Posted in Uncategorized

Blessed 2017!

My wishes to you all for a Blessed and Grace-filled 2017!

The LORD said to Moses:
Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
“The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!*
Numbers 6:22-27



Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ – 1 January

At an early stage the Church in Rome celebrated on 1 January a feast that it called the anniversary (Natale) of the Mother of God.  When this was overshadowed by the feasts of the Annunciation and the Assumption, adopted from Constantinople at the start of the 7th century, 1 January began to be celebrated simply as the octave day of Christmas, the “eighth day” on which, according to Luke 2:21, the child was circumcised and given the name Jesus.  In the 13th or 14th century 1 January began to be celebrated in Rome, as already in Spain and Gaul, as the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity, while still oriented towards Mary and Christmas.  The emphasis that Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380–1444) laid on the name of Jesus in his preaching led in 1721 to the institution of a separate Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Pope John XXIII’s 1960 rubrical and calendrical revision called 1 January simply the Octave of the Nativity. (This 1960 calendar was incorporated into the 1962 Roman Missal, whose continued use is authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.) The 1969 revision states: “1 January, the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.”

Luca Signorelli
Giulio Romano
Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day 1 January 2017

Thought for the Day 1 January 2017

Many themes come together at today’s celebration. It is the Octave of Christmas: Our remembrance of Mary’s divine motherhood injects a further note of Christmas joy. It is a day of prayer for world peace: Mary is the mother of the Prince of Peace. It is the first day of a new year: Mary continues to bring new life to her children—who are also God’s children

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!


Posted in Uncategorized

World Day of Peace – 1 January 2017

World Day of Peace –

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, the Roman Catholic Church also celebrates the World Day of Peace which was established by Pope Paul VI in 1967. On this day, the Popes have issued messages in support of peace and justice throughout the world. In 2017, Pope Francis writes about: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace. This video presents a few excerpts from the document for prayer and reflection. To read the entire message visit

“The Good News

3. Jesus himself lived in violent times. Yet he taught that the true battlefield, where violence and peace meet, is the human heart: for “it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come” (Mk 7:21). But Christ’s message in this regard offers a radically positive approach. He unfailingly preached God’s unconditional love, which welcomes and forgives. He taught his disciples to love their enemies (cf. Mt 5:44) and to turn the other cheek (cf. Mt 5:39). When he stopped her accusers from stoning the woman caught in adultery (cf. Jn 8:1-11), and when, on the night before he died, he told Peter to put away his sword (cf. Mt 26:52), Jesus marked out the path of nonviolence. He walked that path to the very end, to the cross, whereby he became our peace and put an end to hostility (cf. Eph 2:14-16). Whoever accepts the Good News of Jesus is able to acknowledge the violence within and be healed by God’s mercy, becoming in turn an instrument of reconciliation. In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi: “As you announce peace with your mouth, make sure that you have greater peace in your hearts”.

To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence. As my predecessor Benedict XVI observed, that teaching “is realistic because it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice, and therefore that this situation cannot be overcome except by countering it with more love, with more goodness. This ‘more’ comes from God”.[4] He went on to stress that: “For Christians, nonviolence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Love of one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution’”.[5] The Gospel command to love your enemies (cf. Lk 6:27) “is rightly considered the magna carta of Christian nonviolence. It does not consist in succumbing to evil…, but in responding to evil with good (cf. Rom 12:17-21), and thereby breaking the chain of injustice”

In conclusion

7. As is traditional, I am signing this Message on 8 December, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary is the Queen of Peace. At the birth of her Son, the angels gave glory to God and wished peace on earth to men and women of good will (cf. Luke 2:14). Let us pray for her guidance.

“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”

In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.

From the Vatican, 8 December 2016


Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MORNING Prayers


Act of Reparation for Blasphemies Uttered Against the Holy Name

O Jesus, my Saviour and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold,

we kneel before You and offer You our reparation;

we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Your holy name,

for all the injuries done to You in the Blessed Sacrament,

for all the irreverence shown toward Your immaculate Virgin Mother,

for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Your spouse,

the holy Catholic and Roman Church.

O Jesus, who has said: “If you ask the Father anything in My name,

He will give it to you,” we pray and beseech You for all our brethren

who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away

from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss;

to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength

for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity!

For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Your name, unto God the Father,

with whom You live and reign in the unity of the Holy Spirit world without end. Amen





Monthly Catholic Devotions: What has happened to the tradition of honouring the Holy Name of Jesus?

What has happened to the tradition of honouring the Holy Name of Jesus?

Question Time with Fr John Flader
When I was growing up I was taught to bow my head whenever I said or heard the name “Jesus”.  I have noticed that some priests still bow their heads in Mass but no one else seems to do it anymore except for some brought up within Convent Schools and homes of “the latin countries” and these will persist regardless. How has this come about?”
I TOO belong to the generation that learned to bow our heads at the name of Jesus, but, as you say, the custom seems to be falling into disuse.
So important is respect for the divine name that God chose to give us a separate commandment regarding it: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain” (Deuteronomy 5:11).
Elsewhere in the Old Testament there are numerous passages that speak of the holiness of God’s name, among them: “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth”. (Psalm 8:1; cf. Zechariah 2:13; Psalm 29:2; 96:2; 113:1-2).
In the New Testament St James denounces those “who blaspheme that honourable name by which you are called” (James 2:7).
And St Paul, referring to Jesus emptying himself to take the form of a servant and then becoming obedient unto death, writes: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
By way of concretising respect for the name of Jesus in a formal way the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 decreed that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious name is recalled, especially during the sacred mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head”.
As regards what is to be done in Mass today, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says: “A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saint in whose honour Mass is being celebrated” (GIRM 275).
The importance of honouring the holy name of Jesus is seen too in the feast of that name, which has been celebrated, at least at the local level, since the end of the 15th century.   The feast was inserted into the universal calendar by Pope Innocent XIII in 1721 and is now celebrated on 3 January.

Given the widespread misuse of the names of God and Jesus today in ordinary life, as well as on television, in films and in other forms of entertainment, it is especially important to do all we can to restore respect for the name of God.
Bowing our head when we pronounce or hear the name of Jesus is a good way to do this.
Also important is to make an internal act of reparation whenever we hear the name of God or Jesus blasphemed.
It should hurt us that the object of our love is mistreated in this way.
It may very well be that the custom of bowing the head at the name of Jesus will pass out of general use, as have other laudable customs in recent times but that does not prevent us personally from continuing to live it and passing on to our children this ancient custom.

LET US EACH ONE BRING IT BACK for the very Angels in Heaven bow at the name of Jesus. And even the demons in Hell.


Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MORNING Prayers

Monthly Catholic Devotions: JANUARY is the Month of THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS


by St. Bernardine of Siena

Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength!
You are the refuge of those who repent,
our banner of warfare in this life,
the medicine of souls,
the comfort of those who morn,
the delight of those who believe,
the light of those who preach the true faith,
the wages of those who toil,
the healing of the sick.
To You our devotion aspires;
by You our prayers are received;
we delight in contemplating You.
O Name of Jesus, You are the glory
of all the saints for eternity. Amen.



Posted in DEVOTIO, MORNING Prayers

1 January 2017 – The Holy Father’s Monthly Intentions

1 January – The Holy Father’s Monthly Intentions

Starting in 2017 the Pope will present only one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than the two presented before this year. He plans, however, to add a second prayer intention each month related to current events or urgent needs, like disaster relief. The urgent prayer request will help mobilize prayer and action related to the urgent situation. The Apostleship of Prayer will publish these urgent prayer intentions on this website as soon as we receive them from the Vatican.

What is the process in the preparation of the prepared prayer intentions? The faithful from around the world suggest papal prayer intentions to the international office of the Apostleship of Prayer in Rome. Through prayerful discernment the Apostleship selects a large number of them and submits them to the Vatican for further selection, with the Pope making the final selection. The Vatican then entrusts to the Apostleship of Prayer the official set of monthly prayer intentions, which the Apostleship then translates into the major world languages and publishes in print and digital formats.

JANUARY: – Christian Unity

That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.





Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON

Sunday, 1st January is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. It is also the World Day of Prayer for Peace.

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

Daily Meditation:
Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. Isaiah 60

May the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, the kings of Arabia and Seba offer gifts.
May all kings bow before him, all nations serve him.
For he rescues the poor when they cry out, the oppressed who have no one to help.
He shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor. Psalm 72

The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Ephesians 3

This great feast – celebrated in the East as the Baptism of the Lord – is a feast of “revelation.”
Jesus is the beloved Son of God,
a light for the whole world,
the very one who comes to us in time, this year,
to be our saviour:
to rescue the poor, to hear our cry,
to save us in our need, in our poverty.

May we bring Him the gifts of our faith and trust and hope.
May we recognize Him as our Saviour
who gave His own life to set us free from the power of sin and death.
Come, let us adore Him.

Closing Prayer:
Light of the world,
You have come into my life; You are here for me in my poverty.
I am dazzled by the gifts You bring to me on this day:
“Your light is strong, your love is near.”

Truly You have drawn me far beyond the limits of the world,
and into the limit-less boundaries of Your dizzying love.

My gifts are small, and often filled with fear.
They are my trust and my hope.
Please accept them and heal me
and let me be free enough to rejoice
that You are the Beloved Son
and that You have come for me

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


Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Uncategorized

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Octave Day of Christmas

The precise title “Mother of God” goes back at least to the third or fourth century. In the Greek form Theotokos (God-bearer), it became the touchstone of the Church’s teaching about the Incarnation. The Council of Ephesus in 431 insisted that the holy Fathers were right in calling the holy virgin Theotokos. At the end of this particular session, crowds of people marched through the street shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!” The tradition reaches to our own day. In its chapter on Mary’s role in the Church, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times.

We learn the great truth that Mary is the Mother of God from St. Luke’s Gospel, in the message given by the angel to Mary: “You are going to be the mother of a Son and you will call Him Jesus, and He will be called the Son of the Most High.”  Once she said yes, the Holy Spirit created in her womb the human nature that God the Son would assume. Since motherhood is of the person and not of the nature alone and since Mary is the mother of Jesus, true God and true Man, then she is rightly called the Mother of God. After the angel had appeared to her and told her that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Elizabeth. At Mary’s greeting Elizabeth said, “Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me?” [Lk 1:43]. The Holy Scriptures teach us that Jesus was both God and man.   John writes: “The Word became flesh and lived among us” [Jn 1:14].  St. Paul refers to this event when he writes to the Galatians, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman,” and as, “eternally begotten of the Father.”  So Bible teaches that Mary was the mother of the God-Man Jesus, not in the sense that she gave birth to Jesus as God but in the sense that the Baby she bore had the nature of God and the nature of Man.

For centuries, Mary has been praised because she believed. She is Mother of God because of her faith in God. The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, celebrates Mary’s faith and trust in God alone. The Church wants us to imitate her faith.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!


Giovanni Bellini 1430
Mantegna 1465-1470




Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 1 January

Mary, Mother of God (Solemnity)
Circumcision of the Lord (Feast)
Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord
World Day of Peace
Bl Adalbero of Liege
St Baglan of Wales
St Basil of Aix
Bl Bonannus of Roio
St Brogan
St Buonfiglio Monaldi
Bl Catherine de Solaguti
St Clarus of Vallis Regia
St Clarus of Vienne
St Colman mac Rónán
St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan
St Concordius of Arles
St Connat
St Cuan
St Demet of Plozévet
St Elvan
St Eugendus of Condat
St Euphrosyne of Alexandria
St Fanchea of Rossory
St Felix of Bourges
St Frodobert of Troyes
St Fulgentius of Ruspe
St Gisela of Rosstreppe
St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder
Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo
Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego
Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée
St Joseph Mary Tomasi
St Justin of Chieti
Bl Lojze Grozde
St Maelrhys
St Magnus the Martyr
Bl Marian Konopinski
St Mydwyn
St Odilo of Cluny
St Odilo of Stavelot
St Peter of Atroa
St Peter of Temissis
Bl René Lego
St Sciath of Ardskeagh
St Severino Gallo
St Telemachus
St Thaumastus of Mainz
St Theodotus
St Tyfrydog
Bl Valentin Paquay
St Vincent Strambi
St William of Dijon
St Zedislava Berka
St Zygmunt Gorazdowski

Breton Missionaries to Britain
Martyred Soldiers of Rome
Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Bl Andrés Gómez Sáez