Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – Sts Julian and Basilissa (died c 304) – Martyrs

Saints of the Day – Sts Julian and Basilissa (died c 304) – Martyrs – Julian and Basilissa were husband and wife.   They were Christian martyrs who died at either Antioch or, more probably, at Antinoe, in the reign of Diocletian, early in the fourth century.

Forced by his family to marry, Julian, agreed with his spouse, Basilissa, that they should both preserve their virginity and further encouraged her to found a convent for women, of which she became the superior, while he himself gathered a large number of monks and undertook their direction.   The two converted their home into a hospital which could house up to 1,000 people (thus, Julian is often confused with Julian the Hospitaller). There, they worked tirelessly, using their own funds, to assist the poor, the sick, the needy.  Basilissa attended those of her sex, in separate lodgings from the men, these were taken care of by Julian, who from his charity is named the Hospitalarian.   Egypt, where they lived, had then begun to abound with examples of persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification.  sts julian and basilissa

Basilissa, after having stood severe persecutions, died in peace.   Julian survived her many years but was martyred, (together with Celsus a youth, Antony a priest, Anastatius and Marcianilla the mother of Celsus) under the Persecutions of Diocletian.

During the persecution of Diocletian he was arrested, tortured and put to death at Antioch, in Syria, by the order of the governor, Martian, according to the Latins, at Antinoe, in Egypt, according to the Greeks, which seems more probable.   Celsus, the young son of Marcionilla, was martyred along with Julian.   The priest Anthony (Antony) was martyred at the same time, as well as a convert and neophyte named Anastasius. Marcionilla’s seven brothers are also said to have been killed.

In any case, these two saints must have enjoyed a great reputation in antiquity and their veneration was well established before the eighth century.   Only a fragment of Ælfric’s Passion of St Julian and His Wife Basilissa from his Lives of the Saints has survived but the traditional legend is there – the two saints vow not to consummate their marriage on their wedding night and devote themselves to chastity.   Julian suffers martyrdom by beheading.

Many churches and hospitals especially in the West, bear the name of one or other of these martyrs.   Four churches at Rome and three out of five at Paris, which bear the name of St Julian, were originally dedicated under the name of St Julian, the Hospitalarian and martyr.

In the time of St Gregory the Great, the skull of St Julian was brought out of the East into France and given to Queen Brunehault, who gave it to the nunnery which she founded at Étampes. Part of it is at present in the monastery of Morigny, near Étampes and part in the church of the regular canonesses of St Basilissa at Paris.

Christ with Saints Julian and Basilissa, Celsus and Marcionilla, Pompeo Batoni, 1736-8.

Thought for the Day – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany

Thought for the Day – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany

Excerpt from Pope Francis’ Homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, celebrated 6 January 2019, in St Peter’s Basilica

“In order to find Jesus, we also need to take a different route, to follow a different path, His path, the path of humble love.   And we have to persevere.   Today’s Gospel ends by saying that the Magi, after encountering Jesus, “left for their own country by another road” (Mt 2:12).   Another road, different from that of Herod.   An alternative route than that of the world, like the road taken by those who surround Jesus at Christmas – Mary and Joseph, the shepherds.   Like the Magi, they left home and became pilgrims on the paths of God.   For only those, who leave behind their worldly attachments and undertake a journey, find the mystery of God.for only those who leave behind their worldly attachments - pope francis epiphany 2019 9jan2019.jpg

This holds true for us too.   It is not enough to know where Jesus was born, as the scribes did if we do not go there.   It is not enough to know that Jesus was born, like Herod, if we do not encounter Him.   When His place becomes our place, when  His time becomes our time, when His person becomes our life, then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us.   Then Jesus is born within us.   He becomes the living God for me.   Today we are asked to imitate the Magi.   They do not debate – they set out.  They do not stop to look but enter the house of Jesus.   They do not put themselves at the centre but bow down before the One who is the centre.   They do not remain glued to their plans but are prepared to take other routes.   Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord, a radical openness to Him, a total engagement with Him.   With Him, they use the language of love, the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks.   Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive but to give.   Let us ask ourselves this question – at Christmas did we bring gifts to Jesus for His party, or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?when his place becomes our place - pope franics epip homily 2019 9 jan 2019.jpg

let us ask ourselves - pope francis 9 jan 2019 epiphany homily 2019.jpg

If we went to the Lord empty-handed, today we can remedy that.   The Gospel, in some sense, gives us a little “gift list”: gold, frankincense and myrrh.   Gold, the most precious of metals, reminds us God has to be granted first place – He has to be worshipped. But to do that, we need to remove ourselves from the first place and to recognise our neediness, the fact that we are not self-sufficient.    Then there is frankincense, which symbolises a relationship with the Lord, prayer, which like incense rises up to God (cf. Ps 141:2).   Just as incense must burn in order to yield its fragrance, so too, in prayer, we need to “burn” a little of our time, to spend it with the Lord.   Not just in words but also by our actions.   We see this in the myrrh, the ointment that would be lovingly used to wrap the body of Jesus taken down from the cross (cf. Jn 19:39).   The Lord is pleased when we care for bodies racked by suffering, the flesh of the vulnerable, of those left behind, of those who can only receive without being able to give anything material in return.   Precious in the eyes of God is mercy shown to those who have nothing to give back.   Gratuitousness!

In this Christmas season now drawing to its close, let us not miss the opportunity to offer a precious gift to our King, who came to us not in worldly pomp but in the luminous poverty of Bethlehem.   If we can do this, His light will shine upon us.”in this christmas season - pope francis - 9 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PRAYER, Uncategorized

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany

“All that one says to the Saviour is prayer
and when the mind cannot apply itself,
to the effort of true prayer,
a few simple words to Him become one.
It is needful always to think of Him,
even if it is only by the thought
that one is thinking less of Him –
one must be always thinking of Him
and then bit by bit,
He draws one back entirely to Him,
He is so good!”all that one says to the saviour is prayer - eugene de ferronays 9 jan 2019.jpg

“As You will, my Lord!
I will all that You do will,
because the only thing I do not will,
You also do not will it –
that I shall cease to be Your child!”

Eugene de Ferronays (1827 – 1894)as you will my lord - euegene de ferronays 9 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, The WORD, Uncategorized

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany – Gospel: Mark 6:45-52

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – 3rd Day after Epiphany – Gospel: Mark 6:45-52

But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I;  have no fear.”  And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. ...Mark 6:50-51

REFLECTION – “This is an effective image of the Church – a boat which must brave the storms and sometimes seems on the point of capsizing.   What saves her is not the skill and courage of her crew members but faith which allows her to walk, even in the dark, amid hardships.   Faith gives us the certainty of Jesus’ presence always beside us, of His hand which grasps us to pull us back from danger.   We are all on this boat and we feel secure here despite our limitations and our weaknesses.   We are safe especially when we are ready to kneel and worship Jesus, the only Lord of our life.”...Pope Francis – Angelus, 10 August 2014mark 6 50-51 - take heart it is I - faith gives us the certainty - pope francis 9 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – O Lord, You who came to save us, teach us all to live and breathe our love for You and Your teachings.   Help us all to realise and give thanks for Your love for us and always to feel and grasp Your presence.   Your life of pain and sorrow, lived to save us, is our only guide.   Through Mary, Your holy and loving Mother and our Mother, grant us courage and gratitude, amen.holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-9-jan-2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 9 January – 3rd day after Epiphany

Our Morning Offering – 9 January – 3rd day after Epiphany

I Wish to Clasp Your Hand – Do Not Refuse Me!
Prayer of Eugene de Ferronays (1827 – 1894)

Dear Lord! It is just when I am in the world
that I have most need of You
because You know it is full of snares
that the devil has set for me.
You must hold my hand, dear Lord,
if You will not abandon me.
A little of the world is not bad for me;
it is even good, for it teaches me how small it is
and I feel the greater happiness
when I come back to You.
But, that I may surely do so,
You must only loose Your hold a little,
that it may not try me too far,
You must not entirely leave hold.
Do You see dear Lord?

I wish to clasp Your hand – do not refuse me!i wish to clasp your hand dear lord, do not refuse me eugene de ferronays 9 jan 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Feast of the The Black Nazarene and Memorials of the Saints -9 January

The Black Nazarene:   The Black Nazarene is a blackened, life-sized wooden icon of Jesus Christ carrying a cross.   It was constructed in Mexico in the early 17th century by an Aztec carpenter. Spanish Augustinian Recollect friar missionaries to Manila, Philippines originally brought the icon to Manila in 1606.   The transport ship caught fire, burning the icon but the locals kept the charred statue. Miracles, especially healings, have been reported in its presence.  The church in which it stood burned down around it in 1791 and 1929, was destroyed by earthquakes in 1645 and 1863 and was damaged during bombing in 1945.   It used to be carried through the streets every January and Christians would rub cloths on it to make healing relics but centuries of this treatment have left the statue in bad shape and since 1998 a replica is paraded at the feast day celebrations.   In 1650, Pope Innocent X issued a papal bull which canonically established the Cofradia de Jesús Nazareno to encourage devotion.   In the 19th century Pope Pius VII granted indulgences to those who piously pray before the image. Patronage: Quiapo, Philippines.768px-black_nazarene

St Adrian of Canterbury (c 635-710)

Bl Alix le Clerc
St Agatha Yi
Bl Antony Fatati
St Brithwald of Canterbury
St Eustratius of Olympus
Bl Franciscus Yi Bo-Hyeon
St Honorius of Buzancais
Bl Józef Pawlowski
Sts Julian and Basilissa (died c 304) Martyrs
Bl Kazimierz Grelewski
St Marcellinus of Ancona
St Marciana
Bl Martinus In Eon-min
St Maurontius
St Nearchus
St Paschasia of Dijon
St Peter of Sebaste
St Philip Berruyer
St Polyeucte
St Teresa Kim
St Waningus of Fécamp

Martyrs of Africa – 21 saints: A group of 21 Christians murdered together for their faith in the persecutions of Decius. The only details to survive are 14 of their names – Artaxes, Epictetus, Felicitas, Felix, Fortunatus, Jucundus, Pictus, Quietus, Quinctus, Rusticus, Secundus, Sillus, Vincent and Vitalis. They were martyred in c 250.
Martyrs of Antioch – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together during the persecutions of Diocletian – Anastasius, Anthony, Basilissa, Celsus, Julian and Marcionilla