Sunday, March 15, 2009

Feast Day of St. Clement Mary (Maria) Hofbauer

Today, March 15th, is the feast day of St. Clement Mary (Maria) Hofbauer, who is the Patron Saint of Vienna, Austria. This date marks the date of his death at the age of 68. He was born in the Czech Republic, in what was Moravia, and is considered the second founder of the Redemptorists, after Alphonsus Liguori.

Hofbauer has special significance for me for 2 reasons.

First of all, my usual parish is St. Teresa's, which is a Redemptorist community. Secondly, my first car, which I still drive has the license plate HOF188. This is amazing because HOF = Hofbauer, and amazingly, he was beatified in 1888. So, my license plate is saying something about Clement's beatification. HOF 188. I am reminded of Hofbauer when I think of my license plate.

As I was searching for a prayer to St. Clement Hofbauer, I found another connection to him. Sometimes I troubled by irrational fears about faith, even though I love it so much, and realize Christ and his Church is the only true path to salvation. This prayer that I found, which is attributed to St. Clement is the following:

A Prayer for the Preservation of Faith - St. Clement Hofbauer

O my Redeemer,
will that dreadful time ever come,
when but few Christians shall be left
who are inspired by the spirit of faith,
that time when Thine anger shall be provoked
and Thy protection shall be take away from us?
Have our vices and our evil lives
irrevocably moved Thy justice to take vengeance,
perhaps this very day,
upon Thy children?
O Thou, the beginning and end of our faith,
we conjure Thee,
in the bitterness of our contrite and humbled hearts,
not to suffer the fair light of faith
to be extinguished in us.
Remember Thy mercies of old,
turn Thine eyes in mercy upon the vineyard
planted by Thine own right hand,
and watered by the sweat of the Apostles,
by the precious blood of countless Martyrs
and by the tears of so many sincere penitents,
and made fruitful by the prayers
of so many Confessors and innocent Virgins.
O divine Mediator,
look upon those zealous souls
who raise their hearts to Thee
and pray ceaselessly
for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Thine,
the true faith.
We beseech Thee,
O God of justice,
to hold back the decree of our rejection,
and to turn away Thine eyes from our vices
and regard instead the adorable Blood
shed upon the Cross,
which purchased our salvation
and daily intercedes for us upon our altars.
Ah, keep us safe in the true Catholic and Roman faith.
Let sickness afflict us,
vexations waste us,
misfortunes overwhelm us!
But preserve in us Thy holy faith;
for if we are rich with this precious gift,
we shall gladly endure every sorrow,
and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness.
On the other hand,
without this great treasure of faith,
our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit!
O good Jesus, author of our faith,
preserve it untainted within us;
keep us safe in the bark of Peter,
faithful and obedient to his successor
and Thy Vicar here on earth,
that so the unity of Holy Church may be maintained,
holiness fostered,
the Holy See protected in freedom,
and the Church universal extended
to the benefit of souls.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
humble and convert the enemies of Thy Church;
grant true peace
and concord to all Christian kings and princes
and to all believers;
strengthen and preserve us in Thy holy service,
so that we may live in Thee and die in Thee.
O Jesus, author of our faith,
let me live for Thee and die for Thee.


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