Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St. Benedict Day Six – 7 July 

Novena to St. Benedict Day Six – 7 July

In the Holy Rule, St. Benedict you have said:

The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only humble of heart but always let it appear also in his whole exterior to all that see him; … and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: “Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven” (Lk 18:13)…

Having, therefore, ascended all these degrees of humility, the monk will presently arrive at that love of God, which being perfect, cast out fear (1 Jn 4:18).   In virtue of this love all things which at first he observed not without fear, he will now begin to keep without any effort and as it were, naturally by force of habit, no longer from the fear of hell, but from the love of Christ, from the very habit of good and the pleasure in virtue.   May the Lord be pleased to manifest all this by His Holy Spirit in His labourer now cleansed from vice and sin. (Holy Rule 7)

day six novena st benedict


Glorious Saint Benedict,
sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God’s grace!
Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet.
I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God.

To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me.
Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbour.
Inspire me to imitate you in all things.
May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favours and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life.
Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way.
You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you.
I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favour I earnestly implore.

{mention your petition}

Help me, great Saint Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven.


O Holy Father, St. Benedict, pray for us.

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

Thought for the Day – 7 July – Memorial of Blessed Peter To Rot “Defender of the Sacrament of Marriage” – a Saint for our times!

Thought for the Day – 7 July – Memorial of Blessed Peter To Rot “Defender of the Sacrament of Marriage” – a Saint for our times!

“Blessed Peter understood the value of suffering.   Inspired by his faith in Christ, he was a devoted husband, a loving father and a dedicated catechist known for his kindness, gentleness and compassion.   Daily Mass and Holy Communion and frequent visits to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, sustained him, gave him wisdom to counsel the disheartened and courage to persevere until death.   In order to be an effective evangeliser, Peter To Rot studied hard and sought advice from wise and holy “big men”. Most of all he prayed – for himself, for his family, for his people, for the Church. His witness to the Gospel inspired others, in very difficult situations, because he lived his Christian life so purely and joyfully.   Without being aware of it, he was preparing throughout his life for his greatest offering: by dying daily to himself, he walked with his Lord on the road which leads to Calvary (Cf. Mt. 10: 38-39).

During times of persecution the faith of individuals and communities is “tested by fire” (1Pt. 1: 7).   But Christ tells us that there is no reason to be afraid.   Those persecuted for their faith will be more eloquent than ever:  “it is not you who will be speaking; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you” (Mt. 10: 20).   So it was for Blessed Peter To Rot. When the village of Rakunai was occupied during the Second World War and after the heroic missionary priests were imprisoned, he assumed responsibility for the spiritual life of the villagers.   Not only did he continue to instruct the faithful and visit the sick, he also baptised, assisted at marriages and led people in prayer.

When the authorities legalised and encouraged polygamy, Blessed Peter knew it to be against Christian principles and firmly denounced this practice.   Because the Spirit of God dwelt in him, he fearlessly proclaimed the truth about the sanctity of marriage.   He refused to take the “easy way” (Cf. ibid. 7: 13) of moral compromise.  “I have to fulfil my duty as a Church witness to Jesus Christ”, he explained.   Fear of suffering and death did not deter him.   During his final imprisonment Peter To Rot was serene, even joyful. He told people that he was ready to die for the faith and for his people.”  EXCERPT from the HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER ST JOHN PAUL II (Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby, Tuesday, 17 January 1995 on the Beatification of Blessed Peter To Rot)

Blessed Peter To Rot – Pray for us that we too may, in all circumstances and at every opportunity defend the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage without fear and without moral compromise!

bl peter to rot - pray for us 2

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

One Minute Reflection – 7 July

One Minute Reflection – 7 July

Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord………..Colossians 3:23

colossians 3-23

REFLECTION -“We do not cease praying so long as we continue to do good.
The prayer of the heart and of good deeds has more value than the prayer of the lips.”…………….St Augustine

we do not cease praying-st augustine

PRAYER – Dear God, move me to make a morning offering to You with total sincerety each day and then grant that all my deeds may be a devout continuation of that prayer. Open my eyes to those who need me in any way, let me see as You do and do as You do. Blessed Peter To Rot, you never failed to help each and every person in whatever way you could, you defended the Church and the Faith and your neighbour, please pray for us all, amen.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 July – Blessed Peter To Rot

Saint of the Day – 7 July – Blessed Peter To Rot – Layman, Martyr, Catechist and Defender of the Faith, Defender of the Sacrament of Marriage –  (c1912 in Rakunai, East New Britain (part of modern Papua New Guinea) – poisoned and suffocated presumed to be on 7 July 1945 in a Japanese concentration camp at Rakunai, East New Britain (part of modern Papua New Guinea).   Beatified on 17 January 1995 by St Pope John Paul II.   Patronages -Married couples, Catechists, Rakunai, World Youth Day 2008.


