Posted in NOVENAS

NOVENA to Our LADY OF LOURDES – Day Three – 4 February

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY THREE– 4 February (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

“You are all fair, O Mary
and there is in you no stain of original sin.”
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O brilliant star of sanctity,
as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes
you spoke to the child Bernadette
and a fountain broke from the plain earth
and miracles happened
and the great shrine of Lourdes began,
so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer
and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek.
(make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 4 February

Thought for the Day – 4 February

Saint Joseph of Leonissa suffered illness, poverty, persecution and exhaustion throughout his life, never ceasing in his efforts to bring the peace of Christ to those around him.   He embraced his suffering, contemplating the wounds of Christ and frequently exclaiming, “When we suffer anything we give proof of our love.”     We look to Saint Joseph of Leonissa as a shining example of the union of joy and suffering made manifest by Our Lord on the cross and the experience of Our Blessed Mother throughout her life.    May we, like this holy saint, embrace our own personal sufferings as bringing us closer to our risen Lord, suffering with him and His Mother, for expiation of the sins of the world.

St Joseph of Leonissa Pray for us!


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

One Minute Reflection – 4 February

One Minute Reflection – 4 February

Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink
but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh in the heart. ………….2 Corinthians 3:3

REFLECTION – “Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel.   This is what St. Paul says to the Corinthians. (2 cOR 3:3)
Our heart is the parchment;  through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer
because ‘my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe’ (Psalm 45:1).” …….St Joseph of Leonissa

PRAYER – Almighty God, You made Saint Joseph of Leonessa, an illustrious preacher of the gospel. Through his prayers inflame us with love and with his zeal for souls that we may serve You alone. St Joseph of Leonissa, pray for us, amen.



Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 4 February

Our Morning Offering – 4 February

Veni, Creator Spiritus

Come, Creator, Spirit,
come from Your bright heavenly throne,
come take possession of our souls
and make them all Your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring,
the vital fire,
sweet christ’ning and true love. . . .
O guide our minds with Your best light,
with love our hearts inflame
and with Your strength,
which ne’er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe,
true peace unto us bring
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath Your sacred wing.
Through You may we the Father know,
through You th’eternal Son
and You the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed Three in One. . . .
— Blessed Rabanus Maurus


Today – 4 February – is also the Memorial of Bl Rabanus

St Rabanus Maurus had three careers.   He was a schoolmaster, then an abbot, and finally an archbishop.  He lived during the reign of Charlemagne when Christianity was being established in Europe.   We are indebted to Rabanus and saints like him, for they built the church from which most of us received our gift of faith.

Rabanus was a scholar saint.   He was a lifelong student of Scripture, the great Christian writers, and Catholic teaching.   He used his mind to explore the faith and his study drew him closer to Christ.   We should take him for a model, for study is essential to our Christian growth.   Young Rabanus was sent to school at Fulda in central Germany, the chief monastery founded by St. Boniface.   Rabanus astounded his teachers with his quickness to learn. He also spent a year studying at Tours with Alcuin, Charlemagne’s adviser.   Rabanus learned Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac so that he could better understand Scripture.   He also read the church Fathers and wrote summaries of their works.

In 799 he was ordained deacon and in 815 became a priest.   Sometime during that period he was appointed master of Fulda’s school.   In that office he had the opportunity to form young monks who would help create a tradition of Christian learning in the West.   He became the abbot at Fulda in 822.   During this, his second career, he probably wrote most of his works, including a martyrology and numerous commentaries on Scripture.   He was in constant demand as an expert at synods and councils.   However, care for the monks caused him to hone his pastoral and administrative gifts.   He completed Fulda’s buildings and founded other monasteries.

After a brief retirement, Rabanus unexpectedly took up a third career. In 847, at age 71, he was appointed archbishop of Mainz. He undertook the job aggressively. With a team of priests, Rabanus went about the diocese teaching, preaching, and administering the sacraments.   He held synods that called Christians to a stricter observance of church laws and that condemned a local heresy.   Once during a famine he fed 300 people a day from his house.   With great energy he led the diocese and continued his writing until his death in 856.

Special among Rabanus’s gifts to the church is the Veni, Creator Spiritus. Monks carried the hymn to communities throughout the continent and it became part of the Pentecost liturgy.   Praying the Come, Creator Spirit seems to have occasioned life-changing moments for numerous saints, including Lutgarde, Clare and Teresa of Ávila.   Apparently, Rabanus’s hymn is extraordinarily effective in releasing the gifts of the Spirit, so when we pray it we can expect God to act.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 February – St Joseph of Leonissa OFM (Cap) (1556-1612)

Saint of the Day – 4 February – St Joseph of Leonissa OFM (Cap) (1556-1612) aged 56, Friar of the Capuchin branch of the Friars Minor of St Francis, wandering Missionary Preacher. Born on 8 January 1556 as Eufranio Desiderio at Leonessa, a small town then in Umbria, Italy and died on Saturday 4 February 1612 at UmbriaItaly of natural causes. Patron of Leonissa, Italy.

It is said that from his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him.   Whilst yet a boy he used to take the discipline on Fridays in company with the Confraternity of the Holy Saviour.   He was educated by his uncle, who had planned a suitable marriage for him but in his sixteenth year he fell sick of a fever and upon his recovery, without consulting his guardian, he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order.   He made his novitiate at the friary of the Carcerelle near Assisi.

As a friar he was outstanding for his great abstinence. “Brother Ass“, he would say to his body, “there is no need to feed thee as a noble horse would be fed: thou must be content to be a poor ass.”    In 1599, the year before the Jubilee year, he fasted the whole year by way of preparation for gaining the indulgence.

In 1587 he was sent by the Minister General of his Order to Constantinople to minister to the Christians held captive there.   Arrived there he and his companions lodged in the Galata district in a derelict house of Benedictine monks, actually the St. Benedict high school.   The poverty in which the friars lived attracted the attention of the Turks, who went in numbers to see the new missionaries.   He was very solicitous in ministering to the captive Christians in the galleys of the Ottoman Empire’s navy.   Every day he went into the city to preach and he was at length thrown into prison and only released at the intervention of the Venetian agent.

Urged on by zeal he at last sought to enter the palace to preach before Sultan Murad III but he was seized and condemned to death.    For three days he hung on the gallows, held up by two hooks driven through his right hand and foot; his legends state that he was then miraculously released by an angel.
Returning to Italy, he took with him a Greek archbishop who had apostatized and who was reconciled to the Church on their arrival in Rome. Joseph now took up the work of home missions in his native province, sometimes preaching six or seven times a day.   In the Jubilee year of 1600 he gave the Lenten sermons at Otricoli, a town through which crowds of pilgrims passed on their way to Rome. Many of them being very poor, Joseph supplied them with food; he also washed their clothes and cut their hair.   At Todi he cultivated with his own hands a garden, the produce of which was for the poor.

He died at Amatrice in 1612.

He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints for 4 February

St Aldate of Gloucester
Bl Alfonso de Meneses
St Aquilinus of Fossombrone
St Aventinus of Chartres
St Aventinus of Troyes
St Cuanna of Lismore
Bl Dionisio de Vilaregut
St Donatus of Fossombrone
St Eutychius of Rome
St Filoromus of Alexandria
St Firmus of Genoa
Bl Frederick of Hallum
St Gelasius of Fossombrone
St Geminus of Fossombrone
St Gilbert of Sempringham
St Isidore of Pelusium
St Jane of Valois
St John de Britto
St John of Irenopolis
Bl John Speed
St Joseph of Leonissa
St Liephard of Cambrai
St Magnus of Fossombrone
St Modan
St Nicholas Studites
St Nithard
St Obitius
St Phileas of Alexandria
Bl Rabanus Maurus
St Rembert
St Themoius
St Theophilus the Penitent
St Vincent of Troyes
St Vulgis of Lobbes

Jesuit Martyrs of Japan
Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints