St Augustine, the Holy Trinity, the Child and the SeaShell

St Augustine, the Holy Trinity, the Child and the SeaShell

Today, 11 June 2017, on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we remember the legend of St Augustine and the Seashell.

Abraham Willaerts – Saint Augustine and the child
Abraham Willaerts – St Augustine and the Child

The great Doctor of the Church St. Augustine of Hippo spent over 30 years working on his treatise De Trinitate [about the Holy Trinity], endeavouring to conceive an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity.

He was walking by the seashore one day contemplating and trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity when he saw a small boy running back and forth from the water to a spot on the seashore.   The boy was using a sea shell to carry the water from the ocean and place it into a small hole in the sand.

The Bishop of Hippo approached him and asked, “My boy, what are doing?”

“I am trying to bring all the sea into this hole,” the boy replied with a sweet smile.

“But that is impossible, my dear child, the hole cannot contain all that water” said Augustine.

The boy paused in his work, stood up, looked into the eyes of the Saint, and replied, “It is no more impossible than what you are trying to do – comprehend the immensity of the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your small intelligence.”

The Saint was absorbed by such a keen response from that child, and turned his eyes from him for a short while.   When he glanced down to ask him something else, the boy had vanished.

ST AUGUSTINE AND THE CHILDst augustine and the child 2

Some say that it was an Angel sent by God to teach Augustine a lesson on pride in learning. Others affirm it was the Christ Child Himself who appeared to the Saint to remind him of the limits of human understanding before the great mysteries of our Faith.


Saint of the Day – St Barnabas the Apostle – 11 June

Saint of the Day – 11 June –  St Barnabas the Apostle – 11 June

Say the word “apostles” and most people will respond, “the twelve.”   By which, they mean the twelve-become-eleven-and-then-twelve-again:  Simon Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee) John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (Son of Alphaeus), Jude (Thaddeus), Simon the Zealot, Judas and Matthias, who replaced Judas.   How, then, can the Church celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle every June 11?

There are more than twelve apostles. The list includes Paul, Luke, John Mark, Lazarus and, today’s saint, Barnabas, who, like Paul, his traveling and preaching companion, was probably converted after Christ’ death, resurrection and ascension. We first hear of Barnabas in Acts 4:36-37:

“There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”).   He sold a field of that belonged to him, then bought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.”
The story of Barnabas is told just before the story of Ananias and Sapphira, who kept back part of the proceeds from land they, like Barnabas, had sold and then, unlike Barnabas, lied to Peter about it.   Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be thought of as faithful without doing the work of faithfulness.   It’s instructive that Luke links their stories.


From the day of his conversion Barnabas was faithful.   He was generous and open to all who came seeking Christ.   When the elders of the Jerusalem Church doubted Paul’s conversion, Barnabas vouched for him.   Born, like Paul, a Jew, Barnabas welcomed gentile converts and did not insist that their conversion be two-fold, first to Judaism and only then to Christianity.   With Paul, he spent a year in Antioch preaching Christ crucified to the gentiles.   From Antioch, Barnabas and Paul went to Cyprus and Asia Minor.   They had only one message: Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, died and was buried.   On the third day he rose again and appeared to the ones who have been sent out to tell this good news to all the world.

← → The Apostles, St. Paul And St. Barnabas At Lystra Jacob Jordaens – 1645

Barnabas and Paul finally separated in their ministries, while remaining apostles of the one Catholic Church, over Paul’s insistence that Mark not travel with them again.

In death, however, the “Apostles to the Gentiles” were reunited. Mark is said to have buried Barnabas after he was killed by a mob in Cyprus around the year 62.   St. Paul and St. Mark were, in turn, reconciled before St. Paul’s martyrdom five years later.

He is said to have been stoned to death in Salamis in the year 61.


Paul writes of him in first letter to the church at Corinth, where he makes clear that both he and Barnabas have to work for a living.   So we know he was preaching and teaching as late as 56 or 57 A.D.   Some sources say he was the first Bishop of Milan.   In Acts 11:24, St. Luke called him “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.”   Luke writes as a result of Barnabas’ preaching in Antioch, “a great many people were brought to the Lord.”

Sometimes the stories of martyrdoms are so dramatic and so compelling that we focus on the death of the saint rather than the life.   Barnabas calls us to consider the way we live, and then through this way, preparing for our deaths.

St Barnabas, pray for us!

st barnabas pray for us




One Minute Reflection – 11 June – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

One Minute Reflection – 11 June – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the holy ones greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you………..2 Corinthians 13:11-13

REFLECTION – “The one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church is the People of God, the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit.   These three biblical images point to the Trinitarian dimension of the Church.   In this dimension are found all disciples of Christ, who are called to live it ever more deeply and in an ever more intense communion.”…..St John Paul

the one holy - st john paul

PRAYER – God our Father, who by sending into the world. the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification, made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in profession the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. T  hat we, as your chosen may too live our lives in total unity with all the peoples of Christ’s Church.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, Uncategorized

St ANTHONY of PADUA NOVENA for all our Needs – DAY EIGHT – 11 June

St ANTHONY of PADUA NOVENA for all our Needs – DAY EIGHT – 11 June

day eight-novena st anthony


O holy St. Anthony,
you have shown yourself so powerful in your intercession,
so tender and so compassionate towards those who honour you
and invoke you in suffering and distress.
I beseech you most humbly and earnestly
to take me under your protection in my present necessities
and to obtain for me the favour I desire
(State your intention).
Recommend my request to the merciful Queen of Heaven,
that she may plead my cause with you
before the throne of her Divine Son.

One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honour of Saint Anthony.

Saint Anthony, pray for us!


Our Morning Offering- 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Our Morning Offering- 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The hymn Te Deum is a moving tribute to God in His triune majesty. Its authorship has been traditionally attributed to Saints Ambrose (it has often been called an Ambrosian Hymn) and Augustine on the occasion of the latter’s baptism by the former in AD 387

It was more likely written by St. Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana at about the same time period.   It is still part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the public prayers of the Church that are recited daily by the clergy and other religious, along with many of the laity as well.

Te Deum has been set to music by such illustrious composers as Mozart, Haydn, Verdi, Dvorak, Britten and Penderecki.   Its name comes from its opening words in Latin, “Te Deum Laudamus” (“O God we praise you”).

As you read the text of this hymn printed below (which can also be recited as a prayer, of course), you can get a sense of its grandeur!   It gives us a glimpse of heaven, with saints and angels praising God, before focusing on Christ in lines suggestive of the Apostle’s Creed.   It also includes some verses from the Psalms added at a later date (the lines after the space below).


O, God, we praise You and acknowledge You
to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships You.
All the angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the cherubim and seraphim, continually cry to you:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Your glory.
The glorious choir of the apostles,
The wonderful company of prophets,
The white-robed army of martyrs, praise You.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges You:
The Father of infinite majesty;
Your adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, You are the King of glory!
You are the everlasting Son of the Father.
When You took it upon Yourself to deliver man,
You did not disdain the Virgin’s womb.
Having overcome the sting of death,
You opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You sit at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that You will come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg You to help Your servants
whom You have redeemed with Your Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Your saints in everlasting glory.

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance!
Govern them and raise them up forever.
Every day we thank You.
And we praise Your name forever; yes, forever and ever.
O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your mercy, O lord be upon us, for we have hoped in You.
O Lord, in you I have put my trust; never let me be put to shame.


Te Deum combines important elements of prayer to God, including adoration, supplication (particularly towards the end in its appeal for God’s mercy) and thanksgiving.   (It is often referred to as a Hymn of Thanksgiving).   The Church triumphant (those in heaven) and the Church militant (those on earth) sing God’s praises in adoration in this hymn.

We can see thanksgiving here in the acknowledgement of Christ’s opening “the kingdom of heaven to all believers” and redeeming us with His Precious Blood at Calvary.

The reference to Christ’s having overcome the sting of death also brings to mind the words of St. Paul, who spoke of our Lord as having overcome sin and death in His passion, saying “death, where is thy sting?” (1 Cor 15:55).

We see another good example of gratitude in Te Deum as well in the line that our Lord “did not disdain the Virgin’s womb”, becoming human like us in order to save us. (Indeed, as we hear in the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass, Jesus “humbled Himself to share in our humanity”!)

The last line, taken from Psalm 25, verse 2, is particularly moving.   It brings to mind the importance of trusting in our Lord to see us through our troubles if we stay close to Him in prayer, obedience and love.   And we are reminded here as well of the importance of asking God for His mercy in our often challenging journey towards Eternal Life with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven!


Celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity – 11 June 2017

Celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity – 11 June 2017

The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptised.   The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ.   Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII.   But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.

The Holy Trinity


Trinity Sunday
The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this:  there is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons;  the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.   Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God!   The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son.   No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my unbelief..

Why is this feast celebrated at this particular time? It may be interpreted as a finale to all the preceding feasts.   All three Persons contributed to and shared in the work of redemption.   The Father sent His Son to earth, for “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son.”   The Father called us to the faith.   The Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, became man and died for us.   He redeemed us and made us children of God.   He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions.   After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoller.   On solemn occasions a thanksgiving Te Deum rises spontaneously from Christian hearts.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church’s Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons;  for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost.   This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honour of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God.   Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us.   The Father created and predestined us;  on the first day of the week He began the work of creation.   The Son redeemed us;  Sunday is the “Day of the Lord,” the day of His resurrection.   The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple;  on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols of the Trinity: Equilateral Triange; Circle of Eternity; Three interwoven Circles; Triangle in Circle; Circle within Triangle; Interwoven Circle and Triangle; Two Triangles interwoven in shape of Star of David; Two Triangles in shape of Star of David interwoven with Circle; Trefoil; Trefoil and Triangle; Trefoil with points; Triquetra; Triquetra and circle; Shield of the Holy Trinity; Three Fishes linked together in shape of a triangle; Cross and Triangle overlapping; Fleur de Lys; St. Patrick’s Shamrock.

Blessed and Holy Solemity of the Holy Trinity to all!


Thought for the Day – 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Thought for the Day – 11 June 2017 – The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

The Trinity dogma is not the result of poetic fantasies or of philosophical elucubrations. Nor it is a rational theological formulation that offers the pretext of saying that it is a mystery so detached from our lives that more than one Christian feels quietly authorised to ignore it.   The Mystery of the Trinity is a great mystery which surpasses our minds but speaks deeply to our heart because it is, in its essence, nothing but the explication of the profound expression of Saint John: “God is love” (1 Jn 4: 8,16).   If God is love, he cannot be loneliness in Himself.   In order to have a love affair, it must be at least two.   To love only oneself is not love, it is selfishness.   God Love is, at least, one who always loves and one who has always been loved and reciprocates love:  an eternal Lover, an eternal Beloved and an eternal Love.

The Lover is God, the Father in love, infinitely free and generous in love, motivated to love by no other thing than love.

The eternal Beloved, is the one who always welcomes love:  He is eternal gratitude, grace without beginning and end.  He is the Son in love.

Love is the Holy Spirit, in whom Their love is always open to self-donation and to “go out of their being”.   Therefore, the Spirit is said to be a gift of God, a living source of love, a fire that powers in us the ability to reciprocate Love with love.

This mystery of love is concrete and close to us more than we think and we live it in practice when, above all in the most important or critical times where we most need God, we make the sign of the cross.   By marking this holy sign, almost without being fully aware, we call upon the One and Triune God , saying, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.   Not only do we invoke God Trinity to help us but we praise with the prayer “Glory to the Father, and to the Son and the Holy Ghost … Amen”. St. Teresa of Calcutta often recited as follows: “Glory to the Father-Prayer and to the Son -Poverty and the Holy Spirit- Zeal for souls. Amen-Mary. “   (JUNE 9, 2017 ARCHBISHOP FRANCESCO FOLLO)

Making the Sign of the Cross (1)the sign of the cross

How can we put the sign of the Cross into practice? Here are some ways you can make the sign of the Cross a part of your daily life.

