ANNOUNCING the novena to the sacred heart - 14 June to begin.jpg

We may say that devotion to the Sacred Heart began on Calvary.   When the Heart of Christ was pierced on the Cross, it opened the door to realising how deeply Jesus loves us.   In return, He wants nothing more than for us to love Him with all our hearts.   There is nothing that God wants more than for us to love Him without reserve.
What God wants more than anything else is for us to love Him more than anyone else in the world.

This is the sum total of our Catholic faith.   We believe that God made us out of sheer love.   None of us, none of us had to exist.   We also believe He became man to die on the Cross out of love for us.   We further believe that He is present in the Blessed Sacrament with His living Heart of flesh so that we may come to Him and tell Him how deeply we love Him.

In today’s love-starving world, how we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ in His unspeakable love for us.   If there is one adjective that describes the modern world, this world is a loveless world.   This world is a selfish world.   This world is so preoccupied with space and time that it gives almost no thought to eternity and the everlasting joys that await those who have served God faithfully here on earth.

How do we serve God faithfully?   We serve Him only as faithfully as we serve Him lovingly, by giving ourselves to the needs of everyone whom God puts into our lives.   No one reaches heaven automatically.   Heaven must be dearly paid for.   The price of reaching heaven is the practice of selfless love here on earth.

That is why God puts into our lives so many occasions for loving people who obviously do not love us, or giving ourselves to people who have never given themselves to us.   How desperately we need, especially in today’s world, to learn that God became man in order to suffer and die out of love for us on the Cross.

That is what devotion to the Sacred Heart is all about.   It is the practice of selfless love toward selfish people.   It is giving ourselves to persons that do not give themselves to us. In all of our lives, God has placed selfish persons who may be physically close to us but spiritually are strangers and even enemies.   That is why God places unkind, unjust, even cruel people into our lives.   By loving them, we show something of the kind of love that God expects of His followers.

Devotion of the Sacred Heart is the solution to the gravest problem in the modern world today.   How can we give ourselves to those who do not love us, who even positively hate us?   We can love them, with the help of divine grace, by following the example of Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross out of love for a sin-laden human race……..Servant of God Fr John A. Hardon SJ

Let us Pray – starting on Wednesday 14 June.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, Uncategorized





Saint Anthony, servant of Mary,
glory of the Church,
pray for our Holy Father, our bishops, our priests, our Religious Orders,
that, through their pious zeal and apostolic labours,
all may be united in faith
and give greater glory to God.
St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you,
pray for me and intercede for me before the throne of Almighty God
that I be granted the favour I so earnestly seek in this novena
(State your intention).

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

Saint Anthony, pray for us!

May the divine assistance remain always with us.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
O God, may the votive commemoration of blessed Anthony,
Your confessor, be a source of joy to Your Church,
that she may always be fortified with spiritual assistance
and deserve to enjoy eternal rewards.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 12 June

Thought for the Day – 12 June

There are some individuals of selfless heart who find little satisfaction in life unless they give of themselves continually and without reservation.   St John of Sahagun was one such person who repeatedly divested himself of honours and privileges in order to gain the inheritance of eternal happiness.   In doing so, he enriched the lives of others by his word and example as well.

A great many striking miracles have been recorded while he was alive, at his tomb following his death and remotely by the simple invocation of his name.   We remember today, the legacy that St John leaves us with:  a tireless and self-sacrificing call of accountability to our Christian sisters and brothers.   St John never backed away from helping those in need, either through charity and self-sacrifice, or through the more difficult pointing out of areas in need of improvement in the lives of those he encountered.   As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we are called to do the same, providing support and encouragement to our brothers and sisters but also by gently illuminating the sin that creeps into our lives and the lives of others, so that we may confront and eradicate them.   Not an easy task when we have to point out the error of a friend – courage dear heart – go forth and be not afraid!

St John of Sahagun, pray for us!


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The MOST HOLY & BLESSED TRINITY

Quote of the Day – 12 June

Quote of the Day – 12 June

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

“Think of the Father as a spring of life
begetting the Son like a river
and the Holy Ghost like a sea,
for the spring and the river and sea are all one nature.  
Think of the Father as a root
and of the Son as a branch
and the Spirit as a fruit,
for the substance in these three is one.  
The Father is a sun
with the Son as rays
and the Holy Spirit as heat.”



