I’m thinking about the angel’s words to you, “Do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife” (Mt 1:20). Saint Joseph, you weren’t afraid. You trusted God. And now you truly are the husband of Mary. After Jesus, you are the dearest person to her heart! Well, St Joseph, as my spiritual father, I now ask you to speak to Mary about me, about my life. If you kindly adopt me as your spiritual child, then I know all the more, that Mary will take me to her heart as well. Both of you truly are my spiritual parents. And just as any good father wants to see his children love their mother, I know that you will help me to know and love my spiritual mother more.
By your powerful prayers, I ask you to help me realise what a gift I have in Mary. Pray for me that I will better appreciate her motherly role in my life. Saint Joseph, I know that you love her. I know it makes you happy to see her children love her with all their hearts.
Therefore, as I prepare to consecrate myself totally to your fatherly care, I give you permission — in fact, I’m pleading with you, Help me to appreciate my Mother Mary even more.
Saint Joseph, Loving Spouse of Mary, please help me to love my spiritual mother even more. Amen
Lenten Thoughts – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Saint Cyprian of Carthage Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr
An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”
Dear brothers, the commands of the Gospel are nothing else than God’s lessons, the foundations on which to build up hope, the supports for strengthening faith, the food that nourishes the heart. They are the rudder for keeping us on the right course, the protection that keeps our salvation secure. As they instruct the receptive minds of believers on earth, they lead safely to the kingdom of heaven.
God willed that many things should be said by the prophets, His servants and listened to by His people. How much greater are the things spoken by the Son. These are now witnessed to by the very word of God who spoke through the prophets. The Word of God does not now command us to prepare the way for His coming – He comes in person and opens up the way for us and directs us toward it. Before, we wandered in the darkness of death, aimlessly and blindly. Now we are enlightened by the light of grace and are to keep to the highway of life, with the Lord to precede and direct us.
The Lord has given us many counsels and commandments to help us toward salvation. He has even given us a pattern of prayer, instructing us on how we are to pray. He has given us life and with His accustomed generosity, He has also taught us how to pray. He has made it easy for us to be heard as we pray to the Father in the words taught us by the Son.
He has already foretold that the hour was coming when true worshippers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth. He fulfilled what He had promised before, so that we who have received the spirit and the truth through the holiness He has given us, may worship in truth and in the spirit through the prayer He has taught.
What prayer could be more a prayer in the spirit than the one given us by Christ, by whom the Holy Spirit was sent upon us? What prayer could be more a prayer in the truth than the one spoken by the lips of the Son, who is Truth Himself? It follows that to pray in any other way than the Son has taught us is not only the result of ignorance but of sin. He himself has commanded it and has said – You reject the command of God, to set up your own tradition.
So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognise the words of His Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips. We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father, when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins, let us use the words given by our Advocate. He tells us – Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make, in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?
Thought for the Day – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15 and the Memorial of St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940)
“Men who have risked their lives for the sake of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 15: 26). These words taken from the Acts of the Apostles can be well-applied to St Luigi Orione, a man who gave himself entirely for the cause of Christ and His Kingdom. Physical and moral sufferings, fatigue, difficulty, misunderstandings and all kinds of obstacles characterised his apostolic ministry. “Christ, the Church, souls”, he would say, “are loved and served on the cross and through crucifixion or they are not loved and served at all”(Writings, 68, 81).
The heart of this strategy of charity was “without limits because it was opened wide by the charity of Christ” (ibid., 102, 32). Passion for Christ was the soul of his bold life, the interior thrust of an altruism without reservations, the always fresh source of an indestructible hope.
This humble son of a man who repaired roads proclaimed that “only charity will save the world” and to everyone he would often say, that “perfect joy can only be found in perfect dedication of oneself to God and man and to all mankind.”
St Pope John Paul on the Canonisation of St Luigi Sixth Sunday of Easter, 16 May 2004
Work, Seeking God Alone From writings by Saint Don Orione (1872-1940)
“Yesterday, when I was in the room of a good priest my eyes fell on these words:
My look at that moment was full of weariness and pain and my mind was thinking about so many other days like yesterday, full of anxiety and above the whirl of so much anguish and above the confused sound of so many sighs, I seemed to hear the amiable and good voice of my Angel – God alone! disconsolate soul, God alone!”
The ideal of Don Orione’s life was to live and to die for the spiritual welfare of people, serving Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother Church and its head, the Pope.
His motto was, “Do good always, to all, evil to none”.
Quote/s of the Day – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15 and the Memorial of St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940)
“Speaking of Prayer”
“Without Prayer nothing good is done. God’s works are done with our hands joined and on our knees. Even when we run, we must remain spiritually kneeling before Him.”
Saint Luigi Orione (1872-1940)
“But if He who was without sin prayed, how much more ought sinners to pray and if He prayed continually, watching through the whole night with uninterrupted petitions, how much more ought we to lie awake at night in continuing prayer!”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Father of the Church
(The Lord’s Prayer #29)
“Your prayer is a conversation with God. When you read, it is God who is speaking, when you pray, it is with God that you are speaking.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
“All that one says to the Saviour is prayer and when the mind cannot apply itself, to the effort of true prayer, a few simple words to Him become one. It is needful always to think of Him, even if it is only by the thought that one is thinking less of Him – one must be always thinking of Him and then bit by bit, He draws one back entirely to Him, He is so good!”
Eugene de Ferronays (1827 – 1894)
“When we pray, let it be our whole being that turns towards God – our thoughts, our heart… The Lord will be moved to incline towards us and come to our help…”
St Pio of Pietralcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)
“Prayer is necessary to receive the help of God, as grain is needed to harvest … a humble and trustful prayer, for what is necessary for salvation, is never lost. It is heard at least by the fact, that it begs for the grace, to abide in prayer.”
Lenten Reflection – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“Those who wish to receive the Paschal feast of the Lord in holiness of mind and body should strive, above all, to win that grace which contains the summit of virtues and “covers a multitude of sins” (1 Pt 4:8). So at the point of celebrating the greatest of all mysteries, that with which the blood of Jesus Christ wiped out our iniquities, let us first of all prepare the sacrifice of mercy.
Thus we shall return to those who have offended us what the goodness of God has granted us. May insults be cast into oblivion, wrongs ignore torture from now on and all offences be set free from fear of reprisal!… If someone should detain such prisoners… may he fully understand that he himself is a sinner and, so as to receive forgiveness, let him rejoice that he has found someone to forgive. In this way, when we say, according to the Lord’s teaching: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Mt 6:12), we shall have no doubt that we receive God’s pardon as we formulate our prayer.”
Daily Meditation: Help us grow in our desire for you.
We are learning the intimate connection
between the “discipline” we choose these days,
and the growth of our desire.
If our desire for our Lord is weak,
if it has to compete with so many other desires that choke it out,
then we need to re-form our desiring.
We want to be disciples –
those who love Jesus, are with Jesus in our desires,
and choose to follow Jesus.
In today’s lesson we learn the Lord’s Prayer again.
As children, we turn to our Loving Father in prayer.
“I shall know You, You who know me. Virtue of my soul, go deep into it and make it fit for You, so that You may have it and possess it, without stain or wrinkle.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
Father of my soul,
Mother of my heart,
I know Your love for me is limitless beyond imagining.
You care for me as a loving parent.
Through my smallest Lenten sacrifices,
help me to become less selfish
and more aware of Your ways.
Fan the flame of my desire
to draw ever closer to You.
Guide me to seek Your love.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“Your faith will grow, only in the measure, that you give it away.”
One Minute Reflection – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15
“Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven…”…Matthew 6:9
REFLECTION – “It’s good for us to sometimes examine our own consciences on this point. For me, is God my Father? Do I feel that He is my Father? And if I don’t feel that, let me ask the Holy Spirit to teach me to feel that way. And am I able to forget offences, to forgive, to let go of it and if not, let us ask the Father: ‘these people too are your children, they did something horrible to me … can you help me to forgive them’? Let us carry out this examination of our consciences and it will do us a lot of good, good, good. ‘Father’ and ‘our’: give us our identity as His children and give us a family to journey with during our lives.”…Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 16 June 2016.
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, we are Your children and we beg You, make us know this with all our being. May we be as little children in total trust and dependence on You. May we glory in resembling You, as children resemble their fathers on earth. For You are all goodness, love and truth – may we become all of these things as perfect copies of You. May the prayers of St Luigi Orione, who lived his life as a true copy of Your Son, bring us strength and commitment especially on our Lenten journey to the Resurrection of Your Son. Through Jesus our Lord and Saviour, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 12 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent, C – Gospel Matthew 6:7–15
“Pray then like this:”…Matthew 6:9
Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is heaven.
Give us this day
our daily bread
and forgive us
as we forgive those
who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
Saint of the Day – 12 March – St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940) aged 68 – “The Advocate of the Poor and of Orphans” Priest, Preacher, Confessor, Writer, Apostle of Charity, Apostle of Eucharistic Adoration, Marian Devotee and Founder of Sons of Divine Providence Congregation, the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, Blind Sisters, Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, Contemplative Sisters of Jesus Crucified – born as Aloysius Giovanni Orione on 23 June 1872 at Pontecurone, Allessandria, Italy and died on 12 March 1940 at San Remo, Imperia, Italy from heart disease. Patronages – the Sons of Divine Providence, the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity, Blind Sisters, Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, Contemplative Sisters of Jesus Crucified, the various related Lay apostolates, Tortona and Pontecurone. His body is Incorrupt.
Luigi Orione was born in Pontecurone, diocese of Tortona, on 23 June 1872. At thirteen years of age he entered the Franciscan Friary of Voghera (Pavia) but he left after one year owing to poor health. From 1886 to 1889 he was a pupil of Saint John Bosco at the Valdocco Oratory (Youth Centre) in Turin.
On 16 October 1889, he joined the diocesan seminary of Tortona. As a young seminarian he devoted himself to the care of others by becoming a member of both the San Marziano Society for Mutual Help and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. On 3 July 1892 he opened the first Oratory in Tortona to provide for the Christian training of boys. The following year, on 15 October 1893, Luigi Orione, then a seminarian of twenty-one, started a boarding school for poor boys, in the Saint Bernardine estate.
On 13 April 1895, Luigi Orione was ordained priest and, on that occasion, the Bishop gave the clerical habit to six pupils of the boarding school. Within a brief span of time, Don Orione opened new houses at Mornico Losana (Pavia), Noto – in Sicily, Sanremo and Rome.
Around the young Founder, there grew up seminarians and priests who made up the first core group of the Little Work of Divine Providence. In 1899, he founded the branch of the Hermits of Divine Providence. The Bishop of Tortona, Mgr Igino Bandi, by a Decree of 21 March 1903, issued the canonical approval of the Sons of Divine Providence (priests, lay brothers and hermits) – the male congregation of the Little Work of Divine Providence. It aims to “co-operate to bring the little ones, the poor and the people to the Church and to the Pope, by means of the works of charity” and professes a fourth vow of special “faithfulness to the Pope”. In the first Constitutions of 1904, among the aims of the new Congregation, there appears that of working to “achieve the union of the separated Churches”.
Inspired by a profound love for the Church and for the salvation of Souls, he was actively interested in the new problems of his time, such as the freedom and unity of the Church, the Roman question, modernism, socialism and the Christian evangelisation of industrial workers.
He rushed to assist the victims of the earthquakes of Reggio and Messina (1908) and the Marsica region (1915). By appointment of Saint Pius X, he was made Vicar General of the diocese of Messina for three years.
On 29 June 1915, twenty years after the foundation of the Sons of Divine Providence, he added to the “single tree of many branches” the Congregation of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity who are inspired by the same founding charism. Alongside them, he placed the Blind Sisters, Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. Later, the Contemplative Sisters of Jesus Crucified were also founded.
For lay people he set up the associations of the “Ladies of Divine Providence”, the “Former Pupils”, and the “Friends”. More recently, the Don Orione Secular Institute and the Don Orione Lay People’s Movement have come into being.
Following the First World War (1914-1918), the number of schools, boarding houses, agricultural schools, charitable and welfare works increased. Among his most enterprising and original works, he set up the “Little Cottolengos”, for the care of the suffering and abandoned, which were usually built in the outskirts of large cities to act as “new pulpits” from which to speak of Christ and of the Church – “true beacons of faith and of civilisation”.
Don Orione’s missionary zeal, which had already manifested itself in 1913 when he sent his first religious to Brazil, expanded subsequently to Argentina and Uruguay (1921), Palestine (1921), Poland (1923), Rhodes (1925), the USA (1934), England (1935), Albania (1936). From 1921-1922 and from 1934-1937, he himself made two missionary journeys to Latin America – to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, going as far as Chile.
He enjoyed the personal respect of the Popes and the Holy See’s Authorities, who entrusted him with confidential tasks of sorting out problems and healing wounds both inside the Church as well as in the relations with society. He was a preacher, a confessor and a tireless organiser of pilgrimages, missions, processions, live cribs and other popular manifestations and celebrations of the faith. He loved Our Lady deeply and fostered devotion to her by every means possible and, through the manual labour of his seminarians, built the shrines of Our Lady of Safe Keeping in Tortona and Our Lady of Caravaggio at Fumo. In the winter of 1940, with the intention of easing the heart and lung complaints that were troubling him, he went to the Sanremo house, even though, as he said, “it is not among the palm trees that I would like to die,but among the poor who are Jesus Christ”.Only three days later, on 12 March 1940, surrounded by the love of his confreres, Don Orione died, while sighing “Jesus, Jesus! I am going”.
His body was found to be intact at its first exhumation in 1965. It has been exposed to the veneration of the faithful in the shrine of Our Lady of Safe Keeping in Tortona ever since 26 October 1980 – the day in which St Pope John Paul II inscribed Don Luigi Orione in the Book of the Blessed…. Vatican.va
St Luigi was Canonised on 16 May 2004 by St Pope John Paul II.
St Almut of Wetter
St Alphege the Bald
Bl Angela Salawa
St Basilissa of Asia
Bl Beatrix of Engelport
St Bernard of Carinola
Bl Claudius the Minor
St Girolamo da Recanati
St Heiu of Hartlepool
St Indrecht of Iona
St Pope Innocent I
St Joseph Zhang Dapeng St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940)
St Maximilian of Thebeste
St Mura McFeredach
St Paul Aurelian
St Peter the Deacon
St Theophanes the Chronographer
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 8 saints: Eleven Christians who were martyred in succession in a single incident during the persecutions of Diocletian. First there were the eight imprisoned Christians, Domna, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Hilary, Mardonius, Maximus, Mígdonus and Peter, about whom we know little more than their names. Each day for eight days one of them would be strangled to death in view of the others so that they would spend the night in dread, not knowing if they were next.
Peter was the chamberlain or butler in the palace of Diocletian. When he was overheard complaining about this cruelty, he was exposed as a Christian, arrested, tortured and executed by having the flesh torn from his bones, salt and vinegar poured on the wounds and then being roasted to death over a slow fire.
Gorgonio was an army officer and member of the staff in the house of emperor Diocletian, Doroteo was a staff clerk. They were each exposed as Christians when they were overhead objecting to the torture and murder of Peter. This led to their own arrest, torture and executions.
in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey)
Additional Memorial – 28 December as part of the 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia.