Thought for the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B and the Memorial of Blessed César de Bus (1544-1607)

Thought for the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B and the Memorial of Blessed César de Bus (1544-1607)

He was born in Cavillon, France, on 3 February 1544, the seventh of thirteen children. Though he had a good Jesuit education, he was a worldly young man who couldn’t decide between the career of a soldier and that of a writer.   In the end, he decided for the military.   It was the time of the bloody Wars of Religion in France, when it hung in the balance whether France would remain Catholic or become Protestant.   And yet, despite fighting in the Catholic cause, César himself led a life of dissipation:  he was known as a party boy, as a dandy, as one who wanted to make his way at the royal court in Paris.   He also still had literary ambitions.

Now César’s brother was a priest, a cathedral canon with a good income.   When his brother died, César succeeded in gaining the income from his late brother’s position without himself actually being a priest or doing anything in return for the income.   It was an abuse that often happened in Catholic France in those days:  a layman would hold a clerical position simply as a source of revenue.   Just in case you don’t know, the wasteful and worldly squandering of the Church’s goods is not exactly a new problem.   It was well-known and widely criticised in the 16th century, too.

But then something unexpected happened.  César had come to know an illiterate but very pious servant girl named Antoinette Reveillade.   This young woman had persuaded César to read to her the lives of the saints, even while Antoinette fervently and in tears begged God that death would not find César in mortal sin.   He at first shrugged off her concern.   Then, one night, as César was on his way to a masked ball, he passed a shrine where a light burned before the image of Our Lady.   Suddenly he remembered Antoinette and was stricken with remorse and felt an overwhelming desire to repent and amend his life.   He thought, “How can I recommend myself to God while I am on the way to offend Him?”   In the words of one of César’s biographers, “One tempestuous night, the All-powerful God, the King of Glory, encountered the worldly chevalier César de Bus, obstinate in sin, and conquered him.”   There and then, like St Paul on the road to Damascus, he was converted to Christ.

César resumed at last his studies for the priesthood and was ordained a priest at last in 1582 at the age of thirty-eight.   He read the life of the Catholic Reformer St Charles Borromeo and became convinced that widespread religious ignorance was the cause of many scandals and failures among French Catholics.   But César didn’t just complain or wring his hands:  he did something about it.

First, he converted his cousin Jean-Baptiste back to the Catholic faith. Jean-Baptiste had become a convinced Calvinist because of the impressive zeal and strictness shown by French Protestants, who so often put the Catholics to shame.   After Jean-Baptiste returned to the Church, he, too, was ordained a priest.   César and his cousin then dedicated the rest of their lives to the work of catechesis, founding an order for that purpose called the Fathers of Christian Doctrine and also a similar order for women. After his conversion, Blessed César directed his energies to two things:  penance for his earlier life and the teaching of doctrine.   And yet, it was actually an unlettered servant girl’s prayers that had led to the grace of his conversion.   This reminds us that it is only the love of God and of neighbour that can inspire the teaching of sound doctrine and make it fruitful in our lives.   And yet, true charity cannot be content that those whom Christ has redeemed by his Most Precious Blood should be ignorant of divine truth. Ignorance is not bliss, in religion or in anything else.

Blessed César died on 15 April 1607 and was beatified in 1975.   At the beatification, Pope Paul VI (who will soon be Canonised) had this to say about the parallels between our age and that of Blessed César:

“[Our time] is a period in which the world is in crisis, as formerly and in which most values, even the most sacred ones, are rashly questioned in the name of freedom, so that many people have no longer any point of reference, in a period in which danger comes certainly not from an excess of dogmatism but rather from the dissolution of doctrine and the nebulousness of thought… It seems to Us that an additional effort should be courageously undertaken to give the Christian people, who are waiting for it more than is thought, a solid, exact catechetical base, easy to remember.   We well understand that it is difficult today to adhere to the Faith, particularly for the young, a prey to so many uncertainties.   They have the right at least to know precisely the message of Revelation, which is not the fruit of research and to be the witnesses of a Church that lives by it.”

César de Bus had seen how religious divisions and social upheaval had devastated the faith of many.   Amid all the fighting about religion between Catholics and Protestants—and among French Catholics, too—, there was considerable neglect of the actual practice of the faith.

And, like that great saint, we can do something about the situation.   Think of that amazing story of Blessed César’s conversion and ask his intercession for a renewed zeal for the teaching of sound doctrine in our pulpits, our schools, and our catechetical programs.

In the words of the Letter to the Hebrews, let us “lift up our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees” (Heb 12.12), for the Lord himself is calling us to work in His vineyard.   Blessed César de Bus, pray for us!

bl-cesar-de-bus-pray-for-us - 15 april 2017

The life of Blessed  César de Bus –



Sunday Reflection – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Sunday Reflection – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

“Christ wished to choose this sacred symbol of human life, which bread is, to make an even more sacred symbol of Himself.   He has transubstantitated it but has not taken away its expressive power – rather, He has elevated this expressive power to a new meaning, a higher meaning, a mystical, religious, divine meaning.   He has made of it a ladder for an ascent that transcends the natural level.
As a sound becomes a voice and as the voice becomes word, thought, truth – so that sign of the bread has passed from its humble and pious being to signify a mystery, it has become a Sacrament, it has acquired the power to demonstrate the Body of Christ present.”

Blessed Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) – when Archbishop of Milan from a homily on the Solemnity of Corpus Christias a sound becomes a voice - paul VI - 15 april 2018 - sunday reflection

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quotes of the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B “Speaking of the Holy Mass”

Quotes of the Day – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

“Speaking of the Holy Mass”

“Recognise in this bread what hung on the cross
and in this chalice what flowed from His side…
whatever was in many and varied ways
announced beforehand in the sacrifices
of the Old Testament
pertains to this one sacrifice
which is revealed in the New Testament.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorrecognise in this bread what hung - st augustine - 15 april 2018

“Jesus taught a new sacrifice
which the Church received
from the Apostles and offers
throughout the whole world.”

St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Churchjesus taught a new sacrifice - st irenaeus - 15 april 2018

“All the good works in the world
are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
because they are the works of men – 
but the Mass is the work of God.
Martyrdom is nothing in comparison,
for it is but the sacrifice of man to God – 
but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)all the good works in the world are not equal - st john vianney - 15 april 2018

“Many Christians take their time
and have leisure enough in their social life
(no hurry here).
They are leisurely, too, in their professional activities,
at table and recreation (no hurry here either).
But isn’t it strange, how those same Christians.
find themselves in such a rush
and want to hurry the priest,
in their anxiety to shorten the time devoted
to the most holy sacrifice of the altar?

St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)many christians take their time - st josemaria - 15 april 2018




One Minute Reflection – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

One Minute Reflection – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”... Luke 24:45-48o lord let the light of your countenance shine upon us - pope benedict - third sun easter B - 15 april 2018

REFLECTION – “This very experience of repentance and forgiveness is relived in every community in the Eucharistic celebration, especially on Sundays.   The Eucharist, the privileged place in which the Church recognises “the Author of life” (Acts 3: 15) is “the breaking of the bread”, as it is called in the Acts of the Apostles.   In it, through faith, we enter into communion with Christ, who is “the priest, the altar and the lamb of sacrifice” (see Preface for Easter, 5) and is among us.   Let us gather round Him to cherish the memory of His words and of the events contained in Scripture;  let us relive His Passion, death and Resurrection.   In celebrating the Eucharist, we communicate with Christ, the victim of expiation and from Him we draw forgiveness and life.   What would our lives as Christians be without the Eucharist?   The Eucharist is the perpetual, living inheritance which the Lord has bequeathed to us in the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood and which we must constantly rethink and deepen so that, as venerable Pope Paul VI said, it may “impress its inexhaustible effectiveness on all the days of our earthly life” (Insegnamenti, V [1967], p. 779).”…Pope Benedict XVIin it, through faith, - pope benedict - 15 april 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, grant Your people constant joy in the renewed vigour of their souls. Grant them sorrow for their sins and gratitude for the suffering of Your Son.   Grant them forgiveness and life in the Holy Eucharist, through which we meet Him, who saved us. Grant, we pray, that we may grow in our love for the saving banquet to which we are called so that we may one day rejoice eternally, with You, in union with our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.   “O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us”!


Our Morning Offering – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Our Morning Offering – 15 April – The Third Sunday of Easter Year B

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Before Holy Mass

O most blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of tenderness and mercy,
I, a miserable and unworthy sinner,
fly to you with all the affection of my heart
and I beseech your motherly love,
that, as you stood by your most dear Son,
while he hung on the Cross,
so, in your kindness,
you may be pleased to stand by me, a poor sinner,
and all Priests who today are offering the Sacrifice
here and throughout the entire holy Church,
so that with your gracious help
we may offer a worthy and acceptable oblation
in the sight of the most high and undivided Trinity.

(This prayer is adapted from the Priests’ Prayers Before each Mass)prayer to the blessed virgin before mass - 15 april 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Hunna (died 679)

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Hunna (died 679) – known as the Holy Washerwoman, St Hunna of Strasbourg/Alsace – born in the 7th century in the Alsace region (part of modern France) and died in  679 in Hunawir, Alsace (in modern France) of natural causes, where her remains were buried.   Her relics re-located on 15 April 1520 but they were destroyed during the Reformation.   She was Canonised in 1520 by Pope Leo X.   Patronages – laundresses, laundry workers, washerwomen.


Saint Hunna was born into a privileged life, the daughter of a duke in Alsace.   She matured and married Huno of Hunnaweyer, a nobleman and together they settled in the diocese of Strasbourg (now France).    They had one son, Saint Deodatus, who eventually became a monk (and then a saint!).   Saint Hunna was devoted to the Lord, raising her son with constant teaching and living the virtues of the faith.   She spent her days caring for her home and estate and in prayer, while her husband travelled on diplomatic and political missions.

In her prayer, she felt called to do more, to serve others.   By the Lord, her eyes were opened to the poverty and general squalor that the peasants and servants lived in… and she felt moved to assist.   Hunna began making daily trips from the estate into the local villages and fields, visiting her poor neighbours, offering them religious instruction and working for them.   At first, she simply offered to do their laundry, earning her the title, “holy washerwoman.” Hunna would travel from home to home, collecting soiled clothing and then spend the better part of each day washing and scrubbing the clothing clean. When the clothing was too dirty, or too threadbare to mend, she would replace it with a new article.

As time went on, her washing service expanded to any task that her neighbours needed help with—cooking, cleaning, childcare, even more demanding physical labour.   She also instructed in ways of cleanliness, assisting with hygiene.   Saint Hunna regularly performed the greatest act of service, bathing those who were unable to bathe themselves.

Saint Hunna demonstrates to us great selflessness, borne out of love for the Lord.   She willingly left her life of privilege on a daily basis, eventually being shunned by those of her class and station, to intercede in the lives of those who had no one to care for them. She treated the poor, the sick, the forgotten as equals to herself, offering them basic human respect, love and charity.   Saint Hunna welcomed all into her life as the family of God.   The life of Saint Hunna provides a gentle reminder of our own hesitancy to venture beyond our comfortable lives, to actively engage in community service to those in need.   We are mindful of the fact that we are called to service and social justice and that embarking on that mission may be difficult or even painful.   We look to Saint Hunna as inspiration—inspiration to embody the love of Christ and to share that love with others in service.   St Hunna, pray for us!

Apr+15+Hunna+1 (1)

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 15 April

St Abbo II of Metz
St Abbondio
St Acuta
St Anastasia of Rome
St Basilissa of Rome
Bl Cesar de Bus (1544-1607)
St Crescens of Myra
St Eutyches of Rome
St Eutychius of Ferentino
St Huna of Slättåkra
St Hunna (of Strasbourg) (died 679)
Bl Laurentinus Sossius
St Lidwina
St Maro of Rome
St Maximus of Persia
St Mundus
St Nidger of Augsburg
St Olympiades of Persia
St Ortario of Landelles
St Paternus of Vannes
St Paternus of Wales
St Pausilopo of Thrace
St Ruadhan of Lorrha
St Sylvester of Réome
St Theodore of Thrace
St Victorinus of Rome
St Waltmann of Cambrai

Mercedarian Martyrs of Africa: A group of Mercedarian monks sailing to Africa as on a mission to redeem capture Christians. Captured by Moors, they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. 1393