The Stations of the Cross – 15 April – Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross

The Stations of the Cross – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Begin with an Act of Contrition

The Fifth Station
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
V. We adore You, O Christ and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.

At length His strength fails utterly and He is unable to proceed.   The executioners stand perplexed.   What are they to do?   How is He to get to Calvary?   Soon they see a stranger who seems strong and active—Simon of Cyrene.   They seize on him and compel him to carry the Cross with Jesus.   The sight of the Sufferer pierces the man s heart.   Oh, what a privilege!   O happy soul, elect of God! he takes the part assigned to him with joy.

This came of Mary’s intercession.   He prayed, not for Himself, except that He might drink the full chalice of suffering and do His Father’s will but she showed herself a mother by following Him with her prayers, since she could help Him in no other way. She then sent this stranger to help Him.   It was she who led the soldiers to see that they might be too fierce with Him.   Sweet Mother, even do the like to us.   Pray for us ever, Holy Mother of God, pray for us, whatever be our cross, as we pass along on our way. Pray for us and we shall rise again, though we have fallen.   Pray for us when sorrow, anxiety, or sickness comes upon us.   Pray for us, when we are prostrate under the power of temptation and send some faithful servant of thine to succour us.   And in the world to come, if found worthy to expiate our sins in the fiery prison, send some good Angel to give us a season of refreshment.   Pray for us, Holy Mother of God.the fifth station simon of cyrene helps jesus 15 april 2019.jpg

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.

I love You, Lord Jesus,
my love above all things,
I repent with my whole heart
for having offended You.
Never permit me to separate myself
from You again grant that I
may love always
and then do with me what You will.
(St Alphonsus Liguori)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Bewe adore you o christ - i love you lord jesus - st alphonsus - stations 15 april 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The PASSION, The SIGN of the CROSS

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – We are soon going to share in the Passover

Thoughts for Holy Week – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

We are soon going to share in the Passover

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Bishop and Great Eastern Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Oration 45

We are soon going to share in the Passover and although we still do so, only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol.   Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of His Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way and with deeper understanding.   He will then reveal to us and make clear what He has so far only partially disclosed.   For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

It is for us to learn what this drinking is and for Him to teach us.   He has to communicate this knowledge to His disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way but according to the teaching of the Gospel, not in an imperfect way but perfectly, not only for a time, but eternally.   Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one, the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies.   We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon His heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise.   We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies.   I will say more – we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating His passion by our sufferings and honouring His blood by shedding our own.   We must be ready to be crucified.

If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ.   If you are crucified beside Him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God.   For your sake and because of your sin, Christ Himself was regarded as a sinner, for His sake, therefore, you must cease to sin.   Worship Him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself.   Derive some benefit from the very shame, purchase salvation with your death.   Enter paradise with Jesus and discover how far you have fallen.   Contemplate the glories there and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion and ask for Christ’s body.   Make your own, the expiation for the sins of the whole world.   If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial.   If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning.   Be the first to see the stone rolled back and even the angels perhaps and Jesus Himself.i will say more - we mut sacrifice ourselves to god - st gregory of nazianzen - mon of holy week 15 april 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 15 April – Speaking of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

Speaking of the Cross

“If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Great patience occurs in two way –
either when one patiently suffers much,
or, when one suffers things which one
is able to avoid and yet does not avoid.
Christ endured much on the cross
and did so patiently, because,
when He suffered, He did not threaten,
He was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and He did not open His mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor of the Churchif you seek patience - st thomas aquinas - mon of holy week - 15 april 2019.jpg

“The road is narrow.
He who wishes to travel it more easily
must cast off all things
and use the cross as his cane.
In other words, he must be truly resolved
to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things.”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Doctor of the Churcheven-though-i-should-die-matthew-26-35-and-the-road-is-narrow-st-john-of-the-cross-9-july-2018 (1).jpg

“O souls! Seek a refuge, like pure doves,
in the shadow of the crucifix.
There, mourn the Passion of your divine Spouse
and drawing from your hearts flames of love
and rivers of tears, make of them a precious balm
with which to anoint the wounds of your Saviour.”


“Look upon the face of the Crucified,
who invites you to follow Him.
He will be a Father, a Mother –
everything to you.”

