5 March 2018 – The Fifth Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis

5 March 2018 – The Fifth Anniversary of the Election of Pope Francis

Congratulations on your Fifth Anniversary
Pope Francis! – 13 March 2018

Pope Francis: five years, five important gestures

The writings and homilies of a pope indicate much about his papacy.   Also his international presence and work within the Vatican demonstrate a large part of his mission.

Thus, Pope Francis’ actions transmit a more direct message than any encyclical ever could.   It is in this “encyclical of gestures” that the richness of his papacy lies.


From the first minute of his pontificate, he made it clear that the sick or poor have priority in every public meeting.   As an example, he has eaten lunch with them several times and some of his hugs with the sick have gone viral.


Pope Francis was the first pope to visit a female prison.   He also washed the feet of several inmates on Holy Thursday and visited ex-prostitute victims of the mafia.   He has firmly denounced labour abuse and sexual exploitation, especially facing women.

“Today I apologize to all of you.   For all the Christians, Catholics, who have abused you.”

“None of us is a ‘thing.’   We are all people.”

To him, the sensibility of women and motherhood are two key elements that he asks both the Church and the world to rediscover.   He says we must give women a greater role in the Church but this does not mean ordaining female priests or deacons.


This is one of his most political gestures but it sends a very Christian message.

During his visit to Bethlehem, the pope surprised the crowds by getting off the popemobile and praying before the wall built by Israel.

Something similar happened in Mexico when he prayed at the border that lines with the United States.   These are two places with different problems but both symbolise the great lack of dialogue that the pontiff is constantly calling out.


Pope Francis impacted the world by his simplicity.   He presented himself to the world without boasting, nor did he try to hide his weaknesses that have come with age.   He wears orthopaedic shoes and had to buy new ones in 2016.   To do so, he went to a normal business outside the Vatican.   It was the same when buying his glasses, which he bought like any citizen from an optician in the centre of Rome.


This is a gesture composed of hundreds of small actions, which are performed every week when he lets youngsters take a selfie with him, when he drinks mate or when he jokes with those he meets.

They are the small, but continuous daily gestures that crown him as one of the most-valued people in the world.

The latest poll conducted by Gallup International reveals that Pope Francis is the most-esteemed world leader, with 56 percent acceptance, seven points more than the second in the ranking:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel… RomeReportshappy 5th anniversary - 13 march 2018

Let us pray:

Prayer for Pope Francis

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful,
look favourably on Your servant Francis,
whom You have set 
at the head of Your Church as her shepherd;

Grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.

Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father, Pope Francis
under the protection of Your Sacred Heart.
Be his light, his strength and his consolation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Amen.prayer for pope francis - 5th anniversary - 13 march 2018


Novena to St Joseph – Day Four

Novena to St Joseph – Day Four
Day Four

Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose — to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God — all this was yours to serve our Lord better. Every thought, word, and action of yours was a homage to the love and glory of the Incarnate Word. You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the House of God.

How perfect was your obedience! Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command, but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also His disciple. For almost thirty years, you watched the God-Man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself. Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers, and to the voice of your conscience.

When God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary, you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood. When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint. When God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth, you obeyed. In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love. It neglected nothing; it took in every command.

You had the virtue of perfect devotedness, which marks a good servant. Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully. You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary. The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty. Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary. With true unselfish devotedness you worked without praise or reward.

But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the Redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the Divine Child. He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of His Son, who came into the world to save men by His sufferings and death, and you were to share in His suffering. In all of these important tasks, the Heavenly Father always found you a faithful servant!

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God’s faithful servant. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father; to trust in the Providence of God, knowing that if I do His Will, He will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases Him to do so. And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God.NOVENA TO ST JOSEPH - DAY FOUR - 13 MARCH - FAITHFUL SERVANT

*(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.
You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.
You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary,
I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God
and will never abandon your faithful servants.
Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself,
with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.
I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life
and to assist me at the hour of my death.
Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin,
obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind
and perfect resignation to the divine Will.
Be my guide, my father and my model through life
that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ,
I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession
in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary
for my spiritual and temporal welfare,
particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:
(Mention your request)
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers
on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Memorare to St Joseph

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin,
my loving protector, Saint Joseph,
that no one ever had recourse to your protection
or asked for your aid without obtaining relief.
Confiding, therefore, in your goodness,
I come before you and humbly implore you.
Despise not my petitions,
foster-father of the Redeemer
but graciously receive them.
AmenMemorare to St Joseph - DAY FOUR - SCHEDULED 13 march 2018


Lenten Reflection – 13 March 2018 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9, John 5:1-16

Ezekiel 47:9And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the seak may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

John 5:6-9When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.tuesday of the fourth week - 13 march 2018

The theme of life-giving water again dominates the readings of today’s Mass. “Come to the waters, all who thirst, though you have no money, come and drink with joy” (Entrance Antiphon).   The time for the prospective converts’ baptism is drawing near.
We need to be reminded that we don’t have to imagine ourselves as catechumens to share their desire and thirst.   We can and do, always long for greater and greater union in love “All who thirst, come to the waters.”   The Opening Prayer is not just for catechumens but for us all – “Father, may our lenten observance prepare us to embrace the paschal mystery and proclaim Your salvation with joyful praise.”
To embrace the paschal mystery is to die and rise with Jesus.   It is the ultimate glory of every human, baptised or not.   If we do not yet experience the fullness of the thirst for God signified by the living waters of baptism, it may well be that our thirst has been dulled by our personal alienation from Christ.   Conversion to Christ is ongoing, it never ends!   This conversion we claim to be working at, is it for real and for how long?   We don’t have to tell our Lord that we have no-one to put us into the water, we KNOW where the pool is – it is the Sacrament of Confession, it is in Confession where He heals us just as He healed the man at the pool!   The healing pool is also the Eucharist and certainly, it will be the grace-filled moment of our baptismal renewal on Holy Saturday night and Easter.

What the catechumens longed for, we possess now – Baptism, the Eucharist, Confession and these are always available. We don’t even have to wait for Easter!

In our Easter encounter with Him who is our Good Shepherd and who says, “I lay down my life for my sheep”, satisfies all our wants and desires and needs.   “In green pastures He will give us rest, He will lead us along the waters of peace” (Communion Antiphon).   In the Eucharist, in Confession, God is and always will be in our midst!   Run to Him, praise Him!…(Fr E Lawrence OSB- Daily Meditations for Lent)

When has God been most present to you?
How often to I attend Daily Mass and Confession?
Could I change this practise – today and for the rest of my life?

“Ah, who would not be touched? …. A God who weeps with so many tears at the loss of one soul and Who cries unceasingly:  My friend, my friend, why proceedest thou thus to lose thy soul and thy God?   Stop! Stop!   Ah! Look at my tears, my Blood which flows yet. Must I die a second time to save thee?   Look at me.   Ah! Angels from Heaven descend upon earth, come and weep with me for the loss of this soul!   Oh, that a Christian should be so unfortunate as to persevere still in running towards the abyss despite the voice which his God causes him to hear continually!   But, you may say to me, no one says these things to us.   Oh my friends, unless you want to stop up your ears, you will hear the voice of God, which follows you unceasingly.

Tell me, my friends, then, what is this remorse of conscience which overwhelms you in the midst of sin?   Why do these anxieties and storms agitate you?   Why this fear, this dread that you are in, when you seem to be forever expecting to be crushed by the thunders of Heaven?   How many times, even when you were sinning, have you not experienced the touch of an invisible hand which seemed to push you away, as if someone were saying:   Unhappy man, what are you doing?   Unhappy man, where are you going?   Ah my son, why do you wish to damn yourself? ….

Would you not agree with me that a Christian who despises so many graces deserves to be abandoned and rejected because he has not listened to the voice of God or profited by His graces?   On the contrary, my dear brethren, it is God Himself Who is scorned by this ungrateful soul who would seem to wish to put Him to death again.   All creation demands vengeance and it is, in fact, God alone Who wishes to save this soul and Who is opposed to all that could be prejudicial to it.

He watches over its salvation as if it were the only soul in the world.”...St John Vianney (1786-1859)

For a small teardrop from the eye
can cause an entire evil platoon of the Tempter’s
army to shrink away,
like the squirming of centipedes or earthworms,
drowning in a puddle of oil or a drop of
some lethal potion.
And the faint groan of a sighing heart,
rising from the soul,
is like a warm southerly breeze, mixed with sun,
that melts the fiercest blizzard,
for like storms, they are easily born and when
opposed, quickly die.

St Gregory of Narek (c951-c1010) Doctor of the Churchfor a small teardrop from the eye - st gregory of narek - 13 march 2018


Thought for the Day – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent – “Speaking of Confession”

Thought for the Day – 13 March – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent – “Speaking of Confession”

ANNUAL EASTER DUTY CONFESSIONS – St John Vianney (1786-1859)

If Easter were prolonged to Pentecost, you would not go to Confession until Pentecost, or if the latter did not come around for ten years, you would go to Confession only every ten years.   Indeed, if the Church did not give you a commandment about it, you would not go to Confession until death.   What do you think of that, my dear brethren?   Does it not mean that you have neither regret for having offended God, Who requires you to go to Confession, nor love for God, Who requires you to make your Easter Communion?

Ah you will say to me, that’s all very well.   We do not make our Easter duty without knowing why.

Ah! You know nothing at all about it!   You do it from habit, to be able to say you have made your Easter duty, or, if you would prefer to speak the truth, you would say that you have added a new sin to your old ones.   It is not, therefore, either love of God or regret for having offended Him which makes you go to Confession or make your Easter duty, or even the desire to lead a more Christian life.   And here is the proof of it:  if you loved God, would you consent to commit sin with such ease and even with so much enjoyment?   If you had a horror of sin, as you should have, would you be able to keep it,for a whole year, on your conscience?   If you had a real desire to live a more Christian life, would we not see at least some little change in your way of living?

No, my dear brethren, I do not wish to talk to you today about those unfortunate people who tell only half their sins through fear of not making their Easter duty or of being refused Absolution — perhaps even for the sake of covering up their shameful lives with the veil of virtue and who, in this state, approach the altar and are going to complete their dreadful work by handing over their God to the Devil and precipitating their sacrilegious souls into Hell.

No, I dare to hope that this does not concern you but I will continue, nevertheless, to tell you that going to Confession only once a year is not something about which you should feel any peace or satisfaction.annual easter duty - st john vianney - 13 march 2018

“You cannot have two heavens – it is impossible to enjoy yourself here and afterward to reign with Christ.”…Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) – Book I The Imitation of Christyou cannot have two heavens - thomas a kempis - 13 march 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 13 March “Speaking of Confession”

Quote/s of the Day – 13 March – “Speaking of Confession”

“In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”

St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of the Churchin failing to confess lord - st augustine - 13 march 2018

“Confession is like a bridle that keeps the soul which reflects on it from committing sin but anything left unconfessed we continue to do without fear as if in the dark.”

St John Climacus (579-649)confession is like a bridle - st john climacus - 13 march 2018

“Confession is an act of honesty and courage – an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin, to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)confession is an act of courage - st john paul - 13 march 2018

“Each one must confess his sin so that God’s forgiveness, already granted on the Cross, may have an effect in his heart and in his life.

St Augustine writes further: “God accuses your sins and if you also accuse them, you are united to God…. When your own deeds will begin to displease you, from that time your good works begin, as you find fault with your evil works.   The confession of evil works is the beginning of good works” (ibid., 13: PL 35, 1191).

Sometimes men and women prefer the darkness to the light because they are attached to their sins.   Nevertheless it is only by opening oneself to the light and only by sincerely confessing one’s sins to God that one finds true peace and true joy.   It is therefore important to receive the Sacrament of Penance regularly, especially during Lent, in order to receive the Lord’s forgiveness and to intensify our process of conversion.”

Pope Benedict – Angelus Address, 18 March 2012each one must confess his sin = pope benedict - 13 march 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – The Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600)

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – The Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600)

For his sake I have forfeited everything….so that Christ may be my wealth and I may be in him....Philippians 3:8-9philippians 3 8-9

REFLECTION – “This man of suave eloquence and eminent talent shone as brightly by his virtues as by his doctrine. By his faith and zeal the Gothic people have been converted from Arianism to the Catholic faith”…St Isidore of Seville speaking of his brother St Leander, whom we celebrate today.this-man-st-isidore-of-seville-13 march 2017

PRAYER – Help me to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of me. Then enable me to offer it to You – and indeed to offer myself and all I have to You.   St Leander, you were and are an example to all of total and complete commitment to the Glory of the Kingdom and the One, True Faith.   Grant Holy Father, that by the prayers of St Leander we may too be filled with zeal and love, amen!st-leander-pray-for-us-2- 13 march 2017


Our Morning Offering – 13 March – the Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600)

Our Morning Offering – 13 March – the Memorial of St Leander (c 534-c 600), who as Bishop of Seville, was responsible for including this Creed in the Holy Mass.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven
(we bow here)
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
He suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and His kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.the nicene creed and st leander - 13 march 2018



Saint of the Day – 13 March – St Leander (c 534-c 600)

Saint of the Day – 13 March – St Leander (c 534-c 600) Bishop, Monk, Confessor, apostle of Spain, teacher, writer.   Patron of episcopal attire and liturgical garments.

The next time you recite the Nicene Creed at Mass, think of today’s saint.   For it was Leander of Seville who, as bishop, introduced the practice in the sixth century.   He saw it as a way to help reinforce the faith of his people and as an antidote against the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ.

st leander statue 2

St Leander, a close friend of St Gregory the Great, was born in Carthagena to a family of high nobility.   He was the eldest brother of several saints.   His brother, St Isidore, succeeded him as Bishop of Seville and is a Doctor of the Universal Church.   Another brother, St Fulgentius, became Bishop of Carthagena and his sister, St Florentina, became an Abbess in Carthagena.

When he was still young, Leander retired to a Benedictine monastery where he became a model of learning and piety.   In 579 he was raised to the episcopal see of Seville, where he continued to practice his customary austerities and penances.313leander13

At that time, a part of the territory of Spain was dominated by the Visigoths.   Those barbarians were Arians and had spread their errors in the cities they had conquered. The Iberian Peninsula had been infected by that heresy for 170 years when St Leander was chosen Bishop of Seville.   He began to combat it immediately.   His efforts were successful and the heresy began to lose hold on its followers.   He also played an important role in the conversion of Hermenegild, the eldest son of the Visigoth King.

King Leovigild, however, became angry over his son’s conversion and St Leander’s activity.   He exiled the Saint and condemned his son to death.   Later, he repented, recalled the Saint to Spain and asked him to educate and form his other son and successor, Reccared, who became a Catholic and helped the Saint to convert the rest of his subjects.

King Leovigild rejects Arianism and embraces the true faith – St Leander on the left

St Leander played a central role at two councils, the Council of Seville and the Third Council of Toledo, where Visigothic Spain abjured Arianism in all its forms.   He also wrote an influential Rule for his sister with instructions on prayer and renunciation of the world.   He reformed the liturgy in Spain, adding the Nicene Creed to the Mass in order to make an express profession of the Faith against Arianism.   After a long life of fighting heresies and preaching the truth, St Leander died around the year 600.   He was succeeded by his brother, Isidore.   Benson_Saint_Leander

(Last year’s post -


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 13 March

Bl Agnellus of Pisa
St Ansovinus of Camerino
Bl Berengar de Alenys
St Christina of Persia
St Euphrasia
Bl Françoise Tréhet
St Gerald of Mayo
St Grace of Saragossa
St Heldrad of Novalese
Bl Judith of Ringelheim
St Kevoca of Kyle
St Leander of Seville (c 534-c 600)

St Mochoemoc
St Nicephorus of Constantinople
Bl Peter II of La Cava
St Pientius of Poitiers
St Ramirus of Leon
St Sabinus of Egypt
St Sancha of Portugal

Martyrs of Cordoba: Roderick, Salomon,

Martyrs of Nicaea:
Martyrs of Nicomedia