Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Protection of the Unborn and all Human Life

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Protection of the Unborn and all Human Life, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Madonna of the Americas, Patroness of the Unborn – Day Nine – 11 December

Ninth Day

O God, You have been pleased
to bestow upon us
unceasing favours by having placed us
under the special protection
of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
who has constantly come
to assist us throughout history
and throughout the world.
We now pray to her,
Our Lady of Guadalupe
for the protection of the unborn
and all human life.
Grant us, Your humble servants,
who rejoice in honouring our Mother,
Holy Mary, today upon the earth,
the happiness of seeing her,
face-to-face in heaven.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

and the Prayer for the Protection of all Human Life

Prayer for the Unborn and the Protection of all Human Life

Our Lady of Guadalupe,
we turn to you,
who are the protectress of unborn children
and ask that you intercede for us,
so that we may more firmly resolve to join you
in protecting all human life.
Let our prayers be united
to your perpetual motherly intercession
on behalf of those whose lives are threatened,
be they in the womb of their mother,
on the bed of infirmity,
or in the latter years of their life.
May our prayers
also be coupled with peaceful action
which witnesses to the goodness
and dignity of all human life,
so that our firmness of purpose may give courage
to those who are fearful and bring light
to those who are blinded by sin.
O Virgin Mother of God,
present our petitions to your Son
and ask Him to bless us with abundant life.
Amenday nine - novena our lady of guadalupe 11 dec 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 11 December – The Memorial of St Pope Damasus I (c 305-384)

Thought for the Day – 11 December – The Memorial of St Pope Damasus I (c 305-384)

To his secretary Saint Jerome (343-420), Damasus was “an incomparable person, learned in the Scriptures, a virgin doctor of the virgin Church, who loved chastity and heard its praises with pleasure.”   Damasus seldom heard such unrestrained praise.   Internal political struggles, doctrinal heresies, uneasy relations with his fellow bishops and those of the Eastern Church marred the peace of his pontificate.

The son of a Roman priest, possibly of Spanish extraction, Damasus started as a deacon in his father’s church and served as a priest in what later became the basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome.   He served Pope Liberius (352-366) and followed him into exile.

When Liberius died, Damasus was elected bishop of Rome but a minority elected and consecrated another deacon, Ursinus, as pope.   The controversy between Damasus and the antipope resulted in violent battles in two basilicas, scandalising the bishops of Italy. At the synod that Damasus called on the occasion of his birthday, he asked them to approve his actions.   The bishops’ reply was curt:  “We assembled for a birthday, not to condemn a man unheard.”   Supporters of the antipope even managed to get Damasus accused of a grave crime—probably sexual—as late as  378.   He had to clear himself before both a civil court and a Church synod.

As pope, his lifestyle was simple in contrast to other ecclesiastics of Rome and he was fierce in his denunciation of Arianism and other heresies.   A misunderstanding of the Trinitarian terminology used by Rome threatened amicable relations with the Eastern Church and Damasus was only moderately successful in dealing with that challenge.

During his pontificate, Christianity was declared the official religion of the Roman state, and Latin became the principal liturgical language as part of the pope’s reforms.   His encouragement of Saint Jerome’s biblical studies led to the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Scripture which 12 centuries later the Council of Trent declared to be “authentic in public readings, disputations, preaching.”

The history of the papacy and the Church is inextricably mixed with the personal biography of Damasus.   In a troubled and pivotal period of Church history, he stands forth as a zealous defender of the faith who knew when to be progressive and when to entrench.

Damasus makes us aware of two qualities of good leadership – alertness to the promptings of the Spirit and service.   His struggles are a reminder that Jesus never promised His Rock protection from hurricane winds nor His followers immunity from difficulties.   His only guarantee is final victory.   Never forget this!

St Pope Damasus, Pray for the Church, Pray for us All!st pope damasus I pray fo us 11 dec 2018


Quote of the Day – 11 December

Quote of the Day – 11 December – The Memorial of St Pope Damasus I (c 305-384)

The arrangement of the names of Christ, however, is manifold:
because He is Spirit;
because He is God;
because He is the only-begotten son of the Father;
because He was born of the Virgin;
because He offered Himself as a sacrifice;
because He is a guardian;
because He rose again;
because He is strong;
because there is a straight path through Him to life;
because He suffered;
because instruction is His;
because He demonstrates how to live;
because He is the illuminator;
because He is from the Father;
because He is the creator;
because He is flesh;
because He is the merciful protector;
because He is anointed;
because He is a mediator;
because we are redeemed by His blood;
because He is King;
because He is firm;
because He is the chosen one;
because He has revealed what is to come.

from the Decree of Damasus (attributed to St Pope Damasus I)

St Pope Damasus I (c 305-384)the decree of st pope damasus no 3 - 11dec2018

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori 11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori

11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Jesus, suffering servant, in the womb of His mother

“Consider, as the prophet Isaiah once proclaimed, that Jesus is the ‘suffering servant’ and from His infancy began to endure the greatest sorrows.   Even from the womb of Mary, Jesus Christ accepted obediently, the will of His Father.   He foresaw the scourges, the thorns, the blows, the nails and the cross on which He offered His life.   He suffered a continual martyrdom and He offered every moment for us, to His eternal Father.   But what afflicted Him more than any other suffering, was the malice of every sin, when He saw the immense number that would be committed.

My sweetest Redeemer, when shall I begin to be grateful to You for Your infinite goodness? When shall I begin to acknowledge the love that You bear for me and the sorrows that You endured for me? Shall I continue to live an ungrateful life?   No, my Jesus, by the help of Your grace, it shall not be so.”


“He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye,
no beauty to draw us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned and we held him in no esteem.”

Isaiah 53:2-3


Thank You, my Lord, for looking for me.
Thank You, my Lord, for finding me.
Thank You, my Lord, for telling me
“it is never the will of my Father,
that one of these little ones should perish.”
This explains why
You assumed our human nature
and suffered so much for us.
Thank You, my Lord,
for Your reckless love.
Thank You, my Lord,
for saving me!

Advent Action

Our Scripture today, overflows with hope.   In the Gospel, Jesus proclaims that He, personally, will rescue us.   Even if we are the only one lost, He will come after us.   “So it is not the will of my Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”  Are we in trouble, lost, confused and overwhelmed?   Tell Jesus!   He fulfils His promise to rescue us.advent with st alphonsus tues 2nd week 11dec2018


Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Grant us Your Light, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Tuesday of the Second week of Advent

Grant us Your Light, O Lord
By St Bede (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
(From ‘On the Apocalypse’)

Grant us Your light, O Lord,
so that the darkness of our hearts,
may wholly pass away
and we may come at last,
to the light of Christ.
For Christ is that morning star,
who, when the night of this world has passed,
brings to His saints,
the promised light of life
and opens to them,
everlasting day.

grant us your light o lord - st bede - 15 dec 2017

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 December – St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974)

Saint of the Day – 11 December – St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974) Carmelite Religious, Prioress, Contemplative, Apostle of Charity, founder of several houses for her order and even set one up in India after serving a brief exile with fellow religious due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War – born María de las Maravillas Pidal Chico de Guzmán on 4 November 1891 in Madrid, Spain and died on 11 December 1974 in La Aldehuela monastery, Madrid province, Spain of natural causes, where her remains now lie.HEADER M.-Maravillas-y-el-Cerro.jpg

María de las Maravillas was born in Madrid, Spain, the fourth child of Luis, the second Marquis of Pidal and Cristina.   At the time her father was the Spanish Ambassador to the Holy See and she grew up in a devout Catholic family.

María made a vow of chastity at the age of five and devoted herself to charitable work. After coming into contact with the writings of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Jesus, she felt called to become a Discalced Carmelite.

