Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 August – The Memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651)

Thought for the Day – 31 August – The Memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651)

Aidan was gentle.   Aidan was personal.   Aidan was humble.   Aidan was compassionate. Aidan listened well.   Aidan prayed constantly.   Aidan cared for people’s lives, body, mind and spirit.   Aidan set people free from slavery.   He revealed a deep, quiet, almost easily overlooked way of evangelism and missionary life.   There is not much fanfare or miraculous flashy stuff in Aidan’s way of life and faith.   But where Aidan’s predecessor, Corman failed to reach into the hard hearts of the Anglo-Saxon people of Northumbria due to his harshness and austerity, the people loved Aidan and were deeply transformed by his brief 17 years among them, mainly because they were met face to face, heart to heart by a prayerful, gentle, holy man who brought the light of Christ through his actions and way of living.   The name Aidan means “fire, aflame”.   Aidan was aflame with Christ’s love.

The life of St Aidan of Lindisfarne, reminds us of the living Word of God in our lives.   St Aidan, following the teachings of Christ, was literally ready to expend every second of his life for Christ and his neighbour, with love, much as Christ did.   Today, how might we bring the Word of God to life—in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter?   It is this one word, “love”.

St Aidan of Lindisfarne, pray for us!st aidan of lindisfarne pray for us 31 aug 2018-no 2


Quote of the Day – 31 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13

Quote of the Day – 31 August – Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13

‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ …Matthew 25:6

“Give me grace to amend my life
and to have an eye to mine end,
without grudge of death,
which to them that die in You,
good Lord,
is the gate of a wealthy life.”

St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyrgive me grace good lord - st thomas more - 31 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13

One Minute Reflection – 31 August – Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:1–13 and the memorial of St Aidan of Lindisfarne

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ … Matthew 25:6

REFLECTION – “The souls’ husband is the Holy Spirit, by His grace.   When His interior inspiration calls the soul to repentance, then every enticement of vice is in vain.  The pride that wants command, the greed and lust that consumes everything:  this was the master that used to control and ravage the soul.   Their very names have been removed from the repentant sinner’s mouth…   When grace is poured into the soul and gives it light, God makes a covenant with sinners.   He is reconciled with them…   Then is celebrated the wedding of the bridegroom with His bride in the peace of a pure conscience.”…St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Churchbehold the bridegroom - matthew 25 6 - the souls' husband - st anthony of padua 31 aug 2018

“You have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation…..This is your goal!   This is the centre of your life;  this is the treasure of your heart.   If you reach your goal you will find happiness.   If you fail to reach it, you will find misery.”……St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Churchyou-have-been-created-for-the-glory-of-god-st-robert-bellarmine-31 aug 2017

PRAYER – My Lord and my God, help me eternal Father, to stay awake! Teach me to be constantly on guard against my own weakness, to constantly keep watch for temptation and to live constantly in prayer, that Your Son will lead me to safety.   Grant that by the prayers of your holy servant, St Aidan of Lindisfarne, who always remained prayerful and awake, waiting for the Lord, we may be ready to meet the bridegroom.    Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, aidan of lindisfarne pray for us 31 aug 2018


Our Morning Offering – 31 August

Our Morning Offering – 31 August

O Sweet Name of Jesus
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

O sweet Name of Jesus,
holy above all names
in heaven and on earth
and to which every knee,
both of men
and of angels in heaven,
on earth and in hell bends.
You are the the Way of the just,
the Glory of the saints,
the Hope of those in need,
the Balm of the sick,
the Love of the devout
and the Consolation
of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help
and a protector
so that Your Name
may be blessed for all times.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) CRSA …(Manualis Parvulorum XIII)o sweet name of jesus - thomas a kempis - 6 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 August -St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria

Saint of the Day – 31 August -St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria – Bishop, Monk, Missionary, Abbot, Ascetic, Apostle of Charity  – born as (Irish: Naomh Aodhán) in Ireland and died on  31 August 651 at Bamburg, England of natural causes.   Patronages – Northumbria and firefighters.   St Aidan was an Irish monk and missionary credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria.   He founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, known as Lindisfarne Priory, served as its first bishop and travelled ceaselessly throughout the countryside, spreading the gospel to both the Anglo-Saxon nobility and to the socially disenfranchised (including children and slaves).DSC04111 Aidan

St Bede’s (673-735 Father & Doctor of the Church) meticulous and detailed account of Aidan’s life provides the basis for most biographical sketches (both classical and modern).   One notable lacuna, which (somewhat paradoxically) reinforces the notion of Bede’s reliability, is that virtually nothing is known of the monk’s early life, save that he was a monk at the ancient monastery on the island of Iona from a relatively young age and that he was of Irish descent.

In the years prior to Aidan’s mission, Christianity, which had been propagated throughout Britain but not Ireland by the Roman Empire, was being largely displaced by Anglo-Saxon paganism.   In the monastery of Iona (founded by Columba of the Irish Church), the religion soon found one of its principal exponents in Oswald of Northumbria, a noble youth who had been raised there as a king in exile since 616. Baptised as a Christian, the young king vowed to bring Christianity back to his people—an opportunity that presented itself in 634, when he gained the crown of Northumbria.

Owing to his historical connection to Iona’s monastic community, King Oswald requested that missionaries be sent from that monastery instead of the Roman-sponsored monasteries of Southern England.   At first, they sent him a bishop named Cormán, but he alienated many people by his harshness and returned in failure to Iona reporting that the Northumbrians were too stubborn to be converted.   Aidan criticised Cormán’s methods and was soon sent as his replacement.   He became bishop in aidan icon

Allying himself with the pious king, Aidan chose the island of Lindisfarne, which was close to the royal castle at Bamburgh, as the seat of his diocese.   An inspired missionary, Aidan would walk from one village to another, politely conversing with the people he saw and slowly interesting them in Christianity –  in this, he followed the early apostolic model of conversion, by offering “them first the milk of gentle doctrine, to bring them by degrees, while nourishing them with the Divine Word, to the true understanding and practice of the more advanced precepts.”   By patiently talking to the people on their own level (and by taking an active interest in their lives and communities), Aidan and his monks slowly restored Christianity to the Northumbrian countryside.   King Oswald, who after his years of exile had a perfect command of Irish, often had to translate for Aidan and his monks, who did not speak English at first.Enniscorthy_St._Aidan's_Cathedral_East_Aisle_Fifth_Window_Saint_Aidan_Detail_2009_09_28

In his years of evangelism, Aidan was responsible for the construction of churches, monasteries and schools throughout Northumbria.   At the same time, he earned a tremendous reputation for his pious charity and dedication to the less fortunate—such as his tendency to provide room, board and education to orphans and his use of contributions to pay for the freedom of slaves.

“He was one to traverse both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity and wherever in his way, he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if infidels, to embrace the mystery of the faith or if they were believers, to strengthen them in the faith, and to stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works. … This [the reading of scriptures and psalms and meditation upon holy truths] was the daily employment of himself and all that were with him, wheresoever they went and if it happened, which was but seldom, that he was invited to eat with the king, he went with one or two clerks, and having taken a small repast, made haste to be gone with them, either to read or write.

At that time, many religious men and women, stirred up by his example, adopted the custom of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, till the ninth hour, throughout the year, except during the fifty days after Easter.

He never gave money to the powerful men of the world but only meat, if he happened to entertain them and, on the contrary, whatsoever gifts of money he received from the rich, he either distributed them, as has been said, to the use of the poor, or bestowed them in ransoming such as had been wrong fully sold for slaves.   Moreover, he afterwards made many of those he had ransomed his disciples, and after having taught and instructed them, advanced them to the order of priesthood.” (St Bede)

The monastery he founded grew and helped found churches and other religious institutions throughout the area.   It also served as centre of learning and a storehouse of scholarly knowledge, training many of Aidan’s young charges for a career in the priesthood.   Though Aidan was a member of the Irish branch of Christianity (instead of the Roman branch), his character and energy in missionary work won him the respect of Pope Honorius I and Felix of Dunwich.Saint_Aidan-glass lg

When Oswald died in 642, Aidan received continued support from King Oswine of Deira and the two became close friends.  As such, the monk’s ministry continued relatively unchanged until the rise of pagan hostilities in 651.   At that time, a pagan army attacked Bamburgh and attempted to set its walls ablaze.   According to legend, Aidan saw the black smoke from his cell at Lindisfarne Abbey, immediately recognised its cause and knelt in prayer for the fate of the city.   Miraculously, the winds abruptly reversed their course, blowing the conflagration towards the enemy, which convinced them that the capital city was defended by potent spiritual forces.   Around this time, Oswine was betrayed and murdered.   Two weeks later Aidan died, on 31 August 651.   He had become ill while on one of his incessant missionary tours and died leaning against the wall of the local church.   As Baring-Gould poetically summarises: “It was a death which became a soldier of the faith upon his own fit field of battle.”

After his death, Aidan’s body was buried at Lindisfarne, beneath the abbey that he had helped found.   Though his popularity waned in the coming years, “in the 11th century Glastonbury monks obtained some supposed relics of Aidan through their influence Aidan’s feast appears in the early Wessex calendars, which provide the main evidence for his cult after the age of Bede.”st aidan of lindisfarne - header

His feast is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, 31 August.   Reflecting his Irish origins, his Scottish monasticism and his ministry to the English, Aidan has been proposed as a possible patron saint of the United Kingdom.

Today, Aidan’s significance is still recognised in the following saying by Joseph Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham:

“Augustine was the Apostle of Kent but Aidan was the Apostle of the English.”
… Bishop Lightfoot
St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham was named after Aidan of Lindisfarne.   Below is the Statue of St Aidan on Holy Island of Lindisfarne carrying the Flame of the Gospel of aidan statuest aidan carrying the flame

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 31 August

St Aidan of Lindisfarne (died 651) Apostle of Northumbria
St Ammi of Caesarea
St Aristides the Philosopher
St Barbolenus of Bobbio
St Caesidius
St Cuthburgh of Wimborne
St Cwenburgh of Wimborne
St Mark of Milan
St Optatus of Auxerre
St Paulinus of Trier
Bl Pere Tarrés i Claret
St Raymond Nonnatus O.deM. (1204-1240)
Biography here:

St Raymond Nonnatus Robustian of Milan
St Raymond Nonnatus Rufina of Caesarea
St Raymond Nonnatus Theodotus of Caesarea

Martyrs of Prague – 64 beati

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Pozo de la Lagarta – 18 beati:
• Blessed Bernardo Cembranos Nistal
• Blessed Dionisio Ullivarri Barajuán
• Blessed Enrique Vidaurreta Palma
• Blessed Félix Paco Escartín
• Blessed Germán Martín y Martín
• Blessed Isidro Ordóñez Díez
• Blessed José María Palacio Montes
• Blessed Justo Zariquiegui Mendoza
• Blessed Marciano Herrero Martínez
• Blessed Miguel Menéndez García
• Blessed Tomás Alonso Sanjuán
• Blessed Ventureta Sauleda Paulís

Posted in MORNING Prayers, OPEN HOUSE...Conversations with..., QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, Uncategorized

Open House….Conversations with …. 30 August

Open House….Conversations with …. 30 August

Little weekly reflections from those ‘minds alive’, our friends and intercessors waiting on our arrival.

Mother, how do we live by example?

Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge was a British journalist and media celebrity who did not care much about God and religion.   But…he saw compassion actualised before his very eyes through the person of Mother Teresa and that made him do something he had sworn he would never do – he became a Catholic!
Muggeridge had an assignment to write about Mother Teresa.   Travelling to India, he thought the trip was just the usual work but the amazing thing was, in the course of his talks and days of observation of the little nun, he experienced a complete conversion of his heart, his mind, his soul, his very being.
He confessed:  “Words cannot express how much I owe her, she showed me Christianity in action.   She showed me the power of love.   She showed me how one loving person can start a tidal wave of love that can spread to the entire world!”

“You must first learn to forget yourself

so that you can dedicate yourself to God and to neighbour alike!”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

you must first learn to forget yourself - st mother terea - 30 aug 2018 - conversations with 2


Thought for the Day – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)

Thought for the Day – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)

By her admirable work at the service of the most deprived elderly, St Mary of the Cross is also like a beacon to guide our societies which must always rediscover the place and the unique contribution of this period of life.
Born in 1792 at Cancale in Brittany, Jeanne Jugan was concerned with the dignity of her brothers and sisters in humanity whom age had made more vulnerable, recognising in them the Person of Christ himself.   “Look upon the poor with compassion”, she would say, “and Jesus will look kindly upon you on your last day”.
Jeanne Jugan focused upon the elderly a compassionate gaze drawn from her profound communion with God in her joyful, disinterested service, which she carried out with gentleness and humility of heart, desiring herself to be poor among the poor.   Jeanne lived the mystery of love, peacefully accepting obscurity and self-emptying until her death.   Her charism is ever timely while so many elderly people are suffering from numerous forms of poverty and solitude and are sometimes also abandoned by their families.
In the Beatitudes Jeanne Jugan found the source of the spirit of hospitality and fraternal love, founded on unlimited trust in Providence, which illuminated her whole life.  This evangelical dynamism is continued today across the world in the Congregation of Little Sisters of the Poor, which she founded and which testifies, after her example, to the mercy of God and the compassionate love of the Heart of Jesus for the lowliest.
May St Jeanne Jugan be for elderly people a living source of hope and for those who generously commit themselves to serving them, a powerful incentive to pursue and develop her work!

I would like to address to all the invitation to let yourselves be attracted by the luminous examples of these Saints, to let yourselves be guided by their teaching so that our entire life may become a song of praise to God’s love.   May their heavenly intercession obtain for us this grace and, especially, the motherly protection of Mary, Queen and Mother of humanity. Amen

Pope Benedict XVI – Homily at the Canonisation of St Mary of the Cross/Jeanne Jugan – Vatican Basilica Sunday, 11 October 2009

Once after meeting Jeanne Jugan, Charles Dickens said, “there is in this woman something so calm and so holy, that in seeing her I know myself to be in the presence of a superior being.

Her words went straight to my heart, so that my eyes, I know not how, filled with tears.”

St Mary of the Cross, Pray for us!st mary of the cross - jeanne jugan - pray for us - 30 aug 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan /Mary of the Cross (1792 – 1879)

Quote/s of the Day – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan /Mary of the Cross (1792 – 1879)

“Jesus is waiting
for you
in the chapel.
Go and find Him.”jesus is waiting for you in the chapel - st jeanne jugan - 19 june 2018

very little,
be very little
before God.”little,be very little - st jeanne jugan - 30 aug 2018

“God is with us,
it will be accomplished …
God will help us,
the work is His.”god is with us - st jeanne jugan - 30 aug 2018

“In our troubles,
we must always say,
“Blessed be God,
thank You my God,
or glory to God!”in our troubles, we must always say - st jeanne jugan 30 aug 2018

“The Hail Mary
will take us
to Heaven.”the hail mary will take us to heaven - st jeanne jugan - 30 aug 2018

“Do not call me Jeanne Jugan.
All that is left of her
is Sister Mary of the Cross,
unworthy though she is
of that lovely name.”

St Jeanne Jugan/Mary of the Cross (1792-1879)do not call me jeanne jugan - st mary of the cross - 30 april 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 30 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 24:42–51

One Minute Reflection – 30 August – Thursday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel:  Matthew 24:42–51

Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming...Matthew 24:42

REFLECTION – “We must sleep in such a way as to be easily awakened.   For Scripture says, “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” (Lk 12:35-36).   For a sleeping man is of no more use than a dead man.   Therefore we ought often to get up at night and bless God.
Blessed are those who watch for Him and so make themselves like the angels, whom we call “watchers”.   A man asleep is worth nothing, no more than if he were dead.   But whoever has the light keeps watch and “darkness does not overcome him” (Jn 1:5) neither sleep.   Whoever has been illumined is therefore wakened to God and such a person is alive, “for what came to be in him was life.” (Jn 1:4)   “Happy the man,” says Wisdom,”who obeys me and happy those who keep my ways, happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts” (Pr 8:34)…St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Father of the Churchwatch theefore - matthew 24 42 - for a sleeping man - st clemtn of alexandria - 30 aug 2018

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism you made us children of light. Hear our prayer, that we may always walk in that light and work for truth, love and charity, as Your witnesses before men.   Dispel from our hearts the darkness of sin and keep us ever watchful for the true light, Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever.   St Jeanne Jugan, you lived a life of total charity ever watchful to the needs of your neighbour, please pray for us, jeanne jugan pray for us 30 aug 2018

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)

Our Morning Offering – 30 August – The Memorial of St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)

Radiating Christ
St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

Dear Jesus, help us to spread Your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel Your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us
but only Jesus.
Stay with us
and then we shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from You.
None of it will be ours.
It will be You shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise You in the way You love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach You without preaching,
not by words but by our example;
by the catching force –
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love
our hearts bear to You.
Amen.radiating-christ-by-st-mother-teresa-6-april-2018 - no 2 30 aug 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 August – St Mary of the Cross (1792 – 1879) Jeanne Jugan

Saint of the Day – 30 August – St Mary of the Cross L.SP.(1792 – 1879) Jeanne Jugan – Founder – born on 25 October 1792 at Les Petites-Croix, Cancale, d’Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, France and died on 29 August 1879 at Saint-Pern, d’Ille-et-Vilaine, Bretagne, France of natural causes.   Patronages – the destitute elderly, poor and abandoned.   St Jeanne Jugan was a French woman who became known for the dedication of her life to the neediest of the elderly poor.   Her service resulted in the establishment of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who care for the elderly who have no other resources throughout the world. SAINT Jeanne juganiSt-Jeanne-Jugan-Little-Sisters-of-the-Poor-768x543

Jeanne was born 25 October 1792, in the port city of Cancale in Brittany, the sixth of the eight children of Joseph and Marie Jugan.   She grew up during the political and religious upheavals of the French Revolution.   Four years after she was born, her father, a fisherman, was lost at sea.   Her mother struggled to provide for the young Jeanne and her siblings, while also providing them secretly with religious instruction amid the anti-Catholic persecutions of the day.

Jugan worked as a shepherdess while still very young and learned to knit and spin wool. She could barely read and write.   When she was 16, she took a job as the kitchen maid of the Viscountess de la Choue.  The viscountess, a devout Catholic, had Jugan accompany her when she visited the sick and the poor.   At age 18 and again six years later, she declined marriage proposals from the same man.   She told her mother that God had otherplans, and was calling her to “a work which is not yet founded”.   At age 25, the young woman became an Associate of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary founded by St John Eudes (1501-1680) (Eudists).   Jugan also worked as a nurse in the town hospital of Saint-Servan.   She worked hard at this physically demanding job but after six years, she left the hospital due to her own health issues.   She then worked for 12 years as the servant of a fellow member of the Eudist Third Order, until the woman’s death in 1835. In the course of Jugan’s duties, the two women recognised a similar Catholic spirituality and began to teach catechism to the children of the town and to care for the poor and other unfortunates.

In 1837, Jugan and a 72-year-old woman (Françoise Aubert) rented part of a small cottage and were joined by Virginie Tredaniel, a 17-year-old orphan.   These three women then formed a Catholic community of prayer, devoted to teaching the catechism and assisting the poor.

In the winter of 1839, Jugan encountered Anne Chauvin, an elderly woman who was blind, partially paralysed and had no one to care for her.   Jugan carried her home to her apartment and took her in from that day forward, letting the woman have her bed while she slept in the attic.   She soon took in two more old women in need of help and by 1841 she had rented a room to provide housing for a dozen elderly people.   The following year, she acquired an unused convent building that could house 40 of them.   From this act of charity, with the approval of her colleagues, Jeanne then focused her attention upon the mission of assisting abandoned elderly women and from this beginning arose a religious congregation called The Little Sisters of the Poor.   Jugan wrote a simple Rule of Life for this new community of women and they went door-to-door daily requesting food, clothing and money for the women in their care.   This became Jugan’s life work, and she performed this mission for the next four decades.

During the 1840s, many other young women joined Jugan in her mission of service to the elderly poor.   By begging in the streets, the foundress was able to establish four more homes for their beneficiaries by the end of the decade.   In 1847 based on the request of Leo Dupont (known as the Holy Man of Tours) she established a house in that city.   She was much sought after whenever problems arose and worked with religious and civil authorities to seek help for the poor.   By 1850, over 100 women had joined the congregation.


Jugan, however, was forced out of her leadership role by the Abbé Auguste Le Pailleur, the priest who had been appointed Superior General of the congregation by the local bishop.   In an apparent effort to suppress her true role as foundress, he assigned her to do nothing but begging on the street until she was sent into retirement and a life of obscurity for 27 years.   Her eyesight was impaired in her final jeanne jugan with the elderly icon

After communities of Little Sisters had begun to spread throughout France, the work spread to England in 1851.   From 1866-1871 five communities of Little Sisters were founded across the United States.   By 1879, the community Jeanne founded had 2,400 Little Sisters and had spread across Europe and to North America.   On 1 March that year, Pope Leo XIII approved the Constitutions for the Little Sisters of the Poor for an initial period of seven years.   At the time of her death on 29 August 1879, many of the Little Sisters did not know that she was the one to have founded the congregation.   Le Pailleur, however, was investigated and dismissed in 1890 and Jugan came to be acknowledged as their foundress.

