Posted in Catholic NEWS, HOLY WEEK 2019, Papa FRANCIS, Pope BENEDICT XVI

Wishing our Holy Father Emeritus Papa Benedict XVI a Blessed 92nd Birthday! 16 April 2019

Wishing our Holy Father Emeritus Papa Benedict XVI a Blessed 92nd Birthday!
16 April 201916 april 2019 92nd birthday papa benedict with heart stickers love you.jpg

The day of Joseph Ratzinger’s birth has been seen by some as a sign of Divine Providence. It was certainly a sign of things to come.   The future Pope Benedict XVI was born on Holy Saturday, 16 April 1927.   His birthplace is Marktl-an-Inn, a tiny village less than an hour’s walk away from Altoetting, the most important Marian Shrine in Bavaria.

1927 was the year Charles Lindbergh completed the first ever solo flight across the Atlantic.   The Pope in Rome was Pius XI – the successor to Pope Benedict XV.

As Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger celebrated his 85th birthday, his last as Pope, with a Mass in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican.   It was April 16th 2012.   Reflecting on his long and eventful life, he claimed he was “facing the final stretch” of his life’s journey. “I do not know what awaits me”, he said.   “But I do know that the light of God is there, that He is risen, that His light is stronger than all darkness, that the goodness of God is stronge,r than every evil in this world.   And this helps me to proceed with confidence.   This helps us to move forward”.happy 92nd birthday papa benedict 16 april 2019 with heart .jpg

 

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, HOLY WEEK 2019, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, STATIONS of the CROSS, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The STATIONS of the CROSS

The Stations of the Cross – 16 April – The Sixth Station Jesus and Veronica

The Stations of the Cross – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week

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

Begin with an Act of Contrition

Act of Contrition
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church

O my God,
I am exceedingly grieved for having offended thee
and with my whole heart
I repent of the sins I have committed.
I hate and abhor them above every other evil,
not only because, by so sinning,
I have lost heaven and deserved hell
but still more, because I have offended thee,
O infinite Goodness,
who are worthy to be loved above all things.
I most firmly resolve,
by the assistance of thy grace,
never more to offend thee for the time to come
and to avoid those occasions
which might lead me into sin.
Amen

Note:  It is little known that St Robert is the Author of this, one of our most widely used prayersact-of-contrition-written-by-st-robert-bellarmine-o-m-god-i-am-exceedingly-grieved-17-sept-2018.jpg

The Sixth Station
Jesus and Veronica

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.

AS Jesus toils along up the hill, covered with the sweat of death, a woman makes her way through the crowd and wipes His face with a napkin.   In reward of her piety, the cloth retains the impression of the Sacred Countenance upon it.

The relief which a Mother’s tenderness secured is not yet all she did.   Her prayers sent Veronica as well as Simon—Simon to do a man’s work, Veronica to do the part of a woman.   The devout servant of Jesus did what she could.   As Magdalen had poured the ointment at the Feast, so Veronica now offered Him this napkin in His passion.   “Ah,” she said, “would I could do more!   Why have I not the strength of Simon, to take part in the burden of the Cross?   But men only can serve the Great High Priest, now that He is celebrating the solemn act of sacrifice.”

O Jesus! let us one and all minister to You according to our places and powers.   And as You did accept from Your followers refreshment in Your hour of trial, so give to us the support of Your grace when we are hard pressed by our Foe.   I feel I cannot bear up against temptations, weariness, despondency and sin.   I say to myself, what is the good of being religious? {138}   I shall fall, O my dear Saviour, I shall certainly fall, unless You renew for me my vigour like the eagle’s and breathe life into me by the soothing application and the touch of the Holy Sacraments which You have appointed.the sixth station - jesus and veronica - 16 april - bl john henry newman - o jesus i shall certainly fall - 16 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 Be

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The PASSION

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Peter’s Denial

Holy Week Thoughts – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Peter’s Denial

Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?   Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times….John 13:38

Saint Romanos the Melodist (c 490-c 556)

Hymnist – Hymn 34 

O Good Shepherd, You who have laid down Your life for Your sheep (Jn 10:11), come quickly, O holy One and save Your flock…

After the meal Christ said:  “Children, my dear disciples, this night you will all deny and abandon me” (cf. Jn 16:32).   And since all were seized by the same astonishment, Peter exclaimed:  “Even though all deny you, I shall not deny you. I shall remain with you and die with you, crying out to you:   Come quickly, O Holy One, and save your flock.”

“Master, what are You talking about?   I deny you?   I abandon You and flee?   And am I no longer to remember Your call and the honour You have shown me?   I still call to mind how You washed my feet and now, do you say:   “You will deny me”?   Once again I see You coming, carrying a basin, You who uphold the earth and support the sky.   With the hands that fashioned me my feet have just been washed and do You now assert that I will fall and I will no longer cry out to You:   “Come quickly, O Holy One and save Your flock ?”…

At these words man’s Creator answered Peter:   “What are you saying, Peter, my friend? You will never deny Me?  never flee from Me?  never reject Me?   I, too, would wish to think so.   But your faith is unstable and you do not stand up to temptation.   Do you not you remember how you might nearly have drowned had I not stretched out my hand to you?   You most certainly walked on the sea as I did myself but immediately you hesitated and quickly gave way (Mt 14:28f.).   Then I ran towards you who were crying aloud:   “Come quickly, O Holy One, and save Your flock.”

“See, from now on I tell you – before the cock crows three times you will deny Me and, letting yourself be attacked on all sides and your spirit submerged as by the waves of the sea, you will deny Me three times.   You who cried out to Me then and are about to weep, you will find Me no longer now extending My hand as before, for I shall be using it to write a bill of remission on behalf of all Adam’s descendants.   My visible flesh I will take as My paper and My blood as ink to write out this gift, which I endlessly distribute to those who cry aloud:  “Come quickly, O Holy One, and save your flock!”peter's denial john 13 38 - you who cried out to me then - st romanus the melodist 16 april 2019 .jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – For to you has been granted…not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him…

Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week and the Memorial of St Benedict Joseph Labre – Known as the Beggar of Perpetual Adoration (1748-1783) and St Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

For to you has been granted, for the sake of Christ,
not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him…

Philippians 1:29for-to-you-has-been-granted-philippians-1-29 16 april 2018 (1).jpg

“God afflicts us
because He loves us
and it is very pleasing to Him,
when, in our afflictions,
He sees us abandon ourselves
to His paternal care.”

St Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783)god afflicts us because he loves us - st benedict joseph labre - 16 april 2019

“The more I am crucified,
the more I rejoice.”

St Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)the-more-i-am-crucified-st-bernadette-16-april-2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – He comforts such as are troubled

One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week, Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”…John 13:21

REFLECTION – “He was troubled, then, who had power to lay down His life and had power to take it again.   That mighty power is troubled, the firmness of the rock is disturbed, or is it rather, our infirmity that is troubled in Him?   Assuredly so, let servants believe nothing unworthy of their Lord but recognise their own membership in their Head.   He who died for us, was also Himself troubled in our place.   He, therefore, who died in power, was troubled in the midst of His power.   He who shall yet transform the body of our humility, into similarity of form, with the body of His glory, has also transferred into Himself, the feeling of our infirmity and sympathises with us in the feelings of His own soul.   Accordingly, when it is the great, the brave, the sure, the invincible One that is troubled, let us have no fear for Him, as if He were capable of failing, He is not perishing but in search of us [who are].   Us, I say, it is us exclusively, whom He is thus seeking, that in His trouble we may behold ourselves and so, when trouble reaches us, may not fall into despair and perish.   By His trouble, who could not be troubled, save with His own consent, He comforts such as are troubled unwillingly.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchwhen jeus had thus spoken - us I say it is - sta augustine john 13 21 16 april 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, we are slow to understand.   In that love that You have for us and the grace, mercy and forgiveness You grant us. You gave Your only Son to save us from ourselves, help our lowly hearts, that we may understand Your love and in our smallness, offer all of our hearts, minds and souls, back to You in total submission and love.   May Your saints and angels, help us on our way by their prayers and may Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of our Saviour, grant us, her heart, to love You in return.   We make our prayer through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.mater dolorosa mother of sorrows pray for us 16 april 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, HOLY WEEK 2019, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 April – To Jesus the Way

Our Morning Offering – 16 April – Tuesday of Holy Week

To Jesus the Way
By Blessed James Alberione

O Jesus,
You are the Way secure,
You guide us om life’s troubled ways,
amid the errors of each age,
while we gaze toward our fatherland.
taking to Yourself our nature,
You came to us in flesh and blood
and as our model and our mould,
You call us to tread the way You trod.
A stable You chose at birth,
long years You laboured tirelessly,
the bitter Cross You did embrace
and so You tell us,
“Learn of me.”
Jesus, our everlasting Way, Truth and Life,
by You we are led,
by You we live,
to Father, You and the Spirit,
may all peoples praise and glory give.
Amen.Jesus the Way - bl james alberione -16 april 2019- tues of holy week.jpg

