Saint John-Paul II wrote: "The fact that one can die for the faith shows that other demands of the faith can also be met."                                                 Cardinal Müller says, “For the real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil.”                                                  St Catherine of Siena said, “We've had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues - I see the world is rotten because of silence.”                                                  Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”


On Thursday last The Very Reverend John Canon McDonald, Magistral Chaplain and Chaplain Emeritus of the Hospital, celebrated this special Mass for the intentions of the forthcoming Papal visit to Britain, in honour of Our Lady of the Snows, the dedication of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The basilica was built by Pope Liberius on a site indicated by a miraculous fall of snow the Esquiline Hill, as he had been directed in a dream.  It has been since that time a feast particularly beloved of the Roman Pontiffs, and which is associated also on this same day with the Basilica's miraculous icon Salus Populi Romani, Queen of Heaven, and Mother of the Church, as proclaimed by Pope Paul VI.  It is the custom in the Basilica that a fall of white rose petals accompany the introit of the Mass, a ceremony followed in the Conventual Church this year to symbolise our unity to Pope Benedict's intention, as we prepare for his visit to our country.

The Grand Priory's schola sang chant and Roman polyphony, Palestrina's Missa Sine Nomine à 4 and Soriano's Regina Coeli. The Regina Caeli replaces the Salve on this feast, as this title was anciently also given to this image of Our Lady.  The organist was Colin Mawby KSG, to whom we are most deeply grateful.

The Mass was followed by prayers before our own icon of Our Lady of Philermo for the Holy Father, for the Papal visit and the beatification of the venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, the texts of which are given below for those who may wish to make a private devotion or novena.

The prayers are followed by a short video of some moments from Thursday's Mass and devotions.
Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.  R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Let us pray, O God, who through the resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world: grant, we beseech thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
For the Intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

Prayer for the Papal Visit to the United Kingdom

Let us pray: God of truth and love,
your Son, Jesus Christ, stands as the light
to all who seek you with a sincere heart.
As we strive by your grace
to be faithful in word and deed,
may we reflect the kindly light of Christ
and offer a witness of hope and peace to all.
We pray for Pope Benedict
and look forward with joy
to his forthcoming visit to our countries.
May he be a witness to the unity and hope
which is your Will for all people.
Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for the Canonisation of the
Venerable John Henry Newman

Let us pray: Eternal Father, You led John Henry Newman to follow the kindly light of Truth, and he obediently responded to your heavenly calls at any cost. As writer, preacher, counsellor and educator, as pastor, Oratorian, and servant of the poor he laboured to build up your Kingdom. 
Grant that through your Vicar on Earth we may hear the words, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the company of the canonized saints. 
May you manifest your Servant’s power of intercession by even extraordinary answers to the prayers of the faithful throughout the world. We pray particularly for our intentions in his name and in the name of Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen. 
Prayer for England
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother look down in mercy upon England, thy dowry, and upon us who greatly hope and trust in thee.
By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O Sorrowful Mother, Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold, they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home.  Amen.
Our Lady, Mother of the Church — pray for us.
St Andrew — pray for us.
St George — pray for us.
St David — pray for us.
V. May the divine assistance remain with us always. R. And may the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.