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Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Armed With The Faith - Daniel R. Sweeney (Editor) - A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel Fifth Edition

Armed With The Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel
Fifth Edition
Daniel R. Sweeney (Editor)
2014 Edition
ISBN 9780983729723


This book is the fifth edition of Armed With The Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel, I became aware of these book through social medial when there was a post on social media about the latest edition in 2021 with a first printing of 100,000 copies of the new Sixth Edition. Those books were blessed by Archbishop Timothy Broglio in Washington DC on November 9th, 2021.  I was very interested in the volume because my brother, father and grandfather had all served in the Canadian Armed Forces. And also because I have friends that are a priest and deacon that are currently serving as Military Chaplains, I also have a personal devotion to Father Emil Kapaun, Father Vincent Robert Capodanno and Fr Willie Doyle. But the books are not available commercially. And even tracking down old editions used proved a difficult task. 

This is a wonderful prayer book for those in the Armed Services, and I would say for veterans as well. It is a spiral bound volume, With a top flip. It is designed to fit in the pocket of field uniforms. It can be carried by a soldier at all times. The volume I tracked down has this dedication:

“Dedicated to the brave men and women
of the United States Armed Forces
who risk their lives to preserve our freedoms,
and in loving memory of
His Eminence
John Cardinal O’Connor
Navy Chaplain
Rear Admiral
Archbishop of New York
Knight of Columbus”

The volume begins with two letters, the second is by Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, and he states:

““For God and Country” has been a watchword of the Knights of Columbus since its founding in 1882. Indeed, the early leaders of the Order decided to add a fourth principle — patriotism — to the original ideals of charity, unity and fraternity. The Knights of Columbus holds in the highest esteem the brave men and women of the Armed Forces and it is our privilege to collaborate with the Archdiocese for the Military Services in providing Armed with the Faith to you.

It is my hope that military personnel will find this Catholic Handbook to be a valuable spiritual resource — that it will serve those who serve. During the darkest days, when life and death situations are a daily reality, faith and prayer are the surest sources of hope.

Even in the midst of the battle, may you, in the words of Saint Augustine, “cherish the spirit of a peacemaker,” for it is by your actions that freedom is preserved and extended, justice gained and peace achieved. And may the princes of the heavenly armies encircle you with the protection of the wings of their angelic glory.

On behalf of the more than 1.8 million Knights of Columbus, I thank you for your selfless service to our nation. May God bless you and the United States of America.”

The first is by the current Archbishop for the Military Services, Most Rev. Timothy P. Broglio and it states:

“A new edition and printing of Armed with the Faith merits heartfelt rejoicing both because it continues a long tradition of providing a sought-after compact prayer book for the men and women in uniform and it means that it meets a deeply-felt need. The total number of booklets in circulation is now over 500,000.

In my pastoral visits around the globe Catholic priests request additional copies, because the resource is so appreciated in the field. The staff of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and the Knights of Columbus have never wavered in their commitment to supplying this prayer book to all who seek it. The desire for this resource has motivated yet another printing and we all rejoice.

Once again, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, his resourceful staff, and the Knights of Columbus have stepped up to the plate to fulfill this need. My sentiments of gratitude coupled with fervent prayers hope to express in some faltering way the appreciation of thousands of Catholics “in the trenches” whose spiritual lives are nourished by this resource. Fundamentally, our most earnest desire is for a lasting and just peace in our world. Easily we echo Isaiah who cries out: “Burn the tramping boots. Let the time of the garments rolled in blood come to an end. Fulfill the prophecy that ‘of peace there will be no end’” (Is. 9:7).

The Handbook is destined not only to the Catholics who heroically defend our Nation, but also to all people of good will who seek a useful resource for reflection and prayer. Invoking the blessing of Almighty God upon you and your loved ones, I pray that you will know serenity. Thank you for your generous service and may the God of all goodness keep you safe from harm’s way.”

The sections and chapters in this book are:

I. GENERAL PRAYERS
Familiar Prayers
     Sign of the Cross 
     Our Father 
     Hail Mary 
     Glory be 
Christological Prayers
     Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified
     Anima Christi 
Marian Prayers
     Salve Regina
     The Memorare 
     Sub Tuum Præsidium
     The Angelus 
     Regina Coeli
     The Magnificat (Canticle of Mary) 
     Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe 
Other Favorite Prayers
     Act of Faith
     Act of Hope 
     Act of Love 
     Act of Contrition
     Day by Day (by Saint Richard of Chichester) 
     Divine Praises 
     The Nunc dimittis (Canticle of Simeon) 
     The Benedictus (Canticle of Zechariah)
     Veni, Sancte Spiritus
     The Te Deum Laudamus 
     Prayer to Saint Joseph
     Prayer to Saint Jude 
     Prayer to Saint John Paul II
Prayers for the Canonization of Servants of God
     Venerable Father Michael McGivney
     Father Emil Kapaun
     Father Vincent Capodanno 
Psalms in Times of Special Need
     Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd 
     Psalm 27 The Lord is my light and my help 
     Psalm 31 In you, O Lord, I take refuge 
     Psalm 45 My heart overflows 
     Psalm 51 Have mercy on me, God 

