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 6: Let us look to the interests of others

Isaiah 25:1-9 Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation

Psalm 82 Maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute

Philippians 2:1-4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others

Luke 12:13-21 Be on your guard against all kinds of greed

Changing international banking regulations continue to have a negative impact on the trade and commerce of the Caribbean and threaten the economic survival of many families.   It has become increasingly difficult for Caribbean people working abroad to send money back to their families.   The Churches in the Caribbean introduced the Credit Union movement in order for the poor to have access to finance for economic activity.


The witness of the Scriptures is consistent that God always makes a preferential option for the poor: the right hand of God acts for the powerless against the powerful. Similarly, Jesus consistently warns against the dangers of greed. Despite these warnings, however, the sin of greed often infects our Christian communities and introduces a logic of competition: one community competing against the next. We need to remember that insofar as we fail to differentiate ourselves from the world, but conform to its divisive competing spirit, we fail to offer ‘a refuge for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm’.

For our different churches and confessions, to be rich in the sight of God is not a case of having many members belonging – or donating – to one’s own community. Rather, it is to recognise that as Christians we have countless brothers and sisters right across the world, united across the economic divisions of ‘North’ and ‘South’. Conscious of this fraternity in Christ, Christians can join hands in promoting economic justice for all.


Almighty God,

give courage and strength to your church
to continually proclaim justice and righteousness
in situations of domination and oppression.

As we celebrate our unity in Christ,
may your Holy Spirit help us
to look to the needs of others.


The right hand of God
is striking in our land,
striking out at envy, hate and greed;
our selfishness and lust,
our pride and deeds unjust,
are destroyed by the right hand of God.DAY SIX - OCTAVE FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY - 23 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day One – 23 January

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day One – 23 January

1st Day – Baptised in Christ

Word of GodWe were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.   For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Romans 6,4-5)

Reflection – What does the baptism I have received mean to me?   Do I really wish to become holy, as God is holy?

PrayerYou guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.   Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and your staff give me courage.   I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (Psalm 23, 2b-4.6)


O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that You dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give You thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom You chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.

Almighty Father, You filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up Your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.

Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.

Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.

I come to You now, Lord
and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour
(mention your request/s)
if it is according to Your will.

Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Mass,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.

Blessed Benedict, Pray for us!DAY ONE - NOVENA BL BENEDICT - 23 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Two – 23 January

2nd Day – 23 January – Devotion to Our Blessed Mother

O Saint John Bosco,
you loved the Blessed Virgin,
Mary Immaculate Help of Christians,
taking her as your Mother and Guide
and becoming her apostle.
Pray for us that,
inspired by your example,
we may grow in true and enduring love
for this sweetest of mothers
and may thus win her powerful protection in life
and especially at the hour of our death.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace………………..
[mention your intention]
so that together with others
I may assist in bringing all, especially the youth,
to the love of Mary Our Help, amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…

St John Bosco, Pray for us!DAY TWO - NOVENA ST JOHN BOSCO - 23 JAN 2018


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 Eight – 23 January

“In the ancient Church, Baptism was also called “illumination” because this Sacrament gives light;  it truly makes one see.   In Paul what is pointed out theologically was also brought about physically:  healed of his inner blindness, he sees clearly.   Thus St Paul was not transformed by a thought but by an event, by the irresistible presence of the Risen One whom subsequently he would never be able to doubt, so powerful had been the evidence of the event, of this encounter…………….This encounter is a real renewal that changed all his parameters.   Now he could say that what had been essential and fundamental for him earlier had become “refuse” for him;  it was no longer “gain” but loss, because henceforth the only thing that counted for him was life in Christ.” Pope Benedict XVI 2008


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.
May every circumstante of my life be an occasion
to change my way of thinking,
to renounce self-will and
to surrender myself to the wisdom and tenderness of Jesus Christ
who is acting to make me His saint.
Pray St Paul, that I too may be able to acclaim
“It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen

St Paul Pray for us!day-8-st-paul-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales Day NINE – 23 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day NINE – 23 January

“Think for a moment of the piety of the Madonna when the angel told her that the Spirit would overshadow her.   What sentiments of humility, confidence and courage!   At the very moment when she understood that God had given her His heart, that is, His Son, she gave herself to God.   Her soul was flooded with charity, so she could say with the sacred spouse, “…My heart trembled within me and I grew faint when he spoke.” [Sg:5:4]   As far as we are concerned, we receive a similar grace in Communion, because not an angel but Jesus Christ Himself assures us that in it the Holy Spirit descends on us.   Heavenly power covers us with its shadow and the Son of God really comes to us.   He can say that He is conceived and born in us.   Truly then, the soul can respond with the Madonna, “I am the servant of the Lord; let is be done to me as you say.” [Lk 1:38] (St Francis de Sales Spiritual Directory, Art. 12)

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 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 NINE - NOVENA TO ST FRANCIS DE SALES - 23 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, POETRY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 23 January – The Memorial of St Marianne Cope (1838-1918)

Thought for the Day – 23 January – The Memorial of St Marianne Cope (1838-1918)

“The life of Marianne Cope is a wonderful work of divine grace.   She demonstrated the beauty of the life of a true Franciscan.   The encounter of Mother Marianne with those suffering from leprosy took place when she was far along on her journey to Christ.   For 20 years she had been a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis of Syracuse in New York.   She was already a woman of vast experience and was spiritually mature.   But suddenly God called her to a more radical giving, to a more difficult missionary service.

Blessed Marianne, who was Provincial Superior at the time, heard the voice of Christ in the invitation of the Bishop of Honolulu.   He was looking for Sisters to assist those suffering from leprosy on the Island of Molokai.   Like Isaiah, she did not hesitate to answer:  “Here I am. Send me!” (Is 6: 8).   She left everything and abandoned herself completely to the will of God, to the call of the Church and to the demands of her new brothers and sisters.   She put her own health and life at risk.”….Homily of Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins on the Beatification of St Marianne Cope 14 May 2005

Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully.   Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Poem
for St Marianne Cope –
Missionary to Leprosy Patients

To the Reverend Sister Marianne, Missionary to Leprosy Patients
Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa.

To see the infinite pity of this place,
The mangled limb, the devastated face,
The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
A fool were tempted to deny his God.
He sees and shrinks; but if he look again,
Lo, beauty springing from the breasts of pain!
He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
And even a fool is silent and adores.robert louis stevenson's poem for st marianne cope no 2 - 23 jan 2018

“Rivers of living water will gush forth from the heart” of the one who believes in Christ. The signs of his presence are summarised in the Letter to the Galatians:   They are: “love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity” (5: 22).

St Marianne Cope Pray for us!st marianne cope - pray for us - 23 jan 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – The Memorial of St Ildephonsus (607-667) and St Marianne Cope (1838-1918)

Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – The Memorial of St Ildephonsus (607-667) and St Marianne Cope (1838-1918)

“No one will ever be
the servant of the Son
without serving the Mother.”no one will ever be - st ildephonsus - 23 jan 2018

“Go to Mary and sing her praises
and you will be enlightened.
For it is through her,
that the true Light
shines on the sea of this life.”

St Ildephonsus (607-667)go to mary - st ildephonsus - 23 jan 2018

“Creep down into the heart of Jesus.
He alone can comfort you in your
supreme hour of sorrow.”creep down into the heart of Jesus - st marianne cope - 2017

“Let us make the very best use of the precious moments
and do all in our power for His dear sake
and for His greater honour and glory…………
I do not think of reward;
I am working for God and do so cheerfully.”let-us-make - st marianne cope - 2017

“Try to accept what God
is pleased to give you
no matter how bitter –
‘God wills it’,
is the thought
that will strengthen you
and help you over
the hard places
if we wish to be
true children of God.”

“Our dear
heavenly Mother Mary…
how little do our trials
and sorrows appear
when compared
to her bitter sufferings.”

St Marianne Cope (1838-1918)try to accept what god - st marianne cope - 23 jan 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – The Memorial of St Marianne Cope T.O.S.F. (1838-1918)

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – The Memorial of St Marianne Cope T.O.S.F. (1838-1918) Virgin, Professed Sister of St Francis, missionary to leprosy patients

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I sen, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”…Isaiah 6:8

REFLECTION – “She left everything and abandoned herself completely to the will of God, to the call of the Church and to the demands of her new brothers and sisters.    She put her own health and life at risk.   For 35 years she lived, to the full, the command to love God and neighbour.   She willingly worked with Blessed Damian de Veuster, who was at the end of his extraordinary apostolate.   Blessed Marianne loved those suffering from leprosy more than she loved her very self.   She served them, educated them and guided them with wisdom, love and strength.   She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus.
Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.   She drew strength from her faith, the Eucharist, her devotion to our Blessed Mother and from prayer.   She did not seek earthly honours or approval.   She wrote: “I do not expect a high place in heaven. I will be very grateful to have a little corner where I can love God for all eternity”.” …Homily of Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins on the Beatification of St Marianne Cope 14 May 2005i do not expect - st marianne cope - 23 jan 2018

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me to have a true fervour in Your service. Help me to become a zealous worker for Your honour and glory, in imitation of your Son and of your holy saints. St Marianne Cope, intercede for us all, that we may go forth unafraid to serve the most needy of our Father’s children. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Please pray for us, amen!st-marianne-pray-for-us.2017


Our Morning Offering – 23 January – The Memorial of St Ildephonsus (607-667)

Our Morning Offering – 23 January – The Memorial of St Ildephonsus (607-667)

Prayer of Saint Ildephonsus (607-667)

Act of Consecration to Mary

The Abundance of the Sweetness of Thy Son

I come to thee, only Virgin Mother of God,
and fall prostrate before thee,
who alone didst cooperate in the Incarnation of God.
I humble myself before thee,
who alone were found to be the Mother of my Lord.
I pray thee, who alone were found to be the handmaid of thy Son:
obtain that my sins be wiped away;
command that I be cleansed of the wickedness of my deeds,
and, that I may love the glory of thy virtue,
reveal to me the abundance of the sweetness of thy Son.

Thou Art His Co-Worker in My Redemption

Bestow upon me the gift of proclaiming the true faith of thy Son,
and of defending it.
Grant that I may cleave to God and to thee,
that I may serve thy Son and thee,
that I may be His bondsman and thine;
His, because He is my Creator,
and thine, because thou art the Mother of my Creator;
His, because He is Lord of the angelic powers,
and thine, because thou art the handmaid of the Lord of All;
His, because He is God,
and thine because thou art the Mother of God;
His, because He is my Redeemer,
and thine because thou art His co-worker in my redemption.

The Body by Which He Healed My Wounds

That which He wrought for my redemption,
verily He formed in thine own person.
That He might be my Redeemer,
He became thy Son.
That He might be the price of my ransom,
He became incarnate of thy flesh.
The Body by which He healed my wounds,
He took from thee so that He, in it, might be wounded.
The mortal Body by which He took away my death,
He took from thy mortality.
The Body by which He brought my sins to nought,
He received sinless from thee.
This nature of mine that ahead of time, in Himself,
He placed above the angels in the glory of His Father’s right hand,
He assumed — humbling Himself — out of thine own true body.

I Am Thy Slave

Therefore, I am thy slave,
because Thy Son is my Master.
Therefore thou art my Lady,
because thou art the handmaid of my Lord.
Therefore I am the slave of the handmaid of my Lord,
because thou, my Lady, didst become the Mother of my Lord.
Therefore I have become thy slave,
because thou didst become the Mother of my Maker.

By the Holy Spirit

I pray thee, I pray thee, holy Virgin,
may I, by the Spirit through Whom thou didst give birth to Jesus,
have Jesus and hold Him.
By that Spirit through Whom
thou didst conceive this same Jesus in thy flesh,
may my soul receive Jesus.

Let the Spirit gift me with the knowledge of Jesus,
this Spirit by Whom it was given Thee
to bear Jesus and to give Him birth.
Let the Spirit in Whom thou didst
declare thyself the handmaid of the Lord,
choosing that it should be done unto thee
according to the Angel’s word,
grant me to proclaim the heights of Jesus with lowliness.

To Love Jesus and to Fear Him

In the Spirit thou didst adore Jesus as thy Lord
and gaze upon Him as thy Son;
in that same Spirit may I love Him.
And may I fear this same Jesus,
with that reverence by which He, truly being God,
became subject to His parents.

“For over thirty years now, my dear old friend Father Jacob, O.P. and I have renewed our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God annually on January 1st. Experience has taught me the wisdom of entrusting the new year to Our Blessed Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces. Readers of Vultus Christi may want to join me in asking the Mother of God again today to open her hands over the entire year.
I offer today my translation of the sublime prayer of Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo (+667). This prayer, taken from his treatise De virginitate perpetua Sanctae Mariae, is one of the earliest expressions of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In it, heralding an expression that Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort will make famous, the Bishop of Toledo declares himself the slave of Mary, Handmaid of the Lord. He also emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit with theological keenness and tender piety.” …..By Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

And, for the image, I have excerpted the last three stanzas and modernised the English.

I pray you, I pray you, holy Virgin,
may I, by the Spirit through Whom
you gave birth to Jesus,
have Jesus and hold Him.
By that Spirit through Whom
you conceived this same Jesus in your flesh,
may my soul receive Jesus.
Let the Spirit gift me
with the knowledge of Jesus,
this Spirit by Whom it was given to you
to bear Jesus and to give Him birth.
Let the Spirit in Whom you declared
yourself the handmaid of the Lord,
choosing that it should be done unto you
according to the Angel’s word,
grant me to proclaim
the heights of Jesus with lowliness.
In the Spirit you adored Jesus as your Lord
and gazed upon Him as your Son;
in that same Spirit may I love Him.
And may I fear this same Jesus,
with that reverence by which He,
truly being God,
became subject to His parents.

prayer of st ildephonsus - 23 jan 2018



Saint of the Day – 23 January – St Ildephonsus (607-667)

Saint of the Day – 23 January – St Ildephonsus (607-667) Monk, Priest, Theologian, Scholar, Marian devotee, Writer, Evangeliser, Archbishop of Toledo.   Abbot Dom Guéranger calls him the Doctor of the Virginity of Mary.   Saint Ildephonsus established the feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is still kept in some places on 18 December.   Patronages – Toledo, Zamora and several smaller towns in Spain and Portugal.

Ildephonsus was born to a prominent family in Toledo.   His uncle Eugenius, who later became Toledo’s bishop, began educating the devout youth.   Ildephonsus began his religious career circa 632 when Bishop Eladius of Toledo ordained him as a deacon. However, Ildefonse defied his family’s plans for his clerical career by becoming a monk at the Agali monastery outside the city.   While he was still a simple monk, he founded and endowed a monastery of nuns.   In 650 Ildephonsus was elected its abbot of Agali.    When his uncle Bishop Eugenius II died in 657, Ildefonsus was elected his successor as bishop of Toledo.   King Recceswinth compelled him to accept the position, as Ildephonsus later complained to his protege and successor, Bishop Quiricus of Barcelona, who wrote St Ildephonsus biography after his death.   His later successor, Julian, included Ildefonsus among the biographies added in his own continuation to the De viris illustribus.   Another successor, Cixila, wrote a hagiographical life of Ildefonsus.   During the 13th century, the Dominican Rodrigo de Cerrato included Ildefonsus among his vignettes of illustrious men.el_greco_ildefonso-large

Spanish Catholics esteem St Ildefonsus as one of their greatest saints, second only to St Isidore of Seville (560-636), who is a Doctor of the Church.   As archbishop of Toledo, he led the Spanish church from 658 to 667.   Like Isidore, Ildefonsus contributed to the creation of the collaborative union of church and state that came to typify medieval Europe.   For example, he presided over a council in 653 that granted secular leaders the right to participate in ecclesiastical decisions.   But at the same time, bishops participated in the election of kings and joined with state officials in publishing secular laws and pardoning traitors.   Thus the saint helped forge medieval political relationships well ahead of their time.

Pastorally, Ildefonsus aimed to raise the faith level of the laypeople in Toledo, so he set about to educate them in Christian truth.   For example, he wrote On Understanding Baptism to elevate their ideals.   Here is a quote from that popular book:

We come to the font as to the Red Sea.   Moses was the leader in saving Israel; Christ was the leader in redeeming man.   The former left Egypt;  the latter left the world.   The Egyptians pursued the Israelites;  sin pursued man.   The sea is coloured by the red of its shore;  baptism is consecrated with the blood of Christ. The vast sea is divided by a rod;  the entrance to the font is opened with the sign of the cross.   Israel enters the sea;  man is washed in the font.   Israel passes on a dry path between the waters without hindrance;  through the waters man journeys the way of salvation.   The pursuing Egyptians are drowned with Pharaoh;  sins are destroyed in baptism together with the devil in a destruction not of life but of power.   The children of Israel left Egypt in the spring of the year and passed through the sea;  in the same season we celebrate the Pasch of our Lord Jesus Christ.   In baptism, souls cross from vices to virtues.   They pass from the lusts of the flesh to grace and sobriety of spirit.   And they escape from the leaven of malice and wickedness to truth and sincerity.   Thus we say to those born again: “This month shall be to you the beginning of months:  it shall be the first of the months of the year” (see Exodus 12:2).   For he who is washed abandons Pharaoh, the leader of this world, with all its works.

Veneration of the Virgin Mary runs deep in the Hispanic Catholic tradition.   That stream of Marian devotion can trace its roots in part to Ildefonsus.   He loved Mary and honoured her in his landmark book, On the Perpetual Virginity of Holy Mary.   Its themes inspired the Marian “breastplate” songs of Irish monks in Europe and through many centuries copyists placed quotes from it in books of hours.   Ildefonsus’s work influenced the long-standing practice of celebrating Mass on Saturdays in honour of Mary.

It is recounted that on this feast of the Mother of God, Archbishop Ildephonsus, together with some of his clergy, hastened to church before the hour of Matins to honour Our Blessed Lady with their songs.   Arriving close to the church, they found it all ablaze with a heavenly radiance.   This so frightened the little band that all fled, except for Archbishop Ildephonsus and his two faithful deacons.   Deacons, take note!   With wildly beating hearts, these entered the church and made their way to the altar.   A great mystery was about to unfold.

A Chasuble from the Treasury of Heaven

There, seated on the Archbishop’s throne, was the august Queen of Heaven surrounded by choirs of angels and holy virgins.   The chants of paradise filled the air.   Our Blessed Lady beckoned Ildephonsus to approach her.   Looking upon him with tenderness and majesty, she said:  “Thou art my chaplain and faithful notary. Receive from me this chasuble, which my Son sends you from His treasury.”   Having said this, the Immaculate Virgin clothed Ildephonsus in the chasuble, and instructed him to wear it for the Holy Sacrifice on her festivals.

The account of this apparition, and of the miraculous chasuble, was deemed so certain and utterly beyond doubt, that news of it spread through the Church, even reaching the Ethiopians.   The Church of Toledo honoured the event with a special proper Mass and Office.   What was the miraculous chasuble like? Artists through the ages have sought to depict it, more often than not in rich brocades of gold and ildephonsusG.Reni, Hlg.Ildefons empfaengt Messgewand - Reni / Saint Ildephonsus / c.1611 - Reni, Guido , 1575-1642.XJL86515

Gifts from Heaven

Sceptics may smile condescendingly and dismiss the story as a pious fabrication.  Serious studies of the various gratiae gratis datae — graces freely given — are not without evidence of the phenomenon of material gifts brought from heaven.   One finds examples of it as recently as in the life of Mother Yvonne-Aimée of Malestroit (1901-1951).   A classic example of the phenomenon would be the cincture of the Angelic Warfare with which angels girded Saint Thomas Aquinas after his victory over a temptation of the flesh.

Ildephonsus died after a decade in office and was buried at his (and the city’s) basilica, Toledo’s Church of Santa Leocadia.   Another Council of Toledo decreed that henceforth 18 December would be celebrated as a Marian feast day, to commemorate his vision.  Even during the Muslim occupation, when the basilica was converted into a mosque, the area where the vision occurred remained sacred and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  Pilgrims travelled to Toledo to see the stone where Mary stepped during Ildephonsus’ vision.   During later wars, the saint’s remains were transferred Zamora, where they remain at the Church of Sts Peter and Ildephonso.123ildephonsus4


23 January – Feast of the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph and Memorials of the Saints

St Marianne Cope TO.S.F. (1838-1918)

Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary:   Feast in honour of the Blessed Virgin’s espousal to Saint Joseph.   It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called “espoused” to Joseph (“his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph”, Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated.   The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated.   It dates from 1517 when it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation by Pope Leo X with nine other Masses in honor of Our Lady.   Adopted by many religious orders and dioceses, it was observed for a time by nearly the whole Church but is no longer in the Calendar.

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe
St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe
Bl Henry Suso
St Ildephonsus (506-667)
Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almsgiver/the Mericiful
Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr