Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception Begins 29 November Feast 8 December
The Dogma was promulgated by Blessed Pius IX in 1854 in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus. This Dogma is rejected by all Protestants including the Orthodox – another reason why we cannot interact with these the way some do and the Vatican II church endorses.
Let us Pray to our Mother, the Immaculate and Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin.
Thought for the Day – 28 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of the Poor
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” said Jesus, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). We should take care to have a proper understanding of the meaning of these words. Catholic perfection does not actually consist in being poor. A man can be poor, even voluntarily so, without being vittuous and without receiving any blessing thereby. “Christian perfection,” explains St Thomas Aquinas, “does not especially consist in voluntary poverty, which is only an instrument of perfection. Therefore, it cannot be said that where there is greater poverty there is greater sanctity. The highest perfection can co-exist with great wealth, for we read that Abraham was wealthy and God said to him, ‘Walk in my presence and be perfect‘” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 185, a 6 ad 1).
Perfection then, does not consist in poverty as such but, in detachment from worldly possessions. Whether we are rich or poor, we must have this detachment, if we wish to be true followers of Christ. It was God Who created the fruits of the earth and gave them to men. When He had created them, He was pleased with His Work and declared, that all things were good. Evil consists in the abuse of these goods, which, in themselves, are intended to be aids to perfection. It is necessary, therefore, to preserve the proper hierarchical order of all that is good. We must guard against riveting our ambitions on earthly objects, as if tbey were capable of constituting the goal of our lives.
God has given us these things as possessions, not as ends in themselves. He has ordered us to be masters of the world, not it’s slaves. Detachment is essential but not a complete surrender of our possessions. The latter was never commanded but simply indicated, as an evangelical counsel of perfection. The observance of this counsel, however, is valueless, if it is not accompanied by detachment. Worldly possessions, such as money, are good servants but bad masters!”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory III (Died 741
“The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honour, strive to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels.”
St Pope Gregory III (Died 741)
“When God is our strength, it is strength indeed; when our strength is our own, it is only weakness.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 28 November – The First Sunday of Advent – Readings: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14; First Thessalonians 3: 12 – 4: 2; Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy, from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life and that day catch you by surprise, like a trap.”- Luke 21:34-35
REFLECTION – “Why is the date of an individual’s death hidden from him? Clearly, it is so that he might always do good, since he can expect to die at any moment.
The date of Christ’s second advent is withheld from the world for the same reason, namely, so that every generation might live in the expectation of Christ’s return. This is why when His disciples asked Him, “Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father has established by his authority. But know this, that if the head of the household had known the hour at which the thief would arrive, he would have been vigilant and would never have allowed his house to be burglarised.”
The head of the household represents the human soul, the thief is the devil, the house is the body, the doors are the mouth and ears and the windows are the eyes. Like the thief who gains access through the doors and windows, to despoil the householder, the devil also finds easy access to the soul of a man, through his mouth, ears and eyes, to take him captive. This is why Jeremiah wrote, “For death entered through our windows .. ”
If you wish to be secure, install a bolt on your door, which is to say, put the law of the fear of God in your mouth, so that you can say with the psalmist, “I will guard my ways that I might not sin with my tongue. I will put a guard at my mouth.” – Anonymous ancient Christian writer. The ancient work is known as the ‘Incomplete Work on Matthew’ – (Homily 51)
PRAYER – Holy God, Father Almighty, grant we pray, by the true Light of the world, Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who enlightens all men for their salvation, give us grace to herald His coming, by preparing the ways of justice, love and peace. May the Holy Spirit fill us with all His gifts and virtues, so that we may await the coming of Your Son, guided by His Light and may Mary, the blessed Virgin, accompany us, guarding and giving us her prayerful help. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 28 November – Th4 First Sunday of Advent
Come, Sun and Saviour 8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn
Come, Sun and Saviour, to embrace our gloomy world, its weary race. As groom to bride, as bride to groom, The wedding chamber, Mary’s womb. At Your great Name, O Jesus, now All knees must bend, all hearts must bow, All things on earth with one accord, Like those in heaven, shall call You Lord. Come in Your holy might, we pray, Redeem us for eternal day. Defend us, while we dwell below, From all assaults of our dread foe. Amen
Saint of the Day – 28 November – Saint Pope Gregory III (Died 741) Bishop of Rome 11 February 731 until his death on 28 November 741. Born in Syria and died on 28 November 741 of natural causes.
The Roman Martyrology states: “St Rome, the blessed Pope Gregory III, who departed for Heaven with a reputation for great sanctity and miracles.“
Beside the fact that Gregory was a Priest at Saint Crisogono Church in Rome and that he was the son of a Syrian named John nothing else is known about his life prior to being elected the 90th pope. He was elected by popular acclamation in 731, during the funeral procession of his predecessor, because of his reputation for virtue and learninge.
Gregory’s Pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was troubled by the iconoclastic controversy (the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols) in the Byzantine Empire.
Upon his accession as Pope, Gregory immediately appealed to the Byzantine Emperor Leo III, to moderate his position on the Iconoclastic controversy. When Pope Gregory’s representative was arrested on the orders of the Emperor, Gregory called a Synod in November 731, which condemned Iconoclasm outright. Leo responded by trying to bring the Pope under control, although the fleet he sent to enforce the imperial will, was shipwrecked in the Adriatic Sea. Failing, he appropriated Papal territories in Sicily and Calabria, transferring ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the former Praetorian Prefect, to the Patriarch of Constantinople. His attempt to force the Duke of Naples to enforce an imperial decree to confiscate [apal territory in the duchy failed, as the Duke was supportive of the Pope’s stand.
