The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018

The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018

Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power
(Ex 15:6)

Day 4: Hope and Healing

Isaiah 9:2-7a His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace

Psalm 34:1-14 Seek peace, and pursue it

Revelation 7:13-17 God will wipe away every tear from their eyes

John 14:25-27 Peace I leave with you

Within the Caribbean, violence is a problem to which the churches are called to respond. There is an alarmingly high rate of murder, much of which stems from domestic abuse, gang warfare and other forms of criminality. There is also a rising rate of self-harm and suicide in some parts of the region.


The kingdom which God promised, the kingdom which Jesus proclaimed and made manifest in his ministry, is a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. What does this Good News mean for those trapped in the darkness of violence? In the prophet’s vision, light shone on those who lived in a land of deep darkness. But how can Christians bring the light of Jesus to those living in the darkness of domestic and gang violence? What sense of hope can Christians offer? It is a sad reality that division among Christians is a counter-sign, which hampers the communication of hope.

However, the quest for peace and reconciliation between the different churches and confessions is the opposite of that. When Christians strive for unity in a world of conflict, they offer the world a sign of reconciliation. Christians who refuse to enter a logic of privilege and status, who refuse to demean others and their communities, give witness to the peace of God’s kingdom, where the Lamb guides the saints to springs of the water of life. This is a peace the world needs, and one which brings healing and comfort to those afflicted by violence.


God of all comfort and hope,
your resurrection defeated the violence of the cross.
As Your people,
may we be a visible sign
that the violence of the world will be overcome.
This we pray in the name of our risen Lord.


The right hand of God
is pointing in our land,
pointing the way we must go;
so clouded is the way,
so easily we stray,
but we’re guided by the right hand of God.DAY 4 - 21 January 2018 - OCTAVE OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2018 - 18-25 JAN


Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Day SIX – 21 January

Various daily acts cause our conversion and ultimately our sanctification to grow: examining our conscience and admitting our faults; undertaking works of penance and reconciliation; receiving the correction others give us with an open and humble heart; reaching out to the poor; standing up for what is right and just; accepting the suffering and persecution that come our way; desiring to better our life (see CCC1435).


Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing conversion.
True conversion means converting my life to the
design of God, the plan He has for me right now.
Pray for me, that I may be filled with passion
for the evangelisation of all those around me,
that my life may be a beacon of the light of Christ.
May the witness of my life inspire other sinners to conversion.
May faith move me to believe that God can
and will change the things in me that seem impossible to rectify.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.day6stpaul-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales – Day SEVEN – 21 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day SEVEN – 21 January

“Our intellect is ordinarily full of ideas, opinions and considerations suggested by self-love.   This is the root of many conflicts within the soul, putting before us all sorts of reasons dictated by human prudence to justify our pretensions.   People who make use of this false prudence, instead of enlightening their intellect, obscure it.   They reject advice given to them and let those reasons prevail in their minds which support their own opinions, even wrong ones.   Make use of the virtue of prudence because it is good but make good use of it.   Employ it only rarely, with simplicity and solely for the glory of God.” (St Francis de Sales – Sermons 30; O. IX, pp. 297-298)

O blessed Francis de Sales,
who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
(mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all, You desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

St Francis de Sales, pray for us.DAY SEVEN - ST FRANCIS DE SALES NOVENA - 21 JAN 2018jpg


Sunday Reflection – 21 January 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Sunday Reflection – 21 January 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM “This is My Body”the eucharist is the hope - st saturninus - 21 jan 2018

“What the Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist represented for Christians at the time of the persecutions is shown in a moving way in the acts of the North African Martyrs, Saturninus and companions, who died under the Diocletian persecution in 305.*
They were the first martyrs of the Eucharist. Their words and example might constitute a strong call and the starting point for an examination of conscience for us modern Christians.
To the Roman judge who accused them of having transgressed the emperor’s order not to hold meetings and hand out the Scriptures, the martyrs responded one after the other:

” A Christian cannot live without the Eucharist and the Eucharist without the Christians.   Don’t you know that the Christian exists for the Eucharist and the Eucharist for the Christian?”
“Yes, I participated with the brothers in the meeting, I celebrated the mysteries of the Lord and I have with me, written in my heart, the divine Scriptures… The Eucharist is the hope and salvation of Christians.”**

* Acta ss. Saturnini et sociorum martyrum (ca.304), 9, 11 (ed PT Ruinart, Acta martyrum 1959). A phrase of these acts: “Sine dominico non possumus” is sometimes translated: ‘We cannot live without Sunday.’ A suggestive translation but unfortunately inexact. The neuter noun dominicum indicates the ‘celebration of the Lord’s Mysteries’, ‘the Lord’s Banquet’, namely ‘the Lord’s Supper’ of 1 Cor 11:20.
The term recurs with such meaning in the African writers of the time – Tertullian, Ad Uxorem, 2,4; Cyprian, De opere et eleemosynis, 15.
The accent is therefore on the Eucharist, not on Sunday, the latter is included indirectly, inasmuch as the Lord’s Supper, was celebrated as a rule and for a certain period exclusively, on Sunday. The complete meaning of dominicum is, therefore, that of “Sunday celebration of the Lord’s supper.”
** Acta, 10-13.

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Thought for the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

One of the most beloved of female saints, Saint Agnes is renowned for her virginity and for keeping her faith under torture.   A girl of only 12 or 13 at the time of her death, Saint Agnes is one of eight female saints commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass (the First Eucharistic Prayer).

As Pope John Paul II said to the young people, they should not wait until they are older to become saints.   For the World Youth Day, the Holy Father proposed nine “patron saints” — nine Saints and Blesseds who died at a very young age, like St Thérèse of Lisieux and Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, who died at the age of 24.   One of these nine patrons is St Agnes, who died around 304 at the age of around 13.   She declared that she would never accept any spouse except Jesus Christ.

“I do not think that the world has radically changed since the time that Agnes lived her short life in the world, some nineteen centuries ago.   It is always the same strong and greedy world that we know today.   The same world with three heads, which the martyrs of the first three centuries of Christianity had to face, still hinders the road to Heaven in our twentieth century:  pride, impurity and the thirst for power stand armed against the Kingdom of Christ,

“Times are bad.”   We, Catholics, are living in a time of paganism.   Our governments and society are about as pagan as the governments and society in the times of paganism in Rome.   Many do not adore the true God anymore; they rather adore at the altars of Venus, or of Moloch, or of some other false deity of the human passions, just like the Romans did.” (Bishop William Adrian of Nashville 1970)

St Agnes’ life, heroism and death inspire us to be pure also.   Her name means pure in Greek and lamb in Latin.  She is a symbol that holiness does not depend on length of years, experience, or human effort.   It is a gift God offers to all.

St Agnes pray for us!bernardo-lorente-german-sevilla-1680-sevilla-1759-e2809csaint-agnese2809d-pray-for-us

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

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

“Christ made my soul beautiful
with the jewels of grace and virtue.
I belong to Him whom the angels serve.”christ made my soul - st agnes - 21 jan 2018

“You may stain your sword with
my blood but you will never profane
my body that I have consecrated to Christ.”

St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyryou may stain your sword - st agnes - 21 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – The Memorial of St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in consolation too. If we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in his great consolation.”…2 Corinthians 1:3-5

REFLECTION – “Today is the birthday of a virgin; let us imitate her purity. It is the birthday of a martyr; let us offer ourselves in sacrifice. It is the birthday of Saint Agnes, who is said to have suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve. There was little or no room in that small body for a wound. Yet she shows no fear of the blood-stained hands of her executioners. She offers her whole body to be put to the sword by fierce soldiers. She is too young to know of death, yet is ready to face it. Dragged against her will to the altars, she stretches out her hands to the Lord int he midst of the flames, making the triumphant sign of Christ the victor on the altars of sacrilege. She puts her neck and hands in iron chains but no chain can hold fast her tiny limbs. In the midst of tears, she sheds no tears herself. She stood still, she prayed, she offered her neck. You could see fear in the eyes of the executioner, as if he were the one condemned. His right hand trembled, his face grew pale as he saw the girl’s peril, while she had no fear for herself. One victim but a twin martyrdom, to modesty and religion; Agnes preserved her virginity and gained a martyr’s crown. – from an essay On Virgins by Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Doctor of the Churchone victim but a twin martyrdom - st ambrose on st agnes - 21 jan 2018

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You choose what is weak in the world to shame what is strong. Grant that, as we celebrate the martyrdom of St Agnes, we may follow her example of steadfastness and trust in faith. We pray that through her intercession, we may grow in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenst agnes pray for us - 21 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 21 January – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Our Morning Offering – 21 January – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Prayer before Holy Mass
By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

O God, loose, remit and forgive
my sins against You.
Whether in word, or in deed, or in thought,
willingly or unwillingly,
knowingly or unknowingly committed,
forgive them all;
for You are good and love mankind.
And through the prayers of Your most holy Mother,
of Your heavenly servants and holy powers
and of all the saints
who have found favour in Your sight,
enable me to receive without condemnation
Your holy and immaculate body
and Your precious blood,
to the healing of my soul and body
and to the driving away of all evil imaginations,
for Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and forever and to ages of ages. Amenprayer before holy mass - st john chrysostom - 21 jan 2018


Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Child Virgin Martyr

Saint of the Day – 21 January – St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Child Virgin Martyr – Patronages – Betrothed couples; chastity; Children of Mary; Colegio Capranica of Rome; crops; gardeners; Girl Guides; girls; rape victims; virgins; the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York; the City of Fresno.   She is one of seven women who, along with the Blessed Virgin, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.  Agnes is depicted in art with a lamb, from the Latin word for “lamb”, agnus.   However, the name “Agnes” is actually derived from the feminine Greek adjective hagnē meaning “chaste, pure, sacred”.   st agnes - header

Saint Agnes of Rome was a member of the Roman nobility born in c 291 and raised in an holy Catholic family.   She suffered Martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on 21 January 304.   She was a beautiful young girl of wealthy family and, therefore, had many suitors of high rank.  Legend holds that the young men, slighted by her resolute devotion to religious purity, submitted her name to the authorities as a follower of Christianity.

The Prefect Sempronius condemned Agnes to be dragged naked through the streets to a brothel.   In one account, as she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body.   It was also said that all of the men that attempted to rape her were immediately struck blind.   The son of the prefect is struck dead but revived after she prayed for him, causing her release.   There is then a trial from which Sempronius recuses himself and another figure presides, sentencing her to death.   She was led out and bound to a stake but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his sword and beheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat.   It is also said that her blood poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked it up with cloths.jacopo_tintoretto_-_the_miracle_of_st_agnes_detail_-_wga22467

Agnes was buried beside the Via Nomentana in Rome.    A few days after her death, her foster-sister, Saint Emerentiana, was found praying by her tomb;  she claimed to be the daughter of Agnes’ wet nurse, and was stoned to death after refusing to leave the place and reprimanding the pagans for killing her foster sister.   Emerentiana was also later canonised.  The daughter of Constantine I, Saint Constance, was said to have been cured of leprosy after praying at Agnes’ tomb.   She and Emerentiana appear in the scenes from the life of Agnes on the 14th-century Royal Gold Cup in the British Museum.

An early account of Agnes’ death, stressing her young age, steadfastness and virginity, but not the legendary features of the tradition, is given by Saint Ambrose.

Agnes was venerated as a saint at least as early as the time of St Ambrose, based on an existing homily.   She is commemorated in the Depositio Martyrum of Filocalus (354) and in the early Roman Sacramentaries.

Agnes’s bones are conserved beneath the high altar in the church of Sant’Agnese fuori le mura in Rome, built over the catacomb that housed her tomb.   Her skull is preserved in a separate chapel in the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone in Rome’s Piazza Navona.Sant'Agnese fuori le mura

Because of the legend around her martyrdom, she is patron saint of those seeking chastity and purity.   Agnes is also the patron saint of young girls.   Folk custom called for them to practise rituals on Saint Agnes’ Eve (20–21 January) with a view to discovering their future husbands.   This superstition has been immortalised in John Keats’s poem, The Eve of Saint agnes


Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia/Our Lady of Grace and Memorials of the Saints – 21 January

St Agnes of Rome (Memorial)
Our Lady of Altagracia – Also known as: Our Lady of Grace – Our Lady of High Grace – Protector and Queen of the hearts of the Dominicans – Tatica from Higuey – Virgen de la Altagracia – Virgin of Altagraciavirgen-altagracia

St Agnes of Aislinger
St Alban Bartholomew Roe
St Anastasius of Constantinople
St Aquila of Trebizond
St Brigid of Kilbride
St Candidus of Trebizond
Bl Edward Stransham
St Epiphanius of Pavia
St Eugenius of Trebizond
Bl Franciscus Bang
St Gunthildis of Biblisheim
Bl Ines de Beniganim
St John Yi Yun-on
St Lawdog
St Maccallin of Waulsort
St Meinrad of Einsiedeln
St Nicholas Woodfen
St Patroclus of Troyes
St Publius of Malta
Bl Thomas Reynolds
St Valerian of Trebizond
St Vimin of Holywood
St Zacharias the Angelic

Blessed Martyrs of Laval – 19 beati:  Fifteen men and four women who were martyred in Laval, France by anti-Catholic French Revolutionaries.
• Blessed André Duliou
• Blessed Augustin-Emmanuel Philippot
• Blessed François Duchesne
• Blessed François Migoret-Lamberdière
• Blessed Françoise Mézière
• Blessed Françoise Tréhet
• Blessed Jacques André
• Blessed Jacques Burin
• Blessed Jean-Baptiste Triquerie
• Blessed Jean-Marie Gallot
• Blessed Jeanne Veron
• Blessed John Baptist Turpin du Cormier
• Blessed Joseph Pellé
• Blessed Julien Moulé
• Blessed Julien-François Morin
• Blessed Louis Gastineau
• Blessed Marie Lhuilier
• Blessed Pierre Thomas
• Blessed René-Louis Ambroise
The were born in French and they were martyred on several dates in 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France. They were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Pope Pius XII at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 30 saints: Thirty Christian soldiers executed together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in 304 in Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Tarragona: Augurius, Eulogius, Fructuosus

ST AGNES – apostleship of prayer video –