Our Morning Offering – 27 July

Our Morning Offering – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Above All That is Not You
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

O most loving Jesus,
give me this special grace to rest in You
above all created things,
above all health and beauty,
above all glory and honour,
above all dignity and power,
above all knowledge and prudence,
above all riches and talents,
above all joy and gladness,
above all fame and praise,
above all sweetness and consolation,
above all hope and promise,
above all merit and desire,
above all gifts and rewards
that You may give or send –
except Yourself –
above all joy or happiness
that the human mind and heart
can grasp or feel,
above all Angels and Archangels,
above all the heavenly hosts as well,
above all things visible and invisible
and above all that is not You,
my God.
Ameno most loving jesus - above all that is not you - thomas a kempis - 27 july 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – St Pope Celestine I (died 432)

Saint of the Day – St Pope Celestine I (died 432), called “the Heresy Fighter.”     Much is unknown about Celestine, including his birthday.   But his reign as Pope – from 422 to his death in 432 – is credited with many achievements.celestine 1 - my edit

Celestine I was a Roman from the region of Campania.   Nothing is known of his early history except that his father’s name was Priscus.   According to John Gilmary Shea, Celestine was a relative of the emperor Valentinian.   He appears to have spent some time in Milan, living with the city’s bishop, St Ambrose (340-397).   St Augustine (354-430) (a protégé of Ambrose) seems to have been good friends with Celestine.   Certainly, Celestine sided with St Augustine against the Donatists and Semipelagians.
The first known record of him is in a document of Pope Innocent I from the year 416, where he is spoken of as “Celestine the Deacon”.

Various portions of the liturgy are attributed to him but without any certainty on the subject.   In 430, he held a synod in Rome, at which the teachings of Nestorius were condemned.   The following year, he sent delegates to the First Council of Ephesus, which addressed the same issue.   Four letters written by him on that occasion, all dated 15 March 431, together with a few others, to the African bishops, to those of Illyria, of Thessalonica and of Narbonne, are extant in re-translations from the Greek;  the Latin originals having been lost.celestine 3 - my edit

St Celestine actively condemned the Pelagians and was zealous for Roman orthodoxy.   To this end he was involved in the initiative of the Gallic bishops to send Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes travelling to Britain in 429 to confront bishops reportedly holding Pelagian views.

He sent Palladius to Ireland to serve as a bishop in 431. Bishop Patricius (Saint Patrick) continued this missionary work. Pope Celestine strongly opposed the Novatians in Rome; as Socrates Scholasticus writes, “this Celestinus took away the churches from the Novatians at Rome also and obliged Rusticula their bishop to hold his meetings secretly in private houses.”   He was zealous in refusing to tolerate the smallest innovation on the constitutions of his predecessors. As St Vincent of Lerins reported in 434:

Holy Pope Celestine also expresses himself in like manner and to the same effect.   For in the Epistle which he wrote to the priests of Gaul, charging them with connivance with error, in that by their silence they failed in their duty to the ancient faith, and allowed profane novelties to spring up, he says: “We are deservedly to blame if we encourage error by silence.    Therefore rebuke these people.    Restrain their liberty of preaching.”
In a letter to certain bishops of Gaul, dated 428, St Celestine rebukes the adoption of special clerical garb by the clergy.   He wrote: “We [the bishops and clergy] should be distinguished from the common people [plebe] by our learning, not by our clothes;  by our conduct, not by our dress;  by cleanness of mind, not by the care we spend upon our person”.

The 5th century was something of a boom time for heresy.   Celestine also had to confront Manicheans, Novatians and, above all, Nestorians.   He commissioned St Cyril of Alexandria to look into Nestorianism, which taught that Christ had two persons and denied that Mary was the Mother of God.   Having determined that this was heretical, the Pope deposed Nestorius, restoring faithful Catholics whom Nestorius had excommunicated.

St Celestine died on 26 July 432.   He was buried in the cemetery of St Priscilla in the Via Salaria but his body, subsequently moved, now lies in the Basilica di Santa Prassede.

In art, Saint Celestine is portrayed as a Pope with a dove, dragon, and flame.celestine 2 - my edit

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 27 July

St Aetherius of Auxerre
St Anthusa of Constantinople
St Arethas
St Aurelius of Cordoba
Bl Berthold of Garsten
St Pope Celestine I (Died 432)

St Ecclesius of Ravenna
Bl Felipe Hernández Martínez
St Felix of Cordoba
St Galactorio of Lescar
St George of Cordoba
St Hermippus
St Hermocrates
St Hermolaus
Bl Jaime Ortiz Alzueta
Bl Joaquín Vilanova Camallonga
Bl José María Ruiz Cano
St Juliana of Mataró
St Lillian of Cordoba
Bl Lucy Bufalari
St Luican
Bl Maria Grazia Tarallo
Bl Maria Klemensa Staszewska
Bl Mary Magdelene Martinengo
St Maurus of Bisceglia
Bl Modesto Vegas y Vegas
St Natalia of Cordoba
Bl Nevolone of Tavenisa
St Pantaleimon
St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr
Bl Rudolf Aquaviva S.J.
Bl Robert Sutton
St Semproniana of Mataró
St Sergius of Bisceglia
Bl William Davies
Bl Zacarías Abadía Buesa

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together.   The only other information to survive are their names – Felix, Jucunda and Julia. Nicomedia, Asia Minor.

Seven Sleepers of Ephesus:  A group of seven young Christian men who hid in a cave in hopes of avoiding the persecution of Decius in the year 250.   Found and arrested, they were ordered by the pro-consul in Ephesus to renounce their faith; they refused and were sentenced to die.   Legend says that they were walled up in their hiding cave, guarded by the dog Al Rakim; when the cave wall was breached in 479 – they all woke up!
It is likely that the youths were tortured to death in various ways and buried in the cave. The resurrection story confusion came from the phrase “went to sleep in the Lord” which was used to describe the death of Christians and 479 is when their relics were discovered.   Their names were Constantinus, Dionysius, Joannes, Malchus, Martinianus, Maximianus and Serapion.   They were martyred in 250 in Ephesus (in modern Turkey); tradition says that they were walled up in a cave to suffocate but other records indicate that they were tortured to death in various ways.   Their relics discovered in 479 and translated to Marseilles, France and enshrined in a large stone coffin.


Thought for the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Thought for the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Titus’ teachings on peace and forgiveness were probably put to the most radical test during his seven months as a prisoner of the Nazis.   He was subjected, not only to loss of freedom and appalling prison conditions but to brutal mistreatment by his captors, including medical experimentation.   Two particular incidents stand out as concrete examples of his response to these extreme conditions of suffering.
Once, another Dutch prisoner challenged him about his admonition that the prisoners should pray for their Nazi captors.   How could they be expected to do that, the other Dutchman asked, when they were being mishandled and terrorised by the guards?   With typical humour and realism, Titus replied, “You don’t have to pray for them the whole day!   The good Lord will be happy with one prayer”.
Always lovingly cognisant of the gap between the human ideal and the reality of human limitations, Titus counselled a practical, achievable goal.
Secondly, the nurse, who administered the fatal injection in the “hospital” at Dachau, testified at his beatification process that he had given her his rosary at the end and said “What an unfortunate girl you are.   I shall pray for you”.   His response, the nurse said, was instrumental in bringing her back to the practice of her faith (she was a Catholic).

Question for contemplation:   Who are the persons in my life that I see as equivalent to Titus’ Nazi captors and how can I find realistic ways to be more accepting of them as human beings?

Blessed Titus Brandsma, Pray for us!bl titus brandsma pray for us - 26 july 2018

On 13 December 2017 an event took place in the United States of America that may take the cause of Carmelite martyr Blessed Titus Brandsma a step closer to canonisation.

The Bishop of Palm Beach Diocese in Florida, Bishop Gerald Barbarito and other officials signed, witnessed and sealed, the papers relating to an investigation of a medically unexplained healing attributed to God through the intercession of Blessed Titus.
The recipient of this grace is Father Michael Driscoll, a Carmelite friar working in Palm Beach Diocese.   In 2004 he was diagnosed with a severe stage of metastatic melanoma cancer that was attacking his neck area behind the ear and spreading to other parts of his body. Some areas of the cancer were in the critical fourth and fifth stages.   A sincere devotee of Blessed Titus, Father Michael prayed to God for healing through the intercession of the Carmelite martyr and his prayers were joined by fellow Carmelites, parishioners, friends and family.   Undergoing more than 30 treatments including surgery, Father Michael said with determination, “I am okay because Titus is going to take care of me.”
On 13 December the diocese held the Official Closing Session of its investigation into the alleged miraculous healing.   After a period of prayer, the papers were signed, witnessed, sealed and then sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.   If the case is deemed to be a credible miracle and Pope Francis approves, the canonisation of Titus Brandsma will be declared. ( – with pics)

Prayer for the Canonisation
of Blessed Titus Brandsma

Loving God, Your servant, Titus Brandsma,
laboured zealously in Your vineyard
and gave his life freely because of his faith in You.
Through his intercession I ask for Your mercy and help.
Father, Titus never refused,
when he was asked for help by Your people.
By his intercession, I come to You with my needs:
(mention requests)
Lord, help me always to imitate the great faith,
generous love and burning zeal of Titus Brandsma.
Glorify Your servant as he wished to glorify You.
Mary, Mother of Carmel, pray for us.
Titus Brandsma, Carmelite and Martyr, pray for us.
Amen.prayer for the canonisation of bl titus brandsma - 26 july 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

“He who wants to win the world for Christ
must have the courage,
to come in conflict with it.”he who wants to win the world for christ - bl titus brandsma - 2 june 2018

I am awestruck by Blessed Titus, who despite his ghastly sufferings, exclaimed:

“I see God in the work of His hands
and the marks of His love
in every visible thing.”

