Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Message of the Holy Father for the 27th World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2019

Message of the Holy Father

“You received without payment, give without payment” (Mt 10:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).   These are the words spoken by Jesus when sending forth his apostles to spread the Gospel, so that his Kingdom might grow through acts of gratuitous love.

On the XXVII World Day of the Sick, to be solemnly celebrated on 11 February 2019 in Calcutta, India, the Church – as a Mother to all her children, especially the infirm – reminds us that generous gestures like that of the Good Samaritan are the most credible means of evangelisation.   Caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved.

Life is a gift from God.   Saint Paul asks: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7).   Precisely because it is a gift, human life cannot be reduced to a personal possession or private property, especially in the light of medical and biotechnological advances that could tempt us to manipulate the “tree of life” (cf. Gen 3:24).

Amid today’s culture of waste and indifference, I would point out that “gift” is the category best suited to challenging today’s individualism and social fragmentation, while at the same time promoting new relationships and means of cooperation between peoples and cultures.   Dialogue – the premise of gift – creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.   “Gift” means more than simply giving presents – it involves the giving of oneself and not simply a transfer of property or objects.   “Gift” differs from gift-giving because it entails the free gift of self and the desire to build a relationship.   It is the acknowledgement of others, which is the basis of society.   “Gift” is a reflection of God’s love, which culminates in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Each of us is poor, needy and destitute.   When we are born, we require the care of our parents to survive and at every stage of life we remain in some way dependent on the help of others.   We will always be conscious of our limitations, as “creatures”, before other individuals and situations.   A frank acknowledgement of this truth keeps us humble and spurs us to practice solidarity as an essential virtue in life.

Such an acknowledgement leads us to act responsibly to promote a good that is both personal and communal.   Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.   We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts, we cannot overcome our limitations.   So we should not fear, then, to acknowledge those limitations, for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so, in our poverty, He comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining.

In light of the solemn celebration in India, I would like to recall, with joy and admiration, the figure of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta – a model of charity who made visible God’s love for the poor and sick.   As I noted at her canonisation, “Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, of those unborn and those abandoned and discarded… She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created.   For Mother Teresa, mercy was the ‘salt’ which gave flavour to her work, it was the ‘light’ that shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.   Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor” (Homily, 4 September 2016).

Saint Mother Teresa helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity or religion.   Her example continues to guide us by opening up horizons of joy and hope for all those in need of understanding and tender love, and especially for those who suffer.

Generosity inspires and sustains the work of the many volunteers who are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan.   I express my gratitude and offer my encouragement to all those associations of volunteers committed to the transport and assistance of patients, and all those that organise the donation of blood, tissues and organs.   One particular area in which your presence expresses the Church’s care and concern is that of advocacy for the rights of the sick, especially those affected by pathologies requiring special assistance.   I would also mention the many efforts made to raise awareness and encourage prevention.   Your volunteer work in medical facilities and in homes, which ranges from providing health care to offering spiritual support, is of primary importance.   Countless persons who are ill, alone, elderly or frail in mind or body benefit from these services.   I urge you to continue to be a sign of the Church’s presence in a secularised world.   A volunteer is a good friend with whom one can share personal thoughts and emotions, by their patient listening, volunteers make it possible for the sick to pass from being passive recipients of care to being active participants in a relationship that can restore hope and inspire openness to further treatment.   Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous.   It is also a means of making health care more humane.

A spirit of generosity ought especially to inspire Catholic healthcare institutions, whether in the more developed or the poorer areas of our world, since they carry out their activity in the light of the Gospel.   Catholic facilities are called to give an example of self-giving, generosity and solidarity in response to the mentality of profit at any price, of giving for the sake of getting and of exploitation over concern for people.

I urge everyone, at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and of gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste.   Catholic healthcare institutions must not fall into the trap of simply running a business, they must be concerned with personal care more than profit.   We know that health is relational, dependent on interaction with others and requiring trust, friendship and solidarity.   It is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully, only when it is shared.   The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian.

I entrust all of you to Mary, Salus Infirmorum.   May she help us to share the gifts we have received in the spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance, to live as brothers and sisters attentive to each other’s needs, to give from a generous heart and to learn the joy of selfless service to others.   With great affection, I assure you of my closeness in prayer, and to all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Vatican City, 25 November 2018
Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Francis27th world day of prayer 11 feb 2019 pope francis message.jpg

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Each year over 2 million people make their way through the mountainous country of southeastern France to Lourdes.   They come seeking cures, hoping to find answers, believing, and praying.   At Lourdes, people recall the Lady dressed in white, with a blue sash, yellow roses at her feet and a Rosary on her arm—the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On 11 February 1858, Mary appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous.   This was the first of 18 visits, many of them with 20,000 people present.   When Bernadette asked the Lady’s identity, she replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”   Just four years earlier, the pope had proclaimed it a dogma that Mary was conceived immaculate without original sin.   The Blessed Virgin, through Bernadette, had come to call sinners to a change of heart.   Her message was a request for prayer and penance.   She also instructed Bernadette to tell the priests that a chapel was to be built on the site and processions held.

On 25 February 1858, the Lady told Bernadette to dig in the dirt and drink of the stream. Bernadette began to dig and after several attempts, she was able to find the water to drink.   The water continued to flow from where she had dug with her hands until it was producing over 32,000 gallons of water a day—as it still does.   There have been over 5,000 cures recorded but less than 100 of them have been declared miraculous by the Church.   Most of these have taken place during the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.   We may never travel to Lourdes and join in the processions but we can know always that we have a Mother to help us and lead us to her Son, Jesus.   And so we pray to her:

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

To Mary, Mother of tender love,
we wish to entrust all those
who are ill in body and soul,
that she may sustain them in hope.
We ask her also to help us to be welcoming
to our sick brothers and sisters.

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to His promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to His manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.
Amenprayer-to-our-lady-of-lourdes-by-st-john-paul-no-2-11-feb-2018 (1).jpg

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us!ou lady of lourdes pray for us 11 feb 2019.jpg

St Bernadette, Pray for Us!st-bernadette-pray-for-us-11-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 11 February

Quote/s of the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick and the Memorial of St Caedmon (Died c 680)

“I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette
25 March 1858i am the imm conception 11 feb 2019.jpg

Let us now praise
the Guardian of the Kingdom of Heaven
and the might of the Creator
and the thought of His Mind,
glorious Father of men,
for He, Lord Eternal,
did frame the beginning
of every marvellous thing.
He first made the heavens
as a roof for the children of men,
God, the Creator!
Then the mid-earth did the eternal Lord,
the Guardian of men,
therewith provide and earth for men,
the Lord God Almighty!

Saint Caedmon

“Hymn of Creation” by St Caedmon, the hymn he learned in his visionhymn of creation by st caedmon 11 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country,
they laid the sick in the market places
and besought him that they might touch
even the fringe of his garment
and as many as touched it were made well...Mark 6:56and wherever he came - mark 6 56 11 feb 2019 world day of the sick.jpg

REFLECTION – “Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.   We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts, we cannot overcome our limitations.   So we should not fear, then, to acknowledge those limitations, for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so, in our poverty, He comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining.”…Pope Francis, Message for the 27th World Day of the Sick27th world day of the sick - only if we see ourselves - pope francis 11 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities. Grant, we pray that our lives may be gifts to all those who cry out in pain. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever, amen.our-lady-of-lourdes-pray-for-us-11-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Our Morning Offering – 11 February – Monday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Help Us This Day, O Lord
By St Sulpicius Severus (c 363–c 425)
[St Supicius was a disciple of St Martin of Tours (c 316-307) and great friend of St Paulinus of Nola (c354- 431).   He was a writer and one of his most remembered works is his life of St Martin.]

Help us this day,
O Lord,
to serve You devoutly
and the world busily.
May we do our work wisely,
give help secretly,
go to our meal
with appetite
and dine moderately.
May we please
our friends duly,
go to bed merrily
and sleep soundly.
in the joy
of Jesus Christ
our Lord.
Amenhelp us this day o lord - 11 feb 2019 by st sulpicius severus

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Saint of the Day – 11 February – St Caedmon (Died c 680)

Saint of the Day – 11 February – St Caedmon (Died c 680) is the earliest English (Northumbrian) poet whose name is known.   An Anglo-Saxon who cared for the animals at the double monastery of Streonæshalch (Whitby Abbey, in Yorkshire, England) during the abbacy (657–680) of the Founder, St Hilda (614–680), he was originally ignorant of “the art of song” but learned to compose one night in the course of a dream, according to the 8th-century historian and Saint, The Venerable St Bede (673-735) Father & Doctor of the Church.   He later became a zealous monk and an accomplished and inspirational Christian poet.caed4.jpg

