For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith

For the Kingdom of God to come!


The particular goal of the Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God is the preservation of the Deposit of the Faith by religious teaching in all its forms. God has established it as “a rampart against the almost general apostasy” that has invaded Christianity and in particular the Roman Church.
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Watchword for 2023:


out of love for God and in union with Jesus Christ




Father Mathurin of the Mother of God

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.

At the dawn of this New Year, on this first day of the New Year dedicated to our Heavenly Father, on our behalf, on your behalf, my brothers and sisters, we want to present our best wishes to our Heavenly Father.

We have been chosen to be the praise of His glory,1 says Saint Paul. With all the intensity and fervor of our heart, we will begin by saying to the Eternal Father that we want to be a praise of glory for Him, and that for His glory, we want to employ all that He has created within us: our heart, our soul, our will, our memory, all our faculties, our entire being.

Christian patience

The watchword for this year is patience. Father Adolphe Tanquerey gives us the definition of it in his Treatise on Theology: Patience is a Christian virtue that gives us the strength to withstand with equanimity of soul, for the love of God, and in union with Jesus Christ, all physical and moral sufferings.2

I wish for you this Christian virtue of patience. However, there is also a worldly patience in which someone keeps his composure by a certain restraint, to create an image and impress his entourage, to arrive at human, earthly ends. This is not the kind I am referring to.

The primary intention of the virtue of patience which we invite you to practice this year is first of all to give glory to God – but to give Him glory in a very special manner: by developing a conviction in your heart that if God sends us something to suffer, it is because He has an intention, a plan for His child. It is by a design of His love that suffering, in all its forms, visits us.

The practice of the virtue of patience is also to make reparation for sin and to enter into God’s design through the sufferings and tribulations that He sends us. Many authors put this motive of reparation first, but I wanted to begin with a more positive motive, which is to give glory to God.

Source of suffering

It is not God who made suffering. Suffering is the fruit of sin. Man was made for God, for the joy of union with Him. And ever since man, by his sin, broke this divine project, he suffers, he is disoriented, he gropes. Man’s intelligence is obscured, he can no longer see clearly. All his faculties are in darkness – all of them! – because of sin.

But by a kind of sleight of hand, we might say, Infinite Love succeeded in turning suffering, which came from our sin, into the remedy for our sin. Man sins, bringing about suffering, and Infinite Love makes it the remedy for sin. It took God to think of this! I believe that this is one of the most beautiful manifestations of His Infinite Love. Our sin brings about suffering, we are condemned. And God, in order to manifest His Infinite Love, elevates the suffering caused by man’s sin to a sublime dignity, one could say an almost infinite dignity.

Identifying with Christ

We meditate on this virtue of patience in adversity especially during the Christmas season. It is first manifested through Mary and Joseph: during the five-day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and the rejections in Bethlehem. Contemplate the details of their comportment, totally imbued with patience. When Jesus arrives, what meekness He has, what patience! And the world is already going to pursue the little Infant. The Holy Family must make haste to flee into Egypt. Contemplate how they acted during their journey; they left the grotto of Bethlehem in the middle of the night, without any preparation, to undertake a long passage through the desert in all sorts of difficult conditions. They took refuge in Egypt, a foreign land. We ought to contemplate their patience in order to imitate it, and thus enter into these dispositions of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Since the coming of Jesus, it seems that suffering is what has the capacity to identify us most with Jesus, the Christ, the Word of God incarnate. Go anywhere in the world, with any denomination – Catholic (it goes without saying) but also Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, pagan – go around the world and show a cross, just a cross made of two little pieces of wood or two pencil lines. Everyone will recognize the sign of Jesus before the word cross is spoken. The cross is synonymous with Jesus, so much did He appropriate it to Himself.

I sincerely and deeply believe that the example of Jesus is what can motivate us the most to practice patience in the adversities and trials of life; and there are many! I do not think there is a word that has more synonyms than suffering: cross, adversity, tribulation, trials, aches and pains, infirmity, disease… In each of these synonyms, God expects His child to receive it with patience as a gift.

We must be very attentive to the way we receive suffering. I would like to take this opportunity to correct an oft-repeated statement: The cross, suffering, is salvation. This is true, but at the same time it is inaccurate. There were three crosses on Calvary. The cross of Jesus, Christ the Redeemer. He came to save us by means of the deified cross, precisely by this sleight of hand of His infinite Love. There is the cross of the good thief, who was revolted, who grumbled and complained, as the Gospel relates. But when he contemplated Jesus crucified next to him, he was converted, he was transformed, and suffering became redemptive and salutary for him. On the other hand, the bad thief, who underwent the same suffering, the same torment of the cross, became a reprobate, because he grumbled and complained till the end. He blasphemed, he cursed his sufferings.

It is a great mystery which Jesus revealed to us, and which was also partially revealed in the Old Testament. Let us recall the story of the holy man Tobias, truly a saint in the Old Testament, who multiplied his good works in secret, in great discretion, under the eye of God alone, to glorify Him. Humanity was still several centuries before the coming of Christ. As Tobias was taking a nap under a tree, some bird droppings fell on his eyes and he became blind for years. Later, thanks to a cure indicated by the Archangel Raphael, who had accompanied his son to a distant land, Tobias was healed of his blindness upon their return. Then the Angel instructed him on the reason for this trial: “I will now reveal the truth to you, and I will not hide the secret from you. Because you were acceptable to God, it was necessary that you be tried.3

Hearing the statement of this great truth which the Angel manifests to us in God’s name, we must be silent and endorse this truth, adhere to it. Because you were acceptable to God, it was necessary that you be tried… We might retort that everyone on earth is tested! And then add that probably most of these people are not pleasing to God. Well, I would answer that the mercy of God is even greater now than it was for Tobias. It is true that we are not pleasing to God, but He sends us trials in order to make us pleasing to Him. This is the purpose of suffering.

The divine remedy

We are all sinners. Humanity is more sinful than ever before. God wants to make humanity pleasing in His sight, humanity which outrages Him, these Christians who scorn Him and shamelessly despise His expectations in every way. In spite of this, God has decided that He will make humanity pleasing in His divine sight. That is why we invite you to Christian patience, so that we sinners may become pleasing to God, along with all our brothers of the earth.

Not so long ago, concerning the anxiety that we may feel in these troubled times, I asked the question: Is God going to close the books? Closing the books means shutting down the company, it is all over. Will this be the end of the history of humanity? From a human point of view, is God not discouraged, fed up, tired of men? Is He not sick and tired of the universal evil which knows no bounds? Is He not weary of being mocked like this by humans, His creatures? Fortunately, the sufferings we have experienced in the last few years have given me hope. One might say that God had two remaining options: the first one was to close the books of human history, but it appears He did not choose this option. Instead, God chose to employ suffering – suffering which comes from men, from their sins.

As I said before, it is not God who invented evil. It is important that we truly understand this: evil comes from the sins of men. Evil brings about this desolation, which is becoming increasingly widespread, which is becoming universal. It is this same desolation that will be the remedy for all evils if – hence the reason for the watchword – IF, my brothers and sisters, in patience, without complaining, without grumbling, without analyzing everything – if as sinners, as people who are guilty, we accept these evils in patience, patience. What a profound and sublime invention of Infinite Love: God makes suffering the remedy for evil.

The prophet says of Jesus the Messiah, He was thought of as a man struck by God and afflicted.4 Jesus, Innocence itself, was regarded as the vilest of sinners, struck not by the hand of men but struck by God Himself. This is how our Redeemer became our remedy. He took our sins upon Himself. He atoned for them with all His sufferings and with His sorrowful Passion. Jesus is the greatest, finest example we can have of this virtue of patience – a Christian virtue, that is, a Christlike virtue.

Our Saviour practiced patience in all the circumstances of His life, from the manger to Calvary. First, He remained hidden for thirty years in a life of labor and patience. Then, in His public life, He was often badly received, confronted with all sorts of snares that were set for Him, enduring all sorts of remarks that mocked and ridiculed Him. What patience!

Patience in the face of His enemies, patience with His friends. His Apostles, His friends, did not understand very quickly. Man does not understand the things of God very quickly. Patience all around, and in a sublime manner during His Passion. It is as if there was something about patience that charmed Jesus so deeply that He wanted to come and show us how to practice it.

The Royal Gift of Infinite Love

My brothers and sisters, we must believe that trials, tribulations, woes and sorrows are the royal gift of Infinite Love. Believing it and adhering to it is perfection. The perfection of a Christian is to truly believe with our whole soul that suffering is a royal gift of Infinite Love, and therefore of God Himself. Whatever the suffering, tribulation, infirmity, illness, contradiction, setback – and I have not named all of them yet – we must silence our little reasoning and enter into the design of God by views of faith.

Sin has distanced us from God; it has riveted us to the earth and set us on a path contrary to God. I insist on this point so that it may be well remembered: by our sins, we have produced all evils and tribulations, and God has decided that these same sufferings produced by our sins would be the remedy for our sins. That is the divine remedy, but we must remember it and believe it when the occasions arise.

Suffering sets all things in order, in their place. What a mystery! Not only does suffering purify our souls, but God has made it the condition for the fulfillment of His greatest designs. And the ultimate proof of this assertion is the cross. In our sufferings, may we not forget to unite ourselves to God’s intention. May we accept them as His will, for the purification of our soul in order to glorify Him, to enter into His design.

Let us recall the story of Saint Teresa of Avila, who traveled by night to establish her Carmelite convents. She met with a great deal of opposition, not only from the part of worldly people but even from the clergy, even though it was a time of fervor in the Church. One winter’s night, a bridge she was crossing with her sisters gave way under the weight of the horse-drawn covered cart. Cart and nuns all fell into the river. With great difficulty, they managed to climb out of the icy water. Jesus, smiling, was waiting for Teresa of Avila on the bank, and He said to her, “This is how I treat My friends.” And Teresa of Avila jokingly replied in all simplicity, “I can understand why You have so few!” We like to laughingly repeat these words in all kinds of unfortunate situations. But it is really the truth. We must believe that suffering and setbacks are the way of God’s friends.

Mysterium fidei

God sends sufferings to those He loves. This great truth is a component of the mysteries of God’s love. Here on earth, the love we have for God is not an emotion, something we can feel. It is a common error among Christians to want to feel the love of God – feel a kind of warmth, a palpitation, an emotion, beautiful tears – it feels so good. That is not bad, but even in religion, it remains a natural emotion.

By views of faith, we must believe in the love of God in trials, in suffering.

My brothers and sisters, this year I invite you to a practical faith of truly believing that by way of the evils that already visit us and those that will come later, it is God who wants to manifest His love to us and to humanity.

Let me remind you of the Latin formula that the priest pronounces during the Consecration at Mass: Mysterium fidei. These words are employed for the Holy Eucharist, the mystery of faith. You can apply the same formula in suffering, hardship, infirmity and illness. Draw up the very long list of the trials you are experiencing now and all of those that are looming on the horizon. You see them coming. What we have gone through was the first chapter. What is coming will be a little more severe, a little more painful. Mysterium fidei. Believe that this is the manifestation of the love of God, who has decided to save us. He needs a little handful of souls motivated by this faith. Will we be among these souls? Yes, my brothers and sisters; yes, we will. I am willing to answer on your behalf because I truly believe that your heart says yes.

The Eucharist is a mystery of faith. Does the truth, the reality of Jesus’ presence in the Host reside in the fact that you feel He is there, that you have an emotion which reveals to you that, Oh yes! Jesus is there? No, we believe in His presence because He revealed it to us and we have faith in His word. So it is with this other mystery that we are commenting on today. Suffering is a mystery of faith, which we must accept just like the mystery of the Real Presence. And we accept it not because we have a sweet emotion and we feel that “Yes, it is true, suffering is beneficial for me.” If we feel sweet emotions, it is because we are on the way out of the tribulation. When we are in our trial, there is no sweet emotion, only pain, sadness, incomprehension. The less we understand, the more painful it is. This is the mystery of our redemption, Mysterium fidei. It is salutary, it is our sanctification.

Suffering that is accepted turns a sinner into a saint, by a divine decree. God has so decided. Our sin produced all the evils, and God decided that the evils will be our salvation. In this realm, more than anywhere else, we must be wary of our senses. All our faculties can deceive us: intelligence, memory, understanding. When everything is painful, when we can no longer see the horizon, let us apply ourselves to submit entirely to God interiorly, and to adhere. Then, with gratitude, we will praise God, we will bless Him, and we will glorify Him by the fervor of our faith. That is salvation. It is salvation for oneself, salvation for humanity. That is how the world will be saved.

This kind of faith has always been indispensable, but now it is more indispensable than ever, because the world is going to enter a time of more intense suffering. Witnesses for God will be needed, people capable of praising and glorifying Him by the adherence of their heart. They will truly be Apostles of Infinite Love because their heart, in every suffering, every difficulty, every darkness, always and in all circumstances, will adore the designs of God.

Our Lady of La Salette said in Her appeal to the Apostles of the Latter Times: I am with you and in you, provided that your faith be the light that enlightens you in these days of woe. More than anywhere else, it is in suffering that we must practice faith. And remember: faith is not about feeling, it is not even about understanding. Faith means to adhere to a mystery that is revealed to us, a mystery that is beyond reason. And the more we are overwhelmed, the more we are inundated by all kinds of sufferings, the more our reason and all our senses are at a loss, then the more also our heart, our innermost being, adheres to God by faith.


It is customary to add a wish to the watchword. For the year that just ended, the wish you received was “to follow Jesus, the Truth, and to do it graciously”. This year, we repeat the same wish of practicing the virtue of patience graciously, that is, in such a way that no one realizes that we are patient. When we show our neighbor that we are being patient, it means that we are not. We want to make him feel that he is making us suffer, that he is exercising us, that he is a cause of suffering for us. This year, apply yourself to practicing patience graciously.

In the hymn on patience by Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, we sing:

What glory for God, our good Father,
To see His dear child laughing,
Humbly kissing and revering
The rod with which He strikes him;
Who amid the blows exclaims:
“Blessed be God! O my God, pardon!
“Father, I give Thee thanks,
“Oh, what a grace! What a great gift.”

The canticle of gratitude

How glorious it is for God to see His child smiling and thanking Him for the suffering He sends Him! I am convinced that this is the summit of religion. Yes, there is nothing greater here on earth than to accept trials, to thank God in suffering, to praise and bless Him, not only with our lips but especially with our heart and from the depths of our soul, saying to Him, “My God, nothing better could happen to me, since it is You who has so decided.” It does not matter what the tribulation, suffering, trial or evil is. Now, this is easy to say sitting comfortably in an armchair, but when suffering visits us, when everything hurts, it can become heroic to say: “My God, yes! Nothing better could have happened to me. I glorify You, I bless You.”

Jesus, Innocence itself, was regarded as a man struck by God, regarded as the guilty one. But we are not innocent. And faced with the suffering that comes our way, we ought to say: “Blessed be God! O my God, pardon. My God, You have not forsaken me! You have sent suffering to me, You have decided to save me. Father, I thank You. Oh, what a grace! What a great gift!

I believe that all of Heaven is in suspense upon seeing a Christian who blesses and thanks God when his whole being, his heart and soul, is in trials, in darkness, and is burdened with all sorts of sufferings. There is nothing rational, it is trials and nothing but trials, yet this Christian continues to praise God. When He sees this sentiment in His child, God puts all of Heaven on hold. He invites the Angels and the Saints, according to our way of speaking, and says to them: “Come and see My child. Come and look at this. Here is one who is oppressed, who is in darkness, who sees nothing, understands nothing, is suffering in every way. And look at how he praises Me, blesses and thanks Me!”

What a spectacular sight for God, the Angels and the Saints! Wouldn’t we like to give this glory to God? I am sure that Heaven pauses to contemplate such a display, for it is so great, so glorifying to God. At that moment we might hear Jesus repeat: Amen I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!5

My brothers and sisters, we belong to the Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God – the Magnificat is the Virgin Mary’s canticle of gratitude. More than anyone else, we must practice gratitude in trial and sorrow, so that tomorrow, by our contact, humanity will return to God. Instead of grumbling, complaining and finding the action of God deplorable, even detrimental – which amounts to criticizing God Himself – may souls, by our contact, praise and bless God by means of their sufferings. That is the intention of this watchword and wish.

Let us sing the first three verses of the canticle on Patience by Saint Louis Mary de Montfort:

I admire a great princess
Who laughs amid her torments,
Who, without grief or sadness,
Turns her woes into delightful pleasure.
This is invincible Patience.
It is the lesson of Jesus as He was dying,
The foundation of all hope,
The strength of the true conqueror.

Is this not the great sacrifice
Of man to the Divinity
To pay back all His justice,
To glorify His goodness,
To rely on His Providence,
To believe in His authority,
To be subject to His power,
To adore His majesty?

What glory for God, our good Father,
To see His dear child laughing,
Humbly kissing and revering
The rod with which He strikes him;
Who amid the blows exclaims:
“Blessed be God! O my God, pardon!
“Father, I give Thee thanks,
“Oh, what a grace! What a great gift.”

Is this not the great and finest sacrifice of man to the Divinity? To pay back all His justice… It pays for everything, everything! His justice is satisfied. To glorify His goodness. It is truly a miracle of His Infinite Love. Sin brought all evils upon us, and the evils repair sin.

Is this not the great sacrifice
Of man to the Divinity
To pay back all His justice,
To glorify His goodness,
To rely on His Providence…

It is absolutely certain that the plan, the great design of Divine Providence is being fulfilled in this manner.

On this first day of the new year, we are going to offer this first Holy Sacrifice of the Mass along with Jesus, who is our great model, and who is going to immolate Himself to His Father on the altar. I ask our good Jesus, who is going to sacrifice Himself, to give you an efficacious grace to fulfill the watchword for this year – Patience out of love for God and in union with Jesus Christ – so that the designs of His Providence may be fulfilled by means of sufferings and trials. I offer this Mass in your name, including the intention, the desire of your heart to apply yourself to this. May His design of love be fulfilled through sufferings, trials, woes and tribulations because our soul, our heart will adhere. May we not complain and criticize, but in all patience, may we praise and glorify Him.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.

Our Lady of all patience, pray for us. (three times)


1Cf. Ephesians 1:6,12.

2Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey, p.s.s., The Spiritual Life: Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology, pp. 511-512, no. 1088. See page 12 in this issue.

3Cf. Holy Bible, Tobias 12:6-13. This story is narrated in this issue beginning on page 14.

4Isaiah 53:4.

5St. Luke 7:9.

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.

Preparatory Prayer

O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.