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.

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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.

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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