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  • Pompeii Rising

From the Desk of Fr. Thomas - April 2024 Newsletter

Dear Faithful,

So much has happened in April, I hardly know where to begin. With brevity, I will recap the events of this month for you and then we can turn our attention towards May 08, the common Feasts of Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii, and the Apparition of St. Michael at Monte Sant’Angelo in Gargano. Especially for our congregation this year, both the Queen and the Prince of Angels unite for what promises to be a magnificent and triumphant day.

If we weren't on the national radar, we are now! Angelus Press just released the current issue of the Regina Coeli Report and Pompeii Rising was featured. The forward was written by the Society’s U.S. District Superior, who names our project amongst the most beautiful churches under the care of the Society of St. Pius X, not just in America, but in the world. This article will help you appreciate how our restoration efforts are an important chapter in the history of Catholic Florida.

Fr. Settimo and I also made our pilgrimage to Italy, where I was able to bring all of your intentions with me. We prayed at Monte Sant’Angelo where St. Michael appeared in the year 492. In Avellino, we venerated the relics of St. Philomena, the Wonder Worker, to whom we’ve entrusted this project since the beginning. In Pietrelcina, we prayed in the chapel of St. Padre Pio. These three days in Italy were extremely providential. In Pompeii, we saw the tomb of Bl. Barolo Longo, founder of the Pontifical Shrine, and champion of the Miraculous Image of Pompeii. This story can be found here courtesy of the Saint Benedict Center. I was even able to offer a private Mass at a side chapel in the Basilica, which was a miracle in its own right.

A large part of the pilgrimage was to give thanks for a recent blessing. I found out in March that one of only two official replicas of the Miraculous Image of Pompeii was going to be gifted to our church to spread devotion to the Holy Rosary in Florida. The original image doesn’t move from the high altar in Pompeii, so the first replica was created so that an image could travel the world. When it came to the USA in 2011, the priest in charge of the tour asked that a second replica be commissioned to remain in the United States. Next Wednesday, on May 8th which is the Feast of Our Lady of Pompeii, we will have a ceremony at the new church to unveil the image at 6 PM. You are all invited. Once the image is unveiled for veneration, those who are present will recite the Suplica, a prayer written in 1883 by Bl. Bartolo Longo for just this occasion. If you are unable to make it, I bid you to pray this petition with your Rosary and the Memorare at noon the same day for the success of the restoration effort. Please let us know if you can come to this event register at our website

Lastly, Phase II has successfully come to a close. Allow me to share some of the progress.

As Paschaltide comes to a close, we have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for offering your sacrifice and prayers.

Please continue to say your daily Memorare. You can see, she listens!

Fr, David Thomas

Large Belltower during restoration of the brick interior structure.
New Kre-tex veneer stone was cast and installed to seal the exterior.
Towers restored with copper that will develop a beautiful matching green patina with age.
The impressive size of the copper work that rests at the apex of our towers.
I stand before the glass coffin of S. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Praying at the altar of S. Philomena, asking her to work wonders for us.

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