Her father, whom she had faithfully assisted when he became ill, died in 1913 and her mother was reluctant to accept her daughter’s decision to enter the Carmelite monastery. However, on 12 October 1919, María did enter the Discalced Carmelites in Madrid and made her simple vows on 7 May 1921.mariamaravillasofjesus

Before her final profession on 30 May 1924, Sr María had already received a special call from God to found the Carmel of Cerro de los Ángeles and the foundation was inaugurated in 1926 with three other Carmelites.   This was the first of many Teresian Carmelite Monasteries that she would establish, according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites.   María was not being called to found a new order or to “branch off” from the Discalced Carmelites – she herself was very careful in pointing this out; she only sought to live deeply and to transmit the spirit and ideals of her holy parents in Carmel, St Teresa and St John.

Her role as prioress would be permanent in the various monasteries she founded throughout her life, notwithstanding the natural aversion and sense of inadequacy she felt in accepting positions of responsibility.   María’s spirit of obedience and love for the Church and for her Carmelite sisters, however, gave her the strength and diligence to carry out this duty with love.madre-maravillas

The Spanish Civil War erupted in July of 1936 and the sisters at Cerro de los Angeles were arrested and lived for fourteen months in a small apartment under house arrest.   Even amid enormous deprivation, Mother Maravillas instilled courage and happiness, always being an admirable example to her daughters.

But she also remained a mystery even to the nuns closest to her, since only her spiritual directors knew the “dark night of the soul” that she lived throughout her life, which kept her in profound spiritual aridity and trials and made total faith and abandonment to the will of God her guide.Maravillas de Jesús.jpg

In the following years, foundations were established in other parts of Spain.   From what I could tell on a time line on the internet, she found 11 new communities and was involved with restoring others damaged by the Civil War.

She distinguished herself by her faithfulness in fulfilling the Rule and Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites and supported many charitable projects for the poor in Spain. She had a great enthusiasm for the charism of Carmel.   By word and example she led a fervent contemplative life in service to the Mystical Body of Christ.

In order to unite the monasteries she had established and others associated with them, Mother Maravillas obtained approval in 1972 from the Holy See to found the Association of St Teresa.   There are a total of 10 monasteries in the US and Canada that belong to this Association.   The intro about the Assoc. reads, “The St. Teresa Association is a group of monasteries of Discalced Carmelite Nuns formed in 1975 to strengthen one another in living our contemplative vocation in the Church.   Membership is based on spiritual affinity rather than geographical boundaries and we share a common desire to bear witness in these times to the charism and spirit of the Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns founded by St Teresa of Avila in 1562.”Maravillas de Jesús 2

On 8 December 1974, Mother Maravillas was anointed and received Holy Communion. On 11 December surrounded by her community, she died in peace at the age of 84. As she died she kept repeating “What happiness to die a Carmelite!”   A perfume of spice arose from her body.

She was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 10 May 1998 at St Peter’s in Rome and Canonised on 4 May 2003 in Madrid.   Today 11 December is her feast day, the anniversary of her entrance into eternity.682px-Saint_Maravillas_de_Jesús_-_Catedral_de_la_AlmudenaStMaravillasHarissa-500x500


Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 11 December

St Pope Damasus I (c. 305-384) (Optional Memorial)

St Aithalas of Arbela
St Apseus of Arbela
Bl Arthur Bell
Barsabas of Persia
St Cian
St Daniel the Stylite
Bl David of Himmerod
Bl Dominic Yanez
St Eutychius the Martyr
St Fidweten
Bl Franco of Siena
Bl Hugolinus Magalotti
Bl Jean Laurens
Bl Kazimierz Tomasz Sykulski
St María Maravillas de Jesús OCD (1891-1974)

Bl Martín Lumbreras Peralta
Bl Martino de Melgar
Bl Melchor Sánchez PérezPens
Bl Pilar Villalonga Villalba
Bl Severin Ott
Martyrs of Saint Aux-Bois – (3 saints): Two Christian missionaries and one of their local defenders who faith in the persecutions of governor Rictiovarus – Fuscian, Gentian and Victoricus. They were beheaded in 287 in Saint Aux-Bois, Gaul (in modern France).

Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered in the persecutions of Diocletian for giving aid to Christian prisoners – Pontian, Practextatus and Trason. They were imperial Roman citizens. They were martyred in c 303 in Rome, Italy.