Novena to St Joseph – Day Seven – 16 March

Day Seven
Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter.   It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labour.   What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor…” (Luke 4:18).   It was God’s Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father and by freely embracing it.   Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God’s Providence has assigned them and remain poor in spirit for He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility.   You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practised — a virtue most pleasing to Him.   He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned but a little workshop of Nazareth.   Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man.   What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer.   From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter.   You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God’s own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labour and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me.   Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins and gain rich merit for heaven.

*(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 chaste spouse of Mary, ever Virgin,
my loving protector, Saint Joseph,
that never was it known
that anyone who implored your help
or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Full of confidence in your power
I fly unto you and beg your protection
Despise not my petitions,
O Guardian of the Redeemer,
my humble supplication
but in your bounty,
hear and answer me.
Amenmemorare to st joseph - day seven- 16 march 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 16 March 2018 – Friday of the 4th Week of Lent

Lenten Reflection – 16 March 2018 – Friday of the 4th Week of Lent

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalms 34:17-21, 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Wisdom 2:12 – “Let us lie in wait for the righteous man,
because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions;
he reproaches us for sins against the law,
and accuses us of sins against our training.

John 7:28-20 – So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him and he sent me.” So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him because his hour had not yet come.

Today’s Mass anticipates every nuance of feeling, emotion, tragedy and anguish of Good Friday, only two weeks away.   The plot against the “just one” described in Reading 1, is so detailed, so full of venom and hatred, one might think it came out of a secret meeting of His enemies.

Then, the Gospel spells out the gathering storm over Jesus.   It would be a mistake to think of Jesus’ Passion taking place only during the last three days of His last week.   Those are only the climax of a Passion that had been building up since the beginning of His public life.   Rejection, unbelief, scorn – were no easier for Him to accept than for us. But here, now, at the end of His life, He encounters hatred – most painful of all agonies. The psalmist cry belongs to Him in full right: “Save me O God, by your power” (Entrance Antiphon).

Jesus’ human side, His emotions and feelings, were never more evident than during these last weeks of His life.   And never did He pray more anxiously for deliverance and help, evident at the Last Supper and the Garden of Olives.   He sweats blood in the Garden, He will be nailed to a cross but after three days, He will rise from the dead!   And we will have forgiveness of sins and a new life and understanding for this old one we are living now.  Today’s readings help us to further our own conversion as we contemplate these immense sufferings, all that Jesus has done for us and this goal He holds out to us. (Fr E Lawrence O.S.B. – Daily Meditations for Lent)

Am I bold enough to speak the truth openly, like Jesus did?
Have I too condemned anyone for the truth?
Have I experienced true fear and anguish and learnt the meaning of prayer?

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore You hanging on the cross.
Your head crowned with thorns!
You are the King of Glory, O Christ!

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Churchfriday of the fourth week - 16 march 2018

Almighty Father, Enter our Hearts
By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church

Almighty Father, enter our hearts
and so fill us with Your love,
that, forsaking all evil desires,
we may embrace You our only good.
Show unto us, for Your mercies’ sake,
O Lord our God, what You are unto us.
Say unto our souls, I am your salvation.
So speak that we may hear.
Our hearts are before You;
open our ears;
let us hasten after Your voice
and take hold of You.
Hide not Your face from us,
we beseech You, O Lord.
Enlarge the narrowness of our souls,
that You may enter in.
Repair the ruinous mansions,
that You may dwell there.
Hear us, O Heavenly Father,
for the sake of Your only Son,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Amenalmighty father enter our hearts - st augustine - 16 march 2018 - friday of the 4th week lent 2018


Thought for the Day – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr

St Jean de Brébeuf is a giant of Canadian history.   His writings in the Jesuit Relations, for example, offer an invaluable window into life in 17th-century Canada, while his gift for languages, which prompted him to create the first Huron dictionary, earn him the label of Canada’s first ethnographer.   Brébeuf’s impact on the Canadian experience looms large;  he is credited with everything from coining the term lacrosse to penning the lyrics of The Huron Carol, a Canadian Christmas classic.
One of the most telling details of his life, however, is found in the name the Huron people gave him — Echon. One translation means “healing tree,” a reference to Brébeuf’s height and gentle nature.   The alternative translation, however, “one who carries a heavy burden,” speaks to the spiritual life of the most famous of the men known collectively as the Canadian Martyrs.
When the Iroquois tribe infiltrated them, he was captured with many others.   A missionary to his death, he addressed the Huron who were captured with him, telling them, ”God is the witness of our sufferings and will soon be our exceeding great reward.  Let us die in this faith…Sustain with courage the few remaining torments. They will end our lives.   The glory which follows them will never have an end.”   It is said he never cried out once but suffered in silence.   His heroic virtue of suffering is laid out as an example for us all, to continue to fight the fight and win the race.god is the witness - st jean de brebeuf - 16 march 2018

St Jean de Brébeuf, pray for us!st jean de brebeuf - pray for us no 2 - 16 march 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr and Friday in the 4th Week of Lent 20

Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr and Friday in the 4th Week of Lent 2018

CCC 2473:  Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the faith:
it means witness even unto death.
The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose,
to whom he is united by charity.
He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine.
He endures death through an act of fortitude.
“Let me become the food of the beasts,
through whom it will be given me to reach God”
[This quote at the end is from the Letter to the Romans by S. Ignatius of Antioch].

“Nothing can happen to me that God doesn’t want.
And all that He wants, no matter how bad it may
appear to us, is really for the best.”

St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyrnothing can happen to me - st thomas more - 16 march 2018

“The smallest of life’s events are directed by the Lord.
Creatures are instruments but it is the hand of Jesus that directs all.

St Theresa of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) Doctor of the Churchthe-smallest-of-lifes-events-st-tofl.16 march 2018

“Martyrdom is a grace which I do not think I deserve.
But if God accepts the sacrifice of my life,
may my blood be a seed of freedom and
a sign of that hope will soon be a reality.”

Blessed Oscar Romero (1917-1980) Martyrmartyrdom is a grace - bl oscar romero - 16 march 2018


One Minute Reflection – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr and Friday in the 4th Week of Lent 2018

One Minute Reflection – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) Martyr and Friday in the 4th Week of Lent 2018

..Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for according to his own words, God will take care of him…Wisdom 2:20 (Today’s First Reading)

REFLECTION – “My God and my Saviour Jesus, what return can I make to You for all the benefits You have conferred on me?   I make a vow to You never to fail, on my side, in the grace of martyrdom, if by Your infinite mercy You offer it to me some day.”…St Jean de Brébeufmy god and my saviour - st jean de brebeuf - 16 march 2018

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, only in You re we able to stand against our enemies, those within and without.   Seeking to follow Your Son, our Saviour, Lord give us strength! Grant we pray, that by the intercession of Your Holy Martyr, St Jean de Brébeuf, we may obtain the courage and be filled with Your Holy Spirit, to go forth in truth, jean de brebeuf - pray for us - 16 march 2018


Our Morning Offering – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649)

Our Morning Offering – 16 March – The Memorial of St Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649)

Jesus, What Can I Give You in Return?
Prayer of St Jean de Brébeuf SJ (1593-1649)

Jesus, my Lord and Saviour,
what can I give You in return
for all the favours You have first conferred on me?
I will take from Your hand, the cup of Your sufferings
and call on Your name.
I vow before Your eternal Father and the Holy Spirit,
before Your most holy Mother
and her most chaste spouse,
before the angels, apostles and martyrs,
before my blessed fathers,
Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier,
in truth, I vow to You, Jesus my Saviour,
that as far as I have the strength,
I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom,
if someday You, in Your infinite mercy, should offer it to me,
Your most unworthy servant…
My beloved Jesus,
here and now, I offer my body and blood and life.
May I die only for You, if You will grant me this grace,
since You willingly died for me.
Let me so live that You may grant me
the gift of such a happy death.
In this way, my God and Saviour,
I will take from Your hand, the cup of Your sufferings
and call on Your name, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Amenprayer of st jean de brebeuf - 16 march 2018


Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Jean de Brébeuf S.J. (1593-1649) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 16 March – St Jean de  Brébeuf  S.J. (1593-1649) – Religious Priest, Martyr, Missionary “Apostle to the Hurons” – Patron of Canada.   Additional Memorial – 19 October as one of the Martyrs of North America.   St Jean was born in 1593 at Normandy, France and he was tortured to death in 1649 in Canada.   He was Canonised on 29 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI.

header - st jean de brebeuf

Jean de Brébeuf was born in Normandy, France.   According to Joseph P Donnelly, S.J., one of his biographers, his family was of the “lesser nobility” who worked the land beside the peasants residing there.   As a boy, then, Jean would have “herded sheep, fed the stock and, when old enough, took on heavier chores.”   Little is known of Jean’s early life, though he likely studied at the University of Caen, where he probably met the Jesuits.   He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rouen in 1621.   For the next few years he taught boys at the Jesuit school in Rouen.   But this would not be the future that God had in store.

In 1624, the Franciscans, who had operated the “missions” to the Huron peoples in New France since 1615, appealed to other French religious orders to send assistance.   Among the first to sail was Jean de Brébeuf , now a tall, robust man of 32.brebeuf

Jean and his companions reached Quebec on 19 June 1625, and immediately began to prepare for his journey to the Huron nation.   Happily, he had a great talent for something that would prove critical in his work.   The great explorer Samuel de Champlain wrote about Brébeuf, “[H]e had such a striking gift for languages that…he grasped in two or three years what others would not learn in twenty.”

That facility would assist him in working with a people with whom he shared little in common, save their common humanity.   To enter into their world Jean resolved to do everything according to their customs, no matter how strenuous, eating their food, sleeping as they did, working as hard as they did.   Here is a powerful echo of the Call of the King, from the Spiritual Exercises, in which one is asked to “labour as Christ labours.”

Jean’s first journey to the Huron homeland, 800 miles from Quebec, was grueling.   Jean tied his shoes around his neck, hiked up his cassock and climbed into the bark canoe. This passage, from Donnelly’s biography, Jean de Brébeuf, first published in 1975, is very descriptive:

“On a journey the Indians spoke little, saving their energy for paddling their average of ten leagues, about thirty miles a day.   Squatted on their haunches, immobile for hours on end, except for the swing of their arms and shoulders wielding the paddle, they generally had no small talk.   Rising at dawn the Hurons heated water into which they dropped a portion of coarsely pounded corn….[After] their scanty meal, the Hurons launched the canoes and began another day of silent travel.   In the evening, when the light began to fail the Indians, making camp for the night, ate their [corn meal] and stretched out on the bare ground to sleep.   The swarms of mosquitoes, deer flies and other insects…seemed not to bother the Indians….Then at dawn the whole painful process began again.”

Once he arrived, the tall Jean was given a name, “Echon,” perhaps a version of first name, or a word meaning in the Huron language, “man who carries the load.”   Here is Brébeuf himself, writing to the Jesuit in Quebec, in the letters now known as the Relations, describing an aspect of his travels:  “Now when these rapids or torrents are reached, it is necessary to land, or carry on the shoulder, through woods, over high and troublesome rocks and all the baggage and canoes themselves.   This is not done without much work…”

st jean de brebeuf

In addition to learning their customs and beliefs, Jean wrote a Huron grammar and translated a catechism in the local language.   Brébeuf would spend three years among these families before being asked to return to Rouen in 1629, after political difficulties made it harder for the French to remain.   Despite the normal prejudices about the native peoples common at the time, Jean had grown to admire and love those with whom he lived.   At times their generosity astonished him:

“We see shining among them some rather noble moral virtues.   You note, in the first place, a great love and union, which they are careful to cultivate….Their hospitality to all sorts of strangers is remarkable;  they present to them, in their feasts the best of what they have prepared and, as I said, I do not know if anything similar, in this regard, is to be found anywhere.”brebeuf and the hurons

When he returned to New France in 1635, he was cheerfully welcomed by his Huron friends.  Immediately he and Antoine Daniel, another Jesuit, began their work in earnest. (They were one of several Jesuits working in the region at the time.)   Near a town called Ihonotiria, near current-day Georgian Bay in Canada, Fathers Brébeuf and Daniel began teaching the people about Christianity.   They were later joined by two other French Jesuits, Charles Garnier and Isaac Jogues.

With the arrival of their new companions, though, a smallpox epidemic broke out among the Jesuits, which spread to the Hurons, who had no immunity whatsoever from the illness.   The missionaries cared for the sick and baptised thousands of Hurons.   But because they had baptised those who were dying, the Hurons concluded that baptism brought death and so many of the Hurons began to turn against the “Blackrobes.” Brébeuf then moved to Sainte-Marie, a centre for the Jesuits in the area.

Then a new danger arose. Rumours (false ones) circulated that Jean was in league with a sworn enemy of the Hurons, the Seneca clan of the Iroquois.   So he prudently moved to another site, Saint Louis.   On 16 March, the Iroquois attacked the village and took the Hurons, who were mainly Christians, along with Jean and another Jesuit, Gabriel Lalement, prisoner.   He knew that the possibility of martyrdom was imminent.

Jean de Brébeuf’s torture was among the cruelest any Jesuit has had to endure. (You might want to avoid this next paragraph if you’re squeamish.)brebeuf_crop

The Iroquois heated hatchets until they were glowing red and, tying them together, strung them across his shoulders, searing his flesh.   They wrapped his torso with bark and set it afire.   They cut off his nose, lips and forced a hot iron down his throat and poured boiling water over his head in a gruesome imitation of baptism.   They scalped him and cut off his flesh while he was alive.   Finally someone buried a hatchet in his jaw.

After 14 years as a missionary, Jean de Brébeuf died on 16 March 1639.   He was 56.   At his death his heart was eaten as a way for the Iroquois, who were stunned by his courage, to share in his bravery.   Eight other Jesuits were martyred around this same time.  Their feast day 19 Oct is referred to as either the Feast of the North American Martyrs or the Feast of St Isaac Jogues and Companions.   Let us not forget this great Companion.

snip - brebeufst jean de brebeuf and comps

Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 March

St Abban of Kill-Abban
St Abraham Kidunaia
St Agapitus of Ravenna
St Aninus of Syria
St Benedicta of Assisi
St Dionysius of Aquileia
St Dentlin of Hainault
Bl Eriberto of Namur
St Eusebia of Hamage
St Felix of Aquileia
St Finian Lobhar
Bl Ferdinand Valdes
St Gregory Makar
St Heribert of Cologne
St Hilary of Aquileia
St Jean de Brebeuf
Bl Joan Torrents Figueras
Bl John Amias
Bl John Sordi of Vicenza
St Julian of Anazarbus
St Largus of Aquileia
St Malcoldia of Asti
St Megingaud of Wurzburg
St Papa of Seleucia
Bl Robert Dalby
St Tatian of Aquileia
Bl Torello of Poppi