Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MIRACLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL DECREE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, YouTube VIDEOS

Thought for the Day – 27 June – The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Thought for the Day – 27 June – The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour ( Under the Protection of the Redemptiorists – CSsr)mother of perpetual help

An artist about to paint an icon prepares himself spiritually by prayer, confession, Holy Communion and sometimes fasting.   He prays even while painting, for he sees himself as an instrument of the Holy Spirit, the principal artist, Who will use the icon as an instrument to channel graces to those who reverence it and pray before it.   In most cases, the artist does not even sign his name to his work.

In Western art, there is little difference in the styles used in sacred art as compared to secular art;  only the subject matter is different.   Icons, however, are not meant to be realistic as far as physical representation, but rather to portray eternal truths in a way that immediately transports the viewer to a spiritual plane.   Perhaps the simplest way to describe it is as theology in line and colour.   The images are rendered in an extremely stylised, non-naturalistic way.   The folds of garments appear as simple geometric forms, while faces and bodies show portray human nature transformed by grace into the divine.

In the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Child Jesus is not portrayed with the physical proportions of an infant but appears almost as an adult in miniature form.   This has been interpreted to indicate that He is God, having infinite knowledge.   Yet He is human as well, for He clings to His Mother’s hand in fear, while gazing up toward the angel over His shoulder.   One of His sandals has come loose, indicating the haste with which He had run to her.

Why is the Child Jesus so frightened?   The angels in the picture are holding instruments of His Passion and death, with the angel on the left bearing the gall, the lance and the reed, while the angel on the right holds the cross and nails.   Their hands are covered with a cloth or veil, much like the humeral veil that the priest holds when blessing with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance at Benediction.

The face of Our Lady is grave and sorrowful, with her large eyes directed not at Jesus, but at us.   One feels that she is pleading with us to avoid sin, which has caused her Son to suffer so much for us.   Her gaze makes us a part of the picture and the pain it portrays.   “Will you not love my Son, Who has loved you so much?” she seems to say.

Our Lady is clothed in the colours of royalty; her tunic is of dark red and her mantle is dark blue with a green lining.   (According to another interpretation, the dark red is said to be the colour worn by virgins at the time of Christ, while blue was the colour worn by mothers in Palestine.)   The Child Jesus also wears the colours of royalty.   Both Jesus and Mary have golden halos, but Christ’s halo is decorated with a cross as a sign of His Divinity and Passion.   Jewelled crowns were placed on the heads of both Mother and Child of the original icon by order of the Vatican in 1867.   (The crowns were removed when the icon underwent restoration in the 1990’s.)

The Greek initials next to the head of Our Lady identify her as “Mother of God,” while those next to the Child are the abbreviation for “Jesus Christ.”   The letters over the angels’ heads indicate the one on the left as St Michael and the one on the right as S. Gabriel.

The 8-pointed star on Our Lady’s veil tells us that she is the Star of the Sea, the Star that leads us to Jesus.   The small ornate cross to the left of the star reinforces this concept.

Mary’s mouth is small to indicate her spirit of silence and prayer.   Her eyes are large, for they see all of our troubles and needs and are always turned toward us.

Christ’s hands, turned palms down into His Mother’s, indicate that He has placed the graces of the Redemption in her keeping.   Our Lady’s hand does not clasp those of her Son but remains open, inviting us to put our hands in hers along with those of Jesus.

As in other icons, the background of the painting is gold to symbolize Heaven, where Jesus and Mary now reign in glory.   This light of Heaven shines through their clothing, illuminating not only the picture itself but those who behold it.   This radiance speaks to us of God’s light and grace, strengthening and consoling us as we journey through life to our heavenly goal.

Finally, it is of no small significance that Our Blessed Mother herself referred to the icon by the title of “Holy Mary of Perpetual Succour.”   Surely this, along with the symbolism we see in the picture, should assure us of the loving concern and tenderness our Blessed Mother has for us and her ardent desire to be a source of perpetual help to all who call upon her.

In answer to Pope Pius IX’s injunction to “make her known,” the Redemptorists commissioned several artists to paint copies of the original icon.   More than 2,300 such copies, similarly touched to the original, have been sent to other houses of the order around the world.   Pope Pius IX also received a copy, which he enshrined in his private chapel and was often seen kneeling before it in prayer.   (Excerpt from Sister Mary Agatha, CMRI)
Part of the tradition is that Mary had made it clear that she wished her image to be situated between the great basilicas of St John Lateran (the Pope’s Cathedral) and St Mary Major, her own basilica.   For the best part of 300 years from the year 1500, it was famous for the many miracles and graces granted to those who made the pilgrimage to the church of St Matthew on the Via Merulana, which was destroyed during the Napoleonic war.

In January 1855, the Redemptorist priests purchased Villa Caserta in Rome along the Via Merulana and converted it into their headquarters.   Without realising it, the property they had purchased was once the church and monastery of Saint Matthew, the site which the Virgin reportedly chose as the icon’s shrine.

Decades later, Pope Pius IX invited the Redemptorist Fathers to set up a Marian house of veneration in Rome, in response to which the Redemptorists built the Church of St  Alphonsus Liguori at that location.   The Redemptorists were thus established on the Via Merulana, not knowing that it had once been the site of the Church of San Matteo and shrine of the once-famous icon.

Mother of Perpetual Succour, Pray for us!

THANKSGIVING PRAYER

O Mother of Perpetual Succour,
with grateful hearts we join you
in thanking God
for all the wonderful things
He has done for us,
especially for giving us,
Jesus, your Son, as our Redeemer.
O God, our Creator,
we thank You for the gift of life
and all the gifts of nature:
our senses and faculties,
our talents and abilities.
We thank You for creating us
in Your image and likeness
and for giving us this earth
to use and develop,
to respect and cherish.
Despite our failures,
you continue to show Your love for us today
by increasing the life of Your Spirit in us
at the Eucharistic table.
Finally, we thank You, loving Father,
for giving us Mary,
the Mother of Your Son,
to be our Mother of Perpetual Succour.
We are grateful for all the favours
we have received through her intercession.
We pray that those past favours
may inspire us to greater confidence,
in your loving mercy and to seek the aid
of our Mother of Perpetual Succour.
Amenthanksgiving prayer to god our father for our mother of perpetual succour - redemptorists - 27 june 2018mother of perpetual succour - pray for us - 27 june 2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

“He who receives Communion
is made holy and divinised in soul and body
in the same way that water, set over a fire, becomes boiling…
Communion works like yeast that has been mixed into dough
so that it leavens the whole mass;
…Just as by melting two candles together,
you get one piece of wax,
so, I think, one who receives the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
is fused together with Him by this Communion
and the soul finds that he is in Christ and Christ is in him.”just as by melting - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.”the power of the holy eucharist - if the poison of pride - st cyril of alexandria - 27 june 2018

“Our Saviour went to the wedding feast
to make holy the origins of human life.”our-saviour-went-to-the-edding-feast-st-cyril-of-alexandria-27 june 2017

“From Christ and in Christ,
we have been reborn through the Spirit,
in order to bear the fruit of life,
not the fruit of our old, sinful life
but the fruit of a new life founded upon
our faith in Him and our love for Him.
Like branches growing from a vine,
we now draw our life from Christ
and we cling to His holy commandment,
in order to preserve this life.”from christ and in christ - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“That anyone could doubt, the right
of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely, she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to Him!”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctorthat anyone could doubt - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 June – Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:15-20

One Minute Reflection – 27 June – Wednesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:15-20

“Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.”…Matthew 7:17

REFLECTION – ” I recommend great fidelity to the movements of the Holy Spirit.   Your baptism and confirmation have implanted it like a living fountain in your soul.   Listen to His whisperings and put to flight all other inspirations with one blow.   If you keep this fidelity, little by little the divine Spirit will become your guide and will bear you along with Him into the bosom of God.
”Sursum corda”: “Lift up your hearts”, the introductory words to the preface of the Mass.”…Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbotmatthew 7-17 just so, every good tree - bl columba marmion - I recommend great fidelity - 27 june 2018

PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit.   Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love.   Grant that the Holy Spirit may ever guide and bear us in His inspiration.   We make our pray through Christ, our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amenmay the holy spirit kindle in us all

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 27 June

Our Morning Offering – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) and the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and the Mother of God of Gietrzwald, Poland

Hail, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church

Hail, Mother and Virgin,
eternal Temple of the Godhead,
Venerable Treasure of Creation,
crown of virginity,
support of the true faith,
on which the Church is founded, throughout the world.
Mother of God,
who contained the infinite God
under your heart,
whom no space can contain.
Through you, the most Holy Trinity, is revealed,
adored and glorified,
demons are vanquished,
Satan cast down from heaven into hell
and our fallen nature again assumed into heaven.
Through you, the human race,
held captive in the bonds of idolatry,
arrives at the knowledge of Truth.
What more shall I say of you?
Hail, through whom kings rule,
through whom the Only-Begotten Son of God
has become the Star of Light
to those sitting in darkness
and in the shadow of death.
Amenhail mother of god - st cyril of alexandria - 27 june 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 27 June – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church – “The Pillar of Faith” & “Seal of all the Fathers”Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) – Patronage – Alexandria, Egypt.

Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on The Fathers of the Church
St Cyril of Alexandria
Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Today too, continuing our journey following the traces left by the Fathers of the Church, we meet an important figure:  St Cyril of Alexandria.   Linked to the Christological controversy which led to the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the last important representative of the Alexandrian tradition in the Greek Orient, Cyril was later defined as “the guardian of exactitude” – to be understood as guardian of the true faith – and even the “seal of the Fathers”.   These ancient descriptions express clearly a characteristic feature of Cyril:  the Bishop of Alexandria’s constant reference to earlier ecclesiastical authors (including, in particular, Athanasius), for the purpose of showing the continuity with tradition of theology itself.   He deliberately, explicitly inserted himself into the Church’s tradition, which he recognised as guaranteeing continuity with the Apostles and with Christ himself.   Venerated as a Saint in both East and West, in 1882 St Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, who at the same time also attributed this title to another important exponent of Greek Patristics, St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387).   Thus are revealed the attention and love for the Eastern Christian traditions of this Pope, who later also chose to proclaim St John Damascene (675-749) a Doctor of the Church, thereby showing that both the Eastern and Western traditions express the doctrine of Christ’s one Church.header - st cyril of alexandria

We have almost no information on Cyril’s life prior to his election to the important See of Alexandria.   He was a nephew of Theophilus, who had governed the Diocese of Alexandria as Bishop since 385 AD with a prestigious and iron hand. It is likely that Cyril was born in this Egyptian metropolis between 370 and 380 A.D., was initiated into ecclesiastical life while he was still very young and received a good education, both culturally and theologically. In 403, he went to Constantinople in the retinue of his powerful uncle.   It was here that he took part in the so-called “Synod of the Oak” which deposed the Bishop of the city, John (later known as “Chrysostom”) and thereby marked the triumph of the Alexandrian See over its traditional rival, the See of Constantinople, where the Emperor resided.   Upon his uncle Theophilus’ death, the still young Cyril was elected in 412 as Bishop of the influential Church of Alexandria, which he governed energetically for 32 years, always seeking to affirm her primacy throughout the East, strong also because of her traditional bonds with Rome.

Two or three years later, in 417 or 418, the Bishop of Alexandria showed himself to be realistic in mending the broken communion with Constantinople, which had lasted by then since 406 as a consequence of Chrysostom’s deposition.   But the old conflict with the Constantinople See flared up again about 10 years later, when in 428 Nestorius was elected, a severe and authoritarian monk trained in Antioch.   The new Bishop of Constantinople, in fact, soon provoked opposition because he preferred to use as Mary’s title in his preaching “Mother of Christ” (Christotòkos) instead of “Mother of God” (Theotòkos), already very dear to popular devotion.   One reason for Bishop Nestorius’ decision was his adherence to the Antiochean type of Christology, which, to safeguard the importance of Christ’s humanity, ended by affirming the division of the Divinity. Hence, the union between God and man in Christ could no longer be true, so naturally it was no longer possible to speak of the “Mother of God”.st cyril of alexandria - detail

The reaction of Cyril – at that time the greatest exponent of Alexandrian Christology, who intended on the other hand to stress the unity of Christ’s person – was almost immediate, and from 429 he left no stone unturned, even addressing several letters to Nestorius himself.   In the second of Cyril’s letters to Nestorius (PG 77, 44-49), written in February 430, we read a clear affirmation of the duty of Pastors to preserve the faith of the People of God.   This was his criterion, moreover, still valid today:  the faith of the People of God is an expression of tradition, it is a guarantee of sound doctrine.   This is what he wrote to Nestorius:  “It is essential to explain the teaching and interpretation of the faith to the people in the most irreproachable way and to remember that those who cause scandal, even to only one of the little ones, who believe in Christ, will be subjected to an unbearable punishment”.

In the same letter to Nestorius – a letter which later, in 451, was to be approved by the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council – Cyril described his Christological faith clearly:  “Thus, we affirm that the natures are different that are united in one true unity but from both, has come only one Christ and Son, not because, due to their unity, the difference in their natures has been eliminated but rather, because divinity and humanity, reunited in an ineffable and indescribable union, have produced for us one Lord and Christ and Son”.   And this is important –  true humanity and true divinity are really united in only one Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Bishop of Alexandria continued:  “We will profess only one Christ and Lord, not in the sense that we worship the man together with the Logos, in order not to suggest the idea of separation by saying “together’ but in the sense that we worship only one and the same, because He is not extraneous to the Logos, His body, with which He also sits at His Father’s side, not as if “two sons” are sitting beside Him but only one, united with His own flesh”.Icon_St._Cyril_of_Alexandria

And soon the Bishop of Alexandria, thanks to shrewd alliances, obtained the repeated condemnation of Nestorius, by the See of Rome, consequently with a series of 12 anathemas which he himself composed and finally, by the Council held in Ephesus in 431, the Third Ecumenical Council.   The assembly which went on with alternating and turbulent events, ended with the first great triumph of devotion to Mary and with the exile of the Bishop of Constantinople, who had been reluctant to recognise the Blessed Virgin’s right to the title of “Mother of God” because of an erroneous Christology that brought division to Christ Himself.    After thus prevailing against his rival and his doctrine, by 433 Cyril was nevertheless already able to achieve a theological formula of compromise and reconciliation with the Antiocheans.   This is also significant, on the one hand, is the clarity of the doctrine of faith but in addition, on the other, the intense search for unity and reconciliation.   In the following years he devoted himself in every possible way to defending and explaining his theological stance, until his death on 27 June 444.

Cyril’s writings – truly numerous and already widely disseminated in various Latin and Eastern translations in his own lifetime, attested to by their instant success – are of the utmost importance for the history of Christianity.   His commentaries on many of the New and Old Testament Books are important, including those on the entire Pentateuch, Isaiah, the Psalms and the Gospels of John and Luke.   Also important are his many doctrinal works, in which the defence of the Trinitarian faith against the Arian and Nestorian theses recurs.   The basis of Cyril’s teaching is the ecclesiastical tradition and in particular, as I mentioned, the writings of Athanasius, his great Predecessor in the See of Alexandria.   Among Cyril’s other writings, the books Against Julian deserve mention. They were the last great response to the anti-Christian controversies, probably dictated by the Bishop of Alexandria in the last years of his life to respond to the work Against the Galileans, composed many years earlier in 363 by the Emperor known as the “Apostate” for having abandoned the Christianity in which he was raised.st-cyril-of-alexandria-4

The Christian faith is first and foremost the encounter with Jesus, “a Person, which gives life a new horizon” (Deus Caritas Est, n. 1).   St Cyril of Alexandria was an unflagging, staunch witness of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, emphasising above all his unity, as he repeats in 433 in his first letter (PG 77, 228-237) to Bishop Succensus:  “Only one is the Son, only one the Lord Jesus Christ, both before the Incarnation and after the Incarnation.   Indeed, the Logos born of God the Father was not one Son and the one born of the Blessed Virgin another but we believe, that the very One who was born before the ages, was also born according to the flesh and of a woman”.   Over and above its doctrinal meaning, this assertion shows that faith in Jesus the Logos born of the Father is firmly rooted in history because, as St Cyril affirms, this same Jesus came in time with His birth from Mary, the Theotò-kos and in accordance with His promise will always be with us.

And this is important –  God is eternal, He is born of a woman and He stays with us every day.   In this trust we live, in this trust we find the way for our life…. Pope Benedict XVI

For more on St Cyril here : https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/saint-of-the-day-27-june-st-cyril-of-alexandria-doctor-father-of-the-church-the-pillar-of-faith-seal-of-all-the-fathers-doctor-incarnationis-doctor-of-the-incarnation/cyril in prague.jpg

 

 

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Mother of God of Gietrzwald, Poland and Memorials of the Saints – 27 June

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Mother of God of Gietrzwald, Poland

Details of the above two Marian Feasts here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/saints-memorials-and-feast-days-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-27-june/

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St Adeodato of Naples
St Aedh McLugack
St Anectus of Caesarea
St Arialdus of Milan
St Arianell of Wales
Bl Benvenutus of Gubbio
St Brogan
St Crescens of Galatia
St Crescentius of Mainz
Bl Daniel of Schönau
Bl Davanzato of Poggibonsi
St Desideratus of Gourdon
St Dimman
St Felix of Rome
St Ferdinand of Aragon
St Gudene of Carthage
St Joanna the Myrrhbearer
St John of Chinon
St Ladislas I of Hungary
St Sampson of Constantinople
St Spinella of Rome
St Tôma Toán
St Zoilus of Cordoba

Martyrs Killed Under Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe: Among the thousands of Christians murdered by various Communist regimes in their hatred of the faith, there were 25 members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and Russian Byzantine Catholic Church, priests, bishops, sisters and lay people, whose stories are sufficiently well documented that we know they were murdered specifically for their faith in eastern Europe and whose Causes for Canonization were opened. Their Causes were combined and they were beatified together. They have separate memorials but are remembered together today. They are –
• Andrii Ischak • Hryhorii Khomyshyn • Hryhorii Lakota • Ivan Sleziuk • Ivan Ziatyk • Klymentii Sheptytskyi • Leonid Feodorov • Levkadia Harasymiv • Mykola Konrad • Mykola Tsehelskyi • Mykolai Charnetskyi • Mykyta Budka • Oleksa Zarytskyi • Ol’Ha Bida • Ol’Ha Matskiv • Petro Verhun • Roman Lysko • Stepan Baranyk • Symeon Lukach • Vasyl Vsevolod Velychkovskyi • Volodomyr Bairak • Volodymyr Ivanovych Pryima • Yakym Senkivsky • Yosafat Kotsylovskyi • Zenon Kovalyk

Beatified – 27 June 2001 by Pope John Paul II in Ukraine