Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Papa FRANCIS

1 February 2017 – The Holy Father’s Monthly Intentions

1 February – The Holy Father’s Intentions

FEBRUARY:   Comfort for the Afflicted

That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees and marginalised, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.

feb-intentions-2017

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month

Monthly Catholic Devotions: FEBRUARY is the Month of THE HOLY FAMILY

FEBRUARY – THE MONTH OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions.  The month of February has been primarily associated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord’s presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2.   At the very outset of Christ’s work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, “all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness.” The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterised this Holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.

Prayer for the Protection of the Holy Family:  

Grant unto us, Lord Jesus,
ever to follow the example of Your Holy Family,
that in the hour of our death
Your glorious Virgin Mother
together with blessed Joseph
may come to meet us
and we may be worthily received by You
into everlasting dwellings:
who lives and reigns, world without end. Amenfebruary-the-month-of-the-holy-family-prayer-for-protection-2017. jpg.jpg

 

 

Posted in NOVENAS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Announcing the NOVENA to our Lady of Lourdes

The 11th of February  is World Day of the Sick. It is  also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes! Join me in praying a novena through Our Lady’s intercession for the sick and suffering here.

The novena begins tomorrow (February 2).  If you sign up the prayers will come to your e-mail inbox each day for the next nine days.  The prayers are brief but powerful.   Please lift up in prayer all of your family members, friends and those unknown throughout the world who have no-one to pray for them.  God is with us and Mary our Mother stands at His side to intervene for all our needs!

Our Lady of Lourdes Pray for us all.

template-novena-our-lady-of-lourdes-and-the-world-day-of-the-sick

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 1 February

In a video message, the spokesperson for the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference, Father Smilo Mngadi, offered a wonderful summary of the significance of the beatification of Benedict Daswa, not just to the Church, but to the whole of South African society and the world:

“While at the Southern tip of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk was announcing the new liberation and the new dispensation of our country, on the northern tip of our country in Limpopo, in Thohoyandou, Benedict Daswa was giving his life to liberate us from the oppression, from the troubles of witchcraft in our country and in our world.    So let us go and celebrate him but above all, take him as our model of Christian living and say ‘NO’ to witchcraft and all pagan practices and ‘YES’ to Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis also praised Blessed Daswa’s witness during his Angelus address on Sunday. The Holy Father lauded Daswa’s “great consistency, courageously taking on Christian attitudes and refusing worldly and pagan habits.” His testimony, the Pope added, is united with “the testimony of so many of our brothers and sisters—young, old, children—persecuted, driven out, killed for confessing Jesus Christ.”

We all KNOW that we too are open and subject to many PAGAN practices wherever we are in the world – let us open our eyes and not think witchcraft is confined to only certain countries.   Satanism, paganism, witchcraft are on the rise everywhere – just open a newspaper, go online, switch on your TV.  Do YOU read your daily ‘horoscope’?

Bl Benedict Daswa Pray for us!

benedict-love

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

One Minute Reflection – 1 February

One Minute Reflection – 1 February

Be on guard and pray that you may not undergo the test………Mt 26:41

REFLECTION – Jesus, who feared nothing, experienced fear and asked to be freed from death – although He knew it was impossible.
How much more must we persevere in prayer before temptation assails us – so that we may be freed when the test has come!…………..St Ephrem

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. Let me pray daily that I may withstand temptation and carry out Your will in all things. Bl Benedict Daswa you who withstood all attempts to sway you into evil ways for the love of God, please intercede for us that we may too be freed when the test comes. Bl Benedict pray for us, amen!

matthew-26-41jesus-who-feared-nothing-st-ephrembl-bendict-daswa-pray-for-us

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 1 February

Our Morning Offering – 1 February

PRAYER OF SAINT EPHREM OF SYRIA
Lord Jesus Christ,
King of kings,
You have power over life and death.
You know even things
that are uncertain and obscure,
and our very thoughts and feelings
are not hidden from You.
Cleanse me from my secret faults,
and I have done wrong and You saw it.
You know how weak I am,
both in soul and in body.
Give me strength, O Lord,
in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings.
Grant me a prudent judgement, dear Lord,
and let me always be mindful of Your blessings.
Let me retain until the end Your grace
that has protected me till now, amen.

prayer-of-st-ephrem

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 February -Blessed Benedict Daswa

Saint of the Day – 1 February -Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990 aged 43) Layman/MARTYR/Teacher – Patron of against the occult, against witchcraft, persecuted Christians, teachers, School principals, fathers

prayer-card

Born Tshimangadzo Samuel Daswa, was a South African school teacher and principal.   He was given the name of “Samuel” by his parents when he started to attend school and assumed the name “Benedict” upon his conversion.   A local mob murdered him when he refused to fund their anti-Catholic witchcraft superstitions.   He had been viewed as a martyr after his death and his martyrdom was confirmed in 2015, paving the way for his beatification.  He was beatified in Limpopo on 13 September 2015. Cardinal Angelo Amato – on behalf of Pope Francis – presided over the beatification Mass.

Benedict was a member of the Lemba tribe. He the first child born to Tshililo Petrus Daswa (Bakali) and Thidziambi Ida Daswa (Gundula). This tribe followed Jewish rituals and laws. Daswa had three younger brothers and one sister: Thanyani Mackson, Muvhulawa Calson, Thinavhuyo Mavis and Humbulani Innocent. Daswa worked as a herd boy before he attended school which started at Vondwe Primary School in 1957 which was followed by secondary school at Mphaphuli High School. After his father’s accidental death, it fell to him to provide for his siblings and did this by paying for their education while in the workforce. In the workforce, he helped pay for his siblings’ education and constantly encouraged them to take pride in their studies.

