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 intention.
1st Day – 22 January – Love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
O Saint John Bosco,
you loved Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
and zealously promoted this devotion
by encouraging participation in the Holy Eucharist,
reception of Holy Communion and daily visits
to Our Lord in the Tabernacle.
Pray for us that, inspired by your example,
we may grow in this love,
so that we may end our days strengthened
and comforted by the Heavenly Food of
the Most Holy Eucharist.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace
[mention your intention]
so that together with others
I may assist in bringing all, especially the young,
to the love of Christ in the Eucharist, amen.
Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January
Day Seven – 22 January
“Make no mistake, my brothers, if anyone joins a schismatic he will not inherit God’s Kingdom. If anyone walks in the way of heresy, he is out of sympathy with the Passion. Be careful, then, to observe a single Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ and one cup of His blood that makes us one and one altar, just as there is one bishop along with the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow slaves. In that way whatever you do is in line with God’s will.”………………St Ignatius of Antioch
LET US PRAY:
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 cling to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
help me to fully participate at every Holy Mass
help me to understand, that this IS He
who showed us the way
gave us the light to follow it in Holy Mother Church
who is His bride and shows us the only truth.
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)
Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day EIGHT – 22 January
“One of the greatest proofs of love that Jesus displayed on the cross was putting up with the imperfections of His neighbour. There He showed us that He has a heart that loves us tenderly and watches over us kindly. He even showed His love for those who put Him to death. In those dire moments the Saviour expressed thoughts of love even for his executioners, pardoning them in the very act of sinning! How petty-minded we are when we cannot bring ourselves to forget some injury received, even after a long time! Whoever sincerely, pardons another, calls down abundant blessings and perfectly imitates Christ.” (St Francis de Sales Spiritual Treatises IV; O. VI, pp. 65-66)
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.
Thought for the Day – 22 January – The Memorial of St Vncent of Saragossa (Died 304) Martyr
The martyrs are heroic examples of what God’s power can do.
It is humanly impossible, we realise, for someone to go through tortures such as Vincent had and remain faithful. But it is equally true that by human power alone, no-one can remain faithful, even without torture or suffering.
God does not come to our rescue at isolated, “special” moments. God is supporting the super-cruisers as well as children’s toy boats.
Quote/s of the Day – 22 January – The Memorial of St Vincent Pallotti SAC (1795-1850)
“How great is the dignity of the priesthood! What a dignity, what a dignity!… To be a priest! What does that mean? O God, my God, I do not understand it! What does it mean to present the holy, bloodless sacrifice and to administer the sacraments!”
(Written to St Gaspar del Bufalo (1786-1837), just before being ordained, the founder of the Society for the Precious Blood, with whom Vincenzo contracted a deep spiritual friendship.)
Before his First Holy Mass
“Not the intellect but God Not the will but God Not the heart but God Not taste but God Not touch but God Not food and drink but God Not clothing but God Not tranquillity but God Not the worldly goods but God. Not riches but God. Not honours but God. Not distinction but God. Not dignities but God. Not advancement but God. God in all God always.”
“You must be holy in the way that God asks you to be holy. God does not ask you to be a Trappist monk or a hermit. He wills, that you sanctify the world and your everyday life.”
One Minute Reflection – 22 January – Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Gospel: Mark 2:23–28 and the Memorial of St Vncent of Saragossa (Died 304) Martyr
“…so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.”...Mark 2:28
REFLECTION – “From the first, the law of the Sabbath conferred many and great benefits; for instance, it made the Jews gentle and humane towards those of their own household, it taught them God the Creator’s providence and wisdom… hen God gave the law for the Sabbath He said… that He would have them refrain from evil works only when he said: “You must do no work, except for what is necessary for life” (Ex 12:16 LXX). And in the temple, too, everything continued with more diligence than ever. Thus even by means of the very shadow, He was secretly opening the full light of truth (cf. Col 2:17).
Did Christ then do away with so highly profitable a thing? Far from it; He greatly enhanced it. For it was unnecessary… that we should learn from it, that God made all things or that we should be made kind by it, who are called to imitate God’s own love. For He says: “Be merciful, as your heavenly Father is merciful”(Lk 6:36). It was no longer necessary to fix a day of festival for those who are commanded to keep a feast all their life long. For: “Let us keep the feast,” Saint Paul writes, “not with old leaven, neither with leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor 5:8)… So now, why is any sabbath required for Christians who are always keeping the feast and whose conversation is in heaven? Yes, my brethren, let us celebrate that continual, heavenly sabbath.”…St John Chrysostom (c 345-407) Father & Doctor
PRAYER – True Light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us the grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. We walk in faith and by Your Light as St Vincent, fearless of men to the end and trusting only in Your grace, inspires us to follow. Grant that his prayers may assist us on our path. Who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 22 January – The Memorial of St Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) – Deacon and Martyr – The Protomartyr of Spain
Prayer of St Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304)
to whom all hidden things
who sent into the world
Your Only Begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
conceived through the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
that He might take on Himself
the punishment of our sins
and by His resurrection,
snatch us from the gates of hell,
grant to our hearts
such steadfastness of faith
that confessing Christ, Your Son,
we may not perish
but may be joined to Him
in the confession
of Your Holy Name.
St Anastasius the Persian
St Antonio della Chiesa
Bl Bernard of Vienne
St Blaesilla of Rome
St Brithwald of Ramsbury
St Caterina Volpicelli
St Dominic of Sora
Bl Esteve Santacana Armengol
St Francis Gil de Frederich de Sans
Bl Giuseppe Nascimbeni
St Guadentius of Novara
Bl Ladislao Batthyany-Strattmann
Bl Laura Vicuna
Bl Maria Mancini
St Mateo Alonso de Leciñana St Valerius of Saragossa (Died 315)
St Vincent Pallotti
Bl Walter of Himmerode Bl William Joseph Chaminade SM (1761-1850)
Bl William Patenson
Martyrs of Puigcerda:
Saint of the Day – 22 January – St Vincent of Saragossa (Died 304) Deacon – Protomartyr of Spain – Archdeacon, Preacher, assistant to St Valerius of Saragossa (Died 315), who was his Bishop and whose Memorial is also today, – also known as Vincent Martyr, Vincent of Zaragoza, Vincent the Deacon, Vincent Tourante, Vincent of Aragon, Vincent of Huesca. Patronages – Lisbon, Valencia, Valencia, Vicenza (Italy), Sao Vicente, vine dressers, vinegar makers, vintners, wine growers, wine makers and the Order of the Deacons of the Diocese of Bergamo (Italy).
The earliest account of Vincent’s martyrdom is in a carmen (lyric poem) written by the poet Prudentius, who wrote a series of lyric poems, Peristephanon (“Crowns of Martyrdom“), on Hispanic and Roman martyrs.
He was born at Huesca, near Saragossa, Spain sometime during the latter part of the 3rd century; it is believed his father was Eutricius (Euthicius) and his mother was Enola, a native of Osca. Vincent spent most of his life in the city of Saragossa, where he was educated and ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, who commissioned Vincent to preach throughout the diocese. Because Valerius suffered from a speech impediment, Vincent acted as his spokesman.
When the Roman Emperor Diocletian began persecuting Christians in Spain, both were brought before the Roman governor, Dacian in Valencia. Vincent and his bishop Valerius were confined to the prison of Valencia. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused. Speaking on behalf of his bishop, he informed the judge that they were ready to suffer everything for their faith and that they could pay no heed either to threats or promises.
His outspoken manner so angered the governor that Vincent was inflicted every sort of torture on him. He was stretched on the rack and his flesh torn with iron hooks. Then his wounds were rubbed with salt and he was burned alive upon a red-hot gridiron. Finally, he was cast into prison and laid on a floor scattered with broken pottery, where he died. During his martyrdom he preserved such peace and tranquillity that it astonished his jailer, who repented from his sins and was converted. Vincent’s dead body was thrown into the sea in a sack but was later recovered by the Christians and his veneration immediately spread throughout the Church. The aged bishop Valerius was exiled.
The story that Vincent was tortured on a gridiron is perhaps adapted from the martyrdom of another son of Huesca, Saint Lawrence— Vincent, like many early martyrs in the early hagiographic literature, succeeded in converting his jailer.
According to legend, after being martyred, ravens protected St Vincent’s body from being devoured by vultures, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St Vincent; a shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. In the time of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula, the Arab geographer Al-Idrisi noted this constant guard by ravens, for which the place was named by him كنيسة الغراب “Kanīsah al-Ghurāb” (Church of the Raven). King Afonso I of Portugal (1139–1185) had the body of the saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Lisbon Cathedral. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.
Though Vincent’s tomb in Valencia became the earliest centre of his cult, he was also honoured at his birthplace and his reputation spread from Saragossa.
A church was built in honour of Vincent, by the Catholic bishops of Iberia, when they succeeded in converting King Reccared and his nobles to Trinitarian Christianity. When the Moors came in 711, the church was razed and its materials incorporated in the Mezquita, the “Great Mosque” of Cordova.
The Cape Verde island of São Vicente, a former Portuguese colony, was named in St Vincent’s honour because it was discovered on 22 January, St Vincent’s feast day, in 1462.
Vincent’s left arm is on display as a relic in Valencia Cathedral, located near the extensive Carrer de Sant Vicent Mártir (Saint Vincent the Martyr Street).