Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY FIVE– 5 February 

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes – DAY FIVE– 5 February (we Pray the Novena for our own intentions and for the sick, the infirm within our own communities but also for all those throughout the world who suffer, especially those who have no-one to pray for them in preparation for the Wold Day of the Sick on 11 February.)

O Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our mother,
from the heights of your dignity look down mercifully upon us while we,
full of confidence in your unbounded goodness
and confident that your Divine Son
will look favourably upon any request you make of Him on our behalf,
we beseech you to come to our aid
and secure for us the favour we seek in this novena.
(make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes,
glorious in your assumption,
triumphant in your coronation,
show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God,
Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother,
be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for five - our lady of lourdes - 6 feb 2018


Second Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

Second Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

“At the start of today’s celebration, we addressed this prayer to the Lord: “Create in us a generous and steadfast heart, so that we may always serve you with fidelity and purity of spirit” (Collect).

By our own efforts, we cannot give ourselves such a heart. Only God can do this and so in the prayer we ask him to give it to us as his “creation”.   In this way, we come to the theme of prayer, which is central to this Sunday’s scriptural readings and challenges all of us who are gathered here for the canonisation of new Saints.   The Saints attained the goal.   Thanks to prayer, they had a generous and steadfast heart.   They prayed mightily, they fought and they were victorious.

The saints are men and women who enter fully into the mystery of prayer.  Men and women who struggle with prayer, letting the Holy Spirit pray and struggle in them.   They struggle to the very end, with all their strength and they triumph but not by their own efforts:  the Lord triumphs in them and with them.   The seven witnesses who were canonised today also fought the good fight of faith and love by their prayers.   That is why they remained firm in faith, with a generous and steadfast heart.   Through their example and their intercession, may God also enable us to be men and women of prayer. May we cry out day and night to God, without losing heart.   May we let the Holy Spirit pray in us and may we support one another in prayer, in order to keep our arms raised, until Divine Mercy wins the victory.”

Homily of HH Pope Francis – St Peter’s Square – Sunday 16 October 2016 – HOLY MASS AND CANONISATION OF THE BLESSEDS:  Salomon Leclercq, José Sánchez del Río, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity Catez

Holy Saints in Heaven, Pray for us!holy saints pray for us - 6 FEB 2018


Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. (1564/65-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

Thought for the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. (1564/65-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

Twenty-six Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries and Japanese converts crucified together by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Following their arrests, they were taken to the public square of Meako to the city’s principal temple.   They each had a piece of their left ear cut off and then paraded from city to city for weeks with a man shouting their crimes and encouraging their abuse.   The priests and brothers were accused of preaching the outlawed faith of Christianity, the lay people of supporting and aiding them.  They were each repeatedly offered freedom if they would renounce Christianity.   They each declined.   Today, a new era has come for the Church in Japan.   Although the number of Catholics is not large, the Church is respected and has total religious freedom.   The spread of Christianity in the Far East is slow and difficult.   Faith such as that of the 26 martyrs is needed today as much as in 1597.

These Martyrs died an horrendous and agonising death in witness to their faith in Jesus Christ.   We may not be called to make such a sacrifice but we are all called to bear witness to Him, very often this will result in broken ‘friendships’, ostracisation, bad ‘vibes’ around us, loneliness and feelings of being rejected – remember these utterly courageous Martyrs, pray for their intercession and bear your sufferings in silence!

MARTYRS OF NAGASAKI, PRAY FOR US!martyrs-of-nagasaki-pray-for-us-2018


Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. (1564/65-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki and St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. (1564/65-1597) & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki and St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

“The only reason for my being killed, is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ.    I thank God it is for this reason that I die.    I believe that I am telling the truth before I die.   I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again – ask Christ to help you become happy.   I obey Christ.   After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them.   I ask God to have pity on all and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”the only reason - st paul miki - nagasaki martyr - 6 feb 2018

“Like my Master I shall die upon the cross.   Like Him, a lance will pierce my heart so that my blood and my love can flow out upon the land and sanctify it to His name.”

St Paul Miki (1564/65-1597)like my master - st paul miki - 6 feb 2018

“The Work is God’s;
I am His worker;
God began it.
For God I shall continue it.
God wanted this Work done
and He obliged me to do it.
God will provide.”the work is god's - st alfonso maria fusco - 6 feb 2018

“This is the scope of our lives,
to sanctify ourselves through love.”

St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)this is the scope of our lives - st alfonso fusco - 6 feb 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, STATIONS of the CROSS

One Minute Reflection – – 6 February – The Memorial of St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

One Minute Reflection – – 6 February – The Memorial of St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to [this] mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it would obey you…Luke 17:6

REFLECTION – “It was a genuine and tenacious faith that guided the work and life of Bl Alfonso Maria Fusco, founder of the Sisters of St John the Baptist.   From when he was a young man, the Lord put into his heart the passionate desire to dedicate his life to the service of the neediest, especially of children and young people…  For this he undertook the path of the priesthood and, in a certain way, become the “Don Bosco of Southern Italy.”   From the beginning, he wanted to involve in his work some young women who shared his ideal and he offered them the words of St John the Baptist, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Lk 3,4).   Trusting in divine Providence, Alfonso and the Sisters of John the Baptist set up a work that was superior to their own expectations.   From a simple house for the welcome of the young, there arose a whole Congregation which today is present in 16 countries and on 4 continents working alongside those who are “little” ones and “last”. “…St Pope John Paul – Beatification Homily 7 October 2001it was a genuine - st john paul on st alfonso - 6 feb 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, source of strength to all the saints, You called St Alfonso and the sisters, to live in total faith, accepting the sufferings and hardships to fulfil Your commandment of love.   Let their prayers, help us to keep our faith and total commitment, to the end of our days, so that we may see Your Face and live with all Your saints and angels.   Through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ, one God in unity with the Holy Spirit, alfonso maria fusco - pray for us - 6 feb 2018

Posted in JESUIT SJ, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 6 February

Our Morning Offering – 6 February – The Memorial of St Paul Miki S.J. & Companions – 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki

O God, I Love You
By St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

O God, I Love You,
not simply to be saved,
and not because
those who fail to love You
will be punished with eternal fire.
You, You, my JESUS,
have all-embraced me,
on the cross.
You have borne the nails,
the lance, much ignominy,
numberless griefs, sweatings
and anguish and death,
and these on account of me
and for me, a sinner.
Why therefore,
should I not love You,
O, most loving JESUS?
Not that in heaven
You shall save me,
nor lest for eternity
You shall condemn me;
not with the hope of any reward,
but as You have loved me,
so also will I love You,
only because You are my King,
and because You are my God.
Ameno god i love you - st francis xavier - 6 feb 2018


Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910) Priest, Founder of the Sisters of Saint John the Baptist – also known as the Baptistine Sisters. Their mission is to evangelise and educate as well as to promote the faith amongst adolescents, with a particular emphasis on those who are poor or abandoned.   Patronages – the Baptistine Sisters .   He was Beatified by St Pope John Paul on 7 October 2001 and Canonised by Pope Francis on 16 October 2016.HEADER - Don-Alfonso-M-F-q

Alfonso Maria Fusco, the oldest of five children, was born on 23 March 1839, in Angri, in the province of Salerno, in the Diocese of Nocera-Sarno.   His parents, Aniello Fusco and Josephine Schiavone, were both of peasant stock but were raised from their infancy with strong Christian principles and with a holy fear of God.   They were married in the Collegiata of St John the Baptist on 31 January 1834 and for four long years the cradle they had lovingly prepared remained painfully empty.   In Pagani, only a short distance from Angri, the relics of St Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori were preserved.   It was to his tomb that Aniello and Josephine went in 1838 to pray.   While they were there, the Redemptorist, Francesco Saverio Pecorelli told them:  “You will have a son; you will name him Alfonso; he will become a priest and will live the life of Blessed Alfonso”.

The little boy quickly revealed a mild, gentle, lovable character, responsive to prayer and to the poor.   When he was seven, he received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation.   He told his parents when he was eleven that he wanted to become a priest and on 5 November 1850, “freely and with the sole desire to serve God and the Church”, as he himself declared many years later, he entered the episcopal Seminary of Nocera dei Pagani.   On 29 May 1863, he was ordained by the Archbishop of Salerno, Monsignor Anthony Salomone, amid the joy of his family and the enthusiasm of the people.

Quickly he distinguished himself among the clergy of the Collegiata of St John the Baptist in Angri for his zeal, his regular attendance at liturgical services and for his diligence in the administration of the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation where he revealed his paternal understanding of his penitents.   He devoted himself to the evangelisation of the people through his simple and incisive style of preaching.

The daily life of Father Alfonso was that of a zealous priest but he carried in his heart an old dream.   In his last years at the seminary, one night he had dreamed that Jesus the Nazarene was calling him to found an institute of Sisters and an orphanage for boys and girls as soon as he was ordained.

It was a meeting with Maddalena Caputo of Angri, a strong-willed woman aspiring to enter religious life, which impelled Father Alfonso to move more quickly in the foundation of the Institute.   On 25 September 1878, Miss Caputo and three other young women met at night in the dilapidated Scarcella house in the Ardinghi district of Angri. The young women wanted to dedicate themselves to their own sanctification through a life of poverty, of union with God and of charity in the care and instruction of poor orphans.   The Congregation of the Baptistine Sisters of the Nazarene was thus begun;  the seed had fallen into the good earth of the hearts of these four zealous and generous women.   Privations, struggles, opposition and trials were their lot but the Lord made that seed grow abundantly.   The Scarcella House was quickly named the Little House of Providence.

Other postulants and the first orphans began to arrive and with them the first problems. The Lord, who allows those whom He loves much to suffer much, did not spare the Founder and his daughters.   Father Alfonso accepted these trials, at times very difficult ones, demonstrating an absolute conformity to the will of God, an heroic obedience to his superiors and an unbounded trust in Divine Providence.

Father Alfonso did not leave many writings.   He loved to speak with the witness of his life.   The short statements, rich in evangelical wisdom, which we find in his writings, and the testimony of those who knew him are flashes which illuminate his simple life, his great love for the Eucharist and for the Passion of Jesus and his filial devotion to the Sorrowful Mother.   He would often repeat to his Sisters:  “Let us become saints, following Jesus closely… Daughters, if you live in poverty, in chastity and in obedience, you will shine like the stars up in the heavens”.

He directed the Institute wisely and prudently.   Like a loving father, he watched over the Sisters and the orphans.  He showed an almost maternal tenderness for all, especially for the most needy of the orphans.   For them there was always space in the Little House of Providence, even when there was a scarcity of food or absolutely nothing.   Then Father Alfonso would reassure his worried daughters saying:  “Don’t worry, my daughters. I am going to Jesus now and He will worry about us!”   And Jesus answered quickly and with great generosity.   To him who believes, everything is possible!

At a time when an education was the privilege of the few, denied to the poor and to women, Father Alfonso did not mind sacrificing to give the children a peaceful life, an education and a trade for the older ones so that once they were grown up, they could live as honest citizens and as committed Christians.   He wanted the Sisters to begin their studies as soon as possible so that they could teach the poor and, through their instruction and evangelisation, prepare the way for Jesus especially in the hearts of the children and of youth.

His tenacious will, totally anchored in Divine Providence, the wise and prudent collaboration of Maddalena Caputo, known as Sr Crocifissa, who was the first superior of the growing Institute, the ongoing spur of the love of God and neighbour, contributed to the extraordinary development of the work in a very short time.   The growing requests for assistance for an ever greater number of orphans and children urged Fr Alfonso to open new houses, first in Campania and then in other regions of Italy.

During the night of 5 February 1910, he felt unwell.   He requested and then received the sacraments on the morning of 6 February.   After having blessed with trembling hands his own daughters weeping around his bed, he exclaimed:  “Lord, I thank you, I have been a useless servant”.   Then, turning to the Sisters: “From heaven I will not forget you. I will pray for you always”.   And he then slept peacefully in the Lord.

News of his death spread quickly and for that entire Sunday, there was a procession of people crying and saying:  “The father of the poor is dead; the saint is dead!”

His witness has been an inspiration of life and a means of grace, especially for his Sisters spread today throughout four continents.   On 12 February 12, 1976, Pope Paul VI recognised his heroic virtues; on 7 October 2001, Pope John Paul II, proclaiming him blessed, offers him as an example to priests and a model for everyone of an educator and protector especially to the poor and the needy.  ( alfonso maria fusco

On 16 October 2016, Pope Francis Canonised St Alfonso, together with Salomon Leclercq, José Sánchez del Río, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity Catezbl alfonso fusco


Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 6 February

St Paul Miki SJ (1564/65-1597) & Companions/Martyrs of Nagasaki – 26 saints (Memorial)

St Alfonso Maria Fusco (1839-1910)

St Amand of Maastricht
St Amand of Moissac
St Amand of Nantes
St Andrew of Elnone
Bl Angelus of Furci
St Antholian of Auvergne
St Brinolfo Algotsson
Cassius of Auvergne
Bl Diego de Azevedo
St Dorothy of Caesarea
St Ethelburga of Wessex
Bl Francesca of Gubbio
St Francesco Spinelli
St Gerald of Ostia
St Guarinus
St Guethenoc
St Hildegund
St Ina of Wessex
St Jacut
St Liminius of Auvergne
Bl Mary Teresa Bonzel
St Mateo Correa-Magallanes
St Maximus of Aurvergne
St Mel of Ardagh
St Melchu of Armagh
St Mun of Lough Ree
St Relindis of Eyck
St Revocata
St Saturninus
St Tanco of Werden
St Theophilus
St Theophilus the Lawyer
St Vaast of Arras
St Victorinus of Auvergne

Martyrs of Emesa:
St Luke the Deacon
St Mucius the Lector
St Silvanus of Emesa