Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to Bl Benedict Daswa – DAY SEVEN – 29 January


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)


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 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……………..
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!


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.



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.


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 –


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 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 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