Posted in NOVENAS, St PAUL!

Novena to St Paul – DAY ONE – 16 January

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) looked upon conversion as nothing more than a deeper discovery of what we already truly desire.   Conversion happens at the level of desire. It is the restoration of what makes us truly human.

Novena to St Paul
DAY ONE – 16 January

Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing conversion.
True conversion means converting my life to the
design of God, the plan He has for me right now.
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions,
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.

St Paul, Pray for us!day-one-st-paul-novena-2017-pic

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales – Day Two – 16 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day Two – 16 January

“State openly that you desire to be devout.   I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout.   Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God.   Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director’s advice.   This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty.” (St Francis de Sales INT. V, Ch. 18; O. III, p. 365)

O blessed Francis de Sales, you who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially ……………………….
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
…………………………… (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
You desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

St Francis de Sales, pray for


Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

St Pope Paul VI and Blessed Giuseppe Tovini

Sons & Saints of Brescia

Excerpt from St Pope John Paul’s Homily


Sunday, 20 September, 1998

With deep affection I greet you, city of Brescia, so rich in works of Christian inspiration;  I greet your priests, religious and the many lay people who in their various ecclesial and civil offices have distinguished themselves by their religious, social and cultural commitment.

2. “Peter, do you love me?”.   We can say that Paul VI’s life was a response to Christ’s question – a great proof of love for God, the Church and mankind.   He loved God as a gracious and caring Father and during the important moments of his life, especially those burdened with difficulties and suffering, he displayed a very strong sense of the divine fatherhood.

When, as Archbishop of Milan, he decided to hold a popular mission to instil new energy in the city’s Christian tradition, he chose as his basic theme – God is Father.   Then on 6 August, 20 years ago, as he neared the end of his earthly life at Castel Gandolfo, he wanted to recite the Our Father as his last prayer.

And what can be said of his passionate love for Christ?   His was an essentially Christocentric spirituality.   In the homily to mark the beginning of his Pontificate, he explained that he had chosen the name of Paul because the Apostle “loved Christ supremely, because he greatly wanted and strove to bring the Gospel of Christ to all nations, because he offered his life in Christ’s name” (30 June 1963, in Insegnamenti I, [1963], pp. 24-25).   On another occasion he added that it is impossible to leave Christ out of consideration, “if we want to know something certain, full, revealed about God, or rather, if we want to have a living, direct and authentic relationship with God” (General Audience, 18 December 1968; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 26 December 1968, p. 3).

3. To his love for God the Father and for Christ the Teacher, Paul VI joined an intense love for the Church, for which he spent all his physical, intellectual and spiritual energies, as the touching confession he made in Pensiero alla morte testifies:  “The Church … I could say that I have always loved her … and that I think I have lived for her and for nothing else” (cf. Pubblicazione dell’Istituto Paolo VI, Brescia 1988, pp. 28-29).

Flowing spontaneously from this love for Christ and for the Church was his pastoral passion for man, with an acute insight into the sufferings and expectations of the contemporary age.   Few have known, as he, to interpret the anxieties, desires, toils and aspirations of the men of our century.   He wished to walk at their side, to do this he made himself a pilgrim on their roads, meeting them where they lived and struggled to build a world of greater attention and respect for the dignity of every human being.

He wanted to be the servant of Church which evangelised the poor, called with every person of goodwill to build that “civilisation of love” in which not only the crumbs of economic and civil progress go to the poor, but where justice and solidarity should reign.

4. The roots of Pope Montini’s particular sensitivity to the great social questions of our century are sunk deep in his Brescian origins.   In his own family and then during the years of his youth in Brescia, he breathed that atmosphere, that fervour of activity which made Brescian Catholicism one of the significant landmarks of the Catholic presence in the social and political life of the country.   Addressing his fellow citizens at the beginning of his Pontificate, Paul VI expressed this debt of gratitude: “Brescia! The city which not only gave me birth but is such a part of the civil, spiritual and human tradition, teaching me as well the meaning of life in this world and always offering me a framework which, I think, will withstand future experiences ordained over the years by divine Providence” (cf. Address to a Pilgrimage from Milan and Brescia, 29 June 1963, in Insegnamenti I [1963], p. 647).

5. Bl Giuseppe Tovini was certainly a great witness of the Gospel incarnated in Italy’s social and economic history in the last century.   He is resplendent for his strong personality, his profound lay and family spirituality and for his generous efforts to improve society.   Between Tovini and Giovanni Battista Montini there is — as a matter of fact — a close, profound spiritual and mental bond.

In fact, the Pontiff himself wrote of Tovini:  “The impression he left on those I first knew and esteemed was so vivid and so real that I frequently heard comments and praise of his extraordinary personality and his many varied activities – astonished, I heard admiring expressions of his virtue and sorrowful regrets at his early death” (cf. Preface by Giovanni Battista Montini to the biography of Giuseppe Tovini by Fr Antonio Cistellini in 1953, p. I).st pope paul VI and bl giuseppe tovini saints of brescia - 16 jan 2019.jpg

6. Fervent, honest, active in social and political life, Giuseppe Tovini proclaimed the Christian message, always in fidelity to the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.   His constant concern was to defend the faith, convinced that — as he said at a congress — “without faith our children will never be rich, with faith they will never be poor”. He lived at a sensitive time in the history of Italy and the Church and it was clear to him, that one could not respond fully to God’s call, without being generously and selflessly involved in social problems.

His was a prophetic vision and he responded with apostolic daring to the needs of the times, which in the light of new forms of discrimination required of believers a more incisive leadership in temporal affairs.

Aided by the legal skills and rigorous professionalism that distinguished him, he promoted and directed many social organisations and also held political office in Cividate Camuno and Brescia in the desire to make Christian doctrine and morality present among the people.   He considered commitment to education a priority and prominent among his many initiatives, was his defence of schools and the freedom of teaching.

With humble means and great courage he laboured tirelessly to preserve for Brescian and Italian society what was most particularly its own, that is, its religious and moral heritage.

Tovini’s honesty and integrity were rooted in his deep, vital relationship with God, which he constantly nourished with the Eucharist, meditation and devotion to the Blessed Virgin.   From listening to God in daily prayer, he drew light and strength for the great social and political battles he had to wage to safeguard Christian values.   The Church of St Luke, with its beautiful image of the Immaculata and where his mortal remains now rest, is a witness to his piety.

On the threshold of the third millennium, Giuseppe Tovini, whom today we contemplate in heavenly glory, spurs us on.   I invite you in particular, dear lay faithful of Brescia and Italy, to look to this great social apostle, who was able to give hope to those without voice in the society of his time, so that his example will be an incentive and encouragement to everyone to work generously today and always to defend and to spread the truth and the demands of the Gospel.   May he protect you from heaven and sustain you by his intercession.

Dear Brescians, you have received a great religious and civil heritage – treasure it as an incomparable patrimony and bear active witness to it, with that ingenuity and integrity, that fidelity and perseverance which distinguished Paul VI and Giuseppe Tovini.

7. “I have fought the good fight…. The Lord stood by me” (2 Tm 4:7,17)   These words from the second reading of the Mass summarise the spiritual experience of the two figures we recall today with devout admiration.   We thank God for their witness – it is a precious gift, not only for Brescia but for Italy and for all humanity.   Their memory must not fade with the passing of time.   In different fields and with different responsibilities, they sowed so much good, they fought the good fight – the fight for Truth and the civilisation of Love.

May Mary, Mother of the Church, help us take up their legacy and follow in their footsteps so that we too will be allowed to answer Christ like the Apostle Peter: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (Jn 21:17). Amen!

Holy Mother Mary, Pray for Us!holy mother mary pray for us 16 jan 2019

St Pope Paul VI, Pray for Us!st pope paul vi pray for us 16 jan 2019

Blessed Giuseppe Tovini, Pray for Us!blessed giuseppe tovini pray for us 16 jan 2019 no 2

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

Quote of the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

“Without faith,
our children
will never be rich,
with faith,
they will never be poor”.

Blessed Giuseppe Toviniwithout faith our children will never be rich with faith they will never be poor bl giuseppe tovini 16 jan 2019.jpg

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

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel: Mark 1:29–39

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel: Mark 1:29–39

And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her and she served them...Mark 1:31

REFLECTION – ““And he helped her up.”   As she couldn’t stand up by herself, it was the Lord who helped her.   “He grasped her hand and helped her up.”   When Peter was in danger on the sea, just as he was going to drown, he too was grasped by the hand and raised up… What a beautiful sign of friendship and love towards this sick woman!   He helped her up by taking her hand, His hand healed the sick woman’s hand.   He grasped that hand as a doctor would have done, He who was both doctor and remedy took her pulse and assessed the gravity of the fever.   Jesus touched it and the fever vanished.
Let us want Him to touch our hand so that in this way what we do may be made pure. Should He enter our house, let us get off our bed at last and not remain lying down.  Jesus stands at our bedside and will we remain lying down?   Come on! To your feet!… “There is one among you whom you do not recognise” (Jn 1:26); “the kingdom of God is among you” (Lk 17:21).   Let us have faith and we shall see Jesus among us.”...St Jerome (347-420) Father & Doctor of the Churchmark 1 31 and he came and took her by the hand - let us want him to touch our hand st jerome 16 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments.   Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. Blessed Giuseppe Tovini and St Joseph Vaz, were shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that their prayers may aid us.   Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever,

bl giuseppe tovini pray for us 16 jan 2019

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 January

Our Morning Offering – 16 January – Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Make Us Worthy Lord
By St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

Make us worthy Lord,
to serve our brothers
and sisters throughout the world
who live
and die
in poverty and hunger.
Give them,
by our hands this day
their daily bread,
and by our understanding love,
peace and joy.
Amenmake us worthy st pope paul vi - no 2 larger


Saint of the Day – 16 January – Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

Saint of the Day – 16 January – Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897) Italian banker and lawyer who became a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, Social and Catholic educational activist, as well as charitable assistance and involved in the beginnings of Catholic Action.   His nephew was Blessed Mosè Tovini (1877– 1930).   He was born on 14 March 1841 as  Giuseppe Antonio Tovini, in Cividate Camuno, Brescia, Italy and died on 16 January 1897 in Brescia, Italy of natural causes.    Patronages – Franciscan tertiaries, Lawyers, Bankers, Cividate Camuno.giuseppe-tovini-6466887b-b082-4ac8-91df-a5a368ce1b6-resize-750

Giuseppe Antonio Tovini was born in 1841 as the first of seven children to Mosè Tovini and Rosa Malaguzzi.   He went to high school in Bergamo from 1852 to 1858 and later graduated from the University of Pavia in August 1865.   He then moved to Brescia in 1867 to become a lawyer and obtained all the appropriate qualifications to practice law in 1868.

He later married Emilia Corbolani on 6 January 1875 and they went on to have a total of ten children.   One son became a Jesuit priest and two daughters became nuns.   From 1871 to 1874, Tovini served as the mayor of Cividate Camuno, his birthplace.   As mayor, he made important decisions in the life of the city from promoting the establishment of banks to the construction of infrastructure like railway lines.  Most importantly, he worked to defend and help the poor and giuseppe my edit.JPG

Tovini also became a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and was among the founders of a Catholic newspaper which published its first edition in 1878 after its founding on 3 April.   He founded Banca di Valle Camonica in 1872, Banca San Paolo di Brescia in Brescia in 1888, Banco Ambrosiano in Milan in 1896.

In 1882 he founded Saint Joseph’s Kindergarten and helped founded the Union Leone XIII to support the faith of students in university in Brescia and worked support similar groups in other schools.   He founded the magazine Modern Italian School in 1893 and  the weekly journal La Voce del Popolo in 1893.    He helped the Canossian sisters found a teaching college in Cividate Camuno in 1894.    He also supported the Catholic University Federation and the creation of Catholic universities in Italy.  Further still, Blessed Giuseppe founded the Banca Santa Paolo in Brescia in 1888 and the Society for the Preservation of the Faith in Italian Schools in 1890.    The journal Faith and School was founded by Giuseppe in 1891.  bl giuseppe - upsized my edit

He died in 1897 with a reputation for personal holiness.

The cause of beatification was introduced on 14 April 1977 under Pope Paul VI  (who was a great admirer of Bl Giuseppe).   St Pope John Paul II declared he lived a life of heroic virtue and made him Venerable on 6 April 1995 and approved a miracle attributed to his intercession on 18 December 1997.   He was beatified on 20 September giuseppe vintage my edit

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 16 January

St Berard and Companions (Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo and Vitalis)
St Dana of Leuca
St Dunchaid O’Braoin
St Fulgentius of Ecija
St Fursey of Peronne
Bl Gonzalo de Amarante
Bl Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)
St Henry of Coquet
St Honoratus of Arles
St Honoratus of Fondi
Bl James of Luino
St James of Tarentaise
Bl Joan of Bagno di Romagna

St Joseph Vaz CO (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka
About St Joseph:

St Juana Maria Condesa Lluch
Bl Konrad II of Mondsee
St Leobazio
St Liberata of Pavia
St Pope Marcellus I
St Melas of Rhinocolura
St Priscilla of Rome
St Sigeberht of East Anglia
St Titian of Oderzo
St Triverius
St Valerius of Sorrento