Daswa was exposed to Roman Catholicism through a friend he met while in Johannesburg while living with an uncle there. He learnt about the Catholic faith and learnt catechism every Sunday from Benedict Risimati. After two years of instruction, Daswa was baptized on 21 April 1963 by Father Augustine O’Brien. He took the name of “Benedict” due to the fact that he was inspired by Saint Benedict of Nursia, also selecting as his life motto “Ora et labora” (pray and work). He was confirmed by Abbot Bishop F. Clemens van Hoek, O.S.B. three months later on 21 July 1963.

He became an active member of the church in South Africa.   Daswa went to Venda Teacher Training College to do a primary teacher’s certificate and later obtained his matriculation through correspondence in 1973.   He served as a teacher and catechist as he worked with adolescents and he assisted families that endured economic hardship.   He was a highly respected individual in his local community and became known for his honesty, truthfulness and integrity, even known to fetch students who decided to skip schools. Daswa later helped to build the first church in his area and later became the principal of the school that he taught at on 1 January 1979 at Nweli Primary School.

Daswa married Shadi Eveline Monyai (d. 2008) in 1974 and the pair had a total of eight children, including Lufuno (b. 1977) who was the eldest, Benedicta (b. 1990), Helen and Faith.   He would help his wife with household chores, unheard of at that time in his area, and he valued his family to the point of hosting Daswa Family Days each 16 December where gifts would be exchanged and a meal held.   For his family, he personally built his brick house.   Daswa also established a soccer team called the Mbahe Eleven Computers and left this team when members wanted to use “muti” (medicine) in order to win games. He started a new team, Mbahe Freedom Rebels.

In November 1989, heavy rains and lightning strikes plagued the area. When his village suffered strong storms again in January 1990, the elders decided that the lightning occurred due to magic and thus demanded a tax from all their residents to pay for a sangoma to “sniff out” the witch who caused the storms.   Refusing to believe this, Daswa said they were just a natural phenomenon and declined to pay the tax.

On 2 February 1990, Daswa drove his sister-in-law and her sick child to a doctor in Thohoyandou and en route, picked up a man who asked for his help to take a bag of mealie meal to his home in a town next to Mbahe.   At around 7:30pm, he returned to Mbahe where he left his sister-in-law and child near their home.   He told his daughter that he would soon return after taking the passenger to the next village.

Returning home, found his path blocked by fallen trees an as he attempted to clear the road he was ambushed by a mob of young men.   Bleeding as a result of stoning, he left his damaged car and ran for assistance at a woman’s hut.   However, the woman revealed where he was when the mob threatened to kill her if she did not comply.   As a result of this, he was beaten and clubbed over the head.   Boiling water was poured over him in his ears and nostrils after he was attacked to ensure that he was dead.   His final words were, “God, into Your hands receive my spirit”.    The woman of the hut informed Daswa’s brother what had happened and the latter remained with his dead brother for the night.

The funeral took place on Saturday, 10 February 1990. The funeral procession commenced at Daswa’s home and then proceeded to Nweli Church.   Celebrants wore red vestments to indicate their belief that Daswa died at the hands of his attackers in hatred of his faith.

The cause of beatification commenced on 10 June 2008 on a diocesan level in Tzaneen which concluded in 2009 with the commencement of the “Roman Phase”. The cause had to be ratified to ensure the process was valid and performed its duties as required and this occurred in Rome on 5 November 2010.   The opening of the cause granted him the title Servant of God.   The postulator assigned was Father Jean-Louis Chassem, MSC.   The Positio – documenting his life and evidence to suggest he was killed for his faith – was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2013.

Pope Francis approved a decree that recognized his martyrdom on 22 January 2015 which allowed for his beatification.  A possible date for the beatification, as stated by the Archbishop of Pretoria William M. Slattery, was October 2015 and as late as 1 November.

The beatification was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato in Limpopo on 13 September 2015; the beatification date was confirmed in March 2015.   Present at the celebration was Daswa’s mother and children as well as Father Augustine O’Brien who baptized him. Approximately 35,000 people attended the beatification.

Daswa’s remains were exhumed from his grave on 24 August 2015 in the presence of the police, a nurse and a doctor.  he exhumation took more than four hours due to the secure burial with several layers of thick cement between layers of soil; the steel coffin was reported to be in good condition.  At the behest of the family, his remains were taken to the grave of his wife and the coffin opened to reveal Daswa’s skeletal remains intact.   The family desired the remains to be left undisturbed in the original coffin for reinterment, which was cleaned and covered in white material and colored traditional Venda cloth.   A document to testify to the exhumation was placed in the coffin.   His remains were relocated to a grave in a church in Mbahe and a toe and a piece of the garment he was wearing was removed and was sent away to be used as relics.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 1 February

St Agrepe
Bl Andrew of Segni
Bl Anthony Manzoni
St Asclepiades
St Autbert of Landevenec
St Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
Bl Benedict Daswa
St Brigid of Fiesole
St Brigid of Ireland
St Cecilius of Granada
St Cinnia of Ulster
St Clarus of Seligenstadt
Bl Conor O’Devany
St Crewenna
St Darlaugdach of Kildare
St Henry Morse
St Ioannes Yi Mun-u
St Jarlath
Bl John of the Grating
St Kinnia
Bl Luigi Variara
Bl Patrick O’Lougham
St Paul of Trois-Châteaux
St Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Raymond of Fitero
St Sabinus
St Severus of Avranches
St Severus of Ravenna
St Sigebert III of Austrasia
St Tryphon of Lampsacus
St Ursus of Aosta
St Veridiana

Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati