for the Apostles of the Latter Times
| St. Louis composed this prayer asking for apostles of the latter times. These fiery words are certainly applicable to our days, when the need for these apostles is so urgent in face of the universal and profound affliction of Holy Mother Church.
The division into days and subtitles has been added to make it easier to pray.
Accomplish, O Lord, Thy merciful designs; raise up the men of Thy right hand, such men as Thou hast shown in prophetic vision to some of Thy greatest servants – to St. Francis of Paola, to St. Vincent Ferrer, to St. Catherine of Siena, and to many other noble souls during the last two centuries.
Remember, O Lord: O Almighty God, remember this Company, applying to it all the might of Thy arm, which has no limits, to create, to produce and to bring it to perfection.
Great God, Thou Who out of the very stones can raise up children to Abraham, in the might of Thy Godhead say but one word to provide good laborers for Thy harvest and missionaries for Thy Church.
Remember, O Lord: God of infinite goodness, remember Thy mercies of old and, through this mercy, remember this congregation. Remember Thy repeated promises that Thou has made to us by Thy Prophets and by Thine Own Son to grant us all our lawful requests. Remember the prayers that have been offered To Thee by Thy servants for this end for so many centuries. Let their wishes, their sighs, their tears, and the blood that they have shed for Thee come into Thy presence and earnestly implore Thy mercy. But, above all, remember Thy Dear Son: Look on the face of Thy Christ (Ps. 83:10). Contemplate His agony, His shame and confusion, His loving complaint in the Gar- den of Olives, when He said: What profit is there in My Blood? (Ps. 29:10).
His cruel death, His Blood that poured forth cries out for mercy so that, by means of this congregation, His Kingdom may be established upon the ruins of that of His enemies.
Remember, O Lord: Remember, O Lord, this community in the effects of Thy justice. It is time, O Lord, to do: they have dissipated Thy law (Ps. 118:126). It is time to do what Thou has promised: Thy Divine Law is transgressed. Thy Gospel is ignored, Thy religion abandoned. Torrents of iniquity overwhelm the world, carrying away even Thy servants; the whole earth has become desolate; impiety is enthroned; Thy sanctuary is profaned, and abomination has reached even into the holy place.
Will Thou suffer this any longer, just Lord, God of vengeance? Will the end of all be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah? Will Thou be forever silent? Must not Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Must not Thy Kingdom come? Hast Thou not given to some of Thy friends a prophetic glimpse of the future renovation of Thy Church? Are not the Jews to be converted to the Truth? Is not this what Thy Church is awaiting? Do not all the Saints in heaven cry out to Thee: Avenge Thyself? Do not all the just on earth say to Thee: Amen. Come, O Lord, for the time is at hand (Apoc. 22:20). Do not all creatures, even the most insensible, moan under the weight of the numberless sins of Babylon and call for Thy coming to reestablish all things? For we know that every creature groaneth (Rom. 8:22).
Give me children, otherwise I shall die (Gen. 30:1): Give to Thy Mother children, servants, or let me die. Give Thy Mother children. It is for Thy Mother’s sake that I pray to Thee. Remember that Thou did dwell within her womb, were nourished at Her breasts, and reject me not. Remember whose Son Thou art and hear me. Remember what She is to Thee and what Thou art to Her, and grant my request. What is it I am asking from Thee? Nothing for myself, all for Thy glory. What am I asking of Thee? What Thou can, and even, I dare say, what Thou should grant me, being as Thou art the true God to Whom all power has been given in heaven and on earth and the best of all children, for Thou loved Thy Mother with an infinite love.
What am I asking of Thee?
Children: Priests, free with Thy freedom, detached from all things, without father or mother, or brothers or sisters, without relations according to the world, without means, without worry, without cares, and even without any will of their own.
Children: Slaves of Thy love and of Thy will: men according to Thy heart, who, without self-will to stain and hold them back, accomplish all Thy designs and crush all Thy enemies; other Davids, with the staff of the Cross and the sling of the holy Rosary in their hands.
Children: souls raised above this earth like heavenly dew who, without impediment, fly hither and thither in accordance with the breath of the Holy Spirit. It was they, in part, Thy Prophets spoke of when they asked: Who are these that fly as clouds? (Is. 60:8). Wither the impulse of the Spirit was to go, there they went (Ez. 1:12).