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

One Minute Reflection – 12 June

One Minute Reflection – 12 June

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”…..John 14:18

JOHN 14 18

REFLECTION – “God is as really present in the consecrated Host as He is in the glory of Heaven,”…………St Paschal Baylon

god is as really pesent - st paschal baylon

PRAYER – Jesus my Lord and God, You have come to us. You are here with us. How blessed we are and how blessed St John of Sahagun who was able to speak with You during the celebration of the Eucharist and who spent countless hours with You in holy adoration. Teach us all, that we too may learn the glory of spending time with You in loving adoration. St John of Sahagun pray for us! amen.



Our Morning Offering – 12 June

Our Morning Offering – 12 June – (June the Month of the Sacred Heart)

By Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

Most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus,
You are concealed in the Holy Eucharist,
And You beat for us still.
Now, as then, You say: “With desire I have desired.”
I worship You with all my best love and awe,
With fervent affection,
With my most subdued, most resolved will.
For a while You take up Your abode within me.
O make my heart beat with Your Heart!
Purify it of all that is earthly,
All that is proud and sensual,
All that is hard and cruel,
Of all perversity,
Of all disorder,
Of all deadness.
So fill it with You,
That neither the events of the day,
Nor the circumstances of the time,
May have the power to ruffle it;
But that in Your love and Your fear,
It may have peace. Amen

most sacred, most loving heart - cardinal joh henry newman

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 June – St John of Sahagun OESA (1419-1479)

Saint of the Day – 11 June – Saint Juan de Sahagun OESA (1419-1479) Priest and Friar of the Order of the Augustinians, Preacher, Social Reformer, Defender of workers- born as Juan González de Castrillo on 1419 at Sahagun (Saint Fagondez), Léon, Spain and died on 11 June 1479 at Salamanca, Spain of natural causes. (However, there is a possible alternative cause of his death – he may have been poisoned by a woman whose lover, a nobleman, broke off their relationship after hearing Juan preach.   For this reason, he is sometimes listed as a Martyr.)    Patronages – the city of Salamanca, Spain, the Diocese of Salamanca, Candon City, Phillipines, Toledo, Spain.
Juan was a peacemaker and worker for justice in society.   A sincere and humble man, he was a noted preacher, whose devotion to the Eucharist marked all aspects of his life.

st john of sahagun 2

St John was born in the year 1419, at Sahagún (or San Facondo) in the Province of Leon. He was the oldest of the seven children of Juan González del Castrillo and Sancha Martínez, a wealthy family of the city.   He received his early education from the monks of the Royal Monastery of St. Benedict in his native city, a leading religious and educational center in the region known as the Cluny of Spain.   He received the tonsure while still a youth, according to the custom of the times, after which his father procured for him the benefice of the neighbouring parish of Tornillo.   He was later introduced to Alfonso de Cartagena, the Bishop of Burgos (1435–1456), who was impressed by the bright, high-spirited boy. Cartagena had him educated at his own residence, gave him several prebends, ordained him a priest in the year 1445, and made him a canon at the Cathedral of Burgos.

Possessing all of these offices simultaneously caused González many qualms of conscience, as it was contrary to the precepts of Christ.   He soon resigned all, retaining only that of the Chapel of St. Agatha in a poor neighbourhood of the city, where he said Mass, preached and the faith to the poor.   He then began to lead a life of strict poverty and mortification.   With his bishop’s consent, Juan obtained permission to enter the University of Salamanca, where for four years he applied himself to the study of theology.   During this time he exercised the ministry at the chapel of the College of St Bartholomew (in the Parish of St Sebastian) and held that position for nine years.   He devoted himself to pastoral care.   Owing to illness, he was obliged to undergo an operation for the removal of kidney stones.   He vowed that if his life were spared, he would become a Religious.San-Juan-de-Sahagún.-La-Vid-Burgos magnificent v lg

Upon his recovery in the year 1463, Juan applied for admission to the Order of Hermits of St Augustine, at the Monastery of St Peter, from that point on, being known simply as Brother (or Friar) Juan.   In the following year, on 28 August 1464, Juan made his profession of solemn vows as a member of the Order.   By the command of his superiors, John gave himself wholeheartedly to the salvation of souls and with the best results, to preaching the “Word of God.”   By his zeal he was able to effect the entire reformation of the city of Salamanca.

John made such progress in religious perfection that he was soon appointed master of novices, and later in the year 1471, prior of the community.   He conducted the Religious under his rule more by example than by his words.

Great was St John’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, that at the celebration of Mass he frequently saw the Sacred Host resplendent in glory.   He was gifted with a special power to penetrate the secrets of conscience, so that it was not easy to deceive him, and sinners were almost always forced to make good confessions.   He was able to obtain wonderful results in doing away with enmities and feuds.   In many ways, John was like a fellow Religious who lived nearly 500 years later, St Pio of Pietrelcina, who also had the uncanny ability to discern the secrets of conscience.

St John spent hours in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as often as he could.   While he celebrated Mass St John often enjoyed the sight of Jesus in glory, becoming enraptured in ecstasy and holding conversations with juan sahagun lovely

In his sermons, John preached the Word of God and scourged the crimes and vices of the day, by which the rich and noble were offended.   6_12_john_of sahagun smlHe soon made many enemies, who went so far as to hire assassins but these, awed by the serenity and angelic sweetness of his countenance, lost courage.   Some women of Salamanca, embittered by the saint’s strong sermon against extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards.

Saint John was acclaimed by the people of Salamanca as a wise and prudent confessor, an effective reconciler of feuding families   and a champion of the rights of workers.   A contemporary, when asked about Saint John, explained:  “If you ask me about the actions of Friar John, with regard to the poor and afflicted, exploited widows and children, the needy and the sick, I would have to say that he was naturally compelled to help them all in word and in deed. He was particularly interested in leading all to peace and harmony, and putting an end to hostility. Living in Salamanca, where the entire city was split into factions, he succeeded in preventing much bloodshed.”st juan of sahagun FRAMED

John’s scathing words on the “sins of impurity” produced salutary effects in a certain nobleman who had been living in open concubinage but the woman swore vengeance.   It was popularly believed that she had caused the saint’s death by poison (this statement is found only in later biographies).   His sermons against sinful living conditions and in support of the rights and dignity of workers brought him great opposition of some local leaders.   He became known as an outstanding preacher, whose style, clarity, sincerity, and integrity attracted large crowds and created many opportunities for conversion. 11-San Juan de San Facondo Gonzalez de Castrillo-11

To the Duke of Alba, who complained of John’s stern denunciation of the sins of nobility and commoners alike form the pulpit, John replied:  “It is becoming of Your Grace to know that a preacher must be prepared in his soul to speak the truth, both in denouncing and correcting shortcomings and in praising virtue, to such a point that he is willing in that cause even to face death.”   Incensed, the duke hired assassins to stop Saint John’s preaching but upon recognising John’s holiness, they repented, confessing and begging forgiveness—which he freely gave.  The duke later fell ill and was healed by John’s prayers, himself repenting and renouncing his former ways.

John died on 11 June 1479, in his monastery.   His remains were buried in the Old Cathedral of the city.   Soon after John’s death, his “cult” spread throughout Spain.   The process of beatification began in 1525 under Pope Clement VII and in 1601 he was declared “Blessed” by Pope Clement VIII and Canonised on 16 October 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII.

It is said that after he died, people continued to come to him. People came from different places to the Augustinian convent of Salamanca, where he was buried, to ask the saint for favours. Among the miracles performed, several are cited, including the resurrection of a dead person, the healing of a child hit by an ox cart, the recovery of cripples …

On 1 September 1835, the remains were transferred to the main altar of the Cathedral of Salamanca, where they are currently located.

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Below is a Poster advertising the annual Feast and Festival of St Juan in Salamanca.

festival of st john of sahagun




Saints & Feasts- 12 June

Our Lady of Montalto

St Amphion of Nicomedia
Bl Antonia Maria Verna
Bl Antonio de Pietra
St Arsenius of Konev
St Christian O’Morgair of Clogher
St Chrodobald of Marchiennes
St Cominus
Bl Conrad of Maleville
St Cunera
St Cuniald
St Cyrinus of Antwerp
St Eskil
St Galen of Armenia
St Gaspar Bertoni
St Gerebald of Châlons-sur-Seine
St Geslar
Bl Guy Vignotelli of Cortona
St John of Sahagun
St Pope Leo III
St Lochinia of Ireland
Bl Lorenzo Maria Salvi
Bl Maria Candida Barba
Bl Mercedes Maria of Jesus
St Odulf of Utrecht
St Olympius of AEnos
St Onuphrius of Egypt
Bl Pelagia Leonti of Milazzo
St Peter of Mount Athos
St Placid of Val d’Ocre
Bl Stefan Kielman
St Ternan of Culross
St Valerius of Armenia