The sole source of original information about Cædmon’s life and work is St Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica.    According to Bede, Cædmon was a lay brother who cared for the animals at the monastery Streonæshalch, now known as Whitby Abbey.   One evening, while the monks were feasting, singing and playing a harp, Cædmon left early to sleep with the animals because he knew no songs.   The impression clearly given by St Bede is that he lacked the knowledge of how to compose the lyrics to songs.   While asleep, he had a dream in which “someone” approached him and asked him to sing principium creaturarum, “the beginning of created things.”   After first refusing to sing, Cædmon subsequently produced a short eulogistic poem praising God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

Upon awakening the next morning, Cædmon remembered everything he had sung and added additional lines to his poem.   He told his foreman about his dream and gift and was taken immediately to see the abbess, St Hilda of Whitby.   The abbess and her counsellors asked Cædmon about his vision and, satisfied that it was a gift from God, gave him a new commission, this time for a poem based on “a passage of sacred history or doctrine”, by way of a test.   When Cædmon returned the next morning with the requested poem, he was invited to take monastic vows.   The abbess ordered her scholars to teach Cædmon sacred history and doctrine, which after a night of thought, Bede records, Cædmon would turn into the most beautiful verse.   According to Bede, Cædmon was responsible for a large number of splendid vernacular poetic texts on a variety of Christian topics.saint-hilda-of-whitby-anglo-saxon-abbess-receiving-a-visit-from-caedmon_u-l-otenj0st-hilda-whitby-abbey

After a long and zealously pious life, Cædmon died like a saint – receiving a premonition of death, he asked to be moved to the abbey’s hospice for the terminally ill where, having gathered his friends around him, he died after receiving the Holy Eucharist, just before nocturns.st caedmon.jpg

Bede’s narrative shows that Bede, an educated and intelligent man, believed Cædmon to be an important figure in the history of English intellectual and religious life.   He, however, gives no specific dates in his story.   Cædmon is said to have taken holy orders at an advanced age and it is implied that he lived at Whitby, at least in part, during Hilda’s abbacy (657–680).  caedmon and hilda.JPG

Cædmon is one of twelve Anglo-Saxon poets identified in medieval sources and one of only three of these for whom both roughly contemporary biographical information and examples of literary output have survived.   St Bede wrote, “there was in the Monastery of this Abbess a certain brother particularly remarkable for the Grace of God, who was wont to make religious verses, so that whatever was interpreted to him out of scripture, he soon after put the same into poetical expressions of much sweetness and humility in Old English, which was his native language.   By his verse the minds of many were often excited to despise the world and to aspire to heaven.”

Cædmon’s only known surviving work is Cædmon’s Hymn, the nine-line alliterative vernacular praise poem in honour of God which he learned to sing in his initial dream. The poem is one of the earliest attested examples of Old English and is one of the earliest recorded examples of sustained poetry in a Germanic language.   In 1898, St Cædmon’s Cross was erected in his honour in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church in Whitby.

caedmons-cross-1x1.jpg
St Caedmon’s Cross

St Bede’s Latin version of St Caedmon’s poem runs as follows:

Nunc laudare debemus auctorem regni caelestis,
potentiam creatoris,
et consilium illius facta Patris gloriae –
quomodo ille,
cum sit aeternus Deus,
omnium miraculorum auctor exstitit,
qui primo filiis hominum caelum
pro culmine tecti dehinc terram
custos humani generis
omnipotens creavit.

Now we must praise the author
of the heavenly realm,
the might of the creator
and His purpose,
the work of the Father of glory –
as He, who, the almighty guardian
of the human race,
is the eternal God,
is the author of all miracles,
who first created the heavens
as highest roof
For the children of men,
then the earth.

caedmon_caedmon_cross

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER, YouTube VIDEOS

Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Lourdes: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-memorial-of-the-apparitions-of-our-lady-of-lourdes-our-lady-of-the-immaculate-conception-and-the-26th-world-day-of-prayer-for-the-sick/

27th World Day of the Sick *2019
and the 6th Anniversary of the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (his health was the major cause of his resignation)

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo
St Caedmon (Died c 680)

St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata
St Pope Gregory II
Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon
St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pope Paschal I
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Holy Scriptures: Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Holy Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian, but whose names and individual stories have not survived. They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 saints: A group of five Christians who were martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.