In September 1885, the congregation arrived in South America and made a first foundation in Valparaíso, Chile, from which it expanded later Jeanne_Jugan-lg

Jugan died in 1879 at the age of 86 and was buried in the graveyard of the General Motherhouse at Saint-Pern.   She was Beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on 3 October 1982 and Canonised on 11 October 2009, by Pope Benedict XVI, who said, “In the Beatitudes, Jeanne Jugan found the source of the spirit of hospitality and fraternal love, founded on unlimited trust in Providence, which illuminated her whole life.”

Today, pilgrims can visit the house where she was born, the House of the Cross at Saint-Servan and the Motherhouse where she lived her last 23 years at La Tour Saint Joseph in Saint-Pern.

st jeanne jugan statue

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -30 August

St Adauctus of Rome
St Agilus
Bl Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
St Arsenius the Hermit
St Boniface of Hadrumetum
St Bononius of Lucedio
Bl Bronislava of Poland
Bl Edward Shelley
Bl Ero di Armenteira
Bl Eustáquio van Lieshout
St Fantinus of San Mercurius
St Felix of Rome
St Fiacre
St Gaudentia of Rome
Bl Giovanni Giovenale Ancina
St Jeanne Jugan L.S.P. (Mary of the Cross) (1792 – 1879)

Bl John Roche
St Loarn
St Margaret Ward
Bl María Rafols-Bruna
St Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran
St Pammachius
St Pelagius the Hermit
St Peter of Trevi
Bl Riccardo of Lotaringia
Bl Richard Flower
Bl Richard Leigh
Bl Richard Martin
St Rumon of Tavistock
Sylvanus the Hermit
St Thecla of Hadrumetum
St Theodosius of Oria
Bl Yusuf Nehme

Martyrs of Colonia Suffetulana – 60 saints: A group of 60 Christians martyred for destroying a statue of Hermes.
They were martyred in Colonia Suffetulana, Africa.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed José Ferrer Adell
• Blessed Manuel Medina Olmos
• Blessed Vicente Cabanes Badenas
Martyrs of Barranco del Chisme (Spanish Civil War) – 10 beati:
• Blessed Alberto José Larrazábal Michelena
• Blessed Antonio María Arriaga Anduiza
• Carles Canyes Santacana
• Blessed Caterina Margenat Roura
• Diego Ventaja Milán
• Blessed Eleuterio Angulo Ayala
• Blessed Josefa Monrabal Montaner
• Manuel Medina Olmos
• Blessed Maria Dolores Oller Angelats
• Blessed Nicasio Romo Rubio


Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honour, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist.  The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him:  rejection and martyrdom.   The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth.   But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life?

This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah.   His vocation was one of selfless giving.   The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of yjr Lord.   “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.   I am not worthy to carry His sandals.   He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power.   John never allowed himself the false honour of receiving these people for his own glory.   He knew his calling was one of preparation.   When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus:   “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’   The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37).

It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ.   John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people.   His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions  . His heart was lifted on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart.   Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation, repentance, and salvation.

Each of us has a calling to which we must listen.   No-one will ever repeat the mission of John and yet all of us are called to that very mission.   It is the role of the Christian to witness to Jesus.   Whatever our position in this world, we are called to be disciples of Christ.   By our words and deeds, others should realise that we live in the joy of knowing that Jesus is Lord.   We do not have to depend upon our own limited resources but can draw strength from the vastness of Christ’s saving grace.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us!st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us-2-29 aug 2017

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL SERMONS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

Quote/s of the Day – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

“And what else did John have in mind but what is virtuous,
so that he could not endure a wicked union even in the king’s case, saying:
“It is not lawful for thee to have her to wife.”
He could have been silent, had he not thought it unseemly for himself
not to speak the truth for fear of death,
or to make the prophetic office yield to the king,
or to indulge in flattery.
He knew well that he would die as he was against the king
but he preferred virtue to safety.
Yet what is more expedient than the suffering
which brought glory to the saint.”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Churchhe knew well that he would die - st ambrose - beheading st john the baptist - 29 aug 2018

“As an authentic prophet,
John bore witness to the truth without compromise.
He denounced transgressions of God’s commandments,
even when it was the powerful who were responsible for them.
Thus, when he accused Herod and Herodias of adultery,
he paid with his life,
sealing with martyrdom,
his service to Christ who is Truth in person.”

Pope Benedict XVI (24 June 2007)as an authentic prophet - pope benedict - mem of beheading of st john the baptist - 29 aug 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist – Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:17–29

One Minute Reflection – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist – Today’s Gospel: Mark 6:17–29

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”…Mark 6:24mark-6-24.she went out and asked her mother - 29 aug 2017

REFLECTION – “John was baptised in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptise the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him.   But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John;  rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.”…St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Churchto endure temporal agonies - ven bede - 29 august 2018 st john the baptist

PRAYER – God our Father, You appointed St John the Baptist to be the herald of the birth and death of Christ Your Son. Grant that as he died a martyr for justice and truth, so we may also courageously bear witness to Your Word.   We make our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. St John the Baptist, pray for us, aug 2017

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, HYMNS, MARTYRS, Our MORNING Offering, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

Our Morning Offering – 29 August – The Memorial of the Beheading of St John the Baptist

Lauds Hymn
Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

God called great prophets to foretell
the coming of His Son.
The greatest, called before his birth,
was John, the chosen one.

His life was filled with joy and hope;
he knew he must decrease,
and that we must prepare a place
where Jesus may increase.

John searched in solitude for Christ
and knew Him when He came.
He showed the world the Lamb of God
and hailed Him in our name.

That lonely voice cried out the truth
Derided and denied.
As witness to the law of God
His mighty martyr died.

We praise You, Trinity in One,
the light of unknown ways,
the hope of all who search for You
whose love fills all our days.lauds hymn - memorial of st john the baptist - 29 aug 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 August – The Martyrdom of St John the Baptist

Saint of the Day – 29 August – The Martyrdom of St John the Baptist

Catechism of the Catholic Church
IV. The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time
John, Precursor, Prophet and Baptist

719    John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.”   In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets.   John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel;  he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming.   As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.”   In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels.   “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptises with the Holy Spirit and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God…. Behold, the Lamb of God.”john-the-Baptist-carvilli

Castel Gandolfo
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

This last Wednesday of the month of August is the liturgical Memorial of the martyrdom of St John the Baptist, the Precursor of Jesus.   In the Roman Calendar, he is the only saint whose birth and death, through martyrdom, are celebrated on the same day (in his case, 24 June).   Today’s Memorial commemoration dates back to the dedication of a crypt in Sebaste, Samaria, where his head had already been venerated since the middle of the fourth century.   The devotion later extended to Jerusalem, both in the Churches of the East and in Rome, with the title of the Beheading of St John the Baptist.   In the Roman Martyrology reference is made to a second discovery of the precious relic, translated for the occasion to the Church of San Silvestro in Campo Marzio, Rome.beheading Salome-with-the-head-of-St-john-the-Baptist

These small historical references help us to understand how ancient and deeply-rooted is the veneration of John the Baptist.   His role in relation to Jesus stands out clearly in the Gospels.   St Luke in particular recounts his birth, his life in the wilderness and his preaching, while in today’s Gospel St Mark tells us of his dramatic death.   John the Baptist began his preaching under the Emperor Tiberius in about 27-28 A.D. and the unambiguous invitation he addressed to the people, who flocked to listen to him, was to prepare the way to welcome the Lord, to straighten the crooked paths of their lives through a radical conversion of heart (cf. Lk 3:4).

However, John the Baptist did not limit himself to teaching repentance or conversion. Instead, in recognising Jesus as the “Lamb of God” who came to take away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29), he had the profound humility to hold up Jesus as the One sent by God, drawing back so that he might take the lead and be heard and followed.   As his last act the Baptist witnessed with his blood to faithfulness to God’s commandments, without giving in or withdrawing, carrying out his mission to the very end.   In the 9th century the Venerable Bede says in one of his Homilies:  “St John gave his life for [Christ].   He was not ordered to deny Jesus Christ but was ordered to keep silent about the truth” (cf. Homily 23: CCL 122, 354).   And he did not keep silent about the truth and thus died for Christ who is the Truth.   Precisely for love of the truth he did not stoop to compromises and did not fear to address strong words to anyone who had strayed from God’s path.st_john

We see this great figure, this force in the Passion, in resistance to the powerful.   We wonder, what gave birth to this life, to this interiority so strong, so upright, so consistent, spent so totally for God in preparing the way for Jesus?   The answer is simple – it was born from the relationship with God, from prayer, which was the thread that guided him throughout his existence.   John was the divine gift for which his parents Zechariah and Elizabeth had been praying for so many years (cf. Lk 1:13), a great gift, humanly impossible to hope for, because they were both advanced in years and Elizabeth was barren (cf. Lk 1:7), yet nothing is impossible to God (cf. Lk 1:36).   The announcement of this birth happened precisely in the place of prayer, in the temple of Jerusalem, indeed it happened when Zechariah had the great privilege of entering the holiest place in the temple to offer incense to the Lord (cf. Lk 1:8-20).   John the Baptist’s birth was also marked by prayer, the Benedictus, the hymn of joy, praise and thanksgiving which Zechariah raises to the Lord and which we recite every morning in Lauds, exalts God’s action in history and prophetically indicates the mission of their son John – to go before the Son of God made flesh to prepare His ways (cf. Lk 1:67-79).

The entire existence of the Forerunner of Jesus was nourished by his relationship with God, particularly the period he spent in desert regions (cf. Lk 1:80).   The desert regions are places of temptation but also where man acquires a sense of his own poverty because once deprived of material support and security, he understands that the only steadfast reference point is God Himself.   John the Baptist, however, is not only a man of prayer, in permanent contact with God but also a guide in this relationship.   The Evangelist Luke, recalling the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples, the Our Father, notes that the request was formulated by the disciples in these words:  “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his own disciples” (cf. Lk 11:1).

Dear brothers and sisters, celebrating the martyrdom of St John the Baptist reminds us too, Christians of this time, that with love for Christ, for His words and for the Truth, we cannot stoop to compromises.   The Truth is Truth; there are no compromises.   Christian life demands, so to speak, the “martyrdom” of daily fidelity to the Gospel, the courage, that is, to let Christ grow within us and let Him be the One who guides our thought and our actions.   However, this can happen in our life only if we have a solid relationship with God.   Prayer is not time wasted, it does not take away time from our activities, even apostolic activities but exactly the opposite is true only if we are able to have a faithful, constant and trusting life of prayer will God Himself give us the ability and strength to live happily and serenely, to surmount difficulties and to witness courageously to Him.   St John the Baptist, intercede for us, that we may be ever able to preserve the primacy of God in our life.   Thank you.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 29 August

The Beheading/Passion of John the Baptist (Memorial)

St Adelphus
St Adausia of Rome
St Alberic of Bagno de Romagna
St Basilia of Sirmium
St Candida of Rome
Bl Dominik Jedrzejewski
Bl Edmund Rice
St Edwold the Hermit
St Eufrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Eluvathingal
St Euthymius of Perugia
Bl Filippa Guidoni
Bl John of Perugia
St Louis-Wulphy Huppy
St Maximian of Vercelli
St Medericus
St Nicaeus of Antioch
St Paul of Antioch
Bl Peter of Sassoferrato
St Repositus of Velleianum
Bl Richard Herst
St Sabina of Rome
St Sabina of Troyes
Bl Sancja Szymkowiak
St Sator of Velleianum
St Sebbe of Essex
Bl Teresa Bracco
St Velleicus
St Victor of La Chambon
St Vitalis of Velleianum

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Constantino Fernández Álvarez
• Blessed José Almunia López-Teruel
• Blessed Josep Maria Tarín Curto
• Blessed Pedro Asúa Mendía

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL SERMONS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace

Thought for the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (sorry it’s long but absolutely worth the effort)

Papal Homily – Pastoral Visit to Vigevano and Pavia, Italy
H.H. Benedict XVI
Third Sunday of Easter
22 April 2007

The path we must take – the path that Jesus points out to us – is called “conversion”.   But what is it?   What must we do?   In every life conversion has its own form, because every human being is something new and no one is merely a copy of another.

But in the course of history, the Lord has sent us models of conversion to whom we can look to find guidance.   We could thus look at Peter himself to whom the Lord said at the Last Supper:  “[W]hen you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22: 32).

We could look at Paul as a great convert.   The City of Pavia speaks of one of the greatest converts in the history of the Church – St Aurelius Augustine.   He died on 28 August in 430 in the port town of Hippo, in Africa, at that time surrounded and besieged by the Vandals.   After the considerable turmoil of a turbulent history, the King of the Longobards acquired Augustine’s remains for the City of Pavia so that today they belong to this City in a special way and, in it and from it, have something special to say to all of us, to humanity but to all of us here in particular.

In his book, Confessions, Augustine touchingly described the development of his conversion which achieved its goal with Baptism, administered to him by Bishop Ambrose in the Cathedral of Milan.   Readers of his Confessions can share in the journey that Augustine had to make in a long inner struggle to receive at last, at the baptismal font on the night before Easter 387, the Sacrament which marked the great turning point in his life.   A careful examination of the course of St Augustine’s life enables one to perceive that his conversion was not an event of a single moment but, precisely, a journey.   And one can see that this journey did not end at the baptismal font.

Just as prior to his baptism Augustine’s life was a journey of conversion, after it too, although differently, his life continued to be a journey of conversion – until his last illness, when he had the penitential Psalms hung on the walls so that he might have them always before his eyes and when he excluded himself from receiving the Eucharist in order to go back once again over the path of his repentance and receive salvation from Christ’s hands as a gift of God’s mercy.

Thus, we can rightly speak of Augustine’s “conversions”, which actually consisted of one important conversion in his quest for the Face of Christ and then in the journeying on with him.   I would like to mention briefly three important landmarks in this process of conversion, three “conversions”.

The first fundamental conversion was the inner march towards Christianity, towards the “yes” of the faith and of Baptism.   What was the essential aspect of this journey?

On the one hand, Augustine was a son of his time, deeply conditioned by the customs and passions prevalent then as well as by all the questions and problems that beset any young man.   He lived like all the others, yet with a difference, he continued to be a person constantly seeking.   He was never satisfied with life as it presented itself and as so many people lived it.   The question of the truth tormented him ceaselessly.   He longed to discover truth. He wanted to succeed in knowing what man is, where we ourselves come from, where we are going and how we can find true life.

He desired to find the life that was right and not merely to live blindly, without meaning or purpose.   Passion for truth is the true key phrase of his life.   Passion for the truth truly guided him.

There is a further peculiarity: anything that did not bear Christ’s Name did not suffice for him.   Love for this Name, he tells us, he had tasted from his mother’s milk (cf. Confessions, 3, 4, 8).   And he always believed – sometimes rather vaguely, at other times, more clearly – that God exists and takes care of us (cf. Confessions, 6, 5, 8).   But to truly know this God and to become really familiar with this Jesus Christ and reach the point of saying “yes” to Him with all its consequences – this was the great interior struggle of his youthful years.

St Augustine tells us that through Platonic philosophy he learned and recognised that “in the beginning was the Word” – the Logos, creative reason.   But philosophy, which showed him that the beginning of all things was creative reason, did not show him any path on which to reach it; this Logos remained remote and intangible.   Only through faith in the Church did he later find the second essential truth – the Word, the Logos, was made flesh.

Thus, he touches us and we touch him.   The humility of God’s Incarnation – this is the important step – must be equalled by the humility of our faith, which lays down its self-important pride and bows upon entering the community of Christ’s Body; which lives with the Church and through her alone can enter into concrete and bodily communion with the living God.

I do not have to say how deeply all this concerns us:  to remain seekers; to refuse to be satisfied with what everyone else says and does;  to keep our gaze fixed on the eternal God and on Jesus Christ;  to learn the humility of faith in the corporeal Church of Jesus Christ, of the Logos Incarnate.

Augustine described his second conversion at the end of the 10th book of his Confessions with the words:  “Terrified by my sins and the pile of my misery, I had racked my heart and had meditated, taking flight to live in solitude.   But You forbade me and comforted me, saying:  “That is why Christ died for all, so that those who live should not live for themselves, but for him who died for them’ (II Cor 5: 15)”; Confessions, 10, 43, 70).

What had happened?   After his baptism, Augustine had decided to return to Africa and with some of his friends had founded a small monastery there.   His life was then to be totally dedicated to conversation with God and reflection on and contemplation of the beauty and truth of his Word.    Thus, he spent three happy years in which he believed he had achieved the goal of his life, in that period, a series of valuable philosophical and theological works came into being.

In 391, four years after his baptism, he went to the port town of Hippo to meet a friend whom he desired to win over for his monastery.   But he was recognised at the Sunday liturgy in the cathedral in which he took part.   It was not by chance that the Bishop of the city, a man of Greek origin who was not fluent in Latin and found preaching rather a struggle, said in his homily that he was hoping to find a priest to whom he could entrust the task of preaching.   People instantly grabbed hold of Augustine and forced him forward to be ordained a priest to serve the city.

Immediately after his forced ordination, Augustine wrote to Bishop Valerius:  “I was constrained… to accept second place at the helm, when as yet I knew not how to handle an oar…. And from this derived the tears which some of my brethren perceived me shedding in the city at the time of my ordination” (cf. Letter 21, 1ff.).

Augustine’s beautiful dream of a contemplative life had vanished.   As a result, his life had fundamentally changed.   He could now no longer dedicate himself solely to meditation in solitude.   He had to live with Christ for everyone.   He had to express his sublime knowledge and thoughts in the thoughts and language of the simple people in his city.   The great philosophical work of an entire lifetime, of which he had dreamed, was to remain unwritten.   Instead, however, we have been given something far more precious – the Gospel translated into the language of everyday life and of his sufferings.

These were now part of his daily life, which he described as the following: “reprimanding the undisciplined, comforting the faint-hearted, supporting the weak, refuting opponents… encouraging the negligent, soothing the quarrelsome, helping the needy, liberating the oppressed, expressing approval to the good, tolerating the wicked and loving all” (Sermon 340, 3).   “Continuously preaching, arguing, rebuking, building God’s house, having to manage for everyone – who would not shrink from such a heavy burden?” (Sermon 339, 4).

This was the second conversion which this man, struggling and suffering, was constantly obliged to make – to be available to everyone, time and again and not for his own perfection, time and again, to lay down his life with Christ so that others might find him, true Life.

Further, there was a third, decisive phase in the journey of conversion of St Augustine.   After his Ordination to the priesthood he had requested a vacation period to study the Sacred Scriptures in greater detail.

His first series of homilies, after this pause for reflection, were on the Sermon on the Mount;  he explained the way to an upright life, “the perfect life”, pointed out by Christ in a new way.   He presented it as a pilgrimage to the holy mountain of the Word of God.   In these homilies it is possible to further perceive all the enthusiasm of faith newly discovered and lived;  his firm conviction that the baptised, in living totally in accordance with Christ’s message, can precisely be “perfect” in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount.

Approximately 20 years later, Augustine wrote a book called the Retractations, in which he critically reviewed all the works he had thus far written, adding corrections wherever he had in the meantime learned something new.

With regard to the ideal of perfection in his homilies on the Sermon on the Mount, he noted:  “In the meantime, I have understood that one alone is truly perfect and that the words of the Sermon on the Mount are totally fulfilled in one alone: Jesus Christ Himself.  “The whole Church, on the other hand – all of us, including the Apostles – must pray every day:  forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (cf. Retract. I 19, 1-3).

Augustine had learned a further degree of humility – not only the humility of integrating his great thought into the humble faith of the Church, not only the humility of translating his great knowledge into the simplicity of announcement but also the humility of recognising that he himself and the entire pilgrim Church needed and continually need the merciful goodness of a God who forgives every day.

And we, he added, liken ourselves to Christ, the only Perfect One, to the greatest possible extent when we become, like Him, people of mercy.

Let us now thank God for the great light that shines out from St Augustine’s wisdom and humility and pray the Lord to give to us all, day after day, the conversion we need and thus lead us toward true life. Amen.

St Augustine, Pray for Us!st-augustine-pray-for-us


Quote/s of the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Father and Doctor of Grace

Quote/s of the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance;
to seek Him the greatest adventure;
to find Him the greatest human achievement.”to fall in love with god - st augustine - 28 aug 2018

“Only the “new” person
can sing a new song to the Lord:
the person restored
from a fallen condition,
through the grace of God.
Let us sing a new song –
not with our lips
but with our lives!”only-the-new-person-no-2-st-augustine-15-aug-2017-mem-of-simpliacianus

“You ask what you might offer to God?
Offer yourself!
What does God expect from you,
except yourself?”you ask what you might offer to god - st augustine - 28 aug 2018 no 2

“Conquer yourself
and the world
lies at your feet.”conquer yourself - st augustine - 28 aug 2018

“God does not command impossibilities
but by commanding,
admonishes you do what you can
and to PRAY for what you cannot
and AIDS you that you may be able.”god-does-not-comman-st-augustine28 aug 2017

“God has no need of your money
but the poor have.
You give it to the poor and God receives it.”

“Our life and our death are with our neighbour.”god-has-no-need-and-our-life-and-our-death-st-augustine 28 aug 2017

“Do you wish to RISE?
You plan a tower
that will pierce the CLOUDS?
Lay first the foundation

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Gracedo you wish to rise, begin by descending - st augustine - 28 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 28 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace

One Minute Reflection – 28 August – Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:23–26 and The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace

“You blind Pharisee! first cleanse the inside of the cup and of the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”…Matthew 23:26

REFLECTION – “You are before God.   Question your heart:  see what you have done and what you have been yearning for there—your salvation or the windy praise of men.   Look within, for a person cannot judge one whom he cannot see.   If we are assuring our heart, let us assure it in his presence.
“Because if our heart thinks badly”—that is, if it accuses us within, because we aren’t acting with the spirit with which we should be acting —“God is greater than our heart, and he knows all things” (v.20).   You hide your heart from man – hide it from God if you can.   How will you hide it from Him to whom it was said by a certain sinner in fear and confession:  “Where shall 1 go from your spirit, and where shed!   I flee from your face?”… For where does God not exist?   “If,” he said, “I go up to heaven, you are there;  if I go down to hell, you are present” (Ps 139[138]:7-8).   Where will you go?   Where will you flee?   Do you want to hear some advice?   If you want to flee from Him, flee to Him.   Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him by hiding, for you cannot hide, but you can Confess.   Tell Him.   “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7) and let there be nursed in you the love that alone leads to life.”…St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Graceyou blind pharisee - matthew 23 25 - you hide your heart from man - augustine - 28 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, renew Your Church with the Spirit of wisdom and love which You gave to St Augustine.   Lead us by that same Spirit, to seek You, the only fountain of true wisdom and the source of everlasting love.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Spirit, one God, forever and ever.    St Augustine, pray for the Church and for us all, augustine - pray for us - 28 aug 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 28 August – The Memorial of St Edmund Arrowsmith S.J. (1585 – 1628) – Martyr

Our Morning Offering – 28 August – The Memorial of St Edmund Arrowsmith S.J. (1585 – 1628) – Martyr

Your Soldiers
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
the Root of David,
Who fights the good fight
and has called on all men to join You,
give Your courage and strength
to all Your soldiers over the whole earth,
who are fighting under the standard of Your Cross.
Be with Your missionaries in pagan lands,
put right words into their mouths,
prosper their labours
and sustain them under their sufferings
with Your consolations
and carry them on,
even through torments
and blood (if it be necessary)
to their reward in Heaven.
Ameno lion of the tribe of judah - your soldiers - bl john henry newman - prayer for martyrs - 28 aug 2018 and 24 march 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 August – St Edmund Arrowsmith S.J. (1585 – 1628) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 28 August – St Edmund Arrowsmith S.J. (1585 – 1628) Priest & Martyr – born in 1585 at Haydock, Lancashire, England as Brian Arrowsmith, his confirmation name was Edmund and he preferred to use it – died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 28 August 1628 at Lancaster, England.   Additional Memorials – 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, 7 August as one of the Lancashire Martyrs and 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.St-Edmund-Arrowsmith-SJ

The main source of information on St Edmund is a contemporary account written by an eyewitness and published a short time after his death.   This document, conforming to the ancient style of the “Acts of Martyrs” includes the story of the execution of another 17th-century Recusant martyr, Blessed Richard Herst (died 1628).

Bryan Arrowsmith was born at Haydock, Lancashire, England, in 1585, the eldest child of Robert Arrowsmith, a yeoman farmer, who had served in Sir William Stanley’s regiment which fought for Spain in the Low Countries.   His mother was Margery Gerard, a member of the Lancashire Gerard family.   Among his mother’s relations was Father John Gerard, who wrote The Diary of an Elizabethan Priest, as well as another martyr, the Blessed Miles Gerard.   He was baptised Brian, but always used his confirmation name of Edmund, after an uncle who trained English priests in France.   The family was constantly harassed for its adherence to Roman Catholicism.   One of his grandfathers died a confessor in prison.   On one occasion, as a child, he was left shivering in his night-clothes by the pursuivants, who carried his parents off to Lancaster jail;  he and his three siblings were cared for by neighbours

In 1605, at the age of twenty, Edmund left England and went to the English College, Douai, to study for the priesthood.   He was soon forced to return to England due to ill health but recovered and returned to Douai in edmund arrowsmith old

Ecclesiastical career
He was ordained in Arras on 9 December 1612 and sent on the English mission a year later.    He ministered to the Catholics of Lancashire without incident until around 1622, when he was arrested and questioned by the Anglican Bishop of Chester.    Edmund was released when King James I of England ordered an amnesty for all arrested priests, in furtherance of negotiations to arrange a Spanish marriage for his son Prince Charles.   St Edmund joined the Jesuits in edmund arrowsmith - my enlgmnt

In the summer of 1628, Fr Edmund was reportedly betrayed by a man named Holden, who denounced him to the authorities.    Arrowsmith ministered to Catholics of Lancashire at the still-standing Arrowsmith House, located in Hoghton before being arrested and questioned on Brindle Moss where his horse refused to jump a ditch.   He was convicted of being a Roman Catholic priest in England.   He was sentenced to death, and hanged, drawn and quartered at Lancaster on 28 August 1628.   His final confession was heard by Saint John Southworth (1592-1654) Martyr, who was imprisoned along with Edmund.

Edmund Arrowmith’s beatification occurred in 1929.   He was canonszed as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970.   His hand was preserved and kept by the Arrowsmith family as a relic until he was beatified and it now rests in the Catholic Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield (see images below).   Stonyhurst College retains the small trunk of vestments and equipment which he carried from house to house.Church_of_St_Oswald_and_St_Edmund_Arrowsmith.jpg

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 August

St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) – Doctor of Grace and one of the original Four Fathers & Doctors of the Latin Church(Memorial)
Wonderful St Augustine here:

Adelindis of BuchauSt Agnes of CologneSt Alexander of ConstantinopleBl Alfons Maria MazurekSt Ambrose of SaintesBl Angelo da Pesche d’IserniaSt Anthes of SalernoBl Charles-Arnold HanusSt Edmund Arrowsmith S.J. (1585 – 1628) Martyr

St Facundinus of Taino
St Felix of Venosa
St Fortunatus of Salerno
St Gaius of Salerno
St Gorman of Schleswig
Bl Henry Webley
St Hermes of Rome
Bl Hugh More
Bl James Claxton
St Januarius of Venosa
St Joaquina Vedruna de Mas
St Julian of Auvergne
St Moses the Black
St Pelagius of Istria
St Restitutus of Carthage
St Rumwold the Prince
St Septiminus of Venosa
St Vivian of Saintes
Bl William Dean