Pope Gregory demonstrated his opposition to Iconoclasm by emphasising his veneration of icons and relics. He repaired numerous beautiful Churches, adorning them with icons and images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and many Saints. He ordered, in the heart of St. Peter’s Basilica and Iconostasis, (an iconostasis is a wall of artworks and religious paintings, used to separate the Nave from the Sanctuary) situated between six onyx and marble columns. He also built a new oratory in St. Peter’s Basilica, which housed relics of several Saints. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of monasticism – he established the Monastery of S. Chrysogonus and rebuilt the Hospice of Saints Sergius and Bacchus near St Peter’s.
Pope Gregory also promoted the Church in northern Europe. He supported the continuing mission of St. Boniface in Germany, elevating him to the rank of Archbishop in 732. In 732, Gregory banned the consumption of horsemeat, both domestic and wild, comparing it as an “abomination” since it was associated with pagan ritual feastings. He was very conscious of the ongoing Lombard threat but was unsuccessful at stopping their advance. He also undertook and completed, the restoration of the Walls of Rome.
Pope Gregory III died on 28 November 741. He was succeeded by Pope Zachary and was buried in St Peter’s Basilica, in the oratory he had built at the start of his Pontificate.
Nyina wa Jambo – Mother of the Word, Kibeho, Rwanda (1981) – 28 November
The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three — 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire — have received Bishop Misago’s solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago did not confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries. The Virgin appeared to them with the name “Nyina wa Jambo,” that is “Mother of the Word,” which is synonymous with “Umubyeyl W’iamna” that is, “Mother of God,”,as she herself explained to them. In the visions, Our Lady emphasised the call to pray the Rosary. She also asked for penance and fasting. A dreadful vision all three girls received became a key apparition leading to the official acceptance and approval of Kibeho. These girls reported seeing a gruesome picture – a river of blood, people who killed one another, abandoned bodies with no-one to bury them, a tree on fire, an open chasm, a monster, and severed heads. The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.
Description “She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast and her fingers pointed to the sky… I could not determine the colour of her skin,” said Alphonsine, “but she was of incomparable beauty.“ From the beginning in Kibeho, in southern Rwanda, there were conversions, prayer meetings, pilgrimages, miraculous cures and favours and abnormal phenomena during the apparitions. Also, the sun appeared to pulsate, spin, or split in two — a miracle reminiscent of Fatima.
Approval “Yes, the Virgin Mary did appear in Kibeho on 28 November 1981″ and then over “the course of the following six months,” proclaimed Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro, Rwanda, Africa, when he announced his official approval of the apparitions. “There are more reasons to believe this than to deny it.”
Prayer Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word, Mother of all those who believe in Him and who welcome Him into their life, we are here before you to contemplate You. We believe that you are among us, like a mother in the midst of her children, even though we do not see You with our bodily eyes.
We bless you, The Sure Way that leads us to Jesus the Saviour, for all the favours which You endlessly pour out upon us, especially, that, in your meekness, You were gracious enough to appear miraculously in Kibeho, just when our world needed it most.
Grant us always the light and the strength necessary to accept, with all seriousness, Your call to us to be converted, to repent, and to live according to your Son’s Gospel. Teach us how to pray with sincerity and to love one another as He loved us, so that, just as You have requested, we may always be beautiful flowers diffusing their pleasant fragrance everywhere and upon everyone.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, teach us to understand the value of the cross in our lives, so that, whatever is still lacking to the sufferings of Christ, we may fill up in our own bodies for His mystical Body, which is the Church. And when our pilgrimage on this earth comes to an end, may we live eternally with You in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen
St Anrê Tran Van Trông Bl Calimerius of Montechiaro
St Fionnchu of Bangor St Pope Gregory III (Died 741) Bishop of Rome 11 February 731 until his death on 28 November 741. (His Feast was moved to 10 December in 1969), St Hilary of Dijon St Hippolytus of Saint Claude St Honestus of Nimes St Irenarcus
Bl James Thompson St Papius St Quieta of Dijon St Rufus St Simeon the Logothete St Sosthenes of Colophon (1st Century) Bishop, Martyr. St Stephen the Younger Bl Theodora of Rossano — Martyrs of Constantinople – 8 saints: A group of over 300 Christians martyred during the persecutions of the Iconoclast emperors. We have a lot of information on Saint Stephen the Younger, but for the others we have nothing but seven of their names – Andrew, Auxentius, Basil, Gregor, John, Peter and Stefan. They were scourged, stoned and/or dragged to death through the streets of Constantinople in 764.
Martyrs of North Africa – 13 saints: A group of thirteen clerics killed or exiled in the persecutions of Arian Vandals in North Africa – Crescens, Crescentian, Cresconius, Eustace, Felix, Florentian, Habetdeum, Hortulanus, Mansuetus, Papinianus, Quodvultdeus, Urban and Valerian.
Martyrs of Tiberiopolis – 14 saints: A group of fourteen Christian laymen, deacons, priests and bishops who were martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate – Basil, Chariton, Comasios, Daniel, Etymasius, Hierotheos, John, Nicephorus, Peter, Sergius, Socrates, Theodore, Thomas and Timothy. 361 at Tiberiopolis, Phyrgia (in modern Turkey)
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Martyred Augustinians of Madrid – 12 beati; Martyred Hospitallers of Madrid – 15 beati; Oblate Martyrs – 23 beati. • Blessed Ángel Francisco Bocos Hernández • Blessed Ángel Sastre Corporales • Blessed Antonio Hilario Delgado Vílchez • Blessed Antonio Meléndez Sánchez • Blessed Avelino Rodríguez Alonso • Blessed Balbino Villaroel y Villaroel • Blessed Benito Alcalde González • Blessed Bernardino Álvarez Melcón • Blessed Cándido Castán San José • Blessed Cecilio Vega Domínguez • Blessed Clemente Díez Sahagún • Blessed Clemente Rodríguez Tejerina • Blessed Daniel Gómez Lucas • Blessed Eduardo Bautista Jiménez • Blessed Eleuterio Prado Villaroel • Blessed Francisco Esteban Lacal • Blessed Francisco Polvorinos Gómez • Blessed Gregorio Escobar García • Blessed Isidoro Martínez Izquierdo • Blessed José Guerra Andrés • Blessed José Mora Velasco • Blessed José Peque Iglesias • Blessed José Prieto Fuentes • Blessed José Ruiz Cuesta • Blessed José Vega Riaño • Blessed Juan Alcalde y Alcalde • Blessed Juan Antonio Pérez Mayo • Blessed Juan Baldajos Pérez • Blessed Juan Herrero Arroyo • Blessed Juan Jesús Adradas Gonzalo • Blessed Juan José Caballero Rodríguez • Blessed Juan María Múgica Goiburu • Blessed Juan Pedro del Cotillo Fernández • Blessed Julián Plazaola Artola • Blessed Justo Fernández González • Blessed Justo Gil Pardo • Blessed Justo González Lorente • Blessed Lucinio Ruiz Valtierra • Blessed Luis Campos Górriz • Blessed Manuel álvarez Rego • Blessed Manuel Gutiérrez Martín • Blessed Marcelino Sánchez Fernández • Blessed Marcos Pérez Andrés • Blessed Pascual Aláez Medina • Blessed Pedro de Alcántara Bernalte Calzado • Blessed Pedro María Alcalde Negredo • Blessed Vicente Andrés Llop Gaya • Blessed Publio Rodríguez Moslares • Blessed Ramiro Frías García • Blessed Sabino Rodrigo Fierro • Blessed Samuel Pajares García • Blessed Senén García González • Blessed Serviliano Riaño Herrero • Blessed Vicente Blanco Guadilla
Thought for the Day –27 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Salvation of Souls
“We have only to look around us to realise the sad state of the greater part of human society. Men may be divided into three principal categories – the evil, the indifferent and the good. The evil are very numerous. The Holy Spirit tells us that the number of fools is infinite (Eccles 1:15). Now, the greatest and most real folly, is sin because, sin offends God, our supreme good, our Creator and Redeemer and because, it endangers the salvation of the soul. Nevertheless, countless sins are committed. There is an immense number of people who commit sin not merely through human frailty but who have abandoned God absolutely by denying or insulting Him and by striving to eradicate Him from the consciousness of their fellow-men. Their God is themselves!
The second group is that of the indifferent, those for whom God, religion and the supernatural are quite unimportant. They are content to lead materialistic lives without any thought of eternity. It is enough for them to be able to live, make money and to enjoy themselves. Nothing else matters. Their God is the world and its goods! The number of such people is increasing at an alarming rate.
Lastly, there are the good people who desire to become more and more perfect. Unfortunately, there are very few of these now and one would like to see them displaying greater generosity and enthusiasm for the salvation of those around them.
To which group do you belong? Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind completely to dedicate yourself to the pursuit of sanctity? Perhaps you are still wavering between the alternatives of good and evil? Anyone who remains inactive, becomes an accomplish!”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal the “Medal of the Immaculate Conception”
THE PROMISES OF THE MEDAL When Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830, rays of light flowed from the rings (made of precious stones) on her fingers. However, some of the stones on the rings did not shine.
Our Lady explained:
“These rays symbolise the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls omit to ask.”
“All who wear it. will receive great graces. They should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence.”
“Graces will be poured out on all those, small, or great, who ask for them with confidence and fervour. … ”
The Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) November 1830
One Minute Reflection – 27 November – Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal – Readings: Daniel 7: 15-27; Daniel 3: 82-87; Luke 21: 34-36
“Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man…” – Luke 21:36)
REFLECTION – “Watch” over your life. Do not let “your lamps” go out and do not keep “your loins ungirded” but “be ready,” for “you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming.” Meet together frequently in your search for what is good for your souls, since “a lifetime of faith will be of no advantage” to you unless you prove perfect at the very end. In the final days, multitudes of false prophets and seducers will appear. Sheep will turn into wolves and love into hatred. With the increase of iniquity, people will hate, persecute and betray each other. Then the world deceiver will appear in the disguise of God’s Son. He will work “signs and wonders” and the earth will fall into his hands. He will commit outrages such as have never occurred before.Then humankind will come to the “fiery trial“and many will fall away” and perish. “Those who persevere in their faith will be saved” by the Curse himself.
Then “there will appear the signs” of the Truth: first the sign of stretched-out hands in heaven, then the sign of “a trumpet’s blast” and third, the resurrection of the dead but not all the dead. As it has been said, “The Lord will come and all his saints with him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky.” – Unknown 1st Century Author of this early Treatise (Didache, 16)
PRAYER – Let us praise You alone, Lord, with voice and mind and deed and since life itself is Your gift, may we live in Your presence, never ceasing to live as Your children of light. Strengthen us good Father, to keep our lives free from the evils of the world and may we constantly be aware of the dangers we face. Grant that by the intercession of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mother of Your divine Son, we may remain untempted by the evil pursuits which beset us. Through Jesus our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 November – The Memorial of The Medal of the Immaculate Conception / Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and Mary’s Day
Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to thee under thy title of Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be, for each one of us, a sure sign of thy motherly affection for us and a constant reminder of our filial duties towards thee. While wearing it, may we be blessed by thy loving protection and preserved in the grace of thy Son. Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Saviour, keep us close to thee, every moment of our lives so that like thee, we may live and act according to the teaching and example of thy Son. Obtain for us, thy children, the grace of a happy death, so that in union with thee we may enjoy the happiness of heaven forever. Amen O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Saint of the Day – 27 November – Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest and Friar of the Observant Friars Minor of St Francis, Missionary in Italy and a renowned Preacher, noted Historian, Lawyer, Ascetical Writer, rising within the Order to important positions. Born in 1420 in Fossa, Aquila, Italy as Giovanni Amici and died on 27 November 1503 in the Franciscan Convent in L’Aquila, Italy of natural causes, aged 83. Also known as – Bernardine d’Amici, Bernardine of Aquila, Bernardine of Aquilanus, Fra Bernardino of Fossa, Giovanni Amici. Additional Memorial – 7 November (Franciscans). Patronages – the City and Diocese of L’Aquila.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At L’Aquila, blessed Bernardino da Fossa (Giovanni) Amici, Priest of the Order of Minors, who preached the Catholic Faith in many Provinces of Italy.“
Giovanni belonged to the ancient and noble family of the Amici and sometimes bears the name of Aquilanus on account of his long residence and death in the Town of Aquila.
He was of very lively intelligence and excelled in his studies. He graduated in Canon and Civil Law in Perugia and in 1445, at 21, he entered the Friars Minor of the Observance and completed his novitiate at Gubbio. On 13 March 1446 he made his solemn profession in the Convent of Stroncone taking the name of Bernardine and receiving the Habit from St James of the Marches who was then preaching a course of Lenten sermons at Perugiato. As was the custom of many religious Orders at the time, the place of birth was added, so Giovanni became Fra ‘Bernardino da Fossa.
Bernardine was endowed with outstanding organisational, spiritual and guiding skills and was, therefore, entrusted with various positions in the Franciscan Convents of Gubbio, Stroncone and others, also in Umbria. From there he passed into the Abruzzi, residing especially in his own City of L’Aquila.
He was a zealous Priest and talented Preacher in numerous Umbrian Towns. He was elected Provincial Father of the Friars Minor Observants for the Abruzzi four times , holding the office from 1454 to 1460 and then from 1472 to 1475 : between 1464 and 1467 he was instead Superior of Bosnia and Dalmatia, a Province just established by Pope Pius II and in 1468 he was elected Procurator of the Order at the Holy See .
He was twice elected bishop of Aquila (first in 1472 , on the death of Cardinal Amico Agnifili and then in 1491 , as the successor of Giovanbattista Gaglioffi) but he declined the election both times, from a spirit of humility.
In 1475 he abandoned all office and retired to the Convent of San Giuliano dell’Aquila. On 16 January 1495 , he managed to stop the troops of Charles VIII and persuaded them not to cross the L’ Aquila territory, sparing the population the serious consequences of a military occupation.
Bernardine was also a prolific writer – his writings include several sermons and short ascetical works and focus on themes of history and theology. His nephew, Antonio Amici, who was also his Biographer, published some of Bernardine’s works in 1572 , today of great value due to the extreme rarity of the preserved copies. Bernardine was the Author of the first life of his Patron, St Bernardino of Siena.
Bernardine died in the Convent of L’Aquila on 27 November 1503 and was always given a cult of blessed, both in Italy and throughout the Franciscan Order. The cult was later confirmed by the Beatification of Pope Leo XII on 26 March 1828.
Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal / The Medal of the Immaculate Conception (1830) (the correct title is the latter):
This Optional Memorial on the Catholic Calendar commemorates the apparition to St. Catherine Labouré on 27 November 1830. Then a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, the young woman saw the Holy Virgin in glowing white, standing on a partial sphere, gazing heavenwards, holding up a gold globe as in offering to God. Words formed in an oval around her: “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.” The image turned around to reveal a cross atop a bar interlacing a letter M, with two hearts beneath. The Virgin spoke: “Have a medal struck after this model; everyone who wears it will receive great graces…”
On 30 June 1832, Aurélien Vachette delivered the first 1500 medals, commissioned by the the seer’s spiritual director and approved by the Archbishop. Vachette. As Catherine reported, rays came from Mary’s hands but here the hands were empty, held out at her sides. A snake appeared under her feet and below, the date 1830. On the reverse, where Catherine quoted the Virgin as saying, “The M and the two hearts are enough,” Vachette added the 12 stars of Revelation 12:1 encircling the whole. Despite these innovations, Sister Catherine approved the new Immaculate Conception medal, soon known as the Miraculous Medal for the many blessings it delivered as it spread rapidly through France, Europe and the world. It is still one of the most beloved and widespread and efficacious sacramentals of Catholic believers.
Two of the most famous conversions due to the Miraculous medal was that of Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne NDS (1814-1884), an anti-Catholic Jewish banker and Claude Newman (1923-1944). Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne received a vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. After his conversion, he became a Priest and worked for the conversion of the Jewish people.
St Acacius of Sebaste St Acharius of Noyon St Apollinaris of Monte Cassino St Barlaam Blessed Bernardine of Fossa OFM (1420-1503) Priest, Friar of the Friars Minor St Bilhild of Altmünster Bl Bronislao Kostkowski St Eusician St Facundus St Fergus the Pict St Gallgo of Wales St Gregory of Sinai St Gulstan St Hirenarchus of Sebaste St James Intercisus St John Angeloptes St John of Pavia St Josaphat Bl José Pérez González Bl Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga St Laverius
Martyrs of Antioch – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. Little information has survived except for their names – Auxilius, Basileus and Saturninus.
Martyrs of Nagasaki – (11 beati): A group of eleven Christians martyred together for their faith during a period of official persecution in Japan. They are: • Blessed Alexius Nakamura • Blessed Antonius Kimura • Blessed Bartholomaeus Seki • Blessed Ioannes Iwanaga • Blessed Ioannes Motoyama • Blessed Leo Nakanishi • Blessed Matthias Kozasa • Blessed Matthias Nakano • Blessed Michaël Takeshita • Blessed Romanus Motoyama Myotaro • Blessed Thomas Koteda Kyumi They were martyred on 27 November 1619 in Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Bartolomé Gelabert Pericás • Blessed Eduardo Camps Vasallo • Blessed José Pérez González • Blessed Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga • Blessed Miguel Aguado Camarillo • Blessed Pedro Armendáriz Zabaleta
Thought for the Day – 26 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Glory of God
“The whole of creation manifests the glory of God. The grass on the field, the trees of the forest, the insects and birds of the air, the creatures on the earth and in the sea, the stars in the sky – they all speak to us of the power and beauty of the Creator. You also were created by and for God, Who is the beginning and end of all things. In all thoughts, actions and affections, therefore, you should seek the Glory of God. God, indeed, has no need of your small contribution to enhance His Glory. His Glory is complete and perfect in Himself, in Heaven and in Hell, God does not need you but you need God. It is your strict obligation, not only to proclaim the Glory of God but, also to work for its triumph in yourself and in all things.
The man who loves God above all things, seeks only His Glory. The man who loves himself more than he loves God, however, seeks his own petty worldly glorification and strays away from the main road of life, which should lead him towards God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 November – The Memorial of St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)
“I believe, that were it not for the Holy Mass, at this moment, the world would be in the abyss, unable to bear up, under the mighty load of its iniquities. Mass is the potent prop that hold the world on its base.”
“What graces, gifts and virtues the Holy Mass calls down!”
“Oh Most Sacred Name, Name of peace, Balsam of life, which is the centre of all the sighs, of the most fervent lovers of Jesus. The Sign of those who truly love Jesus is to bear Jesus imprinted in the heart and to name often and with devotion, the Most Holy Name of Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Daniel 7: 2-14; Daniel 3: 75-81; Luke 21: 29-33 – The Memorial of St Sylvester Gozzolini OSB Silv. (1177– 1267)
“Consider the fig tree” – Luke 21:29
REFLECTION – “The earth that we see does not satisfy us; it is but a beginning; it is but a promise of something beyond it; even when it is gayest, with all its blossoms on and shows most touchingly what lies hid in it, yet it is not enough. We know much more lies hid in it than we see. A world of Saints and Angels, a glorious world, the palace of God, the mountain of the Lord of Hosts, the heavenly Jerusalem, the throne of God and Christ, all these wonders, everlasting, all-precious, mysterious, and incomprehensible, lie hid in what we see. What we see is the outward shell of an eternal Kingdom and on that Kingdom we fix the eyes of our faith.
Shine forth, O Lord, as when, on Thy Nativity, Thine Angels visited the shepherds; let Thy glory blossom forth, as bloom and foliage on the tree,; change with Thy mighty power this visible world into that divine world, which, as yet we see not, destroy what we see, that it may pass and be transformed into what we believe. Bright as is the sun and the sky and the clouds; green as are the leaves and the fields; sweet as is the singing of the birds – we know that they are not all and we will not take up with a part, for the whole. They proceed from a centre of Love and Goodness, which is God Himself but they are not His Fullness; they speak of Heaven but they are not Heaven; they are but as stray beams and dim reflections of His Image; they are but crumbs from the table!” – St John Henry Newman C.O. (1801-1890),Priest, Theologian (The Invisible World » PPS, vol. 4, no.13)
PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption. May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St Sylvester Gozzolini be a help in our struggle. Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to our heavenly home. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 26 November – The Memorial of St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)
Forgive Me, Good Jesus By St Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751)
Lord, I confess that up until now I have not lived as a Christian. I am not worthy to be numbered among Your elect. I recognise that I deserve to be damned but Your mercy is great and, full of confidence in Your grace, I say to You that I wish to save my soul, even if I have to sacrifice my fortune, my honour, my very life, as long as I am saved. If I have been unfaithful up to now, I repent, I deplore, I detest my infidelity, I ask You humbly to forgive me. Forgive me, good Jesus and strengthen me, that I may be saved. I ask You not for wealth, honour or prosperity, I ask You for one thing only, to save my soul. Amen
Saint of the Day – 26 November – Saint Sylvester Gozzolini OSB Silv. (1177– 1267) Priest, Abbot, Founder of the Silvestrini Congration, Mystic, gifted with the charism of prophecy and miracles, but also subject to violent attacks by the devil. Born in 1177 in Osimo, Marche, Italy and died on 26 November 1267 at Monte Fano, Fabriano, Italy of natural causes aged 90. Also known as – Silvestro, Sylvester of Osimo.
Sylvester was born of a noble family at Osimo in the Marches of Ancona and in his boyhood was remarkable for his love of study and his good conduct. As a youth, he was sent by his father to Bologna to study jurisprudence but was admonished by God to devote himself to sacred learning. Thus he abandoned the study of law for that of theology and Holy Scripture, giving long hours daily to prayer. This incited his father to anger, which Sylvester patiently endured when his father would not speak to him for ten years. On account of his remarkable virtue, the Canons of Osimo elected him an honorary member of their chapter, in which position he benefited the people by his prayers, his example and his sermons.
While assisting at the funeral of a nobleman, his relative, who had been unusually handsome, he looked into the open coffin and seeing the corpse all deformed, said to himself: “What this man was, I am now; what he is now, I shall be hereafter.“ As soon as the funeral was over, reading these words of our Lord: “If any one will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” he retired into solitude in order to attain greater perfection.
There he gave himself up to watching, prayer and fasting, often eating nothing but raw herbs. The better to conceal himself from men he frequently changed his place of abode;and at length settled at Monte Fano, which, though near to Fabriano, was at that time, a desert. There he built a Church in honour of the most holy father St Benedict and founded the Congregation of Sylvestrians, under the Rule and Habit shown him by St.Benedict in vision.
Satan, roused to envy, strove in many ways to terrify his Monks, making assaults by night at the Monastery gates. But the man of God repressed the enemy’s attacks with such vigour, that the Monks, recognising their father’s sanctity, were more and more confirmed in their holy purpose.
Sylvester was remarkable for the spirit of prophecy and other gifts, which he guarded by deep humility. This so stirred up the devil’s envy that he cast the saint headlong down the oratory stairs and well nigh killed him but the blessed Virgin at once graciously restored him to health. In gratitude for this benefit, Sylvester showed her the tenderest unfailing piety to the end of his life.
In 1247 he obtained from Pope Innocent IV, at Lyons, a Bull confirming his Order and before his death, founded a number of Monasteries.
He died at the age of ninety years, renowned for sanctity and miracles in1267. He was Beatified in1269 by Pope Clement IV who also added him to the Martyrology) and Canonised in 1598 by Pope Clement VIII. His body was disinterred and placed in a Shrine (1275-85) and is still honoured in the Church of Monte Fano. In 1890, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII, extended his Office and Mass to the universal Church, with the rank of Double (third-class feast in the 1960 reform of Pope John XXIII), therefore, reducing today’s memorial to the status of a commemoration, as well as that of Saint Peter of Alexandria, who shares today as his Feast. In 1970, both these were removed altogether and relegated to the local calendars. These wonderful Saints were packed away in dark storage where no-one ever venerates or prays to them for their holy intercession.., but you and I will pray the Collect below and remember .him ..
Collect: May the intercession, O Lord, of blessed Sylvester, the Abbot, recommend us to Thee; that what we cannot hope for through any merits of our own, we may obtain by his prayers. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Westrozebeke / Our Lady of Westrozebeke, Staden, West Flanders, Belgium (1482) – 26 November, Third Sunday of June:
On 26 November 1382, opposing armies camped around the Village of Westrozebeke: rebels recently victorious in Ghent vs. Louis II, King of Flanders and French troops brought in to help him. The residents congregated at a forest Chapel to beg the Virgin’s help. At the battle the next day, the rebels fled after their leader was killed. Afterward, a red silk thread encircling the area the King’s forces had occupied, with seven knots equally spaced along it and crosses where the ends met, was discovered – this was interpreted as a sign of the Virgin’s protection. The silk thread was soon distributed for relics and in its place, eight Chapels were built – seven to honour each of Mary’s Sorrows, where the knots had lain and a larger one to honour the Holy Cross. In 1384, Louis II’s son-in-law Philip II of Burgundy, instituted an annual procession and Mass in thanksgiving for the victory. Many pilgrims sought out the circuit of eight Chapels and the help of Our Lady of Roosebeke (“rosy stream“), especially sufferers from the streptococcal skin infection erysipelas, known as St Anthony’s fire in English but as wondroos (“rosy wound“) in Dutch. And they continued to frequent the old forest Chapel of Our Lady of the Fountain, near a spring with waters believed to cure eye diseases. The annual pilgrimage continued for centuries. The faithful from the Provincial Capital of Bruges, brought new clothes for Our Lady’s Statue, while those from Menen, to the south, came in thanksgiving for their deliverance from an epidemic in the early 1500s. In 1566, iconoclasts destroyed the Statue. Believers installed a new one in 1584. During World War I, another miracle came to light. In 1916, when Germans torpedoed the ferry “Sussex” as it crossed the English Channel toward France, sailors from Westrozebeke prayed to Our Lady and were spared. But their Village was not so fortunate: it was destroyed during the war. Our Lady’s beloved Statue, which had been moved away for safekeeping, returned afterwards and was installed in the new Church of St Bavo on 13 June1924.
Now part of the Municipality of Staden, Westrozebeke holds a 10-day festival in July, starting on the third Sunday, when firemen throw roses from the Church tower. The religious portion culminates in Our Lady’s Pageant on the following Saturday, with a procession and Mass in St Bavo’s Church, where roses encircle the Statue of Our Lady.
Bl Albert of Haigerloch St Alypius Stylites St Amator of Autun St Basolus of Verzy St Bellinus of Padua St Bertger of Herzfeld St Conrad of Constance St Ðaminh Nguyen Van Xuyên Bl Delphine of Glandèves St Egelwine of Athelney
St Magnance of Ste-Magnance St Marcellus of Nicomedia Bl Marmaduke Bowes St Martin of Arades St Nicon of Sparta Bl Pontius of Faucigny St Sabaudus of Trier St Siricius, Pope St Stylianus St Sylvester Gozzolini OSB Silv. (1177– 1267) Priest, Abbot, Founder St Tôma Ðinh Viet Du St Vacz — Martyrs of Alexandria – 7+ saints: A group of approximately 650 Christian priests, bishops and laity martyred together in the persecution of Maximian Galerius. We have the names and a few details only seven of them – Ammonius, Didius, Faustus, Hesychius, Pachomius, Phileas and Theodore. The were born in Egypt and were martyred there in c 311 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Capua – 7 saints: A group of seven Christians martyred together. The only details about them to survive are the names – Ammonius, Cassianus, Felicissimus, Nicander, Romana, Saturnin and Serenus. They were martyred in Capua, Campania, Italy, date unknown.
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 6 saints: A group of six orthodox Christians martyred by Arians. Few details have survived except their names – Marcellus, Melisus, Numerius, Peter, Serenusa and Victorinus. Martyred in 349 in Nicomedia, Bithynia, Asia Minor (modern Izmit, Turkey).
Thought for the Day – 25 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Storms of Life
“The Evangelist describes how Jesus got into a boat one day, along with His Apostles and set out across the lake of Genesareth. Suddenly a great storm arose, so furious, that the waves covered the tiny vessel and threatened to submerge it. The Apostles were terrified and turned to Jesus but, He was asleep. They woke Him, crying out: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He sat up and said to them: “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then, He rebuked the wind and the sea and immediately all was calm again. His followers were astonished. “What manner of man is this,” they asked one another, “that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mt 8:23-26; Mk 4:36-49; Lk 8:22-25).
We also are often subjected to the tempests of life. Sometimes, these storms, are purely interior, as when our lower impulses threaten to overcome our good resolutions and to submerge our purity of soul. In these serious crises, we should turn humbly and fervently to Jesus for help. Sometimes perhaps, Jesus will seem to be asleep and deaf to our anguished entreaties. But it is never so! He simply wishes to test us, as He tested His Apostles on the lake of Genesareth.
We must persevere. We must tell Him that we do not wish to lose His grace, that we do not wish to fall into sin but desire to go on loving Him. If our prayers are humble and insistent, we may rest assured, that after our moment of trial, Jesus Christ will speak to us. At the sound of His Voice, the tempest will be stilled and there will come, a great calm. Then, we shall experience the peace, which only God can give.
Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Psalm: Daniel 3: 68-74; Luke 21: 20-28
“Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father, who is in heaven…”
“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
“Sheltered under the name of Jesus Christ, I do not fear these pains ….”
St Lawrence (Died 258) Martyr
“When insults have no effect on us, when persecutions and penalties, have no terror for us, when prosperity or adversity, has no influence on us, when friend and foe, are viewed in the same light… do we not come close, to sharing, the serenity of God?”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
“Life is short, Death is certain and the world to come is everlasting.”
One Minute Reflection – 25 November – Readings: Daniel 6: 12-28; Psalm: Daniel 3: 68-74; Luke 21: 20-28 – The Memorial of St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305)
“Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” – Luke 21:28
REFLECTION – “The powers of heaven will be moved.” What does the Lord mean by the powers of heaven if not the Angels and Archangels, Thrones, Dominations, Rulers and Powers? (Col 1,6). At the coming of the severe Judge, they will appear visibly before our eyes… “Then they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great authority and majesty.” In other words, they are going to see, in power and majesty, Him Whom they chose not to hear in a state of humility… He said these things about the condemned; words of consolation for the elect follow at once: “When these things begin to take place, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.” Truth is exhorting His elect by saying: “When the disasters of the world become more frequent… let your hearts exult! While the world, which is not your friend, is coming to an end, the redemption you have sought ,is coming near.!”
Those who love God are ordered to rejoice and be merry at the world’s end. They will soon find Him Whom they love, while what they have not loved is passing away. It should be far from the hearts of all the faithful who long to see God to grieve over the disasters of a world, for they know, these very disasters, are soon to end. It is written that: “Whoever wishes to be a friend of this world, makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas 4,4). Someone who does not rejoice as the end of the world approaches, testifies, that he is its friend and this itself convicts him, of being God’s enemy!
PRAYER – Lord God, creator of all Light and creator of all good, grant that we may look up to You always and know that by Your Light and your goodness we are safe in this world of corruption. May the Light of our Lord Jesus, make the path He has set out bright and clear and may the prayers of St Catherine of Alexandria be a help in our struggle. Lead us, Lord, in Your kindness and mercy to the banquet which awaits us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 25 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory”
Prayer for the Faithful Departed By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O God of the Spirits of all flesh, O Jesu, Lover of souls, we recommend unto Thee, the souls of all those Thy servants, who have departed with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace. We beseech Thee, O Lord and Saviour, that, as in Thy mercy to them, Thou became man, so now, Thou would hasten the time and admit them to Thy Presence above… May the heavens be opened to them and the Angels rejoice with them … May all the Saints and elect of God, who in this world suffered torments for Thy Name, befriend them, that, being freed from the prison beneath, they may be admitted into the glories of that Kingdom, where, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Thou lives and reigns, one God, world without end … Eternal rest give to them, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen
Saint of the Day – 25 November – Blessed Beatrice d’Ornacieux O.Cart (c 1260–1303) Virgin, Carthusian Nun, Mystic, Founded a Monastery at Eymeu. Born in c1260 in Ornacieu, Dauphine (in the southeastern area of modern France and died on 25 November 1303 at the Monastery of Eymeu, Valence, France of natural causes. Also known as – Beatrice di Ornacieu, Beatrice of Eymeu, Beatrix… Additional Memorials – 27 November (Diocese of Grenoble, France), 13 February (Diocese of Valence, France).
The Roman Martyrology states: “In the territory of Valence in France, Blessed Beatrice d’Ornacieux, Virgin of the Carthusian Order, who, famous for her love for the Cross, lived and died in extreme poverty in the Monastery of Eymeu which she founded.”
Beatrice, of noble birth, was born in the Castle of the village in Ornacieu in the Dauphiné, a historical region of south-eastern France of which Grenoble is the Capital.
In 1273, when she was about 13 years of age, she entered the Charterhouse of Parménie, thus adopting the Rule of life of Saint Bruno. St Bruno had founded the Monastery in 1084, where, according to the ancient texts, he distinguished himself for his devotion to the Passion of Christ.
From this intense devotion arose a love for sufferings, to sanctify herself and to understand a little of the sufferings of Christ. It is said that Beatrice “loved” tribulation, as only the saints know how to and thus transform themselves into a close unity with Christ and offer themselves as a means of redemption with Him.
In 1301 she was sent to found a new Monastery in Eymeu, in the Diocese of Valence with two of her Carthusian companions, Luisa Alleman of Grésivaudan and Margaret of Sassenaye. Later other young woman joined her, despite the extreme poverty in which they lived.
Beatrice experienced visions for many years of the Blessed Virgin and of Christ. But the devil too attempted to overcome her virtue. She alternated between mystical ecstasies and persecutions of the Evil One.
Beatrice died on 25 November 1303, (some say 1309). When the other two religious also died, their bodies were translated to Parménie and kept until 1901 in the Sanctuary of the Olivetani; currently they are in the Church of Rancurel.
Beatrice’s cult was approved by Pope Pius IX on 15 Apri 1869.
Madonna del Sasso / Our Lady of the Rock, Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy (1028) – 25 November:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of the Rock, in the territory of Fiesole, in Tuscany. This image is placed in a rock, where two shepherds retired to pray; Our Lady ordered them to build a Church in this place.”
