Posted in DOMINICAN, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 August – To be full of God

Thought for the Day – 17 August – The Memorial of St Hyacinth OP (1185-1257) – “Apostle of Poland” “Apostle of the North”

The life of this thirteenth century “Apostle of the North,” known for his zeal for souls, makes him a great patron for our modern times, so much in need of young hearts fearlessly leaving all to proclaim the Gospel.   Zeal such as that of S. Hyacinth is the driving force of the Order of Preachers.

If we consider the Greek etymology of the word “enthusiasm,” which means “to be full of God,” Hyacinth comes across as a figure unconditional in his enthusiasm for preaching the Good News.   Born of noble parents in Poland around 1185, he was educated in Cracow.   On a trip to Rome in 1218, he met St Dominic, from whom both Hyacinth and his cousin, Ceslaus, received the habit of the Friars Preachers.   A painting at the Dominican Church of Santa Sabina in Rome depicts this event with Ceslaus lying prostrate on the floor and Hyacinth being clothed by St Dominic in the white robe of “the athletes of the faith.”   Within a few months of his reception of the habit, Hyacinth embarked on his first mission, sent by St Dominic to preach and establish the Order in Poland.

After unceasing labours and vast journeys, Hyacinth spent his last few months of life in a monastery he had founded in Cracow.   Although worn out and weakened by illness and fever, he kept watch in the service of God until his death by celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Assumption.   He was anointed at the foot of the altar on 15 August 1257 and died the same day.   Canonised over 300 years later, he was the seventh Dominican to be raised to sainthood.

How can we relate to this saint today and call on him to watch over re-evangelisation efforts carried out by the followers of Christ around the world?   The answer lies in Hyacinth’s fidelity to the charism of St Dominic.   This Polish Dominican responded without hesitation to the personal call of Christ, re-echoed centuries later by St John Paul II in the words, duc in altum (cast out into the deep).   Hyacinth followed Christ with all the idealism and fervour of his youth  . With trust, Hyacinth put the little he had into the hands of the Lord, who blessed and multiplied his offering, feeding the thousands who were converted, baptised, re-evangelised or inspired to join the Order of Preachers.

The flame that set the heart of this “Polish St Dominic” on fire to preach the Truth is still burning. T  hat flame is the Person of Jesus Christ, searching for those who will give their lives for the Gospel in this “springtime of evangelisation.”   In 1957 the Polish Dominican Provincial remarked that strong devotion to St Hyacinth was always followed by renewed activity and spiritual fervour among the Polish Dominicans, while a weakening in this filial dependence on his intercession invariably resulted in a far less energetic spirit among the brethren.   From his place on the Bernini colonnade at St Peter’s, Hyacinth urges us to assume our place in the glorious mission to spread the Kingdom of God.

St Hyacinth of Poland pray for Poland, the Church and for us all!st hyacinth of poland pray for us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 August – “Let the children come to me”

One Minute Reflection – 18 August – Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 19:13–15 and the Memorial of St Clare of the Cross of Montefalco (c 1269-1308)

“Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”…Matthew 19:14

REFLECTION – “Begin and end the day with prayer. Go to God as a child turns to its mother.  If words don’t come spontaneously to you then say, for example: “Come, Holy Spirit, guide me, protect me, enlighten my thoughts so I can pray.”   Or even better, if you speak to the Virgin Mary, say – “Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a mother to me now and help me to pray.” … Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)matthew-19-14-let-the-children-come-to-me-begin and end your day with prayer-18-aug-2019(1)

PRAYER – God almighty Father, grant that we may be instruments of welcome and of that love with which Jesus, Your Son, embraces the littlest ones.   May we be a society of love and of holy parenting of all children, especially those most in need.   Holy Mother, teach us and guide us in prayer and love of God and neighbour.   St Clare of the Cross, pray for us.   We make our prayer through Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.st clare of the cross of montefalco pray for us 17 aug 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN Saturdays, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THE ASSUMPTION

Our Morning Offering – 17 August – The Praises of Mary “Assumption” Poem by Saint Anthony

Our Morning Offering – 17 August – Saturday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and a Marian Saturday

The Praises of Mary
“Assumption”
Poem by Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Doctor of the Church

O how wondrous is the dignity of the glorious Virgin!
She merited to become the mother of Him
who is the strength and beauty of the angels
and the grandeur of all the saints.

Mary was the seat of our sanctification,
that is to say,
the dwelling place of the Son
who sacrificed Himself for us.

“And I shall glorify the place where my feet have stood.”
The feet of the Saviour signify His human nature.
The place where the feet of the Saviour stood
was the Blessed Mary,
who gave Him His human nature.

Today the Lord glorifies that place,
since He has exalted Mary
above the choirs of the angels.
That is to say,
the Blessed Virgin,
who was the dwelling of the Saviour,
has been assumed bodily into heaven.the praises of mary assumption by st anthony of padua 17 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 August – Saint Clare of the Cross of Montefalco (c 1269-1308)

Saint of the Day – 17 August – Saint Clare of the Cross of Montefalco (c 1269-1308) Augustinian Nun and Abbess, before becoming a nun, St Clare was a member of the Third Order of St Francis (Secular), Mystic, Penitent, Spiritual adviser – born in c 1268 at Montefalco, diocese of Spoleto, Italy and died on 18 August 1308 at Montefalco, diocese of Spoleto, Italy.   Patronage – Montefalco.st clare of montefalco portrait

Clare was born in Montefalco, Italy, in 1268, the second daughter of Damiano and Iacopo Vengente, a well-to-do couple.   From a very early age she lived an eremitical life with her older sister Giovanna and another young woman in a small dwelling which Damiano, their father, had built for them.   Clare was a lively and intelligent young girl but equally prayerful and penitential.   The small community of hermits grew and in 1290 was established as a formal convent of nuns under the Rule of Saint Augustine.

Upon the death of Giovanna, Clare at 23 years of age was elected abbess and became mother, teacher and spiritual director of the convent.   A young woman of deep spiritual perception, though with almost no formal education, she was much sought after for advice and counsel from people of all walks of life and from within the walls of the cloister became a director of many souls.

1294 was a decisive year in Clare’s spiritual life.   During the celebration of the Epiphany, after making a general confession in front of all her fellow nuns, she fell into ecstasy and remained in that state for several weeks.   Since she was unable even to eat during this period, the other nuns sustained Clare’s life by feeding her sugar water.   During this time, Clare reported having a vision in which she saw herself being judged in front of God.img-Saint-Clare-of-Montefalco1

Clare also reported having a vision of Jesus dressed as a poor traveller.   She described His countenance as being overwhelmed by the weight of the cross and His body as showing signs of fatigue.   During the vision, Clare knelt in front of Him and whilst trying to stop Him, she asked, “My Lord, where art Thou going?”   Jesus answered her:  “I have looked all over the world for a strong place where to plant this Cross firmly, and I have not found any.”   After she reached for the cross, making known her desire to help Him carry it, He said to her:  “Clare, I have found a place for My cross here.   I have finally found someone to whom I can trust Mine cross,” and He implanted it in her heart.   Clare took her belief in this vision seriously.   The rest of her years were spent in pain and suffering, yet she continued to joyfully serve as abbess, teacher, mother and spiritual directress of her nuns.st clare of montefalco

For many years she received no consolation in her interior life except that of her own fidelity to prayer and acts of penance.

In 1303, Clare was able to build a church in Montefalco which would not only serve as a chapel for the nuns but also as a church for the town.   The first stone was blessed by the Bishop of Spoleto on 24 June and that day the church was dedicated to the Holy Cross (Santa Croce in Italian), it is now renamed of St Clare ‘the Church of St Chiara of the Holy Cross.’   Below is the painting of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Church.santacroce_montefalco.jpg

During her final illness she repeated to her sisters that she bore the cross of Christ in her heart.   By August 1308, she had become so ill that she was bedridden.   On 15 August she asked to receive Extreme Unction and on the next day she sent for her brother to come to the monastery.   Clare made her last confession on 17 August and died at about 40 years of age in the convent on 18 August.

Immediately following Clare’s death her heart was removed from her body and upon inspection it was reported that symbols of Christ’s passion, a crucifix and a scourge, were found within her heart.    Upon hearing the news of these signs, the vicar of the Bishop of Spoleto travelled to Montefalco “burning with indignation” suspecting that the nuns of the convent had planted the symbols.   A commission consisting of physicians, jurists and theologians was assembled to conduct an investigation, which subsequently “ruled out the possibility of fabrication or artifice.”   However, doubts as to the veracity of the findings persisted even at the Canonisation proceedings, which were fraught with conflicts including a challenge from the Franciscans that Clare should not be Canonised as a saint of the Order of Saint Augustine because she had been a Franciscan tertiary.  St Clare of Montefalco, circa 1670, from the Iglesia del Convento de Nuestra Señora del Pópulo de Agustinos Descalzos. Sevilla, [Public Domain] via Creative Commons

The crucifix reportedly found within Clare’s heart is about the size of a thumb.   Christ’s head leans slightly towards the right arm of the crucifix and his body is white, except for the “tiny aperture in the right side which is a livid reddish color.   The scourge and crown of thorns are apparently formed by whitish nerve fibers and the three nails are formed of a dark fibrous tissue.

The body of Saint Clare is now reduced to bones.   A statue of her body is on display to pilgrims in the crypt of the Basilica of St Clare in Montefalco in a glass sarcophagus, the bones are on display in the rear of the sarcophagus but can only be seen by nuns who have access to the rear of the crypt.   Her heart is displayed for veneration at the same church.

The Canonisation process was initiated in 1328 but it was not until 13 April 1737, that Clare was Beatified by Pope Clement XII.   On 8 December 1881, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Leo XIII Canonised Clare as Saint Clare of the Cross of Montefalco at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.   She was recognised as an Augustinian rather than a Franciscan.st clare of montefalco statue

Posted in DOMINICAN, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Memorials of the Saints – 17 August

St Amor of Amorbach
St Anastasius of Terni
St Beatrice da Silva Meneses
St Benedicta of Lorraine
St Carloman
St Cecilia of Lorraine
St Clare of the Cross of Montefalco (c 1269-1308) 

St Donatus of Ripacandida
St Drithelm
St Elias the Younger
Bl Enric Canadell Quintana
Bl Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera
St Pope Eusebius
St Eusebius of Sicily
St Hyacinth OP (1185-1257)
A complete biography here:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/saint-of-the-day-17-august-st-hyacinth-o-p-apostle-of-poland-and-apostle-of-the-north/

St Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga
St James the Deacon
St Jeanne of the Cross Delanoue (1666-1736)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/08/17/saint-of-the-day-17-august-st-jeanne-delanoue-1666-1736/
St Jeroen of Noordwijk
St Juliana of Ptolemais
St Leopoldina Naudet
St Mamas
Bl Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon
St Michaël Kurobyoie
St Myron of Cyzicus
Bl Nicholas Politi
Bl Noël-Hilaire Le Conte
St Paul of Ptolemais
St Theodore of Grammont

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Antoni Carmaniú Mercarder, Bl Facundo Escanciano Tejerina, Bl Eugenio Sanz-Orozco Mortera, Bl Enric Canadell Quintana, Florencio López Egea and see below –
Martyrs of Malaga – 8 beati: A priest and seven brothers, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Antonio del Charco Horques
• Eusebio Ballesteros Rodríguez
• Florentino Alonso Antonio
• Isidro Valentín Peña Ojea
• Juan Antonio García Moreno
• Manuel Sanz y Sanz
• Pedro Pastor García
• Silvestre Perez Laguna
17 August 1936 in Málaga, Spain – they were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.
Martyrs of Maspujols – 3 beati: Three priests in the archdiocese of Tarragona, Spain.
Martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Josep Mañé March
• Magí Civit Roca
• Miquel Rué Gené
17 August 1936 in Maspujols, Tarragona, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis. The beatification ceremony was celebrated in Tarragona, Spain.

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 16 August – St Stephen’s letter to St Emeric

Thought for the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Step  hen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

At the turn of the second millenniu  m, St Stephen succeeded his father as leader of the Magyars in Hungary.   Looking to strengthen his authority, he determined to consolidate the state and extend Christianity throughout the land.   In 1001 he arranged to have Pope Sylvester II name him king of Hungary.   The pope obliged.   As an additional sign of support, Sylvester had a special crown fashioned for Stephen that has become world famous.

Stephen extended his control over Hungary by restricting the power of the nobles. By creating dioceses and establishing monasteries, Stephen strengthened the church and positioned it for expansion. Politically, he aggressively used his power to establish Christianity as Hungary’s religion. He ruthlessly abolished pagan customs, outlawing adultery and blasphemy.   Stephen ordered everyone to marry, except religiou, and forbade marriages between Christians and pagans.

But Stephen had a kinder, gentler side.   Like St Louis IX, he made himself accessible to his people.   He also took personal concern for the poor  . He used to walk the streets in disguise so he could give alms to needy people.   Once he barely escaped when some beggars beat and robbed him.   But he refused to stop the practice.   Stephen was a family man.   In 1015 he had married Gisela, the sister of emperor St Henry II. The couple had one son, Emeric, whom Stephen groomed as his successor.   In the following letter to his son, Stephen lays out his vision of what a Christian monarch must be.  His counsel remains a letter to us all.   For this and your intercession, we bless and thank you St Stephen!

“My dearest son, if you desire to honour the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession.   Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church.   Indeed, in the royal palace – after the faith itself – the Church holds second place, first propagated as she was by our head, Christ, then transplanted, firmly constituted and spread through the whole world by His members, the apostles and holy fathers.   And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient.

However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom, the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted and for that reason, she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians, lest a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly, should be destroyed and annihilated, through your idleness, indolence or neglect.

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness.   Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said:  “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”   Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful but also with the weak.be-merciful-to-all-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2018.jpg

Finally be strong, lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down.   Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next.   Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.   Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice.   Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily, bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust, like the pangs of death.be-humble-in-this-life-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2019.jpg

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.”

Sadly, Emeric died in a hunting accident, leaving Stephen no successor.

In 1038, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Stephen delivered his final words to leaders of the Church and state, telling them to protect and spread the Catholic faith.

To the Virgin Mary, the king directed one of his final prayers:
“To thee, O Queen of heaven
and to thy guardianship,
I commend the holy Church,
all the bishops and the clergy,
the whole kingdom, its rulers and inhabitants
but before all, I commend my soul to thy care.”

St Stephen of Hungary died on Aug. 15, 1038. He was buried alongside his son St Emeric and the two were Canonised together in 1083.

St Stephen the Great, King of Hungary, Pray for us!st-stephen-of-hungary-with prayer to mary pray-for-us-16-aug-2019.jpg