Saint of the Day – 25 February – St Walburga (c 710-779)

Saint of the Day – 25 February – St Walburga (c 710-779) Nun and Missionary. Daughter of St Richard the King. Sister of St Willibald and St Winebald, niece of St Boniface.  Also known as:-Auboué, Avangour, Avongourg, Bugga, Falbourg, Gaubourg, Gauburge, Gaudurge, Gualbourg, Valborg, Valburg, Valpurge, Valpuri, Vaubouer, Vaubourg, Walbourg, Walburg, Walburge, Walpurd, Walpurga, Walpurgis, Waltpurde, Warpurg – Religious/Missionary – Patronages – against coughs,,against dog bites, against famine, against hydrophobia (as a symptom of) rabies, against mad dogs, against plague/epidemics, against storms, sailors, farmers, harvests, Eichstätt, Germany, Diocese of, Plymouth, England, Diocese of and  4 Cities. Additional Memorials – 12 October (translation of relics to Eichstätt), 24 September (translation of relics to Zutphen).

Painting by the Master of Meßkirch, c 1535–1540.

St Walburga was English, the sister of two associates of St Boniface in evangelising Germany and the Lowlands.  She was the daughter of St.Richard the Pilgrim, a West Saxon chieftain and Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany. She had at least three siblings; two of her brothers are known by name, St Willibald and St Winibald.

In 720 her father and two older brothers went on a pilgrimage to Rome. Her father died at Lucca, Italy, but the brothers reached Rome where St. Winibald (c.701-761) became a monk, while St. Willibald (c.700-787) went on to the Holy Land.

Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother St. Winebald.    At her brother’s death in 761, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her other brother St. Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt.    She remained superior of both men and women until her death on February 25, 779.

She was buried first at Heidenheim but her body was tranferred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. n the 870s, Walpurga’s remains were transferred to Eichstätt. In Finland, Sweden, and Bavaria, her feast day commemorates the transfer of her relics on May 1.   At present the most famous of the oils of saints is the Oil of Saint Walburga (Walburgis oleum).   It flows from the stone slab and the surrounding metal plate on which rest the relics of Saint Walburga in her church in Eichstädt in Bavaria.   The fluid is caught in a silver cup, placed beneath the slab for that purpose, and is distributed among the faithful in small vials by the Sisters of Saint Benedict, to whom the church belongs.   A chemical analysis has shown that the fluid contains nothing but the ingredients of water. Though the origin of the fluid is probably due to natural causes, the fact that it came in contact with the relics of the saint justifies the practice of using it as a remedy against diseases of the body and the soul.   Mention of the oil of Saint Walburga is made as early as the ninth century by her biographer Wolfhard of Herrieden. – from the Catholic Encyclopedia article Oil of Saints

Second-last – Painting by the Master of Meßkirch, c. 1535–40.   Last image – The St. Walburga Church in Bruges was originally a Jesuit church


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 25 February

St Adelelmo of Engelberg
St Aldetrudis
St Ananias of Phoenicia
Bl Avertano of Lucca
St Caesarius of Nanzianzen
St Callistus Caravario
Bl Ciriaco Maria Sancha Hervas
Bl Didacus Yuki Ryosetsu
St Domenico Lentini
St Donatus the Martyr
Felix III, Pope
St Gerland the Bishop
St Gothard the Hermit
St Herena the Martyr
St Justus the Martyr
St Laurentius Bai Xiaoman
St Luigi Versiglia
Bl Maria Adeodata Pisani
St Nestor of Side
St Riginos
Bl Robert of Arbrissel
Bl Sebastian of Aparicio
St Tharasius
St Toribio Romo González
St Victor of Saint Gall
St Walburga

Martyrs of Egypt – A group of Christian men who were exiled to Egypt for their faith and were eventually martyred for their faith in the persecutions of Numerian. We know little more than their names:


Lenten Preparation Novena

REFLECTION – “The one came for a son’s privileges, the other for a servant’s drudgery. “

“Would you see how a penitent should come to God? turn to the parable of the Prodigal Son. He, too, had squandered away his birthright, as Esau did.   He, too, came for the blessing, like Esau.   Yes; but how differently he came! he came with deep confession and self-abasement.   He said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants:” but Esau said, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me.”    The one came for a son’s privileges, the other for a servant’s drudgery.   The one killed and dressed his venison with his own hand and enjoyed it not; for the other the fatted calf was prepared and the ring for his hand and shoes for his feet and the best robe and there was music and dancing.” (Blessed John Henry Newman)


Lenten Preparation Novena


Dear Lord,
we are fast approaching the holy season of Lent.
We begin to realise anew that these are the days of salvation,
these are the acceptable days.
We know that we are all sinners.
We know that in many things we have all offended Your infinite majesty.
We know that sin destroys Your life in us
as a drought withers the leaves and chokes the life from the land,
leaving an arid, dusty desert.
Help us now, Lord,
in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin.
Bless our efforts with the rich blessing of Your grace.
Make us realize ever more our need of penance and of mortification.
Help us to see,
in our ordinary difficulties and duties,
in the trials and temptations of every day,
the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
Every day we are so often reminded in field and wood,
in sky and stream,
of Your own boundless generosity to us.
Help us to realize that You are never outdone in generosity,
and that the least thing we do for You will be rewarded,
full measure, pressed down, shaken together and flowing over.
Then we shall see, in our own souls,
how the desert can blossom,
and the dry and wasted land can bring forth the rich,
useful fruit that was expected of it from the beginning.

United with Your Son, who makes His way to Calvary,   I offer You my intention

(Mention your intention)





For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).



The Fifth Means of avoiding Purgatory is asking God for this grace.   Some
wise Catholics have a really great, if simple secret, which is well worth
learning and using for our own benefit.

God promises us in the most solemn and deliberate way (and He cannot fail
to do what He promises) that He will give us everything we ask in prayer,
if it is good for us.

Now two conditions, especially, make prayer infallible, namely perseverance
and faith.    God cannot refuse such a prayer.

These Catholics we speak of pray expressly every day of their lives that
God will free them from Purgatory.   In every single prayer they say, in
every Mass they hear, in every good act they perform, they have the express
intention of asking God first of all and with all their hearts to deliver
them from Purgatory.

How? That is for God to decide.

It is not easy to see how God can possibly refuse such constant, unceasing
prayer.    The fact that such prayers are said daily and many times in the
day, for 20, 30, 50 years, shows that they are said with undoubting faith
and magnificent perseverance.

We exhort all our readers to adopt this practice.    The more they know and
think on Purgatory, the more fervently will they make this prayer.


Every time we say the Hail Mary let us say with all the fervour of our hearts the words: “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


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

Thought for the Day – 24 February

Thought for the Day – 24 February

It was not long before Fr Tommaso Maria, envied for the good he achieved in his ministry and for his life as an exemplary priest, was faced with humiliation and persecution and, in 1880, even a brother priest’s slanderous calumny.    However, sustained by the Lord, he lovingly carried that cross which his own Bishop Ammirante had foretold at the time of his institute’s foundation:   “Have you chosen the title of the Most Precious Blood? Well, may you be prepared to drink the bitter cup”. (St John Paul at the Beatification of Blessed Thomas).

Know that we are all called to drink His Cup and carry His Cross but never forget – he carries and drinks with us all!

(St John Paul at the Beatification of Blessed Thomas).

Bl Thomas Mary Fusco, Pray for us!

St John Paul, Pray for us!


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

One Minute Reflection – 24 February

One Minute Reflection – 24 February

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense.
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised………………Hebrews 10:35-36

REFLECTION – “May work and suffering for God always be your glory and in your work and suffering, may God be your consolation on this earth and your recompense in heaven.”……………..Bl Thomas Mary Fusco

PRAYER – O Lord my God, give me the strength to endure with patience the sufferings I encounter in my life. Teach me to do my daily work for You alone and to do more than that in every way I can, for your greater glory. Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco, pray that we may achieve the crown of glory in heaven, amen.


Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH

Our Morning Offering – 24 February

Our Morning Offering – 24 February

An Act of Offering  (Prayers to Christ in the Eucharist by Servant of God Fr Benedict Groeschel)

O Lord,
I offer You myself.
You have given Yourself to me –
now I wish to give myself to You.
I give You my body, that it may be chaste and pure.
I give You my soul, that it may be free from sin.
I give You my heart, that I may always love You.
I give You every breath that I breathe, especially my last.
I give You myself in life and in death,
knowing this alone brings the happiness I seek, amen.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Bl Thomas Mary Fusco/Tommaso Maria Fusco

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Bl Thomas Mary Fusco/Tommaso Maria Fusco (1831-1891 died aged 59) Priest and Founder called an “Apostle of Charity” – Patron of Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood

Thomas was born to a noble family in 1831 in Pagani, Italy. He was the seventh of eight children.   When he was only six years old, his mother died of cholera. A few years later, his father also died.   His uncle, a primary school teacher, took charge of Thomas’ education.

The canonization of St. Alphonsus Liguori in 1839 stirred aspirations for the priesthood in Thomas’ heart.   He entered the seminary in 1847 and was ordained a priest in 1855.   Immediately Thomas opened a morning school for the formation of boys and organized evening prayers for youth and adults.   During these years, Thomas nurtured a deep devotion to the crucified Christ and to his Blessed Sorrowful Mother because of the deaths of his uncle and younger brother.


In 1862 he opened a school of moral theology in his home to train priests for the ministry of confession.   That same year he also founded the priestly Society of the Catholic Apostolate for missions among the faithful.

In 1873, Thomas was deeply moved by the plight of an orphaned street girl. After careful discernment, he founded the Congregation of the “Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood”.


For the remainder of his years, he was completely dedicated to his priestly ministry, preaching spiritual retreats and missions, teaching catechism to youth and organizing prayer for young people and adults at his parish.  He worked to build a strong devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Jesus among the people he served.

In 1891, Thomas died of liver disease at the age of 59.

The cause for his beatification was opened in 1955 and the decree of his heroic Christian virtues was published in 2001.

At Thomas’ beatification, Blessed John Paul II presented him as “an example and a guide to holiness for priests, for the people of God and for his spiritual daughters, the Daughters of Charity of the Most Precious Blood.”


Celebrating Bl Thomas’s Beatification in his hometown “Pagani, Italy”

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints 24 February

St Adela of Blois
Bl Antonio Taglia
Bl Arnold of Carcassonne
St Betto of Auxerre
Bl Berta of Busano
Bl Constantius of Fabriano
St Cummian Albus of Iona
St Ethelbert of Kent
Evetius of Nicomedia
Bl Florentina Nicol Goni
Bl Ida of Hohenfels
Bl Josefa Naval Girbes
St Liudhard
Bl Lotario Arnari
Bl Marco De’ Marconi
St Modestus of Trier
St Peter the Librarian
St Praetextatus of Rouen
St Primitiva
St Sergius of Caesarea
Bl Simon of Saint Bertin
Bl Tommaso Maria Fusco





For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 6


The Fourth Means by which we can lessen our time in Purgatory, or avoid it altogether, is by frequent Confession, Communion and daily assistance at Mass.

Confession applies to our souls the Precious Blood of Christ, wipes out our sins, gives us light to see their malice, fills us with horror of sin and above all, it gives us strength to avoid it.

In Holy Communion we receive the God of infinite mercy and love, the God of all sanctity, who comes expressly to pardon our sins and help us to sin no more.   He visited the house of Zaccheus once, and in that one visit, Zaccheus obtained complete pardon of all his sins How is it possible that the same God of goodness and sweetness can come, not into our houses but into our very hearts in Holy Communion and not give us the same and even greater graces.   He visited Zaccheus once, He visits us every day if we allow Him. Many, alas, never feel, never grasp the immense joys and consolation of Holy Communion.

The Mass is identical with the Sacrifice of Calvary, in its essence, in its value, in the graces it bestows.    The Sacrifice of Calvary was sufficient to save all the world, millions and millions of souls and is also sufficient to save countless other sinful worlds, had they existed.    By assisting at Mass, we can apply all these oceans of graces to our own souls and that not once, but every day.


Let us go to Mass and Holy Communion every day.   We can do nothing better.   One day with Mass and Communion is worth a hundred days without them.



Lenten Preparation Novena

Reflection – “We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter; we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.”

“And then, alas! the truth flashed upon him; he uttered a great and bitter cry, when it was too late. It would have been well, had he uttered it before he came for the blessing, not after it. He repented when it was too late—it had been well if he had repented in time. So I say of persons who have in any way sinned. It is good for them not to forget that they have sinned. It is good that they should lament and deplore their past sins. Depend upon it, they will wail over them in the next world, if they wail not here. Which is better, to utter a bitter cry now or then?—then, when the blessing of eternal life is refused them by the just Judge at the last day, or now, in order that they may gain it? Let us be wise enough to have our agony in this world, not in the next. If we humble ourselves now, God will pardon us then. We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter; we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.
(Blessed John Henry Newman)


Lenten Preparation Novena



Loving Father,
may I live this Lent as an unceasing act of love for You.
Let me grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ.
In my prayer, grant me a spirit to see what must be done
and the strength to do what is right.
Make me radiant in Your presence
with the strength of my yearning for You.
By my fasting, fortify my resolve to carry out Your loving commands.
Bless me with an increase in devoutness of life so that I may be found steadfast in faith.
Any by my almsgiving, renew and purify my heart so that I may hold to the
things that eternally endure.
Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)


Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 23 February

Thought for the Day – 23 February

We may not be required to give our lives for our faith but we all have to suffer something for our beliefs and our fidelity. It is when things are difficult that faith is really faith. A faith that is good only in good times is scarcely faith at all. We are all called to witness to our faith in some way.   Polycarp was recognised as a Christian leader by all Asia Minor Christians—a strong fortress of faith and loyalty to Jesus Christ.   His own strength emerged from his trust in God, even when events contradicted this trust.   Living among pagans and under a government opposed to the new religion, he led and fed his flock.   Like the Good Shepherd, he laid down his life for his sheep and kept them from more persecution in Smyrna.   He summarised his trust in God just before he died: “Father… I bless Thee, for having made me worthy of the day and the hour…” (Acts of Martyrdom, Chapter 14).



Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 23 February

Quote/s of the Day – 23 February

“Eighty and six years have I served Christ,
nor has He ever done me any harm.
How, then, could I blaspheme my King who saved Me?….
I bless Thee for deigning me worthy of this day
and this hour that I may be among Thy martyrs
and drink the cup of my Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Let us, therefore, foresake the vanity of the crowd
and their false teachings and turn back to the word
delivered to us from the beginning.”

“You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour
and after a little is extinguished
but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment
and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly.”

~~~~~ St Polycarp


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

One Minute Reflection – 23 February

One Minute Reflection – 23 February

There is a time and judgment for everything………Eccl 8:6

REFLECTION – “Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.”…………..St Polycarp

PRAYER – God of goodness, let me never allow an opportunity for good to be wasted. Help me take advantage of every moment at my disposal to do good.   St Polycarp pray for us, amen.


Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 23 February

Our Morning Offering – 23 February

St Polycarp’s Prayer

May God the Father
and the Eternal High Priest Jesus Christ,
build us up in faith and truth and love
and grant to us our portion among the saints
with all those who believe on our Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray for all saints,
for kings and rulers,
for the enemies of the Cross of Christ
and for ourselves we pray
that our fruit may abound
and we may be made perfect
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen


Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 February – St Polycarp of Smyrna

Saint of the Day – 23 February – St Polycarp of Smyrna – (69-156) – Martyr, Apostolic Church Father and Bishop of Smyrna, Writer, Preacher, Theologian – Patron against dysentery and earache.

Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name ‘Polycarp’ means ‘much fruit’ in Greek.

It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that he had been a disciple of John the Apostle.    Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna.

With Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers.   The sole surviving work attributed to his authorship is his Letter to the Philippians; it is first recorded by Irenaeus of Lyons.

According to St Irenaeus, Polycarp was a companion of Papias, another “hearer of John” as Irenaeus interprets Papias’ testimony and a correspondent of Ignatius of Antioch.   Ignatius addressed a letter to him, and mentions him in his letters to the Ephesians and to the Magnesians.

Irenaeus regarded the memory of Polycarp as a link to the apostolic past. He relates how and when he became a Christian, and in his letter to Florinus stated that he saw and heard Polycarp personally in lower Asia. Irenaeus wrote to Florinus:

“I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the Word of God.   It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in and went out;  what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance;  and what were his holy exhortations to the people.   I seem to hear him now relate how he conversed with John and many others who had seen Jesus Christ, the words he had heard from their mouths.”

In particular, he heard the account of Polycarp’s discussion with John and with others who had seen Jesus.   Irenaeus also reports that Polycarp was converted to Christianity by apostles, was consecrated a bishop and communicated with many who had seen Jesus.   He repeatedly emphasizes the very great age of Polycarp.   Polycarp kissed the chains of Ignatius when he passed by Smyrna on the road to Rome for his martyrdom.

Polycarp occupies an important place in the history of the early Christian Church.   He is among the earliest Christians whose writings survived.   Saint Jerome wrote that Polycarp was a “disciple of the apostle John and by him ordained bishop of Smyrna”.   He was an elder of an important congregation which was a large contributor to the founding of the Christian Church.
Irenaeus, who had heard him preach in his youth, said of him: “a man who was of much greater weight and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics”. Polycarp had learned from apostle John to flee from those who change the divine truth. One day he met in the streets of Rome the heretic Marcion who, resenting that Polycarp did not greet him, said: “Do you know me?” The saint replied: “Yes, I know you, the first-born of Satan.”    Polycarp lived in an age after the deaths of the apostles, when a variety of interpretations of the sayings of Jesus were being preached.   His role was to authenticate orthodox teachings through his reputed connection with the apostle John: “a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of old apostolic doctrine”, Wace commented, “his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers”.   Irenaeus states (iii. 3) that on Polycarp’s visit to Rome, his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus.

The story of Polycarp’s martyrdom is the earliest recorded account of a Christian martyr. Polycarp was seized for being a Christian.   Persecution and death would not tear him away from Jesus now.   Polycarp was led into the stadium of Smyrna.   The crowd demanded that he be left to the lions, but instead he was sentenced to death by fire.   An eyewitness account claims that the flames didn’t harm him.   He was finally killed by the sword, and his body was burned.

The community of believers celebrated the anniversary of Polycarp’s death with great joy, for in him they had seen an outstanding example of love and patience.   He had held strong and had won the treasure of eternal life.   Polycarp is remembered as an Apostolic Father, one who was a disciple of the apostles.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 23 February

St Polycarp of Smyrna (Memorial)

St Alexander Akimetes
St Boswell
St Dositheus of Egypt
St Felix of Brescia
St Florentius of Seville
St Giovanni Theristi
Bl Giovannina Franchi
Bl John of Hungary
Bl Josephine Vannini
Bl Juan Lucas Manzanares
Bl Ludwik Mzyk
St Martha of Astorga
St Medrald
St Milburga
Bl Nicolas Tabouillot
St Ordonius
St Polycarp of Rome
Bl Rafaela Ybarra de Villalongo
St Romana
St Serenus the Gardener
Bl Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski
St Willigis of Mainz
St Zebinus of Syria

Martyrs of Syrmium – 73 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know no details about them, and only six of their names – Antigonus, Libius, Rogatianus, Rutilus, Senerotas and Syncrotas.


Lenten Preparation Novena

Reflection – “He thought he was as sure of the blessing as if he had not sold the birthright.”

And then, when all is done and over and their souls sold to Satan, they never seem to understand that they have parted with their birthright.   They think that they stand just where they did, before they followed the world, the flesh, and the devil; they take for granted that when they choose to become more decent, or more religious, they have all their privileges just as before.   Like Samson, they propose to go out as at other times before, and shake themselves.   And like Esau, instead of repenting for the loss of the birthright, they come, as a matter of course, for the blessing.    Esau went out to hunt for venison gaily and promptly brought it to his father.   His spirits were high, his voice was cheerful.   It did not strike him that God was angry with him for what had past years ago. He thought he was as sure of the blessing as if he had not sold the birthright.     (Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman)


Lenten Preparation Novena


Today Lord I choose life,
I choose Your love and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens, day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength and power ever more deeply in my life.
I choose repentance and reparation and suffering, for all my sins
and those of all the world.
Forgive me my Lord!
May this truly be for me a time of new life, of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day.   Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)





For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 5


The Third Means of avoiding Purgatory is very easy.   It consists in making a
virtue of necessity, by bearing patiently what we cannot avoid and all the
more since suffering, borne patiently, becomes easy and light.    Suffering,
if accepted with calmness and for God’s sake, loses all its sting.    If
received badly, in the spirit of revolt and with repugnance, it is
intensified a hundredfold and becomes almost intolerable.

Everyone in this vale of tears has to face sorrows innumerable and infinite
in variety.    Crosses light and crosses heavy are the lot of us all.    Strange
as it may seem, these sorrows, which most of us would gladly dispense with,
are in truth God’s greatest graces.   They are the little share He offers us
of His Passion and which He asks us to bear for love of Him and as penance
for our sins.

Borne in this spirit they will lessen considerably our time in Purgatory
and very possibly completely remove it–with this difference, that
Purgatory, even a Purgatory of 50 or 100 years, will in no wise increase
our merits in Heaven; whereas, every pain and sorrow and disappointment in
this life will lessen our suffering in Purgatory and also bring us more
happiness and glory in Heaven.

How sad it is that so many Christians, for want of thought, make their
sufferings a thousand times worse than they are and lose all the immense
merits that they could so easily gain.


Let us suffer with calmness and serenity for the love of God. We shall thus
save ourselves from Purgatory.



Thought for the Day – 22 February

Thought for the Day – 22 February

From the beginning, the specialness, or primacy, of Peter has been recognized.   On the feast of the Chair of Peter, we celebrate our unity as a Church.   We celebrate the love, presence and protection of Christ for us, the Church.    The title Chair of Peter refers to the chair from which a bishop presided, a symbol of his authority.   When the title refers to Saint Peter, it recalls the supreme teaching power of Peter and his successors.  Its first occupant stumbled a bit some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously.   As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down.    Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.   It is from the chair, from the pastoral power given him, that the pope shepherds Christ’s flock.   When the pope cautions world leaders, pleads for peace, or condemns social injustice, people listen and respond.   What makes the world listen to this man?  The answer lies in Scripture and in Tradition.  Peter is named first among the apostles of Jesus; he was often their spokesman and leader; he was the first to preach after Pentecost and he was the leader in defending Christ and his message AND THE OCCUPANT OF THE CHAIR STILL IS!

Holy Father St Peter and all the Saints and Popes in Heaven, Pray for us!




Quote of the Day – 22 February

Quote of the Day – 22 February

“He who deserts the chair of Peter,
upon whom the Church was founded,
does he trust himself to be in the Church?”

~~~~~ Saint Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage and Martyr

De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate, 251


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

One Minute Reflection – 22 February

One Minute Reflection – 22 February

“On this rock I will build my Church’,,,,,,,,,,Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!” (De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36)…….Tertullian
“I decided to consult the Chair of Peter,
where that faith is found exalted by
the lips of an Apostle;
I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there,
where once I received the garment of Christ.
I follow no leader save Christ,
so I enter into communion with Your beatitude,
that is, with the Chair of Peter,
for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built”
(cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2)…………..St Jerome

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.



Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 22 February

Our Morning Offering – 22 February

Show me, O Lord, Your mercy
and delight my heart with it.
Let me find You whom I so longingly seek.
Behold, here is the man whom the robbers seized,
manhandled, and left half dead on the road to Jericho.
Kind-hearted Samaritan, come to my aid!
I am the sheep who wandered into the wilderness.
Seek after me and bring me home again to Your fold.
Do with me according to Your Will,
that I may abide with You all the days of my life
and praise You with all those who are with You
in heaven for all eternity. Amen
By St Jerome



Feast of the Chair of St Peter – 22 February

Feast of the Chair of St Peter – 22 February – Cathedra Petri), also known as the Throne of Saint Peter, is a relic conserved in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.    The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome.    The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653.    In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as “a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity.”

The wooden throne was a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875.    It has been studied many times over the years, the last being from 1968 to 1974, when it was last removed from the Bernini altar.    That study concluded that it was not a double, but rather a single, chair with a covering and that no part of the chair dated earlier than the sixth century.   Below – The Pope’s throne in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, last publicly exposed in 1867.

The Chair is the cathedra of St. Peter’s Basilica. Cathedra is Latin for “chair” or “throne”, and denominates the chair or seat of a bishop, hence “cathedral” denominates the Bishop’s church in an episcopal see.    The Popes formerly used the Chair.    It is distinct from the Papal Cathedra in St. John Lateran Archbasilica, also in Rome, which is the actual cathedral church of the Pope, because the Cathedra he currently and officially sits upon is in its apse.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, the Latin-rite liturgy celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.   This is a very ancient tradition, proven to have existed in Rome since the fourth century. On it we give thanks to God for the mission he entrusted to the Apostle Peter and his Successors.

“Cathedra” literally means the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a “cathedral”; it is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and in particular, of his “magisterium”, that is, the evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and to transmit to the Christian Community.

When a Bishop takes possession of the particular Church that has been entrusted to him, wearing his mitre and holding the pastoral staff, he sits on the cathedra. From this seat, as teacher and pastor, he will guide the journey of the faithful in faith, hope and charity.

So what was the “Chair” of St Peter? Chosen by Christ as the “rock” on which to build the Church (cf. Mt 16: 18), he began his ministry in Jerusalem, after the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost.   The Church’s first “seat” was the Upper Room, and it is likely that a special place was reserved for Simon Peter in that room where Mary, Mother of Jesus, also prayed with the disciples.   Therefore, we have the journey from Jerusalem, the newly born Church, to Antioch, the first centre of the Church formed from pagans and also still united with the Church that came from the Jews.   Then Peter went to Rome, the centre of the Empire, the symbol of the “Orbis” – the “Urbs”, which expresses “Orbis”, the earth, where he ended his race at the service of the Gospel with martyrdom.

…This is testified by the most ancient Fathers of the Church, such as, for example, St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, but who came from Asia Minor, who in his treatise Adversus Haereses, describes the Church of Rome as the “greatest and most ancient, known by all… founded and established in Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul”; and he added: “The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority” (III, 3, 2-3)….

Tertullian, a little later, said for his part: “How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!” (De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36).
Consequently, the Chair of the Bishop of Rome represents not only his service to the Roman community but also his mission as guide of the entire People of God.

Celebrating the “Chair” of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd, who wanted to gather his whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation.

Among the numerous testimonies of the Fathers, I would like to quote St Jerome’s. It is an extract from one of his letters, addressed to the Bishop of Rome. It is especially interesting precisely because it makes an explicit reference to the “Chair” of Peter, presenting it as a safe harbour of truth and peace.

This is what Jerome wrote:   “I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle; I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ. I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with your beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built” (cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2).

Dear brothers and sisters, in the apse of St Peter’s Basilica, as you know, is the monument to the Chair of the Apostle, a mature work of Bernini.    It is in the form of a great bronze throne supported by the statues of four Doctors of the Church: two from the West, St Augustine and St Ambrose and two from the East: St John Chrysostom and St Athanasius.

I invite you to pause before this evocative work which today can be admired, decorated with myriads of candles and to say a special prayer for the ministry that God has entrusted to me.    Raise your eyes to the alabaster glass window located directly above the Chair and call upon the Holy Spirit, so that with his enlightenment and power, He will always sustain my daily service to the entire Church.   For this, as for your devoted attention, I thank you from my heart.”…………….. Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday, 22 February 2006








Saints and Feasts 22 February

Chair of Saint Peter (Feast)

St Ailius of Alexandria
St Angelus Portasole
St Aristion of Salamis
St Athanasius of Nicomedia
St Baradates of Cyrrhus
Bl Diego Carvalho
St Elwin
Bl Émilie d’Oultremont d’Hoogvorst
Bl Isabella of France
St John the Saxon
St Limnaeus
St Margaret of Cortona
St Maximian of Ravenna
St Miguel Facerías Garcés
St Mohammed Abdalla
St Papias of Heirapolis
St Paschasius of Vienne
St Raynerius of Beaulieu
St Thalassius

Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.




For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 4


The Second Means of avoiding Purgatory is to satisfy for our sins in this
life by doing penance. “Do penance or you shall all likewise perish”.   Do
penance, or you will burn long years in Purgatory, is a fact that there is
no getting away from.

This is a terrifying thought and one that makes the bravest man shudder.
Which of us does not tremble when he thinks of those who have been burnt to
death in a slow fire?    What fear would not be ours if we had to face a
similar death?    Yet their suffering was of relatively short duration.   The
incomparably fiercer fire of Purgatory, which we may have to face, may last
20, or 50 or 100 years!

Many people have such a horror of penance that they never even dream of
practicing it.    It is like the fear that children have of ghosts, a very
great but a very unfounded fear.    Their idea is that penance is something
awful.    They think perhaps of the severe penances of the great Saints and of
course are afraid to attempt anything of a like kind.

The Second Means: Penance

God does not ask us, as a rule, to do what is heroic.    When He does, He
gives us all the strength necessary, as in the case of the Saints.    He asks
each one to do a little.    If we are afraid of doing much and it is only
natural that some should be, let us do at least a little.    No one but a
coward is afraid to do a little, especially if he gets much in exchange.

The easy road to Heaven of Saint Therese, the Little Flower, is to do many
little things.    God was infinitely pleased with the widow’s mite; He will be
equally pleased with our little penances.

As a result of little mortifications, we can deliver ourselves from the
awful fires of Purgatory and amass rich merits for Heaven.    To go into the
matter further, there is not much difficulty about mortification or
penance, notwithstanding the absurd fear that people have of it.

Penance is not only easy, it is useful and necessary and it will bring us
very great happiness.   Not to do penance is the greatest penance of all.    As
a matter of fact, every man of the world naturally, spontaneously mortifies
himself. The first principle, for instance, of politeness and good breeding
is to sacrifice our whims and tastes for the sake of others.    The selfish
man is a boor; the generous man is the idol of all.

Again, the only way of securing good health is to eschew the most
appetising viands when they do us harm and to make use of plain foods when
they do us good.    Overeating is the cause of the vast majority of sickness
and premature deaths.

To take another example. The secret of success is strenuous, methodical,
regular work.   Now generosity, self-denial, method, regularity are other
forms of very genuine but practical mortification.   Yet no man can get on
without them.   To insist on our own likes and dislikes, to do only as we
please, is to lead a life bristling with difficulties, in which every duty
is a burden, every good act an effort and a labor

Boy scouts and girl scouts are bound to do a kind act every day, even
though it costs them a big effort.   Christians should surely do more.   Daily
acts of self-restraint, of patience with others, of kindness to others, the
exact fulfilment of duty are splendid penances and a great aid to


If we are afraid to do much, let us do many little things.



Lenten Preparation Novena

Reflection – Do I despise the great gift of God’s Love?

“Is it not, I say, quite a common case for men and for women to neglect religion in their best days? They have been baptised, they have been taught their duty, they have been taught to pray, they know their Creed, their conscience has been enlightened, they have opportunity to come to Church.   This is their birthright, the privileges of their birth of water and of the Spirit;  but they sell it, as Esau did.    They are tempted by Satan with some bribe of this world and they give up their birthright in exchange for what is sure to perish and to make them perish with it.    Esau was tempted by the mess of pottage which he saw in Jacob’s hands.    Satan arrested the eyes of his lust and he gazed on the pottage, as Eve gazed on the fruit of the tree of knowledge  of good and evil.    Adam and Eve sold their birthright for the fruit of a tree—that was their bargain.    Esau sold his for a mess of lentils—that was his.   And men now-a-days often sell theirs, not indeed for any thing so simple as fruit or herb but for some evil gain or other, which at the time they think worth purchasing at any price; perhaps for the enjoyment of some particular sin, or more commonly for the indulgence of general carelessness and spiritual sloth because they do not like a strict life and have no heart for God’s service.    And thus they are profane persons, for they despise the great gift of God.”  –    (Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman)


Lenten Preparation Novena


Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.

Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)

Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.  Amen


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 February

Thought for the Day – 21 February

St Peter Damian was a reformer but he reformed his own life before he tried to reform others.   Example is still the most powerful influence in changing others and preaching is useless if it is not joined to a holy life.   Before we can change others, we have to change ourselves.   Lent is nearly here – a great place to work on our progress or to begin all over again.

St Peter Damian, pray for us!


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day

Quote/s of the Day

“He pours light into our minds, arouses our desire and gives us strength…
As the soul is the life of the body, so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls.”

“The best penance is to have patience with the sorrows God permits.
A very good penance is to dedicate oneself to fulfill the duties of everyday
with exactitude and to study and work with all our strength.”

“Through a woman [Eve] a curse fell upon the earth;
through a woman [Mary] as well there returned
to the earth, a blessing.”

St Peter Damian