Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Celebrating the Memorial of BL JOSEPH GéRARD O.M.I. – 29 May

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 ( 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



Posted in NOVENAS



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.

day four novena ascension to pentecost

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 Untitled6all 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: –

Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to the Uganda Martyrs Day Five – 29 May

Novena to the Uganda Martyrs Day Five – 29 May

day five uganda martyrs

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.

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

Thought for the Day – 29 May

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!


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

One Minute Reflection – 29 May

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

it is not enough to pray - St Ursula Ledóchowska.jpg

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.

Saint Ursula Ledochowska ...jpg PRAY FOR US

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 29 May

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

mary full of grace - st athanasius

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 May – St Ursula Ledóchowska (Mother Maria Ursula of Jesus) (1865-1939)

Saint of the Day – 29 May – St Ursula Ledóchowska (1865-1939) religious name – Maria Ursula of Jesus – Religous and Foundress of the Institute of Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony (17 April 1865 at Loosdoor, Austria as Julia Ledóchowska – 29 May 1939 in the Gray Ursuline convent, Via del Casalet, Rome, Italy of natural causes) .  Canonised 18 May 2003 by Pope John Paul II at Vatican Basilica.   Her body is incorrupt, it was transferred to the Gray Ursuline motherhouse in Pniewy, Poland on 29 May 1989.



Born in Austria, Julia was born into a privileged family, the daughter of a Polish count and a Swiss noblewoman. She was one of five children born into the family.  Her elder sister, Blessed Maria Teresa Ledóchowska, founded the Missionary Sisters of Saint Peter Claver and is affectionately known as the “Mother of Africa.”

Julia (at left), her mother, and sisters

Julia’s uncle, the Cardinal Mieczyslaw Ledóchowski, the Primate of Poland, was persecuted and imprisoned for his opposition to the policies of the Prussian  “culture war.”    For this reason and for reasons of finances, Julia’s father moved the family back to his native Poland, where he fell ill.   Before his death, he gave his daughter his blessing to enter the Convent of Ursuline Sisters in Krakow.   Taking the name of Maria Ursula of Jesus, she dedicated herself to service of those in need.   Sister Maria Ursula was especially drawn to youth, specifically young women who were in need of education.  She founded the first Polish residence for female university students and both watched over them and assisted them in their spiritual and academic studies.

Sister Maria Ursula became prioress of the convent in which she lived and later received a request from Monsignor Constantine Budkiewicz, a Polish nobleman living and priest of Saint Catherine’s Church.    His wish was for Mother Maria Ursula to found a boarding school in Russia, for Polish girls wishing to study in Saint Petersburg.    Having received approval from Pope Saint Pius X, she traveled to Russia and founded a convent there to work among Catholic immigrants.    Given the state of Russian politics at that time, the nuns wore lay clothing and conducted themselves appropriately, but were under constant threat and surveillance by the Russian secret police.

Saint Ursula Ledochowska ..2

As World War I dawned, Mother Ursula was expelled from Russia, given her Austrian birth.   Monsignor Budkiewicz was eventually martyred for the faith, during the fall and renaming of Saint Petersburg as Leningrad.   Having been expelled from Russia, Mother Ursula fled to Sweden.   There, she organised relief efforts for war victims, charitable enterprises for those (like herself) living in exile from Poland.   She further founded a monthly Catholic newspaper.

In 1920, Mother Ursula and her growing community made its way back into Poland, bringing with her dozens of orphaned youth.   Upon their return, Mother Ursula found that her community had developed a separate and unique identity, mission and charism from the Ursuline community, given their exile and separation and as a result, she founded her own congregation:  The Institute of Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony.   Having obtained Vatican approval, she dedicated herself and her congregation to “the education and training of children and youth and service to the poorest and the oppressed among our brethren.”

From that time on, the Ursulines founded congregations in working class towns, organizing a “Eucharistic Crusade” by which to educate the factory workers and their families in the ways of the faith.   With tireless energy and faith, Mother Ursula continued to lead her community until 1939, when she passed away quietly at the general house of her community in Rome.   Her incorrupt body was translated to the Gray Ursuline motherhouse in Pniewy, Poland in 1989.   She was canonised in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.   At her canonization, the pontiff proclaimed:

 “Mother Ursula Ledóchowska made her life a mission of mercy for the most deprived.   Wherever Providence took her, she found young people in need of instruction and spiritual formation, poor, sick or lonely people, battered by life in various ways, who expected of her understanding and concrete help.   In accordance with her means, she never refused help to anyone.   Her work of mercy will remain engraved forever in the message of holiness, which yesterday became part of the whole Church.”

Saint Ursula Ledochowska ..

The first miracle that led to her beatification involved the cure of Jan Kołodziejski on 26 March 1946 while the second miracle leading to beatification involved the cure of the nun (from Ledóchowska’s own order) Magdalene Pawlak (in religious “Maria Danuta”) on 16 April 1946.   The decisive miracle that led to her canonisation was the cure of Daniel Gajewski (b. 1982) who avoided electrocution in circumstances where he would otherwise would have been killed had it not been for the late nun whom he saw moments before fading into unconsciousness on 2 August 1996.

Saint Ursula Ledochowska ..6

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints’ Memorials – 29 May

St Bona of Pisa
St Conon the Elder
St Conon the Younger
St Daganus
St Eleutherius of Rocca d’Arce
St Felix of Atares
St Gerald of Mâcon
Bl Gerardesca of Pisa
Bl Giles Dalmasia
St Hesychius of Antioch
St John de Atarés
BL Joseph Gerard
St Maximinus of Trier
St Maximus of Verona
St Restitutus of Rome
Bl Richard Thirkeld
St Theodosia of Caesarea and Companions
St Ursula Ledochowska
St Votus of Atares
St William of Cellone

Martyrs of Toulouse: A group of eleven Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, clergy and lay brothers who worked with the Inquisition in southern France to oppose the Albigensian heresy. Basing their operations in a farmhouse outside Avignonet, France, he and his brother missioners worked against heresy. Murdered by Albigensian heretics while singing the Te Deum on the eve of Ascension. They werebeaten to death on the night of 28 to 29 May 1242 in the church of Avignonet, Toulouse, France and Beatified on 1 September 1866 by Pope Pius IX (cultus confirmation).
• Adhemar
• Bernard of Roquefort
• Bernard of Toulouse
• Fortanerio
• Garcia d’Aure
• Pietro d’Arnaud
• Raymond Carbonius
• Raymond di Cortisan
• Stephen Saint-Thibery
• William Arnaud
• the prior of Avignonet whose name unfortunately has not come down to us.
The church in which they died was placed under interdict as punishment to the locals for the offense. Shortly after the interdict was finally lifted, a large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was found on the door step of church. Neither the sculptor nor the patron was ever discovered, nor who delivered it or how. The people took it as a sign that they were forgiven, but that they should never forget, and should renew their devotion to Our Lady. They referred to the image as “Our Lady of Miracles”.
Until recently there was a ceremony in the church on the night of the 28th to 29th of May, the anniversary of the martyrdom. Called “The Ceremony of the Vow”, parishioners would gather in the church, kneel with lit candles, and process across the church on their knees, all the while praying for the souls of the heretics who had murdered the martyrs.

Martyrs of Trentino: Three missionaries to the Tyrol region of Austria, sent by Saint Ambrose of Milan and welcomed by Saint Vigilius of Trent. All were martyred – Alexander, Martyrius and Sisinius. They were born in Cappadocia and died in 397 in Austria.