Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, SAINT of the DAY, WYD - World Youth Day

Thought for the Day – 8 February – “As the Master desires.”

Thought for the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947)

Her kidnappers gave her the name Bakhita, meaning “fortunate.”   Her life in captivity wasn’t quite so.   Born in Darfur in 1869, Josephine Bakhita was taken by Arab slave traders when she was 9.   Forced to walk 600 miles to southern Sudan, she was bought and sold before arriving in El Obeid.   But of all the indignities Josephine faced as a slave—far too many to mention here—one in particular stands out.

Through a combination of branding and tattooing, Josephine suffered the traditional Sudanese practice where a pattern was cut into her skin with a razor.   To ensure scarification, salt was poured into the open wounds.   When it was finished, 140 intricate patterns were carved into her breast, torso and arm.   She also faced countless beatings and lashings from a revolving door of owners as well as a forced conversion to Islam.

Left by her owner in the custody of the Daughters of Charity in Venice in 1888, Josephine finally found refuge.   Baptised in 1890, she took her final vows in 1896 and spent the rest of her life in Vicenza as a doorkeeper and cook.   She died in 1947.   Beatified in 1992, she was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II eight years later.

During Josephine’s years as doorkeeper, Italians were taken by her cheerful demeanour. But the horrors of slavery troubled her the rest of her life.   Her final years were marred by sickness.   In a fevered state, she once pleaded with a nurse to loosen the chains that bound her wrists.   But she never lost her belief in God.   When visitors asked how she was feeling, Josephine’s token response to them was, “As the Master desires.”as the master desires st josephine bakhita - 8feb2019.jpg

That total abandonment to God would be Josephine’s legacy—and it is one we can work toward as 21st-century Catholics.   As the season of Lent approaches, in this month of recognising our brothers and sisters, the victims of Human Trafficking, these words from St Pope John Paul II, who beatified her, ring true: “God used [Josephine] to teach us all the meaning of Jesus’ words:  ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.’”

St Josephine Bakhita,

Pray for all Victims of Human Trafficing and for us all!st josephine bakhita pray for us - 8feb 2019.jpg


“Together against human trafficking”

The FIFTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons under the Patronage of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) – 8 February 2019

Theme for 2019:

“Together against human trafficking”

We pray for the generous reception of victims of trafficking in persons, forced prostitution and violence.

Pope Francis – February 2019

“Even if we try to ignore it, slavery is not something other times.
Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash his hands if he does not want to be, in some way, an accomplice of this crime against humanity.
We can not ignore that slavery exists in the world today, much or perhaps more than before.
We pray for the generous reception of victims of trafficking in persons, forced prostitution and violence.”

Pope Francis is strongly committed to the fight against this scourge in its different expressions.   Recently, in his Angelus on 20 January, he prayed for the victims of human traffickers and also, for those responsible, allowing silence to highlight this.

It is a drama that has been in the heart and in prayer for a long time.   You will remember the return flight from Ireland in July 2018.   He spoke about human trafficking, organised by unscrupulous traffickers, with all his horror.   He had already asked us to organise this month of prayer but just after this trip, during a meeting, he insistently asked that his World Prayer Network truly pray for the men, women and children who live in these situations of slavery.   Faced with this human tragedy, faced with so much suffering, helplessness and anguish of men, women and children who are victims of human trafficking and slavery, often in the context of migration, it is a cry that comes from the heart, it is the cry of prayer to the Lord.   For Francis they are not numbers, they are names, faces, concrete stories, they are our brothers and sisters in humanity.   We can not be silent if we do not wish to sell our soul to the devil.   This is why we are here.   For this reason we have prepared with the Holy Father his monthly video on this drama.   Listen to the Pope’s strong words in this video:  “Faced with this tragic reality, no-one can wash his hands of it he does not want to be, in some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity”…Fr Frédéric Fornos, SJ (Pope’s Prayer Network)

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita, help those blinded by greed and lust who trample the human rights and dignity of their brothers and sisters.   Help them to break out of their hateful chains and to become fully human again.

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita, help us when we feel tempted to look away and not to help, to reject others or even to abuse them.

O Loving God, let your merciful light flood into the darkest shadows.   Bring salvation to the innocents who suffer under sinful abuse.   Bring conversion to the utterly lost souls who hold them captive and exploit them.

Let us Pray:

Daily Prayer to End Human Trafficking

God of goodness and mercy, 
Rewarder of the humble, 
You blessed St Josephine Bakhita of Sudan 
with charity and patience. 
May her prayers help us and her example 
inspire us to carry our cross 
and to love You always. 
Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom 
and love with which you filled St Josephine Bakhita, 
by serving You as she did.
May her prayers on behalf of those enslaved
bring awareness and an end to this evil practice.
May we too please You by our faith and actions,
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union
with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.second-prayer-to-end-human-trafficking-8 feb 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

Quote/s of the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

“God wishes to test you, like gold in the furnace.
The dross is consumed by the fire but the pure gold remains
and its value increases.
It is in this manner, that God acts with His good servant,
who puts his hope in Him and remains unshaken in times of distress.
God raises him up and, in return for the things,
he has left out of love for God, He repays him a hundredfold in this life
and with eternal life hereafter.
If then you remain constant in faith, in the face of trial,
the Lord will give you peace and rest for a time in this world
and forever in the next.”

god wishes to test you - st jerome emiliani 4 jan 2021

“I urge you to persevere in your love for Christ
and your faithful observance of the law of Christ.
Our goal is God, the source of all good.
As we say in our prayer,
we are to place our trust in God and in no one else.
In His kindness, our Lord wished to strengthen your faith,
for without it, as the evangelist points out,
Christ could not have performed many of His miracles.”


“Therefore, having done what you could,
the Lord will be satisfied with you
because for Him,
who is the most benign,
goodwill compensates
for the lack of success. “
(Letter 5 #4)

St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

therefore having done what you could - st jerome emiliani 8 feb 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 8 February – “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist.”

One Minute Reflection – 8 February – Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 6:14–29 and the Memorial of St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

“I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”…Mark 6:25

REFLECTION – “If it is glorious for the soldiers of this world to return to their fatherland triumphant, after vanquishing the enemy, how much better and greater is the glory for one who, after overcoming the devil, returns triumphant to heaven and after laying him low who had formerly deceived us, brings back the trophies of victory there, whence Adam, the sinner, had been ejected?   To offer the Lord the most acceptable gift of an uncorrupted faith, an unshaken virtue of the mind, an illustrious praise of devotion?… To become co-heir of Christ, to be made equal to the angels, to rejoice with the patriarchs, with the apostles, with the prophets in the possession of the heavenly kingdom?   What persecution can conquer these thoughts, what torments can overcome them?…

The lands are shut off in persecutions, heaven is open… How great a dignity and, how great a security it is to go forth hence happy, to go forth glorious in the midst of difficulties and affliction!   For a moment to shut the eyes with which men and the world are seen, to open them immediately that God and Christ may be seen!… If persecution should come upon such a soldier of God, virtue made ready for battle will not be able to be overcome him.   Or if the summons should come beforehand, the faith which was prepared for martyr­dom will not be without its reward…  In persecution, God crowns loyal military service, in peace, purity of conscience is crowned.”…St Cyprian (c.200-258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Churchmark 6 25 I want you to give me at once the head of john - to become co-heirs with christ - st cyprian 8 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER– Father of mercy, You chose St Jerome Emiliani to be a father to orphans in their need.   Grant that through his prayer, we may keep faithfully the spirit of sonship, by which we are not only called but really are Your children.   Help us to imitate his love and faith, manifesting by our commitment to Your commandments, our true faith.   May we be filled with strength and grace as we face persecution and animosity in Your service.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amenst-jerome-emiliani-pay-for-us-8-feb-2018.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 8 February – With this Heart, I will Love Thee

Our Morning Offering – 8 February – Friday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of  St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

With this Heart, I will Love Thee
By Father Jean Croiset SJ (17th/18th Century)

I have nothing, O my Saviour and my God!
I have nothing, O my Saviour and my God!
I have nothing which can be pleasing unto Thee;
I can do nothing,
I am nothing
but I have a heart
and this is enough for me.
Health, honour and life itself
may be taken from me
but no man can rob me of my heart.
I have a heart
and with this heart I can love Thee,
O my Saviour Jesus,
worthy of all adoration!
And with this heart,
it is my determination to love You
and always I resolve to love Thee,
only to love Thee always.
Amenwith this heart i will love thee fr jean croiset sj - 8 feb 2.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 February – St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor

Saint of the Day – 8 February – St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537) Confessor, Layman, Founder of the Somascan Fathers, Apostle of the poor, orphans, the sick, Catechist, Apostle of prayer – born Gerolamo Emiliani (also known as Jerome Aemilian, Hiëronymus Emiliani) in 1486 at Venice, Italy and died on 8 February 1537 of the plague caught whilst tending the sick. Patronages – the Somaschians, orphans, abandoned children.jerome and the cross.jpg

Jerome was born of one of the patrician families of Venice, the son of Angelo Emiliani (popularly called Miani) and Eleonore Mauroceni.   His father died when he was a teenager and Jerome ran away at the age of 15 to join the army.   In 1508, he participated in the defence of Castelnuovo against the League of Cambray.   He was appointed governor of a fortress in the mountains of Treviso and while defending his post was taken prisoner.

In the misery of his dungeon he invoked the great Mother of God and promised, if she would set him free, to lead a new and a better life.   Our Lady appeared, broke his fetters and led him forth through the midst of his enemies.   At Treviso he hung up his chains at her altar, dedicated himself to her service and on reaching his home at Venice devoted himself to a life of active charity.the-virgin-appears-to-st-jerome-emiliani_1276_2_zoom

He was then appointed podestà (Venetian magistrate) of Castelnuovo but after a short time returned to Venice to supervise the education of his nephews.   All his spare time was devoted to the study of theology and to works of charity.   In the year of plague and famine (1528), he seemed to be everywhere and showed his zeal, especially for the orphans, whose number had so greatly increased. Jerome began caring for the sick and feeding the hungry at his own expense.  Saint_Jerome_Emilian

He rented a house for them near the church of St Rose and, with the assistance of some pious laymen, ministered to their needs.   To his charge was also committed the hospital for incurables, founded by St Cajetan (1480 –1547).   In 1531 he went to Verona and induced the citizens to build a hospital, in Brescia, Bergamo, Milan and other places in northern Italy,  he erected orphanages, for boys and for girls.   At Bergamo, he also founded a hostel for repentant prostitutes.San_Girolamo_Emiliani-Miani

Two priests, Alessandro Besuzio and Agostino Bariso, then joined him in his labours of charity and in 1532 Gerolamo founded a religious society, the Congregation of Regular Clerics.   The motherhouse was at Somasca, a secluded North Italian hamlet in the Comune of Vercurago between Milan and Bergamo, after which the members became known as Somascans.

In the Rule of this Society, Jerome stated the principal work of the community was the care of orphans, poor and sick and demanded that dwellings, food and clothing would bear the mark of religious poverty.   Devoted to the Guardian Angels, Jerome entrusted the Company to the protection of the Virgin, the Holy Spirit and the Archangel Raphael.

The Congregation was approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III and the Order, which has as its official name “Clerici Regulares S. Majoli Papiae Congregationis Somaschae,” spread throughout Italy and the world.  jerome emiliani life

Through calamities and difficulties of any kind that have developed during the four centuries of history the Somascan Order has never ceased its apostolate for the needy youth.   St Jerome has now on earth these numerous hands and arms of which he has dreamed.   His disciples have founded seminaries, houses of education, colleges, professional schools, workshops in Italy, in Switzerland, in Spain, in Central America, in Mexico, in Colombia, in Brazil and in the United States of America.   In Belgium there exists a branch of the Somascan Order, known as the “Hieronymieten” who dedicate themselves to teaching and to the care of the sick under the patronage of St Jerome Emiliani.   They are established in the Oriental Flanders, at St Nicholas-Waas, Gand, Beveren-Waas, Lokeren, Maldegem, Sleidinge, Stekene.   These religious members address to the Founder of the Congregation of the Servants of the Poor this beautiful prayer:  “Your hands were instruments of prayer and charity.   Teach us to pray and love in spirit and truth.”your hands were instruments of prayer and charity- st jerome emiliani - 8 feb 2019

During an epidemic, Jerome was assisting the sick when he contracted the plague. He died in Somasca, 8 February 1537.

He was Beatified in 1747 by Pope Benedict XIV and Canonised in 1767 by Pope Clement XIII. Below is the Founder Statue of St Jerome at St Peter’s Basilica.

The Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the “Salute”, is a minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy.

It stands on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, at the Bacino di San Marco, making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water.   The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague churches.

In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague.   As a votive offering for the city’s deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, Italian: Salute).   The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena, who studied under the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi.   Construction began in 1631.   Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death and includes the statue below of St Jerome Emiliani, who before himself, dying of the Plague, assisted so many the victims and is a patron of the “Salute”.569px-Santa_Maria_della_Salute_(Venice).jpgSaint_Gerolamo_Emiliani_(Morleiter,_1767)_-_Santa_Maria_della_Salute_-_Venice_2016_(2).jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 8 February

St Jerome Emiliani CRS (1486–1537) (Optional Memorial)



St Cointha of Alexandria
St St Cuthman
St Cyriacus of Rome
St Dionysus of Armenia
St Elfleda of Whitby
St Emilian of Armenia
Bl Esperanza de Jesus
St Giacuto
St Gisela
St Honoratus of Milan
St Invenzio of Pavia
St Isaias Boner
St Jacoba
Bl Josephina Gabriella Bonino
St Kigwe
St Lucius of Rome
St Meingold
St Mlada of Prague
St Nicetius of Besançon
St Oncho of Clonmore
St Paul of Rome
St Paul of Verdun
Bl Peter Igneus
St Sebastian of Armenia
St Stephen of Muret

Martyrs of Constantinople: Community of 5th century monks at the monastery of Saint Dius at Constantinople. Imprisoned and martyred for loyalty to the Vatican during the Acacian Schism. 485 in Constantinople.

Martyrs of Persia: An unknown number of Christians murdered in early 6th-century Persia. Legend says that so many miracles occurred through the intercession of these martyrs that the king decreed an end to the persecution of Christians.