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Griñon – 10 beati
Martyrs of Tarragona – 6 beati
• Blessed Agustín Bermejo Miranda
• Blessed Alejandro Iñiguez De Heredia Alzola
• Blessed Andrés Merino Báscones
• Blessed Antonio Solá Garriga
• Blessed Arturo Ros Montalt
• Blessed Aurelio da Vinalesa
• Blessed Celestino Ruiz Alegre
• Blessed Cesáreo España Ortiz
• Blessed Eladi Peres Bori
• Blessed Evencio Castellanos López
• Blessed Francisco López Navarette
• Blessed Germán Arribas y Arribas
• Blessed Graciliano Ortega Narganes
• Blessed Isidre Fábregas Gils
• Blessed Jaume Tarragó Iglesias
• Blessed Javier Pradas Vidal
• Blessed Joan Tomás Gibert
• Blessed Joaquim Oliveras Puljarás
• Blessed José Gorastazu Labayen
• Blessed Josep Camprubí Corrubí
• Blessed Juan Bautista Faubel Cano
• Blessed Lázaro Ruiz Peral
• Blessed Manoel José Sousa de Sousa
• Blessed Modest Godo Buscato
• Blessed Modest Pamplona Falguera
• Blessed Nicolás Rueda Barriocanal
• Blessed Serviliano Solá Jiménez
• Blessed Teodoro Pérez Gómez


The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England, Prayer for his Cause of Canonisation

The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England, Prayer for his Cause of Canonisation

As we celebrate the Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi, he who converted so many to the bosom of the Church in England, let us pray for his Canonisation and for that of his greatest convert, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), these two, forever linked in history.

Prayer for the Cause of Canonisation
of Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849)

O God,
Who so lovingly raised Blessed Dominic
to the heights of holiness, learning and apostolic zeal
and made him a powerful minister of Your mercy,
listen to our humble request.
We pray that You will, in Your goodness,
grant a miracle, we pray, through the intercession of Blessed Dominic,
so that the Church may honour him on earth
and that many more will come to know and invoke
the help of this faithful servant of the Church.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Mary, Mother of Holy Hope, pray for us
Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.o god who so lovingly raised - prayer for the canonisation of bl dominic barberi - 27 aug 2018

PRAYER FOR CANONISATION of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

God our Father,
You granted to Your servant,
Blessed John Henry Newman,
wonderful gifts of nature and of grace,
that he should be a spiritual light
in the darkness of this world,
an eloquent herald of the Gospel
and a devoted servant of the one Church of Christ.
With confidence in his heavenly intercession,
we make the petition for his Canonisation.
For his insight into the mysteries of the kingdom,
his zealous defence of the teachings of the Church
and his priestly love for each of your children,
we pray that he may soon be numbered among the Saints.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Nihil Obstat: Fr Pat McKinney S.T.L.

Imprimatur: + Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham

30th March 2010pray-for-the-canonisation-bl-john-henry-9-oct-2017

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

Thought for the Day – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England

Thought for the Day – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England

Blessed Dominic Barberi, as described by the great English convert, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890).

“On the Apennines, near Viterbo, there dwelt a shepherd-boy, in the first years of this century, whose mind had early been drawn heavenward and, one day, as he prayed before an image of the Madonna, he felt a vivid intimation that he was destined to preach the Gospel under the northern sky.

“There appeared no means by which a Roman peasant should be turned into a missionary; nor did the prospect open, when this youth found himself, first a lay brother, then a Father, in the Congregation of the Passion.

“Yet, though no external means appeared, the inward impression did not fade, on the contrary it became more definite and, in process of time, instead of the dim north, England was engraved on his heart.

“And, strange to say, as years went on, without his seeking, for he was simply under obedience, our peasant found himself at length upon the very shore of the stormy northern sea, whence Caesar of old looked out for a new world to conquer;  yet that he should cross the strait was still as little likely as before.

“However, it was as likely as that he should ever have got so near it and he used to eye the restless, godless waves and wonder with himself whether the day would ever come when he should be carried over them.

“And come it did, not however by any determination of his own, but by the same Providence which thirty years before had given him the anticipation of it…The thought of England came into his ordinary prayers and in his last years, after a vision during Mass, as if he had been Augustine or Mellitus, he talked of his ‘sons’ in England.”

Fr Dominic of the Mother of God was a spiritual son of St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), the founder of the Passionists.

John Henry Newman, Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1986, pp.291-292.

The work of Dominic with Newman and the new converts of Littlemore was not limited to receiving them into the Church.   The esteem that Dominic had, even before the conversion of Newman, for the little group of Littlemore was impressive.   He touchingly and lovingly wrote to Dalgairns in September 1845:

“Dear Littlemore, I love Thee!   A little more still and we shall see happy results from Littlemore.   When the learned and holy Superior of Littlemore will come, then I hope we shall see again the happy days of Augustine, of Lanfranc and Thomas.   England will be once more the Isle of Saints and the nurse of new Christian nations, destined to carry the light of the Gospels coram gentibus et regibus et filiis Israel”.

His compassion, kindness and love are our lessons today!

Blessed Dominic Barberi, Pray for us!bl domini barberi - no 2 pray for us 27 aug 2018

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

Quote/s of the Day – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)

Quote/s of the Day – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England

“The door opened and what a spectacle
it was for me to see, at my feet,
John Henry Newman, begging me
to hear his confession
and admit him into the bosom
of the Catholic Church.”

Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)the door opened and what a spectacle - bl dominic barberi 27 aug 2018-no 2

“When his form came within sight,
I was moved to the depths in the strangest way.
The gaiety and affability of his manner,
in the midst of his sanctity,
was itself a holy sermon.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) speaking of
Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849)when his form came within sight - bl john henry on bl dominic barberi - 27 aug 2018-2


One Minute Reflection – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)

One Minute Reflection – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”…Matthew 26:26take and eat this is my body matthew 26 26 - 27 aug 2018

REFLECTION – “Jesus Christ said over the consecrated elements, “This is my body” you say “No. It is not his body!”   Who then am I to believe?   I prefer to believe Jesus Christ.”…Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849)jesus christ said over the consecrated elements - bl dominic barberi - 27 aug 2018

PRAYER – O God, who so lovingly raised Blessed Dominic to the heights of holiness, learning and apostolic zeal and made him a powerful minister of Your mercy for the return of many of our separated brethren to the Catholic Church, grant to us here below, an abundant share of his virtues and deign, through his intercession, to grant us this particular grace.   May we too, according to our state, contribute to the realisation of his desire for the union of all Christians in the one True Fold under the one Shepherd.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, dominic barberi pray for us 27 aug 2018


Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)

Our Morning Offering – 27 August – The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849)

One of Bl Dominic’s major Conversions, Bl John Henry, will do the honours today.

Raise My Heart
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O my God,
whatever is nearer to me than You,
things of this earth
and things more naturally pleasing to me,
will be sure to interrupt the sight of You,
unless Your grace interfere.
Keep You my eyes,
my ears,
my heart,
from any such miserable tyranny.
Keep my whole being fixed on You.
Let me never lose sight of You
and while I gaze on You,
let my love of You
grow more and more every day.
Amenraise-my-heart-bl-john-henry-newman-26-march 2018 -mon-of-holy-week-o-my-god-whatever-is-nearer1-RECOLOURED - 27 aug 2018