Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day Nine – 31 January

Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa- Day Nine – 31 January

On 2 February 1990, after dropping home the man with the bag of mealie-meal, Benedict found his way blocked by tree logs across the road.   When he got out of the car to remove them, a mob of young boys and men came from behind the bushes and began throwing large stones at him.   Bleeding and injured, he left the car and ran across a soccer field hoping for assistance from a nearby Shebeen (a place where alcoholic drink is sold illegally).   Seeing an open door at the rondavel kitchen he ran straight in to hide and save his life.
The mob who quickly chased after him, asked the woman there where Benedict was  hiding, threatening to kill her if she did not tell them.   Pointing to where Benedict was  hiding, she pleaded, “Don’t kill me. He is inside”.   Two of the mob entered and pulled Benedict out.   Hugging one of them, Benedict pleaded, “Please, spare my life!”   The youth responded, “OK. Let me go, we’re not going to kill you.”   Believing him, Benedict went out.
As the mob had now surrounded the rondavel, Benedict could not escape, so seeing
one of them coming with a knobkerrie, he knelt and prayed.   Things then moved very quickly.   The man hit Benedict on the head with his knobkerrie, crushing his skull. Benedict fell to the ground.   Boiling water was then poured over his head, ears, nostrils
besides other atrocities.
The burial Mass was con-celebrated on 10 February 1990.   At it all the priests wore red vestments because they believed that Benedict had died for his faith.   It was his stance against witchcraft which had brought about Benedict’s death.

Word of God:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.   (Matthew 5, 10-12)

Reflection:   How does the courage of martyrs, like Benedict, help me to live my
faith?   How can I stand up for my faith, both in private and in public life?

Prayer:   My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity forever.
(Luke 1, 46-55 – The Magnificat)


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
(make your request)
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. Amen.DAY NINE - NOVENA TO BL BENEDICT DASWA - 31 JAN 2018


Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers

Mary Ward (1585-1645) Foundress – 30 January

Mary Ward (1585-1645) Foundress, was an English nun who founded a women’s religious community modelled on the Jesuits, dedicated to active service, died on 30 January in 1645.  She is so little known today, though so worthy of praise.Mary-Ward-Augsburg-Portrait

She was born to a Catholic family in North Yorkshire, England, just a few years before the defeat of the Spanish Armada.   The family was determined to practice the Catholic faith in spite of the ongoing hostility.   In 1589 the family home was burned down but Mary and her sisters were saved by her father.

At the age of 15, Mary Ward felt called to religious life.   Ward entered the Poor Clare convent in Saint-Omer in France.   At the time the only option for religious life for women was in cloistered communities.   Mary Ward, however, wanted to give active service to God and others.   Thus began her extraordinary journey.

At the age of 24, Mary gathered a number of companions and formed a religious community.   In creating a structure for her religious community, Mary Ward drew on the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus.   Church authorities, however, were implacably opposed to the idea of religious women being active in any ministry outside of the enclosed walls of the cloister.

The community grew in the face of severe opposition.   They ministered to imprisoned and persecuted Catholics openly on the European continent, secretly in England.   Mary was imprisoned by the English government and later by the Inquisition in Rome.   While she was personally admired, Mary Ward’s congregation was suppressed in 1630.   There was also an effort to destroy all related documents so as to erase the memory of Mary’s work.   Returning to England in 1642, Mary died surrounded by a few companions in 1645.   Although she was continually frustrated in her dreams, Mary Ward never lost confidence in her relationship with Jesus.

Mary Ward’s legacy survives today in the Sisters of Loreto (Institute of the Blessed Virgin) worldwide and in the newly renamed Congregation of Jesus.

A friend wrote of her:

What applause would she not have won, what friends would she have acquired and have made herself an object of admiration to the world, if she would have relented but a little on some points regarding the Institute.   But she put herself aside, without regarding what was agreeable or disagreeable.   Her only ambition being fidelity to God, which she desired so that that it did not appear difficult whatever she suffered in so doing – to lose friends and make enemies, to despise honours and embrace contempt, to reject riches and embrace poverty.

Mary Ward, pray for us!


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

Thought for the Day – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

Thought for the Day – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

Inspired by Saint Francis de Sales, Saint John Bosco founded the Salesians to continue his work among boys.   Then, joining forces with Mary Mazzarello, he helped found the Salesian Sisters.   All this during a time when established Religious communities were closing their doors.  But Saint John was different;  he was a poor man who truly cared for the poor and people saw that.
In the beginning, his work was disappointing and seemingly impossible.   He had little money, no collaborators and hundreds of boys to take care of.   But he persisted and miraculously overcame all obstacles.
Eventually, many of his boys became priests and one of them, Dominic Savio, a Saint.
He cried to God, leaned on Mary and neither disappointed him.

Truly, if you have faith and don’t doubt… ‘In truth I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, …. but even if you say to this mountain, “Be pulled up and thrown into the sea,” it will be done.   And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive.’…Matthew 21:21-22

St John Bosco, pray for us!don-bosco-pray-for-us-2018


Quote/s of the Day – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

Quote/s of the Day – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

“Do you want our Lord to give you many graces?
Visit him often.
Do you want him to give you few graces?
Visit him seldom.
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful
and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil.
Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
and the devil will be powerless against you.”do you want our lord to give you many graces - st john bosco - 31 jan 2017

“I beg you to recommend to everyone,
first, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
and then reverence for most holy Mary.”

“Take refuge often at the feet of Jesus…
My dear ones, the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
is an extremely necessary way to conquer the devil.
Therefore, go often to visit Jesus
and the devil will not come out victorious against you.”i beg you to recommend to everyone - st john bosco - 31 jan 2018

“Jesus could have limited His presence only
to the celebration of Mass, but no!
He wanted to make a permanent dwelling among us.
Night and day He awaits us and offers Himself to us at all times.
Like a most tender mother, He opens His arms to us.
He is there generously to give us His gifts.
He is there to draw us to Him
and lead us to paradise with Him.

Oh! Let us go visit Him often.”

jesus could have limited - st john bosco - 31 jan 2018

“I beg you to recommend to everyone,
first, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
and then reverence for most holy Mary.”

“Ask the Blessed Virgin for the grace
to receive Communion frequently
and worthily… Try to imagine,
that the Blessed Virgin herself,
will give you the Sacred Host.
No one would dare strike
at the Heart of Jesus
while He is in Mary’s hands.”i beg you - st john bosco - 2018 - 31 jan

“The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good.”the power of evil - st john bosco - 31 jan 2018

“The fullness of love, in all the mothers of this earth,
could never equal, the love Mary has, for each one of us.”the fullness of love - st john bosco - 31 jan 2018


One Minute Reflection – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

One Minute Reflection – 31 January -The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888)

Whoever welcomes one such child for my sake welcomes me….Matthew 18:5-6matthew-18-5-6 - 2017

REFLECTION – “Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons.   Let us place ourselves in their service.   Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority.   Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better. This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles.   He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity.   He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalised and still others to hope for God’s mercy.   And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart.” – from a letter by Saint John Boscolet us be ashamed - st don bosco - 31 jan 2018

PRAYER – We praise You, Lord, for calling St John Bosco to be a loving father and prudent guide of the young.   Give us his fervent zeal for souls and the graces You granted him, making him in a servant of all.   Enable us, O Lord, to live for You alone and to see in all Your image.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, john bosco pray for us - 31 jan 2018

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

Our Morning Offering – 31 January – The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888) Founder of the Salesians

Our Morning Offering – 31 January – The Memorial of St John Bosco (1815-1888) Founder of the Salesians, which is founded on the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales.

O Love Eternal
By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

O love eternal,
my soul needs
and chooses You eternally!
Ah, come Holy Spirit,
and inflame our hearts
with Your love!
To love – or to die!
To die – and to love!
To die to all other love
in order to live in Jesus’ love,
so that we may not die eternally.
But that we may live
in Your eternal love,
O Saviour of our souls,
we eternally sing,
“Live, Jesus!
Jesus, I love!
Live, Jesus, whom I love!
Jesus, I love,
Jesus who lives and reigns
forever and ever.  Amen.o love eternal by st francis de sales - 31 jan 2018


Saint of the Day – 31 January – St John Bosco/Don Bosco (1815-1888) Founder of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Association of Salesian Cooperators. 

Saint of the Day – 31 January – St John Bosco/Don Bosco  (1815-1888) Founder of the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Association of Salesian Cooperators.   Priest, Confessor, Founder, Teacher, Writer, “Father and Teacher of Youth”.  St John Bosco was born Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco on 16 August 1815 and he died on 31 January 1888) at Turin, Italy of natural causes.   Patronages – apprentices, boys, editors, Mexican younth, labourers, schoolchildren, students.   His body is incorrupt.

st john bosco infoDON BOSCO LARGE

While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents and other disadvantaged youth.   He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco was an ardent Marian devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Mary Help of Christians.   He later dedicated his works to De Sales when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, based in Turin.    Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls.   He taught St Dominic Savio, of whom he wrote a biography that helped the young boy be canonised.

On 18 April 1869, one year after the construction of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, Don Bosco established the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) connecting it with commitments easily fulfilled by most common people, to the spirituality and the mission of the Salesian Congregation.   The ADMA was founded to promote the veneration of the Most Holy Sacrament and Mary Help of Christians.

In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Cooperators, with the same educational mission to the poor.   In 1875, he began to publish the Salesian Bulletin.   The Bulletin has remained in continuous publication and is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.

John Bosco was born in August of 1815 into a family of peasant farmers in Castelnuovo d’Asti – a place which would one day be renamed in the saint’s honour as “Castelnuovo Don Bosco.”   John’s father died when he was two years old but he drew strength from his mother Margherita’s deep faith in God.   Margherita also taught her son the importance of charity, using portions of her own modest means to support those in even greater need.   John desired to pass on to his own young friends the example of Christian discipleship that he learned from his mother.

At age nine, he had a prophetic dream in which a number of unruly young boys were uttering words of blasphemy.   Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary appeared to John in the dream, saying he would bring such youths to God through the virtues of humility and charity.   Later on, this dream would help John to discern his calling as a priest.   But he also sought to follow the advice of Jesus and Mary while still a boy:  he would entertain his peers with juggling, acrobatics and magic tricks, before explaining a sermon he had heard, or leading them in praying the Rosary.

John’s older brother Anthony opposed his plan to be a priest and antagonised him so much that he left home to become a farm worker at age 12.   After moving back home three years later, John worked in various trades and finished school in order to attend seminary.   In 1841, John Bosco was ordained a priest.   From that time, John was known as “Don” Bosco, a traditional Italian title of honour for priests, which simply means “Father”.   In the city of Turin, he began ministering to boys and young men who lived on the streets, many of whom were without work or education.

The industrial revolution had drawn large numbers of people into the city to look for work that was frequently grueling and sometimes scarce  . Don Bosco was shocked to see how many boys ended up in prison before the age of 18, left to starve spiritually and sometimes physically.   He was determined to save as many young people as he could from a life of degradation.   He established a group known as the Oratory of St Francis de Sales, and became a kindly spiritual father to boys in need.   His aging mother helped support the project in its early years.

In 1859, John’s boyhood dream came to pass:   he became a spiritual guide and provider along with his fellow Salesian priests and brothers, giving boys religious instruction, lodging, educationand work opportunities.   He also helped Saint Mary Dominic Mazzarello form a similar group for girls.   This success did not come easily, as the priest struggled to find reliable accommodations and support for his ambitious apostolate.   Italy’s nationalist movement made life difficult for religious orders and its anti-clerical attitudes even led to assassination attempts against Don Bosco.saint-john-bosco-and-our-lady

But such hostility did not stop the Salesians from expanding in Europe and beyond.   They were helping 130,000 children in 250 houses by the end of Don Bosco’s life.   “I have done nothing by myself,” he stated, saying it was “Our Lady who has done everything” through her intercession with God.

John Bosco spent so much time working that people who knew him well became worried about his health.   They said he should take more time for rest and sleep.   John replied that he’d have enough time to rest in heaven.   “Right now,” he said, “how can I rest? The devil doesn’t rest from his work.”  St John Bosco died in the early hours of 31 January 1888, after conveying a message:  “Tell the boys that I shall be waiting for them all in Paradise.”   40,000 people came to his funeral.   Following his beatification in 1929, he was canonised on Easter Sunday of 1934 by Pope Pius XI.Don_Bosco_1don-bosco-square-notext2_16307588901_oSt+John+Bosco-2-largedon_bosco_vector_by_mokap-d33rb3d

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 31 January

St John Bosco (1815-1888) (Memorial)

St Abraham of Abela
Bl Adamnan of Coldingham
St Aedan of Ferns
St Aiden
St Athanasius of Modon
St Bobinus of Troyes
St Eusebius of Saint Gall
St Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi
St Geminian of Modena
Bl John Angelus
St Julius of Novara
Bl Louise degli Albertoni
Bl Luigi Talamoni
St Madoes
St Marcella
Bl Maria Cristina di Savoia
St Martin Manuel
St Nicetas of Novgorod
St Tryphaena of Cyzicus
St Tysul
St Ulphia of Amiens
St Waldo of Evreux
St Wilgils

Martyrs of Corinth – 14 saints: A group of Christians tortured and martyred together in Corinth, Greece in the persecutions of Decius. We know nothing about them except some names – Anectus, Claudius, Codratus, Crescens, Cyprian, Diodorus, Dionysius, Nicephorus, Papias, Paul, Serapion, Theodora, Victor and Victorinus.

Martyrs of Canope:
Cyrus the Physician
John the Physician
Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt

Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt:

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
José Acosta Alemán
Juan José Martínez Romero
Pedro José Rodríguez Cabrera

Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea.
• Saint Agatha Kwon Chin-i
• Saint Agatha Yi Kyong-I
• Saint Augustinus Park Chong-Won
• Saint Magdalena Son So-Byok
• Saint Maria Yi In-Dok
• Saint Petrus Hong Pyong-Ju