Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa – DAY NINE – 31 January

DAY 9 A TRUE WITNESS OF FAITH
On 2 February 1990, after dropping home the man with the bag of mealie-meal, Benedict found his way blocked by tree logs across the road.   When he got out of the car to remove them, a mob of young boys and men came from behind the bushes and began throwing large stones at him.   Bleeding and injured, he left the car and ran across a soccer field hoping for assistance from a nearby Shebeen (a place where alcoholic drink is sold illegally).   Seeing an open door at the rondavel kitchen he ran straight in to hide and save his life.
The mob who quickly chased after him, asked the woman there where Benedict was hiding, threatening to kill her if she did not tell them.   Pointing to where Benedict was hiding, she pleaded, “Don’t kill me. He is inside”.   Two of the mob entered and pulled Benedict out.   Hugging one of them, Benedict pleaded, “Please, spare my life!” The youth responded, “OK. Let me go, we’re not going to kill you.”   Believing him, Benedict went out.
As the mob had now surrounded the rondavel, Benedict could not escape, so seeing one of them coming with a knobkerrie, he knelt and prayed.   Things then moved very quickly.   The man hit Benedict on the head with his knobkerrie, crushing his skull. Benedict fell to the ground.   Boiling water was then poured over his head, ears, nostrils and other injuries.
The burial Mass was con-celebrated on 10 February 1990. At it all the priests wore red vestments because they believed that Benedict had died for his faith.   It was his stance against witchcraft which had brought about Benedict’s death.

Word of God:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of  evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you….(Matthew 5, 10-12)

Deepening of Faith
For it is the function of the Church, led by the Holy Spirit who renews and purifies her ceaselessly, to make God the Father and His Incarnate Son present and in a sense visible. This result is achieved chiefly by the witness of a living and mature faith, namely, one trained to see difficulties clearly and to master them. Many martyrs have given luminous witness to this faith and continue to do so. By their example they have shown us, and made smooth for us, so to speak, the path to the future. All that remains for us is, with God’s grace, to follow in their footsteps. (GS 21. See also NMI 41)

Reflection: How does the courage of martyrs like Benedict help me to live my
faith? How can I stand up for my faith, both in private and in public life?

Prayer: My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity forever.
(Luke 1, 46-55 – The Magnificat)

THE NOVENA PRAYER

O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that you dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give you thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom you chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.

Almighty Father, you filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.

Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.

I come to You now, Lord, and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour……….

(make your request)

if it is according to Your will.
Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me. Amen.

day-9-bernedict

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 January

Thought for the Day – 31 January

In the beginning, Don Bosco’s work was disappointing and seemingly impossible.   He had little money, no collaborators and hundreds of boys to take care of.   But he persisted, overcame all obstacles including persecution and saw one of his boys become a Saint – Dominic Savio.   He cried to God in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, help of all of us and neither disappointed him!

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His ethos was to educate the whole person—body and soul united.   He believed that Christ’s love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play.   For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience.   It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us.   Yet, because John realised the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that come with talent and ability, he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.   For it is the whole of us which becomes our eternal prayer to our Lord, it is every breath we take and every deed we accomplish!

St John Bosco Pray for us!

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

Quote/s of the Day – 31 January

Quote/s of the Day – 31 January

“Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom.   Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil.   Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.”

“Jesus could have limited his presence only to the celebration of Mass, but no! He wanted to make a permanent dwelling among us.   Night and day he awaits us and offers himself to us at all times. Like a most tender mother, he opens his arms to us.   He is there generously to give us his gifts.   He is there to draw us to him and lead us to paradise with him.   Oh! Let us go visit him often.”

“I beg you to recommend to everyone, first, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and then reverence for most holy Mary.”

“Take refuge often at the feet of Jesus…My dear ones, the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament is an extremely necessary way to conquer the devil.  Therefore, go often to visit Jesus and the devil will not come out victorious against you.”

“We envy the shepherds who went to visit the grotto of Bethlehem to see Him, kissed His little hand and offered Him their gifts. “Lucky shepherds!” we exclaim.   And yet there is no reason to envy them, for their fortune is ours, too.   The same Jesus they visited in the grotto is in our tabernacle.   The only difference is that the shepherds saw Him with the eyes of the body, whereas we see Him with the eyes of faith.    Nothing will please Him more than our frequent visits to Him.”

“There are two things the devil is deadly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.”

~~~ St John Bosco (Saint of the Day)

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

One Minute Reflection – 31 January

One Minute Reflection – 31 January

Whoever welcomes one such child for my sake welcomes me….Mt 18:5-6

REFLECTION – “Do you want to do something good and holy – indeed very holy and divine? Then work for the salvation of all young people.”…..St John Bosco

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to see You in all children as well as in all human beings. And let me work to bring forth Your image and likeness in them. St John Bosco has been an example to us all – help us to heed his words. St John Bosco, pray for us, amen!

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 31 January

Our Morning Offering – 31 January

A PRAYER OF
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

O love eternal,
my soul needs
and chooses You eternally!
Ah, come Holy Spirit,
and inflame our hearts
with Your love!
To love – or to die!
To die – and to love!
To die to all other love
in order to live in Jesus’ love,
so that we may not die eternally.
But that we may live
in Your eternal love,
O Saviour of our souls,
we eternally sing,
“Live, Jesus!
Jesus, I love!
Live, Jesus, whom I love!
Jesus, I love,
Jesus who lives and reigns
forever and ever, amen.

pray-of-st-francis-de-sales-to-the-holy-spirit

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 January – St John Bosco

Blessed Memorial of St John Bosco/Don Bosco (1815-1888 aged 72) Priest, Confessor, Founder, “Father and Teacher of Youth” – Patron of  Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, juvenile delinquents, Mexican youth.

Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815– 31 January 1888 popularly known as Don Bosco was an Italian priest, educator and writer of the 19th century.   While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents and other disadvantaged youth.   He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco was an ardent Marian devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Mary Help of Christians.   He later dedicated his works to De Sales when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, based in Turin.  Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls.

In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Co-operators, with the same educational mission to the poor.   In 1875 he began to publish the Salesian Bulletin.   The Bulletin has remained in continuous publication and is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.

Bosco established a network of organizations and centres to carry on his work. Following his beatification in 1929, he was canonised as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1934.

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John was the youngest son of a peasant family.   His father died when John was two and the family became very poor.   As a youngster, John taught religion to other boys and got them to go to church.   His acrobatics and magic tricks fascinated them.   Encouraged by a priest, John entered the seminary wearing clothes provided by charity.

Priests at the seminary saw that John was a natural leader and encouraged him to use his gifts to keep other young people out of trouble.   John started gathering boys together on Sunday for a day in the country.   They would begin with Mass, followed by breakfast and games.   The afternoon would include a picnic, a catechism lesson and evening prayers. The group grew larger because John Bosco loved the boys.   He made each one feel important.   He had a gift for handling difficult boys.

John was able to get a house for himself and forty boys.   His mother became the housekeeper.   In the first six years the number of boys at the house grew to 150. John Bosco gave a father’s care to rowdy, neglected boys.   He is known as the “friend of boys” and is often called Don, which means Father.

Don Bosco opened workshops to train boys to be shoemakers and tailors.   He saw that in addition to getting a religious education the boys learned to play musical instruments, perform in plays and engage in sports.   He also wrote and printed books on Christian faith for boys.

At that time the state did not favour the Church and for four years men tried to assassinate John Bosco.   Once they tried to shoot him while he was teaching.   At other times they tried to poison him and attacked him on the street.   Eventually, however, because of his good work, even his enemies began to support him.

John Bosco knew God wanted him to work with boys because of a dream he had when he was young.   In this dream, boys who had been playing roughly suddenly began playing together as happily as lambs. John heard a voice saying, “Teach them right from wrong. Teach them the beauty of goodness and the ugliness of sin.”   When John told his mother about his dream, she said it might mean God wanted him to be a priest and care for some of the sheep in his flock.

John Bosco spent so much time working that people who knew him well became worried about his health.   They said he should take more time for rest and sleep.   John replied that he’d have enough time to rest in heaven. “Right now,” he said, “how can I rest? The devil doesn’t rest from his work.”