Peter To Rot was born in 1912 in Rakunai, a  village on the Melanesian island of New Britain, today an eastern province of the  independent nation of Papua, New Guinea.   Due to the lack of  documentation, destroyed by the Japanese during the war, it is impossible to  determine his date of birth.   This is also the case for his martyrdom and for almost all the events in his life.   In the culture of Papua New Guinea it was not  customary to keep public records.

His parents, Angelo To Puia and Maria la  Tumul, baptised as adults, belonged to the region’s first generation of  Catholics.   On 29 September 1882 the first group of  Missionaries of the Sacred Heart arrived in Matupit, New Britain, 10 years after the Methodists  had begun preaching and had established the Malaguna Mission.   What happened in  1898 is surprising. Angelo To Puia, the great chief of Rakunai village on the  hills near Rabaul, told the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart that the majority  of his people wished to be Catholic and not Methodist.   It was precisely in  these circumstances that Peter To Rot’s father, together with other powerful  tribal chieftains, was solemnly baptised, forming the nucleus of the first  generation of Catholics in the region.   It was Angelo To Puia himself who opened  the village of Rakunai to the faith and to  collaboration with the missionaries.   He promoted the Christian life in his  village, where he was chief for 40 years.

Beginning in adolescence, Peter To Rot had  a strong inclination to piety and obedience, which convinced his parish priest  Fr Emilio Jakobi that the boy was born to be a priest. But Peter’s father  considered this choice premature.   He felt none of his people were ready for the  priesthood at the time.   He nonetheless agreed that Peter should be trained as a

A capable but modest catechist

In 1930, at the age of 18, the Servant of  God was enrolled at St Paul’s Mission School  for training catechists who would work closely with the missionaries in  evangelisation.   He succeeded brilliantly in his studies and in 1933 obtained the catechist’s diploma.   An account testifies to the character of this young  student: “…he was modest and there was not the slightest vanity in him,  neither with regard to his background nor capability. He let the older  catechists guide him in his work and accepted their advice but eventually eclipsed  them all and soon became their recognized leader, although he was  younger.”

When he had completed his studies, Peter  was assigned to the mission in his own village, and so began his work as a  catechist in Rakunai.   These were years of intense work to organise catechesis  in the village, to gather large and small groups for instruction and prayer and  to become acquainted with people’s real life situations.   All those who had him  as their catechist recall his straightforward, immediate and effective teaching.   He referred constantly to the Bible and always carried it with him (rare for Catholics of the time!), quoting it directly as the occasion required.   He was  particularly sensitive in discovering the inner problems in others’ lives and  shared them intimately.

On 11 November 1936, the only certain date  in his life, Peter To Rot married the young Catholic Paula la Varpit from a  neighbouring village.   Their marriage was celebrated in church but many local  traditions—like the 50 shell necklaces to buy the bride—were joyously included.   Three children were born from his marriage with Paula:  Andrea, who died after  the war; a little girl, Rufina La Mama, who is still alive; and the third child  (name unknown), who was born shortly after the Servant of God’s death in 1945  and died soon thereafter.

The decisive turning point in Peter To  Rot’s life and mission occurred in 1942.   After the Japanese occupation, all the  missionaries and mission staff were imprisoned in a concentration camp.   The  Servant of God remained alone.   During the war he was the only spiritual guide  for Catholics in the Rakunai district.   With his constant presence, he provided  prayer services, Catechetical instruction, the administration of Baptism, the  preservation and distribution of the Eucharist to the sick and the dying and  assistance to the poor.   On the outskirts of Rakunai, he built a church for the  Catholic community from branches, the only material available.   The main church  had been destroyed by the Japanese.

At the start of the Japanese occupation, he  was on good terms with the military authorities.   This sort of friendly  relationship with the inhabitants ceased in 1942 after the Japanese suffered  some military reverses.   At that point the military police replaced the local  authorities, creating an atmosphere of repression.

Therefore, they decided to forbid Christian worship and all types of religious gatherings, public and private.    Subsequently, the repression became more violent.   The Japanese, seeking to  force the local chieftains into collaborating with them, decided that the  Tolais should return to their previous practice of polygamy.   This was a severe  blow after almost half a century of missionary work.   Peter firmly opposed this  and was not afraid to disagree publicly with his brother Joseph.

