His Eminence, Cardinal Burke, Health Update

October 15, 2021

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

With heartfelt gratitude to all those who have prayed for my recovery, I write to inform you that, since my previous letter, physical therapy has aided my rehabilitation so greatly that I am now able to offer daily the Holy Mass. Words cannot adequately express my joy at this gift of God’s grace in my life. As a priest, Bishop and Cardinal, the return to the daily offering of the Holy Mass, the principal daily work of every priest, unites me most fully to you in our spiritual bond as members of the Mystical Body of Christ (cf. Jn 15, 5-8; Eph 4, 4-13). At the same time, my recovery continues to remain an intensive process. Divine Providence will determine the time of my return to my usual pastoral activities. In the meantime, please help me to prepare, as best as possible, for that time by your prayers.

This letter, however, is not principally intended to be an update on the condition of my health. It is, rather, an instrument of the pastoral charity which is the distinctive grace of the priesthood and episcopacy, offering sound direction and encouragement to the faithful. In specific, I write to encourage you to recite daily the powerful prayer of the Holy Rosary.

Although the Feast or Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7th, the entire month of October is dedicated to fostering this most highly prized devotion to Mary, which she herself has given to us.  In writing to you about the daily praying of the Holy Rosary, I underline three important considerations.

First, the message of Our Lady of Fatima urges us to honor her by praying the Rosary every day. Second, when Our Lady concluded her apparitions at Fatima on October 13, 1917, Our Lord granted a remarkable confirmation of the apparitions in the Miracle of the Sun. Third, in asking us to pray daily the Rosary, Our Lady indicated a specific intention: peace. Pope Saint John Paul II, echoing Our Lady’s messages to us at Fatima, explained that “the Rosary is by its nature a prayer for peace” (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 40).

The peace for which we pray, while reciting the prayer of the Rosary is not a peace given by this world (cf. Jn 14, 27), but rather the peace obtained for us by the blood of the Cross of Jesus Christ (cf. Col 1, 20). Let us recall that Our Lady of the Rosary was first given the title of Our Lady of Victory by Pope Saint Pius V, to honor the victory of peace, which was won, through her intercession and especially through the praying of the Holy Rosary, at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Changing the title of Our Lady of Victory to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Pope Gregory XIII underlined the powerful instrument for attaining the victory of peace, namely, the praying of the Holy Rosary.

The victory of peace is ultimately the victory over Satan who, since the sin of our First Parents, never ceases to tempt us to commit sin. It is the victory worked by God the Father through the Redemptive Incarnation of His only-begotten Son. The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is the privileged instrument through which God the Father sent God the Son into the world to win for us the victory. She is the woman whose Son crushes the head of the serpent, Satan, as God the Father promised after the sin of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen 3, 15). She continues to be the channel by which the grace of Christ wins the victory over sin in our daily lives.

By praying the Rosary daily, we draw near to the Mother of Our Savior, who teaches us, as she taught the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana: “Do whatever He [Jesus] tells you” (Jn 2, 5). She, whom Our Savior gave to us as our Mother – the Mother of Divine Grace – helps us to stand faithfully, with her, beneath the Cross of Our Lord, one in heart with her Immaculate Heart in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus (cf. Jn 19, 25-27). With her, we share in the Triumph of the Cross.

The victory of peace, sought through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by praying the Holy Rosary and attained in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, overcomes the confusion, error and division, all the works of the Evil One, which so fiercely attack today the world and the Church. For that reason, I urge you today, if you are not already doing so, to pray the Holy Rosary, seeking the intercession of the Mother of God for the victory of peace, peace in your soul, peace in the world, peace in the Church. I leave you with words of Pope Saint John Paul II, whose papal ministry was so strongly marked by devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Let us pray the Rosary, if possible every day, either by ourself or in community. The Rosary is a simple prayer, but profound and very effective, even to ask favors for families, communities and the world” (Regina Caeli, 28 April 2002).

Imploring Our Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to bless you, your homes, your families, and all your labors, I remain

Yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus

and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

September 25, 2021

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Thanking you once again, with all my heart, for your faithful and generous prayers for the recovery of my health, I write to update you on the progress of my rehabilitation. In thanking you, I thank, above all, Our Lord, who, in answer to your prayers, has preserved me in life. I thank, too, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all the Saints through whose intercession you have offered and are offering prayers for me.

On September 3rd last, I left the hospital to take up residence in a house near to where the closest members of my family live. The house is well adapted for the rehabilitation program which I am following. My priest secretary has now come from Rome to stay with me to assist me with my program of rehabilitation. He is also helping me to respond to correspondence and to deal with the many schedule changes necessitated by the time I was in the hospital and now by the several weeks which I will need to recover as fully as possible from the illness.

Although I am making steady progress, it is slow. The doctors and therapists who direct the program of rehabilitation assure me that it is necessarily so and that I am doing well. For my part, I am trying to grow in patience. My principal challenges, at the present, are regaining certain fundamental physical skills needed for my daily living, and overcoming a general fatigue and difficulty in breathing, which are typical for those who have suffered the contagion of the Covid-19 virus. I cannot predict when I will be able to return to my normal activities. Seemingly, it will be several more weeks.

I regret that I am unable to respond to your communications individually, since I must concentrate my limited energy on regaining my forces. For that reason, too, I must limit the number of telephone calls and personal visits which I receive. I am deeply grateful for your understanding.

Our Lord has preserved me in life for some work which He wishes me to carry out, with the help of His grace, for love of Him and of His Mystical Body, the Church. I am determined to use the present time of rehabilitation in the best manner possible, so that I will be prepared to carry out His work. Throughout the time in the hospital and now, I continue to place myself into the care of Our Blessed Mother, so that my heart, one with her Immaculate Heart, may rest always securely in Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart. As a spiritual father in the Church, I have counted heavily upon the help of Saint Joseph, whose Most Pure Heart embraced the Heart of Mary, his true spouse, and of Jesus, her Divine Son confided to his fatherly care.

Before concluding, let me also express my gratitude for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which, as mentioned in my previous message, has accepted on my behalf the indispensable role of direct communication. Once more I ask that, in your kindness, please direct all of your communication to me through the Shrine’s website, at GuadalupeShrine.org/MessageCardinalBurke.

Please continue to pray for my full recovery. For my part, each day I offer my prayers and sufferings for your many intentions. Let us all pray and offer sacrifices for the world and the Church, which are beset with so much confusion and error to the great and even mortal harm of many souls.

Asking God to bless you, your homes, and all your labors, I remain

Yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus

and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,

Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE

August 28, 2021

Praised be Jesus Christ!

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I express deep gratitude to God, who has brought me to this point of healing and recovery. As previously communicated by the leadership and staff of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for whom I also express my profound appreciation, I am no longer intubated with a medical ventilator. I have been transferred out of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and settled in a hospital room where the doctors, nurses, and numerous hospital staff have provided vigilant, superb, and steadfast medical care. For these dedicated professionals, too, I offer heartfelt thanks, as well as to the priests who have ministered to me sacramentally. To those who have offered innumerable Rosaries and prayers, lighted candles, and requested the offering of the Holy Mass, I extend my sincere gratitude, and I ask the Lord and His Mother to bless you all. I also thank my brother bishops and priests who have offered Mass for me or prayed for me at the altar.

This generous outpouring of grace unites me to you in a special way, as I am also particularly united to all victims suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. With all my heart, I express to you my wish that I could respond to every phone call, text message, and email. However, due to the intensive rehabilitation that I will soon begin, providing a response beyond these universal letters will not be possible. In your charity, I know you will understand this circumstance and accept that I must preserve my energy so that I can recover my health and strength. Hospital regulations limit visitors to immediate family members. During the forthcoming extended period of convalescence, it is my intention to provide only occasional updates when there is something significant to share with you.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe has accepted the necessary and crucial role of direct communication, on my behalf. Again, in your kindness, may I ask that you direct all of your communication to me through the Shrine’s website, at GuadalupeShrine.org/MessageCardinalBurke.

Of late, I have been reminded of the motto that I took when I was selected for the episcopacy: “Secundum Cor Tuum” (“According to Your Heart”). All things ordered in and through the Divine Will have as their origin the Sacred Heart of Our Savior, whose fundamental motivation is His Eternal Love for His Father and for His children. Since Divine Providence has governed that I remain hospitalized for the present, I now reaffirm that same episcopal conviction: suffering, united with the suffering of Jesus Christ, is truly efficacious in His Divine Plan for our salvation when accepted willingly and wholeheartedly. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches us the meaning of our suffering: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24).

United with Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, I offer all that I suffer for the Church and for the world. Asking God’s blessing upon you and your family, and confiding your intentions to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and your holy patron saints, I remain

Yours in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
28 August 2021
Feast of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

August 21, 2021

Praised be Jesus Christ!

The Cardinal’s family is pleased to announce that His Eminence has come off the ventilator and will leave the ICU today to return to his hospital room. His sister spoke with him on the phone this morning, and His Eminence expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf. His family asks that we continue those prayers for his full and speedy recovery, and they are grateful to God for the exceptional medical care the Cardinal has received from the dedicated doctors and nurses who continue to assist him.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Cardinal’s media will provide further updates as directed by his family.

God bless you.
Rev. Paul N. Check
Executive Director
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

August 17, 2021

The outpouring of love, prayers and support during His Eminence’s hospitalization has greatly consoled his family, edified those who serve him at the Shrine and elsewhere, and testified to the character and virtue of the man whom so many consider a spiritual father. We deeply and abundantly appreciate this charity, and we give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father, especially for the brilliant and faithful service of Cardinal Burke to the Church he loves so profoundly . . .

August 14, 2021

Cardinal Burke has been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator. Doctors are encouraged by his progress. His Eminence faithfully prayed the Rosary for those suffering from the virus. On this Vigil of the Assumption, let us now pray the Rosary for him.

 

August 10, 2021

His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. He is resting comfortably and is receiving excellent care. The Cardinal intends to rest fully in private for as long as necessary for his complete recovery. He is deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and concern for him. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will provide further updates on the Cardinal’s condition as his recovery progresses. His Eminence kindly asks you to continue your prayers and to trust in Divine Providence.