Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day One – 23 January

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa

We are encouraging people in all the Dioceses of Southern Africa (SACBC region) to pray for the favours and graces they need during the nine days prior to the Feast on 1 February. This novena will commence on 23 January and conclude on 31 January.   We also invite people to make three acts of kindness each day of the Novena in remembrance of the three acts of charity which Blessed Benedict performed the day he was martyred.


BAPTISED IN CHRIST – The eldest of five children, Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa was born on 16 June 1946, in the village of Mbahe near Thohoyandou. Growing up in the African Traditional Religion, he belonged to the Bakali clan of the Lemba tribe, who regard themselves as descendants of the Jews. They live mainly among the Venda tribe but are also found among the Northern Sotho and Tsonga tribes in the Province of Limpopo, South Africa. As a high school student Tshimangadzo took instruction in the Catholic faith from his catechist, the late Father Benedict Risimati. He was greatly influenced by this man of deep faith and as a result chose Benedict for his baptismal name. He made his own the motto of St Benedict, “Pray and Work”, which inspired his whole life as a Christian. On 21 April 1963 he was baptised by Father Augustine O’Brien MSC and received his First Holy Communion. Three months later he was confirmed by Rt Rev Abbot/Bishop F C Van Hoeck OSB, Bishop of Pietersburg Diocese. After completing High School, Benedict trained as a Primary School teacher.

Word of God – We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Romans 6,4-5)

Deepening of Faith …since Baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity. To ask catechumens:”Do you wish to receive Baptism?” means at the same time to ask them: “Do you wish to become holy?” It means to set before them the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount:”Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”(Mt 5,48). (NMI 3)

Reflection – What does the baptism I have received mean to me? Do I really wish to become holy, as God is holy?

Prayer – You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and your staff give me courage. I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (Psalm 23, 2b-4.6)


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.



Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Two – 23 January

2nd Day (January 23) – Devotion to Our Blessed Mother

O Saint John Bosco,
you loved the Blessed Virgin, Mary Immaculate Help of Christians,
taking her as your Mother and Guide
and becoming her apostle.
Pray for us that,
inspired by your example,
we may grow in true and enduring love
for this sweetest of mothers
and may thus win her powerful protection in life
and especially at the hour of our death.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace………………..
[mention your intention]
so that together with others
I may assist in bringing all, especially the youth,
to the love of Mary Our Help, amen.

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


Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Paul – Day EIGHT – 23 January

January 25 – The Conversion of St Paul

Novena to St Paul – 23 January


“In the ancient Church Baptism was also called “illumination”, because this Sacrament gives light; it truly makes one see.   In Paul what is pointed out theologically was also brought about physically: healed of his inner blindness, he sees clearly.   Thus St Paul was not transformed by a thought but by an event, by the irresistible presence of the Risen One whom subsequently he would never be able to doubt, so powerful had been the evidence of the event, of this encounter…………….This encounter is a real renewal that changed all his parameters.   Now he could say that what had been essential and fundamental for him earlier had become “refuse” for him; it was no longer “gain” but loss, because henceforth the only thing that counted for him was life in Christ.”  Pope Benedict XVI 2008


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 St Paul, that I too may be able to acclaim
“It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
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!


Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales – Day E – 23 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales

“Think for a moment of the piety of the Madonna when the angel told her that the Spirit would overshadow her.   What sentiments of humility, confidence and courage!   At the very moment when she understood that God had given her His heart, that is, His Son, she gave herself to God.   Her soul was flooded with charity, so she could say with the sacred spouse,   “…My heart trembled within me and I grew faint when he spoke.” [Sg:5:4]   As far as we are concerned, we receive a similar grace in Communion, because not an angel but Jesus Christ Himself assures us that in it the Holy Spirit descends on us.   Heavenly power covers us with its shadow and the Son of God really comes to us.   He can say that He is conceived and born in us.   Truly then, the soul can respond with the Madonna, “I am the servant of the Lord; let is be done to me as you say.” [Lk 1:38] (St Francis de Sales Spiritual Directory, Art. 12)

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 along 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.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 23 January

Thought for the Day – 23 January

In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls” there.   The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne!   On Molokai she took charge of the home that Saint Damien de Veuster had established for men and boys.   Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony.   Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.

Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully.   Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.

