Posted in MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Second Thoughts for the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Tarcisius (Died c 257) Martyr of the Holy Eucharist – Patron of Altar Servers

Second Thoughts for the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Tarcisius (Died c 257) Martyr of the Holy Eucharist – Patron of Altar Servers

Pope Benedict XVI – 4 August 2010 – General Audience to the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers to St Peter’s, Rome

I am addressing those of you who are present here and, through you, all the altar servers of the world!

Serve Jesus present in the Eucharist generously.   It is an important task that enables you to be particularly close to the Lord and to grow in true and profound friendship with Him.    Guard this friendship in your hearts jealously, like St Tarcisius, ready to commit yourselves, to fight and to give your lives so that Jesus may reach all peoples.

May you too communicate to your peers the gift of this friendship with joy, with enthusiasm, without fear, so that they may feel that you know this Mystery, that is true and that you love it!

Every time that you approach the altar, you have the good fortune to assist in God’s great loving gesture as He continues to want to give Himself to each one of us, to be close to us, to help us, to give us strength to live in the right way.   With consecration, as you know, that little piece of bread becomes Christ’s Body, that wine becomes Christ’s Blood.   You are lucky to be able to live this indescribable Mystery from close at hand!

Do your task as altar servers with love, devotion and faithfulness, do not enter a church for the celebration with superficiality but rather, prepare yourselves inwardly for Holy Mass!   Assisting your priests in service at the altar helps to make Jesus closer, so that people can understand, can realise better – He is here.   You collaborate to make Him more present in the world, in everyday life, in the Church and everywhere.

Dear friends!   You lend Jesus your hands, your thoughts, your time.   He will not fail to reward you, giving you true joy and enabling you to feel where the fullest happiness is.   St Tarcisius has shown us that love can even bring us to give our life for an authentic good, for the true good, for the Lord.

Martyrdom will probably not be required of us but Jesus asks of us fidelity in small things, inner recollection, inner participation, our faith and our efforts to keep this treasure present in every day life.   He asks of us fidelity in daily tasks, a witness to His love, going to church through inner conviction and for the joy of His presence.   Thus we can also make known to our friends that Jesus is alive.   May St John Mary Vianney’s intercession help us in this commitment.   Today is the liturgical Memorial of this humble French Parish Priest who changed a small community and thus gave the world a new light.   May the example of St Tarcisius and St John Mary Vianney impel us every day to love Jesus and to do His will, as did the Virgin Mary, faithful to her Son to the end.   Thank you all once again! May God bless you in these days and I wish you a good journey home!

Blessed Mother Mary, Pray for us!mary immaculate - pray for us - 4 mary 2018

St Tarcisius, Pray for us!st tarcisius pray for us - 15 aug 2018

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

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401),– 15 August

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401),– 15 August

“Augustine and Simplician, sons of Milan, followers of Christ”

“Another great name enters Milan’s rich story in 384, that of the man who became St Augustine.   In 384 he was not yet a saint.   But he was a man who was searching, probing and asking questions, testing the spirits that drove him.   First he found Ambrose, who “welcomed me as a father would and like a good bishop approved of my journeying,” according to his Confessions.   Still, he was not ready to accept the Christian faith and way of life.   But Ambrose could not be the spiritual director he needed.

Augustine had gotten through his doctrinal doubts and he “liked the Way, which was our Saviour, though the tight and narrow parts of that way” annoyed him.   So God put it in his mind to go to Simplician, “whom I considered to be your good servant and your grace shone in him.   I heard that since his youth he lived most devoted to you.”   Now he had grown old and to Augustine he seemed to have become a great expert in studying God’s ways.   “And so he was!   So I wanted to share with him my inner turmoil so he might teach me how best I, as I was, could walk in your ways.”

That is quite an endorsement!   From one saint-to-be about a wise and holy mentor, guide, companion on the road.   One intently searching, the other guiding that search.   We all need help from time as we make our authentic way.   Maybe it can sound trite, an easy image, our life as a journey or pilgrimage, our walking the camino to a holy goal.   But it speaks a deep truth.“…(Fr Edward W Schmidt S.J.)

St Simplician, Sts Augustine & Ambrose, pray for us!st-simplician-pray-for-us-2-15 aug 2017sts-augustine-and-ambrose-pray-for-u-15 aug 2017 - me of st simplician

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the PRIESTHOOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain (c 320-c 401)

Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplicain (c 320-c 401), Friend and Teacher of St Ambrose and the “spiritual father of my soul” of St Augustine, Fathers and Doctors of the Church

“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!”

St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchonly-the-new-person-no-2-st-augustine-15 aug 2017 - mem of simpliacianus

“All the children of the Church are priests.
At Baptism, they received the anointing
that gives them a share in the priesthood.
The sacrifice which they must offer to God
is completely spiritual – it is THEMSELVES!”

St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Churchall-the-children-of-the-church-no-2-st-ambrose-15 aug 2017- mem of st simpliacianus

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

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401)

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) in the ArchDiocese of Milan.

“For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”….Isaiah 41:13isaiah-41-13-15 aug 2017

The Confessions – Book VIII – St Augustine’s Conversion to Christ:  Augustine is deeply impressed by Simplicianus’ story of the conversion to Christ of the famous orator and philosopher, Marius Victorinus.   He is stirred to emulate him but finds himself still enchained by his incontinence and preoccupation with worldly affairs.   He is then visited by a court official, Ponticianus, who tells him and Alypius the stories of the conversion of Anthony and also of two imperial “secret service agents.”   These stories throw him into a violent turmoil, in which his divided will struggles against himself.   He almost succeeds in making the decision for continence but is still held back.   Finally, a child’s song, overheard by chance, sends him to the Bible; a text from Paul resolves the crisis;   the conversion is a fact.   Alypius also makes his decision and the two inform the rejoicing Monica.

REFLECTION – “And Thou didst put it into my mind and it seemed good in my own sight, to go to Simplicianus, who appeared to me a faithful servant of Thine and Thy grace shone forth in him.   I had also been told that from his youth up he had lived in entire devotion to Thee.   He was already an old man and because of his great age, which he had passed in such a zealous discipleship in Thy way, he appeared to me likely to have gained much wisdom–and, indeed, he had.   From all his experience, I desired him to tell me–setting before him all my agitations–which would be the most fitting way for one who felt as I did to walk in thy way.”…St Augustine (From the Confessions – Book VIII – Chapter 1)go on Lord and act - stir us up and call us back - st augustine - mem of simpliacinus 15 aug 2018

PRAYER – “Go on, O Lord and act, stir us up and call us back, inflame us and draw us to Thee, stir us up and grow sweet to us, let us now love Thee, let us run to Thee. Are there not many men … who, out of a deeper pit of darkess.. return to Thee–who draw near to Thee and are illuminated by that light which gives those who receive it power from Thee to become Thy sons? “… (St Augustine – From the Confessions Book VIII – Chapter IV) St Simplician, pray for us, Amen.   st-simplician-pray-for-us-15 aug 2018

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

Our Morning Offering – 15 August – The Memorial of St Tarcisius (Died c 257) – Martyr of the Holy Eucharist

Our Morning Offering – 15 August – The Memorial of St Tarcisius (Died c 257) – Martyr of the Holy Eucharist

Write Your Blessed Name upon My Heart
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Write Your blessed name,
O Lord, upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraved,
that no prosperity,
no adversity,
shall ever move me from Your love.
Be to me, a strong tower of defence,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide to heaven,
through the many temptations
and dangers of this life.
Amenwrite your blessed name upon my heart - thomas a kempis - mem of st tarcisius 15 august 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr of the Eucharist

Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr of the Eucharist – Patronages – altar servers, first communicants.beautiful statue - tarcisiusalex falguiere - tarcisius

Here is Pope Benedict’s story of St Tarcisius from his Homily at the General Audience for the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers on  4 August 2010

“How many of you there are!   While flying over St Peter’s Square in the helicopter I saw all the colours and the joy filling this Square!   Thus not only do you create a festive atmosphere in the Square but you also fill my heart with joy!   Thank you!   The statue of St Tarcisius has come to us after a long pilgrimage.   In September 2008 it was unveiled in Switzerland in the presence of 8000 altar servers, some of you were certainly present. From Switzerland it travelled through Luxembourg on the way to Hungary.   Let us greet it festively today, glad at being able to become better acquainted with this figure of the early Church.   Later, as Bishop Gächter told us, the statue will be taken to the Catacombs of St Calixtus, where St Tarcius was buried.   The hope that I express to all is that this place, namely the Catacombs of St Calixtus and this statue, may become a reference point for altar servers, boys and girls, and for all who wish to follow Jesus more closely through the priestly, religious or missionary life.   May they all be able to look at this strong and courageous boy and renew their commitment to friendship with the Lord, to learn to live with Him always, following the path He points out to us with His word and the witness of so many Saints and Martyrs whose brothers and sisters we have become through Baptism.Tarsitius -figure in the altar of the church of S_ Lorenzo fuori le mura in Rometarcissius statue grave

Who was St Tarcisius?   We do not have much information about him.   We are dealing with the early centuries of the Church’s history or, to be more precise, with the third century.

It is said that he was a boy who came regularly to the Catacombs of St Calixtus here in Rome and took his special Christian duties very seriously.   He had great love for the Eucharist and various hints lead us to conclude that he was presumably an acolyte, that is, an altar server.

Those were years in which the Emperor Valerian was harshly persecuting Christians who were forced to meet secretly in private houses or, at times, also in the Catacombs, to hear the word of God, to pray and to celebrate Holy Mass.   Even the custom of taking the Eucharist to prisoners and the sick became increasingly dangerous.   One day, when, as was his habit, the priest asked who was prepared to take the Eucharist to the other brothers and sisters who were waiting for it, young Tarcisius stood up and said:  “send me!”.   This boy seemed too young for such a demanding service!   “My youth”, Tarcisius said, “will be the best shield for the Eucharist”.st tarcisius martyr of the eucharist Convinced, the priest entrusted to him the precious Bread, saying:  “Tarcisius, remember that a heavenly treasure has been entrusted to your weak hands.   Avoid crowded streets and do not forget that holy things must never be thrown to dogs nor pearls to pigs.   Will you guard the Sacred Mysteries faithfully and safely?”.   “I would die”, Tarcisio answered with determination, “rather than let go of them”.

As he went on his way he met some friends who approached him and asked him to join them.   As pagans they became suspicious and insistent at his refusal and realised he was clasping something to his breast that he appeared to be protecting.   They tried to prize it away from him but in vain.  The struggle became ever fiercer, especially when they realised that Tarcisius was a Christian.    They kicked him, they threw stones at him but he did not surrender.   While Tarcisius was dying a Pretorian guard called Quadratus, who had also, secretly, become a Christian, carried him to the priest.   Tarcisius was already dead when they arrived but was still clutching to his breast a small linen bag containing the Eucharist.   He was buried straight away in the Catacombs of St Calixtus.st tarcisius martyr of the eucharist 2st tarcisius martyr of the eucharist 3st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 4_1280 st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 5_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 6_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 7_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 8_1280

Pope Damasus had an inscription carved on St Tarcisius’ grave, it says that the boy died in 257.     The Roman Martyrology fixed the date as 15 August and in the same Martyrology a beautiful oral tradition is also recorded.   It claims that the Most Blessed Sacrament was not found on St Tarcisius’ body, either in his hands or his clothing.  It explains that the consecrated Host which the little Martyr had defended with his life, had become flesh of his flesh thereby forming, together with his body, a single immaculate Host offered to God.

Dear altar servers, St Tarcisius’ testimony and this beautiful tradition teach us the deep love and great veneration that we must have for the Eucharist:  it is a precious good, a treasure of incomparable value, it is the Bread of life, it is Jesus Himself who becomes our nourishment, support and strength on our daily journey and on the open road that leads to eternal life.   The Eucharist is the greatest gift that Jesus bequeathed to us.”

Posted in DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN TITLES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the US, however, in most countries of Africa, the Solemnity will celebrated on Sunday 19 AUGUST):   The feast celebrates the assumption of the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven upon her death.   According to Pope Benedict XIV, it is a probable opinion, which it is impious to deny, though not an article of faith but has since in 1950 has been raised to a DOGMA of the Faith.   The origin of the feast day is not known but it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500.   It is a holy day of obligation, its vigil being a fast day, in many English-speaking countries.   Among the many masters who have painted the subject of the Assumption are Fra Angelico, Ghirlandajo, Rubens, Del Sarto and Titian.
Patronages:
• Acadians, Cajuns
• Cistercian Order, Cistercians
• fish dealers, fishmongers
• French air crews
• harness makers
• France
• Guatemala
• India
• Jamaica
• Malta
• Paraguay
• Slovakia
• east Africa (region of east Africa which includes diverse countries, proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII)
• South Africa (THIS IS NOT A REGION BUT A COUNTRY and the Assumption is, therefore, the Patronal Feast of the Country of South Africa – proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII)
• 24 dioceses
• 38 cities

assumption-of-the-virgin-mary-1600-1601-annibale-carracci
Annabale Carraci 1600-1601

St Alipius of Tagaste
Bl Alfred of Hildesheim
Bl Agustín Hurtado Soler
St Arduinus of Rimini
St Arnulphus of Soissons
Bl Claudio Granzotto
Bl George Halley
St Napoleon of Alexandria
Bl Pio Alberto del Corona
St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) Doctor of the Church in the ArchDiocese of Milan.
Details of the life of St Simplician here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/saint-of-the-day-15-august-st-simplician-of-milan/
St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. No details survive but the names – Eutychian, Philip and Straton. They were martyred in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution: 4 Saints –
St David Roldán Lara
St Luis Batiz Sainz
St Manuel Moralez
St Salvador Lara Puente

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Agustì Ibarra Angüela
• Blessed Carmelo Sastre y Sastre
• Blessed Clemente Vea Balaguer
• Blessed Francisco Míguez Fernández
• Blessed Ildefonso Alberto Flos
• Blessed Jaume Bonet Nadal
• Blessed Joan Ceró Cedó
• Blessed Josep Santonja Pinsach
• Blessed Juan Francisco Barahona Martín
• Blessed Juan Mesonero Huerta
• Blessed Luis Ros Ezcurra
• Blessed Manuel Formigo Giráldez
• Blessed Miguel Alberto Flos
• Blessed Sebastià Balcells Tonijuan
• Blessed Severiano Montes Fernández