Children: Men ever at Thy hand, ever ready to obey Thee, like Samuel, at the voice of their Superiors: Presto sum: I am ready, every ready to run and suffer everything with Thee and for Thee, like the Apostles: Let us also go ,that we may die with Him (John 11:16).
Children: True Children of Mary, Thy Holy Mother, who are begotten and concealed by Her charity, carried in Her bosom, fastened to Her breasts, nourished with Her milk, reared under Her care, upheld by Her arms, and enriched with Her graces.
Children: True servants of the Blessed Virgin, who, like other Saint Dominics, would go everywhere carrying the bright and burning torch of the Holy Gospel in their mouths and the holy Rosary in their hands; barking, like faithful watchdogs, at the wolves who would fain tear to pieces the flock of Jesus Christ; burning like fires and lighting up the darkness of the World like other suns. Men who would, by means of a true devotion to Mary, that is to say, interior, not hypocritical; exterior, not critical; prudent, not ignorant; tender, not indifferent; constant, not unsteady; and holy, without presumption, crush wherever they go the head of the old serpent, in order that the curse Thou placed on him might be entirely fulfilled: I will put enmities between thee and the Woman and thy seed and Her seed: She shall crush thy head (Gen. 3:15).
If not this, then I shall die: Is it not better that I should die rather than see my God cruelly offended every day and myself in constant danger of being carried away by the unopposed and ever-increasing torrents of iniquity? Ah, death would be to me a thousand times preferable. Either send me help from heaven or take away my soul. Yes, if I did not hope that sooner or later Thou would, in the interest of Thy glory, hear his poor sinner as Thou has already heard so many others: This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him (Ps. 33:7), then I would pray to Thee just as the Prophet did: Take away my soul! (Kings 19:4)
But the confidence that I have in Thy mercy makes me say with another Prophet: I shall not die, but live; and shall declare the works of the Lord (Ps. 117:17) until I can say with Simeon: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation (Luke 2:29).
When shall it come, this deluge of fire and pure love, which Thou art to enkindle in all the earth with so much strength and sweetness that all nations, Turks, idolaters, even the Jews, will burn with it and be converted? And there is no one who can hide himself from his heat (Ps. 18:7).
May it be enkindled: May this divine fire, which Jesus Christ came to bring the world be enkindled before that of Thy anger, which will reduce everything to ashes. Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth (Ps. 103:30). Send forth the spirit of fire upon the earth to create priests all aflame, by whose ministry the face of the earth may be renewed and the Church reformed.
Remember Thy congregation, O Lord: It is a congregation, an assembly, a choice selection of predestined souls, which Thou must make in the world and of the world: I have chosen you out of the world (John 15:19). It is a flock of peaceful sheep which Thou must collect from among the wolves; a company of chaste doves and royal eagles from among so many ravens; a swarm of honey bees from among so many wasps; a herd of fleet deer from among so many tortoises; a battalion of courageous lions from among so many timid hares. Ah! Lord: Gather us from among the nations (Ps. 105:47). Call us together, unite us, that we may render all glory to Thy holy and powerful name.
What is this voluntary rain which Thou has separated and chosen for Thy weakened heritage if not these missionaries, these children of Mary, Thy Spouse, whom Thou art to assemble and to separate from the world for the good of Thy Church so afflicted and so weakened by the crimes of her children?
What are these animals and these poor who will dwell in Thy heritage, to be there nourished with the heavenly sweetness that Thou has prepared for them, if not these poor missionaries trusting in Providence, who will be satiated with Thy divine joys; if not those mysterious animals of Ezekiel, having the humanity of man by their disinterest and beneficent charity toward their neighbor; the courage of the lion by their holy anger and their ardent, prudent zeal against the demons and the children of Babylon; and the strength of the ox by their apostolic labors and their mortification of the flesh, and finally, the swiftness of the eagle by their contemplation in God?
These are the missionaries whom Thou wish to send to Thy Church. They shall have the eye of a man for their neighbor, the eye of a lion for Thy enemies, the eye of an ox for themselves, and the eye of an eagle for Thee. These imitators of the Apostles shall preach with a strength and a virtue so great and so striking that they will stir up all minds and all hearts, wheresover they will preach. It is to them that Thou wilt give Thy word: even Thy mouth and Thy wisdom: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist or gainsay (Luke 21: 15), which none of Thy enemies will be able to resist.
