World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation – 1 September

Pope Francis has designated 1 September as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.   He hopes this day will be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which He has entrusted to our care and to implore His help for the protection of creation as well as His pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”

For this the 4th Annual World Day of Prayer, Pope Francis said:
“In this year’s message,I wish to draw attention to the issue of water, the primary good to be protected and made available to all.”
His full message will be published later today.

The Ecology Encyclical:   Care for Our Common Home:

A prayer for our earth
(from Laudato si’)

All-powerful God, You are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of Your creatures.
You embrace with Your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of Your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in Your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
That we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognise that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards Your infinite light.
We thank You for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.


The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for September

The Holy Father’s
Prayer Intention for September

Young People in Africa

That young people in Africa may have access
to education and work in their own countries.

the holy father's prayer intention sept 2018 = 1 sept 2018


Devotion for September: The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Devotion for September:
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Seven Sorrows of
the Blessed Virgin Mary

1. The prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight to Egypt
3. Loss of Child Jesus for 3 days
4. Meeting Jesus carrying His Cross
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus
6. The Pieta – receiving Jesus’ Body
7. The Burial of Jesus

Each month of the liturgical year is devoted to a particular Catholic tradition, usually centered on a Feast during that month. As August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, September follows as the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows.
We see this theme of joy followed by affliction mirrored in the liturgical calendar in two September Feasts – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14 and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on 15 September. Happy the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary! She, without dying, earned the treasure of martyrdom beneath the Cross of our Lord for her anguish.
The name of Our Lady of Sorrows centres on the extraordinary and bittersweet suffering the Blessed Mother experienced during Christ’s Passion. As seen in the artwork below, her agony is composed of “The Seven Dolors,” that pierced the Heart of Mary.
During this month of September, we are drawn into the spiritual martyrdom that the Blessed Mother experienced during the physical martyrdom of Jesus. The evils of sin are manifest but conquered through intense suffering. The Blessed Mother’s tears of anguish reflect God’s washing away of sin. If you haven’t ever prayed the Seven Sorrows chaplet, you might want to consider exploring this devotion.

Prayer to our Lady of Sorrows
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Doctor of the Church

O most holy Virgin,
Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by the overwhelming grief you experienced
when you witnessed the martyrdom,
the crucifixion
and the death, of your divine Son,
look upon me with eyes of compassion
and awaken in my heart a tender
commiseration for those sufferings,
as well as a sincere detestation
of my sins, in order that,
being disengaged from all undue affection
for the passing joys of this earth,
I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem
and that henceforward all my thoughts
and all my actions may be directed
towards this one most desirable object,
the honour, glory and love
to our divine Lord Jesus,
and to the you,
the Holy and Immaculate
Mother of God.
Amenprayer to our lady of sorrows - st bonaventure - 1 sept 2018

Holy Mother, imprint deeply upon our hearts

the wounds of the Crucified Christ.sept month of the seven sorrows - 1 sept 2018


Thought for the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Thought for the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Excerpt – Message of His Holiness, Pope Francis, 1 SEPTEMBER 2016

Show Mercy to our Common Home

Examining our consciences, repentance and confession to our Father who is rich in mercy lead to a firm purpose of amendment.   This in turn must translate into concrete ways of thinking and acting that are more respectful of creation.   For example: “avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices” (Laudato Si’, 211).   We must not think that these efforts are too small to improve our world.   They “call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread” and encourage “a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption” (ibid., 212, 222).

In the same way, the resolve to live differently should affect our various contributions to shaping the culture and society in which we live.   Indeed, “care for nature is part of a lifestyle which includes the capacity for living together and communion” (Laudato Si’, 228).   Economics and politics, society and culture cannot be dominated by thinking only of the short-term and immediate financial or electoral gains.   Instead, they urgently need to be redirected to the common good, which includes sustainability and care for creation.

Despite our sins and the daunting challenges before us, we never lose heart.   “The Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes His loving plan or repents of having created us… for He has united himself definitively to our earth and His love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (Laudato Si’, 13; 245).   In a particular way, let us pray on 1 September and indeed throughout the year:

“O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
who are so precious in your eyes…

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of Your love
for all the creatures of this earth
God of mercy, may we receive Your forgiveness
and convey Your mercy throughout our common home.

Praise be to you!

(Pope Francis 2016)1 sept join pope francis - daily prayer for the care of creation - 1 sept 2018

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Quote of the Day – 1 September – The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Quote of the Day – 1 September

 The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfolds rich blessing on our way,
O praise God!   Alleluia!
The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,
Let them His praise abundant show.
O praise God, O praise God,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

(Translated by William H Draper) (Image by St Francis by Albert Chevallier Tayler)dear-mother-earth-st-francis-prayer - 1 sept 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 September – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30 and The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

One Minute Reflection – 1 September – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 25:14–30 – Saturday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time, Year B and The 4th World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

“For it will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property….”…Matthew 25:14

REFLECTION – “The universal destination and the private ownership of goods – In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labour and enjoy their fruits (Gn 1:26-29). The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race.   However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. the appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge.   It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men.   The right to private property… does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind, the universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.
In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself” (Vatican II, GS 69).   The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.   Goods of production… oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number.   Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.”…Catechism of the Catholic Church § 2402-2405matthew 24 14 - for it will be as when a man going on a journey-the ownership of property ccc2402-2405 1 sept 2018

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us by Your grace, to remain “good and faithful servants” so that we may use all You have bestowed upon us and left to our care, in the loving care of our neighbour and of Your gifts.   May Mary, the Mother of Your divine Son and our Mother, walk at our side and teach us to be true children and users of our talents and Your creation.   May we guard Your world with great wisdom.   Holy Mother of Montevergine, pray for us, that we may one day enter “into the joy of our Lord”.   We make our prayer, through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.our lady of montevergine pray for us - 1 sept 2018


Our Morning Offering – 1 September

Our Morning Offering – 1 September

Prayer to do the Will of God
By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God,
grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do
and always to desire, what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow in the footprints of
Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone,
may we make our way to You,
Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity
and are glorified God all-powerful, forever and ever.
(From “A Letter to the Entire Order”)almighty eternal just and merciful god - st francis - 19 sept 2017


1 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Montevergine

1 September – The Memorial of Our Lady of Montevergine (c 401-460) – Patroness of Catalonia.   This painting of Our Lady in her sanctuary, a Benedictine abbey, on Mount Partenio, 56 km East of Naples.   In the charming medieval town of Mercogliano you catch the “funicular” or “cob train” that climbs a breath-taking slope in 7 minutes. (Or you can drive a winding road all the way up.)  Open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., the painting is on wood 460 x 230 cm and some say dates probably from around 1290 though according to local legend, the face was painted by St Luke the Evangelist and seems to actually stem from the 5th century.Our Lady of Montevergine - maxresdefault

This is one of quite a few Black Madonnas that are attributed to Luke the Evangelist. Tradition says he painted only the head of Mary, which was later fitted into the larger icon.   The whole is considered a “Hodegetria” type of Madonna, i.e. “she who points/shows the way” or “the guide”, so called because her right hand points at Jesus as the way to salvation.   While the Virgin of Montevergine isn’t actually in the classical Hodegetria pose, she is nonetheless known as the Hodegetria of Constantinople.

Tradition recounts that Eudocia (c. 401-460), the wife of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, brought Saint Luke’s original portrait of the Virgin from Palestine to Constantinople.   There it was fitted into a very large icon of Mary and Jesus and greatly revered with weekly ceremonies described thus:

“Every Tuesday twenty men come to the church of Maria Hodegetria;  they wear long red linen garments, covering up their heads like stalking clothes … there is a great procession and the men clad in red go one by one up to the icon;  the one with whom the icon is pleased is able to take it up as if it weighed almost nothing.   He places it on his shoulder and they go chanting out of the church to a great square, where the bearer of the icon walks with it from one side to the other, going fifty times around the square.   When he sets it down others take it up in turn.”   Another account says, as the bearers staggered around the crowd, the icon seemed to lurch towards onlookers, who were then considered blessed by the Virgin.   Clergy touched pieces of cotton-wool to the icon and handed them out to the crowd.   The image was double-sided, with the crucifixion of Jesus on the other side.   This makes sense if it was painted for processions.”   Madonna_di_Montevergine-2

While the Polish people claim the Hodegetria of Constantinople ended up at Czestochowa and the Russians believe it to be their “Hodegetria of Smolensk”, destroyed during the German occupation in 1941, the Italians maintain that their Mama of Montevergine is the original first Black Madonna painted by St Luke.

As it turns out they may almost be right.   The original sacred image disappeared during the fall of Constantinople in 1453 but this one may actually be the oldest, still extant Western copy of it.   At least that’s what Margherita Guarducci, an illustrious scholar of art history and archaeology claims.   She investigated the famous “Slave Mama” of Montevergine in the 1990’s using newest technology.   It turns out that the bust was painted over several times and previous analyses could only reach down to the layer that was created in the 13th century.   But now Guarducci discovered another, deeper layer painted on linen burlap with a type of paint that was used in the 5th century.

But back to the capital of the East-Roman Empire, Italian traditions say that as the last Latin Emperor of Constantinople, Baldwin II, was escaping the besieged city in 1261, he took the head of the icon (the part attributed to Luke) with him.   Later it came into the possession of the Angevin dynasty, the House of Anjou, who had it inserted again into a much larger image of Mary and the Christ child.   Around the year 1300 they gave the icon to the sanctuary on Montevergine.madonna-di-montevergine-aka-our-lady-of-montevergine-avellino-italy

As so many Black Madonna sanctuaries, so this one too started out as a Pagan holy site dedicated to the goddess Cybele.   Tradition says that in the early 11th century, when Paganism was still practised in remote parts of Europe, St William of Vercelli (1085-1142) Founder of the Congregation of Montevergine or “Willliamites”, the patron saint of Irpinia, decided to turn this mountain shrine to Cybele the Great Mother of the Gods, into a sanctuary of Mary the Most Holy Mother of God.   He gathered a little band of monks around him and occupied the place for Christianity. The first real church was consecrated in 1124.   It was destroyed and rebuilt several times.   The current monastery, guest house and sanctuary date from between the 18th and 20th centuries.   Architecturally they are not very interesting but the basilica is richly decorated and the whole place lies in breathtaking scenery.   From the images it is difficult to grasp that the icon is quite large, with a height of over 3,65 meters and width of over 1,80 meters.

Why “Slave Mama”?
Why is this Black Madonna, along with some of her other Italian sisters, called Slave Mama?   Because in the mind of old time Italians her dark complexion marked her as one of the serving class, the Mother of all Slaves.   An old folk song recounts how the Madonna of Montevergine was ashamed that her dark skin made her look like a slave.   It made her the ugliest of the “six sisters” (six famous Madonnas in the Campania region).   So she hid her face on this mountain.   But lo and behold, the song concludes, this Brown Mama turned out to be the most miraculous and hence the most beautiful of them all.
The local peasants love their Slave Mama more than any other Madonna because she is the mother of all those who are chained to hard work.   She understands their plight.   As another folk song says:  “You alone lighten our chains, the chains to hard work, a thousand years of hard work and thousands of sweats”.
To the more politically minded (and there are many of those in Italy) the divine Slave Mama is also the mother of all who are oppressed or outcast.

Today, it is reported that over one-and-one-half million pilgrims yearly pay homage to Our Lady of Montevergine.   The most popular day is Pentecost.   There have been numerous miracles attributed to this portrait of the Mother of God and her Divine Son.


Memorial of Our Lady of Montevergine and of the Saints 1 September

Our Lady of Montevergine:
Also known as –
• Madonna di Montevergine
• Madonna Bruna
• Mamma Schiavona
One of the so-called Black Madonnas, image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, normally holding the Christ Child, who have been “inculturated”, that is, made the little Jewish girl Mary look more like the people in the area of the artist, or which are actually black in color. This one serves as part of the altar piece of the Sanctuary on Montevergine.   This site is the goal of thousands of pilgrims each year.

Abigail the Matriarch
St Aegidius
St Agia
St Anea
St Arcanus
St Arealdo of Brescia
Bl Colomba of Mount Brancastello
St Constantius the Bishop
St Donatus of Sentianum
St Felix of Sentianum
St Gideon the Judge

St Giles (c 650 – c 710) One of the 14 Holy Helpers
About St Giles here:
About the 14 Holy Helpers here:

Bl Giustino of Paris
Bl Giovanna Soderini
St Jane Soderini
St Joshua the Patriarch
Bl Juliana of Collalto
St Laetus of Dax
St Lupus of Sens
St Lythan
St Nivard of Rheims
St Priscus
St Regulus
St Sixtus of Rheims
St Terentian
St Verena
St Victorious
St Vincent of Xaintes

Exiles of Campania
Twelve Holy Brothers: Martyrs of the South –
A group of martyrs who died c 303 at various places in southern Italy. In 760 their relics were brought together and enshrined in Benevento, Italy as a group.
• Saint Arontius of Potenza
• Saint Donatus of Sentianum
• Saint Felix of Sentianum
• Saint Felix of Venosa
• Saint Fortunatus of Potenza
• Saint Honoratus of Potenza
• Saint Januarius of Venosa
• Saint Repositus of Velleianum
• Saint Sabinian of Potenza
• Saint Sator of Velleianum
• Saint Septiminus of Venosa
• Saint Vitalis of Velleianum
One tradition describes Saint Boniface of Hadrumetum and Saint Thecla of Hadrumetum as their parents.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyred Hospitallers of Saint John of God – (12 beati)
• Blessed Alejandro Cobos Celada
• Blessed Alfonso Sebastiá Viñals
• Blessed Amparo Carbonell Muñoz
• Blessed Antonio Villanueva Igual
• Blessed Carmen Moreno Benítez
• Blessed Crescencio Lasheras Aizcorbe
• Blessed Enrique López y López
• Blessed Francesc Trullen Gilisbarts
• Blessed Guillermo Rubio Alonso
• Blessed Isidro Gil Arano
• Blessed Joaquim Pallerola Feu
• Blessed Joaquín Ruiz Cascales
• Blessed José Franco Gómez
• Blessed José Prats Sanjuán
• Blessed Josep Samsó y Elias
• Blessed Manuel Mateo Calvo
• Blessed Mariano Niño Pérez
• Blessed Maximiano Fierro Pérez
• Blessed Miquel Roca Huguet
• Blessed Nicolás Aramendía García
• Blessed Pedro Rivera
• Blessed Pio Ruiz De La Torre
• Blessed Simó Isidre Joaquím Brun Ararà