Saul of Tarsus, the “Pharisee, a son of Pharisees” (Acts 23:6) had often prayed in the Psalms “You have said, ‘seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek’…Bow your heavens, O Lord and come down!….Flash forth the lightening …Stretch forth your hand from on high, rescue me and deliver me.” (Ps 27:8-9; 144:5,6,7).
And that is EXACTLY what happened when Saul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus!
LET US PRAY:
Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
May every circumstante of my life be an occasion
to change my way of thinking,
to renounce self-will and
to surrender myself to the wisdom and tenderness of Jesus Christ
who is acting to make me His saint.
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions
(mention your request)
I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.
St Paul Pray for us!
“I desire very little and what I do desire I desire very little; I have hardly any desires but if I were to begin my life all over again I would want to have none at all … Ask for nothing, refuse nothing; we must simply abandon ourselves into the hands of Providence, without nourishing any other desire but to do whatever God wills. St. Paul practiced this act of absolute abandonment at the very moment of his conversion. When he was deprived of his sight, he immediately said, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” [cf. Act 22:10] From that moment on he put himself completely at God’s disposal. All our perfection consists precisely in the practical application of this principle. ” (St Francis de Sales Spiritual Treatises XXI, O. VI, pp. 383-384)
O blessed Francis de Sales,
who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially………….
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven even as I walk each day
with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny: eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
(mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all, You desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many long the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.
In an age that smiles and jeers at the notion of devils and angels, a person known for having power over evil spirits must at least make us pause. And in a day when people speak of life as a “rat race,” one who devotes a whole life to solitude and prayer points to an essential of the Christian life in all ages. Anthony’s hermit life reminds us of the absoluteness of our break with sin and the totality of our commitment to Christ. Even in God’s good world, there is another world whose false values constantly tempt us.
Our most powerful protection IS the Sign of the Cross.
“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink; in our comings in and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor’s sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”……….. St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“The illusions of this world soon vanish,
especially if a man arms himself with
the Sign of the Cross. The devils tremble
at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord,
by which He triumphed over and
What can a man offer in exchange for his very life?……..Mt 16:26
REFLECTION – Everything of this world is sold at its price or exchanged for another equivalently priced. But the promise of life eternal is purchased at a bargain price!……St Anthony Abbot (Saint of the Day)
PRAYER – Lord of all, help me to be willing to pay the price of receiving eternal life. Let me offer myself to You in all that I do and say each day. St Anthony Abbot, Pray for us, amen.
To You, Lord Jesus Christ, I consecrate myself today
through Your Most Holy Name.
I consecrate to You all my thoughts, words and deeds,
all my sufferings and labours, all my hopes,
consolations and joys.
I consecrate to You my body with all its senses,
my soul with all its faculties, my entire being without reserve.
In particular I consecrate to You my heart
so that it may love only You and may be consumed
as a victim in the fire of Your divine love.
Jesus, I place my trust in Your most Holy and Sacred Name.
I beg for the remission of all my sins through Your infinite mercy.
I place within Your hands all my cares and anxieties.
Do with me what You will, my Jesus.
Take this offering of myself and give me
a place within Your Divine Heart forever.
I promise to love You and honour You and to spread,
as much as I can, devotion to Your most
Holy Name, until I draw my dying breath, amen
Saint of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot (c 251-358) Also known as: • Abba Antonius • Anthony of Egypt• Anthony of the Desert• Anthony the Anchorite• Anthony the Great• Anthony the Hermit• Antonio Abate• Father of Cenobites• Father of All Monks• Father of Western Monasticism. PATRONAGES – against eczema/skin diseases/skin rashes, epileptics; against ergotism, against pestilence, , of amputees, anchorites, animals, basket makers and weavers, brushmakers, butchers, cemetery workers, domestic animals, farmers, gravediggers, graveyards, hermits, pigs, monks, relief from pestilence, swineherds, Hospitallers, Tempio-Ampurias, Italy, Diocese of 9 Cities.
The life of Anthony will remind many people of St Francis of Assisi. At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance. He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer. But no saint is antisocial and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.
At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells. Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”
At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison. At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. “The mule kicking over the altar” denied the divinity of Christ.
Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book. The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself. The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word. Anthony died in solitude at age 105.
St Anthony the Abbot (Memorial)
Our Lady of Pontmain
St Achillas of Sketis
St Amoes of Sketis
St Antony of Rome
Bl Euphemia Domitilla
Bl Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch
St Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo – Additional Memorial: 21 May as one of the Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution
St John of Rome
Bl Joseph of Freising
St Julian Sabas the Elder
St Marcellus of Die
St Merulus of Rome
Bl Rosalina of Villeneuve
St Sabinus of Piacenza
St Sulpicius of Bourges
Martyrs of Langres: Eleusippus, Leonilla, Meleusippus, Speusippus
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