Posted in NOVENAS

Announcing a Novena to the Uganda Martyrs also known as St Charles Lwanga and Companions – beginning 25 May

Announcing a Novena to the Ugandan Martyrs also known as St Charles Lwanga and Companions – beginning 25 May

The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity in the historical kingdom of Buganda, now part of Uganda, who were executed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887.

They were killed on orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka (King) of Buganda.   The deaths took place at a time when there was a three-way religious struggle for political influence at the Buganda royal court.   The episode also occurred against the backdrop of the “Scramble for Africa” – the invasion, occupation, division, colonisation and annexation of African territory by European powers.   The Catholic Church beatified the martyrs of its faith in 1920 and canonised them in 1964.

announcing-a-novena-uganda-martyrs-23 may 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 23 May

Thought for the Day – 23 May

St John Baptist de Rossi not only gave his life totally to the care of all the needy – whatever their need might be!
Sick, homeless, poor and needy – by day he devoted himself to the sick and poor in Rome’s hospitals, by night he ministered to those on the street and in shelters.   But he didn’t stop there – he alleviated their bodily sorrows firstly and then he cared for their souls and he exhorted fellow priests to follow his example and to care for all – both body and soul.
Many of us shrink from going to the hospitals from fear of infection or from the sights and smells that await us there.
Courage! We are not in the world to follow our own will and pleasure but to imitate the Lord.

St John Baptist de Rossi, pray for us!

st john baptist de rossi - pray for us


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

Quote of the Day – 23 May

Quote of the Day – 23 May

“The saints must be honoured as friends of Christ
and children and heirs of God.
Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all
the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men
who announced the coming of the Lord.
And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal,
life, patience under suffering and perseverance unto death
so that we may also share their crowns of glory.”

St John Damascene (675-749) – Doctor of the Church

the saints must be honoured-st john damascene doctor of the church (675-749)

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

One Minute Reflection – 23 May

One Minute Reflection – 23 May

The Servant of the Lord….must be an apt teacher, patiently and gently correcting those who contradict him…..2 Tm 2:24-25

2 TIMOTHY 2 24-25

REFLECTION – “All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest patience and, most of all, profound humility.   They must perform their work with earnest zeal.   Then through their humble prayers, the Lord will find them worthy to become fellow workers with Him in the cause of truth.”………….St Louis

all who undertake to teach-st louis of france

PRAYER – Dear Lord, help me to teach others about You by my example as well as my words.   Grant that I may spread Your love and Your truth and Your light wherever I go. St John Baptist de Rossi, you always showed the way by your example, your love for the poor and helpless and by your teachings to seminarians, priests and all the people, please pray for us, amen,

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Our Morning Offering – 23 May

Our Morning Offering – 23 May

By St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Magnificent Doctor
Marian Doctor

Mary, I beg you,
by that grace through which
the Lord is with you
and you will to be with him,
let your mercy be with me.
Let love for you always be with me,
and the care for me be always with you.
Let the cry of my need,
as long as it persists,
be with you,
and the care of your goodness,
as long as I need it,
be with me.
Let joy in your blessedness
be always with me,
and compassion for my wretchedness,
where I need it,
be with you.
Amenmary-i-beg-you-st-anselm-23 may 2017

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi

Saint of the Day – 23 May – St John Baptist de Rossi born Giovanni Battista de’ Rossi (22 February 1698 at Voltaggio, diocese of Genoa, Italy –  23 May 1764 at Trinita dei Pellegrini, Italy of multiple strokes) Priest, Preacher and Teacher and apostle of Charity.

St John Baptist was born at the beginning of 1698 in Voltaggio as the last of four children to Carlo de’ Rossi and Francesca Anfosi who were poor but pious.   His initial education was under the care of the two priests Scipio Gaetano and Giuseppe Repetto who noted his potential and brilliance and held him as their favorite student.   In 1708 he met a noble couple (Giovanni Scorza and Maria Battina Cambiasi) from Genoa after a Mass who took him in as a page after noting his potential – after his father approved – and he went to school there until 1711.  His father’s sudden death in 1710 saw his mother plead with him to return home but Rossi was firm in his resolve to continue with his studies; his sole brother (older than him) died not long after their father.   Rossi met two Capuchin friars at the Scorza residence one evening (he had begged to meet them) who thought well of him and offered to help him continue his studies.   He had known the friars – or of them – for an uncle was one of them as he mentioned to them.  ] At the suggestion of his cousin Lorenzo de’ Rossi – the canon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin – he travelled to Rome in 1711 in order to commence his studies at the Collegium Romanum under the guidance of the Jesuits (he first had to receive his mother’s permission).   Rossi also studied at the Dominican College of Saint Thomas (underwent his philosophical and theological studies under them).   It was around this time that he joined the “Ristretto of the Twelve Apostles”.   On one occasion he attended Mass but fainted and was found to have had suffered an epileptic seizure;  this would be something he would have to grapple with for the remainder of his life and it meant he would not be able to attend classes sometimes due to the tiredness and the pain.

His desire to become a priest was strong but was hampered due to his suffering of epileptic fits which would exclude one from the priesthood in normal circumstances. Nonetheless he was granted a special dispensation on 3 March 1721 and was ordained to the priesthood soon after on 8 March.   He worked in Rome on behalf of homeless women who wandered the streets while being careful to the needs of the sick while helping to found a hospice for homeless women near Saint Galla’s.   He also aided prisoners and workers and became an ultra-popular confessor.  Rossi became known as a second Saint Philip Neri and he was known for a strong and special devotion to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

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On a superficial level St. John Baptist de Rossi’s life was uneventful.   A simple priest, for forty years he worked in the capacity of an assistant priest in Rome.   On a spiritual level, however, he touched thousands of needy people—the sick, the homeless, prostitutes, transient cattle drivers who came to market in Rome, and other rough sorts.   By day he devoted himself to the sick poor in Rome’s hospitals.   By night he ministered to street people at a refuge.

Caregivers can look to John Baptist as a model.   Before he would speak to a dying person about salvation, he did all he could to relieve their suffering.   No service for the sick, no matter how repugnant, repulsed him.   And his selflessness won people’s hearts.   Here is an excerpt from one of his sermons to his fellow priests:

“Ignorance is the leprosy of the soul. How many such lepers exist in the church here in Rome, where many people don’t even know what’s necessary for their salvation? It must be our business to try to cure this disease.   The souls of our neighbours are in our hands and yet how many are lost through our fault?   The sick die without being properly prepared because we have not given time or care enough to each particular case.   Yet with a little more patience, a little more perseverance, a little more love, we could have led these poor souls to heaven.”

Once, for example, a young man dying of syphilis rebuffed de Rossi’s attention until the priest emptied his bedpan.   Touched by John Baptist’s humble care, the fellow finally listened to him and made a good confession before he died.   Other priests and penitents were amazed by John Baptist’s persuasiveness in the confessional.   With a few gentle words he turned people’s lives.   Once a young man came to him who was sexually entangled with a woman who kept coming to his house under the pretense of washing and mending his clothes.   A brief conversation with John Baptist broke the youth’s addiction.   As a sign of his cure, the next day he brought the priest a pile of his clothes he had taken from the woman.

John Baptist exhorted others to follow his example in caring for souls and assisted his fellow priests and seminarians by his words and his life, in a homily to them he said:

“The poor come to church tired and distracted by their daily troubles.   If you preach a long sermon they can’t follow you. Give them one idea that they can take home, not half a dozen, or one will drive out the other and they will remember none.”

John Baptist de Rossi, himself worn out by his unselfish service, suffered strokes in 1763 and died a year later.

The cause for canonisation began under Pope Pius VI on 27 June 1781 but suffered brief though significant setbacks due to the French Revolution and the ensuring Napoleonic Wars and Revolutions of 1848.   Rossi was beatified after Pope Pius IX attributed two miracles to his intercession on 7 March 1859 and presided over the celebration in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 13 May 1860.   On 8 December 1881 the acknowledgement of two more miracles in 1881 enabled Pope Leo XIII to canonise him as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.   His relics initially at Saints Trinita church but were translated to Saint John Baptist Rossi parish church in Rome, Italy in 1965.

st john baptist de rossi

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 3 May

Saints – 3 May

St Basileus of Braga
St Desiderius of Langres
St Epitacius of Tuy
St Euphebius of Naples
St Euphrosyne of Polotsk
St Eutychius of Valcastoria
St Florentius of Valcastoria
St Goban Gobhnena
St Guibertus of Gorze
Bl Ivo of Chartres
St Jane Antide Thouret
St John Baptist Rossi
Bl Józef Kurzawa
Bl Leontius of Rostov
St Michael of Synnada
St Onorato of Subiaco
St Spes of Campi
St Syagrius of Nice
St William of Rochester
Bl Wincenty Matuszewski

Martyrs of Béziers: 20 Mercedarian friars murdered by Huguenots for being Catholic. Martyrs. 1562 at the Mercedarian convent at Béziers, France

Martyrs of Cappadocia: A group of Christians tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian and Galerius. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were crushed to death in c.303 in Cappadocia (in modern Turkey)

Martyrs of Carthage: When a civil revolt erupted in Carthage in 259 during a period of persecution by Valerian, the procurator Solon blamed it on the Christians, and began a persecution of them. We know the names and a few details about 8 of these martyrs – Donatian, Flavian, Julian, Lucius, Montanus, Primolus, Rhenus and Victorius. They were beheaded in 259 at Carthage (modern Tunis, Tunisia)

Martyrs of Mesopotamia: A group of Christians martyred in Mesopotamia in persecutions by imperial Roman authorities. Their names and the details of their lives have not come down to us. They were suffocated over a slow fire in Mesopotamia

Martyrs of North Africa: A group of 19 Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for refusing to deny the Trinity. We know little more than a few of their names – Dionysius, Julian, Lucius, Paul and Quintian. c.430