Celebrating the Memorial of BL JOSEPH GéRARD O.M.I. – 29 May Priest and Missionary, Apostle to Lesotho (12 March 1831-29 May 1914 aged 83) – Patron of Missionaries.
Joseph Gerard was born in 1831 in Bouxieres-aux-Chenes in the Diocese of Nancy, France. He joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at the age of 20 and at the age of 22 was sent by St Eugene de Mazenod (https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/?s=St+Eugene+de+Mazenod) as a missionary to Southern Africa, never to see his family or homeland again. He was ordained a priest in 1854 in Pietermaritzburg and at first served the Oblate mission to the Zulu people, later joining Bishop Allard, the Bishop of Natal, in setting up the first Catholic mission in Lesotho. With the permission of the great Chief Moshoeshoe they founded Motse-oa-Ma-Jesu (the Village of the Mother of Jesus) thirty two kilometres south of Moshoeshoe’s stronghold of Thaba Bosiu. (The village which they founded later became Roma, site of the Catholic University College and now the University of Lesotho.)
Joseph Gerard was well respected by Chief Moshoeshoe, particulaly because he remained with the Basotho during the three wars between the Basotho and the Orange Free State. It is said that it was through Joseph Gerard’s efforts that Chief Moshoeshoe sought the protection of the British at the end of the wars, a decision which resulted in Lesotho becoming a British Protectorate and an Independent country today.
Joseph Gerard’s mission grew slowly and by the end of 1879, when he was already 48 years of age, there were only 700 Catholics in Lesotho. He persevered, however in prayer, faith and work, remaining in Lesotho as a missionary for the rest of his life.
Early beginnings at the
Village of the Mother Of Jesus
The Oblate mission to the Basotho grew and flourished. He died on 29th May 1914 at the age of 83, a man greatly revered by the people of Lesotho. The fact that Lesotho is very largely a Catholic country today can be traced back to those early beginnings at the Village of the Mother of Jesus.
The beatification process commenced under Pope Pius XII on 1 March 1955 and he became titled as a Servant of God while the confirmation of his life of heroic virtue allowed for Pope Paul VI to name him as Venerable on 13 November 1976. The miracle required for his beatification was investigated and later received validation from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 14 March 1986; a medical board approved it on 3 December 1986 as did theologians on 13 March 1987 and the C.C.S. members on 19 May 1987. Pope John Paul II approved this miracle on 1 June 1987 and beatified the late priest while on his visit to Lesotho on 15 September 1988. The current postulator for this cause is the O.M.I. priest Thomas Klosterkamp
NOVENA from ASCENSION to PENTECOST DAY FOUR – MONDAY 29 MAY 2017
The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important: eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared: sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will and inflames the heart with the love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, because the Spirit comes to us in our needs. When we don’t know what to say, it is the Spirit who speaks within us.
The Gift of Fortitude
By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude provides us an impulse and energy which moves us to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to disregard human glory and to endure without complaint the hardships and difficulties that life brings in its various circumstances and situations. “He who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Come and fill me, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude. Protect my soul in times of trouble and adversity. Sustain my efforts in holiness, strengthen me in my weakness and give me courage against all the assaults and temptations of my enemies, that I may not be overcome and separated from you, my God and greatest Good. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
her: – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/novena-from-ascension-to-pentecost-day-two-saturday-27-may/
Novena to the Uganda Martyrs Day Five – 29 May
O God, who in Your love and mercy
was pleased to send missionaries to Uganda
to bring the light of Christ to all the peoples,
we thank You for the gift of the
Holy Martyrs of Uganda, our ancestors in faith,
whom You gave the strength to overcome sin and the
anguish of torture and to bear witness to the truth.
Mary, Mother of Sorrows!
Look with mercy on those who suffer.
Be close to the victims of violence and terror,
and console those who mourn.
May Jesus your Son grant comfort
and peace to all the sick and dying,
and may He strengthen those
devoted to their physical and spiritual care.
To the Holy Martyrs, we beg for intercession,
be pleased to hear our prayer and pray for us that this,
our special request may be granted
(make your intention)
Holy Martyrs of Uganda, we honour and praise you!
Please pray for us!
O heavenly Father, we make our prayer
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 29 May
Today, the congregation founded by Mother Ursula continues its work around the world, numbering at approximately 900 nuns and 100 communities in 12 countries including Poland, Italy, France, Germany, Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Tanzania. St Ursula educated her sisters to love God above all things and to see God in every human person and all creation. As a shining example of faith and complete trust in the Lord, she demonstrated her confidence through tireless work, constant smile, serenity of spirit, humility and the desire to live an ordinary life as a privileged path to holiness. Throughout her life, during a difficult political period, including the First World War, Julia maintained a constant focus on helping the poor, displaced and forgotten. When questioned about her political views, often at risk to her own life, she simply and repeatedly replied, “My policy is love.”
And there we have it – so often told us, most importantly by our Lord, the answer is clear – to be saints, our policy has to be LOVE!
St Ursula Ledóchowska Pray for us!
Quote of the Day – 29 May
“You must never ask Jesus to wait.”
St Ursula Ledóchowska
One Minute Reflection – 29 May
Well done, you are an industrious and reliable servant…..come share your master’s joy……..Matthew 25:21
REFLECTION – “It is not enough to pray: “Thy kingdom come” but to work, so that the Kingdom of God will exist among us today.”…………St Ursula Ledóchowska
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to accept the tasks you have given me to do in life. Let me be faithful all my days and be able to attain Your eternal reward in heaven. St Ursula Ledóchowska, you accepted all work given you, no matter the circumstances and undergoing immense hardships to fulfil your mission and do the work of God, please pray for us, that we too, may be faithful at all times and in all circumstances, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 29 May
Mary, Full of Grace!
By St ATHANASIUS (c296-373) Doctor of the Church
It is becoming for you, O Mary,
to be mindful of us,
as you stand near Him
who bestowed upon you all graces,
for you are the Mother of God and our Queen.
Come to our aid for the sake of the King,
the Lord God and Master who was born of you.
For this reason you are called “full of grace.”
Be mindful of us, most holy Virgin,
and bestow on us gifts
from the riches of your graces,
O Virgin full of grace. Amen