1.   Immediately after waking and before sleeping – making the sign of the Cross immediately after waking and before sleeping is as ancient as Christianity. It is a powerful way to consecrate our day to Our Lord.

2.   When passing a Catholic Church – there is a beautiful Catholic tradition of crossing oneself while passing a Catholic Church in order to recognize Jesus present in the tabernacle and to show Him honour and love.

2.   At the Name of the Holy Trinity – in Catholic prayer, the name of the Holy Trinity is often invoked.   To show honour to the Holy Trinity, it is a good idea to Cross yourself when saying the Glory Be or any other time the Name is invoked.

3.   In reparation for blasphemy – the name of God is abused frequently in daily conversations.   If you want to make an act of reparation to God for this abuse of his Name, you can quietly make the sign of the Cross.

4.   Before entering a room or house – G.K. Chesterton, the famous Catholic convert and all around genius, was said to have made the sign of the cross before entering any room. This Catholic custom also applies to entering a house and many have Holy Water fonts next to the door for blessings oneself when entering or leaving the home.

5.   Blessing people or things – a small sign of the cross can be traced on the forehead of a child or upon an object which you wish to bless.

6.   When afraid – in old movies that involve Catholicism, you will often see people cross themselves when in the presence of death, upon receiving bad news, or when generally afraid.   Sadly, this custom has fallen out of use but it is an excellent way to drive away fear and to inspire courage.

There are countless other ways to employ the powerful sign of the Cross.  The point is, we should use this powerful sign frequently and reverently, paying attention to what we are doing.


be he cross our seal-st cyril of jerusalem

“Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified.   Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat and the cups we drink;  in our comings in and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake;  when we are in the way and when we are still.   Great is that preservative;  it is without price, for the poor’s sake;  without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God.   It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of evils;  for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly;  for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified;  they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon.   Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honour thy Benefactor.”

– St. Cyril of Jerusalem


Saints, Feasts and Solemnities – 11 June

The Most Holy Trinity (Solemnity, 2017)
St Barnabas the Apostle (Memorial)
Our Lady of Mantara

St Aleydis of Schaerbeek
St Blitharius of Seganne
St Herebald of Bretagne
Bl Hugh of Marchiennes
Bl Ignazio Choukrallah Maloyan
Bl Jean de Bracq
Bl Kasper of Grimbergen
St Maximus of Naples
St Parisius
St Paula Frasinetti
St Riagail of Bangor
St Tochumra of Kilmore
St Tochumra of Tuam

Martyrs of Tavira – 7 beati: Members of the Knights of Santiago de Castilla. During the re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims by Christian forces, in a period of truce between the armies, the group was allowed to leave the Portuguese camp to hunt. Near Tavira, Portugal, he and his companions were ambushed and killed by a Muslim force. Making a reprisal attack, the Portuguese army took the city of Tavira. The murdered knights were considered to be martyrs as they died in an action defending the faith. They were –
• Blessed Alvarus Garcia
• Blessed Beltrão de Caia
• Blessed Damião Vaz
• Blessed Estêvão Vasques
• Blessed Garcia Roiz
• Blessed Mendus Valle
• Blessed Pedro Rodrigues
They were martyred in 1242 outside Tavira, Faro, Portugal. Their relics are enshrined under the altar of Saint Barnabas in the Church of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels (modern Santa Maria do Castelo) in Tavria

Mercedarian Martyrs of Damietta: Three Mercedarian lay knights who worked to ransom Christians enslaved by Muslims. During the 7th Crusade, a plague swept through the Christian army and these knights volunteered to work with the sick. During this work they were captured by Muslims and ordered to convert to Islam; they refused. They were tortured, taken to Damietta, Egypt where they were murdered for their faith. They were thrown from a tower in the mid-13th century in Damietta, Egypt.


Quote of the Day – 11 June 2017 – Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Quote of the Day – 11 June 2017 – Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

“Rise, you who were lying fast asleep….
Rise and hurry to the Church:
here is the Father,
here is the Son,
here is the Holy Spirit”
(In Lucam, VII)

St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor

rise you who were lying fast asleep - st ambrose
St Ambose – Peter Paul Rubens