Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Four – 25 January

Novena to St John Bosco – Day Four – 25 January

4th Day – For Young People

O Saint John Bosco,
you became father, teacher and friend
to young people by the great love
and personal sacrifice with which you worked
for their salvation.
Pray for us that, inspired by your example
we also may love this chosen portion of God’s flock
with Christ’s own pastoral charity
and receive every child as we would the Lord Jesus himself.
Through your intercession
may God grant me the following grace
(mention your request)
so that together with others
I may assist and help young people in today’s society, AMEN.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory to the Father…

St John Bosco Pray for us!day-four-novena-st-john-bosco-25-jan-2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St PAUL!

Thought for the Day – 25 January – For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden

Thought for the Day – 25 January – For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden
Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle of Christ

Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Homily 2: In Praise of Saint Paul

Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable.   Each day he aimed ever higher, each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him.   He summed up his attitude in the words:  I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead.   When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy:  Rejoice and be glad with me!   And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said:  I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.chrysostum-on-paul-oneminreflc-25 jan 2018

Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself – constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all:  Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us! This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honours, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth, he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil.   The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God, nothing else could sway him.   Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.

The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.   Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else, were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers.   He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honoured.

To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments, the pain of that loss would alone, have been hell and endless, unbearable torture.the most important thing of all to him - st john chrysostom on st paul 25 jan 2019.jpg

So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings.   Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him, for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.

Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field.   As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats.   Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ.

St Paul, Pray for Us!

that we might bear our tiny burdens (1)


Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – St Paul’s conversion is our conversion

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread,
or drinks the cup, of the Lord,
in an unworthy manner,
will be guilty of profaning
the body and blood of the Lord.
Let a man examine himself
and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
For any one who eats and drinks,
without discerning the body eats
and drinks judgement upon himself.”

1 Corinthians 11:27-291 corinthians 11 27-29 - whoever eats 25jan2019

“Let love be genuine,
hate what is evil,
hold fast to what is good,
love one another with brotherly affection,
outdo one another in showing honour.
Never flag in zeal,
be aglow with the Spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in your hope,
be patient in tribulation,
be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints,
practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13let love be genuine - romans 12 9-13 25 jan 2019

“….but we rejoice in our sufferings
because we know,
that suffering produces perseverance,
perseverance, character
and character, hope.”

Romans 5:4we rejoice in our sufferings - romans 5 4 - 25 jan 2019

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Philippians 1:21philippians 1 21 for to me to live is christ st paul - 25jan2019.jpg

Pope Benedict XVI reflects on the significance of Paul’s conversion for the whole Christian people:

“Paul’s conversion matured in his encounter with the Risen Christ, it was this encounter that radically changed his life. What happened to him on the road to Damascus is what Jesus asks in today’s Gospel, Saul is converted because, thanks to the divine light, “he has believed in the Gospel.”   In this consists his and our conversion – in believing in Jesus dead and risen and in opening to the illumination of His divine grace.   In that moment Saul understood, that his salvation, did not depend on good works fulfilled according to the law but, on the fact, that Jesus died also for him the persecutor and has risen.   This truth by which every Christian life is enlightened thanks to Baptism completely overturns our way of life.
To be converted means, also for each one of us, to believe that Jesus “has given himself for me”, dying on the Cross (cf. Galatians 2: 20) and, risen, lives with me and in me.
Entrusting myself to the power of His forgiveness, letting myself be taken by His hand, I can come out of the quicksands of pride and sin, of deceit and sadness, of selfishness and of every false security, to know and live the richness of His love.”

(25 January 25, 2009)entrusting myself to the power of his - pope benedict 25jan2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22

And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name?”…Acts 9:21acts-26-16 2019 - is not this the man - feast conv of st paul.jpg

REFLECTION – “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).   Who then is this?   The former persecutor.   O mighty wonder!   The former persecutor himself preaches Christ.   But why?   Was he bribed?   No, there was no one who could have persuaded him in that way.   Was it the sight of Christ on earth that blinded him?   But Jesus had already been taken up into heaven.   Saul set out from Jerusalem to persecute Christ’s church and after three days the persecutor had become a preacher in Damascus.   By what power?   Other people call on friends as witnesses for their friends but I have presented to you as a witness the former enemy.

Do you still doubt?   The testimony of Peter and John is weighty… but they were istcyrilofjerusalemndeed His friends.   But of the testimony of one who was formerly His enemy and afterwards died for His sake, who can any longer doubt the truth?   I am amazed at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit;… to Paul, the former persecutor, He gave the privilege of writing fourteen letters… In order that his teaching might be beyond question, He granted the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more letters than Peter and John so that we might all be thus made believers.   For “all were amazed at Paul and said: ‘Isn’t this the man who was formerly a persecutor?   Didn’t he come here to take us away bound to Jerusalem?’” (Acts 9:21) “Do not be not amazed,” said Paul, I know how “it is hard for me to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14);  I know that “I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor 15:9); yet “mercy was shown to me because I did it in ignorance”… “the grace of God was exceedingly abundant in me” (1 Tm 1:13-14).”…St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Churchbut the testimony - st cyril - conv of st paul 25 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world.   Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day.   Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;  insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever,


Our Morning Offering – 25 January – The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Lead, Kindly Light
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Should lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path but now
Lead Thou me on.
I loved the garish day and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my wil, remember not past years.

So long Thy power has blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.

Lead, Kindly Light is a hymn with words written in 1833 by Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) as a poem titled “the Pillar and the Cloud” – it consists of 3 verses, anything after that is not by John Henry.

As a young priest, Newman became sick while in Italy and was unable to travel for almost three weeks. In his own words:
“Before starting from my inn, I sat down on my bed and began to sob bitterly.   My servant, who had acted as my nurse, asked what ailed me.   I could only answer, “I have a work to do in England.”   I was aching to get home, yet for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo for three weeks.   I began to visit the churches and they calmed my impatience, though I did not attend any services.   At last I got off in an orange boat, bound for Marseilles.   We were becalmed for whole week in the Straits of Bonifacio and it was there that I wrote the lines, Lead, Kindly Light, which have since become so well known.”

Why this for St Paul? – this time in Bl John Henry’s life was a time of internal “conversion’ – after, his well-known “Sicily providential illness”, he started to turn towards “Rome” – although first the Oxford Movement had to happen and then some more difficult years before his final conversion but once he had put his hand to the plough, there was no turning back in his journey towards Truth.

I am sure you will agree with me that the words of this most beautiful prayer/poem/hymn, fit the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul perfectly.Lead Kindly Light Bl john henry newman 25 jan2019 for the conv of st paul.jpg


Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – 25 January

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – 25 Januaryconversion-of-st-paul-25 jan 2018.jpg

Saint Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus.   In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly.   Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older.   But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “…entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b).   Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one paul converson

One sentence determined his theology: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5b).   Jesus was mysteriously identified with people—the loving group of people Saul had been running down like criminals.   Jesus, he saw, was the mysterious fulfilment of all he had been blindly pursuing.

From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ.  For this I labour and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29).   “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and [with] much conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5a).st-paul-conversion.jpg

Paul’s life became a tireless proclaiming and living out of the message of the cross: Christians die baptismally to sin and are buried with Christ;  they are dead to all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world.   They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ’s victory and someday to rise from the dead like Him.   Through this risen Christ the Father pours out the Spirit on them, making them completely new.

So Paul’s great message to the world was – You are saved entirely by God, not by anything you can do.   Saving faith is the gift of total, free, personal and loving commitment to Christ, a commitment that then bears fruit in more “works” than the Law could ever contemplate.Ananias_restoring_the_sight_of_st_paul_(34663925).jpg


Feast of the Conversion of St Paul & Memorials of the Saints – 25 January

Conversion of Paul the Apostle (Feast)

St Agape the Martyr
St Agileus of Carthage
St Amarinus of Clermont
St Ananias of Damascus
Bl Antoni Swiadek
Bl Antonio Migliorati
St Apollo of Heliopolis
Bl Archangela Girlani
St Artemas of Pozzuoli
St Auxentius of Epirus
St Bretannion of Tomi
St Donatus the Martyr
St Dwynwen
St Emilia Fernández Rodríguez de Cortés
St Eochod of Galloway
Bl Francesco Zirano
Bl Henry Suso
St Joel of Pulsano
St Juventinus of Antioch
Bl Manuel Domingo y Sol
St Maximinus of Antioch
St Palaemon
St Poppo
St Praejectus of Clermont
St Publius of Zeugma
St Racho of Autun
St Sabinus the Martyr
Bl Teresa Grillo Michel