St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775)

look upon the face - st paul of the cross - memorial of vincent strambi 25 sept 2017.jpg

“What does he gain who refuses the cross?
He increases it’s weight!”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churchwhat does he gain who refuses the cross - st alphonsus mon of holy week 15 april 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – St Bernard – “The liquid myrrh of mercy”

One Minute Reflection – 26 March 2018 – Monday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 12:1–11

Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard and with it, anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was filled with the scent of the ointment…John 12:3john-12-3 mary ointments jesus feet.jpg

REFLECTION – “Anointing the feet of Christ with perfumed oil of compassion
I have already discussed two ointments with you – one of contrition, that takes account of numerous sins — it is symbolised by the perfumed oil with which the sinful woman anointed the feet of Lord: “the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil”, the other of devotion, that embodies numerous blessings…  But there is another ointment, far excelling these two, to which I give the name, loving-kindness, because the elements that go into its making, are the needs of the poor, the anxieties of the oppressed, the worries of those who are sad, the sins of wrong-doers and finally, the manifold misfortunes of all people who endure affliction, even if they are our enemies.   These elements may seem rather depressing but the ointment made from them, is more fragrant, than all other spices.   It bears the power to heal, for “Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7)

A collection therefore of many miseries, on which the eye rests with loving-kindness, represents the ingredients from which the best ointments are made…  Happy the soul that has been wise enough to enrich itself with an assortment of spices such as these, pouring upon them the oil of mercy and warming them with the fire of charity!   Who, in your opinion, is “the good man who takes pity and lends” (Ps 112:5), who is compassionate, quick to render assistance, who believes that there is “more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35), who forgives easily but is not easily angered, who never seeks to be avenged and in all things takes thought for his neighbour’s needs as if they were his own?

Whoever you may be, if your soul is thus disposed, if you are saturated with the dew of mercy, overflowing with affectionate kindness, making yourself “all things to all people” (1 Co 9:22) yet considering your deeds, like a discarded flask, in order to be always ready to supply to others what they need, in a word, so dead to yourself, that you live only for others — if this be you, then you possess the third and best of all ointments.   Your hands have dripped with liquid myrrh that is utterly enchanting (cf Sg 5:5).   It will not run dry in times of stress nor evaporate in the heat of persecution but God will perpetually “remember all your oblations and find your holocaust acceptable.” (Ps 20:4)”...Saint Bernard (1091-1153) Doctor of the Churchbut there is another ointment - st bernard- mon holy week - the annointing of jesus feet - 15 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness, may draw the breath of new life from the passion and death of Your only-begotten Son.  May our hands to drip with the liquid myrrh of mercy to all our neighbours and may our hearts be ever open to forgiveness.   Listen, we pray, to the prayers of Your Holy angels and Saints and grant that the Blessed Virgin may guide our steps in this vale of tears. Through our Lord and Saviour, who suffered and died for us, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, virgin mother of sorrows pray for us 15 april 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 15 April – To Jesus the Truth

Our Morning Offering – 15 April – Monday of Holy Week

To Jesus the Truth
By Blessed James Alberione

O Jesus,
our One, our only Light,
when You illumine the anxious minds,
evil error takes flight
and eternal Truth serenely shines.
The world,
when deprived of Your Light,
remains enwrapped in densest darkness.
May faith and charity benign
unite their flames in every heart.
May every tongue sing praise to You,
may schools and arts in every age,
sing Your praises,
may books and journals bear Your Truth,
resplendent on each printed page.
May nations sing Your glorious paise
and around the globe, Your Truth resound,
transmitted by new means and ways,
which modern man has discovered.
Jesus, our everlasting Truth, Way and Life,
by You we are led,.
by You we live,
to Father, You and the Spirit,
may all peoples praise and glory give.

Blessed Fr James Alberione (1884-1971)
the Founder of the Pauline Family,
composed various Prayers to Jesus Master,
The Way, the Truth and the Life,
specifically directed to honour Jesus, the Master –
to sanctify the whole person, mind, will and heart.
These prayers are prayed by his Orders every day.prayer to jesus the truth by bl james alberione 15 april 2019 mon of holy week.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Ruadán (died 584)

Saint of the Day – 15 April – St Ruadán (died 584) – Priest and Monk –  also known Rowan, Ruadon, Roadan, Rodon and Rodan, was an Irish Christian abbot who founded the monastery of Lorrha (Lothra, County Tipperary, Ireland – see the ruins below), near Terryglass.   He was known for his prophesies. After his death, he was venerated as a saint and as one of the “Twelve Apostles of Ireland”.

