Posted in MORNING Prayers

Thought for the Day – 31 December

Thought for the Day – 31 December

St Pope Sylvester I faced a whole new world with the victory of Constantine and saw a greater expansion of Christianity than there had been for the previous three centuries.  He was faced with something entirely new and had to adapt the Church to a totally new age.  As we face the New Year, we should pray to St Sylvester to help us make a new beginning too.  As our lives and the world around us are never static, so too is the place of the Church and our own sanctification within the Mystical Body of Christ never still either – we rush forward to our home.

Let us go forward under the Banner of Christ’s Church!

St Pope Sylvester I Pray for us and for universal Church!

saint-sylvesterst-pope-sylvester-i

Posted in MORNING Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 31 December

Our Morning Offering – 31 December

O my God, infinitely deserving of love,
I love You above all things.
Inspired by this love,
I offer to You all the actions of this day.
Accept every beat of my heart
as a fervent prayer,
as an act of perfect love:
for Your sole honour,
for the conversion of sinners,
for the perseverance of the just,
for the deliverance of the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
for the sanctification of our Priests
and for all who have asked for our prayers
and for whom we have a special obligation to pray;
also for the propagation of all holy works
and for deliverance from all evil.
I offer all my sufferings of this day
for the Holy Souls in Purgatory,
especially those for whom I should pray
and for those souls who are forgotten.
Through the Immaculate Heart of Your
Holy Mother Mary, I I offer You my all, amen.

morning-offering

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 31 December: The MEMORIAL of ST POPE SYLVESTER I – DAY SEVEN OF THE OCTAVE

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 31 December: The MEMORIAL of ST POPE SYLVESTER I – DAY SEVEN OF THE OCTAVE

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:

I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do and because every lie is alien to the truth.1 John 2: 21

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”John 1:15

Jesus baptises us the the Holy Spirit. All that has prepared us for His coming
gives witness to His presence with us now.

May we remain in the One who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the One who promises us life.

Closing Prayer:
I beg You, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see You in those around me
and welcome You into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize You as my saviour
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that You help me to open my heart more fully
to Your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for Your incredible gifts to me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

day-7-octave

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 December

Saint of the Day – 31 December (died 335)  Priest and Pope

St. Sylvester I was born in Rome and ordained by Pope St. Marcellinus. He was consecrated as the 33rd pope with a pontificate from 314 until his death in 335. Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V2MIz9lqn8

The Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313, recognizing Christianity, ending persecutions, and tolerating all religions. Constantine considered it his duty to oversee the Church. He heard the complaints of bishops, summoned councils, settled Church disputes, and looked upon the pope sympathetically.

It took a wise man to work with such a powerful ruler. Pope Sylvester I held office during this crucial period. He had to keep the Church independent of the state and at the same time, keep peace with Emperor Constantine. Pope Sylvester faced the added challenge of advanced age, which prevented him from travel. To deal with the error of the Donatists, he had to send delegates to a council at Arles. Then, when Emperor Constantine called the first ecumenical council—the Council of Nicaea—in 325, the pope asked others to attend the council in his place. This council of bishops was to discuss the Arian heresy and correct the Arians for falsely teaching that Christ was not God. It was at this council that the Nicene Creed was formed.

It is said that the Lateran Palace was given to Pope Sylvester I by Constantine. The pope oversaw the building of the original St. Peter’s.

The people of Rome had a high regard for Pope Sylvester. He was a saintly pope who understood the conflicts his bishops suffered in being loyal to Rome and to Constantine. He humbly accepted the limitations of age and illness, and he persevered in his pastoral care of the Church.

Posted in Uncategorized

Saints for 31 December

St Sylvester I, Pope (Optional Memorial)

Bl Alan de Solminihac
St Anton Zogaj
St Barbatian of Ravenna
St Columba of Sens
Bl Dominic de Cubells
St Festus of Valencia
St Gelasius of Palestine
Bl Giuseppina Nicoli
St Hermes the Exorcist
St John Francis Regis
St Marius Aventicus
St Melania the Younger
St Offa of Benevento
Bl Peter of Subiaco
St Pinian
St Potentian of Sens
St Sabinian of Sens
St Theophylact of Ohrid
Bl Walembert of Cambrai
Bl Wisinto of Kremsmünster
St Zoticus of Constantinople

Martyrs of Catania – 10 saints
Martyrs of Rome – 10 saints
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Bl Leandro Gómez Gil
Bl Luis Vidaurrázaga González

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – 30 December: MEMORIAL of THE HOLY FAMILY

Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – 30 December: MEMORIAL of THE HOLY FAMILY

DAY SIX OF THE CHRISTMAS OCTAVE

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

DAILY MEDITATION

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming. 1 John 2

John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”John 1

Jesus baptises us in the Holy Spirit.
His baptism prepares us for His coming among us
and it gives witness to His presence with us now.

May we remain in the One who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the One who promises us life.

CLOSING PRAYER

I beg You, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see You in those around me
and welcome You into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize You as my saviour
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that You help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for Your incredible gifts to me, help me to appreciate my family;  to live in peace with them and  to treat them as You would’ve treated Your holy family:  with love, respect and kindness.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

day-6-octave

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 30 December

Thought for the Day – 30 December

“The Christian family is the first cell of the whole Church. It is the place where we begin the journey toward holiness and become more fully human. The Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, became one of us. He was born into a human family. That was neither accidental nor incidental. There, in what the late Pope Paul VI called the “School of Nazareth”, we can learn the way of love.

…….From antiquity the Christian family has rightly been called a “domestic church.” In our life within the Christian family Jesus Christ is truly present. However, we need the eyes to see Him at work, the ears to hear His instruction and the hearts to make a place for Him to dwell. In our family we can learn the way of selfless love by enrolling in the School of Nazareth.” …………..Deacon Keith Fournier

Holy Family Pray for all the Catholic Families of the World!

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The Holy Family – Rafael

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Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 30 December

The importance of “please”, “thank you”, and “sorry” in families

“And I want to repeat these three words: may I, please, thank you, sorry. Three essential words! We say please so as not to be forceful in family life: “May I please do this? Would you be happy if I did this?”. We do this with a language that seeks agreement. We say thank you, thank you for love! But be honest with me, how many times do you say thank you to your wife and you to your husband? How many days go by without uttering this word, thanks! And the last word: sorry. We all make mistakes and on occasion someone gets offended in the marriage, in the family and sometimes – I say – plates are smashed, harsh words are spoken but please listen to my advice:

“don’t ever let the sun set without reconciling.”

Peace is made each day in the family: “Please forgive me”, and then you start over. Please, thank you, sorry! Shall we say them together? [They reply “yes”] Please, thank you and sorry. Let us say these words in our families! To forgive one another each day!”
Pope Francis (2013)

three-wordspopeinphilly-top-10-quotes

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

One Minute Reflection – 30 December

One Minute Reflection – 30 December

God sets a father in honour over his children; a mother’s authority He confirms over her sons…………… Sir 3:2

REFLECTION – Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, the Church, reliving with fresh wonder the mystery of Emmanuel, God-with-us, leads us to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth. From contemplation of this admirable model, the Church draws the values to hold up to the women and men of all times and all cultures………St John Paul

PRAYER – Holy Family of Nazareth, we pray for your help, that we may be granted the strength and courage to stand against all those who seek to destroy the life of traditional families. St Joseph, we pray too for your special intercession, as the Protector of the Holy Catholic Church. Amen (St John Paul)

sir-3-2one-min-ref-quote-st-joholy-fam-pray-for-us

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 30 December

Our Morning Offering – 30 December
JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family.
Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace and mutual love
that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth.
MARY, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother,
nourish our family with your faith and your love.
Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.
JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardianand spouse of Mary, keep our family safe
from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.
HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH,
make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love,
strengthened by grace, may prove mightierthan all the weaknesses and trials through
which our families sometimes pass.
May we always have God at the centre of our hearts and homes until we are all one family,
happy and at peace in our true home with you.
Amen

morning-offering-holy-family

 

Posted in CONSECRATION Prayers, DEVOTIO, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 December

Saint of the Day – 30 December – The Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honour of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. Since the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the feast is celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, the Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (both exclusive), or if both Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God are Sundays, on 30 December (always a Friday in such years). It is a holy day of obligation only if it falls on a Sunday.

correggio
Correggio
the-holy-family-currier-museum-in-manchester-new-hampshire-by-joos-van-cleve-c-1520
The Holy Family (Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire ) by Joos van Cleve

The members of the Holy Family are the patrons of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Holy Cross Sisters are dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Cross Brothers to St. Joseph and the Priests of Holy Cross to the Sacred Heart. The Sons of the Holy Family is another religious congregation devoted to the Holy Family

A pious practice among Catholics is to write “J.M.J.” at the top of letters and personal notes as a reference to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family.

The feast was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893

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Rubens
michelangelo_doni_tondo_l
Michelangelo The Doni Tondo, The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist

There are few private devotions associated with this day, though the blessing of children by their parents, the renewal of marriage vows (even if just privately) and consecration of the family to the Holy Family are a few.

Consecration to the Holy Family

O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Your teaching and example, willed to pass the greater part of Your life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to You this day.  Please protect us, guard us and establish among us Your holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Your holy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, dear Mother of Jesus, Mother of God and Mother of us all, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of your Son and obtain for us His graces and blessings.

O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by your prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Saviour Jesus the Christ, together with Mary and yourself, for all eternity. Amen.

Say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be three times.

the-holy-family-by-an-unknown-flemish-artist-1601
Unknown Flemish Artist 1601
giulio-romano-giulio-pippi
Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi) 1499

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 30 December

The Holy Family (or the first Sunday after Christmas)

St Anysia of Thessalonica
St Anysius of Thessalonica
St Egwin of Worcester
St Elias of Conques
Bl Eugene of Milan
St Eugenia Ravasco
Bl Giovanni Maria Boccardo
St Hermes of Moesia
St Jucundus of Aosta
St Liberius of Ravenna
Bl Margaret Colonna
Bl Matthia dei Nazzarei
Bl Raoul of Vaucelles
St Raynerius of Aquila
Bl Richard of Wedinghausen
St Ruggero of Canne
St Sebastian of Esztergom

Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints)
Martyrs of Oia – (6 saints)
Martyrs of Spoleto – (4 saints)

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 29 December: the Memorial of ST THOMAS a BECKET

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 29 December: the Memorial of ST THOMAS a BECKET

DAY 5 OF THE CHRISTMAS OCTAVE

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Daily Meditation:

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming. 1 John 2:28

John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”John 1:26

We are baptised in the Holy Spirit.

We have prepared for His coming
and we give witness to his presence with us now.

May we remain in the one who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the one who promises us life.

Closing Prayer:
I beg You, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see You in those around me
and welcome You into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize You as my saviour
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that You help me to open my heart more fully
to Your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for Your incredible gifts to me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

day-5-octave

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 December

Thought for the Day – 29 December

Thomas was a  strong man who wavered for a moment but then learned one cannot come to terms with evil and so became a strong churchman, a martyr and a saint—that was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on December 29, 1170.

No one becomes a saint without struggle, especially with himself. Thomas knew he must stand firm in defense of truth and right, even at the cost of his life. We also must take a stand in the face of pressures—against dishonesty, deceit, destruction of life—at the cost of popularity, convenience, promotion and even greater material comforts!

St. Thomas, pray that we have the courage to stand for what is right!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 29 December

Quote of the Day – 29 December

“If all the swords in England were pointed
against my head, your threats would not move me.
I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the
Church may obtain liberty and peace.”

~~~ St Thomas a Becket (Saint of the Day)

st-thomas-a-becket-quote-of-the-day

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 29 December

One Minute Reflection – 29 December

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kep the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me….2 Tm 4:7

REFLECTION – “Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation; remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown and the storms the ship of Peter has weathered because it has Christ on board. Remember how the crown was attained by those whose sufferings gave new radiance to their faith. The whole company of saints bears witness to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown.”……….St Thomas a Becket (Saint of the Day)

PRAYER – Lord of glory, help me to attain the crown of glory You hold out to me. Grant me the grace to make a continuous and dedicated effort to lead a good life until the very end. St Thomas a Becket Pray for us! Amen

9b6826120557f9992abb64248671cd46one-minute-reflection-2st-thomas-a-becket-dec-29

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 29 December

Our Morning Offering – 29 December

Father,
throughout the ages You inspire
heroic men and women
to preach Your gospel
and proclaim the truth of Your love.
We pray that the example
of St Thomas a Becket
may encourage us to stand up
for what it right;
to hold to what is true;
and to love even those who persecute us,
for the sake of He
who is love, light and truth
in union with the Holy Spirit, amen.

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 December

Saint of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas à Becket/Thomas of Canterbury/Thomas Becket/Thomas of London  (c1119-1170) ArchBishop of Canterbury/Martyr – Patron of the Clergy and the Secular Clergy,  Exeter College, Oxford, England, Portsmouth, England

VIDEO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9K4xyS0UwI(Apostleship of Prayer)

Thomas was a tall, handsome, intelligent, young legal clerk. He had a magnetic personality and made friends easily. His remarkable memory and business ability attracted the attention of the archbishop. The archbishop brought him to Canterbury. Noticing that Thomas was an excellent speaker and could solve complicated problems, he felt Thomas would be a good match for the King of England, Henry II. At the archbishop’s recommendation, Thomas was made chancellor of England, a post he held for eight years.

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Illumination from an English Book of Hours presenting a spirited account of the murder of Becket, c. 1390

Thomas loved his life. He spent money on clothes, entertainment, hunting and good times. A strong friendship developed between him and the king. Unfortunately Henry II wanted complete control of his kingdom, including the Church. He wanted to take some powers away from the Church and he needed an archbishop to support him. Henry believed Thomas could do this. Thomas objected to the plan but Henry had his way. Thomas became archbishop of Canterbury.

Troubles began. Henry insisted upon usurping Church rights. At one time, supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise.

Faced with the responsibility of leading the people of God, Thomas changed his manner of living. He resigned as chancellor, sold his mansion and went to live in a monastery. He sold his rich clothes and furnishings and gave the money to the poor. His personality was the same but more noticeable were his generosity and determination to protect the Church. Thomas opposed Henry’s taxation of the Church. He refused to allow Henry to make Church appointments that suited him and blocked his other attempts to control the Church.

He momentarily approved the Constitutions of Clarendon, which would have denied the clergy the right of trial by a Church court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome. But Thomas rejected the Constitutions, fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years. When he returned to England, he suspected it would mean certain death. Because Thomas refused to remit censures he had placed upon bishops favoured by the king, Henry cried out in a rage, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!” Four knights, taking his words as his wish, rode to the monastery where Thomas lived. They did not succeed in making Thomas change what he believed was his obedience to the Pope. When Thomas went into the cathedral to pray, the monks begged him to lock the doors. Thomas insisted that they remain unbolted. The knights entered the cathedral and murdered Thomas near the high altar by the Bishop’s chair. Thomas’s last words were, “I accept death for the name of Jesus and for the Church.”

People called Thomas a saint and Henry II did public penance to be absolved. Miracles were reported to occur at Thomas’s tomb and many pilgrimages were made there. Thomas was the most famous martyr of the Middle Ages.

Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 29 December

St Thomas a Becket (Optional Memorial)
St Aileran of Clonard
St Albert of Gambron
St Aproniano de Felipe González
St David the King
St Ebrulf of Ouche
St Enrique Juan Requena
St Florent of Bourges
Bl Francis Ruiz
St Girald of Fontenelle
St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
Bl José Aparicio Sanz
Bl José Perpiñá Nácher
St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
St Libosus of Vaga
St Marcellus the Righteous
St Martinian of Milan
Bl Paul Mary
Bl Peter the Venerable
St Quartillosa of Carthage
St Thaddeus of Scythia
St Trophimus of Arles
St Trophimus of Ephesus
Bl William Howard

Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints)
Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints)
Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints)

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 28 December: The FEAST of THE HOLY INNOCENTS

Celebrating the Christmas Season – 28 December: The FEAST of THE HOLY INNOCENTS

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1

There are many messages in this day.
Exile and liberation are part of the story.
Greed and lust for power are also part of the story
as the innocent suffer and die as the result of injustice.

It is difficult to look at but this is a day to remember how injustice works.
It is important for us remember that however horrible this scene is,
the injustices and violence of today are immeasurably worse.
Ultimately, Jesus himself will die at the hands of the unjust,
to stand with us, in injustice, so that no one will ever need to
suffer injustice.

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1

Closing Prayer:
Lord of Justice,
it is so easy for me to drift away in my own life,
caught up in my own problems and distractions.
Let me always remember those who suffer so much in this life
who are victims of violence and abuse, hunger and fear and the great number of HOLY INNOCENTS WHO ARE NOT EVEN ALLOWED LIFE!.

Let me remember that “those people”
are my brothers and sisters
and need me.
Give me the faith to pray for them,
the resources to support them,
and the strength to work to make their lives better.

Holy God, help me to pray for the end of Abortion throughout the world and to pray for the vast number of perpetrators of this immense crime of hate.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

holy-innocents-day-4-christmas

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for Day – 28 December

Thought for Day – 28 December

The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Holy Innocents Pray for us!holy-innocents-dec-28

the_virgin_and_child_surrounded_by_the_holy_innocents_or_the_virgin_with_angels

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 28 December

Quote of the Day – 28 December

” The precious death of any martyr
deserves high praise because of
his heroic confession; the death
of these children is precious in
the sight of God because of the
beatitude they gained so quickly.
For already at the beginning of
their lives they pass on. The end
of the present life is for them
the beginning of glory.”

~~~ St Augustine

quote-st-augustine

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 28 December

One Minute Reflection – 28 December

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum)

REFLECTION – “These then, whom Herod’s cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom, are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”; they were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”… St. Augustine

PRAYER – O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in You which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Holy Innocents Pray for us! amen

te-deumst-augustine-holy-innocentsholy-innocents

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 December

Our Morning Offering – 28 December

O God,
Whose praise the martyred Innocents
did this day proclaim, not by speaking
but by dying.
Destroy in us all the malice
of sinfulness, that our lives
may loudly proclaim our faith
which our tongues profess.
Through the Christ Child, Your Divine Son,
whom You sent to save us
and for Whom the Holy Innocents’
shed their blood Amen.

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Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint/s of the Day – 28 December

Saint/s of the Day – 28 December – The Holy Innocents

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children…” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

It is impossible to determine the day or the year of the death of the Holy Innocents, since the chronology of the birth of Christ and the subsequent Biblical events is most uncertain. All we know is that the infants were slaughtered within two years following the apparition of the star to the Wise Men (Belser, in the Tübingen “Quartalschrift”, 1890, p. 361). The Church venerates these children as martyrs (flores martyrum); they are the first buds of the Church killed by the frost of persecution; they died not only for Christ but in his stead (St. Aug., “Sermo 10us de sanctis”). In connection with them the Apostle recalls the words of the Prophet Jeremias (xxxi, 15) speaking of the lamentation of Rachel. At Rama is the tomb of Rachel, representative of the ancestresses of Israel. There the remnants of the nation were gathered to be led into captivity. As Rachel, after the fall of Jerusalem from her tomb wept for the sons of Ephraim so she now weeps again for the men children of Bethlehem. The ruin of her people, led away to Babylon, is only a type of the ruin which menaces her children now, when the Messias is to be murdered and is compelled to flee from the midst of His own nation to escape from the sword of the apparitor. The lamentation of Rachel after the fall of Jerusalem receives its eminent completion at the sight of the downfall of her people, ushered in by the slaughter of her children and the banishment of the Messias.

The Latin Church instituted the feast of the Holy Innocents at a date now unknown, not before the end of the fourth and not later than the end of the fifth century. It is, with the feasts of St. Stephen and St. John, first found in the Leonine Sacramentary, dating from about 485. To the Philocalian Calendar of 354 it is unknown. The Latins keep it on 28 December, the Greeks on 29 December, the Syrians and Chaldeans on 27 December. These dates have nothing to do with the chronological order of the event; the feast is kept within the octave of Christmas because the Holy Innocents gave their life for the newborn Saviour. Stephen the first martyr (martyr by will, love, and blood), John, the Disciple of Love (martyr by will and love), and these first flowers of the Church (martyrs by blood alone) accompany the Holy Child Jesus entering this world on Christmas day. Only the Church of Rome applies the word Innocentes to these children; in other Latin countries they are called simply Infantes and the feast had the title “Allisio infantium” (Brev. Goth.), “Natale infantum”, or “Necatio infantum”. The Armenians keep it on Monday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost (Armenian Menology, 11 May), because they believe the Holy Innocents were killed fifteen weeks after the birth of Christ.

The Roman Station of 28 December is at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, because that church is believed to possess the bodies of several of the Holy Innocents. A portion of these relics was transferred by Sixtus V to Santa Maria Maggiore (feast on 5 May; it is a semi-double). The church of St. Justina at Padua, the cathedrals of Lisbon and Milan, and other churches also preserve bodies which they claim to be those of some of the Holy Innocents. In many churches in England, Germany, and France on the feast of St. Nicholas (6 December) a boy-bishop was elected, who officiated on the feast of St. Nicholas and of the Holy Innocents. He wore a mitre and other pontifical insignia, sang the collect, preached, and gave the blessing. He sat in the bishop’s chair whilst the choir-boys sang in the stalls of the canons. They directed the choir on these two days and had their solemn procession (Schmidt, “Thesaurus jur eccl.”, III, 67 sqq.; Kirchenlex., IV, 1400; P.L., CXLVII, 135).

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 28 December

Holy Innocents (Feast)

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
SiSt mon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia
Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints)

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Celebrating the Christmas Season -27 December: the Feast of St John Apostle and Evangelist

Celebrating the Christmas Season -27 December: the Feast of St John Apostle and Evangelist

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Daily Meditation:

Blessed are those that fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Psalm 128

Every son or daughter can read the first reading and let it be a life long guide.
The second reading is a wonderful guide for family life.
We could all do well to prepare our New Year’s resolution desires from here.
The gospel is from Luke and brings us back to Mary.
A sword will pass through her faithful heart.
May God bless all our families with fidelity and courage in loving as we have been loved.

And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful. Colossians 3

Closing Prayer:
God of such faithfulness,
we are a big and messy family;
both as humans – and in my own family.

Help me today to be especially patient and loving
and to forgive those who have hurt me.
We may not look like “The Holy Family” I see in paintings,
yet we are united with Jesus, Mary and Joseph
because in Your great love for us
You sent Your son to live in this world
and to share in our human experience.

Sometimes I forget the sacredness of our family life
and the privilege it is to be together in this bond.
Help me not only love others as You love us,
but to be more aware of those families in the world
who struggle so much with poverty, war and disease.

Help me to pray with and for them today
and to carry an awareness of all families fleeing for safety,
longing for the peace you offer to us all.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 27 December

Thought for the Day – 27 December

It is a long way from being eager to sit on a throne of power or to call down fire from heaven to becoming the man who could write: “The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).

After the Resurrection and Pentecost, St John spent his life in bearing witness to Jesus and saw in the Incarnation the very foundation of his existence, all that he was.  There is really no other way – and if we love Him we have no choice but to prove it in word and deed, in our love for everyone!

St John Pray for us!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 27 December

One Minute Reflection – 27 December

We have seen his glory.
The glory of an only Son
coming from the Father,
filled with enduring love………Jn 1:14

REFLECTION – The Word is visible to the heart alone, whereas flesh is visible to bodily eyes as well.
The Word was made flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us by which we could see the Word………….St Augustine

PRAYER – Invisible God, help me to see Jesus made flesh as a visible reflection of You. Let me thus come to know You, be filled with love for You and desire to be with You forever. St John, you who so loved the Lord, please pray for us! Amen

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