Thought for the Day – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Thought for the Day – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpersfourteen-holy-helpers-94abfebd-a22d-4068-8082-f47cdecef31-resize-750fourteen-holy-helpers-8d56c60e-abf4-4a22-b615-9fee194d603-resize-750

The Fourteen “Auxiliary Saints” or “Holy Helpers” are a group of saints invoked because they have been efficacious in assisting in trials and sufferings.   Each saint has a separate feast or memorial day and the group was collectively venerated on 8 August until the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, when the feast was dropped.   These saints were often represented together.   Popular devotion to these saints often began in some monastery that held their relics.   All of the saints except Giles were martyrs.   Devotion to some of the saints, such as St George, St Margaret, St Christopher, St Barbara and St Catherine became so widespread that customs and festivals still are popular today.

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are invoked as a group mainly because of the Black Plague which devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349.   Among its symptoms were the black tongue, a parched throat, violent headache, fever and boils on the abdomen.   The victims were attacked without warning, robbing them of their reason and killed within a few hours;  many died without the last Sacraments.   No one was immune and the disease wreaked havoc in villages and family circles.   The epidemic appeared incurable. The pious turned to Heaven, begging the intervention of the saints, praying to be spared or cured.   Each of these fourteen saints had been efficacious in interceding in some aspect for the stricken during the Black Plague.   The dates are the traditional feast days; not all the saints are on the Universal Roman Calendar.the fourteen holy helpers - infographic - from wikepeida my image - 25 july 2018Fourteen Holy Helpers


The Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (also Basilika Vierzehnheiligen) is a church located near the town of Bad Staffelstein near Bamberg, in Bavaria, southern Germany. The late Baroque-Rococo basilica, designed by Balthasar Neumann, was constructed between 1743 and 1772.


The altar depicts statues of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

The Legend of Building the Basilica
On 24 September 1445, Hermann Leicht, the young shepherd of a nearby Franciscan monastery, saw a crying child in a field that belonged to the nearby Cistercian monastery of Langheim  . As he bent down to pick up the child, it abruptly disappeared.   A short time later, the child reappeared in the same spot.   This time, two candles were burning next to it.   In June 1446, the Leicht saw the child a third time.   This time, the child bore a red cross on its chest and was accompanied by thirteen other children.   The child said: “We are the fourteen helpers and wish to erect a chapel here, where we can rest.   If you will be our servant, we will be yours!”   Shortly after, Leicht saw two burning candles descending to this spot.   It is alleged that miraculous healings soon began, through the intervention of the fourteen saints.

The Cistercian brothers to whom the land belonged erected a chapel, which immediately attracted pilgrims.   An altar was consecrated as early as 1448.   Pilgrimages to the Vierzehnheiligen continue to the present day between May and October.Holy Helpers triptych - anon

One of the most famous group depictions of the “Fourteen Saints” is a 1503 altarpiece by Matthias Grünewald for the monastery in Lichtenfels in Upper Franconia, unfortunately, I cannot find a complete image of this, below are Panels one and two.

The “fourteen angels” of the lost children’s prayer in the Composer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s (1854-1921) fairy opera, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, are the Fourteen Holy Helpers.   The English words are familiar and very beautiful:

When at night I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels watch do keep,
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two upon my right hand,
Two upon my left hand.
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to heaven.

I will pray daily, to the Fourteen Holy Helpers, to Pray for us all, for the world is indeed suffering from a ‘Plague’ of a new kind!

Prayer to the Fourteen Holy Helpers
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church

Great princes of heaven, Holy Helpers,
who sacrificed to God all your earthly possessions,
wealth, preferment and even life
and who now are crowned in heaven
in the secure enjoyment of eternal bliss and glory;
have compassion on me,
a poor sinner in this vale of tears
and obtain for me from God,
for Whom you gave up all things
and Who loves you as His servants,
the strength to bear patiently all the trials of this life,
to overcome all temptations
and to persevere in God’s service to the end,
that one day I too may be received into your company,
to praise and glorify Him, the supreme Lord,
Whose beatific vision you enjoy
and Whom you praise and glorify forever.
Amenprayer to the 14 holy helpers by st alphonsus - 25 july 2018

14 holy helpers - pay for us - 25 july 2018



Quote of the day -25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle of Christ

Quote of the day -25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle of Christ

Since the ninth century Spain has claimed the honour of possessing St James relics, though it must be said that actual proof is far less in evidence than the devotion of the faithful.    The pilgrimage to St James/Santiago of Compostela in the Middle Ages attracted immense crowds,after the pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land, it was the most famous and the most frequented pilgrimage in Christendom.   The pilgrim paths to Compostela form a network over Europe; they are dotted with pilgrims’ hospices and chapels.   Santiago de Compostela, is the third largest shrine in all of Christendom.

“To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another,
from one city to another,
in the area marked especially by God’s intervention,
helps us not only to live our life as a journey
but also gives us a vivid sense of a God,
who has gone before us and leads us on,
who Himself set out on man’s path,
a God who does not look down on us from on high
but who became our travelling companion.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)to go in a spirit of prayer - st john paul on pilgrimages - 25 july 2018


One Minute Reflection – 25 July – The Memorial of St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 20:20–28

One Minute Reflection – 25 July – The Memorial of St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 20:20–28

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.   Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”   They said to him, “We can.”……Matthew 20:28matthew-20-28- 25 july 2017

REFLECTION – “Through their mother’s mediation, the sons of Zebedee press Christ as follows in the presence of their fellow apostles:  “Command that we may sit, one at your right side and one at your left” (cf. Mk 10:35f.)… Christ hastens to free them from their illusions, telling them they must be prepared to suffer insults, persecutions, even death. “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink?” Let no one be surprised to see the apostles displaying such imperfect dispositions.   Wait until the mystery of the cross has been fulfilled and the strength of the Holy Spirit given to them.   If you want to see the strength of their souls, take a look at them later on and you will see them to be above all human weakness.   Christ does not conceal their pettiness so you will be able to see what they become later on by the power of the grace that will transform them…”… St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

“…we can learn much from St James:   promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when He asks us to leave the “boat” of our human securities, enthusiasm in following Him on the paths that He indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to Him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life.   Thus James the Greater stands before us, as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ.   He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in His Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles.”…Pope Benedict XVI – General Audience, 21 June 2006we can learn much from st james - pope benedict - 25 july 2018

PRAYER – Lord our God, You accepted the sacrifice of St James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake.   May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us! Amenst-james-pray-for-us-25-july 2017


Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)

Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)

The Christopher Prayer

Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ bearers,
that in seeing us
only He is visible.
Amenthe christopher prayer - written by me - 25 july 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Blessed Antonio Lucci O.F.M.Conv. (1682-1752)

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Blessed Antonio Lucci O.F.M.Conv. (1682-1752)  Bishop of Bovino, Franciscan Friar, Theologian, Professor, Writer, Apostle of Charity and Marian devotee – he was born as  Angelo Nicola Lucci on 2 August 1681 in Agnone, Isernia, kingdom of Sicily (in modern Italy) as Angelo Nicola Lucci and died on 25 July 1752 in Bovino, Foggia, Italy of natural antonio lucci - reworked

Blessed Angelo Nicola Lucci was born on 2 August 1682 to the cobbler and coppersmith Francesco Lucci and Angela Paolantonio.   He attended the local school that the Order of Friars Minor Conventual managed and later joined them in 1698.   Lucci made his solemn profession in 1698 in the religious name of “Antonio”.   He completed his studies for the priesthood in Assisi where he was ordained in 1705.   He studied rhetoric and philosophical studies before completing higher theological studies and then further studies led to a doctorate in theology.   He was appointed as a professor in Agnone as well as at the Franciscan school in Ravello (from 1709 to 1712) and at the Franciscan school of San Lorenzo in Naples (from 1713 to 1718).   He also served as Chaplain of the convent in Naples.

Lucci was elected as the Minister Provincial in 1718 and held that post until 1719;  in 1719 he was appointed as a professor at St Bonaventure College in Rome and remained there until his appointment to the episcopate.   In 1725 he received instructions from Pope Benedict XIII to write against Jansenism.   It was rumoured that Pope Benedict XIII would appoint him as a cardinal but the Holy Fatber instead had decided to name him as the Bishop of Bovino in 1729 and explained of the appointment:  “I have chosen as Bishop of Bovino an eminent theologian and a great saint”.   Pope Benedict XIII himself, conferred episcopal consecration upon Lucci in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

He served his diocese the remaining 23 years of his life.   Known for his charity to the poor (he gave away most of his personal income) and the creation of schools and catechism classes for the young and the poor, theological and training in public speaking for priests, all of whom had been much neglected in a tiny diocese beset with political problems.   He travelled through the diocese, re-equipped and repaired churches, enforced discipline on his clergy who had fallen into worldly ways, raised the standards and revitalised the liturgy and parish life throughout his see and even visited hermits to ensure that their lives were in line with Church teachings.   His reforms were opposed by local lords and princes who had fostered and who benefited from the lax and worldly ways of the priests and people, who wanted to control appointments of clergy and offices and who tried to treat Church property as their own.   Bishop Antonio fought them at every step, always defending the poor and outcast and the rights of the Church and ignoring their demands for the appointment of friends and followers to positions that he filled with more qualified candidates.    He restored the cathedral, which had fallen into disrepair and supported a resumption of devotions.

Somewhere along the way he managed to write Manual of Theology which was used as a standard textbook for many years and in 1740 a book about the saints and beati from the first 200 years of the Franciscan Conventuals.

Lucci studied with and was a close friend of Saint Francis Fasani (1681-1742) who – after Lucci’s death – testified on 29 November 1742 at the diocesan hearings regarding the holiness of Lucci’s life.  He and Fasani were both ordained as priests together and were great and lifelong friends.   aint Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori (1696-1787) wrote of Lucci and heaped great praise upon him.

Lucci died in the morning of 25 July 1752 due to a high fever and his remains were interred in the Bovino Cathedral, which is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.   It was formerly the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Bovino but since 1986 a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Foggia-Bovino and was granted the status of a minor basilica in 1970.

Bovino Minor Basilica

His Beatification cause commenced under Pope Clement XIII on 5 December 1764 and Lucci became titled as a Servant of God while Pope Pius IX confirmed that Lucci had lived a model life of heroic virtue and so named him as Venerable on 13 June 1847.   The informative process for the miracle needed for beatification spanned from 1779 until 1780 and received validation in Rome on 10 September 1782 before a medical board met and approved this miracle two centuries later on 3 February 1988.   Theologians approved the miracle on 7 July 1988 as did the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 8 November 1988.   St Pope John Paul II approved this miracle on 28 November 1988 and beatified Blessed Antonio Lucci on 18 June 1989 in Saint Peter’s Square.   The current postulator for this cause is Fra Angelo antonio lucci - my enlgmnt


Feast of St James the Greater and memorials of the Saints – 25 July

St James the Greater (Feast) – Son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of Saint John the Apostle.   He is called “the Greater” simply because he became an Apostle before Saint James the Lesser.

All about him here:

Bl Alexius Worstius
Bl Antonio Lucci O.F.M.Conv. (1682-1752) Bishop of Bovino

Bl Antonio of Olmedo
St Bantu of Trier
St Beatus of Trier
St Christopher
St Cugat del Valles
Bl Darío Acosta Zurita
St Ebrulfus
St Euphrasia
St Fagildo of Santiago
St Felix of Furcona
St Florentius of Furcona
St Glodesind of Metz
St Magnericus of Trier
Bl Michel-Louis Brulard
Bl Mieczyslawa Kowalska
St Mordeyren
St Nissen of Wexford
St Olympiad of Constantinople
St Paul of Palestine
Bl Pietro Corradini of Mogliano
St Theodemir of Cordoba

Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the pesecutions of emperor Maximilian and governor Firmilian – Paul, Tea and Valentina. 309 in Caesarea, Palestine.

Martyrs of Cuncolim – 20 saints: On 15 July 1583 the group met at the church of Orlim, and hiked to Cuncolim to erect a cross and choose land for a new church. Local anti-Christian pagans, seeing the unarmed Christians, gathered their weapons and marched on them. One of the parishioners, a Portuguese emigre named Gonçalo Rodrigues, carried a firearm, but Father Alphonsus Pacheco stopped him from using it. The pagans then fell upon them, and killed them all without mercy. They were –
• Alphonsus Pacheco
• Alphonsus the altar boy
• Anthony Francis
• Dominic of Cuncolim
• Francis Aranha
• Francis Rodrigues
• Gonçalo Rodrigues
• Paul da Costa
• Peter Berno
• Rudolph Acquaviva
• ten other native Christian converts whose names have not come down to us
They were martyred on Monday 25 July 1583 at the village of Cuncolim, district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India. Beatified on 30 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.

Martyrs of Furci:

Martyrs of Motril – 5 beati: Four priests and a brother, all members of the Augustinian Recollects, who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Deogracias Palacios del Río
• José Rada Royo
• José Ricardo Díez Rodríguez
• Julián Benigno Moreno y Moreno
• León Inchausti Minteguía
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Motril, Granada, Spain and Beatified on 7 March 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Toledo – 4 beati: Four brothers and a priest, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Carlos Rubio álvarez
• Eloy Francisco Felipe Delgado Pastor
• Jerónimo Ochoa Urdangarín
• Primo Martínez De San Vicente Castillo
25 July 1936 in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain. They were Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Urda – 3 beati: Three members of the Passionists who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Benito Solana Ruiz
• Felix Ugalde Irurzun
• Pedro Largo Redondo
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Urdá, Toledo, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Antonio Varona Ortega
Bl Dionisio Pamplona-Polo
Enric Morante Chic
Higinio Roldán Iriberri
Jaume Balcells Grau
Jesús Eduard Massanet Flaquer
Jesús Juan Otero
José López Tascón
José Luis Palacio Muñiz
Josep Bardolet Compte
Josep Más Pujolrás
Juan Crespo Calleja
Bl Miquel Peiro Victori
Ricard Farré Masip
Santos López Martinez
Vicente Fernández Castrillo