The Twelve Apostles of Ireland

Ruadhán is said to have been the son of Fergus Bern, son of Dera Dubh, of the race of the kings of Munster.  He studied and was ordained at Clonard.  He was educated in Clonard County Westmeath by St Finian (470-549).   He replaced St Brendan (the navigator) at Lorrha who preceded to cross the Shannon and set up his monastery at Clonfert Co. Galway.

Ruadhan founded a monastic settlement at Lorrha that would have consisted of a monastery and various other buildings including cells for the many monks that would have lived here.   Also a ditch or large mound would have been built around the settlement to keep animals in and intruders out, the outlines of these are still visible today.   Life for the monks would have been tough but simple, rising early from their beds which would have consisted of rushes or straw placed on the bare ground.   They then would pray and fast between their domestic chores.   The settlement would have been self-sufficient providing everything from food, clothing, to shelter.  Despite the evidence of conflicts with the surrounding hierarchy and with St Brendan, Ruadhán was highly regarded.   His monastery was said to have had 150 monks with a very holy reputation.

St Ruadhan from a set of paintings of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland

On the site of this settlement are the remains of an 11th century church probably on the spot of Ruadhan’s original monastery.   It has at the west end of the south wall an ornate doorway that shows many carved motifs including a pelican drawing blood from its breast.   Also there are the remains of two high crosses with only the decorated shafts remaining, one of these is said to mark the grave of a Munster king who died at Lorrha, the other is said to mark St Ruadhan’s grave although it seems to have been crafted many years after his death.   Villages and towns often popped up around monastic settlements as trade and refuge attracted the local people, the origin of Lorrha village can be attributed to this.1024px-Lorrha_Priory_of_St._Ruadhan_SW_2010_09_04

There are many legends attributed to Ruadhan but he is probably most famous for his curse on the High King’s residence at Tara after the king, Diarmuid Mac Cerbhaill, had violated the sanctity of the church by taken a hostage from its protection.   The downfall of Tara from a once thriving royal residence is credited to Ruadhan.

Ruadhan’s hand, enshrined in silver, was preserved at Lorrha until the Reformation time, when it was lost.  The bell of St Ruadhan which was found in a well named after the Saint is kept in the British Museum after being discovered many years ago.   This well is situated across the road from the present day Church of Ireland.

“My splendid cloak adorned with gold which was on the altar of Rome, bring it to Ruadhan of Lortha, since we shall die this day” extract from the last will and testament of the high king of Cashel.

Today both the Catholic and Church of Ireland churches in Lorrha in the diocese of Killaloe, are dedicated to St Ruadhán.

Base of High Cross at St Ruadhan's Abbey.JPG
Base of the High Cross at St Ruadhan’s Abbey

Praise in the Féilire of Aengus
Aengus praises Ruadhán in his Féilire on his feast of 15th April:

Prímdae bréo nád athbi
ar-fich tola tothlai,
ba caín lie lógmar
Ródán lócharn Lothrai.

An excellent flame that does not wane,
that vanquishes urgent desires.
Fair was the gem,
Ruadhán, lamp of Lorrha.


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 15 April

St Abbo II of Metz
St Abbondio
St Acuta
St Anastasia of Rome
St Basilissa of Rome
Bl Cesar de Bus (1544-1607)

St Crescens of Myra
St Eutyches of Rome
St Eutychius of Ferentino
St Huna of Slättåkra
St Hunna (of Strasbourg) (died 679)
The life of St Hunna:

Bl Laurentinus Sossius
St Maro of Rome
St Maximus of Persia
St Mundus
St Nidger of Augsburg
St Olympiades of Persia
St Ortario of Landelles
St Paternus of Vannes
St Pausilopo of Thrace
St Ruadhan of Lorrha (died 584)
St Sylvester of Réome
St Theodore of Thrace
St Victorinus of Rome
St Waltmann of Cambrai

Mercedarian Martyrs of Africa: A group of Mercedarian monks sailing to Africa as on a mission to redeem capture Christians. Captured by Moors, they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. 1393