The government authorities were reluctant to allow Mother Marianne to be a mother on Molokai. Thirty years of dedication proved their fears unfounded. God grants gifts regardless of human short-sightedness and allows those gifts to flower for the sake of the kingdom.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Poem for Saint Marianne Cope

To the Reverend Sister Marianne,
Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa.

To see the infinite pity of this place,
The mangled limb, the devastated face,
The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
A fool were tempted to deny his God.
He sees and shrinks; but if he look again,
Lo, beauty springing from the breasts of pain!
He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
And even a fool is silent and adores.

St Marianne Cope Pray for us!


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

One Minute Reflection – 23 January

One Minute Reflection – 23 January

Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit;
he whom you serve is the Lord………….Romans 12:11

REFLECTION – “Let us make the very best use of the precious moments and do all in our power for His dear sake and for His greater honour and glory…………I do not think of reward; I am working for God and do so cheerfully.”….St Marianne Cope (Saint of the Day)

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me to have a true fervour in Your service. Help me to become a zealous worker for Your honour and glory, in imitation of your Son and of your holy saints. St Marianne Cope, ntercede for us all, that we may go forth unafraid to serve the most needy of our Father’s children. Please pray for us, amen!


Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 23 January

Our Morning Offering – 23 January

Twenty-four Hour Prayer of St John Chrysostum

[1]    O Lord, deprive me not of Your heavenly blessings.
[2]    O Lord, deliver me from eternal torment.
[3]    O Lord, if I have sinned in my mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me.
[4]    O Lord, deliver me from every ignorance and heedlessness, from pettiness of the soul and stony hardness of heart.
[5]    O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
[6]    O Lord, enlighten my heart darkened by evil desires.
[7]    O Lord, I, being a human being, have sinned; You, being God, forgive me in Your loving kindness, for You know the weakness of my soul,
[8]    O Lord, send down Your grace to help me, that I may glorify Your holy Name.
[9]    O Lord Jesus Christ, inscribe me, Your servant, in the Book of Life and grant me a blessed end.
[10]   O Lord my God, even if I have done nothing good in Your sight, yet grant me, according to Your grace, that I may make a start in doing good.
[11]   O Lord, sprinkle on my heart the dew of Your grace.
[12]   O Lord of heaven and earth remember me, Your sinful servant, cold of heart and impure, in Your kingdom.
[13]   O Lord, receive me in repentance.
[14]   O Lord, leave me not.
[15]   O Lord, save me from temptation.
[16]   O Lord, grant me pure thoughts.
[17]   O Lord, grant me tears of repentance, remembrance of death and the sense of peace.
[18]   O Lord, grant me mindfulness to confess my sins.
[19]   O Lord, grant me humility, charity and obedience.
[20]   O Lord, grant me magnanimity and gentleness.
[21]   O Lord, implant in me the root of all blessings, the fear of You in my heart.
[22]   O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love You with all my heart and soul and that I may obey in all things Your will.
[23]   O Lord, shield me form evil persons and devils and passions and all other lawless matters.
[24]   O Lord, who knows Your creation and that which You have willed for it, may Your will also be fulfilled in me, a sinner, for You are blessed forevermore. Amen.



Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 January – St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918)

Saint of the Day – 23 January – St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918) also known as Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi- (Born Maria Anna Barbara Koob in 1838-died 1918 aged 80) Virgin, Religious, Missionary to lepers – Patron of Lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS, Hawai’i.

St Marianne was a German-born American nun who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York and administrator of its St. Joseph’s Hospital in the city. Known also for her charitable works, in 1883 she relocated with six other Sisters to Hawaiʻi to care for persons suffering Hansen’s Disease on the island of Molokaʻi and aid in developing the medical infrastructure in Hawaiʻ marianne cope - 23 jan

In November 1888, Cope moved to Kalaupapa. She cared for the dying Fr. Damien of Molokai (pictured) who was already known internationally for his work in the leper colony and began to take over his burdens.   She had met him shortly after her arrival in Hawaii. When St. Damien died on 15 April  1889, the government officially gave Cope charge for the care of the boys of Kalaupapa, in addition to her existing role in caring for the female residents of the colony.

Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope did not contract the disease.   She died from natural causes at the age of 80.   In 2005 Cope was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI and declared a saint by the same pope on October 21, 2012, along with St. Kateri Tekawitha. 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints 23 January

St Marianne Cope

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe
St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe
Bl Henry Suso
St Ildephonsus
Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almsgiver/the Mericiful
Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr