Thought for the Day – 9 December 2017 – Saturday of the First Week of Advent & the Memorial of St Juan Diego (1474-1548), the Marian Visionary of the Miracle of Mary of Guadalupe – Five Lessons from the Manger

Thought for the Day – 9 December 2017 – Saturday of the First Week of Advent & the Memorial of St Juan Diego(1474-1548) , the Marian Visionary of the Miracle of Mary of Guadalupe – Five Lessons from the Mangerfive lessons from the manger - 9 dec 2017

The Surprise:  God does not manifest in great events but in small surprises.   The boy in a manger, who would have imagined that God among us shows Himself like this?   The Christian lives the surprise in the small gifts of the day to day.

The Silence:   Mary meditates all this in her heart, with a look that goes deeper and finds the meaning of things.   The Christian feeds on silence, prays and asks the Father for an understanding of what happens to him, in order to discern the best options.

The Light:   On the darkest night of the year the Light of Jesus manifests itself.   God visits our darkness, the places where we think He could never be.   We are not abandoned children but infinitely loved.   The Christian lives this hope.

The Poor:   The shepherds, despised by all, are the first recipients of the announcement of the birth of Jesus.   Always the little ones are the favourites of God.   The message is given to the poorest, to whom no one gives importance.   This is particularly obvious today, on the Memorial of St Juan Diego, the Marian Visionary of the Miracle of Mary of Guadalupe, for whom we ask, please pray for us St Juan!

These are the five lessons we learn from the manger.   Throughout this month, we pray that we might get closer Christ’s coming to us on this Christmas Day, in your prayer proposals and in your union with the Holy Father and his intentions.

A Holy and Blessed Advent!

(Taken partially from Father António Valério, SJ – Director of the Pope’s Global Network of Prayer in Portugal)st juan diego pray for us 2



Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Memorial of St Juan Diego (1474-1548)

Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – The Memorial of St Juan Diego (1474-1548)

“Let not your heart be disturbed.
Do not fear that sickness,
nor any other sickness or anguish.
Am I not here, who is your Mother?
Are you not under my protection?
Am I not your health?
Are you not happily within my fold?
What else do you wish?
Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

Our Lady to Juan Diego, 9 December 1531let not your heart be disturbed - our lady - guadalupe - 9 dec 2017

“The Virgin chose Juan from among the most humble
as the one to receive that loving and gracious
manifestation of hers which is the Guadalupe apparition.
The lay faithful share in the prophetic, priestly and royal role of Christ …..
You must be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

St Pope John Paul II at the Beatification of St Juan Diego, 6 May 1990the virgin chose juan - st john paul - 9 dec 2017

“Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle”!
Show us the way,
that leads to the “Dark Virgin” of Tepeyac,
that she may receive us in the depths of her heart,
for she is the loving, compassionate Mother,
who guides us to the true God. “

St Pope John Paul II at the Canonisation of St Juan Diego, 31 July 2002beloved st juan - st john paul - 9 dec 2017

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

One Minute Reflection – – 9 December 2017- Saturday of the First Week of Advent

One Minute Reflection – – 9 December 2017- Saturday of the First Week of Advent

How I wish you were ….hot or cold!   But because you are lukewarm … I will spew you out of my mouth!….Revelations 3:15revelations 3-15

REFLECTION – The Word of God moves swiftly.   He is not won by the lukewarm nor held fast by the negligent. Be attentive to His message and diligently follow the path God tells you to take.   For He is swift in His passing…..St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe word of god - st ambrose - 9 dec 2017

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, my Lord and Saviour, help me to avoid this lukewarmness in my spiritual growth.   Allow me, this Advent, to use the time well to prepare for Your swift passing.   Grant me an ardent faith, hope and love so that I may be ready for Your coming, every watchful and zealous in following You.   May the great love and prayers of St Juan Diego, whose feast we celebrate today, be acceptable to You on our behalf, juan diego pray for us


Our Morning Offering – 9 December 2017- Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Our Morning Offering – 9 December 2017- Saturday of the First Week of Advent

A 10th Century Advent Prayer to Our Lord Jesus
Unknown author

You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.
Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter’s power,
without leaving the heights You came to the depths
in Your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At Your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and You judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.
Amena 10th century advent prayer - 9 dec 2017

Posted in ADVENT, MORNING Prayers, The WORD

Saturday of the First Week of Advent – 9 December

Saturday of the First Week of Advent – 9 December

“Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

Daily Meditation:

You shall weep no more.

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; 
when he hears it, he will answer you.
Isaian 30:19

The prophetic promise is so great.
What our God has done is so complete a victory over sin and death.
In the midst of my day today, can I let myself imagining that salvation
touching and transforming me?
And can I patiently wait for God’s work to take effect in me
– letting him open my heart, day by day?
Imagining “true liberty” today, let us walk in His ways.

Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left,
your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:20-21

Today’s Daily Reflection – Intercessions:
Let us pray to God our Father, who from of old has called
his people to salvation:
Lord, protect your people.

You promised to plant the seed of justice among Your people,
– protect the holiness of your Church.
Lord, teach all men and women to listen to Your word,
– and help believers to persevere in holiness.
Keep us in the love of Your Spirit,
– that we may receive the mercy of Your Son who is to come.
Father most merciful, strengthen us to the last,
– until the day of the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

You received without payment;  give without payment. Matthew 10:8

Closing Prayer:
Lord of Hope,
Dare I? Can I really hope?
From out of the darkness
I sense a dim light ahead,
the light of Your coming into the world.
I so long for the time
when You are no longer hidden from me
and my deepest desire is
to trust in Your warm voice I hear behind me,
guiding me along a hidden path I do not know.
Dry my tears,
heal my wounds
and help me
to wait for the dawning of the dim light ahead,
with a brighter vision
of healing and freedom.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.saturday of the first week - 9 dec 2017

“Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.”





St Juan Diego’s Tilma – 9 December

St Juan Diego’s Tilma – 9 December

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been the subject of numerous technical studies since 1751 and extensive scientific investigations in recent years, and none of the result offered any sound scientific explanation which, up to this very day, defies science and all human reasoning as it continuous to baffle scientists and even skeptics.

Below are only some of the findings that were drawn from the scientific investigations conducted on the image and the fabric itself which were commissioned by the authorized custodians of the Tilma in the Basilica, and in every case the investigators had direct and unobstructed access to it:

Read all about it here –


Posted in ADVENT, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 9 December – St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548)

Saint of the Day – 9 December – St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548)  – Layman – Marian Visionary.   St Juan was born in 1474 in Tlayacac, Cuauhtitlan (about 15 miles north of modern Mexico City, Mexico) as Cuauhtlatoatzin and he died on 30 May 1548 of natural causes.   He was Beatified on 9 April 1990 by St Pope John Paul II at Vatican City and Canonised on  31 July 2002 – recognition celebrated at the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico by St Pope John Paul II.   Patronage – Indigenous people.header - st juan diegoJohn-Paul-II-Pope-Canonization-of-Juan-Diego (1)

Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, “El Nican Mopohua” (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.

Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name “Cuauhtlatoatzin” (“the talking eagle”) in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico.   He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.

When he was 50 years old he was baptised by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries.   On 9 December 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City.   She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her.   The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true.   On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom.   He obeyed and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering.   He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as “proof”.   When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.juan-diego70st-juan-diego-2-jose-rodriguez

With the Bishop’s permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration.   Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.

Much deeper than the “exterior grace” of having been “chosen” as Our Lady’s “messenger”, Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour.   He remained poor, simple, humble and devoted to the Eucharist.   He spent the next 17 years traveling throughout central Mexico, bringing others to the faith and delivering Guadalupe’s message that Mary loves us and wants to help us.  He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.   He was beatified on 6 May 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.

The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress.   She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars.   The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant.   Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be “born” again among the peoples of the New World and is a message as relevant to the “New World” today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego.


Memorials of the Saints – 9 December

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (Optional Memorial)

St Adam Scotus
Bl Agustín García Calvo *
Bl Antonio Martín Hernández *
St Auditor of Saint-Nectaire
St Balda of Jouarre
St Bernhard Mariea Silvestrelli
St Budoc of Brittany
Bl Carmen Rodríguez Banazal *
St Caesar of Korone
St Cephas
Bl Clara Isabella Fornari
St Cyprian of Perigueux
Bl Dolores Broseta Bonet *
Bl Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray *
St Ethelgiva of Shaftesbury
St Gorgonia
Bl Isidora Izquierdo García *
Bl José Ferrer Esteve *
Bl José Giménez López *
Bl Josefa Laborra Goyeneche *
Bl Josep Lluís Carrera Comas *
St Julian of Apamea
Bl Julián Rodríguez Sánchez *
St Leocadia of Toledo
St Liborius Wagner
Bl María Pilar Nalda Franco *
St Michaela Andrusikiewicz
St Nectarius of Auvergne
St Peter Fourier
St Proculus of Verona
Bl Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat *
St Syrus of Pavia
St Valeria of Limoges
St Wulfric of Holme

Blessed Mercedarian Fathers – (10 beati): The memorial of ten Mercedarian friars who were especially celebrated for their holiness.
• Arnaldo de Querol • Berengario Pic • Bernardo de Collotorto • Domenico de Ripparia • Giovanni de Mora • Guglielmo Pagesi • Lorenzo da Lorca • Pietro Serra • Raimondo Binezes • Sancio de Vaillo

Martyred Salesians of Valencia – (5 beati)
Martyrs of North Africa – (4 saints): Twenty-four Christians murdered together in North Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Bassian, Peter, Primitivus and Successus.

Martyrs of Paterna – (7 beati)
Martyrs of Samosata – (7 saints): Seven martyrs crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area of modern Turkey) for refusing to perform a pagan rite in celebration of the victory of Emperor Maximian over the Persians. They are – Abibus, Hipparchus, James, Lollian, Paragnus, Philotheus and Romanus. They were crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – (13 beati):
• Blessed Agustín García Calvo
• Blessed Antonio Martín Hernández
• Blessed Carmen Rodríguez Banazal
• Blessed Dolores Broseta Bonet
• Blessed Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray
• Blessed Isidora Izquierdo García
• Blessed José Ferrer Esteve
• Blessed José Giménez López
• Blessed Josefa Laborra Goyeneche
• Blessed Josep Lluís Carrera Comas
• Blessed Julián Rodríguez Sánchez
• Blessed María Pilar Nalda Franco
• Blessed Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat