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, Queen of Africa!
Lead all people into the Lord’s Kingdom of holiness,
truth and life.
You who freely said “yes” to God
and became the Virgin Mother of His only Son,
remain ever close to your children in Uganda.
May they be reborn in hope,
and may God’s saving plan be fulfilled in them.
Through them, may all Africa come to know
and love the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
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.
NOVENA from ASCENSION to PENTECOST DAY FIVE – TUESDAY 30 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 Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth ~ in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretence of creatures, reveals their emptiness and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him who possesses it.”
Come and fill me, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father in all things, in every moment of every day. Give me an awareness of the pointlessness of earthly things and the ugliness of unholy desires, that I may stay pure in all my decisions and use the things of this world only if they bring You glory. Tell me what I need to know for my salvation and for the service of others. Amen
Like Jesus’ life, Joan of Arc’s life seemed to end in failure. But like Jesus, to love God means to always obey His will. She said with total confidence and abandonment: “I entrust myself to my Creator God, I love Him with my whole heart”. One of the best known texts of the first trial has to do with this: “Asked if she knew that she was in God’s grace, she replied: ‘If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there’” It is this fidelity we should seek – this mission which Joan seemed to know would destroy her, still for her it was to carry out God’s work, regardless of the effects on her life. May we too seek this total fidelity and self-giving to God for this life of ours, it is not ours but has been given to us by grace of His love.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and understanding……..Is 11:2
REFLECTION – “Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have a right concept of everything.
Hence, many unlettered people enjoy such knowledge more than the wise.”…………St John Vianney
“(St Joan of Arc) our saint lived prayer as a form of continuous dialogue with the Lord, who also enlightened her answers to the judges, giving her peace and security. She prayed with faith: “Sweetest God, in honour of your holy Passion, I ask You, if You love me, to reveal to me how I must answer these men of the Church”. Joan saw Jesus as the “King of Heaven and Earth.” Thus, on her standard, Joan had the image painted of “Our Lord who sustains the world”………..Pope Benedict XVI (2010)
PRAYER – Father if every good gift, send forth Your Spirit upon me with His sevenfold gifts. Grant that through my love for Your Son, I too may like St Joan of Arc, achieve the heights of the Christian life, make prayer the guiding thread of my days; fulfilling the will of God, whatever it is; to live in charity without favouritisms, without limits and have, as she had, in the love of Jesus, a profound love for the Church. St Joan of Arc, pray for us all, amen.
To You we Cry, O Queen of Mercy! By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor mellifluus (Mellifluous Doctor)
To you we cry,
O Queen of Mercy!
Return, that we may
behold you dispensing favours,
Ah, tender Mother!
Tell your all-powerful Son
that we have no more wine.
We are thirsty after the wine of His love,
of that marvelous wine
that fills souls with a holy inebriation,
and gives them the strength to despise
the things of this world
and to seek with ardor heavenly goods.
Saint of the Day – 30 May – St Joan of Arc (1412-1431) – Virgin (6 January 1412 at Greux-Domremy, Lorraine, France – burned alive on 30 May 1431 at Rouen, France) – Beatified 11 April 1905 by Pope Saint Pius X, Canonised on 16 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. Patron of France; martyrs; captives; military personnel; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers; opposition of Church authorities; WACs (Women’s Army Corps); WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service). Attributes – bareheaded girl in armour with sword, lance or banner.
The Church officially remembers Joan of Arc not as a Martyr but as a virgin—the Maid of Orleans. Of course, Joan was a Martyr, but not in the technical sense. Yes, she died because she did what she thought God wanted her to do. But she was killed for her politics, not for her faith. Pagans did not execute her for refusing to worship their gods. Infidels did not slay her for defying them. Political enemies burned her at the stake for defeating them at war.
Paradoxically, Christian people, good and bad alike, cheered at her demise. Other Christians wept. This incongruity may trouble us but Joan would have expected it. The war she fought embroiled French Christians against English Christians. We too have waged wars like that, pitting Christian against Christian. Just as we may have felt that God was on our side, Joan believed that God was with the French. When the judges who condemned her asked if the heavenly voices she followed to war spoke in English, she replied tartly, “Why should they speak English when they were not on the English side?”
Joan of Arc was born into the violent times of the fifteenth century. During her childhood, King Henry V of England invaded France and seized Normandy. He laid claim to the crown of the French king, Charles VI, who was mentally ill. Paralysed by civil war between the duke of Burgundy and the duke of Orleans, the French could not put up much of a defense. Things worsened when agents of the duke of Orleans murdered the duke of Burgundy. The Burgundians reacted by becoming England’s allies. Eventually, Burgundian mercenaries brought the war home to Joan’s family. The raiders sacked the little village of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, forcing them to flee. Thus, the indiscriminate brutality of war disrupted Joan of Arc’s pleasant childhood to acquaint her with fear.
Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux southeast of Paris, Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Saints Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.
By May 1428, Joan’s voices had become relentless and specific. They directed her to go at once to a town nearby and to offer her services to Robert de Baudricourt, the commander of the royal forces. Reluctantly, she obeyed. De Baudricourt, however, greeted her with laughter, telling her that her father should give her a good spanking.
At that time, conditions were deteriorating for the French. The English had put Orleans under siege, and the stronghold was in grave danger. Joan’s voices became more insistent. “But I am merely a girl! I cannot ride a horse or wield a weapon!”she protested.
“It is God who commands it!” came the reply.
Unable to resist any longer, Joan secretly made her way back to de Baudricourt. When she arrived she told the commander a fact she could have known only by revelation. She said the French army—on that very day—had suffered a defeat near Orleans. Joan urged him to send her to Orleans so that she might fulfill her mission. When official reports confirmed Joan’s word, de Baudricourt finally took her seriously and sent her to Charles VII.
She was outfitted with white armour and provided a special standard bearing the names Jesus and Mary. The banner depicted two kneeling angels offering a fleur-de-lis to God. On April 29, 1429, Joan led her army into Orleans. Miraculously, she rallied the town. By May 8, the French had captured the English forts and had lifted the siege. An arrow had penetrated the armour over Joan’s breast but the injury was not serious enough to keep her out of the battle. Everything, including the wound, occurred exactly as Joan had prophesied before the campaign. A peasant maiden had defeated the army of a mighty kingdom, a humiliation that demanded revenge.
The way to Reims was now open. Joan urged the immediate coronation of the king but the French leaders dragged their feet. Finally, however, at Reims on July 17, 1429, Charles VII was anointed king of France. The Maid of Orleans stood triumphantly at his side. Joan had accomplished her mission.
During the battles at Orleans, the voices had told Joan she had only a little time left. Her shameful end lurked ominously in the shadows. Later, she sustained a serious arrow wound in the thigh during an unsuccessful attack on Paris. In May 1430, after spending the winter in court, she led a force to relieve Compiègne, which the Burgundians had under siege. Her effort failed, and the Burgundians captured her.
Through the summer and fall, the duke of Burgundy held Joan captive. The French, apparently ungrateful, made no effort to rescue her or obtain her release. On November 21, 1430, the Burgundians sold Joan to the English for a large sum. The English were quite eager to punish the maiden who had bested them. They could not execute Joan for winning but they could impose capital punishment for sorcery or heresy. For several months she was chained in a cell in the castle at Rouen, where five coarse guards constantly taunted her. In February 1431, Joan appeared before a tribunal headed by Peter Cauchon, the avaricious and wicked bishop of Beauvais.
Joan had no chance for a fair trial. She stood alone before devious judges, an uneducated girl conducting her own defense. The panel interrogated her six times in public, nine times in private. They questioned her closely about her visions, voices, male dress, faith and submissiveness to the church. Giving good, sometimes even unexpectedly clever answers, Joan handled herself courageously. However, the judges took advantage of her lack of education and tripped her up on a few slippery theological points. The panel packed its summary with her damaging replies and condemned her with that unfair report. They declared that demons inspired her revelations. The tribunal decided that unless Joan recanted, she was to die as a heretic. At first she refused. But later, when she was taken before a huge throng, she seems to have made some sort of retraction.
Cauchon visited her, observed her dress,and determined that she had fallen back into error. Joan, her strength renewed, then repudiated her earlier retraction. She declared that God had truly commissioned her and that her voices had come from him. Having condemned Joan of Arc as a relapsed heretic, the judges remanded her to the state for execution. The next morning she was taken into Rouen’s public square and burned at the stake.
Twenty-three years later, however, Joan’s mother and brothers asked that her case be reopened. Pope Callistus III appointed a commission to review the matter. In 1456, the new panel repudiated the trial and verdict and completely restored Joan’s reputation. Once again her piety and exemplary conduct had triumphed.
St Anastasius II of Pavia
St Basil the Elder
Bl Carlo Liviero
St Crispulus of Sardinia
Bl Elisabeth Stagel
St Exuperantius of Ravenna
St Pope Felix ISt
Ferdinand III of Castille
St Gamo of Brittany
St Gavino of Sardinia
St Issac of Constantinople
St Joan of Arc
St Joseph Marello
Bl Lawrence Richardson
St Luke Kirby
Bl Marie-Céline of the Presentation
Bl Otto Neururer
St Reinhildis of Riesenbeck
St Restitutus of Cagliari
Bl Richard Newport
Bl Thomas Cottam
St Venantius of Lérins
St Walstan of Bawburgh
Bl William Filby
Bl Willilam Scott
Martyrs of Aquileia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyr together. We have no other details than their names – Cantianus, Euthymius and Eutychius. Aquileia, Italy