Announcing the NOVENA to our Lady of Lourdes – Begins 2 February

Announcing the NOVENA to our Lady of Lourdes – begins 2 February

On 11 February we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Sick and it is also the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes! Join me in praying a novena through Our Lady’s intercession for the sick and suffering. The novena begins tomorrow 2 February.

Please lift up in prayer all of your family members, friends and those unknown throughout the world who have no-one to pray for them. God is with us and Mary our Mother stands at His side to intervene for all our needs!

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for us all.
St Bernadette, Pray for us.novena to our lady of lourdes - 1 feb 2018 - announcement


Monthly Catholic Devotions: FEBRUARY is the Month of THE HOLY FAMILY


In January, the Catholic Church celebrated the Month of the Holy Name of Jesus and in February, we turn to the entire Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph.feb the month of the holy family - 1 feb 2018

In sending His Son to earth as a Baby, born into a family, God elevated the family beyond a mere natural institution.   Our own family life reflects that lived by Christ, in obedience to His mother and foster father.   Both as children and as parents, we can take comfort in the fact that we have the perfect model of the family before us in the Holy Family.

One commendable practice for the month of February is a Consecration to the Holy Family – I will post this pray during this month.   If you have a prayer corner or a home altar, you can gather the entire family and recite the consecration prayer, which reminds us that we aren’t saved individually. We all work out our salvation in conjunction with others—first and foremost, together with the other members of our family.

There’s no need to wait until next February to repeat the consecration, it’s a good prayer for your family to pray every month.

Grant unto us, Lord Jesus,
ever to follow the example of Your holy Family,
that in the hour of our death
Your glorious Virgin Mother
together with blessed Joseph
may come to meet us
and we may be worthily received by You
into everlasting dwellings
who lives and reigns, world without end.
Amenprayer for the help of the holy family - 1 feb 2018


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

Thought for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified

Thought for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified

Blessed Benedict Daswa: the saint who stood up to witchcraft

Tzaneen, South Africa, 13 September 2015 – Benedict Daswa, a South African catechist whose Christian opposition to witchcraft led to his murder in 1990, was beatified on Sunday as Catholic leaders praised his heroic witness to the faith.   Pope Francis in his beatification decree described him as “a zealous Catechist, all-round educator who gave heroic witness to the gospel, even to the shedding of blood.”benedict-love-2017-thoughtfortheday1 feb 2017

According to the diocese investigation into his death, when Daswa saw a man coming towards him with a club to deliver the final blow, he said, “God, into your hands, receive my spirit.”god, into your hands - bl benedict - 1 feb 2018

Mutshiro Michael, 33, one of Daswa’s sons, reacted to the beatification:
“Proud is an understatement to describe what I feel,” he added that he had forgiven his father’s murderers.

Bishop Rodrigues said that Daswa’s death “makes him a hero for all Christians in Africa and elsewhere who are struggling to break free from the enslavement of the world of witchcraft.”

Cardinal Amato also reflected on the beatified man’s life:
“The Holy Spirit transformed this young South African into an authentic hero of the Gospel. His heart was full of love for God and neighbour. Benedict Daswa is like the first martyrs of the Church who, during the persecutions of the Roman emperors, defended their faith with prayer, courage and forgiveness of enemies,” he said in an interview.

Blessed Benedict could become a great saint for people who are concerned that friends or family are abandoning the sacraments because they are intrigued by the New Age practices of those modern ‘white witches’, mediums and psychics.   Also, remembering that he was slain because he opposed a witch-hunt, he would be the ideal intercessor for innocent people who are falsely accused of taking part in black magic.   Lest we forget, St Joan of Arc was accused of witch-craft.

Blessed Benedict Daswa, Pray for us!bl benedict pray for us! no 2. - 1 feb 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified

Quote/s for the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr – The First South African-born to be Beatified.

Would it not have been so simple for Blessed Benedict to pay his share of the required amount to hire the Sangona (Witch Doctor) to “sniff out” the witch who caused the storms?    It was not a huge amount of money required by each resident.   The temptation to do so must have been quite appealing but he refused and tried to explain that the storms were a natural phenomenon.   He did, however, pay the ultimate price for his fidelity, with his blood.

“Speaking of Temptation”

“Virtue is nothing, without the trial of temptation,
for there is no conflict, without an enemy,
no victory, without strife.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Churchvirtue is nothing - st pope leo the great - 1 feb 2018

“There are in truth, three states of the converted,
the beginning, the middle and the perfection.
In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness;
in the middle, the contests of temptation;
and in the end, the fullness of perfection.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Churchthere are in truth - st pope gregory the great - 1 feb 2018

“Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer.
When the Lord intends to bestow a particular virtue on us,
He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice.
Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation
to grow in a particular virtue and a promise by God,
that you will be successful, if only you stand fast.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)do not grieve - st philip neri - 1 feb 2018

“The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind
and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven
hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man,
is tempted in many ways.
Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just.
Often we do not know what we can stand
but temptation shows us what we are.
Above all, we must be especially alert against
the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily
conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind
and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.”

St Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchthe beginning of all temptation - st francis de sales - 1 feb 2018

“It often happens that we pray God to deliver us
from some dangerous temptation and yet,
God does not hear us but permits the temptation
to continue troubling us.   In such a case, let us understand,
that God permits even this for our greater good.
When a soul in temptation recommends itself to God
and by His aid resists, O how it then advances in perfection.”

“He who trusts himself is lost.
He who trusts in God can do all things.

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Churchit often happens - st alphonsus - 1 feb 2018

“When tempted, invoke your Angel.
He is more eager to help you, than you are to be helped!
Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him –
he trembles and flees, at the sight of your Guardian Angel.”

St John Bosco (1815-1888)when tempted invoke your angel - st john bosco - 1 feb 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 1 February – The Memorial of Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) Martyr

Be on guard and pray, that you may not undergo the test………Matthew 26:41matthew 26-41

REFLECTION – “Your first task, is, to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin and transform yourself into something better.   Your second task, is, to put up with the trials and temptations of this world, that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end, in the midst of these things…St Augustineyour first task - st augustine - 1 feb 2018

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. Let me pray daily that I may withstand temptation and carry out Your will in all things.  Blessed Benedict Daswa you who withstood all attempts to sway you into evil ways for the love of God, please intercede for us that we may too be freed when the test comes.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, benedict pray for us! - 1 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 1 February – Prayer of a Martyr, St Thomas More (1478-1535)

Our Morning Offering – 1 February – Prayer of a Martyr, St Thomas More (1478-1535)

The prayer below, was written by Saint Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting execution by King Henry VIII.

Give me the grace, good Lord!
By St Thomas More (1478-1535)

Give me the grace, good Lord.
To set the world at naught.
To set the mind firmly on You
and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.
To be content to be solitary.
Not to long for worldly pleasures.
Little by little utterly to cast off the world
and rid my mind of all its business.
Not to long to hear of earthly things
but that the hearing of worldly fancies
may be displeasing to me.
Gladly to be thinking of God,
piteously to call for His help.
To lean into the comfort of God.
Busily to labour to love Him.
To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To humble myself under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them,
patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bear my purgatory here.
To be joyful in tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leads to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance.
To have ever before my eyes,
my death that is ever at hand.
To make death no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the judge comes.
To have continually in mind,
the passion that Christ suffered for me.
For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.
To buy the time again that I have lost.
To abstain from vain conversations.
To shun foolish mirth and gladness.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all,
to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.
To think my worst enemies my best friends,
for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him
so much good with their love and favour,
as they did him with their malice and hatred.
These minds are more to be desired of every man,
than all the treasures of all the princes and kings,
Christian and heathen,
were it gathered and laid together, all in one heap.
Amengive me the grace good lord - st thomas more - 1 feb 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 February – Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) – Martyr

Saint of the Day – 1 February – Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) – Martyr.  Bl Benedict (16 June 1946 – 2 February 1990), was born Tshimangadzo Samuel Daswa, on 16 June 1946 in Mbahe, Limpopo, South Africa as Bakali was a South African school teacher and principal.   He was given the name of “Samuel” by his parents when he started to attend school and assumed the name “Benedict” upon his conversion.   A local mob murdered him when he refused to fund their anti-Catholic witchcraft superstitions.   He had been viewed as a martyr after his death and his martyrdom was confirmed in 2015, paving the way for his beatification.   He was beatified in Limpopo on 13 September 2015.   Cardinal Angelo Amato – on behalf of Pope Francis – presided over the beatification Mass in Limpopo.   Patronages – against the occult, against witchcraft, of persecuted Christians, teachers, Principals and fathers.Slider1-4

Benedict was a member of the Lemba tribe.   He the first child born to Tshililo Petrus Daswa (Bakali) and Thidziambi Ida Daswa (Gundula).   This tribe followed Jewish rituals and laws.   Daswa had three younger brothers and one sister.   He worked as a herd boy before he attended school which started at Vondwe Primary School in 1957 which was followed by secondary school at Mphaphuli High School.   After his father’s accidental death, it fell to him to provide for his siblings and did this by paying for their education while in the workforce.   In the workforce, he helped pay for his siblings’ education and constantly encouraged them to take pride in their studies.

Daswa was exposed to Roman Catholicism through a friend he met while in Johannesburg while living with an uncle there.   He learnt about the Catholic faith and learnt catechism every Sunday from Benedict Risimati.   After two years of instruction, Daswa was baptised on 21 April 1963 by Father Augustine O’Brien.   He took the name of “Benedict” due to the fact that he was inspired by Saint Benedict of Nursia, also selecting as his life motto “Ora et labora” (pray and work).    He was confirmed by Abbot Bishop F. Clemens van Hoek, O.S.B. three months later on 21 July 1963.

He became an active member of the church in South Africa.   Daswa went to Venda Teacher Training College to do a primary teacher’s certificate and later obtained his matriculation through correspondence in 1973.   He served as a teacher and catechist as he worked with adolescents and he assisted families that endured economic hardship. Daswa was a highly respected individual in his local community and became known for his honesty, truthfulness and integrity, even known to fetch students who decided to skip schools.   Daswa later helped to build the first church in his area and  became the principal of the school that he taught at on 1 January 1979 at Nweli Primary School.   He once convinced a father who wanted to marry off his daughter to an older man to allow the girl to complete her education.

Daswa married Shadi Eveline Monyai (d. 2008) in 1974 and the pair had a total of eight children.   He would help his wife with household chores, unheard of at that time in his area and he valued his family to the point of hosting Daswa Family Days each 16 December where gifts would be exchanged and a meal held.    For his family, he personally built his brick house.   Daswa also established a soccer team called the Mbahe Eleven Computers and left this team when members wanted to use “muti” (medicine) in order to win games.   He started a new team, Mbahe Freedom Rebels.   He was an active member of his community, serving as the secretary of the local traditional council; the local chief valued his counsel.

In November 1989, heavy rains and lightning strikes plagued the area.   When his village suffered strong storms again in January 1990, the elders decided that the lightning occurred due to magic and thus demanded a tax from all their residents to pay for a sangoma to “sniff out” the witch who caused the storms.   Refusing to believe this, Daswa said they were just a natural phenomenon and declined to pay the tax.

On 2 February 1990, Daswa drove his sister-in-law and her sick child to a doctor in Thohoyandou and en route, picked up a man who asked for his help to take a bag of mealie meal to his home in a town next to Mbahe.   At around 7:30pm, he returned to Mbahe where he left his sister-in-law and child near their home.   He told his daughter that he would soon return after taking the passenger to the next village.

Returning home, found his path blocked by fallen trees an as he attempted to clear the road he was ambushed by a mob of young men.   Bleeding as a result of stoning, he left his damaged car and ran for assistance at a woman’s hut.   However, the woman revealed where he was when the mob threatened to kill her if she did not comply.   As a result of this, he was beaten and clubbed over the head.   Boiling water was poured over him in his ears and nostrils after he was attacked to ensure that he was dead.   His final words were, “God, into Your hands receive my spirit”.   The woman of the hut informed Daswa’s brother what had happened and the latter remained with his dead brother for the night.   The search for a “witch” and the killing of Daswa are both particularly clear examples of the theory of scapegoating proposed by Rene Girard.

The funeral took place on Saturday, 10 February 1990.   The funeral procession commenced at Daswa’s home and then proceeded to Nweli Church.   Celebrants wore red vestments to indicate their belief that Daswa died at the hands of his attackers in hatred of his faith.   Daswa’s mother later converted to Roman Catholicism and saved her pension to purchase a tombstone for her murdered son.   This was unveiled after a special Mass on 26 November 2000.   Daswa’s remains were later transferred to Nweli Church on 24 August 2015.

The cause of beatification commenced on 10 June 2008 on a diocesan level in Tzaneen which concluded in 2009 with the commencement of the “Roman Phase”.  The cause had to be ratified to ensure the process was valid and performed its duties as required and this occurred in Rome on 5 November 2010.   The opening of the cause granted him the title Servant of God.   The postulator assigned was Father Jean-Louis Chassem, MSC.   The Positio – documenting his life and evidence to suggest he was killed for his faith – was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2013.   Pope Francis approved a decree that recognised his martyrdom on 22 January 2015 which allowed for his beatification.   A possible date for the beatification, as stated by the Archbishop of Pretoria William M Slattery, was October 2015 and as late as 1 November.

The beatification was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato in Limpopo on 13 September 2015.  Present at the celebration was Daswa’s mother and children as well as Father Augustine O’Brien who baptised him.   Approximately 35,000 people attended the beatification, including the soon-to-be President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is a Catholic.

Daswa’s remains were exhumed from his grave on 24 August 2015 in the presence of the police, a nurse and a doctor.   The exhumation took more than four hours due to the secure burial with several layers of thick cement between layers of soil;  the steel coffin was reported to be in good condition.   At the behest of the family, his remains were taken to the grave of his wife and the coffin opened to reveal Daswa’s skeletal remains intact.   The family desired the remains to be left undisturbed in the original coffin for reinterment, which was cleaned and covered in white material and colored traditional Venda cloth.   A document to testify to the exhumation was placed in the coffin.   His remains were relocated to a grave in a church in Mbahe and a toe and a piece of the garment he was wearing was removed and was sent away to be used as relics.




Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 1 February

St Agrepe
Bl Andrew of Segni
Bl Anthony Manzoni
St Asclepiades
St Autbert of Landevenec
St Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
Bl Benedict Daswa

St Brigid of Fiesole
St Brigid of Ireland
St Cecilius of Granada
St Cinnia of Ulster
St Clarus of Seligenstadt
Bl Conor O’Devany
St Crewenna
St Darlaugdach of Kildare
St Henry Morse
St Ioannes Yi Mun-u
St Jarlath
Bl John of the Grating
St Kinnia
Bl Luigi Variara
Bl Patrick O’Lougham
St Paul of Trois-Châteaux
St Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Raymond of Fitero
St Sabinus
St Severus of Avranches
St Severus of Ravenna
St Sigebert III of Austrasia
St Tryphon of Lampsacus
St Ursus of Aosta
St Veridiana

Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution.
• Anne-François de Villeneuve
• Anne Hamard
• Catherine Cottenceau
• Charlotte Davy
• François Bellanger
• François Bonneau
• François Michau
• François Pagis epouse Railleau
• Gabrielle Androuin
• Jacquine Monnier
• Jeanne Bourigault
• Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau
• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly
• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz
• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné
• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné
• Madeleine Blond
• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau
• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau
• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye
• Marie-Anne Vaillot
• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau
• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau
• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson
• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier
• Marie Grillard
• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau
• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé
• Marie Leroy
• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet
• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju
• Odilia Baumgarten
• Perrine Androuin
• Perrine Besson
• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz
• Perrine Grille
• Perrine Ledoyen
• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault
• Renée Grillard
• Renée Martin épouse Martin
• Renée Valin
• Rose Quenion
• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau
• Suzanne Androuin
• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère
They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour:
• Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
• Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u
• Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju