Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, Uncategorized

Wishing our Holy Father Emeritus Papa Benedict XVI a Blessed 90th Birthday

Wishing our Holy Father Emeritus Papa Benedict XVI a Blessed 90th Birthday


A “modest” 90th birthday party is being planned for Benedict XVI, who stunned the Catholic Church by resigning as pope in 2013.

His personal secretary and long-time aide, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, told an Italian Catholic news agency Saturday that Benedict’s birthday, which falls on Easter Sunday this year, will be celebrated on Monday in Bavarian style, in keeping with the emeritus pontiff’s roots.

“There will be a small moment of celebration in keeping with his strength,” Gaenswein said about the frail churchman.

Benedict cited fading strength when announcing his decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years.

Attending the party will be a delegation from Bavaria and Benedict’s elder brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger. The sibling’s visit will be “the most beautiful” birthday gift, Gaenswein added.

The former Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927, in southern Germany. Trained as a theologian, he was a long-time Vatican official in charge of ensuring doctrinal orthodoxy when elected as pontiff in 2005.

Past recent birthdays have seen Benedict celebrate the day with a pint of beer.

Gaenswein told the S.I.R. news agency that Benedict is “serene, in good humor, very lucid.”

“Certainly, his physical strength is lessening. It’s hard for him to walk. However, he uses a walker, which ensures autonomy in movement and safety,” the aide said.

The rhythm of Benedict’s retirement in a monastery on Vatican City grounds consists of “prayer, meditation, reading, study, correspondence,” Gaenswein said. “He has visitors, too. Music certainly still has its place, together with a daily walk.”

Posted in EASTER, MORNING Prayers

Wishing you all a Holy, Blessed and grace-filled Easter – 16 April 2017

Wishing you all a Holy, Blessed and grace-filled Easter – 16 April 2017


Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians.



In the very centre of the Mass, the great prayer of thanksgiving, from the first words of the Preface, expresses the unrivalled motive for this joy: if it is right to praise You, Lord, at all times, how much more so should we not glorify You on this day when Christ our Passover was sacrificed, for He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world, who by His Death destroyed our death and by His Resurrection restored our life. Easter means, then, Redemption obtained — sin destroyed, death overcome, divine life brought back to us, the resurrection of our body which is promised immortality.   With such a certitude, we should banish all trace of sadness.

Haec dies quam fecit Dominus:   “This is the day which the Lord has made.” Throughout the octave we shall sing of the unequalled joy which throws open eternity to us.   Every Sunday will furnish a reminder of it and from Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.


“Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze.  Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth.  A new life is about to emerge, but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control. Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.

Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces as Burnand intended you to do and through them discover the empty tomb.” Elise Ehrhard




Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 16 April

Thought for the Day – 16 April

In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum.   These days we ascribe such behaviour to mental illness or worse.   Benedict’s contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.  St Benedict Joseph discovered his own way to holiness, it might seem strange and “mad” but he realised that he could find God in his own unique way.   Whatever the circumstances of our lives, we too can find God there, for holiness is possible anywhere.

St Benedict Joseph Labre, pray for us!


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

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Easter Sunday

Through baptism into (Christ’s) death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead….we too might live a new life………Romans 6:4

REFLECTION – “Christ is our life.   Let us therefore look to Christ.   He came to suffer in order to merit glory;  to seek cotempt in order to be exalted.   He came to die but also to rise again.”……………St Augustine

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, through my baptism, I was buried with Christ and rose to a new life of grace.   Let me rejoice in the Easter glory of Your Son and so guard my life that I will enjoy it fully in heaven with Him.   St Benedict Joseph Labre, you so rightly are called the “Beggar of Perpetual Adoration”, you so perfectly adored our risen Lord who is always with us in the Blessed Sacrament, please pray for us, amen!




Divine Mercy Novena – Day Three – Easter Sunday – 16 April 2017

Divine Mercy Novena – Day Three – Easter Sunday

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday.    He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:
“These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives.    It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’    The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”
During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday,
the Chaplet of Divine Mercy should be offered each day for the
day’s intentions.



Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.” 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all.    Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It.   We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son.    For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection.    Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.



Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 April – Easter Sunday

Our Morning Offering – 16 April – Easter Sunday

ST Pope Gregory the Great

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension
of Loving-Kindness toward us, Your servants,
You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam for us
to the Eternal Father by Your Blood
poured forth in Loving-Kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!
We pray You, Lord,
to preserve Your servants in the peaceful enjoyment
of this Easter happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with God The Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever


Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 April – St Benedict Joseph Labre

Saint of the Day – 16 April – St Benedict Joseph Labre T.O.S.F. (1748-1783) “Beggar of Perpetual Adoration” – Patron against insanity and mental illness, of tramps, bachelors, beggars, hoboes, homeless people, mentally ill people, people rejected by religious orders, pilgrims – Attributes – beggar in a tri-cornered hat sharing his alms.

St Benedict Joseph Labre was born in 1748 in the village of Amettes, near Arras, in the former Province of Artois in the north of France.    He was the eldest of fifteen children of a prosperous shopkeeper, Jean Baptist Labre and his wife, Anne Grandsire.

Labre had an uncle, a parish priest, living some distance from his family home;   this uncle gladly received him and undertook his early education for the priesthood.    At the age of sixteen, he approached his uncle about becoming a Trappist monk but his parents told him he would have to wait until he grew older.    When Benedict was about eighteen, an epidemic fell upon the city, and uncle and nephew busied themselves in the service of the sick.    While the uncle took care of the souls and bodies of the people, Benedict went to and fro caring for the cattle.    He cleaned their stalls and fed them;   exchanging the life of a farm labourer for that of a student under his uncle’s roof.    Among the last victims of the epidemic was the uncle himself.

Labre set off for La Trappe Abbey to apply to the Order but did not come up to their requirements.   He was under age, he was too delicate, he had no special recommendations.    He later attempted to join the Carthusians and Cistercians but each order rejected him as unsuitable for communal life.    He was, for about six weeks, a postulant with the Carthusians at Neuville.    In November 1769 he obtained admission to the Cistercian Abbey of Sept-Fonts.    After a short stay at Sept-Fonts his health gave way and it was decided that his vocation lay elsewhere.

Labre, according to Catholic tradition, experienced a desire, which he considered was given to him by God and inspired by the example of Saint Alexius of Rome and that of the holy Franciscan tertiary pilgrim, Saint Roch, to “abandon his country, his parents, and whatever is flattering in the world to lead a new sort of life, a life most painful, most penitential, not in a wilderness nor in a cloister but in the midst of the world, devoutly visiting as a pilgrim the famous places of Christian devotion”.

Labre joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and settled on a life of poverty and pilgrimage.    He first traveled to Rome on foot, subsisting on what he could get by begging.    He then travelled to most of the major shrines of Europe, often several times each.    He visited the various shrines in Loreto, Assisi, Naples, and Bari in Italy, Einsiedeln in Switzerland, Paray-le-Monial in France and Santiago de Compostela in Spain.    During these trips he would always travel on foot, sleeping in the open or in a corner of a room, with his clothes muddy and ragged.    On one occasion he stopped at the farmhouse of Matthieu and Marie Vianney, who would later become the parents of the future saint, the Curé d’Ars.    He lived on what little he was given and often shared the little he did receive with others.    He is reported to have talked rarely, prayed often and accepted quietly the abuse he received.

Benedict Joseph Labre depicted by Antonio Cavallucci (1752–1795)

In so doing, Labre was following in the role of the mendicant, the “Fool-for-Christ” . He would often swoon when contemplating the crown of thorns, in particular, and, during these states, it is said he would levitate or bilocate.    He was also said to have cured some of the other homeless he met and to have multiplied bread for them.    In the last years of his life (his thirties), he lived in Rome, for a time living in the ruins of the Colosseum and would leave only to make a yearly pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto.   He was a familiar figure in the city and known as the “saint of the Forty Hours” (or Quarant’ Ore) for his dedication to Eucharistic adoration.

The day before he died, Labre collapsed in the church of Santa Maria ai Monti, blocks from the Colosseum and despite his protestations was charitably taken to a house behind the church at Via dei Serpenti 2.    He died there of malnutrition on 16 April, during Holy Week, in 1783 and was buried in the Church of Santa Maria ai Monti.

S.Maria ai Monti: Tomb of St Benedict Joseph Labrerome2007_img_1029-1


Posted in EASTER, SAINT of the DAY

Saints and Feasts – 16 April

Easter Sunday (2017)

Bl Arcangelo Canetoli
St Benedict Joseph Labre
St Bernadette of Lourdes
St Drogo
St Elias
St Fructuosus of Braga
St Herveus of Tours
Bl Joachim Piccolomini
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Magnus of Orkney
St Turibius of Astorga
St Vaise
St William Gnoffi

Martyrs of Avrillé – 26 beati: – A group of lay people who were executed together for their faith during the anti-Christian persecutions of the French Revolution.

• Blessed Anne Maugrain
• Blessed François Micheneau veuve Gillot
• Blessed François Suhard veuve Ménard
• Blessed Jean Ménard
• Blessed Jeanne Gourdon veuve Moreau
• Blessed Jeanne Leduc épouse Paquier
• Blessed Jeanne Onillon veuve Onillon
• Blessed Jeanne Thomas veuve Delaunay
• Blessed Madeleine Cady épouse Desvignes
• Blessed Madeleine Sallé épouse Havard
• Blessed Marguerite Robin
• Blessed Marie Forestier
• Blessed Marie Gingueneau veuve Coiffard
• Blessed Marie Lardeux
• Blessed Marie Piou épouse Supiot
• Blessed Marie Rechard
• Blessed Marie Roger veuve Chartier
• Blessed Marie-Genevieve Poulain de la Forestrie
• Blessed Marthe Poulain de la Forestrie
• Blessed Perrine Bourigault
• Blessed Perrine Laurent
• Blessed Perrine Pottier épouse Turpault
• Blessed Pierre Delépine
• Blessed Renée Bourgeais veuve Juret
• Blessed Renée Rigault épouse Papin
• Blessed Renée Sechet veuve Davy
16 April 1794 at Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France – Beatified: 19 February 1984 by Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Corinth – 9 saints: A group of nine Christians who were tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than three of their names – Callistus, Charisius and Leonide. They were thrown into the sea at Corinth, Greece c.250

Martyrs of Saragossa: Group of eighteen martyrs murdered in 304 in Saragossa, Spain in the persecutions of Diocletian and the prefect Dacean. We know little more than the names – Apodemus, Caecilian, Caius, Crementius, Engratia, Eventius, Felix, Fronto, Gaius, Julia, Lambert, Lupercus, Martial, Optatus, Primitivus, Publius, Quintilian, Saturnius (4 men of this name), Succesus and Urban. Their graves re-discovered in 1389 in the crypt under the church of San Encrazia in Saragossa