The Crown of Twelve Stars Program
In an effort to promote purity and innocence among the young and to enlist them in the cause of Christ, the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (ULRA) and the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena have joined together to promote the St. Philomena Youth for Purity Program. In every fight an ally is needed and the Church has proclaimed through the Sovereign Pontiffs that St. Philomena, the young virgin-martyr, is the ally needed to help the young in their struggle for integrity of heart. The program aims to introduce St. Philomena, the power of her intercession and the integrity of her example to the youth of the 21st century. Her inspirational example is even more fitting now in our time as we see more and more clearly that the temptations and vices of her day have been recast in our own time - power, greed, lust, and the destruction of the family unit.
We encourage the youth to form 'Children of Mary' circles in their schools and parishes. Pope Pius IX declared St. Philomena to be the patroness of the Children of Mary and the Living Rosary Association and the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena have agreed to be co-sponsors of a revived 'sodality' movement. Fr. Chad Partain, the chancellor of the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana, has been named to spearhead the program and act as the Director of the Congregation of the Children of Mary. Each circle, composed of at least five members, will be registered with both the Living Rosary Association and with the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena. In this way the children enrolled will share in the spiritual blessings and indulgences attached to those organizations. Each child registered will assume responsibility for praying one decade of the rosary each day and for invoking the aid of St. Philomena. The Children of Mary circles will meet on the first Saturday of the month to foster devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to fulfill Our Lady's requests for prayer and penance.
The meetings will be designed to foster the role of the congregation. The Children of Mary is a Catholic Lay Association that has for its main purpose the spiritual formation of its members. It takes for its model the spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort and his ideal of total consecration to Jesus through Mary. The work of the congregation is to foster holiness in the young by giving them solid formation and peer support under the mantle of the Blessed Mother. The sign of membership is the Miraculous Medal worn on a broad blue ribbon - the motto of the congregation is 'Monstra esse te Matrem' 'Show thyself a Mother'. Regular updates, meeting guides, prayers, and registration forms will be made available on the Children of Mary website to be launched in November of 2011. Please pray for this endeavor that we may form in our time "an army of youth flying the banner of truth . . . neath the Queen's white and blue."
Individual members, of all ages, may participate in the Crown of Twelve Stars Program which sets goals for spiritual growth in devotion and service.
Members, who participate in the Crown of Twelve Stars Program, are awarded silver stars to wear on the ribbon of their membership medal. The stars are awarded for the completion of the requirements for each Star:
To earn the First Star of the Crown, the individual must first be formally enrolled in the Congregation of the Children of Mary (Click here to register to enroll become a member). The members should make the Act of Consecration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament after having first gone to Confession and having received Holy Communion. The members must study and meditate on the Mystery of the Holy Rosary that has been assigned to their charge by the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena (a report or presentation on the Mystery can be given at a Circle meeting or submitted in writing). The members should encourage others to pray the Rosary and should encourage others to join the Congregation of the Children of Mary To earn the First Star, the members must complete the above requirements and be active in the Congregation of the Children of Mary for a period of two months. At that time, they may send a letter testifying to their completion of the requirements to the Director. When you register to become a member of the Congregation of the Children of Mary, your application information will automatically be sent to the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena. In other words, when you register here to be a member of the Congregation of the Children of Mary, you will be automatically be signed up as a member of the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena and will be mailed your membership packet which in includes your assigned Daily Decade.
After two months of active service in the Congregation of the Children of Mary, the members may complete the requirements for their second Star. They must have been faithful to their Daily Decade and be promoting the Rosary in their homes. The life of St. Philomena, our patroness, should be studied and her intercession sought. They should share St. Philomena's story with others in an active way and learn to pray the Chaplet of St. Philomena. They should go to Holy Mass and receive Communion on one of the days associated with St. Philomena's devotion: The members should strive to follow St. Philomena's example of courage, loyalty and purity of heart, and be able to explain why these virtues are important. They should also memorize and be able to recite the Acts of Faith, Hope and Love. They should also take care to celebrate those days associated with St. Philomena:
- January 10: St. Philomena's Birthday
- May 25: the Finding of Her Relics
- August 11: Feast of the Saint
After four months of membership, the members are able to earn their third Star. They must demonstrate that they have been faithful to their Daily Decade and to the practice of devotion in honor of St. Philomena. The heart of the Congregation of the Children of Mary is the individual Act of Consecration which should be renewed, every day, by each member. To earn the fourth Star, the members must be able to explain in their own words what it means to them to be a Child of Mary and how they are imitating Her virtues of purity, humility, obedience and charity (this requirement can be done in a conversation with a Circle leader, in a presentation or written report). To earn this Star, the members must choose a personal motto that expresses their love and trust in the Blessed Mother (i.e. Mary, I love you and I long to love you more; Mother, may all who see me see you; etc.). The members must actively keep the month of Mary, the month of May, by some special devotional practice or penance and take part in their school or parish May Crowning. They must also memorize one of the Morning Offering prayers given in the Manual.
Our sign of membership is the Miraculous Medal on a blue ribbon. To earn the fourth Star, the members must read and study an account of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother to St. Catherine Labouré. The members must plan and carry out a project to tell others of the Medal and its wonders and to distribute Medals to others, especially those in need. St. Catherine cared for the sick and the aged, so it is appropriate to distribute Medals in Old Age Homes and Hospitals with permission. The blue ribbon represents the virtue of loyalty. To earn the fourth Star, the members must have been active in the Congregation of the Children of Mary for six months and given support and encouragement to others by memorizing and living out Ven. Teresas Code of Amiability. MARY WAS HER LIFE, the biography of Ven. Teresa Quevedo, is recommended for reading. The members should also memorize the Memorare prayer.
To earn the fifth Star, the members must be active in the Congregation of the Children of Mary for eight months. Our Lady promises great graces to those who come to pray at the foot of the Altar in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It is here, we encounter the love and compassion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The members should read and meditate on the apparitions of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary and the promises He makes to those who are devoted to His Most Sacred Heart. The members should attend Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, if it is offered in their parish and make visits to the Blessed Sacrament when possible. To complete the requirement for this Star, the members must spend a total of five hours with Our Lord before the Blessed Sacrament, outside of Mass. The members must be able to understand and explain the meaning behind the image of Our Lords Sacred Heart (the flame, the thorns, the cross and the wound). By prayer and penance, we offer our love and reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to make up for the indifference of others. The members should be able to explain the importance of making sacrifices and mortifying oneself. The members should know what it means to fast and abstain, and the purpose for which we make these acts of penance.
After ten months of active membership, the members may earn their sixth Star. To earn this Star, the members should learn about the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and how the three shepherd children responded to Her call. Our Lady asked for the Prayer of the daily Rosary, Penance and Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart in order to bring peace to the world. Our Lady also asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays. To earn this Star, the members must have completed the requirements for the Five First Saturdays and told others of the promises Our Lady makes to those who complete this act of devotion. Our Lady wants to purify our hearts so that they may be clean like Hers. To purify our hearts, we must turn away from sin. The members must understand the importance of regular confession and the fulfillment of the Easter Duties. To receive this Star, the members must have completed their Easter Duty. Because of the central importance of Easter to the Christian Faith, the Catholic Church requires that all Catholics who have made their First Communion receive the Holy Eucharist sometime during the Easter season, which lasts for 50 days from Easter to Pentecost Sunday. They should also take part in the Sacrament of Penance before receiving this Easter Communion. This reception of the Eucharist is a visible sign of our Faith and our participation in the Kingdom of God. Of course, one should receive Communion as frequently as possible; this Easter Duty is simply the minimum requirement set by the Church. The members must encourage others to take advantage of Our Lords mercy in the great Sacrament of Penance.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus, is a model for us in learning how to live as children of God and the Blessed Mother. The members should read and study the life of Saint Thérèse and learn the importance and power of humility and confident trust - the secret of Thérèses Little Way. The members must be able to describe in their own words what the Little Way is and how they can put it into practice in their own lives. Our lives, too, should be lives of love and service for God and others. To earn this Star, the members must also present a written or verbal report on a religious Congregation of the Children of Mary or community in the Church and the work they do. Each of us has a mission, a calling, a vocation given to us by God. The member should conduct an interview with a priest, sister or religious brother about how to discern ones vocation. To earn this Star, one must have been an active member for one year.
All of us are called to be saints. A saint is simply someone who loves God above all else. The most important question we can ask is: Are we growing in our knowledge and love of God? This is the question we should ask ourselves daily in our examination of conscience. To earn this Star, for a period of two months, the members should write down in a journal their examination of conscience. This journal is private and is for the members only. In it, the members should daily record their virtues and vices, their strengths and weaknesses, and their efforts to grow in holiness. At the same time, the members should identify and make a study of the virtue they believe is most important to their spiritual growth and how to attain it with Gods help. The members should read Fr. Paul OSullivans work, AN EASY WAY TO BECOME A SAINT. The members should also pray the prayer to St. Joseph given in the Manual and ask for his special guidance and protection. To earn this Star, the members must have been active for a period of one year and two months.
The Faith must be shared. Every believer is called to be a witness to Christ in the world. To earn their ninth Star, the members must read and meditate on the life of Ven. Pauline Jaricot, the foundress of the Living Rosary. The life of Venerable Pauline is a wonderful example for us, as we pray for the grace to bring Christ to others. Pauline used all her time, talents and energies to spread the GOOD NEWS of salvation because she understood that nothing is more important than the salvation of souls. The members must engage in some concrete activity to share the Faith with others. This can be done through helping with the parish religious studies program or in helping to support the missionary activity of the Church. Pauline suffered greatly in her life. The members should be able to explain how suffering is necessary in Gods plan for our salvation and how it is a sign of His favor. To earn this Star, the members must have been active for one year and four months.
The purpose of our Congregation of the Children of Mary is to help the members grow in holiness of heart. To grow in holiness, we must ask for the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. To earn their tenth Star, the members should learn to recite and chant the Veni Creator Spiritus (in Latin or English). This great hymn to the Holy Spirit is a beautiful prayer and a source of great reflection as we ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. Above all, we must learn to desire holiness. The members should memorize the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit and learn to pray for these Gifts and to practice them in their daily lives. They should read and meditate on the great Sacrament of Confirmation and prepare themselves for the grace of that Sacrament. This Star may be earned after one year and six months of membership
As Children of Mary, we must imitate Marys virtues, especially the virtue of modesty. Modesty is a form of self-control in all things. It is a virtue or strength which enables us to use everything that has been given to us for a higher purpose: to give greater honor and glory to God. Our bodies are sacred gifts from the Lord and we must treat them as treasures to be used for Gods own purpose. As Children of Mary, we understand that we do not belong to ourselves alone. We belong to God - body and soul. To earn the eleventh Star, the members must demonstrate modesty in dress and action, and be able to describe why modesty is so important in their spiritual lives. Modesty is the outward sign of our interior belief that innocence and purity are precious. To earn this Star, the members should wear or carry the blessed Cord of St. Philomena and invoke her intercession in the daily struggle for chastity and purity of mind and body. The members must participate in the Youth for Purity Program which includes the Purity Pledge. This pledge must be signed and sent in for registration to the Director to receive this Star. The members may gain this Star after one year and eight months of membership.
The twelfth Star may be gained after one year and ten months of membership. After earning the eleventh Star, the members should read and study St. Louis de Montforts work: True Devotion to Mary. In that work, St. Louis talks about the army of great Saints who will arise under the banner of Our Lady in the latter days. As Children of Mary, we have been called by God and guided by the Holy Spirit to play our part with the Blessed Mother in crushing the head of the ancient serpent, the Devil. The members must understand that we all have a part to play in defeating Satans plans. We must pray for the gift of humility and perseverance that we may be always faithful to this challenge. In thanksgiving for all the graces received from God through the Blessed Mothers hands, the members should learn and pray Marys hymn of praise, the Magnificat. The members should solemnly renew their Act of Consecration after having received the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion.
At the completion of the requirements for each Star, a letter must be sent in to the Director of the Congregation of the Children of Mary so that the work may be noted and the Stars awarded:
Fr. Chad Partain,
Director of the Children of Mary
2211 E Texas Ave, Alexandria, LA 71301
Saint Philomena's Youth for Purity Program
In every struggle, we need an ally, a friend to stand by us and encourage us. The struggle for purity is no exception. Our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX gave St. Philomena to us as a patroness and friend to help us in the struggle for purity of mind and body. We turn to her, with confidence, believing that she is indeed powerful with God and that to Philomena nothing is refused.
The St. Philomena Youth for Purity Program encourages devotion to St. Philomena through a special prayer of personal consecration and the wearing of her Cord and the daily recitation of the Cord Prayer.
The participants are also encouraged to sign a Pledge of Purity which states that they understand the Church's teachings concerning the sanctity of marriage and sexuality, and they will refrain from all unlawful sexual liberties outside of marriage.
The Prayer of Consecration to St. Philomena and the Pledge of Purity Certificate are available from the Office of the Director.
PRAYER FOR PURITY (Cord Prayer)
Obtain for me, O God, a deep sense of modesty,
Which will be reflected in my external conduct.
Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul,
From anything that might dim the luster of a heart
That must mirror only Christ-like purity.
And when the BREAD OF ANGELS
Becomes my food in Holy Communion,
Seal my heart forever against
The suggestion of sinful pleasures.
May I be among the number
Of those of whom Jesus spoke:
Blessed Are The Pure of Heart
For They Shall See God. Amen.
Recommended Meditations for Prayer with the Blessed Sacrament
Prayers to the Holy Ghost & The Life and Spirituality of Ven. Pauline-Marie Jericot can be obtained from the Living Rosary Association (Philomena.org )