It is among these well-beloved that Thou, Holy Spirit, as King of the virtues of Jesus Christ, the Well-Beloved, will take Thy delight. For in all their missions, they shall have no other end in view than that of giving to Thee all the glory of the spoils taken from Thy enemies: The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved, and the beauty of the house shall divide the spoils.
By their trust in Providence and their devotion to Mary, they shall have the silvery wings of the dove: that is to say, a perfect charity toward their neighbors to bear with their defects, and a great love for Jesus Christ to carry His Cross.
Thou alone, as King of heaven and King of kings, shall set apart from the world these missionaries like so many kings, in order to make them whiter than the snow on the top of Mount Selmon, the mountain of God, the strong and fertile mountain in which God takes wonderful delight and in which He dwells and shall dwell until the end.
Lord God of Truth, Who is this mysterious mountain of which Thou speakest such wonderful things if not Mary, Thy dear Spouse, whose foundation Thou has placed upon the tops of the highest mountains? The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains … the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of mountains (Ps. 86:1; Mich. 4:1).
Happy, a thousand times happy, are the priests whom Thou has chosen and predestined to dwell with Thee upon this abundant and divine mountain, there to become the kings of eternity by their contempt of the world and their elevation in God; there to be made whiter than snow by their union with Mary, Thy spouse, all beautiful, all pure, all immaculate; there to be enriched with the dew of heaven and the riches of the land, with all the temporal and eternal blessings with which Mary is filled.
It is from the top of this mountain that, like other Moses’, they shall direct the arrows of their ardent prayers against their enemies to crush or to convert them. It is upon this mountain that they shall learn, even from the lips of Jesus Christ, Who always dwells there, the meaning of His Eight Beatitudes. It is upon this mountain of God that they shall be transfigured with Him as upon Tabor, die with Him as upon Calvary, and ascend to heaven with Him as upon Mount Olivet.
The battalions pay homage to the God of battles
Seest Thou, Lord, God of battles, seest Thou the captains who are forming full battalions, the potentates who are assembling whole fleets, the merchants gathering in large numbers at the markets and the fairs? Crowds of robbers, drunkards, libertines, impious men are uniting against Thee every day – and so easily and promptly. The sound of a whistle, the beat of a drum, the sight of a blunt sword-tip, the promise of a withered laurel wreath, the offer of a bit of gold or silver; in a word, a breath of fame and earthly interest, a vile pleasure for which they long can, in a moment, unite robbers as one, call forward soldiers, assemble battalions, bring together merchants, fill houses and market places and cover the earth and the sea with an innumerable multitude of the reprobate, who, although divided among themselves by the places whence they come, by the differences in their dispositions or by their personal interests, are nevertheless united as one man, until death, to fight against Thee under the banner and the leadership of the demon.
And we, great God! Although there is so much glory and profit, so much sweetness and so many advantages to be gained by serving Thee, shall there be so few to take up Thy cause? Hardly any soldiers under Thy banner! Nary a St. Michael to proclaim among Thy brethren in zeal for Thy glory: Who is like unto God?
Ah, let me cry out everywhere: Fire! Fire! Fire! Help! Help! Help! Fire even within the sanctuary! Help for our brother who is being murdered! Help for our children whose throats are being cut! Help for our Father Who is being stabbed! If any man be on the Lord’s side, let him join with me (Ex. 32:26).
Let all good priests who are spread over the Christian world, and those who are actually on the battlefield and those who have withdrawn from the combat to bury themselves in deserts and solitude, let them all come forward and unite with us — in unity there is strength — so that we may form, under the banner of the Cross, a well-regulated army in battle array, and together attack the enemies of God who have already sounded the alarm. They have shouted; they have raged; they have swelled their ranks. Let us break their bonds asunder; let us cast away their yoke from us. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them (Ps. 2:3-4). Let the Lord arise, and let His enemies be dispersed.
Arise, O Lord, why sleepest Thou? Arise: Arise, O Lord, why feignest Thou to sleep? Arise in Thy might, Thy mercy, and Thy justice, to form Thyself a chosen bodyguard to keep Thy house, to defend Thy glory, and to save the souls bought at the price of Thy Precious Blood, so that there may be but one fold and one shepherd, and that all may glorify Thee in Thy holy temple: And in His temple all shall proclaim His glory. Amen.