The Servant of God was arrested in April or  May 1945.   According to accounts, his questioning by the official Meshida was a  farce as well as an expression of the crudest violence.   He was sentenced to two  months’ imprisonment.   Later, referring to his imprisonment, Peter said:  “I  am here because of those who broke their marriage vows and because of those who  do not want the growth of God’s kingdom.”bl-peter-to-rot-3

‘A martyr for the faith’

The Servant of God was held in a  concentration camp which had been set up in a cave. Various accusations were  leveled at him, including: religious gatherings, undue interference in the  Japanese plan for polygamy and persistence in his catechetical activities.

Efforts by the Methodist chief of Navunaram  and the chief of Rakunai, Anton Tata, to have Peter released failed.   A prison  mate said:  “He was often visited in prison by his aged mother and his  wife, who brought him food every day. At one of their last visits, To Rot said  to his mother: the police have told me that the Japanese doctor will be coming  to give me some medicine. I suspect that this is a trick. I am really not ill  at all and I cannot think what all this means.”

Despite the precautions of the Japanese,  Arap To Binabak, a prisoner, could see the brightly lit room where Peter had  been summoned after the doctor arrived.  The doctor gave Peter an injection,  then something to drink and finally stuffed his ears and nose with cotton wool.

Then the doctor and two police officers made him lie down.   Peter was stricken with convulsions and looked as though he was trying to vomit.   The “doctor” covered his mouth and kept it closed.   The convulsions continued for a time, while the doctor held him still.    Peter fell into unconsciousness and after a long while drew his last breath. The  same eye witness gently spread the terrible news of Peter’s death to his  companions.   Several prisoners, taking advantage of the night-time absence of  the Japanese, wanted to see his body.   Thus they verified his horrible Peter-To-Rot

But in the morning they saw a totally  different scene:  Peter’s corpse was now arranged on the dormitory floor.   The  Japanese, summoned by loud speaker, registered great surprise when they saw Peter’s corpse.   Later, to Anton Tata, an old family friend, the Japanese  cynically replied that the prisoner died from a secondary infection.   In the  meantime, they informed the family and returned his corpse for burial, which  took place in silence without a religious rite.

The immense crowd which attended the  Servant of God’s burial, notwithstanding the presence of the Japanese police,  immediately considered Peter a martyr.   This was not a momentary reaction but a  growing certitude.   In fact, in the Tolai language Peter To Rot is called  “A martir ure ra Lotu”: “A martyr for the faith”.

Fr Renato Simeone, M.S.Cbeatification bl peter to rot



Saints’ Memorials and Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Soviore

St Alexander
St Angelelmus of Auxerre
St Antonino Fantosati
St Apollonius of Brescia
Bl Pope Benedict XI
Bl Bodard of Poitiers
St Bonitus of Monte Cassino
St Carissima of Rauzeille
St Eoaldus of Vienne
St Ethelburga of Faremoutier
Bl Francisco Polvorinos Gómez
St Hedda of Wessex
St Hesychius
Bl Joseph Juge de Saint-Martin
Bl Juan Antonio Pérez Mayo
Bl Juan Pedro del Cotillo Fernández
Bl Justo González Lorente
St Maelruan
Bl Manuel Gutiérrez Martín
St Marcus Ji Tianxiang
Bl María del Consuelo Ramiñán Carracedo
Bl Maria Romero Meneses
Bl Marie-Gabrielle-Françoise-Suzanne de Gaillard de Lavaldène
St Medran
St Merryn
Bl Oddino Barrotti
St Odo of Urgell
St Odran
St Palladius of Ireland
St Pantaenus of Alexandria
St Partinimus
Bl Pascual Aláez Medina
Bl Peter To Rot –
St Prosper of Aquitaine
St Syrus of Genoa
St They
St Willibald of Eichstatt

Martyrs of Durres – 7 saints: Also known as – Martyrs of Dyrrachium/ Martyrs of Durazzo. A group of seven Italian Christians who fled Italy to escape the persecutions of emperor Hadrian. Arrived in Dyrrachium, Macedonia to find Saint Astius tied to a cross, covered in honey, laid in the sun and left to be tortured by biting and stinging insects. When they expressed sympathy for Astius, they were accused of being Christians, arrested, chained, weighted down, taken off shore and drowned. Martyrs. We know little more about each of them than their names – Germaus, Hesychius, Lucian, Papius, Peregrinus, Pompeius and Saturninus. They were born in Italy and were martyred at sea c117 off the coast of Dyrrachium (Durazzo), Macedonia (modern Durres, Albania)