615-896-1986 Fax: (202) 225-6887
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN) 202-225-4636, 812-465-6484 Fax: (812) 422-4761
Rep. Charlie Wilson (OH) 202-225-5705, 740-376-0868 Fax: (202) 225-5907
The first phone number is their Washington office; if busy, you can try their state number. (Note: we have added the fax number in case you have a hard time getting through by phone.)
I urge you to call between today and tomorrow, since they plan to finalize this voting by this Saturday. Thank you once again for speaking on behalf of those who cannot speak, the least amongst us, the unborn.
Fr. Alfred Cioffi
If you can’t get through – you can also email your representative at this link:
Today, Monday March 15 is the feast day of St. Louise de Marillac. In an October 10, 2009 post entitled St. Louise de Marillac and Unborn Jesus – we talked about the chaplet that St. Louise developed to honor Unborn Jesus. In a book published in 1884 by Benziger Brothers, Life of Mademoiselle Le Gras (Louise de Marillac) Foundress of the Sisters of Charity, we are given a little more insight into how she came up with this idea.
“What adds to the interest of these scattered leaves is a number of familiar details which people might find too minute, but which the family would gather up and preserve as relics. They reveal, among other things, divers practices of daily piety suggested to Mile. Le Gras (St. Louise de Marillac) by her increasing devotion to the hidden life of our Lord, and principally His sojourn in the womb of His Mother. ‘ Hearing this mysterious state spoken of,’ she writes in the year 1642, a little before Advent, ‘ I applied myself to it with deep reflection, and a new light was given me with a desire to honor this mystery by some appropriate prayers.’ It was at this time that she made the resolution of saying a rosary composed of nine grains (beads), in honor of the nine months preceding the birth of the Infant God; and to encourage in her Daughters a taste for this holy exercise, she prepared for them in a little box as many chaplets as were necessary for each to be given one, to be distributed after her death.”
As we pointed out in St. Louise and the Unborn Christ Child she never did distribute those rosaries because:
It seems that St. Vincent had agreed to this devotional practice three years earlier but at this point he asked her to discontinue it. Even though St. Louise continued to believe that this was a devotion that Our Lady wanted her to practice – in holy obedience to St. Vincent she discontinued it.
She alludes to this in a letter: “I feel that I must tell your Charity (St. Vincent) that I was and still am sorry at having to abandon those little prayers because I believe that the Blessed Virgin wanted me to render her this small tribute of gratitude. But with her, I console myself by offering my renunciation to her and by resolving to please her in some other way and to serve her with greater fervor….” Louise de Marillac, Spiritual Writings, L.304
Later this week we would like to present to you a new apostolate in Pennsylvania called Preborn Jesus Ministry. This new apostolate is promoting praying the joyful mysteries of the rosary to honor preborn Jesus and to pray for the unborn.
John Paul II the Great left the Church a vast legacy of abundant fruits! One of these incalculable contributions is his profound and extensive teaching about ‘Theology of the Body’. Beginning with the Book of Genesis, Chapter One, in September 1979, he began what turned out to be an extraordinary collection of teachings which are destined to bless the Church for centuries to come.
Here is one quote which is particularly relevant to the subject of this blog:
“The fact that theology also considers the body should not astonish or surprise anyone who is aware of the mystery and reality of the Incarnation. Theology is that science whose subject is divinity. Through the fact that the word of God became flesh, the body entered theology through the main door.” (April 2, 1980; #4)
Indeed! And Christ Himself commented on this fact immediately as it occurred as we read in Hebrews:
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired,
but a body hast thou prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’
as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” Heb 10:5-7
You will find the above reading in the Mass for The Annunciation of the Lord on March 25th. Pope Paul VI commented on this passage from Hebrews, calling it the “fundamental offering that the Incarnate Word made to the Father when he entered the world” and St Alphonsus de Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, comments on this passage explaining that Christ spoke these words “immediately” (in other words, at the first cell stage of His life; His conception).
Christ acknowledges that He has received, as a gift from His Father in heaven, His body… and when He says “I have come to do thy will, O God”, He implies His own acceptance of and satisfaction with the Body received, and explicitly states His own holy intention to unite the gift of His body and soul to the holy and glorious purposes of His Father. So, an incipient theology of the body comes from the “lips” of Christ Zygote, Christ Embryo. This is a very positive view of one’s body and soul, as a gift bursting with potential and purpose. By the fact of His conception and “speaking”, we see the unity of His Person with His body, and by the fact of His “offering”, we see that this fundamental act is an act of holy love.
Further, frequently throughout His life on earth our Lord repeatedly re-stated this offering of His life and Himself to the holy will of His Father – a whole and complete offering, which includes His body being offered for the benefit of others. The Incarnation – viewed as a loving offering – teaches us the simple truth that God is Love.
Friday, March 5th, 2010
with Al Kresta at Ave Maria Radio
George Peate, M.T.S., will be interviewed about his book, Unborn Jesus Our Hope this Friday, March 5th by Al Kresta who broadcasts with Ave Maria Radio.
The show airs from 4-6 Eastern Standard Time and George will be interviewed at the beginning of the program from 4 – 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time (1-1:30 pm Pacific). The Al Kresta show is also carried by EWTN radio and Sirius radio network.
LATER IN THE SHOW, CARDINAL ARINZE WILL BE LIVE IN THE STUDIO WITH AL KRESTA – IT WILL BE A FASCINATING INTERVIEW.
To find a radio station near you that carries this program or to listen to the show on your computer click here.