Hilaire Belloc’s Ballade to the Black Madonna

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“Ballade to Our Lady of Częstochowa”

by Hilaire Belloc

Lady and Queen and Mystery manifold
And very Regent of the untroubled sky,
Whom in a dream St. Hilda did behold
And heard a woodland music passing by:
You shall receive me when the clouds are high
With evening and the sheep attain the fold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.

II

Steep are the seas and savaging and cold
In broken waters terrible to try;
And vast against the winter night the wold,
And harbourless for any sail to lie.
But you shall lead me to the lights, and I
Shall hymn you in a harbour story told.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.

III

Help of the half-defeated, House of gold,
Shrine of the Sword, and Tower of Ivory;
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled,
The Battler’s vision and the World’s reply.
You shall restore me, O my last Ally,
To vengence and the glories of the bold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.

Envoi

Prince of the degradations, bought and sold,
These verses, written in your crumbling sty,
Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold
And publish that in which I mean to die. 

Our Lady of Częstochowa, Pray for Us!

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Today, August 26th, is the feast day of Our Lady of Częstochowa, Queen of Poland!

Here is a great litany based on a homily of the Martyred Polish Priest, Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko. It is certainly fitting for our own times. May our most beloved Mother guide us in these dark and troubled times!

Litany to Our Lady of Częstochowa

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us.
Mother of those who place their hope God’s providence, pray for us.
Mother of those who are deceived, pray for us.
Mother of those who are betrayed, pray for us.
Mother of those who are arrested in the night, pray for us.
Mother of those who are imprisoned, pray for us.
Mother of those who suffer from the cold, pray for us.
Mother of those who live in fear, pray for us.
Mother of those who were subjected to interrogations, pray for us.
Mother of those who are subjected to interrogations, pray for us.
Mother of those innocents who have been condemned, pray for us.
Mother of those who speak the truth, pray for us.
Mother of those who cannot be corrupted, pray for us.
Mother of those who resist evil and tyranny, pray for us.
Mother of orphans, pray for us.
Mother of those who have been attacked or taunted because they wore thy image, pray for us.
Mother of those who are forced to sign declarations contrary to their conscience, pray for us.
Mother of mothers who weep, pray for us.
Mother of fathers who have been so deeply saddened, pray for us.
Mother of suffering Poland, pray for us.
Mother of always faithful Poland, pray for us.

We beg thee, O Mother in whom resides the hope of millions of people,
grant us to live in liberty and in truth, in fidelity to thee and to thy Son. Amen.

New Film to Focus on the Faith and Friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

After the immense success of film adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings” and the ”Hobbit” trilogies, it is now time for J.R.R. Tolkien to be the focus of a full-length feature film about his personal life. While Chernin Entertainment is currently developing a biopic called “Tolkien,” a smaller independent film company will take a different spin on his life by focusing on his friendship with author C.S. Lewis.

The film is called “Tolkien & Lewis,” and director Simon West has been selected produce the $18 million drama for London-Brisbane based Attractive Films. West is best known for directing ”The Expendables 2” and “Con Air,” and so will be shifting from his typical action genre to direct a movie about two Oxford dons. Also on the team are Jacqueline Cook and Mark Cooper (“Saving Mr. Banks”).

Read the rest of my article at Aleteia

Kolbe: Patron Saint Of Our War-Torn Century

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Kolbe is the patron saint of our difficult century. – St. John Paul II

While St. John Paul II was referring to the previous century, I believe Saint Maximilian Kolbe can be said to be the patron saint of the 21st century as well. Especially in this time of war and violence, we need to have the example of a “martyr of love.” He shows to us how an act of selfless charity can truly inspire and teach us how to live the Gospel. Coupled with his complete trust in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Kolbe presents to us a blueprint of how we are to conquer the dark forces of this world.

It is through Mary’s most pure and loving heart that the hearts of all can be changed. If we want to pray for peace in Iraq, Ukraine or the Holy Land, let us look to the “Immaculata” and entrust our cares to her. She will remain victorious and will conquer our foes through her Immaculate Heart.

Three Ways Marvel Produces Entertaining Movies With A Human Heart

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Marvel Studios is doing something right. Guardians of the Galaxy raked in about $94 million on its first weekend, making it the largest opening for any movie released in August, even beating out the opening weekend of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is not their first success and it won’t be their last. What began as a simple set of comic books has turned into a multi-billion dollar movie industry. The lucrative business of making comic book movies has no end in sight and appears only to be on the rise. In fact, Marvel has plans for many years to come and will continue to produce movies as long as they can be successful. 

But why are their movies so popular? What makes these comic book movies stand out? While Marvel’s films attract many teenagers because of its numerous fast-paced, action-packed sequences, they also draw in people of all ages because they showcase true heroism, human characters and simple fun. Marvel provides a rarity nowadays; entertaining movies with a human heart.