Posted in NOVENAS, St PAUL!

Novena to St Paul – Day FIVE – 20 January

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

Day FIVE – 20 January

“Conversion to Christ,” says Pope Benedict XVI, “ultimately means this:  to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need – the need of others and of God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship.”


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.
May every circumstante of my life be an occasion
to change my way of thinking,
to renounce self-will and
to surrender myself to the wisdom and tenderness of Jesus Christ
who is acting to make me His saint.
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!day5novenastpaul-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales Day SIX – 20 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day SIX – 20 January

“Do not pay any attention to the kind of work you do but rather to the honour that it brings to God, even though it may seem quite trivial.   Desire only to do the Divine Will, following Divine Providence, which is the disposition of Divine Wisdom.   In a word, if your works are pleasing to God and recognised as such, that is all that matters.   Work hard every day at increasing your purity of heart, which consists in appraising things and weighing them in the balance of God’s will.”   (St Francis de Sales Letters 280; O. XIII, p. 53)

O blessed Francis de Sales,
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

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church, here writes of the martyrdom of St Fabian who had been elected bishop of the Church of Rome in 236.   In 250, at the beginning of the persecution of the Emperor Decius, Pope Fabian was captured, martyred and buried in the catacombs, in cemetery of Saint Callistus.   St Cyprian himself was arrested in Carthage a few years later and also won the crown of martyrdom.

When St Cyprian had learnt of Pope Fabian’s death, he sent this letter to the presbyters and deacons of Rome:

“When the report of the departure of the excellent man, my colleague, was still uncertain among us, my beloved brethren and I was wavering doubtfully in my opinion on the matter, I received a letter sent to me from you by Crementius the sub-deacon, in which I was fully informed of his glorious end and I rejoiced greatly, that the integrity of his administration had been matched, by the nobility of his end.

I greatly congratulate you that you honour his memory with so public and illustrious a testimony, through which you have made known to me not only the memory of your bishop, which confers glory upon you but also an example of faith and strength, that I should follow.

For just as the fall of a bishop tends to bring about the ruinous fall of his followers, so it is a useful and helpful thing when, by the firmness of his faith, a bishop becomes manifest to his brethren as an object of imitation.”

Before receiving the above letter, the Church of Rome wrote to Cyprian, bearing witness to its steadfastness in persecution:

“The church stands in faith, even though some have been driven to fall by sheer terror, whether because they were people of some eminence or that, when they were seized, they were overwhelmed by the fear of man.   We did not abandon these people, although they were separated from us but exhort them and exhort them still, to repent, so that they may somehow receive pardon from Him, who is able to pardon them and so that they should not, by being deserted by us, become worse.

So you see, brethren, that you ought to do the same, so that even those who have fallen may be brought to their senses by your exhortation and confess, if they are seized once more and so make amends for their former sin.   You have other duties too, which we have added here.   For example, if anyone who has fallen into this temptation begins to be taken with sickness and repents of what he has done and desires communion, it must be granted to them in any case.

And if you have widows or bedridden people who cannot maintain themselves, or people who are in prison or otherwise excluded from their own dwellings, they must always have someone to minister to them.   Moreover, catechumens who are taken ill should not be disappointed in their hopes but should also be given help.

The brethren who are in chains greet you, as do the elders and the whole Church, which also, with the deepest anxiety, keeps watch over all who call on the Lord.   And we too ask that you in your turn should remember us.”

The above is an excerpt from a letter from Saint Cyprian to the Roman Church (Ep. 9, 1 et 8, 2-3: CSEL 3, 488-489, 487-488) on the occasion of the martyrdom of Pope Fabian. It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the memorial of Sts Fabian on January 20, the same day on which St Sebastian is honoured.

St Pope Fabian, Pray for Us!st pope fabian pray for us 20 jan 2019
St Sebastian, Pray for Us!st-sebastian-pray-for-us-no-2-20-jan-2018.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 20 January – “…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

Sunday Reflection – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

“…Let him first strive to cleanse his conscience”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, Father of the Church

And so, dearly beloved brethren, let us each examine his conscience and when he sees that he has been wounded by some sin, let him first strive to cleanse his conscience by prayer, fasting, almsgiving and so dare to approach the Eucharist.   If he recognises his guilt and is reluctant to approach the holy altar, he will be quickly pardoned by the Divine Mercy, “for whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).   If then, as I have said, a man conscious of his sins, humbly decides to stay away from the altar until he reforms his life, he will not be afraid of being completely excluded from the eternal banquet of heaven.

