Over two million men and women are currently housed in
U.S. prisons and jails.
And while some of these people may be completely
innocent of any crime or law breaking, there are probably many more
living freely among us because their crimes or misdeeds have not
yet been discovered or disclosed.
Being obedient and doing the right thing day in and
day out is not always an easy task. After all, while most of us are not real criminals and will
never spend a day “behind bars,” which
one of us could honestly stand before the Lord today and proclaim
to be innocent of any and all wrong doings? To be perfectly honest, all of us
don’t always do the right thing or follow God’s will every day of
However, there is one exception, and he can teach us a
lot about doing what’s right.
In a few weeks, thousands of people will make a
pilgrimage to Carthage, Missouri, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Shrine. They will come from
all over the country for the celebration of Marian Days, one of the
largest religious gathering to take place in the United States this
And during this 37th year of religious celebration the
tens of thousands of faithful believers will be reminded of those
few, but so very important words found in the second chapter of St.
Luke’s Gospel, “Jesus came to Nazareth with his parents and was
obedient to them.”
It is so terribly ironic that Jesus was put to death,
accused of being a criminal, and yet he was a man of absolute
obedience. He always did the
right thing. He was
perfectly obedient to both his earthly parents and to his heavenly
father. He remained innocent of all crime and sin from the day
he was born until the day he died.
You and I can’t say that about ourselves. We may not be one of those two
million looking at the world from behind bars, but we are still
sinners in need of repentance and forgiveness. And our heavenly father knows
that. That is why he sent
Jesus into our world. On the
one hand, Jesus constantly points the way to holiness and virtue,
but, on the other hand, he also offers the healing powers of
As I have always done in previous years, I do again
invite you to come to Carthage for one or all the days of Marian
Days, from August 7 to August 10. Be part of this great religious celebration.
However, if that is not possible, then most certainly
be with us in spirit by returning to me the enclosed prayer
Check and write on this form each and every personal
need you would like prayed for during this year’s Marian Days. And I point for your attention
the first two petitions on this year’s prayer petition form. Please
give us permission to pray for you that you might always do what is
right, and when you don’t, that you will have the courage and
honesty to seek the Lord’s abundant and unconditional forgiveness.
In past years thousands, of Marian Days’ participants
have left Marian Days changed men and women. They returned home with a new
resolve to do what is right, to follow Jesus in a daily act of
obedience to the heavenly father. I hope as you pray at home this year during our Marian Days
you also might be touched with that same grace and favor. Ask,
that you might receive, and seek, that you might find.
When sending me your Marian Days prayer petitions,
please also consider enclosing a generous donation in support of
the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine, and the training of our
Your help is always needed and deeply
appreciated. If your Marian
Days donation is $25 or more, please ask to receive our 2014 Marian
Days commemorative gift, a Lady of Fatima Key Ring. This religious, yet also very
practical gift, is pictured and described on the enclosed
Please send me your 2014 Marian Days prayer petitions
today. Your prayer petitions
will also be prayed for at the Fatima Apparition Shrine in Fatima,
In the love of Our Blessed Lady,
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, CMC
P.S. Please check the appropriate box
on the enclosed form if you would like a Shrine Memorial or if you
would like a Marian Days Votive Candle lit for your intentions or
for the intentions of another special friend or family member.