II. PRAYERS FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL
Daily Prayers
     Morning Offering 
     Prayer for Guidance 
     Prayer to One’s Guardian Angel 
     Prayer to the Holy Angels 
     Prayer before Any Action 
     Grace before Meals
     Thanksgiving after Meals
     Suscipe (by Saint Ignatius of Loyola) 
     Prayer for Generosity (by Saint Ignatius of Loyola)
     Prayer for Those We Love (by Saint Ambrose of Milan) 
     Prayer for One’s Family
     Prayer in Time of Isolation (by Rev. Msgr. John K. Ryan) 
     Prayer for Civil Authorities (by Archbishop John Carroll)
     Nighttime Prayer (by Saint Augustine) 
Wartime Prayers
     A Warrior’s Breastplate (by Saint Patrick) 
     Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
     Prayer before Battle 
     Prayer in Time of War
     Prayer in Time of Need 
     Prayer in Time of Sorrow 
     Prayer for the Wounded 
     Prayer for a Happy Death 
     Prayer for the Dying 
     Prayer for the Dead 
Prayers for Peace
     Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi 
     Prayer for Peace 
     Prayer of Solace (Attributed to Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman) 
     Prayer for Justice and Peace (by Pope Pius XII) 
     Prayer to the Mother of God (by Saint John Paul II)
     Prayer from Ground Zero (by Pope Benedict XVI) 
Prayers for the Military Services
     Prayer for the Army 
     Prayer for the Marine Corps 
     Prayer for the Navy 
     Prayer for the Air Force 
     Prayer for the Coast Guard 
Prayers for the Church
     Prayer for the Pope
     Prayer for the Archbishop for the Military Services
     Prayer for Military Chaplains 
     Prayer for the Faithful 

III. PRAISEWORTHY DEVOTIONS
     The Rosary
          Mysteries of the Rosary 
          Rosary & Chaplet Prayers 
     Chaplet of Divine Mercy 
     Stations of the Cross 

IV. SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
     Guide for Making a Good Confession
     Examination of Conscience 
     Prayers for Confession

V. CATECHETICAL INSTRUCTION
On Just War 
On the Sacrament of Marriage 
On Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life 

VI. RELIGIOUS REFERENCE
Ten Commandments 
Precepts of the Church 
Holy Days of Obligation
The Seven Sacraments 
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 
The Four Cardinal Virtues
The Seven Deadly Sins 
Corporal Works of Mercy 
Spiritual Works of Mercy 
The Beatitudes 

VII. HYMNS
The National Anthem 
America the Beautiful
Battle Hymn of the Republic 
Eternal Father, Strong to Save 
O God, Our Help in Ages Past 
Onward, Christian Soldiers
Holy God, We Praise Thy Name 

APPENDICES
Patron Saints of the Military Services 
New Responses for Mass

Contact Information 

At the end of the book we are provided this information:

“Armed with the Faith is available to military personnel free of charge through the generosity of the Knights of Columbus.

Home Edition
The Knights of Columbus Catholic Information Service (CIS) publishes a ‘Home Edition’ of Armed with the Faith, printed on standard paper, to meet the high demand for copies from military families, veterans, Knights of Columbus and other interested parties. The Home Edition booklets are also distributed freely upon request, though donations are welcome to defray the cost of printing and mailing. To request copies of the booklet Armed with the Faith— Home Edition
(#364) write cis@kofc.org or call (203) 752-4267.”

This is an excellent prayer book. And it is wonderful that the Knights make it available for free to military personal and a different edition for home use all for free. The Knights also make an edition available through The Catholic Truth Society for those in the UK called, The Armed Forces Simple Prayer Book. I have yet to find anything similar for Canadian Soldiers. Maybe it is a task the Knights in Canada can take up. I highly recommend this volume I do wish there was an electronic version available. A great resource for those who serve. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Reviews of Other Prayer Books:

Reviews of other books about Military Chaplains:

For all reviews and articles about Military Chaplains click here.






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