The Wonders of the Holy Name – Fr Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. – “Revealing the Simplest Secret Ever of Holiness and Happiness.” Part Twelve – 21 July

Previous – here:

the wonders of the holy name-day twelve-21 july

The Doctrine of the Holy Name contd:

The Incarnation
God became man for love of us but what does
it avail us if we do not understand this love.
God the Infinite, Immense, Eternal, all-powerful,
God, the mighty Creator, the God that fills Heaven
with His Majesty hid all His power, His Majesty,
His greatness and became a little child in order
to become like us and so to gain our love.
He entered into the pure womb of the Virgin
Mary and there lay hidden for nine whole months.
Then He was born in a stable between two
animals.   He was weak and defenseless like every
child.    He was poor and humble.   He passed 33
years working, suffering, praying, teaching His
beautiful Religion, working miracles, doing good
to all.   He did all this to prove His love for each
of us and so constrain us to love Him.
This stupendous act of love was so great that
not even the highest Angels in Heaven could
have conceived it possible had not God revealed
it to them.
It was so great that the Jews, God’s chosen
people, who were expecting a saviour were
scandalised at the thought that God could humble
Himself so much.
The Gentile Philosophers, notwithstanding their
vaunted wisdom, said that it was madness to think
that the Almighty God could do so much for love
of man.
St. Paul says that God exhausted all His power,
wisdom and goodness in becoming man for us,
“He emptied Himself out.”
Our Lord confirms the words of the Apostle for
He says: “What more could I do?”
All this God did not do for all men in general but
for each one of us in particular.   Think; think
of this.
Do you believe, do you understand. dear reader,
that God loves you so much, that He loves you
so intimately, so personally?   What a joy, what
a consolation if you really knew and felt that the
great God loves you – you so sincerely.
He has done still more for He has made over
to us all His infinite merits so that we can offer
them to the Eternal Father as often as we like, a
hundred, a thousand times a day.
And that is what we can do each time we
say Jesus, if only we remember what we are
A Doctrine, you may have never heard it before?
But now at least that you know the infinite
wonders of the Name of Jesus say this Holy
Name constantly, say it devoutly.
And in future when you say Jesus remember that
you are offering to God all the infinite love and
merits of His Son.   You are offering Him His own
Divine Son, You cannot offer Him anything holier,
anything better, anything more pleasing to Him,
anything more meritorious for yourself .
How ungrateful are those Christians who never
thank God for all He has done for them.   Men
and women live 30, 50, 70 years and never think
of thanking God for all His wonderful love.
When you say the Name of Jesus remember, too,
to thank Our Sweet Lord for His Incarnation.
When He was on Earth He cured ten lepers of
their loathsome disease.   They were delighted and
went away full of joy and happiness but only one
came back to thank Him!   He was very hurt and
said: “Where are the other nine?”
Has He not much more reason to feel grieved
and hurt with you and me who thank Him so
little for all He has done for us in the Incarnation
and in His Passion.
St. Gertrude was wont to thank God often with
a little ejaculation for His goodness in becoming
man for her.   Our Lord appeared to her one day
and said:  “My dear Child every time you honour
my Incarnation with that little prayer I turn to
my Eternal Father and I offer all the merits of
the Incarnation for you and for all those who do
as you do”.
Shall we not then try to say often Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus sure of receiving a like wonderful grace.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor

Thought for the Day – 21 July – The Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor

“It is surprising that St Lawrence of Brindisi was able to continue without interruption his work as an appreciated and unflagging preacher in many cities of Italy and in different countries, in spite of holding other burdensome offices of great responsibility. Indeed, within the Order of Capuchins he was professor of theology, novice master, for several mandates minister provincial and definitor general, and finally, from 1602 to 1605, minister general. In the midst of this mountain of work,   Lawrence cultivated an exceptionally fervent spiritual life.   He devoted much time to prayer and, especially, to the celebration of Holy Mass — often protracted for hours — caught up in and moved by the memorial of the Passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord.
Moreover, with the unmistakable ardour of his style, Lawrence urged everyone and not only priests, to cultivate a life of prayer, for it is through prayer that we speak to God and that God speaks to us: “Oh, if we were to consider this reality!”, he exclaimed. “In other words that God is truly present to us when we speak to Him in prayer;  that He truly listens to our prayers, even if we pray only with our hearts and minds. And that not only is He present and hears us, indeed He willingly and with the greatest of pleasure wishes to grant our requests”.
St Lawrence of Brindisi teaches us to love Sacred Scripture, to increase in familiarity with it, to cultivate daily relations of friendship with the Lord in prayer, so that our every action, our every activity, may have its beginning and its fulfilment in Him.   This is the source from which to draw so that our Christian witness may be luminous and able to lead the people of our time to God.”…….Pope BENEDICT XVI (General Audience) – St. Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

St Lawtence of Brindisi, pray for us!

of if we were to consider this reality!-st lawrence of brindisi

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 July

Quote/s of the Day – 21 July

“The word of God is replete with manifold blessings, since it is, so to speak, a treasure of all goods.   It is the source of faith, hope, charity, all virtue, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the beatitudes of the Gospel, all good works, all the rewards of life, all the glory of paradise…For the word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will.   It enables man to know God and to love Him.   And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk.   For the soul it is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones.   Against the hardness of a heart that persists in wrongdoing, it acts like a hammer.   Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin.”

the word of the lord - st lawrence of brindisi

“The Holy Spirit sweetens the yoke
of the divine law and lightens its weight,
so that we may observe God’s commandments
with the greatest of ease and even with pleasure”

the holy spirit - st lawrence of brindisi

St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor


One Minute Reflection – 21 July

One Minute Reflection – 21 July

“I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.”………..Matthew 12:6

REFLECTION – “My dear souls, let us recognize, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist.  In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us.  It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity.  Ah!  One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!” …… St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor

my dear souls - st lawrence of brindisi

PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed on St Lawrence of Brindisi the spirit of counsel and fortitude, so that Your name might be glorified and souls be saved.  At the intercession of St Lawrence, grant that we may see what we have to do and, in Your mercy give us the strength to do it and the courage, love and charity to persevere.  Grant above all, that by his prayers we may love You above all and with all we are. St Lawrence pray for us, amen.



Our Morning Offering – 21 July

Our Morning Offering – 21 July

St Francis’s Prayer Before the San Damiano Crucifix

Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
true faith,
certain hope
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
Lord, that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi O.F.M. Cap – Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi O.F.M. Cap – Doctor of the Church – (22  July 1559 at Brindisi, Italy as Julius Caesar Rossi –  22 July 1619 at Lisbon, Portugal of natural causes).   His remains are buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares in Villafranca, Spain.   He was Beatified on 1 June 1783 by Pope Pius VI and Canonised on 8 December 1881 by Pope Leo XIII.   He was created a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1959 with the title Doctor apostolicus (Apostolic Doctor).   Patronages – of Brindisi, Italy.   Attributes – leading the Christian army against the Turks, receiving the embrace of the Child Jesus.   He is known as the “Franciscan Renaissance Man”  – he was a Religious member of the Franciscan Friars Minor Capuchin, a Priest, Theologian, Vicar General of the Franciscans, Language scholar, Humanist, Philosopher, Biblicist, Preacher, Missionary, Professor, International Administrator, Confidant of Popes, Emperors, Kings and Princes, Diplomatic envoy, Army Chaplain, Military Strategist and Morale builder, Polemicist, Prolific writer.

st lawrence FIRST IMAGE

Despite Saint Lawrence of Brindisi’s later fame, little is known of his early years.   His father was William Russo, a well-to-do Venetian merchant and his mother was Elizabeth Masella.   He was born in the Southern Italian port city of Brindisi on the 22nd of July 1559.   He received his early education at a day school run by the Conventual Franciscans and made rapid progress in his studies.   At the tender age of six, following the Italian custom of the time, he publicly preached a short Christmastide sermon on the Child Jesus.  However, by the time he was 14 he had lost both his parents and his education was entrusted to his uncle, a high-ranking cleric at Venice’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral.   It was at Saint Mark’s College, a private school run by his uncle, that Julius Caesar received an excellent secondary education.

In Venice he came to know the Capuchin Friars Minor who had a small church dedicated to saint Mary of the Angels on the island of Giudeca.   Impressed by their austere life of Poverty, he asked for admission to the Order and was invested with the habit as a novice at the Verona Capuchin novitiate friary of on the 18th of February 1575.  At this time, Julius Caesar was given the religious name Brother Lawrence.     He made his perpetual profession on the 24th of March the following year.

His writings fill fifteen volumes and his knowledge of Hebrew allowed him to preach so effectively to the Jewish people in Italy that the rabbis were certain that Lawrence must have been a Jew who had become a Christian.   His skills in dealing with people meant that he served as a papal emissary to many countries but he never forgot that he was first and foremost a priest.

There is a very special title accorded by the Church to certain saints, who are named “Doctor of the Church” and this title indicates that the writings and preaching of such a person are useful to Christians “in any age of the Church.”   Such men and women are also particularly known for the depth of understanding and the orthodoxy of their theological teachings.   St. Lawrence of Brindisi was given this title and he is one of the thirty-six saints to be named “Doctor.”


While still a deacon, St. Lawrence of Brindisi became known as an excellent preacher and after his ordination captured the whole of northern Italy with his amazing sermons. He was sent into Germany by the pope to establish Capuchin houses.   While there, he became chaplain to Emperor Rudolf II and had a remarkable influence on the Christian soldiers fighting the Muslims who were threatening Hungary in 1601.   Through his efforts, the Catholic League was formed to unify Catholics for the purpose of strengthening the Catholic cause in Europe.   Sent by the emperor to persuade Philip III of Spain to join the League, he established a Capuchin friary in Madrid.   He also brought peace between Spain and the kingdom of Savoy.

His compassion for the poor, the needy and the sick was legendary.   Elected minister-general of his order in 1602, he made the Capuchins a major force in the Catholic Restoration, visiting every friary in the thirty-four provinces of the order and directing the work of nine thousand friars.   He himself was a dominant figure in carrying out the work of the Council of Trent and was described by Pope Benedict XV as having earned “a truly distinguished place among the most outstanding men ever raised up by Divine Providence to assist the Church in time of distress.”

Yet in the midst of all this feverish activity, Brother Lawrence found peace and strength to keep going by taking refuge in prayer.   Sometimes his Masses which were usually celebrated in private could last for up to twelve hours.   He wept copious tears as he celebrated the Holy Sacrifice and was even witnessed being lifted into the air as he prayed at the Altar.   When he entered the Order in 1575, he told the Provincial Minister who tried to dissuade him by describing in detail the rigours of the Capuchin lifestyle: “Nothing will be difficult for me as long as there is a Crucifix in my room.”   Pictures of Saint Lawrence often show him contemplating the Crucifix.


To Mary he attributed his vocation, his restoration to health as a student, his knowledge of Hebrew and all his successes.   He went to her in all his needs.   When elected Vicar General of the Order, he first went to the Shrine of Our Lady’s Holy House at Loreto and returned there at the end of his term of office.   From his formation days onward, he prayed the Rosary and the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin daily.   His favourite greeting for the Brothers was: “Nos, cum prole pia, benedicat Virgo Maria! May the Virgin Mary bless us with her loving Child!”


In 1619, at the request of the Pope, Brother Lawrence had to travel once more to Spain to make known to the Spanish King the plight of Naples’s citizens under the tyrannical rule of the Spanish Viceroy of the region, the Duke of Ossuna.   He managed to escape the Duke’s attempts to block his mission and set sail secretly from Genoa.   He had to go to Lisbon in Portugal to meet the King of Spain.   His diplomatic mission was successfully concluded but worn out by the journey he fell critically ill.   Having received the Last Sacraments, Brother Lawrence of Brindisi died in Lisbon, Portugal before he could board a ship to return home on the 22nd of July 1619.   Saint Lawrence entered heaven the same date as he entered this world sixty years previously.


O God, who didst bestow on blessed Lawrence of Brindisi, Your Confessor and Doctor, the spirit of wisdom and fortitude to endure every labour for the glory of Your Name and the salvation of souls:  grant us, in the same spirit, both to perceive what we ought to do, and by his intercession to perform the same;  through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, amen.

St Lawrence pray for us!



Saints’ Memorials and the Feast of Our Lady of Kazan – 21 July

St Lawrence of Brindisi (Optional Memorial)

Our Lady of Kazan:  This miraculous icon, also known as the Theotokos of Kazan, is thought to have originated in Constantinople in the 13th century before it was taken to Russia.   When the Turks took Kazan in 1438, the icon may have been hidden.   Ivan the Terrible liberated Kazan in 1552, and the town was destroyed by fire in 1579.
The icon was eventually found in the ruins of a burnt-out house at Kazan on the River Volga on July 8th in 1579.   According to tradition, the location of the icon was revealed during a dream by the Blessed Virgin Mary to a ten year old girl named Matrona. Matrona told the local bishop of her dream, but he did not believe her.   There were two more similar dreams, after which Matrona and her mother went to the place indicated by the Blessed Virgin and dug in the ruins what had been a house until the uncovered the icon.   It appeared untouched by the flames, with the colors as vivid and brilliant as if it were new.   The bishop took the icon to the Church of Saint Nicholas, and immediately there was a miracle of a blind man’s sight being restored to him.   A monastery was built over the place where the icon had been found.
Known as the Holy Protectress of Russia, the icon was stolen on June 29th, 1904.   The thieves were later caught and claimed that they had destroyed the icon after taking the gold frame and jewels attached to the image. In any event, the original has never been found, though there are many copies in existence, thanks to the popularity of the icon. Many of the copies are known to be miracle working.
In 1993 a copy of the icon was given to Pope John Paul II, who kept it in his personal study before it was given to representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2004.


Bl Agrícola Rodríguez García de Los Huertos
St Alberic Crescitelli
St Arbogast of Strasbourg
St Barhadbescialas
St Benignus of Moyenmoutier
Bl Claudius of Avignon
St Claudius of Troyes
St Corona of Marceille
Bl Cristóbal López de Valladolid Orea
Bl Daniel Molini
St Daniel the Prophet
St Eleutherius of Marseille
St Eternus of Evreaux
Bl Gabriel Pergaud
St Iosephus Wang Yumei
St John of Edessa
St John of Moyenmoutier
Bl Juan de Las Varillas
Bl Juan de Zambrana
St Jucundinus of Troyes
St Julia of Troyes
St Justus of Troyes
Bl Parthenius of Thessaly
St Praxides of Rome
St Simeon Salus
St Victor of Marseilles
St Wastrada
St Zoticus of Comana

Martyrs of Africa – 6 saints: Six Christians who were martyred together. We know no other details about them but the names – Emilian, Hugal, Motanus, Saphus, Stercorius and Victor. They were martyred in an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.