There is a lovely story in the acts of the martyrdom of St Cecilia that tells of her asking the Lord for three days of reprieve so that she could dedicate her house to become a church. Her wish was granted, and you can see what remains of her house today under the Basilica of St Cecilia in Transtevere in Rome. One of the antiphons of her feast sings of it in these terms: Triduanas a Domino poposci inducias ut domum meam Ecclesiam consecrarem – I asked the Lord for three days of reprieve so that I could dedicate my house as a Church of God.
That story serves as the basis for an initiative of dedicating three days at the beginning of each month to prayer and fasting. The initiative actually already has two years of existence. It all began during the Covid lockdowns but continues today, and involves praying five decades of the Holy Rosary and fasting (this involves the Church’s usual rules for fasting, meaning only one full meal and the possibility of two small collations to have sufficient strength to fulfil one’s duties, or in the case of children or the elderly, sick and travellers, to abstaining from certain foods) for three days around the First Friday of each month for the following intentions:
1) For the exaltation of our Holy Mother the Catholic Church and the acknowledgment of her God-given authority to teach all nations the true faith without which no one can be saved.
2) For the Holy Father and all Bishops, that the true spirit of the apostles may animate them, converting those who have let themselves be influenced by Satan, that is to say, become obstacles to Christ (see Mt 16:23), so that they may once again be the Rock upon which the Church is built and prospers (Mt 16:18).
3) For the grace of courage for all those whose task it is to teach the truth – priests, deacons, catechists, lay apologists –, so that they would rather die than betray that trust or diminish in any way its power.
4) For the downfall of all the “structures of sin” in our world, especially those that ensnare and corrupt the youth, that destroy marriages and families, and that exploit politics through falsehoods designed to frighten entire populations into servitude.
5) For the humiliation and utter destruction of all that lifts up its head against God, such as the Pride movement and all the unnatural vice it promotes, opposed as it is so diametrically to the humility of Heart that Jesus taught us and to the purity of Mary Immaculate.
6) For the restoration of the true religious life through the promotion and formation of many solid vocations that will be sign of contradiction to evil-doers and a sign of hope to true Catholics.
7) For the protection of families from the evils of contraception, abortion, child abuse, euthanasia, divorce and the sad cortege of all that goes with them, and for the support of parents who are courageously bringing into the world souls destined to see God for all eternity.
8) For a return to Christian modesty and dignity in the way people dress and act in public, so that the power of paganism may be crushed by divine Grace and a new era of Christianity may dawn upon our world.
9) For all those honoured with the Name of Christian, that they may truly live in God’s grace and radiate Christ’s presence in the world.
Towards the end of each month a reminder of the upcoming triduum along with its exact dates will be posted here along with some spiritual reflections destined to encourage us all as we unite in prayer and penance for these general intentions and all the particular ones that we each bring to the triduum and which vary from month to month.
If you would like to receive an email reminder each month, please send an email to Paula Gordon at email@example.com. She will be handling the mailout reminders each month.