Second Thoughts for the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)

Second Thoughts for the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)

“In the vastness of the Australian continent, Blessed Mary MacKillop was not daunted by the great desert, the immense expanses of the outback, nor by the spiritual “wilderness” which affected so many of her fellow citizens.   Rather, she boldly prepared the way of the Lord, in the most trying situations.   With gentleness, courage and compassion, she was a herald of the Good News among the isolated “battlers” and the urban slum-dwellers.   Mother Mary of the Cross knew that behind the ignorance, misery and suffering which she encountered there were people, men and women, young and old, yearning for God and his righteousness.   She knew, because she was a true child of her time and place:  the daughter of immigrants who had to struggle at all times to build a life for themselves in their new surroundings.

Her story reminds us of the need to welcome people, to reach out to the lonely, the bereft, the disadvantaged.   To strive for the kingdom of God and His righteousness, means to strive to see Christ in the stranger, to meet Him in them and to help them to meet Him in each one of us!”

– Pope Benedict XVI on the Beatification of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (Thursday 19 January 1005), whose prayers we request!st mary of the cross mackillop pray for us 8 aug 2018-no 4.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of St Dominic (1170-1221)

Thought for the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of St Dominic (1170-1221)

St Dominic possessed such great integrity and was so strongly motivated by divine love, that without a doubt he proved to be a bearer of honour and grace.   And since a joyful heart animates the face, he displayed the peaceful composure of a spiritual man in the kindness he manifested outwardly and by the cheerfulness of his countenance. Wherever he went he showed himself in word and deed to be a man of the Gospel.

During the day no one was more community-minded or pleasant toward his brothers and associates.   During the night hours no one was more persistent in every kind of vigil and supplication.   He seldom spoke unless it was with God, that is, in prayer, or about God and in this matter, he instructed his brothers.   Frequently he made a special personal petition that God would deign to grant him genuine charity in caring for and obtaining the salvation of men.   For he believed that only then would he be truly a member of Christ, when he had given himself totally for the salvation of men, just as the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, had offered Himself completely for our salvation.   So, for this work, after a lengthy period of careful and provident planning, he founded the Orders of Friars Preachers.

In his conversations and letters he often urged the brothers of the Order to study constantly the Old and New Testaments.   He always carried with him the gospel according to Matthew and the epistles of Paul and so well did he study them that he almost knew them from memory.

Two or three times he was chosen bishop but he always refused, preferring to live with his brothers in poverty.

Of him Pope Gregory IX declared: “I knew him as a steadfast follower of the apostolic way of life.   There is no doubt that he is in heaven, sharing in the glory of the apostles themselves.”
– from various writings on the history of the Order of Preachers

St Dominic, Pray for us!st-dominic-pray-for-us-2.-8 aug 2017


Quote/s of the Day – 8 August – The Memorials of St Dominic (1170-1221) and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)

Quote/s of the Day – 8 August – The Memorials of St Dominic (1170-1221)

and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)

“We must sow
the seed,
not hoard it.”we must sow the seed not hoard it - st dominic - 8 aug 2018.jpg

“Heretics are to be converted by an example of humility
and other virtues far more readily, than by any external
display or verbal battles.
So let us arm ourselves with
devout prayers and set off showing signs of genuine humility
and go barefooted to combat Goliath.”heretics-st-dominic-8 aug 2017

“A man who governs his passions is master of his world.
We must either command them or be enslaved by them.
It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.”

St Dominic (1170-1221)a-man-who-governs-his-passions-st-dominic-8 aug 2017

“Whatever troubles may be before you,
accept them bravely,
remembering Whom you are trying to follow.
Do not be afraid.
Love one another, bear with one another
and let charity guide you all your life.
God will reward you as only He can.”

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)whatever troubles may be - st mary of the cross - 8 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 8 August – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 15:21–28

One Minute Reflection – 8 August – Wednesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 15:21–28 and The Memorials of St Dominic (1170-1221) and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop (1842-1909)

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!   Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly...Matthew 15:28

REFLECTION – “Jesus points to this humble woman as a model of unwavering faith.   Her persistence in beseeching Christ’s intervention is incentive for us not to become discouraged, not to despair when we are burdened by life’s difficult trials.   The Lord does not turn away in the face of our needs and, if at times, He seems insensitive to our requests for help, it is in order to put to the test and to strengthen, our faith.   We must continue to cry out like this woman:  “Lord, help me! Lord, help me!”.  In this way, with perseverance and courage.   This is the courage needed in prayer.   He can help us to find our way, when we have lost the compass of our journey; when the road no longer seems flat but rough and arduous; when it is hard to be faithful to our commitments.