I ask you then, brethren, to pay careful attention.   If no-one dares approach an influential man’s table in tattered, soiled garments, how much more should one refrain in reverance and humility from the banquet of the Eternal King, that is, from the altar of the Lord, if one is smitten with poisonous envy, or anger, or is full of rage and fury?   For it is written, “Go first and be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24).   And again, “Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?” And when he kept silent, that man said to the attendants, ‘bind his hands and feet and cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,” (Mt 22:12,13).   The same sentence awaits the man who dares present himself at the wedding feast, that is at the Lord’s table, if he is guilty of drunkenness, or adultery, or retains hatred in his heart.

St Caesarius of Arles (470-542) Bishop of Arles, was the foremost ecclesiastic of his generation in Merovingian Gaul. Caesarius is considered to be of the last generation of church leaders of Gaul that worked to promote large-scale ascetic elements into the Western Christian tradition.   Caesarius was a “popular preacher of great fervour and enduring influence”.   Among those who exercised the greatest influence on Caesarius were Augustine of Hippo, Julianus Pomerius and John Cassian.i ask you then brethren to pay careful attention - st caesarius bishop and father 20 jan 2019


Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Martyrs for Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – The Memorial of St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) and St Sebastian (Died c 288) – Martyrs for Christ

What will separate us from the love of Christ?   Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? …No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.   For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35,37-39romans-8-3537-39-20 jan 2018 one min reflctn

“Long live Christ the King!”
“Viva Cristo Rey!”

Blessed Miguel Pro, Martyr (1891-1927)
(Last words addressed to his executioners)viva-cristo-rey-bl-miguel-pro-20-jan-2019

“From the very beginning of the life of the Church, Christians have always believed that the blood of martyrs is a seed for Christians, as Tertullian said.   Today too, in a dramatic way, the blood of a great number of Christian martyrs continues to be shed on the field of the world,with the certain hope that will bear fruit in a rich harvest of holiness, justice, reconciliation and love of God. But we must remember that one is not born a martyr. 

Archbishop Romero remarked, ‘We must be willing to die for our faith, even if the Lord does not grant us this honour. …   Giving life does not only mean being assassinated;  giving life, having the spirit of martyrdom, means offering it in silence, in prayer, in the honest fulfilment of one’s duty; in this silence of everyday life, giving life a little at a time.’”

Pope Francis 30 October 2015but-we-must-remember-that-one-pope-francis-20-jan-20181 (1)

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

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – The first sign of Mercy: Cana – John 2:1–11

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – The first sign of Mercy: Cana – John 2:1–11

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him....John 2:11

REFLECTION – “The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing to those who know that God is its author.   Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year.   That which the servants poured into the jars was changed into wine by the action of the Lord; in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine through the same action of the Lord.   And yet we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear.   Yet it is far more worthy of our attention than what took place in the jars filled with water.
Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God who directs and governs the whole world?   Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles?   If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there that astounds the observer.   But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator.   This is why God reserves to Himself the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him.”…St Augustine (354-430)john 2 11 this the first of his signs -that which the servants - st augustine - 20 jan 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people.   Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may love Your glory, manifest around us in all the great deeds of Your Word.   Grant us love and peace in our day and may the prayers of Your Saints and Martyrs, lead us home to You.   St Pope Fabian and St Sebastian pray for us!   We make our prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, pope fabian pray for us no 2 - 20 jan 2019


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Our Morning Offering – 20 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

My God and My All
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
(From “The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ”)

My God and my all
I wish to seek no other good but You,
who are infinite goodness.
You, who take such good care of me,
make me have no other care,
except to please You.
Grant that all my thoughts
may always be,
in pleasing You always.
Drive far from me,
every occasion, that distracts me,
from Your love…
I love You,
infinite goodness,
I love You,
my delight.
O Word, Incarnate,
I love You more than myself…
I want nothing from You
but Yourself.
Amenmy god and my all - st alphonsus liguori - 20 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 January – St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 20 January – St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr, Peacemaker, Evangeliser, Confessor, Administrator and Reformer, Apostle of Charity – the Bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death in 250, succeeding Anterus.   He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit’s unexpected choice to become the next pope.   He was succeeded by Cornelius.Saint_Fabian1.jpg

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Fabian was a noble Roman by birth and his father’s name was Fabius.   Nothing more is known about his background.   The legend concerning the circumstances of his election is preserved by the fourth-century writer Eusebius of Caesarea (Church History, VI. 29).

After the short reign of Pope Anterus, Fabian had come to Rome from the countryside when the new papal election began.   “Although present,” says Eusebius, Fabian “was in the mind of none.”   While the names of several illustrious and noble churchmen were being considered over the course of thirteen days, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian.   To the assembled electors, this strange sight recalled the gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at the time of his baptism by John the Baptist.   The congregation took this as a sign that he was marked out for this dignity and Fabian was at once proclaimed bishop by acclamation.SOD-0119-SaintFabian-790x480.jpg

During Fabian’s reign of 14 years, there was a lull in the storm of persecution which had resulted in the exile of both Anterus’ predecessor Pontian and the antipope (and later saint) Hippolytus.   Fabian had enough influence at court to effect the return of the bodies of both of these martyrs from Sardinia, where they had died at hard labour in the mines.   The report that he baptised the emperor Philip the Arab and his son, however, is probably a legend, although he did seem to enjoy some connections at court, since the bodies of Pontian and Hippolytus could not have been exhumed without the emperor’s approval.

According to the sixth-century historian Gregory of Tours, Fabian sent out the “apostles to the Gauls” to Christianise Gaul in A.D. 245.   Fabian sent seven bishops from Rome to Gaul to preach the Gospel.  He also condemned Privatus, the originator of a new heresy in pope fabian

The Liber Pontificalis says that Fabian divided the Christian communities of Rome into seven districts, each supervised by a deacon.   Eusebius (VI §43) adds that he appointed seven subdeacons to help collect the acta of the martyrs—the reports of the court proceedings on the occasion of their trials.   There is also a tradition that he instituted the four minor clerical orders – porter, lector, exorcist and acolyte.

His deeds are thus described in the Liber Pontificalis:
“He divided the regiones into deaconships and made seven sub-deaconships which seven secretaries oversaw, so that they brought together the deeds of the martyrs faithfully made whole and he brought forth many works in the cemeteries.”

The Liberian Catalogue of the popes also reports that Fabian initiated considerable work on the catacombs, where honoured Christians were buried and where he also caused the body of Pope Pontian to be entombed at the catacomb of Saint fabian my edit

With the advent of Emperor Decius, the Roman government’s tolerant policy toward Christianity temporarily ended.   Decius ordered leading Christians to demonstrate their loyalty to Rome by offering incense to the cult images of deities which represented the Roman state.   This was unacceptable to many Christians, who, while no longer holding most of the laws of the Old Testament to apply to them, took the commandment against idolatry with deadly seriousness.   Fabian was thus one of the earliest victims of Decius, dying as a martyr on 20 January 250, at the beginning of the Decian persecution, probably in prison rather than by execution.pope-st-fabian.jpg

Fabian was buried in the catacomb of Callixtus in Rome.   The Greek inscription on his tomb has survived, and bears the words:
Fabian, Bishop, Martyr.

His remains were later re-interred at San Sebastian’s Outside the Walls, (appropriately, for these two Martyrs share today as their Memorial) by Pope Clement XI where the Albani Chapel is dedicated in his honour.fabian

St Sebastian’s Outside the Walls
Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 20 January

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (2019)

St Pope Fabian (c 200 – c 250) Martyr (Optional Memorial)

St Sebastian (Died c 288) Martyr (Optional Memorial)

St Ascla of Antinoe
Bl Basil Anthony Marie Moreau
St Basilides the Senator
St Bassus the Senator
Bl Benedict Ricasoli
Bl Bernardo of Poncelli
Bl Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi
St Daniel of Cambron
Bl Didier of Thérouanne
St Eusebius the Senator
St Eustochia Calafato
St Euthymius the Great
St Eutyches the Senator
Fechin of Fobhar
Bl Francesco Paoli
St Henry of Uppsalla
Bl Jeroni Fábregas Camí
St Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata Concezione
St Molagga of Fermoy
St Neophytus of Nicaea
St Stephen Min Kuk-ka
St Wulfsin