My soul surrenders to

The Spirit’s tender embrace,

And Love sweetly surges

Through my being with the

Warm wine of holiness;

With indescribable delight

My humbled heart

Bursts with heavenly joy,   

Burning with passion for

The Crucified Christ,

Yearning for union with

The Divine Mercy.


TO ST. PADRE PIO by Joseph Castorino


When we, your stubborn spiritual children,    

  Don’t listen to you in holy confession,     

You slap the Spirit into our sleepy souls,        

  As you make prayerful intercession.


When we plan to drop the blitzkrieg bombs        

  Of mortal sin into our desperate heart,     

You bilocate and bravely speak the truth,

  And the holy fear of God to us impart.        


When the evil one stealthily attacks us,    

  Aggressively seeking victims to devour,        

As a warrior, you heroically hunt him down,        

  And lasso the beast with Rosary power.


THE LADY OF FATIMA by Joseph Castorino


O Lighthouse of Love, you shine as a beacon

  Of God’s mercy to deliver us from darkness;

In your sublime sweetness, teach us

  To share this mercy with the world.


Our meddlesome enemy muddles our

  Daily lives with intoxicating idols;

May the Lord’s renewing rain rinse us

  Clean of corrosive, inordinate desires.


From His youth, and through the years,

  Jesus offered Himself to you in obedience;

May we too listen to the merry melody

  Of your delicate, dulcet voice.


Reach out and rescue us who are in need

  Of the refreshment of God’s love;

Pray that as overwhelmed outcasts we may find

  Favor and holy hope in the triumphant Trinity.


THE LADY OF LOURDES by Joseph Castorino


Dear Lady of Lourdes,

   Luminous star of the majestic morning,

You have unending, unwavering

   Faith in our Heavenly Father.


In the glorious grandeur of Heaven,

   Your aquamarine eyes twinkle

And reflect the dazzling light

   Of your holy Sun.


By the excellence of your

   Exemplary sanctity, you surpass

All the splendid saints

   In the Heavenly Kingdom. 


Victorious Virgin, please pray

   That we receive the gift of

Prudence, to resist this world's

   Empty promises.


TO ST. MONICA by Joseph Castorino


You chose to marry Patricius the pagan,

  Humbly submitting to your parents’ will,

You were very kind and generous to him,

  Though he responded by treating you ill;

But about a year before leaving this world,

  He finally accepted the Nicene Creed,

Through your example of faith and love,

  His stubborn soul was finally freed.


However, you still had much work to do,

  For your son Augustine broke your heart,

He was a teacher who was very arrogant,

  And he strutted because he was smart;

But you vigorously persisted in prayer,

  Fasting with tears over his empty life,

When he met the great Bishop Ambrose,

  The Spirit pierced your son like a knife.


It was on Easter that the saintly Ambrose

  Joyfully baptised your prodigal son

Who went on to become a Church Father,

  And many victories over heretics won;

The end of your life was so very sweet

  As Augustine treated you like gold,

You’re the patroness of motherhood,

  And of your story many have been told.


AVE MARIA by Joseph Castorino


She gently rocks me,    

back and forth,     

in her slender arms,    

since I’m a little babe    

who can’t find Jesus    

alone, without her;    

she lovingly caresses    

and warms me in the

cold dark night,     

and her smiling eyes    

twinkle in the Light;    

her soft rosy lips        

sweetly kiss me    

as she leads me    

faithfully and joyfully

to her merciful Son,    

the Bread of Life.




My Merciful Manager

hands me the ball,

and I take the mound     

in the ninth inning   

since our team is    

ahead by one run.    


I go to confession and then        

devoutly pray Lectio Divina,        

reflecting upon Sacred Scripture        

for at least thirty minutes,        

and I pitch a supersonic fastball

that crisply crackles in my

All-Star catcher’s glove --     

the first hitter strikes out,

with an aggressive         

swing and a miss.


Next, I receive Holy Communion,        

and I swiftly snap off a    

knee-buckling curveball --    

the second hitter in the lineup        

strikes out, frozen    

like a cement gargoyle        

as he watches the baseball        

bend over the strike zone.    

Finally, free from attachment

to every inclination to sin,

I pray an Our Father,        

followed by a Hail Mary,

for the Holy Father’s intentions,    

and I release a knuckleball        

that dives through the air    

like the Dove of Divine Mercy --         

the third hitter in the lineup        

strikes out, waving his bat            

helplessly, hopelessly,            

missing it by a foot.


Suddenly a bright star        

speeds across the dark sky,        

streaming red and white    

in unimaginable exhilaration,                

escaping the pains of Purgatory        

and finding the pleasures of Paradise;        

then my All-Star catcher,

the sweet Lady of Love,        

leaps into my waiting arms,        

joyfully embracing me  

with the kiss of peace,     

to celebrate yet another

heavenly save in the

Kingdom of Divine Mercy.


TO ST. HELENA by Joseph Castorino


Dear modest, majestic 

   mother of Constantine,

You sweetly speak 

   with stately serenity;

As a holy pilgrim, with 

   eyes alive and animated,

You search for Christ’s 

   true cross on Calvary.


Lumbering laborers dig up for 

   you a dizzying number

Of dirty crosses -- yet 

   only one is miraculous;

Only one cures the 

   worn-out woman’s incurable

Disease when she is 

   wondrously made well.


Then, when you eagerly 

   embrace its holy wood

In your amiable arms, you 

   tremble with jubilation;

Strands of your long brown 

   hair blow in the breeze across

Your lovely face and then 

   softly caress the holy cross.


TO ST. MARTHA by Joseph Castorino


You were a wonderful woman of hospitality,

  Anticipating all the guests’ needs,

While your sister sat near the Master,

  As the people He spiritually feeds;

But your mind was whirling with worry,

  Shackled by a million trifling things,

Meanwhile, the Word spoke of true freedom

  That lifted people’s souls with wings;

That day you learned an important lesson:

  First things always come first,

If we drink of the Lord’s living water,

  Then for the world we will never thirst.

TO ST. CLARE OF ASSISI by Joseph Castorino


Your exquisite bright blue eyes 

   are soft and serene,

 Beholding the remarkable 

   richness of God’s creation;

Your honey hair cascades 

   over your shoulders like a

Wonderful waterfall of God’s 

   ineffable, indelible love;

Yet you choose to be a 

   princess of holy poverty,

And your only wish is to 

   sweetly serve in simplicity;

You are a faithful friend to 

   the good Saint Francis,

As you both sacrificially surrender 

   to Jesus the Just;

You are a merciful mother 

   to the nuns of San Damiano,

As you guide them in purity 

   and prudence and peace;

You are a beauteous bride 

   to Christ the Courageous,

And your soul is bedecked with

   the precious pearls of virtue;

As you fervently follow in the 

   footsteps of Our Loving Lord,

May we too live on in 

   the laudable light of Christ.


TO ST. ANNE by Joseph Castorino


As the wind blows, 

Your wise brown eyes

Are covered by wisps

Of your brown hair;

You watch your

Little Maria,

Your saintly cherub,

Skipping away

With a smile;

Your finely furrowed brow

Is knitted in a knot,

As you are pensively

Waiting, wondering;

What does the Mighty One

Have in mind for my 

Darling dark-haired daughter?

May the Messiah be on the move?


TO ST. JOHN VIANNEY by Joseph Castorino


As a soldier you were really quite inept,

  And as a student you weren’t much,

Although the seminary gave you a chance,

  It seemed holy orders you’d never touch;

But when the good God takes charge,

  There’s nothing that He cannot do,

So through the intercession of Philomena,

  Grace most bountifully fell on you.


Sent to a corrupt village named Ars,

  You woke it up with fiery preaching,

People were flabbergasted by your words

  And threatened by your priestly teaching;

Yet in the little box of the confessional,

  You won a victory over selfish hearts,

Though the devil anxiously pursued you,

   God extinguished all his flaming darts.


So many made pilgrimages to see you,

  And confession lines were terribly long,

But through God’s grace you read their souls,

  Bringing hope to many in the throng;

Thus the devil grew angrier and angrier,

  That’s why the beast ranted and raved,

Still you won over many many souls,

  In God’s mercy were they finally saved.


TO ST. Mary Magdalene by Joseph Castorino


Your attractive dark hair,

very long and wavy,

flowed aimlessly and

hopelessly over your

darkened eyes --

you were worn out

by the world’s dirty coins

and dirtier men.


But when you met

Him, the brightest light

of the purest love

streamed into your eyes,

driving the deadly demons

into a fearful frenzy and --

suddenly -- you found yourself

finally free.


Then, on the third day,

you giggled like a little girl

as you jubilantly ran

from the tomb

to the upper room

of your heart,

with a smile sparkling

and a soul soaring.


TO ST. VERONICA by Joseph Castorino


Under the cross, the Christ is crushed,

  And He staggers to the ground,

His loveblood pours from thorny wounds,

  Yet He utters not a single sound;

The stony Roman soldiers encircle Him,

  Watching for a menacing threat,

But with holy compassion for the Master,

  You just want to wipe away His sweat.


Like an invisible angel you pass them by,

  Focused on serving your Lord,

You approach to clean His bloody head,

  A head that has been badly gored;

For the very slightest moment of time,

  The weary Jesus has time to relax,

Then He presses His face into your cloth,

  Like a signet ring pressed to warm wax.


The savage soldiers abruptly grab you,

  Rudely and cruelly pushing you away,

But something catches your attention,

  A hopeful sign on this sorrowful day;

Your eyes twinkle with sincere wonder,

  And diminished are all your fears,

For there on your simple white cloth,

  The bloody visage of Jesus appears.




When I scourge you with my sins

But then ask you for forgiveness,

Your most treasured blood

Trickles like tears into my heart;

When my thorny sins crown you,

But then I tell you that I’m sorry,

Drops of your royal red blood

Sink soothingly into my spirit;

Then, when I sincerely surrender

My whole heart and soul to you,

My lance of love pierces you,

And your beautiful blood spills

In terrific torrents from your

Chalice of Divine Mercy,

And my thirsty soul drinks in the

Sweet new wine of the Spirit.


Pandora's box by Joseph Castorino


For centuries weddings have been the same,

A boy and a girl to the altar came;

They chose a maid of honor and best man,

Always honoring God’s eternal plan;

But now boys join with boys and girls with girls,

As their large rainbow flag proudly unfurls;

Is our homeland one that totally rocks?

Or have we just opened Pandora’s box?

Without any doubt we must be PC,

Because, yes, this is the land of the free;

Therefore, let’s be sure to be inclusive,

For we don’t want to be called abusive;

Why must a civil union be a pair?

Somehow that just doesn’t seem to be fair;

Perhaps three, four, or even five might wed,

Though they might be hard to cram in one bed;

But why not also wed their pet poodle?

Just throw in the whole kit and kaboodle;

But if they can wed their cute little dog,

Then what about their flatulent green frog?

And if they wed humans and animals,

Then why not even add a few cannibals?

In fact, they don’t even have to stop there,    

Maybe they can add a tiger and bear;

They prevent their marriage from getting dull,

When they also wed a cadaver’s skull.




When I wave the white flag

in the serene surrender of prayer,

I allow the water of my soul

to be poured freely into

His chalice of gold;

there I am baptized by Love

and born again,

transformed by the Transfigured,

changed forever by the sweet

new wine of the Spirit.


TO JESUS THROUGH MARY by Joseph Castorino



Dearest Mary, Queen of All Hearts,

Star of Love in the dark night,

Have mercy on us,

And on the whole world:

Pray for us!


Precious Jesus, King of the Universe,

Lord of Love and Lord of Light,

Have mercy on us,

And on the whole world:

I trust in You!



Act I

The Saint remains silent,

so that The Enemy will not

aggressively grab any

of his unguarded words

and twist them

into steel-jaw traps

in order to cruelly

cripple him.

Act II

The Invader sends forth

his insidious spies,

trying to pressure The Saint

with the phantom of fear

and treacherously trick him into

thoughtlessly rushing headlong

into the Stygian swamp of sin,

but with the joy of holy laughter

The Saint scatters the darkness of doom

with the luminous light of

the divine sense of humor.


The Dark One returns yet again,

but he changes his strategy

and launches an attack

against his valiant opponent,

so this time he brings a

sinister squadron of deadly

black-hearted soldiers

to wickedly wage war

against The Saint,

but crushed under the weight

of this wooden cross,

The Saint gives The Father

a total gift of himself and

freely surrenders all in a

prayer of total abandonment --

at that very instant

he notices that the cross

is now much easier to carry,

but he doesn’t know why.

Act IV

The Malicious One is terrified

when his foul bloodshot eyes see

The Lady, Queen of All Hearts,

in dazzling and majestic beauty,

standing in stately elegance

very close to The Saint,

and with a smile on her lips

she whispers to him

a heartfelt command

of loving compassion:

“Do whatever He tells you.”

Act V

The Evil One, infuriated,

is seething in hot hatred,

but he falls back into the Black Void

when Jesus, The Lord of Love,

appears next to The Saint saying,

“Come to Me, all you who are weary,

and I will refresh you” --

with this, The Saint’s devout soul

is soothed by The Divine Mercy,

and The Saint realizes that the more

he surrenders to The Savior,

the more He takes onto Himself

the weight of The Cross,

and The Saint is wondrously saved by

The Blood of the The Lamb.

I'M ALL YOURS by Joseph Castorino


I’m all Yours, O my Jesus,

And all that I have is Yours,

Through Mary, Your Most Holy Mother.


Right now, this very moment,

I choose to be totally free

From all attachment to sin.


Jesus, I trust in you,

Have mercy on us,

And on the whole world.