“Not my will but yours be done!” (what Blessed Titus would shout during torture and medical experiments)

++++++++++++++++++++i see god in the work of his hands - not my will but yours be done - bl titus brandsma - 26 july 2018

“My vocation to the Church and to the priesthood
brought me so many grand and beautiful things
that I willingly accept something unpleasant in return for it.
I repeat in complete agreement with Job:
We have received good things at the hand of God,
why should we not receive
the evil He sends us in His Providence?”

Bl Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) Martyrmy vocation to the church - bl titus - 26 july 2018


One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

One Minute Reflection – 26 July – The Memorial of Sts Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgina nd Grandparents of Jesus

How wonderful is God among his saints;  come, let us adore him…..Psalm 94how wonderful is godamong his saints - psalm 94 - 26 july 2018

REFLECTION – “Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple!   All creation is indebted to you.   For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts:  a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of Him.   Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple!   You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says:  “By their fruits you will know them.”   The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your daughter.   For by the chaste and holy life you led together, you have fashioned a jewel of virginity:  she who remained a virgin before, during and after giving birth  . She alone for all time would maintain her virginity in mind and soul as well as in body.   Joachim and Anne, how chaste a couple!   While leading a devout and holy life in your human nature, you gave birth to a daughter nobler than the angels, whose queen she now is.” – from a sermon by Saint John Damascene (675-749) – Doctor of the Churchjoachim-and-anne-st-john-damascene- 26 july 2017

PRAYER – O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. 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.   Sts Joachim and Anne, pray for us!  Amensts-anne-and-joachim-pray-for-us- 26 july 2017


Our Morning Offering – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Our Morning Offering – 26 July – The Memorial of Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Prayer Before Jesus Crucified
By Blessed Titus Brandsma
(1881-1942) Martyr

Dear Lord, when looking up at Thee,
I see Thy loving eyes on me,
Love overflows my humble heart,
Knowing what a faithful friend Thy art.
A cup of sorrow I foresee,
Which I accept for love of Thee,
Thy painful way I wish to go,
The only way to God I know.
My soul is full of peace and light,
Although in pain, this light shines bright.
For here Thou keep to Thou breast.
My longing heart to find there rest.
Leave me here freely all alone,
In cell where never sunlight shone.
Should no one ever speak to me,
This golden silence makes me free!
For though alone, I have no fear,
Never wert Thou, O Lord, so near.
Sweet Jesus, please, abide with me!
My deepest peace I find in Thee.
Amenprayer before jesus crucified - bl titus brandsma no 2- 26 july 2018


Saint of the Day – 26 July – Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

Saint of the Day – 26 July – Blessed Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith – Carmelite Religious Priest, Mystic, Philosopher, Lecturer, Writer, Editor, Preacher, Linguist, Social Activist – born Anno Sjoerd Brandsma on 23 February 1881 at Oegeklooster, Friesland, Netherlands and was martyred on 26 July 1942 by lethal injection in the concentration camp at Dachau, Bavaria, Germany.   His executioner was a nurse who had been raised Catholic but left the Church.   His body was cremated and no relics remain.Bl titus - mini collage - no 2 - 26 july 2018

Bl Titus’ parents, who ran a small dairy farm, were devout and committed Catholics, a minority in a predominantly-Calvinist region.   With the exception of one daughter, all of their children entered religious orders.   As a young boy, Brandsma did his secondary studies in the town of Megen, at a Franciscan-run minor seminary for boys considering a priestly or religious vocation, commonly known as a “Seminary Minor.”   He entered the novitiate of the Carmelite friars in Boxmeer on 17 September 1898, where he took the religious name Titus (in honour of his father) by which he is now known.   He professed his first vows in October 1899 and was Ordained a priest in 190.   Brandsma was knowledgeable in Carmelite mysticism and was awarded a doctorate of philosophy at Rome in 1909.   He then taught in various schools in the Netherlands.   From 1916 on, he initiated and led a project to translate the works of St Teresa of Ávila into Dutch.Blessed Titus Brandsma

One of the founders of the Catholic University of Nijmegen (now Radboud University), Brandsma became a professor of philosophy and the history of mysticism at the school in 1923.   He later served as Rector Magnificus.   He was noted for his constant availability to everyone, rather than for his scholarly work as a professor.   Brandsma also worked as a journalist and was the ecclesiastical adviser to Catholic journalists by 1935.   That same year he did a lecture tour of the United States, speaking at various institutions of his Order.


After the invasion of the Netherlands by the Third Reich in May 1940, it was Brandsma’s fight against the spread of Nazi ideology and for educational and press freedom that brought him to the attention of the Nazis.   In January 1942 he undertook to deliver by hand a letter from the Conference of Dutch Bishops to the editors of Catholic newspapers in which the bishops ordered them not to print official Nazi documents, as was required under a new law by the German occupiers.   He had visited 14 editors before being arrested on the 19th of that month at the Boxmeer - titus

After being held prisoner in Scheveningen, Amersfoort and Cleves, Brandsma was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp, arriving there on 19 June.   His health quickly gave way and he was transferred to the camp hospital.   He died on 26 July 1942, from a lethal injection administered by a nurse of the Allgemeine SS, as part of their program of medical experimentation on the prisoners.

In 1921 Brandsma worked to resolve a controversy concerning Belgian artist Albert Servaes’ depiction of the Stations of the Cross.   From this came his series of meditations on each of the 14 stations, though he never finished the 14th Station as he wrote them whilst in Dachau and was executed before completing them.

He was beatified in November 1985 by Pope John Paul II.   His feast day is observed within the universal Church today and within the Carmelite Order on 27 July.tito brandsma (2)

In 2005 Brandsma was chosen by the inhabitants of Nijmegen as the greatest citizen to have lived there. A memorial church now stands in the city dedicated to him.980px-Nijmegen,_Titus_Brandsma_Gedachteniskerk-2

Brandsma’s studies on mysticism was the basis for the establishment in 1968 of the Titus Brandsma Institute in Nijmegen, dedicated to the study of spirituality.   It is a collaboration between the Dutch Carmelite friars and Radboud University Nijmegen. Brandsma was honoured by the city of Dachau with a street adjoining the former camp.

Statue of Titus Brandsma on the grounds of Radboud University, Nijmegen
Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 26 July

Sts Anne & St Joachim (Memorial) – Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandparents of Jesus

Bl Andrew the Catechist
St Austindus of Auch
St Bartholomea Capitanio
St Benigno of Malcestine
Bl Camilla Gentili
St Charus of Malcestine
Bl Edward Thwing
Bl Élisabeth-Thérèse de Consolin
St Erastus
Bl Évangéliste of Verona
St Exuperia the Martyr
Bl George Swallowell
St Gérontios
Bl Giuseppina Maria de Micheli
St Gothalm
St Hyacinth
Bl Jacques Netsetov
Bl John Ingram
St Joris
Bl Marcel-Gaucher Labiche de Reignefort
Bl Marie-Claire du Bac
Bl Marie-Madeleine Justamond
Bl Marie-Marguerite Bonnet
St Olympius the Tribune
St Parasceva of Rome
St Pastor of Rome
Bl Pérégrin of Verona
Bl Pierre-Joseph le Groing de la Romagère
Bl Robert Nutter
St Simeon of Padolirone
St Symphronius the Slave
St Theodulus the Martyr
St Titus Brandsma O.C.D. (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

St Valens of Verona
Bl William Ward

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Aleix Miquel Rossell
Bl Amancio Marín Mínguez
Bl Antoni Jaume Secases
Bl Josep Maria Jordá i Jordá
Bl Josep Masquef Ferré
Bl Manuel Martín Sierra
Bl Miquel Vilatimó Costa
Bl Pau Roselló Borgueres
Bl Santiago Altolaguirre y Altolaguirre
Bl Vicente Pinilla Ibáñez


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

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

Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Memorial of St Charbel Makhluf

Thought for the Day – 24 July – The Memorial of St Charbel Makhluf

Joseph Makhluf was born in 1828 at Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon.   His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.

At the age of 23, Charbel (the name he chose when entering Novitiate) left his closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and profession at St Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.

For the next seven years, Charbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya.   After that he spent the next twenty-three years in complete solitude at Sts Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya.   He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.

Charbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience and chastity.   At times, Charbel was gifted with levitations during prayer and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In all things, Charbel maintained perfect serenity.   He was beatified in 1965 by Blessed Pope Paul VI and canonised by him in 1977.

The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people.   His miracles include numerous healings of the body and of the spirit.   Thomas Merton, the American Hermit, wrote in his journal:  “Charbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon—he was a Maronite.   He died.   Everyone forgot about him.   Fifty years later, his body was discovered incorrupt and in short time he worked over 600 miracles.   He is my new companion.   My road has taken a new turning.   It seems to me that I have been asleep for 9 years—and before that I was dead.”

At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on 5 December 1965 when St Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI, he said:

“…a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed…a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people… May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance, and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God…”

St Charbel Makhluf, Pray for us!

The Chaplet of St Charbel here:
And listen to this special song too:

and the lyrics here: charbel makhluf pray for us - 24 july 2018


Quote of the Day – 24 July – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

Quote of the Day – 24 July – Tuesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven,
is my brother and sister and mother.”…Matthew 12:50

It is a matter of real sorrow when God has given us strength to break stronger fetters, those of vanity and sin, that we neglect our own progress and the attainment of such great blessings, because we will not detach ourselves from trifles.
Not only do we not advance, we fall back.
For it is well known, that on the spiritual road, not to go on overcoming self, is to go backwards and not to increase our gain, is to lose.
As wood can never be transformed into fire, if one necessary degree of heat is missing, so the soul, that has even one imperfection, can never be perfectly transformed in God.

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchas wood can never be transformed - st john of the cross - 24 july 2018 - in regard to matthew 12 50

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

One Minute Reflection – 24 July 2018 – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

One Minute Reflection – 24 July 2018 – Tuesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50 and the Memorial of St Charbel Makhluf (1828-1898)

“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, is my brother and sister and mother.”…Matthew 12:50

REFLECTION – “His mother is the whole Church, since it is she, who, by God’s grace, gives birth to Christ’s members, that is to say, those who are faithful to Him.   Again, His mother is every holy soul who does the Father’s will and whose fruitful charity is made known in those, to whom she gives birth for Him, “until he has been formed in them” (cf Gal 4:19)…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorfor whoever does the will of my father - matthew 12 50 - his mother is the whole church - st augustine - 24 july 2018

PRAYER – Almighty Father, You made us Your children, You called us from all ages and You formed us by Holy Mother Church.   Grant, we pray, that by Your grace, we may be ever faithful to her and be guided by Your Holy Spirit of love.   O God may Your holy Saint Charbel Makhluf intercede for us that, being made imitators of the Lord’s Passion, we may merit to be co-heirs of His Kingdom.   Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, 24 july 2017(1)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Our Morning Offering – 24 July

Our Morning Offering – 24 July

Morning Prayer to the Holy Spirit
By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor

Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
enlighten our minds
to perceive the mysteries
of the universe in relation to eternity.
Spirit of right judgment and courage,
guide us and make us firm
in our baptismal decision
to follow Jesus’ way of love.
Spirit of knowledge and reverence,
help us to see the lasting value
of justice and mercy
in our everyday dealings
with one another.
May we respect life
as we work to solve problems
of family and nation,
economy and ecology.
Spirit of God,
spark our faith, hope and love
into new action each day.
Fill our lives with wonder and awe
in Your presence
which penetrates all creation.
Amenspirit of wisdom and understanding - morning prayer to the holy spirit - st augustine - 24 july 2018


Saint of the Day – 24 July – Bl Cristobal of St Catherine T.O.S.F. (1638-1690)

Saint of the Day – 24 July – Bl Cristobal of St Catherine T.O.S.F. (1638-1690) Priest, Founder of the Franciscan Hospitallers of Jesus of Nazareth, Franciscan Tertiary – born Cristóbal López de Valladolid Orea on 25 July 1638 at 8 Calle Baños, Mérida, Badajoz, Spain and died on 21 July 1690 in Córdoba, Spain of cholera.   Patronage – the Franciscan Hospitallers of Jesus of cristobel of st catherine

Cristóbal López de Valladolid Orea was born in 1638 as the son of poor labourers (he had five brothers) and was baptised in the church of Santa Eulalia.   In either 1645 or 1646 he fled from his home in an effort to join the Order of Friars Minor but he soon returned home after his worried mother sent his brothers to bring him home.   He served as an altar server and worked as a nurse in a hospital that the Order of Saint John of God managed.

bl cristobal - improved and enlarged

He was ordained to the priesthood on 20 March 1663 in Badajoz and after was made a chaplain to armed services fighting in Portugal though he had to return home after falling ill.   In 1667 he retired to a hermitage in the mountains of El Bañuelo but his desire to follow the Rule and the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi prompted him to pursue the Franciscan charism in a concrete manner.   It was for this reason he became a professed member of the Third Order of Saint Francis in 1671 and he assumed the religious name of “Cristóbal of Saint Catherine”.   He established the Franciscan Hospitallers of Jesus of Nazareth in Córdoba on 11 February 1673 which pushed the boundaries of a range of both religious and social cristobal - my video snip

He died in 1690 clutching a Crucifix, a victim of the cholera epidemic in which he tended to the victims.    It was said not long after his death, several miracles were attributed to his direct intercession.   His order received papal approval from Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.

The cause of beatification commenced on 27 June 1770 under Pope Clement XIV and the late priest was declared a Servant of God.   Pope Benedict XVI declared him to have lived a life of heroic virtue on 28 June 2012 and named him Venerable.

On 20 December 2012 the pope approved a decree that recognised a miracle attributed to his intercession which would allow for him to be beatified.   The beatification was held on 7 April 2013 and Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the celebration on the behalf of Pope cristobal of st catherine - pray for us - 24 july 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 24 July

St Charbel Makhluf O.L.M. (1828-1898) (Optional Memorial)

St Aliprandus of Pavia
St Antinogenes of Merida
St Aquilina the Martyr
St Arnulf of Gruyere
Bl Balduino of Rieti
St Boris of Kiev
St Capito
St Christiana
St Christina of Bolsena
St Christina of Tyre
St Christina the Astonishing
Bl Cristobal of St Catherine T.O.S.F. (1638-1690)

St Cyriacus of Ziganeus
St Declan of Ardmore
Bl Diego Martinez
Bl Donatus of Urbino
Bl Giovanni Tavalli
St Gleb
Bl Godo of Oye
St John Boste
Bl Joseph Fernandez
Bl Joseph Lambton
Bl Juan Solorzano
St Kinga
St Lewina of Seaford
Bl Louise of Savoy
Bl Menefrida
St Meneus
St Niceta
Bl Nicholas Garlick
Bl Paulus Yi Do-gi
Bl Pierre de Barellis
St Rainofle
Bl Richard Simpson
Bl Robert Ludlam
Rufinus of Mercia
St Sigolena of Trocar
St Stercatius of Merida
St Ursicinus of Sens
St Victor of Merida
St Victorinus of Amiterno
St Vincent of Rome
St Wulfhad of Mercia

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Cándido Castán San José
Bl Cecilio Vega Domínguez
St Ignacio González Calzada
St Jaime Gascón Bordas
Bl José Joaquín Esnaola Urteaga
Bl José Máximo Moro Briz
St Josep Guillamí Rodo
St Marcos Morón Casas
Bl Maria Angeles of Saint Joseph
Bl Maria Mercedes Prat
Bl Maria Pilar of Saint Francis Borgia
Bl Teresa of the Child Jesus and of Saint John of the Cross
St Xavier Bordas Piferrer

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

Thought for the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

The gift of mystical prayer, an experience of a special union with God in love, was given to Bridget.   She often had visions of Christ’s passion.   However, Bridget was also very practical in living out the Gospel.

After her husband’s death, Bridget founded an order of nuns known as the Bridgetines, who contributed to the culture of Scandinavia.   She showed loving concern for people who were poor and sick and many people came to her for help.   Bridget made pilgrimages around Italy and even to the Holy Land.   She spent her last years in Rome. She urged the pope to leave Avignon in France and return to Rome.

Bridget’s visions, rather than isolating her from the affairs of the world, involved her in many contemporary issues, whether they be royal policy or the years that the legitimate Bishop of Rome lived in Avignon, France.   She saw no contradiction between mystical experience and secular activity and her life is a testimony to the possibility of a holy life in the marketplace.

In 1999, Bridget, Saints Catherine of Siena and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, were named co-patronesses of Europe, together with the co-patrons, St Benedict of Nursia and Sts Cyril and Methodius (the latter two were added in 1980).

St Bridget of Sweden, Pray for us!st bridget of sweden pray for us no 2 - 23 july 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)

Quote of the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)

“The thief on the cross certainly did not receive
the Kingdom of Heaven as a reward for his virtues
but as a grace and a mercy from God.
He can serve as an authentic witness
that our salvation is given to us
only by God’s mercy and grace.
All the holy masters knew this
and unanimously taught
that perfection in holiness
can be achieved only through humility.”

St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)the thief on the cross - st john cassian - 23 july 2018


One Minute Reflection – 23 July – The Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42

One Minute Reflection – 23 July – The Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373) – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42

“…There is something greater than Solomon here.”…Matthew 12:42

REFLECTION – “O Lord, make haste and illumine the night.   Say to my soul that nothing happens without You permitting it and that nothing of what You permit, is without comfort.”…St Bridget there is something greater than solomon matthew 12 - 42 - o lord make haste and illumine - st bridget of sweden - 23 july 2018

PRAYER – “O Jesus, Son of God, You Who were silent in the presence of Your accusers, restrain my tongue until I find what should say and how to say it.   Show me the way and make me ready to follow it.   It is dangerous to delay, yet perilous to go forward.   Answer my petition and show me the way.   As the wounded go to the doctor in search of aid, so do I come to You. O Lord, give Your peace to my heart. “(St Bridget).   And we ask God our Father that the prayers of St Bridget may serve as an aid as we strive to attain virtue, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, bridget of sweden pray for us - 23 july 2018


Our Morning Offering – 23 July

Our Morning Offering – 23 July – Monday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time B

A Prayer to Seek the Consolation of the Cross
By St Alphonsus Rodriguez S.J. (1532-1617)

Jesus, love of my soul,
centre of my heart!
Why am I not more eager to endure pains
and tribulations for love of You,
when You, my God,
have suffered so many for me?
Come, then, every sort of trial in the world,
for this is my delight, to suffer for Jesus.
This is my joy, to follow my Saviour
and to find my consolation
with my Consoler on the Cross.
This is my happiness,
this my pleasure:
to live with Jesus,
to walk with Jesus,
to converse with Jesus,
to suffer with and for Him,
this is my treasure.
Amena-prayer-to-seek-st-alphonsus-rodriguez-16-feb-2018-no.2. used 23 july 2018. lenten-prayer



Saint of the Day – 23 July – St John Cassian (c 360 – c 435)

Saint of the Day – 23 July – St John Cassian (c 360 – c 435) Priest, Monk, Theologian, Writer, Founder.   Also known as John the Ascetic, or John Cassian the Roman (Latin: Ioannes Eremita Cassianus, Ioannus Cassianus, or Ioannes Massiliensis), was a Christian monk and theologian celebrated in both the Western and Eastern Churches for his mystical writings.   St John Cassian is noted for his role in bringing the ideas and practices of Christian monasticism to the early medieval West.   He was born in c 360 in Scythia Minor (modern-day Dobrogea, Romania) and died in c 435 in Massilia, Gaul (modern-day Marseilles, France), of natural causes.


Cassian was born around 360, most likely in the region of Scythia Minor (now Dobruja, a historical region shared today by Romania and Bulgaria), although some scholars assume a Gallic origin.   The son of wealthy parents, he received a good education: his writings show the influence of Cicero and Persius.   He was bilingual in Latin and Greek.

Cassian mentions having a sister in his first work, the Institutes, with whom he corresponded in his monastic life;  she may have ended up with him in Marseilles.

Around 380, John Cassian migrated from Romania to Bethlehem, where he embraced the monastic life.   After 385 he wandered the Egyptian desert, the heart of eastern monasticism.   He visited abbots at monasteries and hermits in their caves, absorbing their teachings about the Christian life.

The year 400 found him on the staff of St John Chrysostom in Constantinople.   When Chrysostom was unfairly deposed and exiled, Cassian was among his defenders who travelled to Rome to plead his case before the pope, who was Innocent I.   At that time he was ordained a priest.

While he was in Rome, Cassian accepted the invitation to found an Egyptian-style monastery in southern Gaul, near Marseilles.   He may also have spent time as a priest in Antioch between 404 and 415.   In any case, he arrived in Marseilles around 415.   His foundation, the Abbey of St Victor, was a complex of monasteries for both men and women, one of the first such institutes in the West and served as a model for later monastic development.JOHN CASSIAN

To instruct his monks and nuns, Cassian wrote two significant books. The Institutes described the eastern pattern of monastic life and the virtues required of monks. The Conferences presented the wisdom of the Egyptian desert in the form of discourses by famous abbots. In the following sample we hear “Abbot Isaac” on the practice of the presence of God:

“To keep the thought of God always in your mind you must cling totally to this formula for piety:  ‘Come to my help, O God. Lord, hurry to my rescue’ (see Psalm 70:2).   

“With good reason this verse has been chosen from the whole of Scripture as a device.   It bears all the feelings that human nature can experience.   

It can be adapted to every condition and deployed against every temptation.   It carries a cry to God in the face of every danger.   It piously confesses humility.   It conveys our sense of frailty, our assurance of being heard, our confidence in help that is always and everywhere present.   Someone forever calling out to his protector is very sure of his nearness.   This short verse is an indomitable wall for all those struggling against the onslaught of demons.   

Whatever the disgust, the anguish, or the gloom in our thoughts, it keeps us from despairing of our salvation since it reveals to us the One to whom we call, the One who sees our struggles and who is never far from those who pray to him.   

If things go well for us in spirit, this verse is a warning.   We must not get puffed up at being in a good condition that we cannot retain without the protection of God for whose continuous and speedy help it prays.   

This little verse, I am saying, proves to be necessary and useful to each one of us in all circumstances.”

Cassian’s achievements and writings influenced Saint Benedict, who incorporated many of the principles into his monastic rule and recommended to his own monks that they read the works of Cassian.   Since Benedict’s rule is still followed by Benedictine, Cistercian and Trappist monks, John Cassian’s thought still exercises influence over the spiritual lives of thousands of men and women in the Latin Church.

The Church also ranks him as a saint, with a feast day on 23 July.   Like his contemporaries Saint Augustine of Hippo and Saint John Chrysostom, he was never formally canonised, a process that came into use several centuries after his death.   Pope Urban V referred to him as sanctus (a saint) and he was included in the Gallican Martyrology.  He is included also in the Roman Martyrology with a feast-day on 23 July.  Like the great majority of recognised saints of the Church, he is not one of the saints in the General Roman Calendar, but the Archdiocese of Marseilles and some monastic orders celebrate his memorial on his feast day.

Cassian’s relics are kept in an underground chapel in the Monastery of St Victor in Marseilles.   His head and right hand are in the main church there.

Today laypeople cannot practice the presence of God with the constancy that Cassian demanded.   But we can frequently remind ourselves of God’s nearness and draw on his grace by praying “Come to my help, O God. Lord, hurry to my rescue.”st john cassian - largerJOHN CASSIAN 2

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 23 July

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373) (Optional Memorial)

Detail here:

Our Lady of Altino – read here:

St Anne of Constantinople
St Apollonius of Rome
Bl Basil Hopko
Bl Beaudoin of Beaumont
St Conan of Cornwall
Bl Emilio Arce Díez
St Eugene of Rome
St Herundo of Rome
Bl Jane of Orvieto
St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)

Bl Josep Sala Picó
Bl Juan de Luca
Bl Juan de Montesinos
Bl Leonard da Recanati
Bl Margarita de Maturana
Bl Pedro Ruiz de los Paños Angel
St Phocas the Gardener
St Primitiva of Rome
St Rasyphus of Macé
St Rasyphus of Rome
St Ravennus of Macé
St Redempta of Rome
St Romula of Rome
St Severus of Bizye
St Theophilus of Rome
St Trophimus of Rome
St Valerian of Cimiez
Bl Wojciech Gondek

Martyrs of Barcelona – 7 beati: Seven Christians, some lay people, some members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and some of the Franciscan Daughters of Mercy, who were martyred in two groups on the same day in the Spanish Civil War.
• Catalina Caldés Socías
• Francesc Mayol Oliver
• Miquel Pons Ramis
• Miquela Rul-Làn Ribot
• Pau Noguera Trías
• Prudència Canyelles Ginestà de Aguadé
• Simó Reynés Solivellas
23 July 1936 in Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Bulgaria: An unknown number of Christians killed for their faith during the 9th century war between the Greek Emperor Nicephorus and the Bulgars.

Martyrs of Carabanchel Bajo – 9 beati: A group of nine Passionist priests, brothers and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Anacario Benito Nozal
• Felipe Ruiz Fraile
• Felipe Valcobado Granado
• José Osés Sainz
• José Ruiz Martinez
• Julio Mediavilla Concejero
• Laurino Proaño Cuesta
• Manuel Pérez Jiménez
• Maurilio Macho Rodríguez
22 July 1936 in Carabanchel Bajo, Madrid, Spain. They were Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Horta – 10 beati: A lay woman and nine Minim nuns who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Ana Ballesta Gelmá
• Dolors Vilaseca Gallego
• Josefa Pilar García Solanas
• Josepa Panyella Doménech
• Lucrecia García Solanas
• Maria Montserrat Ors Molist
• Mercè Mestre Trinché
• Ramona Ors Torrents
• Teresa Ríus Casas
• Vicenta Jordá Martí
23 July 1936 at the Sant Genís dels Agudells highway, Horta, Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on
27 October 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyrs of Manzanares – 5 beati: Five Passionist clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Abilio Ramos y Ramos
• Epifanio Sierra Conde
• José Estalayo García
• Vicente Díez Tejerina
• Zacarías Fernández Crespo
They were shot on 23 July 1936 in Manzanares, Ciudad Real, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala

Thought for the Day – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala

“When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples.   After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them.   The text then says: “The disciples went back home,” and it adds: “but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.”

We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ;   for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained.   She was still seeking the one she had not found and while she sought she wept;   burning with the fire of love, she longed for Him who she thought had been taken away.

And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see Him.   For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: “Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved”….  Jesus says to her:  “Mary.”   Jesus is not recognised when He calls her “woman”, so He calls her by name, as though He were saying:  ‘Recognise me as I recognise you, for I do not know you as I know others, I know you as yourself.’   

And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking.  She immediately calls Him ‘Rabboni’, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.

from a homily by St Pope Gregory the Great  (540-604) Father & Doctor

St Mary Magdalen, Pray for us!st-mary-of-magdala-pray-for-us-3-22 july 2017

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL SERMONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:30-34

One Minute Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:30-34

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.”...Mark 6:31

REFLECTION – “So they got into the boat and went away by themselves to a deserted spot”… The people followed them.   They showed how concerned they were for their salvation by the effort they made in going along the deserted road, not on donkeys or in carts of various kinds but on foot.   In return Jesus welcomed those weary, ignorant, sick and hungry people, instructing, healing and feeding them as a kindly saviour and physician and so letting them know how pleased He is by believers’ devotion to Him.”…Saint Bede the Venerable (c 673-735) Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Saint Mark’s gospel, 2 ; CCL 120, 510)
“Today we could pray during this mass for our shepherds, that the Lord may give them the grace to walk with the people and to be present for them with much tenderness and closeness.   When people find their shepherd, they feel that special sensation only felt in the presence of God.   The amazement comes from the feeling of the closeness and tenderness of God in the shepherd.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 30 January 2018come away with me - mark 6 31 and so they got into the boat - st bede - 22 july 2018

PRAYER – Be gracious, Lord, to us who serve You and in Your kindness increase Your gifts of grace within us, so that fervent in faith, hope and love, we may be ever on the watch and persevere in doing what You command.   Guard, protect and inspire our own shepherds, our priests who serve Your people, keep them faithful, loyal and prayerful. May our Mother, the most Holy and Pure Blessed Virgin Mary, keep our priests and all of us at her side.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, one God with Holy Spirit, forever and ever, virgin mother mary protect and pray for our priests - 22 july 2018


Sunday Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 22 July – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sit laus plena, sit sonora

Remember, Mother Church, the holy and venerable hands,
the hands that, taking bread, broke and gave it,
the hands that have strengthened the bolts of your gates,
the hands that blessed your children within you (cf. Ps 147:12).
Remember the voice of Him whose word runs swiftly,
blessing and saying, “Take and eat, this is my Body”;
“This chalice is the new testament in my Blood” (cf. 1 Cor 11:24-25).
Remember the Crucified, the Risen One, the Lord of glory
whose Face alone plants peace in your borders,
whose Heart would save your souls from death,
and feed you in time of famine (cf. Ps 32:19).
Remember His hands, His Face and His Heart,
remember His words on the night before He suffered,
and out of your remembering, let praise come to flower on your lips.
Praise to fill that Upper Room,
praise to fill the Church,
praise to fall like a balm on every heart that has forgotten
the language of the Great Thanksgiving.

Remember the chalice of blessing
and adore the Blood of Christ.
Remember the bread that we break
and adore the Body of Christ.
Remember the one Bread by which we,
though many, are made one (cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17).
Remember the chalice of the Blood
in which every tear of yours dissolves into joy.
Remember the broken Bread
by which every brokenness of yours is made whole.
Remember the chalice offered to those who have nothing to offer.
Remember the Bread given to those who have nothing to give.
Remember and into your remembering,
welcome the immensity of a silence that seeks only to adore.remember the chalic of blessing - sunday reflection - 22 july 2018 - from vultus christi

(Excerpt By Dom Mark, Vultus Christi)