ST FRANCIS de SALES – begins 15 January ST PAUL – begins 16 January ST JOHN BOSCO – begins 22 January
to ST FRANCIS de SALES CO OM OFM Cap (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church – begins 15 January. St Francis de Sales is the Patron of Devotion so if there’s a Saint who might know what a Devout Heart is, it’s going to be him. St Alphonsus Liguori said that the most useful practice of a Novena is to make up our minds at the beginning of the Novena to correct some fault we have been accustomed to commit. Let us ask St Francis de Sales to stir our hearts toward greater devotion and love for God.
to ST PAUL – begins 16 January – We pray in honour of the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on 25 January. St Paul is the MOST NEGLECTED IN PRAYER by Catholics – come on folks let us pray for zeal, for courage, for perseverance, for strength, for LOVE of God and neighbour, in fact we can pray to ST PAUL FOR ALL our needs!
to ST JOHN BOSCO “Don Bosco” (1815-1888) “Father and Teacher of the Youth” – He was a follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco was an ardent Marian devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Mary Help of Christians. He later dedicated his works to De Sales when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco – begins 22 January. St John Bosco is the Patron of Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, juvenile delinquents. Choose ALL young people or your own children. Or simply Pray the 9 days for your own growth in love of our Mother, the Help of Christians or our own growth in faith and sanctity.
Don’t forget to pray Novenas each day for nine straight days…
Thought for the Day – 14 January – Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 1:14–20 and the Memorial of St Felix of Nola (Died c 253)
Felix received a clear call to action from the angel in his prison cell, just as the Blessed Virgin received the Archangel Gabriel’s message of her extraordinary role in the Incarnation of Jesus. Felix heard the call and risked his life and unimaginable suffering to answer it. While the messages we receive from the Lord are not always heralded by angels, we still need to listen for them—and perhaps listen all the more closely. These are the quiet urgings of our hearts, which bring us closer to our God. How often are we too busy and too wrapped up in our wants and needless anxieties to hear the call of God? Might slowing down and creating some silence in our lives enable a deeper communion with Christ?
Today, we pray for that silence—the silence in which we hear and understand what the Lord wishes for and of us and the courage to stand up and put the call into action!
One Minute Reflection – 14 January – Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Mark 1:14–20 and the Memorial of St Felix of Nola (Died c 253) & Blessed Petrus Donders C.Ss.R. (1807-1887)
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him…Mark 1:17-18
REFLECTION – “We, today’s Christians, have the joy of proclaiming and witnessing to our faith because there was that first announcement, because there were those humble and courageous men who responded generously to Jesus’ call. On the shores of the lake, in an inconceivable land, the first community of disciples of Christ was born. May the knowledge of these beginnings give rise in us to the desire to bear Jesus’ word, love and tenderness in every context, even the most difficult and resistant. To carry the Word to all the peripheries! All the spaces of human living, are soil on which to cast the seeds of the Gospel, so they may bear the fruit of salvation.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 22 January 2017
PRAYER – Holy Lord God, grant that we may live constantly in Your presence. Grant that we may possess a spirit of joy and gladness because of the firm knowledge that You are always with us and in You and through You and with You, the extraordinary is commonplace! And turn around Lord and call us, for we are behind You. Be with us Lord, always, we pray! Hear the prayers on our behalf, of St Felix of Nola and Blessed Petrus Donders, whom we ask for intercession. Through the Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever for all eternity, amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 January – Month of the Holy Name of Jesus
The Golden Arrow
May the most holy,
and unutterable Name of God
be always praised,
and glorified in heaven.
on earth and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God
and by the Sacred Heart
of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the most Holy Sacrament
of the altar.
This prayer was revealed by Jesus Himself to Sr Marie of St Peter, a Carmelite Nun of Tours in 1843 as a reparation for blasphemy. “This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully,” He said “and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy.”
When it comes to our salvation. the Golden Arrow is no magic bullet. Still it can bring us closer to Christ by helping to make amends for the many insults He suffers on a daily basis. Today, as in Sister Mary’s time, we often read and hear harsh, offensive language about our Lord.
Have you ever noticed how many such abusive comments come especially from those considered most sophisticated in our society? We’ve also seen television shows and movies that attempt to strip away Christ’s Divinity and His Dignity, much as those who jeered at Him during His Passion.
There are also more than a few “smart” people these days who would rather think of our Lord just as some philosopher and leave it at that. This prayer can help us all, provide our Lord with comfort, for these various slings and arrows, He suffers each day!
Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Felix of Nola (Died c 253) Priest, Confessor, Apostle of Charity – born in the 3rd century at Nola, near Naples, Italy and died c 253 of natural causes. Patronage – Nola, Italy.
Much of the little information we have about Felix comes from the letters and poetry of Saint Paulinus of Nola (354-431), written 100 years after St Felix’s death.
Felix was the elder son of Hermias, a Syrian centurion who had retired to Nola, Italy. After his father’s death Felix sold off most of his property and possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor and pursued a clerical vocation. After Felix divested himself of all his possessions, St Maximus, the bishop of Nola, a town near Naples, Italy, ordained him a priest and made him his assistant. In 250, when Emperor Decius decreed a ferocious persecution, Maximus installed himself in a desert hiding place from which he safely governed the church. Because soldiers could not find Maximus at Nola, they tortured and jailed Felix in his place. However, just as St Peter had had a miraculous escape from prison, an angel is said to have released Felix. Then the angel guided Felix to rescue Maximus, who was near death.
The persecution subsided in 251. Upon the death of Maximus the people wanted to name Felix as bishop but he declined. Instead he retired to a small farm, where for the rest of his life he raised crops to feed himself and provide alms for the poor. St Felix died around 260.
Every year Paulinus wrote a poem to celebrate Felix’s feast day. In one he said that while Felix did not die a martyr he was willing to offer his life as a sacrifice to God. Paulinus thus provided one of the earliest definitions of a “confessor”:
“This festive day celebrates Felix’s birthday, the day on which he died physically on earth and was born for Christ in heaven, winning his heavenly crown as a martyr who did not shed his blood. For he died as confessor, though he did not avoid execution by choice, since God accepted his inner faith in place of blood. God looks into the silence of hearts and equates those ready to suffer with those who have already done so, for He considers this inward test as sufficient and dispenses with physical execution in case of true devotion. Martyrdom without bloodshed is enough for Him if mind and faith are ready to suffer and are fervent towards God.
Paulinus adopted Felix as his patron saint, a custom that had its roots in the early church. But for Paulinus, a patron was more than a namesake. Felix not only interceded for him in heaven. He also accompanied him spiritually as an encourager, guide, and protector, as Paulinus explained in the following passage:
Father and lord, best of patrons to servants however unworthy, at last our prayer is answered to celebrate your birthday within your threshold. . . .You know what toils on land and sea have . . . kept me far from your abode in a distant world, because I have always and everywhere had you near me and have called on you in the grim moments of travel and in the uncertainties of life.. . . I never sailed without you, for I felt your protection in Christ the Lord, when I overcame rough seas. On land and water my journeying is always made safe through you. Felix, I beg you, address a prayer on behalf of your own, to that Embodiment of the calm of eternal love and peace, to Him on whose great name you depend. Amen
Five churches have been built at, or near the place, where St Felix was first interred, which was without the precincts of the city of Nola. His precious remains are kept in the cathedral but certain portions are at Rome, Benevento, and some other places. In time a new church in Nola was dedicated in the name of St Felix. People travelled from far away to see the burial place of this revered saint. St Paulinus, who acted as porter to one of these churches, testifies to numerous pilgrimages made in honour of Felix.
The poems and letters of Paulinus on Felix are the source from which St Gregory of Tours, Venerable Bede, and the priest Marcellus have drawn their biographies. There is another Felix of Nola, bishop and martyr under a Prefect Martianus. He should not be considered to be the same as the above.
One of the most well-known legends of St Felix relates to a spider. It goes as follows:
Shortly following the imprisonment of Bishop Maximus, Felix was taken into custody by Roman soldiers, imprisoned, scourged and tortured and wrapped with heavy chains in his prison cell. He miraculously escaped from his cell, following visitation from an angel who instructed him to go to the aid of his ailing bishop. As the angel encouraged Felix, his chains fell off and his prison cell was opened. Felix rescued Maximus, bearing him on his back (despite weakness and small stature) and effectively hiding both men from Roman authorities until the end of Decius’ reign.
The second attempt to imprison Felix and Maximus was miraculously prevented by a spider! Upon hearing Roman soldiers approaching, Felix crawled into a small hole in the building he was staying, where it is said a spider immediately spun a web over the opening. The guards saw the spider web and ceased searching for the men, assuming that the room had been undisturbed for some time.
Bl Alfonsa Clerici
Bl Amadeus of Clermont
St Caldeoldus of Vienne
St Datius of Milan
Bl Devasahayam Pillai
St Eufrasio of Clermont
St Euphrasius the Martyr
St Felix of Nola (Died C 253)
St Felix of Rome
St Fermin of Mende
St Glycerius of Antioch
Bl Godfrey of Cappenberg
St Isaias the Martyr
St Jesaja of Sinai
St Macrina the Elder
St Nino of Georgia
Bl Odoric of Pordenone
St Odo of Novara
Bl Pablo Merillas Fernández
St Paul of Africa
Bl Petrus Donders C.Ss.R. (1807-1887)
About Blessed Petrus: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/saint-of-the-day-14-january-blessed-petrus-peter-donders-c-ss-r-1807-1887/
Bl Rainer of Arnsberg
St Sabas of Sinai
St Sava of Serbia
St Successus of Africa
St Theodolus of Sinai
Bl William de Sanjulia
Martyrs of Mount Sinai: A group of monks on Mount Sinai who were martyred by desert Bedouins. Their names and exact number have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.
Martyrs of Raithu – 43 saints: A group of 43 monks in the Raithu Desert near Mount Sinai, Palestine, near the Red Sea. They were martyred for their faith by desert Bedouins. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.