Novena to St Joseph – Day Eight – 17 March

Day Eight
Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Saviour.   All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you and the cross of labour followed you everywhere.   Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you.   Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary’s virginity;  by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune.   Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast.   To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you — you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence and love.   You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Saviour and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love.   But God never forsook you in your trials.   The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering.   Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence and of gratitude toward God.   In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life.   This was God’s Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God.   If suffering is the flowering of God’s grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul’s love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need.   Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering.   You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle.   Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary.   Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass and share like you in Mary’s spirit of sacrifice.

*(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 eight - 17 march 2018



Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, POETRY, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY CROSS

Lenten Reflection – 17 March 2018 – Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent

Lenten Reflection – 17 March 2018 – Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent

Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalms 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53

Jeremiah 11:18 – “The Lord made it known to me and I knew;
then thou didst show me their evil deeds.”

John 7:50-53 – Nicodemus, who had gone to him before and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”    They replied, “Are you from Galilee too?   Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.”   They went each to his own house…”sat of the 4th week - 17 march 2018

Tomorrow we shall enter Passiontide and the long shadow of the Cross is now cast over our Lenten journey.   In today’s first reading, the first of Jeremiah’s ‘confessions’, he is coping with the shocking fact that people are trying to murder him.   And how does he cope?   In the way that we all must, by turning back to God.

In the Gospel, we hear the sinister note of the forces who are moving towards the destruction of Jesus.   It starts (as so often in the fourth Gospel) with divisions among “the crowd”.   There are three positions that they variously adopt – i) that Jesus is the prophet; ii) that He is the Messiah;  iii) that Jesus is none of the above, because Messiah’s don’t come from Galilee.

The next division is between the servants who had been sent to arrest Jesus and the authorities who had sent them.   The servants fail to bring him back because ‘no human being ever spoke like this’ – the Pharisees respond with a bullying argument argument ‘The crowd don’t know the law and they’re accursed.’

The final division is between Nicodemus, battling bravely against the tide and his peers. He wants due process of law whilst they simply re-assert their slogan ‘prophets don’t come from Galilee’.

Significantly, the division remains and no unity is produced amongst the dissidents but ‘they each went to their own home’.   And yet, Jesus’ death is now visible on the horizon, less than two weeks away!…(Fr Nicholas King S.J. – The Lenten Journey to Easter)

Have I ever been the cause of division and arguments, perhaps unfairly?
What ideologies might I cling to that blind me from seeing the true and bigger picture?
Have I the strength to battle against the tide of evil?

“Great thing is the knowledge of the crucified Christ.   How many things are enclosed inside this treasure!   Christ crucified!   Such is the hidden treasure of wisdom and science.   Do not be deceived, then, under the pretext of wisdom.   Gather before the covering and pray that it may be uncovered.   Foolish philosopher of this world, what you are looking for is worthless…  What is the advantage of being thirsty, if you despise the source? …  And what is His precept but that we believe in Him and love each other? In whom?   In Christ crucified.   This is His commandment:  that we believe in Christ crucified … But where humility is, there is also majesty, where weakness is, there shall one find power, where death is, there shall be life as well.   If you wish to arrive at the second part, do not despise the first “(Sermon 160, 3-4) St Augustine

Our Lord’s Passion
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

In Your hour of holy sadness
could I share with You, what gladness
should Your Cross to me be showing.
Gladness past all thought of knowing,
bowed beneath Your Cross to die!

Blessed Jesus, thanks I render
that in bitter death, so tender,
You now hear Your supplicant calling,
Save me Lord and keep from falling
from You, when my hour is night.our lord's passion - st bernard - 17 march 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

Thought for the Day – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

Something strange and wonderful happened in Ireland.   All alone, frightened for his life and among people who worshipped trees and stones, Patrick opened his heart to God.

That happens to a lot of us, doesn’t it?  When everything’s going great, we don’t have any time for God.   But then something awful and painful happens and there we are, back at God’s feet.

During those years, Patrick started to pray.   He thought about God all the time and it gave him peace of mind.   He knew that no matter how much he was suffering, God loved him.