When John died, 40,000 people came to his wake.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 31 January

St John Bosco (Memorial) (VIDEO APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP0vfLWM27A

St Abraham of Abela
Bl Adamnan of Coldingham
St Aedan of Ferns
St Aiden
St Athanasius of Modon
St Bobinus of Troyes
St Eusebius of Saint Gall
St Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi
St Geminian of Modena
Bl John Angelus
St Julius of Novara
Bl Louise degli Albertoni
Bl Luigi Talamoni
St Madoes
St Marcella
Bl Maria Cristina di Savoia
St Martin Manuel
St Nicetas of Novgorod
St Tryphaena of Cyzicus
St Tysul
St Ulphia of Amiens
St Waldo of Evreux
St Wilgils

Martyrs of Corinth – 14 saints
Martyrs of Canope
Athanasia
Cyrus the Physician
Eudoxia
John the Physician
Theoctista
Theodotia
Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt
Cyriacus
Metranus
Saturninus
Tarskius
Thyrsus
Victor
Zoticus
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
José Acosta Alemán
Juan José Martínez Romero
Pedro José Rodríguez Cabrera
Martyrs of Korea
Agatha Kwon Chin-I
Agatha Yi Kyong-I
Augustinus Park Chong-Won
Magdalena Son So-Byok
Maria Yi In-Dok
Petrus Hong Pyong-Ju

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa – DAY EIGHT – 30 January

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa

DAY 8 A TRUE APOSTLE OF LIFE
After his strong stand against witchcraft at the community meeting on Sunday, 28
January 1990, people started grumbling and said, “He is the one who is influencing
people, as he is a leader. Why does he refuse to burn witches? He does not agree with
our way”.
Many saw him as belittling their traditional beliefs and practices, and as a stumbling
block in the community because of his consistent stance against witchcraft. Because
Benedict, as a true disciple of Jesus Christ, was standing firm in his Catholic faith,
some people said, “We had better kill him!” They therefore conspired to get rid of him.

Word of God
There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an
offering, anyone who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or
a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these
things is an abomination to the LORD; and because of these abominable practices the
LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the
LORD your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to
soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you
so to do. (Deuteronomy 18, 10-14)

Deepening of Faith
We are asked to love and honour the life of every man and woman and to work with
perseverance and courage so that our time, marked by all too many signs of death,
may at last witness the establishment of a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of
truth and of love. (EV 77)

Reflection: Do I respect the lives of others, even the weakest ones, especially
the unborn babies?
Do I live a healthy and responsible life?

Prayer: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me, uttering slanders against me,
my adversaries and foes, they shall stumble and fall. (Psalm 27:1-3,12-14)

NOVENA PRAYER:

O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that you dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give you thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom you chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.

Almighty Father, You filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.

Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.

I come to You now, Lord, and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour………
(mention your request/s)
if it is according to Your will.

Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.
Amen.

day-8-bl-benedict

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – DAY NINE – 30 January

9th Day (January 30) – For Family, Friends, and those in Need

O Saint John Bosco,
you were full of compassion toward all people,
especially the young,
who suffered from illness, poverty, hunger, injustice and alienation.
Pray for all in need and for us too,
that the blessings of God and protection of Mary Help of Christians
may be on us all,
to care for and cure us,
strengthen us
and comfort us.
Pray for our families,
especially for our young people,
that they may be kept safely in God’s grace.
Intercede for us in life and in death
so that we may eternally sing the Divine mercies in heaven.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace…………..
(make your request)
so that together with others
I may bring all to the love of Christ, amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…
St John Bosco Pray for us!

DAY 9 ST JOHN BOSCO.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 30 January

Thought for the Day – 30 January

A Christian, who seriously considers that he is to live here but a moment and will live eternally in the world to come, must confess that it is a part of wisdom to refer all his actions and views to prepare himself for that everlasting dwelling, which is his true country.   Our only and necessary affair is to live for God. to do His will and to sanctify and save our souls.   If we are employed in a multiplicity of exterior business, we must imitate St Bathilde, when she bore the whole weight of the state.   In all we do, God and His holy will must be always before our eyes and to please Him must be our only aim and desire.

Shunning the anxiety of Martha and reducing all our desires to this one of doing what God requires of us, we must with her call in Mary to our assistance.    In the midst of action, while our hands are at work, our mind and heart ought to be interiorly employed on God, at least virtually, that all our employments may be animated with the spirit of piety: and hours of repose must always be contrived to pass at the feet of Jesus, where in the silence of all creatures we may listen to His sweet voice, refresh in Him our wearied souls and renew our fervour.

While we converse with the world, we must tremble at the sight of its snares, and be upon our guard that we never be seduced so far as to be in love with it, or to learn its spirit.  o love the world, is to follow its passions; to be proud, covetous and sensual, as the world is. The height of its miseries and dangers, is that blindness by which none who are infected with its spirit, see their misfortune, or are sensible of their disease.   Happy are they who can imitate this holy queen in entirely separating themselves from it!   Not only a slave but a queen – St Bathilde was both and yes, BOTH MAY BE SAINTS!

St Bathilde PRAY FOR US!

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(Partially taken from Vol. I of “The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 January

One Minute Reflection – 30 January

O children, listen to me, instruction and wisdom do not reject!…………Prv 8:32-33

REFLECTION – “Let Mary never be far from your lips and from our heart.
Following her, you will never lose your way.  Praying to her, you will never sink into despair.  Contemplating her, you will never go wrong.”………………St Bernardine of Siena

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to have continual recourse to Your holy Mother. Grant that she may watch over me as she lovingly watched over You in Your home in Nazareth. Amen

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 30 January

Our Morning Offering – 30 January

Prayer to Spend the Day Well by Blessed James Alberione

Dear and sweet Mother Mary,
keep your holy hand upon me;
guard my mind,
my heart and my senses,
that I may never commit sin.
Sanctify my thoughts,
affections,
words and actions,
so that I may please you and your Jesus, my God,
and reach heaven with you.
Jesus and Mary,
give me your holy blessing;
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

prayer-to-spend-the-day-well-to-mother-mary-by-bl-james-alberione

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 January – St Bathilde

Saint of the Day – 30 January – St Bathilde (also known as Baldechilde, Baldhild, Bathild, Bathildes, Bathildis, Bauteur) (c630-680). Queen

It is certain that ST Bathilde was a slave in the service of the wife of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria.  Her unusual qualities of mind and her virtues inspired the confidence of her master who gave many of the affairs of the household into her charge and, after the death of his wife, wished to marry her.   At this the young girl fled and did not return until Erchinoald had married again.   About this time Clovis II met her at the house of the mayor of the palace, and was impressed by her beauty, grace and the good report he had of her.   He freed and married her, 649.   This sudden elevation did not diminish the virtues of Bathilde but gave them a new lustre. Her humility, spirit of prayer and large-hearted generosity to the poor were particularly noticeable.

Seven years after their marriage Clovis II died, 656, leaving Bathilde with three sons, Clothaire, Childeric, and Thierry.  An assembly of the leading nobles proclaimed Clothaire III, aged five, king under the regency of his mother, Bathilde.   Aided by the authority and advice of Erchinoald and the saintly bishops, Eloi (Eligius) of Noyon, Ouen of Rouen, Leéger of Autun, and Chrodebert of Paris, the queen was able to carry out useful reforms. She abolished the disgraceful trade in Christian slaves, and firmly repressed simony among the clergy.   She also led the way in founding charitable and religious institutions, such as hospitals and monasteries.   Through her generosity the Abbey of Corbey was founded for men, and the Abbey of Chelles near Paris for women.   At about this date the famous Abbeys of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil were established, most probably in large part through Bathilde’s generosity. Berthilde, the first Abbess of Chelles, who is honoured as a saint, came from Jouarre.   The queen wished to renounce her position and enter the religious life, but her duties kept her at court.   Erchinoald died in 659 and was succeeded by Ebroin.   Notwithstanding the ambition of the new mayor of the palace, the queen was able to maintain her authority and to use it for the benefit of the kingdom.  After her children were well established in their respective territories, Childeric IV in Austrasia and Thierry in Burgundy, she returned to her wish for a secluded life and withdrew to her favourite Abbey of Chelles near Paris.

On entering the abbey she laid down the insignia of royalty and desired to be the lowest in rank among the inmates.   It was her pleasure to take her position after the novices and to serve the poor and infirm with her own hands.   Prayer and manual toil occupied her time, nor did she wish any allusion made to the grandeur of her past position.   In this manner she passed fifteen years of retirement.   At the beginning of the year 680 she had a presentiment of the approach of death and made religious preparation for it.   Before her own end, that of Radegonde occurred, a child whom she had held at the baptismal font and had trained in Christian virtue.   She was buried in the Abbey of Chelles and was canonized by Pope Nicholas I.

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 30 January

St Adelelmus
St Aldegundis
St Alexander of Edessa
St Amnichad of Fulda
St Armentarius of Antibes
St Armentarius of Pavia
St Barsen
St Barsimaeus of Edessa
St Bathilde
Bl Carmen Marie Anne García Moyon
St David Galván-Bermúdez
St Felician of Africa
St Felix IV, Pope
Bl Francis Taylor
Bl Haberilla
St Hippolytus of Antioch
St Hyacintha of Mariscotti
Bl Margaret Ball
Bl Maria Bolognesi
St Martina of Rome
St Matthias of Jerusalem
St Mutien Marie Wiaux
St Paul Ho Hyob
St Philippian of Africa
St Savina of Milan
Bl Sebastian Valfrè
St Theophilus the Younger
St Tôma Khuông
St Tudclyd
Bl Zygmunt Pisarski
Martyrs of Corinth

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa – DAY SEVEN – 29 January

DAY 7 A COURAGEOUS WITNESS TO THE TRUTH

On 25 January 1990 during a heavy thunderstorm, several lightning strikes burned a number of thatched rondavels (round huts) in the area.   Traditionally when this happens it is not seen as a natural phenomenon, but as the work of a supposed witch. The headman gathered his council and the community to discuss the matter, with the aim of finding out who was responsible.   They agreed that a traditional healer be consulted to “sniff out” (identify) the person who was responsible for these burnings.   A contribution of R5 per person was agreed on to pay the person.
Benedict arrived late at the meeting after this decision had been taken. His explanation that lightning was a natural phenomenon was rejected.   He argued strongly against blaming witches for causing lightning strikes.   When the decision was upheld, Benedict refused to pay the contribution, arguing that his Catholic faith prevented him from taking part in anything connected with witchcraft.

Word of God
“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God”. (Luke 12, 8-9)

Deepening of Faith
Witchcraft, which is based on the traditional religions, is currently experiencing a certain revival.   Old fears are re-surfacing and creating paralyzing bonds of subjection. Anxiety over health, well-being, children, the climate and protection from evil spirits at times lead people to have recourse to practices of traditional African religions that are incompatible with Christian teaching.   The problem of “dual affiliation” to Christianity and to the traditional African religions remains a challenge.   Through profound catechesis and inculturation, the Church in Africa needs to help people to discover the fullness of Gospel values.   It is important to determine the profound meaning of these practices of witchcraft by identifying the many theological, social and pastoral implications of this scourge. (AM 93)

Reflection: Am I afraid to stand up for my Christian belief when it is
ridiculed or attacked in the name of ‘traditional culture’?
Do I believe in witchcraft? Have I sometimes practised it?

Prayer: Incline not my heart to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity;
and let me not eat of their dainties!
Let a good man strike or rebuke me in kindness,
but let the oil of the wicked never anoint my head;
For my prayer is conntinually against their wicked deeds.
(Psalm 141, 4-5b)

NOVENA PRAYER:

O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that you dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give you thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom you chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.

Almighty Father, You filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.

Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.

I come to You now, Lord, and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour………
(mention your request/s)
if it is according to Your will.

Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.
Amen.

day-7-bl-benedict

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – DAY EIGHT – 29 January

8th Day (January 29) – For Purity

O Saint John Bosco,
you prized the virtue of purity highly
and strove with all your might to foster it
in the hearts of young and old.
Pray for us that, inspired by your example,
we may nurture it in our hearts and minds
and may act effectively to defend our young people
against a culture pervaded by sex and violence.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace……………..
(MENTION YOUR REQUEST)
so that together with others,
I may assist in bringing my neighbour,
especially young people to the love of Christ, amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…
St John Bosco Pray for us!

day-8-john-bosco

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 29 January

Thought for the Day – 29 January

St Gildas the Wise lived in difficult times when the light of Christianity seemed to be dying and a whole nation was lost to the faith.   Yet he himself kept the faith and managed to live a holy life amidst the ruins.   The man of faith walks by the light of Christ and St Gildas is a true example that the darkness of the world does not affect our progress and our sight, for Christ is our vision.

St Gildas the Wise, Pray for us.

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 January

One Minute Reflection – 29 January

Win your neighbour’s trust while he is poor, so that you may rejoice with him in his prosperity.
In time of trouble remain true to him,so that you may share in his inheritance when it comes………..Sir 22:23

REFLECTION – “Every virtue can attract the friendship of others to us.  For every virtue is a good and anything good is lovable to all and renders lovable all who possess it. Friendship blossoms, grows and is strengthened in the measure that virtue develops.”…….St Thomas Aquinas

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, our true Friend, help me to cultivate virtues and so gain friends. In turn let my friends also pursue virtues – making our friendship closer and bringing us all into Your eternal Friendship in heaven, amen.

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Posted in HYMNS, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 29 January

Our Morning Offering – 29 January

Be Thou my vision by St Dallan Forghaill

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s son,
Heart of my heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

Today, 29 January, is also the Memorial of St Dallan Forghaill (c530- 598)

Born in Connaught, Ireland, he was known for his learning and reputedly went blind because of his intensive studying. St Dallan was an early Christian Irish poet known as the writer of the “Amra Choluim Chille” (“Elegy of Saint Columba”) and “Rop Tú Mo Baile”(“Be Thou My Vision”). He died at the hands of pirates at Inis-coel. Legend has it that St. Dallan made his own head reattach to his body after he was beheaded and thrown into the sea.

Here is a version by Audrey Assad of Be Thou My Vision – St Dallan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Optrm7lF16s

be-thou-my-vision-st-dallan

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 January -St Gildas the Wise

Saint of the Day – 29 January -St Gildas the Wise – also known as Badonicus and Gildas Sapiens(c500-570) Priest and Abbot – Patron of Welsh historians, bell founders.

St Gildas was a 6th-century British monk best known for his scathing religious polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, which recounts the history of the Britons before and during the coming of the Saxons.   He is one of the best-documented figures of the Christian church in the British Isles during the sub-Roman period and was renowned for his Biblical knowledge and literary style.   In his later life, he emigrated to Brittany where he founded a monastery known as St Gildas de Rhuys.st gildas.jpg

Gildas was born in Scotland on the banks of the Clyde (possibly at Dumbarton), of a noble British family.   His father’s name was Cau or Nau, his brother’s, Huel or Cuil.   He was educated in Wales under St Iltut and was a companion of St. Samson and St. Peter of Léon.   Having embraced the monastic state, he passed over to Ireland, where he was advanced to the priesthood.   He is said to have lived some time in Armagh and then to have crossed to North Britain, his teaching there being confirmed by miracles.

On his return to Ireland, at the invitation of King Ainmire, he strengthened the faith of many and built monasteries and churches.   The Irish annalists associate him with David and Cadoc in giving a special liturgy or Mass to the second order of Irish saints.   He is said to have made a pilgrimage to Rome.   On the homeward journey his love of solitude caused him to retire to the Isle of Houat, off Brittany, where he lived a life of prayer, study and austerity.   His place of retreat having become known, the Bretons induced him to establish a monastery at Rhuys on the mainland whither multitudes flocked (Marius Sepet, “St. Gildas de Rhuys”, Paris, s.d.).

It was at Rhuys he wrote his famous epistle to the British kings.   His relics were venerated there till the tenth century, when they were carried for safety into Berry.   In the eighteenth century they were said to be preserved in the cathedral of Vannes.   He is the patron of several churches and monasteries in Brittany and elsewhere.   His feast is locally observed on 29 January; another feast, 11 May, commemorates the translation of his relics.san_gildas_di_rhuys

The authentic work of St Gildas,  “De excidio Britannae liber querulus”, is now usually divided into three parts: (1) The preface;  (2) A sketch of British history from the Roman invasion to his own time;   (3) An epistle of severe invective addressed to five petty British kings — Constantine, Vortipor, Cyneglas, Cynan, and Maelgwn.   In the same epistle he addresses and rebukes the clergy whom he accuses of sloth and simony.   His writings are clearly the work of a man of no ordinary culture and sanctity and indicate that the author was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures.st gildas writings

Gildas is regarded as the earliest British historian and is quoted by Bede and Alcuin.  Two Manuscript copies of his writings are preserved in Cambridge University library.

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 29 January

St Abundantia the Martyr
St Aphraates
St Aquilinus of Milan
St Barbea of Edessa
St Blath of Kildare
Bl Boleslawa Maria Lament
Bl Bronislaw Markiewicz
St Caesarius of Angoulême
Bl Charles of Sayn
St Constantius of Perugia
St Dallan Forghaill
St Gelasius II, Pope
St Gildas the Elder
St Gildas the Wise
St Juniper
St Maurus of Rome
St Papias of Rome
St Sarbellius
St Serrano
St Sulpicius Severus
St Valerius of Trier
St Voloc

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa – DAY SIX – 28 January

DAY 6 – A MAN OF PRAYER AND CHARITY TO THE END

People who knew Benedict well observed that he was a prayerful person in his daily life, in his family, and in the Church. He had a deep personal relationship with Christ and was guided and strengthened by his faith in every aspect of life. He had special love and concern for the sick, the vulnerable and those in prison and liked to visit them. He gave freely of his resources to help the poor and the needy in his village, as well the learners in Nweli Primary school. In the afternoon of 2 February 1990, as Benedict was working in his orchard, his sisterin-law urgently requested him to take her very sick child to the doctor at Makwarela (Sibasa).    Before he started his car, he said to her, “Let us first pray”.    On his way back to Mbahe, he gave a lift home to a man living in a neighbouring village. The man was carrying a bag of mealie-meal and was unable to get public transport because of unrest in the area.

Word of God
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me”. (Matthew 25, 35-40)

Deepening of Faith
… The whole Church as such, is directly called to the service of charity: “In the very
early days the Church added the agape to the Eucharistic Supper, and thus showed
herself to be wholly united around Christ by the bond of charity. So too, in all ages, she
is recognized by this sign of love, and while she rejoices in the undertakings of others,
she claims works of charity as her own inalienable duty and right. For this reason,
mercy to the poor and the sick, works of charity and mutual aid intended to relieve
human needs of every kind, are held in special honour in the Church”. (CL41)

Reflection: Do I help and support people in need?
Do I pay attention to the poor and destitute in my community?

Prayer: In return for my love they accuse me, even as I make prayer for them.
So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
(Psalm 109, 4-5)

NOVENA PRAYER:

O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that you dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give you thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom you chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.

Almighty Father, You filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.

Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.

I come to You now, Lord, and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour………
(mention your request/s)
if it is according to Your will.

Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.
Amen.

day-6-benedict

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – DAY SEVEN – 28 January

7th Day (January 28) – For Missionaries

O Saint John Bosco,
in your love and concern for all the scattered children of God,
you sent your sons and daughters to the farthest part of the world
to bring the knowledge of the loving God and the Light of the Gospel.
Pray for all missionaries and pray for us, that,
inspired by your example and in your spirit,
we may be united in work and prayer to win souls for Christ.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace…………..
(mention your request)
so that together with Salesian missionaries all over the world
I may assist in bringing all I meet especially the young
to the love of Christ, amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…
St John Bosco, Pray for us!

day-7-bosco

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 28 January

Thought for the Day – 28 January

For St Thomas, the goodness of God can be seen in everything and the whole of creation is a mighty love song of God.   He learned more at the foot of the Crucifix and before the Blessed Sacrament, he said, than in all his readings and writings.   We can look to Thomas Aquinas as a towering example of Catholicism in the sense of broadness, universality and inclusiveness.   We should be determined anew to exercise the divine gift of reason in us, our power to know, learn and understand.   At the same time we should thank God for the gift of His revelation, the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ who is here with us always in the Holy Sacrament.

St Thomas Aquinas Pray for us!

st-thomas-aquinas-jan-28

st-thomas-pray-for-us

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 January – St Thomas Aquinas

Saint of the Day – 28 January – St Thomas Aquinas O.P. (1225-1274 aged 49) THE ANGELIC DOCTOR – DOCTOR of the CHURCH/Priest, Religious, Theologian, Philosopher, Write, Teacher, Jurist.   Also known as: Angelic Doctor/Doctor Angelicus/Doctor Communis/Great Synthesizer/The Dumb Ox/The Universal Teacher.    Patron of Academics, Theologians, against storms; against lightning; apologists; book sellers; Catholic academies, Catholic Schools – (proclaimed on 4 August 1880 by Pope Leo XIII), Catholic universities, Catholic Colleges, chastity, learning; pencil makers, philosophers; publishers; scholars; students; University of Vigo and of St. Tomas;, Batangas; theologians, Aquino, Italy; Belcastro, Italy, Diocese of Aquino,  Falena, Italy.

St Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest and Doctor of the Church.   He was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis.   The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio.

He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy developed or opposed his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics and political theory.   Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called “the Philosopher”—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity.   The works for which he is best known are the Summa Theologiae and the Summa contra Gentiles.   His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church’s liturgy.

The Catholic Church honours Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines (philosophy, Catholic theology, church history, liturgy, and canon law).

Thomas Aquinas is considered one of the Catholic Church’s greatest theologians and philosophers. Pope Benedict XV declared: “This (Dominican) Order … acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honoured with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools.”

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By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation.   He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honoured with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. (Image below – Benozzo Gozzoli – Triumph of St Thomas Aquinas)

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At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot.   In 1239, he was sent to Naples to complete his studies.   It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy.   By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay.   On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.   Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great.   In class, his silence during discussions and his large size earned him the nickname “the dumb ox.”  He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.

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Jean Fouquet

His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church are his writings.   The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings.   One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth.   But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.

thomas-acquinas

The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology.   But this brilliant man was very humble.   He knew that all his gifts came from God.   While celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273, he received a revelation from God.  After that, he stopped writing.   He said  “I cannot go on…. All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.”  Thomas died at age 49 on his way to the Council of Lyons, France. Pope Gregory X had asked him to come. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied,   He died March 7, 1274.

 

 

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

Quote/s of the Day – 28 January

Quote/s of the Day – 28 January

“Faith has to do with things that are not seen
and hope with things that are not at hand.”

“The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable
as the death of Jesus on the cross.”

“To love is to will the good of the other.”

“If you can live amid injustice without anger,
you are immoral as well as unjust.”

“In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick
and unless he takes medicine, he will die.
Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick
on account of sin.
For that reason he needs medicine
so that he may be restored to health –
and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.”

“To pretend angels do not exist
because they are invisible is to believe
we never sleep because we don’t see
ourselves sleeping.”

“To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself
is a mark of perfection but to bear with patience
wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection
and even of actual sin.”

“All the efforts of the human mind
cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.”

~~~ ST THOMAS AQUINAS (Saint of the Day)

holy-mass-st-thomas-aquinaswisdom-of-st-thomas-aquinas

if-a-man-is-sick-st-aquinas

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 January

One Minute Reflection – 28 January

Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission than the fat of rams………….1 Sm 15:22

REFLECTION – “Obedience unites us so closely to God that it in a way, transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His.   If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God.”………….St Thomas Aquinas (Saint of the Day)

PRAYER – Omniscient Lord, teach me to value obedience to Your laws and Your will.   Grant that I may be completely obedient to You in all things.   St Thomas Aquinas pray for us, amen!

1-samuel-15-22obedience-st-aquinasst-thomas-aquinas-pray-for-us

 

 

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

Our Morning Offering – 28 January

Our Morning Offering – 28 January

The Offering of the Day

Grant us this day, Lord,
a vigilant heart,
that no alien thought can lure
away from You;
a pure heart,
that no unworthy love can soil;
an upright heart,
that no distress can overcome.
And give us, Lord,
understanding to know You,
zeal to seek You,
wisdom to find You
and a hope,
that will one day take hold of You.
Through Christ our Lord, amen.

(Adapted from a prayer of St Thomas Aquinas)

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