On the Feast of the Visitation in 1028 two young twin sisters, while they were guarding their flock, sought protection under a rock. The Virgin Mary holding the Infant Jesus in her arm, appeared to them in a cloud. She reassured them and told them that she desired a Church to be built there, then asks them to alert their father. He went to that place and the Virgin appeared to him and reiterates her request. The inhabitants of the village flocked to the site. Many of them also saw the Virgin. The ecclesiastical authorities approved the construction of a Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Rock. The construction had just begun when Mary appeared to all present to thank them and encourage them to bring the work to completion. According to local legend, the Gospel was first preached at Fiesole (in the Province of Tuscany by Saint Romulus, a Disciple of Saint Peter during the days of the Christian persecutions. The Cathedral of Saint Romulus was built in 1028 by Bishop James Bavaro with materials taken from several other edifices – hence, the Shrine took the name Our Lady of the Rock. The little Church, now known as the Cathedral or Duomo of Saint Romulus, is in the Cathedral square – called the Shrine of the Primerana – is the one dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock. It was then enlarged in 1260, and again the following century. The bell tower dates from the year 1213. The Cathedral contains sculptures by Mino da Fiesole and the old Cathedral was once a Benedictine Abbey and had a large library, though that has long since been dispersed to other locations. The Abbey closed in 1778. Among other apparitions, too numerous to mention, is the one in which Mary warned Saint Andrew Corsini of his approaching death. During his lifetime, our Blessed Mother obtained from her Divine Son for Andrew the gifts of prophecy, miracles of healing, the conquest of hardened souls and many other conversions. The Cathedral of Fiesole is the resting place of a long list of Saints and illustrious churchmen, all of whom were devout clients of Our Lady.
Bl Adalbert of Caramaico St Alanus of Lavaur St Audentius of Milan Blessed Beatrice d’Ornacieux O.Cart (c 1260–1303) Virgin, Carthusian Nun. St Bernold of Ottobeuren Bl Conrad of Heisterbach Bl Ekbert of Muensterschwarzach
St Erasmus of Antioch Bl Garcia of Arlanza Bl Guido of Casauria St Imma of Wurzburg Bl Jacinto Serrano López St Jucunda of Reggio Aemilia Bl Maria Corsini Beltrame Quattrocchi St Mercurius of Caesarea St Moses of Rome Bl Santiago Meseguer Burillo — Martyrs of Africa – (13 saints): A group of 13 Christians murdered together for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details to have survived are their names – Claudian, Cyprian, Donatus, Felix, Januarius, Julian, Lucian, Marcian, Martialis, Peter, Quirianus, Victor and Vitalis.
Thought for the Day – 24 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Most Terrifying Passage in the Gospel
“The Teaching of Jesus Christ, bears the stamp of gentleness and kindness towards humanity, especially sinners. There is, however, one passage in the Gospel which inspires real dread. Let us quote it in full:
“When the Son of Man shall come in his majesty and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory and before him will be gathered, all the nations and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats and he will set the sheep on his right hand but the goats, on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me… ‘Then he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you did not give to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked and you did not clothe me; sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick or in prison and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them saying, ‘Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me.’ And these will go into everlasting punishment.” (CF Mt 25:31-46).
These are terrifying words, in the light of which each one of us has something with which to reproach himself!”
Quote/s of the Day – 24 November – The Memorial of St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
“O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You. Let Your mighty calmness reign in me. Rule me, O King of Gentleness, King of Peace.”
“Never before has anyone spoken like this One.”
“God could answer: “My Son is My entire Locution and Response, Vision and Revelation, which I have already spoken, answered, manifested and revealed to you, by giving Him to you as a Brother, Companion, Master, Ransom and Reward…”
“A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”
“Now that I no longer desire all, I have it all, without desire.”
“All our goodness is a loan; God is the owner; God works and His work is God.”
“At the end of your life, you will be judged by your love.”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 24 November – Readings Daniel 5: 1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28; Daniel 3: 62-67; Luke 21: 12-19 and the Memorial of St Colman of Cloyne (c 530 – c 600)
“You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives and friends and they will put some of you to death.” – Luke 21:16
REFLECTION – “Do you want to come to that life where you will be sheltered from error forever? Who does not want this? … We all desire life and truth but how are we to attain it? What path are we to follow? Certainly, we have not reached the end of the journey, yet we can already see it, … we yearn for life and truth. Christ is both one and the other. What is the way to it? “I am the way,” He says. To what will we come? “I am the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
This is what the Martyrs loved; this is why they looked beyond the love of present goods that pass away. Do not be astonished at their bravery: in them love overcame suffering. … Let us walk in their footsteps, our eyes fixed on Him, Who is both their Leader and ours. If we would come to so great a happiness, let us not be afraid of treading difficult paths. He Who has promised is true; He is faithful; He could not deceive us. …Why fear the hard road of suffering and tribulation?Our Saviour in person has trodden it!
You answer: “But that was Him, the Saviour!” Know that the Apostles passed that way too. Now you’re going to say: “But they were Apostles!” Yes, I know. But do not forget, that a great many people like yourself, have trodden it in their turn … women have trodden it, too … children, even young girls have gone that way. How could the road that so many passers-by have levelled, still be too hard?” – St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 306)
PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts O Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be afraid, never be deceived or misled but by Your strength, stand firm in our faith. For Your Son, walks before us, beside us and behind us. The Holy Spirit of Your love fills us. Let nothing put us to shame . Grant that by the prayers of St Colman of Cloyne and all Your saints, we may be strengthened for the journey. Through our Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, God eternally and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 24 November – The Memorial of St John of the Cross OCD (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Most Holy Mary By St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Most holy Mary, Virgin of virgins, Shrine of the most Holy Trinity, joy of the Angels, sure Refuge of sinners, take pity on our sorrows, mercifully accept our sighs and appease the wrath of your most holy Son. Amen.