Eventually, Patrick escaped from slavery and traveled to France, which in those days was called Gaul.   We’re not sure exactly how much time Patrick spent in Gaul.   But it was enough time for him to draw closer to God as he prayed and studied in a monastery.

One night, deep in a dreamy vision, Patrick heard voices.   He heard many voices, joined together, pleading with him.

“Come back,” the voices cried, “come back and walk once more among us.”

Patrick knew it was the Irish people calling him.

Strengthened by the courage that only God can give, Patrick went back.   He returned to the very people who had stolen him from his family, worked him mercilessly as a slave and knew little, if anything, about the love of the true God.

Before he left Gaul, Patrick was made the bishop of Ireland.   He then travelled across the sea to teach Ireland about Jesus Christ.

It wasn’t easy.   The people of Ireland practised pagan religions.   They worshipped nature and they practised magic.   They feared the spirits they believed lived in the woods.   The Irish people believed they could bring evil spirits down on those they wanted to harm.

Patrick had a big job ahead of him.   He had to show a country full of students that there was no point in horsewhipping nature.   Trees can’t forgive your sins or teach you how to love.   The sun, as powerful as it is, could not have created the world.   Patrick explained things using simple examples that people could easily understand.   For example, he used the three-leaf clover to show people how there could be three persons in one God.

Patrick preached to huge crowds and small villages.   He preached to kings and princes. He preached in the open air and he preached in huts.   Patrick never stopped preaching, and he never stopped teaching.   He couldn’t stop—the whole country of Ireland was his classroom and he couldn’t afford to miss even one student!

Soon, Patrick had help.   Men became priests and monks.   Women became nuns. Wherever they lived, those monks and nuns settled in monasteries and set up schools. More students were being reached every day.

But, of course, the greatest help Patrick had was from God.

When he was young, Patrick had forgotten God but that would never happen again.   He knew that God supported him in every step he took.   God gave Patrick the courage to speak, even when Patrick was in danger of being hurt by pagan priests who didn’t want to lose their power over the people.

St Patrick, please, please pray for us all, you who faced it all!st5-patrick-pray-for-us-2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

All quotations from “The Confession of St Patrick”

“For that sun, which we see rising every day, rises at His command…”

“Each and all shall render account for even our smallest sins
before the judgement seat of Christ the Lord.”

“In a single day,
I have said as many as a hundred prayers
and in the night almost as many…”for that sun, which we see - st patrick - 17 march 2018

“If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God…”if i have any - st patrick - 17 march 2018

“I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught;
yet I am established here in Ireland,
where I profess myself bishop.
I am certain in my heart that ‘all that I am,’
I have received from God.
So I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile
for the love of God.”i am patrick, yes a sinner - st patrick - 17 march 2018

“May the strength of God pilot us,
may the wisdom of God instruct us,
may the hand of God protect us,
may the word of God direct us.
Be always ours this day and for evermore.”

St Patrick (c 386-461)may the strength of god - st patrick - 17 march 2018


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

One Minute Reflection – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

One Minute Reflection – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”…Matthew 6:26

REFLECTION – “And He watched over me before I knew Him and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil and He protected me and consoled me as a father would His son.”…St Patrickand he watched over me - st patrick - 17 march 2018

PRAYER – You, O God, are our Father! How glorious is that fact and Your love. Teach us to trust in You and to follow the way You taught through our Lord and Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ. Allow that by the prayers of St Patrick, we may all come to see Your Face, the Face of our Father, to gaze on You, to love and worship You, with Christ and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenst patrick - pray for us - 2018


Our Morning Offering – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

Our Morning Offering – 17 March – The Memorial of St Patrick (c 386-461)

Excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry)

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place and in all hours
against their fierce hostility, …….
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Amenthe deer cry - st patrick's prayer - i bind unto myself - 17 march 2018


Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Gertrude of Nivelles O.S.B. (626-659)

Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Gertrude of Nivelles O.S.B. (626-659) was a 7th-century Religious Abbess who, with her mother Itta, founded the Abbey of Nivelles located in present-day Belgium.   She was born in 626 at Landen, Belgium and died on 17 March 659 at Nivelles, Belgium of natural causes.   Patronages – against fear of mice and rates, against suriphobia, fever, mental disorders, insanity, of cats, of gardeners, innkeepers, hospitals, the mentally ill, pilgrims, travellers, suriphobics, sick, poor, prisoners, Landen, Belgium, Nivelles, Belgium, Wattenscheid, Germany.   Attributes – a nun with a crosier, with cats, with mice, a woman gertrude of nivelles - patron of cats.2Nivelles_JPG00_(1)

Our Saint was born at Landen, Belgium in 626 and died at Nivelles, 659;  she was just thirty-three, the same age as Our Lord.   Both her parents, Pepin of Landen and Itta were held to be holy by those who knew them;  her sister Begga is numbered among the Saints.   On her husband’s death in 640, Itta founded a Benedictine monastery at Nivelles, which is near Brussels and appointed Gertrude its abbess when she reached twenty, tending to her responsibilities well, with her mother’s assistance and following her in giving encouragement and help to monks, particularly Irish ones, to do missionary work in the locale.nivelles

Saint Gertrude’s piety was evident even when she was as young as ten, when she turned down the offer of a noble marriage, declaring that she would not marry him or any other suitor:  Christ alone would be her bridegroom.

She was known for her hospitality to pilgrims and her aid to missionary monks.   She gave land to one monk so that he could build a monastery at Fosse.   By her early thirties Gertrude had become so weakened by the austerity of abstaining from food and sleep that she had to resign her office and spent the rest of her days studying Scripture and doing penance.   It is said that on the day before her death she sent a messenger to Fosse, asking the superior if he knew when she would nivelles

His reply indicated that death would come the next day during holy Mass-the prophecy was fulfilled.   Her feast day is observed by gardeners, who regard fine weather on that day as a sign to begin spring planting.

Devotion to St. Gertrude became widely spread in the Lowlands and neighbouring countries.

Commonly seen running up her pastoral staff or cloak are hopeful-looking mice representing Souls in Purgatory, to which she had an intense devotion, just as with St Gertrude the Great.   Even as recently as 1822, offerings of mice made of gold and silver were left at her shrine.   Another patronage is to travellers on the high seas.   It is held that one sailor, suffering misfortune while under sail, prayed to the Saint and was delivered safely.

Just before her death in 659, Gertrude instructed the nuns at Nivelles to bury her in an old veil left behind by a travelling pilgrimess and Gertrude’s own hair shirt.   Gertrude’s choice of burial clothing is a pattern in medieval hagiography as an expression of humility and piety.   Her death and the image of her weak and humble figure is in fact a critical point in her biographer’s narrative.   Her monastery also benefited from this portrayal because the hair cloth and veil in which Gertrude was interred became relics.  At Nivelles, her relics were only publicly displayed for feast days, Easterand other holy days.

s.220px-0_Gertrude_de_Nivelles_-_JPG (1)

Shrine of St Gertrude of Nivelles, originally made in 1272-1298; this reproduction, in the Pushkin Museum, was cast from the original.   In 1940, a German bomb smashed the original reliquary into 337 fragments.   It was subsequently rebuilt.
Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 17 March

St Patrick (c 386-461) (Optional Memorial)

St Agricola of Châlon-sur-Saône
St Alexander
St Ambrose of Alexandria
Bl Conrad of Bavaria
St Diemut of Saint Gall
St Gabriel Lalemant
St Gertrude of Nivelles (626-659)
Bl Gertrude of Trzebnica
St Jan Sarkander
Bl Josep Mestre Escoda
St Joseph of Arimathea
Bl Juan Nepomuceno Zegrí y Moreno
St Llinio of Llandinam
Bl Maria Bárbara Maix
St Paul of Cyprus
St Stephen of Palestrina
St Theodore of Rome
St Thomasello
St Withburga of Dereham

Martyrs of Alexandria – Also known as Martyrs of Serapis: An unknown number of Christians who were martyred together by a mob of worshippers of the Graeco-Egyptian sun god Serapis. They were Martyred in c 392 in Alexandria, Egypt.