Posted in MORNING Prayers, POETRY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY FACE

Thought for the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica


“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist?   And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

The Catholic Church tells us that a veil bearing a miraculous image of the Face of Jesus has existed since the earliest centuries, recorded in history and in art.   About the time this miraculous veil first appeared in Rome, in the Middle Ages, the name “Veronica” referred to the veil itself–“Veronica” meaning “vera” or true, and “icon” meaning image, or even more precisely, “to be present.”   Those who gazed upon the veil bearing the true Face of Jesus stood in God’s presence.   They were turned toward His Face.
Legends sprang up sometime later about a woman named “Veronica,” who was sometimes associated with the woman “Berenice” or “Bernice,” the bleeding woman who touches the hem of Jesus’s garment in the Gospel.
“These pious traditions cannot be documented but there is no reason why the belief that such an act of compassion did occur should not find expression in the veneration paid to one called Veronica.” —The Catholic Encyclopedia.
St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem,


In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy:  the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

–Karol Wojtylaname - st veronica - karol wotyla - st john paul - 12 july 2018

When a soul performs an “act of compassion,” Jesus leaves His image on the “veil” of the soul.   In other words, while contemplating the Face of Jesus in an image, in the Word of God in the Scriptures, in a person made in the image and likeness of God, or above all, in the Eucharist, the soul places itself in the Presence of God.   When we are turned completely toward the Face of God, through a daily face-to-face encounter in prayer–by the power of the Holy Spirit–God gradually transforms the soul into the “True Image” of His Son, Jesus Christ.   As Pope St. John Paul II says, our hearts must become an “effigy of truth,” a “true icon.”   

Then our name too will be born from what we gaze upon.  It will be “Veronica.”

St Veronica pray for us!st-veronica-pray-for-us-21 - 12 JULY 2017


Quote/s of the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin

Quote/s of the Day – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin

– Parents of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

“The good God,
gave me a father and mother,
more worthy of Heaven than of earth.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)

Doctor of the Churchthe good god - st t of l - 12 july 2018

“They live in the world, that is,
in each and in all
of the secular professions and occupations.
They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life,
from which, the very web, of their existence is woven.
They are called there by God,
that by exercising their proper function
and led by the spirit of the Gospel,
they may work for the sanctification of the world,
from within as a leaven.”

Lumen Gentium 31they live in the world - lumen gentium 31

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY FACE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica

One Minute Reflection – 12 July – The Memorial of St Veronica

You have said, “Seek my face”.   My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek”.   Hide not your face from me.   Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help.   Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation………Psalm 27:8-9

REFLECTION – “Veronica- ‘Bernice’ in the Greek tradition, embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament, the yearning of all believers to see the Face of God.   On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, though, she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness – she held out a facecloth to Jesus.   She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples.   She is the image of that good woman, who, amid turmoil and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered.   “Blessed are the pure in heart”, the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).   At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled Face.   Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on His human Face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the Face of God and His goodness, which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows.   Only with the heart can we see Jesus.  Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see.   Only love enables us to recognise the God who is love itself.”…………..Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (24 March 2005)at-first-veronica-saw-only-a-joseph-card-ratzinger-24-march-2005- 12 july 2017

PRAYER – Lord God, grant us restless hearts, hearts which seek Your Face.   Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things.   Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognise Your presence in the world.   When we are not able to accomplish great things, grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Impress Your Face on our hearts.   May we encounter You along the way and show Your image to the world.   St Veronica, Pray for us! veronica - pray for us - 12 july 2018


Our Morning Offering – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin

Our Morning Offering – 12 July – The Memorial of Sts Louis & Zelie Martin – Parents of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Morning Offering
By St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)

O my God!
I offer You all my actions of this day
for the intentions and for the glory
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I desire to sanctify
every beat of my heart,
my every thought,
my simplest works,
by uniting them to Its infinite merits
and I wish to make reparation for my sins,
by casting them into the furnace
of Its Merciful Love.
O my God!
I ask You for myself and for those
whom I hold dear,
the grace to fulfill perfectly
Your Holy Will,
to accept for love of You
the joys and sorrows of this passing life,
so that we may one day be united together,
in Heaven for all Eternity.
Amenmorning offering - o my god, i offer you all my actions of this day - st therese lisieux - 12 july 2018 - mem of louis and zelie

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – Sts Louis & Zelie Martin – Parents of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus/of Lisieux (1873-1897 – Doctor of the Church)

Saints of the Day – Sts Louis (1823-1894) & Zelie (1831–1877) Martin – Parents of St  Thérèse of the Child Jesus/of Lisieux (1873-1897 – Doctor of the Church).   Sts Louis and Zelie two married French laypeople and the parents of five nuns, including Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who was Canonised as a saint in 1925 and added as one of the only 36 Doctors of the Church by St Pope John Paul in 1997.   On 18 October 2015, the couple were also Canonised, becoming the first spouses in the church’s history to be canonised as a couple.

header - louis, zelie, thereselouis zelie therese as a childmartin family

The simple, hard-working and prayerful Martin family from the small French town of Alençon was anything but ordinary.   Not only is one of the family’s daughters the great St Thérèse of the Child Jesus — the Carmelite Doctor of the Church known for her “little way” — and another daughter, Sister Leonie, under consideration for Canonisation but the parents became the first married couple ever to be Canonised saints.  Sts Louis and Zélie Martin built a family that shines throughout the world today as a beacon of ideal family life.

Neither had intended to marry.  Both had seriously considered religious life but doors had been closed to them as they moved closer to that vocation.   God’s will became increasingly clear to them, ending up as the perfect Catholic love story that, beginning when they met on Alençon’s St Leonard’s Bridge, was bookended with their 2015 Canonisation.

It was love at first sight that day on the bridge.   A brief courtship resulted in their 13 July 1858, marriage.   On that day, Sts Louis and Zélie established a family grounded in a love for God and a commitment to do His will, not immune from the everyday troubles of family life nor the pains and sorrows that few families know.

The couple complemented each other well.   Louis was reserved and contemplative, while Zélie was outgoing and social.   Both put their children ahead of themselves and wanted nothing but their best.   Prayerful and discerning, these holy parents had the clear-headed vision to know that the best for their children was to help them grow in a relationship with God.

Numerous challenges that the Martins faced was the stuff that has driven many away from God and religion.   Four of the Martins’ children died at an early age and Zélie suffered a lengthy bout with breast cancer that resulted in her death at the age of 45.
When understood improperly, one is prone to seeing suffering as a reason to doubt their faith and to give up on God.   Throughout it all, the Martins confidently proclaimed a profound love of God and an undying trust in His providence.

The Little Way of St Thérèse posits a simple spirituality of doing little things exceedingly well.   She learned this first and foremost from her parents as a girl  . As she said herself, “The good Lord gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth.”

In good times and in bad, the Martins were faithful to each other and to God.   They embraced their vocation as spouses and parents with joy and they dedicated their entire selves to their calling.   They worked hard to provide for their family — Louis eventually gave up his watch shop to join Zélie in her lucrative lace-making business.   But they knew that their success was found in putting God first, as evidenced by their daily habit of attending Mass together.


Their family life is a model for families the world over.   The Martin home was filled with laughter and joy just as much as it was with prayer and love.   It was a home of affection, tenderness and mercy.   And it was a home where holiness was desired above all else. They wanted what God wanted and nothing more.   They did not give in to the temptations and weaknesses that came with trials and suffering, but relied on Christ’s example and His grace in the sacraments to fortify them.

In the end, the sole desire of the Martins for themselves and for their children was to become saints.   And now Canonised, Sts Louis and Zélie provide a clear blueprint for families today who share that same goal. (OSV Newsweekly).web3-louis-zelie-martyin-parenting-advice-mercy-mcnab-photography

Louis and Zélie were declared “venerable” on 26 March 1994 by St Pope John Paul II. They were Beatified on 19 October 2008 by José Saraiva Cardinal Martins, the legate of Pope Benedict XVI in the Basilica of Saint Thérèse, Lisieux.   A few months earlier, the Church had recognised the miracle of Pietro Schiliro, an Italian child cured of lung illness, at their intercession.   For Louis and Zélie to be Canonised, the church needed to find that God worked a second miracle at their intercession.

On 7 January 2013, Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of Valencia, presided at the opening of the canonical process to inquire into the healing in 2008 of a girl named Carmen, who was born in Valencia four days before Louis and Zélie were beatified  .Eight doctors testified that there was no scientific explanation for her cure.

The diocesan tribunal held its closing session on 21 May 2013 and the file was sent to Rome for review by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

On 3 March 2015 Angelo Cardinal Amato announced informally that Louis and Zélie Martin would be declared saints during the Synod of Bishops.   The Congregation accepted and promulgated the miracle on 18 March 2015.

On 26 June 2015, Miracle of Life in Valencia, a film produced by the Archdiocese of Valencia about the Canonisation miracle was released online in English.    The next day, at a consistory of cardinals in Rome, Pope Francis approved the decree for the Canonisation of Louis and Zélie Martin and announced that the ceremony would take place in October in Rome.

On 18 October 2015, Louis and Azélie-Marie Martin were Canonised as saints by Pope Francis.Vatican French SaintsLouis_and_Marie-Azélie_Martin (1)

For more on Sts Louisd and Zelie here:


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 12 July

St Agnes De
St Andreas the Soldier
St Ansbald of Prum
St Balay
St Clement Ignatius Delgado Cebrian
Bl David Gonson
St Epiphana
St Faustus the Soldier
St Felix of Milan
St Fortunatus of Aquileia
St Hermagorus of Aquileia
St Hilarion of Ancyra
St Jason of Tarsus
Bl Jeanne-Marie de Romillon
St John Gualbert
St John Jones
St John the Georgian
Bl Lambert of Cîteaux

St Louis Martin (18231894)
St Marie-Azélie Guérin / ZELIE Martin (1831 –1877)

Bl Madeleine-Thérèse Talieu
Bl Marguerite-Eléonore de Justamond
Bl Marie Cluse
St Menas the Soldier
St Menulphus of Quimper
St Nabor of Milan
St Paternian of Bologna
St Paulinus of Antioch
St Phêrô Khan
St Proclus of Ancyra
St Proculus of Bologna
St Uguzo of Carvagna
St Veronica

St Viventiolus of Lyons

Martyrs of Nagasaki – 8 beati: Additional Memorial – 10 September as one of the 205 Martyrs of Japan
Eight lay people, many them related to each other, who were martyred together:
• Catharina Tanaka
• Ioannes Onizuka Naizen
• Ioannes Tanaka
• Ludovicus Onizuka
• Matthias Araki Hyozaemon
• Monica Onizuka
• Petrus Araki Chobyoe
• Susanna Chobyoe
12 July 1626 in Nagasaki, Japan
Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.


The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

by Margaret Silf

Probably most of us, if we think of contemplative prayer at all, regard it as something that is beyond us and practiced only by a few contemplative monks and nuns whose whole lives are devoted to prayer.   Yet I have heard respected and experienced spiritual guides say that contemplation is often given to those you would least expect—to harassed mothers and people who think they can’t pray, to children, to the sick and dying, to people with no academic learning about prayer or Scripture or theology.   God sometimes seems to speak, heart to heart, in this mysterious way, to the untaught and unpracticed. None of us should imagine that the ways of contemplative prayer are closed to us because God is always infinitely larger than our expectations.

I suggest that creation itself gives us a gateway.   In every moment of our lives, a silent, invisible miracle of exchange is taking place.   We breathe out the air that our bodies no longer need, which is mainly carbon dioxide, a waste product for us but the very thing that the green leaves on the trees and plants need to produce their own energy.   So they receive our carbon dioxide and, through the process of photosynthesis, produce not only their own life energy, but also oxygen—a waste product for them but the very thing we need to live.   Whenever I stop my busyness for a few moments to look around me, I am amazed at this arrangement and it makes me think of prayer.

So perhaps a good way to open our hearts up to the gift of contemplation is simply to become still, and, quite literally, to breathe out our waste—all that clogs us and deadens us—and to breathe in God’s renewing life, as we breathe in the fresh oxygen that the plants have made for us.   This simple, deliberate breathing exercise can become something like what the French peasant was doing as he looked at God and God looked at him.   We are becoming aware of the mysterious exchange of life between ourselves and God.   And there is no reason that any period of quiet might not become prayer of this kind.

There may be other creatures who can help you cross the threshold of contemplation. If there is a baby in the family, try simply holding her in your arms as she sleeps and letting God hold both of you in his.   Nothing more.   No deep thoughts.   No search for meaning.   Just be there.

A cat (if you are not allergic to them!) can also be a great aid to prayer.   My own cat loves to sleep round my neck.   At first I found this disturbing but when he has settled into a particular hollow (perhaps where he can feel my pulse), he will lie there, quite still, just purring deeply, until he falls asleep and the purring ceases.   When he does this, I let myself find a hollow close to God’s pulse and let my own prayer become just a sleepy purr and then the silence of content.   Or you might discover prayer on a park bench.   The other day I was in Hyde Park and I spent a few minutes listening to the deep-throated cooing of the pigeons. I wanted to join them because, in their way, they were engaged in contemplative prayer, simply expressing, in this peaceful murmur, the song of their beings.

In your own home, prayer awaits you in the opening of a flower, the rising of your bread dough, or the steady, imperceptible development of a child.   Spend time in silence, aware of the wonder that is being unfolded in your cakes and your children, your houseplants or your garden.   For this is the essence of contemplative prayer—simple awareness, allowing God to be God, without trying to put the limitations of shape or meaning around him.

Contemplation, like all prayer, is pure gift and not anything we can achieve.   It happens when prayer becomes, wholly and utterly, the flow of God’s grace, transforming the land it flows through, like Ezekiel’s stream.   Or it happens when we lose consciousness of our own part in it and become simply receptors and carriers of grace.   It happens when we realise that our transformation depends on nothing but God’s grace and love, and, like the chrysalis, let go of all activity to try to achieve our own redemption.

When we try to describe it, we fail, for it lies beyond the world of words.   We can open our hearts to it by the practice of awareness but we cannot bring it about, any more than we can force a flower to open or an egg to hatch.   And in our silent, trustful waiting, we are acknowledging that God is God, the source and the destination, the means and the end of all our prayer, whatever form it may take.

from Close to the Heart: A Practical Approach to Personal Prayer

Make my Heart Still

“Lord take my poor heart.   It is often so far from You, lost in a thousand things and in the trifles that fill up my everyday life.   Lord, only You can collect the thoughts of my heart and have it concentrate on You, You who are the centre of all hearts, the Lord of all souls.   Only You can bestow the spirit of prayer, only Your grace is able to allow me to find You amidst this multitude of things, amidst the distractions of everyday life, YOU, the one necessity, the one person with whom my heart can become still.”

“When man comes to God in awe and love, then he is praying.”

Karl Rayner SJ – The Mystical Way in Everyday Lifewhen-man-comes-to-god-in-awe-and-love-karl-rayner-sj-11 july 2017


Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Excerpt from the Homily of Pope Benedict

General Audience, 9 April 2008

“Today, I would like to speak about Benedict, the Founder of Western Monasticism and also the Patron of my Pontificate.

I begin with words that St Gregory the Great wrote about St Benedict:  “The man of God who shone on this earth among so many miracles was just as brilliant in the eloquent exposition of his teaching” (cf. Dialogues II, 36).   The great Pope wrote these words in 592 AD.   The holy monk, who had died barely 50 years earlier, lived on in people’s memories and especially in the flourishing religious Order he had founded.   St Benedict of Nursia/Norcia, with his life and his work, had a fundamental influence on the development of European civilisation and culture.   The most important source on Benedict’s life is the second book of St Gregory the Great’s Dialogues.   It is not a biography in the classical sense.   In accordance with the ideas of his time, by giving the example of a real man – St Benedict, in this case – Gregory wished to illustrate the ascent to the peak of contemplation which can be achieved by those who abandon themselves to God.   He therefore gives us a model for human life in the climb towards the summit of perfection.   St Gregory the Great also tells in this book of the Dialogues of many miracles worked by the Saint and here too he does not merely wish to recount something curious but rather to show how God, by admonishing, helping and even punishing, intervenes in the practical situations of man’s life.   Gregory’s aim was to demonstrate that God is not a distant hypothesis placed at the origin of the world but is present in the life of man, of every man.

Throughout the second book of his Dialogues, Gregory shows us how St Benedict’s life was steeped in an atmosphere of prayer, the foundation of his existence.   Without prayer there is no experience of God.   Yet Benedict’s spirituality was not an interiority removed from reality.   In the anxiety and confusion of his day, he lived under God’s gaze and in this very way never lost sight of the duties of daily life and of man with his practical needs.   Seeing God, he understood the reality of man and his mission.   In his Rule he describes monastic life as “a school for the service of the Lord” (Prol. 45) and advises his monks, “let nothing be preferred to the Work of God” [that is, the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours] (43, 3).

However, Benedict states that in the first place prayer is an act of listening (Prol. 9-11), which must then be expressed in action.   “The Lord is waiting every day for us to respond to his holy admonitions by our deeds” (Prol. 35).   Thus, the monk’s life becomes a fruitful symbiosis between action and contemplation, “so that God may be glorified in all things” (57, 9).   In contrast with a facile and egocentric self-fulfilment, today often exalted, the first and indispensable commitment of a disciple of St Benedict is the sincere search for God (58, 7) on the path mapped out by the humble and obedient Christ (5, 13), whose love he must put before all else (4, 21; 72, 11) and in this way, in the service of the other, he becomes a man of service and peace  . In the exercise of obedience practised by faith inspired by love (5, 2), the monk achieves humility (5, 1), to which the Rule dedicates an entire chapter (7).   In this way, man conforms ever more to Christ and attains true self-fulfilment as a creature in the image and likeness of God.

Benedict describes the Rule he wrote as “minimal, just an initial outline” (cf. 73, 8);  in fact, however, he offers useful guidelines not only for monks but for all who seek guidance on their journey toward God.   For its moderation, humanity and sober discernment between the essential and the secondary in spiritual life, his Rule has retained its illuminating power even to today.

By proclaiming St Benedict Patron of Europe on 24 October 1964, Paul VI intended to recognise the marvellous work the Saint achieved with his Rule for the formation of the civilisation and culture of Europe.

Having recently emerged from a century that was deeply wounded by two World Wars and the collapse of the great ideologies, now revealed as tragic utopias, Europe today is in search of its own identity.   Of course, in order to create new and lasting unity, political, economic and juridical instruments are important, but it is also necessary to awaken an ethical and spiritual renewal which draws on the Christian roots of the Continent, otherwise a new Europe cannot be built.   Without this vital sap, man is exposed to the danger of succumbing to the ancient temptation of seeking to redeem himself by himself – a utopia which in different ways, in 20th-century Europe, as Pope John Paul II pointed out, has caused “a regression without precedent in the tormented history of humanity” (Address to the Pontifical Council for Culture, 12 January 1990).

Today, in seeking true progress, let us also listen to the Rule of St Benedict as a guiding light on our journey.   The great monk is still a true master at whose school we can learn to become proficient in true humanism.

Here is a PDF of the Rule for downloading:,_Benedictus_Nursinus,_Regola,_EN.pdf

St Benedict, Pray for Europe, Pray for the World,

Pray for the Church, Pray for us all!st-benedict-pray-for-us-11 july 2017 - 3


Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

“Ora et labora.”ora et labora - st benedict - 11 july 2018

“Be careful to be gentle,
lest in removing the rust,
you break the whole instrument.”becareful-to-be-gentle-st-benedict-11 july 2017

“He should first show them,
in deeds,
rather than words,
all that is good and holy.”first show them in deeds - 11 july 2018

“Before all
and above all,
attention shall be paid
to the care of the sick,
so that they shall be served,
as if they were Christ Himself.”before all and above all - st benedict - 11 july 2018

“He who labours as he prays,
lifts his heart to God with his hands.”

“Whenever you begin any good work,
you should first of all,
make a most pressing appeal
to Christ our Lord,
to bring it to perfection.”

St Benedict of Nursia (c 480-547)he-who-labours-as-he-prays-st-benedict-11 july 2017

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

One Minute Reflection – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

One Minute Reflection – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord…….Romans 12:11romans-12-11- 11 july 2017

REFLECTION – “There exists an evil fervour, a bitter spirit, which divides us from God and leads us to hell.   Similarly, there is a good fervour, which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life.”…St Benedictst-benedict-there-exists-an-evil-fervour- 11 july 2017

PRAYER – Loving Father, grant me to have a true fervour in Your service.   Let me never tire of following Your Son’s example and avoiding evil.   Grant that by the intercession of St Benedict, we may grow in holiness and attain our eternal home with You.   We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, God forever, july 2017 -2

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

Our Morning Offering – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

Our Morning Offering – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

O God, Be With Us
St Benedict (c480-547)

O God,
from Whom to be turned, is to fall,
to Whom to be turned, is to rise,
and in Whom to stand, is to abide forever,
grant us in all our duties, Your help,
in all our perplexities, Your guidance,
in all our dangers, Your protection,
and in all our sorrows, Your peace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ameno god from whom to be turned is to fall - st benedict - 11 july 2018


Saint of the Day – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547) Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism

Saint of the Day – 11 July – St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547) Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism.   Some of his many Patronages – of Europe, Against Poison, Against Witchcraft, Agriculture, Cavers, Civil Engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying People, Farmers, Fevers, Inflammatory Diseases, Kidney Disease, Monks, Religious Orders, Schoolchildren, Temptations.BenedictinosSaint_Bendict_of_Nurcia

St Benedict founded twelve communities for monks about 40 miles east of Rome, before moving to Monte Cassino, in the mountains of southern Italy.   St Benedict’s main achievement is his “Rule”, containing precepts for his monks.    The unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness influences it and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout Middle Ages, to adopt it.    As a result, the Rule of St Benedict became one of the most influential religious rules in western Christendom.    For this reason, Benedict is often called the “founder” of western Christian Monasticism. Heiligenkreuz.St._Benedict

St Benedict is the twin brother of St Scholastica and is considered patron of many things.    He was born in Nursia, Italy and educated in Rome.Scholastica-and-Benedictmy snip - benedict and scholastica - domenico corvi 1721-1803

benedict and schalastica
St Benedict and hisd twin sister, St Scholastica

He was repelled by the vices of the city and around 500, fled to Enfide – thirty miles away.    He decided to live the life of a hermit and lived in a cave for three years.    Despite Benedict’s desire for solitude, his holiness became known and he was asked to be the Abbot by a community of monks at Vicovaro.    He accepted but when the monks resisted his strict rule and tried to poison him, he returned to Subiaco and became a centre of spirituality and learning. champaigne_philippe_dezzzscene_from_the_life_of_st_benedict-_the_poisoned_cup_of_wine

st benedict and the cup of poison
St Benedict and the Cup of Poison

He eventually moved back to Monte Cassino and destroyed a temple to Apollo on its crest and brought the people of the neighbouring area back to Christianity.    In 530 he began to build the monastery that was to be the birthplace of western monasticism.  data=dfJwSHpr2UU2dqoWYuGhCM6f93gIUaI8nJa4qy1CkuUIECsLTKt97nBY-VhQhXiVd_QY-L05N6sf2u3rW46w2dOiTQnblInFmXtgNjvDhRy3fFbi1V8nbtijMOtdHPafZzrH1YTVpMw1z2hkH7TuHn4S98gGrYdfEAmGGjSfyVFG-Zr-PNRk8

Monte Cassino in ruins after Allied bombing in February 1944.
Rebuilt Abbey

Soon, disciples again flocked to him as his reputation for holiness, wisdom and miracles spread far and wide.    It wasn’t long and he organised his monks into a single monastic community and wrote his official Rule, prescribing common sense, a life of moderate asceticism, prayer, study, work and community under one superior.    It stressed obedience, stability, zeal and had the Divine Office as the centre of monastic life.    While ruling his monks, most of whom – including Benedict, were not ordained, he counselled rulers and Popes and ministered to the poor and destitute.    He died at Monte Cassino on 21 March 547 and was named patron protector of Europe by Pope Paul VI in 1964.    The Universal Church celebrates his feast day today. San_Benedetto_da_Norcia_ABst benedict and monks

The St Benedict medal is very popular among Christians to this day and are hung above doors and windows, for protection against evil.    It is believed that evil cannot enter your house if you protect every opening with a St Benedict medal and Crucifix.    The medal has an image of St Benedict, holding the Holy Rule in his left hand and a cross in his right.    There is a raven on one side of him, with a cup on the other side.    Around the medal’s outer margin are the words “Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur” – “May we, at our death, be fortified by His presence”.   The other side of the medal has a cross with the initials CSSML on the vertical bar which signify “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” “May the Holy Cross be my light” and on the horizontal bar are the initials NDSMD which stand for “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” “Let not the dragon be my overlord”.   The initials CSPB stand for “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” “The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict” and are located on the interior angles of the cross.   Either the inscription “PAX” Peace or the Christogram “HIS” may be found at the top of the cross in most cases.   Around the medal’s margin on this side are the initials VRSNSMV which stand for “Vade Retro Satana, Nonquam Suade Mihi Vana” ”Begone Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities” then a space followed by the initials SMQLIVB which signify “Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” “Evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison”.st benedict medalst benedict medal 2st benedict crucifix and medal

The Medal of St Benedict can serve as a constant reminder of the need for us to take up our cross daily and “follow the true King, Christ our Lord,” and thus learn “to share in his heavenly kingdom,” as St. Benedict urges us in the Prologue of his Rule.

More on St Benedict, his Rule and the Medal here:

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 11 July

St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547) (Memorial) Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism

St Abundius of Ananelos
St Amabilis of Rouen
St Anna An Jiaoshi
St Anna An Xingshi
Bl Antonio Muller
St Berthevin of Lisieux
St Cindeus
St Cowair
St Cyprian of Brescia
St Cyriacus the Executioner
St Drostan
St Hidulf of Moyenmoutier
St Januarius
St John of Bergamo
Bl Kjeld of Viborg
St Leontius the Younger
St Marcian of Lycaonia
St Marciana of Caesarea
Maria An Guoshi
Maria An Linghua
Bl Marie-Clotilde Blanc
Bl Marie-Elisabeth Pélissier
Bl Marie-Marguerite de Barbégie d’Albrède
St Olga of Kiev
St Pelagia
St Pius I, Pope
St Placid of Dissentis
Bl Rosalie-Clotilde Bes
St Sabinus of Brescia
St Sabinus of Poitiers
St Sidronius
St Sigisbert of Dissentis
Bl Thomas Hunt
Bl Thomas Sprott
St Thurketyl

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 10 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

Thought for the Day – 10 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

“The harvest is abundant…Matthew 9:37”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor

“All the farmer’s work naturally leads towards the harvest.   So how could Christ call a ‘harvest’ a work that was still in its initial stages?   Idolatry reigned over all the earth… Everywhere there was fornication, adultery, debauchery, greed, theft, wars…  The earth was filled with so many evils!   No seed had yet been sown there.   The thorns, thistles and weeds that covered the ground had not yet been pulled up.   The ground had not yet been ploughed, no furrow had yet been drawn.

So how could Jesus say that the harvest was abundant? … The apostles were probably distressed and frustrated:  “How are we going to be able to say anything, to stand upright before so many people?   How can we, the Eleven, correct all the inhabitants of the earth?   Will we who are so ignorant be able to approach scholars;  will we who are so stripped of everything be able to meet armed men; will we who are subordinates be able to approach people in authority?   We know only one language – will we be able to argue with the barbarians who speak foreign languages?   Who will bear with us if they don’t even understand our language?”

Jesus did not want such reasoning to discourage them.   So He called the Gospel a harvest.   It is as if He told them:  “Everything is prepared, all the preparations have been made.   I am sending you out to harvest the ripe grain.   You will be able to sow and reap on the same day.”

When the farmer leaves his home to go out and gather the harvest, he is brimming over with joy and shining with happiness.   He thinks neither of the suffering nor the difficulties that he might encounter…  Christ says, lend me your tongue and you will see the ripe grain going into the king’s granaries.   And so He then sends them out, telling them:  “I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Mt 28:20)christ says, lend me your tongue - i am with you always - matthew 28 20 - st john chrysostom - 10 july 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 10 July – “Speaking of:  Suffering”

Quote/s of the Day – 10 July

“Speaking of:  Suffering”

“Only those who do not fight are never wounded.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctoronly those who do not fight - st john chrysostom - 27 april 2018

“God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our conscience
but shouts in our pains –
it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”god whispers to us in our pleasures - c s lewis - 10 july 2018

“God, who foresaw your tribulation,
has specially armed you to go through it,
not without pain but without stain.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)god, who foresaw your tribulation - c s lewis - 10 july 2018

“Don’t waste your suffering.”

St John Paul the Great (1920-2005)don't waste your suffering - st john paul - 27 april 2018

“Suffering without Christ just hurts.
But suffering with Christ,
can transform the world.”

Father Mike Schmitzsuffering without christ - fr mike - 10 july 2018


Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL SERMONS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

One Minute Reflection – 10 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom..…Matthew 9:35

REFLECTION – “This is the central message of every Christian mission.   When a missionary goes, a Christian goes to proclaim Jesus, not to proselytise, as if he were a fan trying to drum up new supporters for his team.   No, he goes simply to proclaim:  “The kingdom of God is in our midst!”.
But what is this kingdom of God, this kingdom of heaven?   They are synonymous.   We think immediately of the afterlife:  eternal life.   Of course this is true, the kingdom of God will extend without limit beyond earthly life but the good news that Jesus brings us — and that John predicts — is that we do not need to wait for the kingdom of God in the future:  it is at hand.   In some way it is already present and we may experience spiritual power from now on.
The condition for entering and being a part of this kingdom, is to implement a change in our life, which is to convert, to convert every day, to take a step forward each day.   It is a question of leaving behind the comfortable but misleading ways of the idols of this world:  success at all costs, power to the detriment of the weak, the desire for wealth, pleasure at any price.   And instead, preparing the way of the Lord:  this does not take away our freedom but gives us true happiness…Pope Francis (Angelus, Dec 4, 2016)matthew 9 35 - jesus went around - the condition for entering - pope francis - 10 july 2018

PRAYER – All-powerful God, to serve You is to reign.   Your love gave the saints Victoria and Anatolia the courage to proclaim the truth of Christ and by their mission of preaching of the Kingdom, to suffer a cruel martyrdom.   Grant that by their prayers, our lives bear witness to the faith we profess and our love bring others, to the peace and joy of your gospel.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amensts victoria and anatolia pray for us 10 july 2018


Our Morning Offering – 10 July

Our Morning Offering – 10 July – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B

A Prayer for Fulfilling
the Will of God
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

O most merciful Jesus,
grant me Your grace,
that it may remain with me always
and persevere with me to the end.
Grant me always to will and desire,
what is more pleasing and acceptable to You.
Let Your will be mind
and let my will always follow Yours
in perfect conformity with it.
Let my will and desires always be one with Yours
and let me be unable to will or not to will,
except as You will or do not will.
Grant that I may die to all worldly things
and that I may be despised and unknown
for love of You.
Grant, above all things to be desired,
that I may find rest in You
and that in Your Heart alone may be my peace.
You, O Lord, give true peace to the heart
and perfect rest to body and soul.
Apart from You, all is difficult and never still.
In that peace, in You Who are the one,
supreme and eternal Good,
I will sleep and take my rest.
Amena prayer for fulfilling the will of god - thomas a kempis -10 july 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – St Anatolia & Victoria (Died 250) Martyrs – Sisters who gave their lives for Christ

Saints of the Day – St Anatolia & Victoria (Died 250) Martyrs – Sisters who gave their lives for Christ.

Patronages – against earthquakes, against lightning, against severe weather, 18 cities.   Anatolia was first mentioned in the De Laude Sanctorum composed in 396 by Victrice (Victricius), bishop of Rouen (330-409) and they are both mentioned together in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum under 10 July.   The two saints appear in the famous  mosaics of Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, at Ravenna (see image below – 22 martyrs shown offering their crowns of martyrdom to the Christ. ), between Saints Paulina and Christina.   A Passio Saints Anatoliae et Audacis et Saint Victoriae of the 6th or seventh century, which added the name of Audax, was mentioned by Aldhelm (died 709) and Bede (died 735), who list the saints in their martyrologies.   Caesar Baronius lists Anatolia and Audax under 9 July and Victoria under 23 December.800px-Ravenna,_sant'apollinare_nuovo_Sante_Vergini_(seconda_metà_del_VI_secolo)

Saint Victoria and her sister Saint Anatolia are remembered as beautiful Catholic noble women who lived during the reign of Emperor Decius 249-251.    They were promised in marriage to noble pagan men who were far from pleased at having heard that they were practising Catholics.   Saint Victoria was initially content with marrying the pagan, as she hoped that she would be able to convert him but her sister refused to marry and convinced St Victoria to do the same.   They both sought to devote their lives solely to God.

victoria and anatolia

The noble pagan suitors both managed to strike a deal with Roman authorities that allowed them to imprison each sister in their respective houses, in order to hopefully convince them to denounce their faith.   Both sisters responded by selling all of their possessions, giving all of their money to the poor and devoting themselves to God.   Both sisters, during their imprisonment, converted all of the guards, maids and servants in their respective houses.

Needless to say, the suitors were both furious at the sister’s failure to denounce their faith and acts of converting the guards, maids, etc.   Saint Anatolia’s suitor, Titus Aurelius, was furious and hired St Audace, to execute her.   He initially locked her in a room with a venomous snake which failed to harm her.   Upon seeing this, St Audace converted and was later martyred.   Saint Anatolia’s suitor was violently angry and became her murderer himself, by stabbing her to death.

Saint Victoria’s suitor,  Eugenius, soon heard of this murder of Anatolia but continued to try and convince Victoria to aposthasise.   He went through periods of great kindness towards her followed with periods of extreme ill-treatment.   Eventually he renounced his suite and stabbed her to death himself, in a fit of rage.   According to legend, he was instantly struck with leprosy and died 6 days later eaten by worms.

The relics of Saint Victoria are enshrined in the church of Santa Vittoria in Metanano, Italy and the relics of Saint Anatolia, as well as those of Saint Audace, are enshrined in the Basilica of Saint Scholastica in Subiaco.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 10 July

St Amalberga of Mauberge (Died 690)
St Anatolia & Victoria (Died 250) Martyrs
St Antôn Nguyen Huu Quynh
St Apollonius of Sardis
Bl Arnold of Camerino
St Bianor of Pisidia
St Cuán of Airbhre
St Elilantus
St Etto
Bl Euménios
St Knud of Denmark
St Lantfrid
Bl Marie-Gertrude de Ripert d’Alauzier
Bl Parthenios
St Pascharius of Nantes
St Peter Vincioli
St Phêrô Nguyen Khac Tu
St Rufina of Rome
St Secunda of Rome
St Sylvanus of Pisidia
Bl Sylvie-Agnès de Romillon
St Waltram

Martyrs of Africa – 4 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in Africa. The only information that has survived are four of their names – Felix, Januarius, Marinus and Nabor.

Martyrs of Antioch – 10 saints: A group of ten Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but the names – Diogenes, Domnina, Esicius, Macarius, Maxima, Maximus, Rodigus, Timoteus, Veronia and Zacheus. They were martyred in Antioch, date unknown.

Martyrs of Damascus – 11 beati: A group of Franciscans and laymen ordered by Druz Muslims to convert to Islam. They refused and were hacked to pieces.
• ‘Abd Al-Mu’ti Masabki
• Carmelo Bolta Bañuls
• Engelbert Kolland
• Francisco Pinazo Peñalver
• Fransis Masabki
• Juan Jacobo Fernández y Fernández
• Manuel Ruiz López
• Nicanor Ascanio de Soria
• Nicolás María Alberca Torres
• Pedro Soler Méndez
• Rufayil Masabki
They were cut to pieces on 9-10 July 1860 in Damascus, Syria.
Beatified on 10 October 1926 by Pope Pius XI.

Martyrs of Nicopolis – 45 saints: A group of 45 Christians tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Licinius. We know nothing else but six of their names – Anicetus, Anthony, Daniel, Leontius, Mauritius and Sisinno. c 329 in Nicopolis, Armenia (modern Koyulhisar, Turkey).

Martyrs of Nitria – 5 saints: Fathers of Nitria – Four monks and the bishop of Alexandria, Egypt who were martyred by heretics. Saint John Chrysostom wrote about them but their names have not come down to us. They were martyred in the 4th century in Nitria, Egypt.


Thought for the Day – 9 July – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

Thought for the Day – 9 July – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

Before beginning your work, my dear brethren, never fail to make the Sign of the Cross.before beginning your work - st john vianney - 9 july 2018

Do not imitate those people without religion who dare not do this because they are in company.

Offer quite simply all your difficulties to God and renew from time to time this offering, for by that means you will have the happiness of drawing down the blessing of Heaven on yourself and on all you do.

Just think, my dear brethren, how many acts of virtue you can practice by behaving in this way, without making any change in what you are actually doing.   

If you work with the object of pleasing God and obeying His Commandments, which order you to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow, that is an act of obedience.   

If you want to expiate your sins, you are making an act of penance.

If you want to obtain some grace for yourself or for others, it is an act of hope and of charity.   

Oh, how we could merit Heaven every day, my dear brethren, by doing just our ordinary duties, but by doing them for God and the salvation of our souls!   Who stops you, when you hear the chimes striking, from thinking on the shortness of time and of saying in your minds:

“Time passes and death comes closer.   I am hastening towards eternity. Am I really ready to appear before the tribunal of God?Am I not in a state of sin?”

St John Vianney, Pray for us!st john vianney pray for us - 9 july 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

“In Husbands Bosworth Hall, the residence of Miss Fortescue-Turville, the last direct descendant of the blessed martyr, was found some years ago a very precious relic, being nothing less than the Book of Hours which he habitually used.
The manuscript has suffered a good deal from time and careless handling but on the outer leaf can still be read another series of maxims, a kind of rule of life written and signed by the martyr’s own hand.   It will be seen how, while yet in the days of his prosperity, this truly Christian knight was preparing all unconsciously for the martyr’s crown and palm.
The Book of Hours is now reverently preserved as a relic in the beautiful little Catholic church adjoining the old hall of Husbands Bosworth :”

Quotations (slightly updated – from his famous Book of Hours)

…”Pray often.
Also enforce yourself
to set your house at quietness.
Resort to God every hour.”

“Be pitiful unto poor folk and help them to your power,
for there you shall greatly please God.”

“Give fair language to all persons
and especially to the poor and needy.”pray often - be pitiful unto poor folk - give fair language - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018

“Banish from yourself all grudging and detraction
and especially from your tongue.”

“In prosperity be meek of heart
and in adversity patient.”

“Pray for perseverance.
Continue in dread
and ever have
God before your eye.”banish from yourself - in prosperity - pray for perseverance - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018

“Also apply diligently
the inspirations of the Holy Spirit,
whatsoever you have therein to do.”

“If by chance you fall into sin,
despair not
and if you keep these precepts,
the Holy Spirit will strengthen you
in all other things necessary
and this doing you shall be
with Christ in Heaven,
to Whom be given laud,
praise and honour everlasting.”

Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539)also apply diligently - if by chance - bl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

“Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise”…Matthew 26:35.

REFLECTION – “The road is narrow.   He who wishes to travel it more easily must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane.   In other words, he must be truly resolved to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churcheven though i should die - matthew 26-35 and the road is narrow - st john of the cross - 9 july 2018

PRAYER – O God, You specially strengthened Blessed Adrian Fortescue with a wonderful spirit of holiness and courage.   Hear the prayers of Your people and from his renowned example, may we learn to be obedient to You rather than to human authority.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amenbl adrian fortescue - 9 july 2018 - pray for us


Our Morning Offering – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

Our Morning Offering – 9 July – The Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr

A Dominican Offering

May God the Father bless us.
May God the Son heal us.
May God the Holy Spirit enlighten us,
and give us
eyes to see with,
ears to hear with,
hands to do the work of God with,
feet to walk with,
a mouth to preach
the word of salvation with,
and the angel of peace
to watch over us and lead us at last,
by our Lord’s gift, to the Kingdom.

a dominican offering - may god the father bless us - 8 july 2018


Saint of the Day – Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539) Martyr

Saint of the Day – Blessed Adrian Fortescue (1476-1539) Martyr

After a remarkable life, Bl. Adrian Fortescue died a martyr at the strike of an executioner’s blade at Tower Hill in 1539.   A husband and father, a Justice of the Peace, a Knight of the Realm, a Knight of Malta and a Dominican Tertiary (Lay Dominican),he was at once a loyal servant of the Crown so far as he could be but still more, he was a man of unshakeable faith.Bl Adrian Fortescue. large

The House of Fortescue into which Adrian was born is said to date from the Battle of Hastings where Richard le Fort saved William the Conqueror’s Life by the shelter of his “strong shield” and, thereafter, was called “Fort – Escu”.   His family had a history of service to the Crown although this was later complicated by the dynastic battles of The Wars of the Roses.   Vicissitudes notwithstanding, his great uncle, Sir John Fortescue (d.1479) became Chief Justice of the King’s Bench (1442-61).   Sir John’s writings on the law and politics of England were arguably the most significant contribution of the fifteenth century and are still studied by lawyers and political theorists today.   Adrian’s father, also named Sir John, fought for the victorious Lancastrians at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 when Adrian was but a young boy.   And later in his life, Adrian’s first cousin, Anne Boleyn, became King Henry VIII’s second wife (before her eventual beheading in 1536).   We can say with some justification then that the Fortescues occupied a privileged position at the Rroyal court.

The first mention of Adrian Fortescue is in 1499, by which time, aged about 23, he was already married to Anne Stonor.   He lived at his wife’s family seat at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire.   This estate would later become the subject of an acrimonious legal dispute between him and his relative.   In 1503, on Prince Henry becoming Prince of Wales (after Prince Arthur’s death) Adrian was made a Knight of the Order of Bath.   Sir Adrian took the motto Loyalle Pensée;  his loyalty was indeed to be tested.

Like his forebears, Adrian served King Henry VIII in his ambitious military campaigns. He helped to rout the French the Battle of Spurs in 1513, and fought again in 1523.   King Henry rewarded his support and in 1520 invited him to the splendorous Field of the Cloth of Gold where Henry famously wrestled with the King of France.   Closer to home, Sir Adrian was made a Justice of the Peace of the county of Oxfordshire.   In this period of history, royal favour could also take more peculiar forms.   Sir Adrian had the dubious honour of being made a Gentleman of the King’s Privy Chamber, forerunner to the august body now known as the Privy Council.AdrianF

In addition to being an assiduous servant of the Crown, Sir Adrian was evidently also a man of strong religious conviction and charity.   His accounts reveal a number of benefactions to clergy and religious foundations.   In 1532, he became a Knight of Devotion in the Order of Malta.   The following year in July of 1533, he was admitted as a Dominican Tertiary at Blackfriars, Oxford, which he would visit from Stonor.   But he also had a strong association with the Dominican Priory in London.   His lodgings in the capital were in the precincts of the Blackfriars, close to the present eponymous tube station.

Not long after becoming a Lay Dominican, began what Adrian called his “trobilles”.   At the start of Summer 1533, he assisted in the Coronation of his cousin, Anne Boleyn – then six months pregnant – as Queen of England.   He must have realised that the marriage was not valid but perhaps thought, at that stage at least, that in the words of Sir Thomas More, it was not his business “to murmur at it or dispute upon it”.   This narrow compromise was to prove short-lived.

The King’s infidelity and presumption were rebuked when the Pope refused to grant an annulment declaring Henry’s marriage to Catherine as valid on 23rd March 1534.   The following month on 13th April, Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More refused to take the Oath of Succession.   Sir Adrian was similarly arrested that same year but he was released without explanation, probably in the Spring of 1535.   Fisher and More were afforded no such clemency and the two Saints were executed in Summer 1535.

The Act of Supremacy was also passed in 1535, making Henry supreme Head of the Church “immediately under God”.   As a matter of law, Henry expressly denied the Pope’s authority.   A writ affirming this and dated the following year can be found in Sir Adrian’s extant Missal.   Tellingly, perhaps, it has with a line struck through it:  apparent evidence of his disapproval.   The die, it seems, was cast.

In February 1539, Sir Adrian was again arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. In the sitting of Parliament that Spring, a number of laws were passed in what has been described as the most servile Parliamentary session in history.   Among the draconian laws enacted was a novel provision whereby a sentence of death might be passed without any trial of the accused.   Under this procedure, no evidence was needed, neither could a defence be heard.   Ironically, the architect of the law, Thomas Cromwell (then Lord Chancellor) was himself condemned by the same measure a year later leading to his own execution.   This device was put to use on 11th May 1535 when a Bill of Attainder was passed condemning fifty people of High Treason who opposed Henry’s ecclesiastical policies.   The names included Sir Adrian, Reginald Cardinal Pole, and the Countess of Salisbury.

adrian fortescue - martyr

Sir Adrian’s Book of Hours contains a Rule of Life written in his own hand and giving an insight into the interior life of a man who exemplified holiness and virtue in his conduct. He led a life of asceticism and honour, trying to follow God’s will in all things and daily seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   His pursuit of God’s truth brought him to a martyr’s death on 8th July 1539 (but possibly 9th or 10th) when he was beheaded at Tower Hill.   His servants were also killed for treason on the same day but were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.   As one later account neatly puts it, “Sir Adrian Fortescue died for his faith in Him whose acts Parliament was not competent to repeal”.

 Blessed Adrian, painting by Mattia Preti at St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Pope Leo XII declared Adrian Fortescue blessed on 13th May 1895 and as a layman, he ranks among the great Dominicans as an outstanding example to all Christians. … By Br Samuel Burke O.P.

Br Samuel Burke O.P. Br Samuel Burke is a deacon based in Rome where he is completing his studies at the Angelicum

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 9 July

St Augustine Zhao Rong and his 119 companions or Martyrs of China (Optional Memorial; 119 Companions):  25 priests, friars, nuns, seminarians and lay people. The 87 Chinese Catholics and 33 Western missionaries, from the mid-17th century to 1930, were martyred because of their ministry and, in some cases, for their refusal to apostatise.
Many died in the Boxer Rebellion, in which xenophobic peasants slaughtered 30,000 Chinese converts to Christianity along with missionaries and other foreigners.
Canonised on 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II in Rome.

Bl Adrian Fortescue T.O.S.D. (1476-1539) Martyr
St Agrippinus of Autun
St Alexander of Egypt
St Audax of Thora
St Brictius of Martola
St Copra of Egypt
St Cyril of Gortyna
Bl Dionysius the Rhetorician
St Everild of Everingham
St Faustina of Rome
St Felician of Sicily
Bl Fidelis Chojnacki
St Floriana of Rome
St Hérombert of Minden
Bl Jane Scopelli
St Joachim Ho
Bl Luigi Caburlotto
Bl Marguerite-Marie-Anne de Rocher
Bl Marie-Anne-Madeleine de Guilhermier
Bl Marija Petkovic
St Patermutius of Egypt
St Paulina do Coração Agonizante de Jesus
St Ursula/Veronica Giuliani

Four Holy Polish Brothers – 4 saints:  Four brothers who became hermits, Benedictine monks and saints – Andrew, Barnabas, Benedict and Justus.   They were born in Poland and died in 1008 of natural causes.

Martyrs of Gorkum – 19 saints:  Nineteen martyrs killed by Calvinists for loyalty to the Pope and for their belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.   They are –
• Adrianus van Hilvarenbeek • Andreas Wouters • Antonius van Hoornaar • Antonius van Weert • Cornelius van Wijk • Francisus de Roye • Godfried van Duynen • Godfried van Melveren • Hieronymus van Weert • Jacobus Lacops • Joannes Lenaerts • John of Cologne • Leonardus van Veghel • Nicasius Janssen van Heeze • Nicolaas Pieck • Nicolaas Poppel • Petrus van Assche • Theodorus van der Eem • Willehad van Deem •
They werehanged on 9 July 1572 in Brielle, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands.
Beatified on 24 November 1675 by Pope Clement X and Canonised on 29 June 1867 by Pope Pius IX.

Martyrs of Orange – 32 beati:   32 nuns from several orders who spent up to 18 months in prison and were finally executed for refusing to renounce Christianity during the persecutions of the French Revolution.
• Anne Cartier • Anne-Andrée Minutte • Dorothée-Madeleine-Julie de Justamond • élisabeth Verchière • élisabeth-Thérèse de Consolin • Jeanne-Marie de Romillon • Madeleine-Françoise de Justamond • Madeleine-Thérèse Talieu • Marguerite-Eléonore de Justamond • Marguerite-Marie-Anne de Rocher • Marguerite-Rose de Gordon • Marguerite-Thérèse Charensol • Marie Cluse • Marie-Anastasie de Roquard • Marie-Anne Béguin-Royal • Marie-Anne Depeyre • Marie-Anne Doux • Marie-Anne Lambert • Marie-Anne-Madeleine de Guilhermier • Marie-Claire du Bac • Marie-Clotilde Blanc • Marie-Elisabeth Pélissier • Marie-Gabrielle-Françoise-Suzanne de Gaillard de Lavaldène • Marie-Gertrude de Ripert d’Alauzier • Marie-Marguerite Bonnet • Marie-Marguerite de Barbégie d’Albrède • Marie-Rose Laye • Rosalie-Clotilde Bes • Suzanne-Agathe Deloye • Sylvie-Agnès de Romillon • Thérèse-Henriette Faurie
They were guillotined between 6 July and 26 July 1794 at Orange, Vaucluse, France.
Beatified on 10 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI.

Martyrs of the Baths – 10,204 saints:   A group of Christians enslaved by Diocletian to build the gigantic baths in imperial Rome, Italy. The end of their labours coincided with the beginning of the great persecutions of Diocletian and they were all executed. Ancient records indicated there were 10,204 of them; Zeno of Rome is the only one whose name has come down to us and we know nothing else about any of their individual lives.
c 304.


Sunday Reflection – 8 July – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 8 July – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?   

It is God who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.   

If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you.   

If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer so as to merit Heaven.   

If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win victory.

If you are poor, He will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and eternity.   

Let us open the door of His sacred and adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant by the flames of His love and we shall see what a God who loves us can do.   

O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)

what does jesus christ do in the eucharist - sun reflection - 8 july 2018 -no 2 LARGER st john vianney



Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Speaking of Marriage and the Family

“Authentic married love is caught up into divine love . . .
so that this love may lead the spouses to God . . .
and in God, they find the strength,
to carry on their roles and responsibilities.”

Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), 48authentic married love - gaudium et spes 48 - 8 july 2018

“Merciful love is supremely indispensable
between those who are closest to one another:
between husbands and wives,
between parents and children,
between friends
and it is indispensable
in education and in pastoral work.”merciful love - st john paul 8 july 208

“The future of humanity passes by way of the family.
It is therefore indispensable and urgent,
that every person of good will should endeavour
to save and foster the values and requirements of the family.
I feel that I must ask for a particular effort in this field,
from the sons and daughters of the Church.
Faith gives them full knowledge of God’s wonderful plan,
they, therefore, have an extra reason for caring for the reality
that is the family in this time of trial and of grace.
They must show the family special love.
This is an injunction that calls for concrete action.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the future of humanity - st pope john paul - 8 july 2018

“We speak a lot about behavioural problems,
mental health, the well-being of the child,
the anxiety of the parents and the children—
but do we even know what a wound of the soul is?
Do we feel the weight of the mountain
that crushes the soul of a child in those families,
where members mistreat and hurt one another
to the point of breaking the bonds of marital fidelity?
What effect do our choices — often poor choices—
have on the souls of children?”

Pope Francis
24 June 2015we speak a lot about behavioural problems - pope francis - 8 july 2018

“During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family,
which is the fundamental cell of society.
From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman,
so that they might be fruitful and multiply
and so the family then,
is an image of the Triune God in the world.”

Pope Francis
23 February 2014the family is the fundamental - pope francis - 8 july 2018

To be continued……


Thought for the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila

Thought for the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila

It is appropriate that today, on the Memorial of Saints Priscilla and Aquila that we remember the parents of “the Little Flower”, the first married couple to be formally canonised together, Louis and Zelie Martin.

Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux (“The Little Flower”), were the first married couple to be canonised together and just three weeks after the annual feast day of Thérèse.   Their canonisation coincided with the Ordinary Synod on the Family in Rome.Vatican French Saints

Though the Martins were known as a typical French family of their time, Louis and Zélie espoused and upheld a rare and unblemished love for God, each other and their children.

Although Louis intended to become a monk, wishing to enter the Augustinian Great St Bernard Monastery, he was rejected because he did not succeed at learning Latin.   Later he decided to become a watchmaker and studied his craft in Rennes and in Strasbourg.

Zélie wanted to become a nun but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul due to respiratory difficulties and recurrent headaches.   She then prayed for God to give her many children and that they would be consecrated to God. She later decided to become a lacemaker, manufacturing Alençon lace.   She fell in love with the watchmaker Louis Martin in 1858 and married him, only three months later, on 12 July 1858, at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Alençon.   Zélie’s business became so successful that, in 1870, Louis sold his watchmaking business to go into partnership with her.

The couple nurtured their marriage and maintained a joyful Catholic home, while balancing the demands of business and day-to-day life with their children.   Mr and Mrs Martin exemplified the multi-faceted vocation of being married Catholics and astute parents – putting God first;   mentoring, educating and disciplining their children; being honourable business owners and employers;   helping local families destitute and in need;   and persevering in faith through loss of children, Zélie’s breast cancer and her early death.

As a father, Louis loved nature with a deep sentimental enthusiasm  . It was from him that Thérèse inherited her passion for flowers and meadows and for her native landscape, clouds, thunderstorms, the sea and the stars.   He made pilgrimages to Chartres and Lourdes, went to Germany and Austria, travelled twice to Rome and even to Constantinople and planned but did not live to carry out, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Along with this desire for adventure was an impulse towards withdrawal;   in Lisieux Louis arranged a little den for himself high up in the attic, a true monastic cell for praying, reading and meditation.   Even his daughters were allowed to enter it only if they wished spiritual converse and self-examination.   As in a monastery, he divided the day into worship, garden work and relaxation.   As a jeweller and watchmaker, Louis loved the precious things with which he dealt.   To his daughters he gave touching and naïve pet names:  Marie was his “diamond”,  Pauline his “noble pearl”,  Céline “the bold one” and “the guardian angel”.   Thérèse was his “little queen … to whom all treasures belonged”

On 18 October 2015, Louis and Azélie-Marie Martin were canonised as saints by Pope Francis.

“The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin practised Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, among whom was Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.

The radiant witness of these new saints inspires us to persevere in joyful service to our brothers and sisters, trusting in the help of God and the maternal protection of Mary.   From heaven may they now watch over us and sustain us by their powerful intercession.”…Pope Francis

Indeed we cry out to God, “Call down your mercy on marriage!

Sts Priscilla and Aquila, Louis and Zélie, pray for all married couples, pray for the sanctity of marriage and for us all!sts priscilla and aquila, louis and zelie - pray for us - 8 july 2018 - no 2

Prayer for Marriage and Families
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Lord God, from You,
every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
Father, You are Love and Life.
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman
and through the Holy Spirit, fountain of divine charity,
grant that every family on earth may become,
for each successive generation, a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions
of husbands and wives, for the good of their families
and of all the families in the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family,
solid support for their human dignity
and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace
of the sacrament of marriage,
may prove mightier than all the weakness
and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that the Church
may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission
in the family and through the family.
Through Christ our Lord,
who is the Way, the Truth and the Life
forever and ever.
Amen.+prayer for marriage and family - st john paul - 8 july 2018- no 2


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

One Minute Reflection – 8 July – – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

One Minute Reflection – 8 July – – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B –
“He was not able to perform any mighty deed there because of their lack of faith”...Mark 6:4

And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.   And he marvelled because of their unbelief...Mark 6:5-6

REFLECTION – “Father, Almighty God, keep, I pray, my faith undefiled and till my last breath, grant that I may always confess my deepest convictions.   May I ever hold fast to everything which I professed in the creed of my new birth, when I was baptised in the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.   May I always adore You our Father and your Son who is one with You;  give me always Your Holy Spirit, who proceeds from You, through Your Only-begotten Son.
For I have a convincing witness to my faith, who says, “Father, everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine” (Jn 17:10).   This witness is my Lord Jesus Christ, forever God in You and from You and with You, who are blessed forever and ever. Amen”…Saint Hilary (c315-367) Bishop of Poitiers, Father & Doctor of the Church (De Trinitate, XII, final prayer)he was not able to perform - mark 6 4 - father almighty god, keep, i pray, my faith - st hilary - 8 july 2018

PRAYER – Lord Holy God and Father of all, hold us always in Your Heart, keep us near to Your Son, that our faith may never fail us!   Grant that by the prayers of Sts Aquila and Priscilla, we may hold fast to our Saviour, even in times of distress, hardship, persecution and humiliation, when this world assails us.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever amen.sts priscilla and aquila pray for us - 8 july 2018


Our Morning Offering – 8 July – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Our Morning Offering – 8 July – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Prayer before Holy Communion
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O my God, holiness becomes Your House,
and yet You make Your abode in my breast.
My Lord, my Saviour, to me You come,
hidden under the semblance of earthly things,
yet in that very flesh and blood
which You took from Mary,
You, who did first inhabit Mary’s breast,
come to me.
My God, You see me;
I cannot see myself…
You see how unworthy, so great a sinner is,
to receive the One Holy God,
whom the Seraphim adore with trembling…
My God, enable me to bear You,
for You alone can.
Cleanse my heart and mind from all that is past…
give me a true perception of things unseen,
and make me truly, practically,
and in the details of life,
prefer You to anything on earth,
and the future world,
to the present.
Amenprayer before holy communion by john henry newman - 8 july 2018