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 7: Building family in household and church

Exodus 2:1-10 The birth of Moses

Psalm 127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain

Hebrews 11:23-24 Moses was hidden by his parents … because they saw
that the child was beautiful

Matthew 2:13-15 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt

In the Caribbean the family continues to be adversely affected by the legacy of enslavement and by new factors such as the migration of parents, financial problems and domestic violence. Facing this reality, the churches of the Caribbean are working to give support to both nuclear and extended families.


Families are of central importance for the protection and nurture of children. The Bible accounts of the infancies of both Moses and Jesus, who were in mortal danger from the moment they were born because of the murderous orders of angry rulers, illustrate how vulnerable children can be to external forces. These stories also show how action can be taken to protect such little ones. Matthew presents us with a model of fatherhood that is in loving fidelity to the Lord’s command, especially in turbulent times.

The Scriptures view children as a blessing and as hope for the future. For the Psalmist, they are ‘like arrows in the hand of a warrior’. As Christians, we share a common calling to live as supportive family networks, relying on the strength of the Lord for the task of building strong communities in which children are protected and can flourish.


Gracious God,

You sent Your son to be born in an ordinary family
with ancestors who were both faithful and sinful.

We ask Your blessing upon all families
within households and communities.
We pray especially for the unity of the Christian family
so that the world may believe.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, we pray,


The right hand of God
is writing in our land,
writing with power and with love;
our conflicts and our fears,
our triumphs and our tears,
are recorded by the right hand of God.DAY SEVEN - OCTAVE FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY - 24 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day Two – 24 January

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day Two – 24 January

2nd Day: A MAN OF WORK
True to his motto, “Pray and Work”, Benedict believed in honest, hard work as a way of
glorifying God and helping people in the community.

Word of God
It will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted his
possessions to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two; to a third, one – to
each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received
the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one
who received two made another two. (Matthew 25, 14-15)

Deepening of Faith
Nazareth, O House of the “Carpenter’s son”, it is here that we would like to understand
and celebrate the severe and redemptive law of human labour; here restore
awareness of the nobility of work; here remember that work is not an end in itself but its freedom and its nobility come, as well as its economic value, from values which are its
goal;  how we would like to finally welcome here all workers of the world and show them
their great model, their divine brother, the Prophet of all their just causes, Christ our
Lord. ……………Pope Paul VI, Address in Nazareth, 5 January 1964

Reflection: Am I doing my job/work as well as I can?
Do I feel ashamed when doing manual work?

Prayer People go forth to do their work, to their labour till the evening falls.
How varied are your works, O Lord!   In wisdom you have made them all;
The earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104, 23-24)


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 Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Three – 24 January

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Three – 24 January

3rd Day – 24 January – Loyalty to the Church and to the Pope

O Saint John Bosco,
you nurtured a filial love for the Church and the Pope
and you courageously spoke and wrote in their defense.
Pray for us that, inspired by your example,
we may be faithful sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church
and may likewise,
love and honour the Holy Father
as the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.

Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace
……………………………….[mention your request].
so that together with others
I may assist in bringing all around me
especially the young to the love of the Church, amen.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…
St John Bosco Pray for us!DAY THREE - NOVENA ST JOHN BOSCO - 24 JAN 2018

Posted in Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Thought for the Day – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) on St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

When one Doctor of the Church talks about another, you know it’s going to be good:

“Great was the faith of St Francis de Sales.   Such was his delight when he thought of the beauty and excellence of Faith, that he was heard to exclaim, “Oh my God, the beauty of our holy Faith appears to be so delightful that I could die for love for it and it seems to me that I ought to enclose this precious gift which God has bestowed upon me, in a heart full of the sweetest perfumes of devotion.”   Hence he was never satisfied with giving God thanks for having blessed him with the favour of being born a child of the True Church:  “O bountiful God,” said he, “great indeed are the favours by which Thou hast bound me to Thee’ but how shall I ever sufficiently thank Thee for having enlightened me with the true Faith?”   And he declared that, although he constantly had so much to do with heretics, he had never once doubted in the least of the truth of his Faith.   They who love God never doubt in matters of Faith, it is only those who do not live according to the dictates of their Faith who doubt of its Truths.”

[I think this is very true.   And I have read a great many Saints who commented on the converse of this:   Liguori himself, Aquinas and Jerome, all stated that public heresy is almost always driven by some sin, some lust or greed or pride that separates one from Grace – at least it’s fullness – and leads to souls developing a loathing for the Truth Christ has revealed through His Church.   Thus, they apostatise in order to rationalise or justify, in their minds, their private (or even public) sin].

“Great also was the Hope of St Francis.  He was always firmly convinced that God continually watches over our welfare and hence he was always calm and intrepid in the midst of the greatest dangers.   In the very dangers which threatened his designs for the glory of God, he never lost confidence.   And this he always endeavoured to instill into others.   On one occasion he is related to have said to a timid soul:  “Do you desire to belong entirely to God?   Why, then, do you fear on account of your weakness?   Do you hope in God? And shall he who hopes in God be ever confounded?   Be not afraid of your fears.” He who loves God much, confides much in Him. Love always cuts off fear.

Holy Saint, since thou art now in Heaven loving Jesus face to Face, obtain for me the Grace to love Him, as thou didst love Him in thy lifetime.”st francis de sales pray for us no 1 - 24 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 Nine – 24 January

The key to conversion?   Keeping our focus on the Cross of Jesus Christ, for “the human heart is converted by looking upon (the Crucified) whom our sins have pierced” (CCC 1432 cf. Jn 19:37; Zech 12:10)


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 cling to Christ Crucified
help me to fully participate at every SACRIFICE of the Holy Mass
help me to understand, that this IS He
who showed us the way
gave us the light to follow it in Holy Mother Church
who is His bride and shows us the only truth.
May every circumstance 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 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-nine-st-paul-2018


Quote/s of the Day – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Quote/s of the Day – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

“Do not look forward
to the changes and chances
of this life in fear;
rather look to them
with full hope that,
as they arise, God,
whose you are,
will deliver you out of them.
He is your keeper.
He has kept you hitherto.
Do you but hold fast
to His dear hand
and He will lead you
safely through all things;
and, when you cannot stand,
He will bear you in His arms.
Do not look forward to
what may happen tomorrow.
Our Father will either
shield you from suffering,
or He will give you
strength to bear it.”do not look forward - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“Anxiety is the greatest evil
that can befall a soul, except sin.
God commands you to pray
but He forbids you to worry.”anxiety is the greatest evil - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“Great occasions for serving God
come seldom but little ones,
surround us daily.”great occasions - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“Half an hour’s meditation
each day is essential,
except, when you are busy.
Then a full hour is needed.”

“Let us think only
of spending
the present day well.
Then, when tomorrow
shall have come,
it will be called
and then,
we will think about it.”

“Every morning,
prepare your soul
for a tranquil day.”half an hour - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“What we need,
is a cup of understanding,
a barrel of love
and an ocean of patience.”

“A quarrel between friends,
when made up,
adds a new tie to friendship.”

“Friendships begun in this world
will be taken up again,
never to be broken off. “what we need - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“Don’t get upset
with your imperfections.
It’s a great mistake
because it leads nowhere –
to get angry
because you are angry,
upset at being upset,
depressed at being depressed,
disappointed because
you are disappointed.
So don’t fool yourself.
Simply surrender
to the Power of God’s Love,
which is always greater
than our weakness.”dont get upset with your imperfections-st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

“Don’t sow your desires
in someone else’s garden;
just cultivate your own as best you can;
don’t long to be other than what you are
but desire to be thoroughly what you are.
Direct your thoughts, to being very good at that
and to bearing the crosses, little or great,
that you will find there.
Believe me, this is the most important
and least understood point to the spiritual life.
We all love according to what is our taste;
few people like what is according to their duty
or to God’s liking.
What is the use of building castles in Spain
when we have to live in France?”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchdont sow your desires - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor Caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;  He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands…Deuteronomy 7:9

REFLECTION:  “Man is the perfection of the Universe.
The spirit is the perfection of man.
Love is the perfection of the spirit and charity that of love.
Therefore, the love of God is the end, the perfection of the Universe.”… St Francis de Salesman is the perfection - st francis de sales - 24 jan 2018

PRAYER :  Grant Lord, that in the service of our fellowmen, we may always reflect Your own gentleness and love and so imitate St Francis de Sales, whom You made all things to all men, for the saving of souls.   Grant that his prayers on our behalf may assist us in our daily struggles in traversing our pilgrim way.   Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, francis de sales - pray for us no 1 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Our Morning Offering – 24 January – The Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Prayer of Dedication to the Lord
By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

I am Yours
and I must belong to no one but You.
My soul is Yours
and I must live only by You.
My will is Yours
and must love only for You.
I must love You as my first cause,
since I am from You.
I must love You as my end and rest,
since I am for You.
I must love You more than my own being,
since my being subsists by You.
I must love You more than myself,
since I am all Yours
and all in You.
Amen.prayer of dedication to the lord - st francis de sales - 2017




Saint of the Day – 24 January – St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Saint of the Day – 24 January – St Francis de Sales  CO, OM, OFM (Cap) (1567-1622) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity), Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of Law and Theology, Writer, Theologian, Mystic, Teacher, Preacher, Founder along with St Jane Frances de Chantal, founded the women’s Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines).  Born 21 August 1567 at Château de Thorens, Savoy (part of modern France) – 28 December 1622 at Lyon, France of natural causes.   St Francis is known as:  the Gentle Christ of Geneva and the Gentleman Saint.   Patronages –  against deafness, authors, writers (proclaimed on 26 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), Catholic press, Confessors, journalists (proclaimed on 26 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), teachers, Champdepraz, Aosta, Italy, 8 Dioceses.  His motto ‘Non-excidet’ – (No failure).   St Francis became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation.  He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.Cheader - st francis de salescoa_francis_de_sales-svgSOD-0124-SaintFrancisdeSales-790x480

Francis, the eldest of 13 children, was born into a family of nobility in France in 1567.   His father sent him to study at the University of Paris.   After six years, Francis was intellectually competent in many areas.   Francis was also a skilled swordsman who enjoyed fencing, an expert horseman and a superb dancer.  Then Francis studied at the University of Padua and received a doctorate in civil and canon law.   His father wanted him to marry but Francis desired to be a priest.    His father strongly opposed Francis in this and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent.   Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a centre for the Calvinists.   Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais.   By preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success, the majority of the Chablais inhabitants accepted the Catholic francis de sales - young - no 2

At 35, he became bishop of Geneva.  While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechise the children.  His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls  . He practised his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.”

Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote other marvellous spiritual aid as well as many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence  . For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press.   His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people.   He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints.   As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman…. It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. ”

In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal, in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Mary’s visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety, and mutual charity.   They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick.   Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.124-st-francis-de-sales-eglise-d-hannevillestfrancois4 T

St Francis is buried at the Basilica of the Visitation, Annecy, France -below.   His heart was preserved as a Relic at Lyon but during the French Revolution his heart was was moved to Venice, Italy.   The Altar below is the High Altar of St Francis at the Cathedral in St Louis, USA.

St. François de Sales. La Basilique de La Visitation. Annecy, Fran
The High Altar at Saint Francis de Sale, St Louis

24 January – Feast of Our Lady of Tears and Memorials of the Saints – 24 January

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) (Memorial) – Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

Our Lady of Tears: Also known as the Weeping Madonna of Syracuse, this plaster hanging wall plaque depicts the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the style of the 1950’s. Like many others just like it, it was mass-produced in a factory in Tuscany and shipped to various locations throughout the world.   This particular plaque of Our Lady of Tears was purchased for a wedding gift for a couple who wed on 21 March 1953. The couple, Angelo and Antonian Iannuso, would later admit that they were not devout, but they liked the plaque and placed it on the wall over their bed. Antonian soon became pregnant but the happy couple soon learned that the pregnancy caused Antonian to suffer from toxemia that caused frequent convulsions and even temporary blindness.
On the morning of 29 August, 1953, Antonian awoke to find that her sight had been restored.
“I opened my eyes and stared at the image of the Madonna above the bedhead. To my great amazement I saw that the effigy was weeping.   I called my sister-in-law Grazie and my aunt, Antonian Sgarlata, who came to my side, showing them the tears. At first they thought it was an hallucination due to my illness but when I insisted, they went close up to the plaque and could well see that tears were really falling from the eyes of the Madonna, and that some tears ran down her cheeks onto the bedhead.   Taken by fright they took it out the front door, calling the neighbours, and they too confirmed the phenomenon…”

The plaque of Our Lady of Tears was publically displayed, convincing even the skeptics of the prodigy as many of the sick were miraculously healed of their ailments.   Some of the tears were collected for scientific examination and the findings were as follows:
“…the liquid examined is shown to be made up of a watery solution of sodium chloride in which traces of protein and nuclei of a silver composition of excretiary substances of the quanternary type the same as found in the human secretions used as a comparison during the analysis.   The appearance, the alkalinity and the composition induce one to consider the liquid examined analogous to human tears.”

The tears stopped four days later at 11:40 am.
On October 17, 1954, Pope Pius XII stated the following during a radio broadcast:
“…we acknowledge the unanimous declaration of the Episcopal Conference held in Sicily on the reality of that event.   Will men understand the mysterious language of those tears?”


St Anicet Hryciuk
St Artemius of Clermont
St Bartlomiej Osypiuk
Bertrand of Saint Quentin
St Daniel Karmasz
St Exuperantius of Cingoli
St Felician of Foligno
St Filip Geryluk
Bl Francesc de Paula Colomer Prísas
St Guasacht
St Ignacy Franczuk
Bl John Grove
St Julian Sabas the Elder
St Luigj Prendushi
St Macedonius Kritophagos
Bl Marcolino of Forli
Bl Marie Poussepin
Bl Paula Gambara Costa
St Projectus
St Sabinian of Troyes
St Suranus of Sora
St Thyrsus
Bl William Ireland

Martyrs of Asia Minor – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Eugene, Mardonius, Metellus and Musonius. They were burned at the stake in Asia Minor.

Martyrs of Podlasie – 13 beati: Podlasie is an area in modern eastern Poland that, in the 18th-century, was governed by the Russian Empire. Russian sovereigns sought to bring all Eastern-rite Catholics into the Orthodox Church. Catherine II suppressed the Greek Catholic church in Ukraine in 1784. Nicholas I did the same in Belarus and Lithuania in 1839. Alexander II did the same in the Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Chelm in 1874, and officially suppressed the Eparchy in 1875. The bishop and the priests who refused to join the Orthodox Church were deported to Siberia or imprisoned. The laity, left on their own, had to defend their Church, their liturgy, and their union with Rome.
On 24 January 1874 soldiers entered the village of Pratulin to transfer the parish to Orthodox control. Many of the faithful gathered to defend their parish and church. The soldiers tried to disperse the people, but failed. Their commander tried to bribe the parishioners to abandon Rome, but failed. He threaten them with assorted punishments, but this failed to move them. Deciding that a show of force was needed, the commander ordered his troops to fire on the unarmed, hymn-singing laymen. Thirteen of the faithful died, most married men with families, ordinary men with great faith.
We know almost nothing about their lives outside of this incident. Their families were not allowed to honour them or participate in the funerals, and the authorities hoped they would be forgotten. They were:
• Anicet Hryciuk
• Bartlomiej Osypiuk
• Daniel Karmasz
• Filip Geryluk
• Ignacy Franczuk
• Jan Andrzejuk
• Konstanty Bojko
• Konstanty Lukaszuk
• Lukasz Bojko
• Maksym Hawryluk
• Michal Wawryszuk
• Onufry Wasyluk
• Wincenty Lewoniuk
• shot on 14 January 1874 by Russian soldiers in Podlasie, Poland
• buried nearby without rites by those soldiers
6 October 1996 by Pope John Paul II

Martyrs of Antioch: