“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honoured him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue, for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast and I have always received it. I f the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . .
” I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”
St Alphonsus Liguori on St Joseph,
Patron of a Happy Death
“Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honoured him during their life and they do so for three reasons:
“First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend but as a father and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint.
“Second, because St Joseph has obtained special power against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigour at the hour of death.
“Third, the assistance given St Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death he will not only help them but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary.”
St Joseph we ask for your assistance in all our needs starting tomorrow, pray for us!
Lenten Thoughts – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent
In Christ we suffered temptation and in Him we overcame the devil
Saint Augustine (354-430) Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church
An excerpt from his Commentary on the Psalms, Psalm 60.
Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer. Who is speaking? An individual, it seems. See if it is an individual – I cried to you from the ends of the earth while my heart was in anguish. Now it is no longer one person, rather, it is one in the sense, that Christ is one and we are all His members. What single individual can cry from the ends of the earth? The one who cries from the ends of the earth is none other than the Son’s inheritance. It was said to him: Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession. This possession of Christ, this inheritance of Christ, this body of Christ, this one Church of Christ, this unity that we are, cries from the ends of the earth. What does it cry? What I said before – Hear, O God, my petition, listen to my prayer, I cried out to you from the ends of the earth. That is, I made this cry to you from the ends of the earth, that is, on all sides.
Why did I make this cry? While my heart was in anguish. The speaker shows that he is present among all the nations of the earth in a condition, not of exalted glory but of severe trial.
Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown except after victory, or strives except against an enemy or temptations.
The one who cries from the ends of the earth is in anguish but is not left on his own. Christ chose to foreshadow us, who are His body, by means of His body, in which He has died, risen and ascended into heaven, so that the members of His body may hope to follow where their head has gone before.
He made us one with Him when He chose to be tempted by Satan. We have heard in the gospel how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Certainly Christ was tempted by the devil. In Christ you were tempted, for Christ received His flesh from your nature but by His own power gained life for you, He suffered insults in your nature but by His own power gained glory for you, therefore, He suffered temptation in your nature but by His own power gained victory for you.
If in Christ we have been tempted, in Him we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of His victory? See yourself as tempted in Him and see yourself as victorious in Him. He could have kept the devil from Himself but if He were not tempted, He could not teach you how to triumph over temptation.
Thought for the Day – 10 March – The Memorial of St Marie Eugénie de Jésus (1817-1898)
Marie Eugenie led the Assumption for fifty-five years. Her life was full. Her first priority was for her sisters: their happiness, their formation, their work. She was concerned for their health – more than two hundred sisters were to die before she did, often young and of tuberculosis.
She was constantly travelling from community to community, encouraging, consoling and challenging. As the Congregation became known, she was invited to start more and more communities. She saw her work as being always in and for the Church and her loyalty to it was absolute.
The last few years of her life were spent in increasing retirement. Gradually her health failed. Her legs refused to carry her and her speech also slowed, so that at the end she could only occasionally say a few words. Those around her were struck by her gentleness and patience. One day she managed to say –
“I am looking at my Lord.
It is in looking at Him, that we learn how to love.”
She died, surrounded by her sisters, on the 10th March 1898.
Credo of St Marie Eugenie of Jesus
I believe that our earth is a place of glory for God. I believe that the destiny of the world is the Reign of Jesus Christ. I believe that each of us has a mission on earth. I believe that the aim of our religion, is not just our own eternal happiness but to let God use us, to make the Gospel known and loved. I believe that each one enters into God’s plan by prayer, by action and by the cross And that to refuse His call, is to refuse our own happiness. I believe the aim of Christian education, is to make Jesus Christ known As the liberator and ruler of the world..
Sunday Reflection – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent
“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?
It is God, who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.
If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you.
If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer, so as to merit Heaven.
If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win the victory.
If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and for eternity.
Let us open the door of His Sacred and Adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant, by the flames of His love and we shall see, what a God who loves us, can do. O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”
Lenten Reflection – The First Sunday of Lent – 10 March ‘Come back to Me with All your Heart’
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil....Luke 4:1-2
“During the 40 days of Lent, as Christians we are invited to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and face the spiritual battle with the Evil One with the strength of the Word of God. Not with our words, they are worthless. The Word of God – this has the strength to defeat Satan.
For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible, read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective. Someone has asked, what would happen were we to treat the Bible as we treat our mobile phone? were we to read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read telephone messages, what would happen? Clearly the comparison is paradoxical but it calls for reflection.
Indeed, if we had God’s Word always in our heart, no temptation could separate us from God and no obstacle could divert us from the path of good.”
Pope Francis – Angelus, First Sunday of Lent, 5 March 2017
Daily Meditation: Bring us back to you.
This week we pray for a renewal of our lives.
We are beginning to be more attentive and alert.
We are trying new patterns.
The difficulties we encounter keep us humble.
Our desire is clear.
We want the “self-sacrificing love of Christ” –
which brings us mercy and healing – to be “reproduced in our lives.”
In our journey, we seek to savour the meaning of Jesus’ selfless love,
that we might reflect that love to others.
At the end of our journey, we will renew our baptismal promises.
Dying with Jesus in baptism, we have a new life in Him.
Today, we desire nothing less than God’s re-creating us –
breathing new life into us.
You who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life You created.
Help me to find my way back to You.
Help me to use my life to reflect Your glory
and to serve others
as Your son Jesus did.
Help me to grow in love and understanding
of Your Word.
May the Holy Scriptures be my fortress and guide.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
One Minute Reflection – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil….Luke 4:1-2
REFLECTION – “The devil does not have only one weapon. He uses many different means to defeat human beings – now with bribery, now with boredom, now with greed he attacks, inflicting mental and physical wounds equally.
The kind of temptation varies with the different kinds of victim. Avarice is the test of the rich, loss of children that of parents and everyone is exposed to pain of mind or body. What a wealth of weapons is at the devil’s disposal!
It was for this reason that the Lord chose to have nothing to lose. He came to us in poverty so that the devil could find nothing to take away from Him. You see the truth of this when you hear the Lord himself saying:
“The prince of this world is come and has found nothing in me” [John 14:30]. The devil could only test Him with bodily pain but this too was useless because Christ despised bodily suffering.
Job was tested by his own goods, whereas Christ was tempted, during the experience of the wilderness, by the goods of all. In fact, the devil robbed Job of his riches and offered Christ the kingdom of the whole world. Job was tested by vexations, Christ by prizes. Job the faithful servant replied: “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away” [Job 1:21] Christ, being conscious of His own divine nature, scorned the devil’s offering of what already belonged to Him.
So let us not be afraid of temptations. Rather, let us glory in them saying: “When I am weak, then am I strong.” [2 Cor. 12:10]….St Ambrose (339-397 AD) – Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance, Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Lord’s Mother and ours, be ever our prayerful help. We make our prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 10 March – The First Sunday of Lent
Prayer Before Holy Communion By St Anselm (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church
O Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of the living God,
who according to the will of the Father
and with the co-operation of the Holy Spirit,
has by Your death given life to the world,
I adore and revere this Your Holy Body
and this Your Holy Blood,
which was given over
and poured forth for the many,
unto remission of sins.
O merciful Lord,
I beg of Your mercy,
that through the power of this Sacrament,
You will make me one of that many.
Through faith and love, make me feel
the power of these Sacraments,
so I may experience their saving power.
Absolve and free from all sin
and punishment of sin, Your servants,
Your handmaidens, myself,
all who confessed their sins to me,
those whom I have promised
or am obliged to pray for
and so too those who themselves hope
or beg to be helped by my prayers with You.
Make our Church rejoice
in Your constant protection and consolation.
Saint of the Day – 10 March – St Marie Eugénie de Jésus (1817-1898) aged 80 – Foundress of the Religious of the Assumption – Religious, – born 26 August 1817 at Metz, Moselle, France as Eugenie Milleret de Brou (de Bron) and died on 10 March 1898 at Auteuil, Hauts-de-Seine, France of natural causes. Patronages – the Religious of the Assumption and Students. St Marie Eugénie is also known as Anne-Eugénie Milleret de Brou, Eugénie Milleret de Brou, Eugénie Milleret de Bron, Marie Eugénie Milleret de Brou, Mere Marie Eugénie. She was Beatified on 9 February 1975 by St Pope Paul VI and Canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 3 June 2007.
Anne Marie Eugenie was born in 1817 in Metz after Napoleon’s complete defeat and the restoration of the Monarchy. She belonged to a non-believing and financially comfortable family and it seemed unlikely that she would trace a new spiritual path across the Church of France.
Her father, follower of Voltaire and a liberal, was making his fortune in the banking world and in politics. Eugenie’s mother provided the sensitive Eugenie with an education, which strengthened her character and gave her a strong sense of duty. Family life developed her intellectual curiosity and a romantic spirit, an interest in social questions and a broad world view.
Like her contemporary, George Sand, Anne Eugenie went to Mass on feast days and received the Sacraments of initiation, as was the custom but without any real commitment. However, her First Communion was a great mystical experience that foretold the secret of her future. She did not grasp its prophetic meaning until much later when she recognised it as her path towards total belonging to Jesus Christ and the Church.
Her youth was happy but not without suffering. She was affected when still a child by the death of an elder brother and a baby sister. Her health was delicate and a fall from a horse left serious consequences. Eugenie was mature for her age and learnt how to hide her feelings and to face up to events. Later, after a prosperous period for her father, she experienced the failure of his banks, the misunderstanding and eventual separation of her parents and the loss of all security. She had to leave her family home and go to Paris while Louis, closest to her in age and faithful companion went to live with their father. Eugenie went to Paris with the mother she adored, only to see her die from cholera after a few hours of illness, leaving her alone at the age of fifteen in a society that was worldly and superficial. Searching in anguish and almost desperate for the truth, she arrived at her conversion thirsty for the Absolute and open to the Transcendent.
When she was nineteen, Anne Eugenie attended the Lenten Conferences at Notre Dame in Paris, preached by the young Abbe Lacordaire (1802–1861), already well-known for his talent as orator. Lacordaire was a former disciple of Lamennais – haunted by the vision of a renewed Church with a special place in the world. He understood his time and wanted to change it. He understood young people, their questions and their desires, their idealism and their ignorance of both Christ and the Church. His words touched Eugenie’s heart, answered her many questions and aroused her generosity.
Eugenie envisaged Christ as the universal liberator and His kingdom on earth established as a peaceful and just society. “I was truly converted, she wrote, and I was seized by a longing to devote all my strength or rather all my weakness to the Church which, from that moment, I saw as alone holding the key to the knowledge and achievement of all that is good.”
Just at this time, another preacher, also a former disciple of Lamennais, appeared on the scene. In the confessional, Father Combalot recognised that he had encountered a chosen soul who was designated to be the foundress of the Congregation he had dreamt of for a long time. He persuaded Eugenie to undertake his work by insisting that this Congregation was willed by God who had chosen her to establish it. He convinced her that only by education could she evangelise minds, make families truly Christian and thus transform the society of her time. Anne Eugenie accepted the project as God’s will for her and allowed herself to be guided by the Abbe Combalot.
At twenty-two, Marie Eugenie became foundress of the Religious of the Assumption, dedicated to consecrate their whole life and strength to extending the Kingdom of Christ in themselves and in the world. In 1839, Mademoiselle Eugenie Milleret, with two other young women, began a life of prayer and study in a flat at rue Ferou near the church of St Sulpice in Paris. In 1841, under the patronage of Madame de Chateaubriand, Lacordaire, Montalembert and their friends, the sisters opened their first school. In a relatively short time there were sixteen sisters of four nationalities in the community.
Marie Eugenie and the first sisters wanted to link the ancient and the new – to unite the past treasures of the Church’s spirituality and wisdom with a type of religious life and education able to satisfy the demands of modern minds. It was a matter of respecting the values of the period and at the same time, making the Gospel values penetrate the rising culture of a new industrial and scientific era. The spirituality of the Congregation, centred on Christ and the Incarnation, was both deeply contemplative and dedicated to apostolic action. It was a life given to the search for God and the love and service of others.
Marie Eugenie’s long life covered almost the whole of the 19th century. She loved her times passionately and took an active part in their history. Progressively, she channelled all her energy and gifts in tending and extending the Congregation, which became her life work. God gave her sisters and many friends. One of the first sisters was Irish, a mystic and her intimate friend whom she called at the end of her life, “half of myself.”Kate O’Neill, called Mother Therese Emmanuel in religion, is considered as a co-foundress. Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, became Marie Eugenie’s spiritual director soon after the foundation, was a father, brother or friend according to the seasons. In 1845, he founded the Augustinians of the Assumption and the two founders helped each other in a multitude of ways over a period of forty years. Both had a gift for friendship and they inspired many lay people to work with them and the Church. Together, as they followed Christ and laboured with Him, the religious and laity traced the path of the Assumption and took their place in the great cloud of witnesses.
In the last years of her life, Mother Marie Eugenie experienced a progressive physical weakening, which she lived in silence and humility – a life totally centred on Christ. She received the Eucharist for the last time on 9 March 1898 and on the 10th, she gently passed to the Lord. She was beatified by Pope Paul VI on 9 February 1975 in Rome.
Today, the Religious of the Assumption are present in 34 countries – 8 in Europe, 5 in Asia, 10 in America and 11 in Africa. Almost 1,200 sisters form 170 communities throughout the world.
The Lay Assumption – Assumption Together – made up of Friends of the Assumption and Communities or Fraternities of the Assumption, are numerous – thousands of Friends and hundreds of Lay Assumption committed to live according to the Way of Life….Vatican.va
Bl John of Vallombrosa
St Macarius of Jerusalem St Marie Eugénie de Jésus (1817-1898) aged 80
St Peter of Veroli
St Rufinus of Nicomedië
St Sannudius of Bagensena
St Saturninus of Nicomedië
St Sedna of Ossory
St Silvester of Ireland
St Simplicius, Pope
St Victor of North Africa
Bl Wirnto of Formbach
Anonymous Martyrs of Persia – A group of 42 Christians martyred in Persia in the 4th century.
Forty Martyrs of Armenia – Forty Christian soldiers of the Thunderstruck Legion of the Imperial Roman army who were tortured and murdered for their faith during the persecutions of Emperor Licinius. They were exposed naked on a frozen pond to freeze to death at Sebaste, Armenia in 320 and their bodies afterward were burned.