It is important to nourish our faith every day, by carefully listening to the Word of God, with the celebration of the Sacraments, with personal prayer as a “cry” to Him — “Lord, help me!” — and with concrete acts of charity toward our neighbour.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 20 August 2017matthew 15 38 - o woman great is your faith - the lord does not turn away - pope francis - 8 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, You gave St Dominic and St Mary of the Cross Mackillop, to the Church in their days, as lessons in total love, charity and zeal.   We pray that they may help us in our times, by their merits, their inspiration, their words and their prayers. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, aug 2017.pgst mary of the cross mackillop pray for us 8 aug 2018


Our Morning Offering – 8 August – The Memorial of St Dominic (1170-1221)

Our Morning Offering – 8 August – The Memorial of St Dominic (1170-1221)

St Dominic’s Blessing

May God the Father,
who made us, bless us.
May God the Son,
send His healing among us.
May God the Holy Spirit,
move within us
and give us eyes to see with,
ears to hear with,
and hands, that Your work,
might be done.
May we walk and preach
the word of God to all.
May the angel of peace
watch over us
and lead us at last,
by God’s grace,
to the Kingdom.
Amenmay god the father - st dominic's blessing - 8 aug 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 August – St Mary of the Cross (1842-1909)

Saint of the Day – 8 August – St Mary of the Cross (1842-1909)  Also known as St Mary Mackillop – Virgin, Religious Sister and Founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), together with Fr Julian Tenison Woods. a congregation of religious sisters that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.   She was born on 15 January 1842 at Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia as Maria Ellen MacKillop and died on • 8 August 1909 at Sydney, Australia following a stroke.   Patronages – Australia, Brisbane, Knights of the Southern Cross.St Doninic Finalst mary of the cross mackillop

Mary of the Cross MacKillop was born on 15 January 1842 in Melbourne, Australia. Conditions in the mid-nineteenth century were still appallingly primitive.   Poverty was rife especially in country areas, religious discrimination was widespread, the plight of the aboriginal people was deplorable, unemployment was common-place and communication was difficult in the extreme.   Travel over any distance was for the fearless and tough.

 st mary child
Many of the first settlers were of convict origin with little education and many were descendants of Irish Catholics much discriminated against because of their religion and place of origin.   The Church had few priests to serve its people who were scattered around rural areas and, as a rule, experiencing poverty.
Mary was the first of eight children of Scottish immigrants, Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald.   These Catholic parents imbued their children with a great love of their faith.   The family was poor, the father often without work because he dabbled in business and politics.   Mary, in her teens, was called upon to assist the family finances by finding employment.
At a young age, Mary had increasingly felt the call to live as a religious sister but she still had the obligation to care for her family.   While working as a governess in Penola, she met Father Julian Tenison Woods who was parish priest of a large part of South East, South Australia.   At that period of Australian history, schools, medical care and any form of social services were lacking, especially for the poor.   The Catholic rural poor were especially disadvantaged.   Blessed Mary’s dream of a free education for such children corresponded with the dream of Father Woods.   He became her mentor and spiritual director and encouraged her vocation.   Together, they developed a plan for a congregation of sisters who would work wherever there was a need but especially in rural areas.   They would live in small convents or in whatever style of dwelling that the local people had.   It was a courageous plan.

In January 1866 the plan was put into action.   Mary and her two sisters began teaching in Penola, South Australia, in a stable refurbished by her brother.   With the encouragement and mentoring of Father Woods, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart was born.   On the advice of Father Woods, Mary moved to the main South Australian city of Adelaide.   On 15 August 1867 Mary and her companions professed the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.   Mary took the name Sister Mary of the Cross.   She was joined by other young women, who responded to needs in rural areas where they provided, without payment, elementary teaching in religion and secular subjects to poor children who, otherwise had no hope of Mary-and-julian-Perthville

Soon afterwards Mary’s charitable heart opened to the destitute and elderly who were friendless and abandoned in a harsh society without any social welfare.   By 1869 there were sixty sisters working in schools, orphanages and refuges for women.
Father Woods and Blessed Mary envisaged the sisters being governed centrally by one superior and being free to go wherever there was a need anywhere in the colonies.   In a short time, therefore, the sisters could be found in the other colonies and in New Zealand.

A complex set of circumstances led to the Bishop of Adelaide, who was once her friend and benefactor, excommunicating Mary in 1871 for supposed disobedience.   Mary accepted the excommunication and the dismissal of many of her sisters with serenity and peace.   The Bishop revoked the sentence before his death less than six months later. Mary returned to her work and the majority of the sisters, who had been sent away, returned to the Institute.     They were dark days.

Mary was advised to go to Rome to seek the help of Pope Pius IX.   Crucial for the institute was the concept of central government, which would enable her to send the sisters anywhere there was a need, rather than be confined to a particular diocese.   While in Rome, Mary did not receive final approval for the institute—this came in 1888—but she did receive encouragement from many and especially from her three meetings with Pope Pius IX.   She returned to Australia with support for central government. -mary-mackillop - mary-the-cross

Back in Australia, further problems arose and Mary was ordered to leave Adelaide for Sydney where, in 1885 she was deposed as Mother General.   It was not until 1899 that the sisters were free to elect her as their Mother General, an office she held until her death.   She accepted these harsh changes and still retained respect for the bishops and priesthood and encouraged her sisters to do the same.   Mary was untiring in her zeal for the poor.   One of her favourite sayings was, “Never see a need without doing something about it.”

Her devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Joseph impelled her to love God and His people.   Her attention to the will of God enabled her to accept the joys as well as the difficulties that beset her so frequently.   She wrote, “The will of God is to me a very dear book and I never tire of reading it.” st_mary_mackillop2_edc0bc8a8a609fd5dfd89717b5489d88

Throughout her life Mary suffered from ill health and was often confined to bed with severe and debilitating headaches.   But she used her illness to come closer to God.   While visiting New Zealand when she was sixty years old she suffered a stroke.   Her right side was impaired but she learned to write with her left hand and continued in the office of Superior General and even made several visitations to faraway mary of the cross mackillop - mono

By 1905 deterioration was becoming evident and for the next years she suffered heroically and kept a cheerful, pleasant outlook on life, always speaking of God’s Will.  In 1909 her condition worsened and she died peacefully on 8 Augus 1909.
Her last days were ones of sadness for those who were gathered around her. Cardinal Moran said when he left her, “I have this day attended the death-bed of a saint… Her death will bring many blessings.”   One thousand sisters then in the Institute mourned her death. Mary’s remains were removed to the Memorial Chapel at the Motherhouse in North Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Three popes, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have prayed at her tomb as have thousands of pilgrims annually from all over the world. 

The lasting memory many sisters had of Mary was her kindness.   It was not just the kindness reflected in all the works for which she had been responsible, nor the kindness of an isolated, aloof person but the kindness which St Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthians:   Love is patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence and is not resentful. Love… delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, to endure whatever comes.  (1 Cor.13: 4-7). 

During his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day in July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of Mary MacKillop, said “I know that her perseverance in the face of adversity, her plea for justice on behalf of those unfairly treated and her practical example of holiness have become a source of inspiration for all Australians”.   The Holy Father spoke again, quoting Mary MacKillop, “Believe in the whisperings of God to your heart.   Believe in Him.   Believe in the power of the Spirit of love”.   Mary was so immersed in the presence of her God that she was well placed to hear His whisperings throughout her life. shrine st mary

St Mary of the Cross was Canonised on 17 October 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI and is the first native-born Australian pope canonisationst mary canonisation 2

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – 8 August

St Dominic de Guzman O.P. (1170-1221) (Memorial) – All about him here:

St Aemilian of Cyzicus
St Altman of Passau
St Cyriacus the Martyr
St Eleutherius of Constantinople
St Ellidius
St Famianus of Compostela
St Gedeon of Besancon
St Hormisdas of Persia
Bl John Felton
Bl John Fingley
St Largus
St Leobald of Fleury
St Leonidas of Constantinople
St Marinus of Anzarba
St Mary of the Cross/ Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) – the first Australian born Saint

St Mummolus of Fleury
St Myron the Wonder Worker
St Paulus Ge Tingzhu
St Rathard of Diessen
St Severus of Vienne
St Sigrada
St Smaragdus
St Ternatius of Besançon
St Ultan of Crayke
Bl William of Castellammare di Stabia
Bl Wlodzimierz Laskowski

Martyrs of Albano – 4 saints: Four Christians who were martyred together, and about we today know little more than their names – Carpóforo, Secondo, Severiano and Vittorino. They were martyred in Albano, Italy – their remains are interred in the San Senator cemetery, on the Appian Way, 15 miles from Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: Five Christians martyred together; we know nothing else about them but the names – Ciriaco, Crescenziano, Giuliana, Memmia and Smaragdus. They were martyred at the 7 mile marker, on the Via Ostia, Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Martyrs of El Saler – 5 beati: Five nuns, all members of the Sisters of the Pious Schools, all teachers, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Antonia Riba Mestres
• Maria Baldillou Bullit
• María Luisa Girón Romera
• Nazaria Gómez Lezaun
• Pascuala Gallén Martí
They were martyred on 8 August 1936 in El Saler, Valencia, Spain and Beatified on 11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Antero Mateo Garcia
Bl Antonio Silvestre Moya
Bl Cruz Laplana Laguna
Bl Fernando Español Berdie
Bl Leoncio López Ramos
Bl Manuel Aranda Espejo
Bl Mariano Pina Turón
Bl Pedro Álvarez Pérez