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.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 April – Saint Drogo (1105–1186)

Saint of the Day – 16 April – Saint Drogo (1105–1186) – penitent pilgram, apostle of prayer and the Holy Eucharist, anchorite – also known as Dreux, Drugo and Druron, is a Flemish saint.   He was born in Epinoy, Flanders in 1105 and died in Sebourg, France in 1186. Patronages – those whom others find repulsive, unattractive people, Baume-les-Messieurs, bodily ills, broken bones, cattle, coffee house keepers, coffee house owners, deaf people, deafness, dumbness, Fleury-sur-Loire, gall stones, hernias, illness, insanity, mental illness, mentally ill people, midwives, mute people, muteness, mutes, orphans, ruptures, sheep, shepherds, sick people, sickness.st drogo

St Drogo was a child of Flemish nobility.   His mother died when he was born.   He learned the reason for her death and it made an emotional impact on him.   He held himself responsible.   Later in his life, he went to extreme penances, perhaps to relieve his guilt.   Drogo was orphaned when he was a teenager.

As Drogo approached manhood, he resolved to abandon his home and distribute his considerable inheritance to the poor.   Whatever circumstances precipitated this sudden change, we may well imagine that Drogo was inspired by Christ’s exhortation to another troubled young man:  “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me” (Mt 19:21).   Drogo kept for himself no more than the clothes on his back and entrusting himself to Providence.

He became a shepherd for about six years, working in Sebourg, near Valenciennes. Cherishing his simple life, Drogo passed much of his time in prayerful contemplation and gave to the poor most of what he received in wages or gifts.   His humility, gentleness and generosity quickly earned the villagers’ admiration.   A constant tradition has it that, while Drogo was out in the fields, tending his flock or deep in prayer, he could sometimes simultaneously be seen attending Mass in the village.   This gave rise to a common saying, that reportedly persisted to the twentieth century, among the rural folk of that region, who, if charged with several onerous tasks, might protest, “I’m not Saint Drogo, I can’t ring the church bell for Mass and be in the procession!”

After six years in Sebourg, Drogo felt called by God to take up the pilgrim’s staff.   Setting off on foot like the Apostles before him, he travelled to Rome where he visited the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, stopping along the way at many other renowned holy sites in France and Italy.   During his journey, Drogo occasionally used his skills as a shepherd to support himself and instructed other shepherds he encountered.drogo

Some accounts speculate that Drogo believed that only the pope himself could absolve him of his part in the death of his mother.   Although he never did meet the pope, Drogo pursued these peregrinations for nine years and nine voyages to Rome, each time returning briefly to Sebourg.   Drogo gladly suffered the hunger, thirst, harsh weather and other incommodities and dangers of pilgrimage in pursuit of holiness.   However, these restless years took their tol, and the weary pilgrim eventually made his way back to Sebourg for the last time, having developed a debilitating and disfiguring hernia.

His wandering days behind him, Drogo resolved to live as a solitary, still detached from worldly things.   The parishioners of Sebourg helped him to build a small anchorite’s cell adjoining the parish church.   From there, Drogo could adore the Holy Eucharist and hear the divine offices through a small opening in the church wall.   Still in his early thirties, Drogo shut himself within and vowed to remain there for the rest of his days.

Despite this solitary existence, Drogo never refused the people who sought his spiritual advice or the benefit of his prayers; those who visited his humble cell always left consoled and edified.   Drogo now sustained himself on little more than barley bread and water, if it happened that a kind visitor brought him some other food or gift, Drogo would give it away to the poor, keeping only what was strictly necessary for subsistence. Over time, Drogo’s painful malady worsened and he developed putrescent sores on his lower body.   Even in the face of these trials, he never lost the gay and serene disposition for which he was known.drogo (1)

Drogo died on16 April 1186 (it is thought or it might have been 1189), having attained a ripe old age for one whose earthly existence was marked by illness, hardship and self-abnegation.   Upon learning of his death, Drogo’s kin from Epinoy claimed the body, wishing to return it to his birthplace.   The parishioners of Sebourg acceded to the request in accordance with the custom of those days.   The body was thus placed in a fine casket and set on an ox-drawn cart.   Yet it appears that God intended Drogo to remain in his adoptive home.   Reportedly, as the procession made its way out of Sebourg, the saint’s casket seemed to grow heavier and heavier.   At last the cart reached a point at the boundary of the village where it could no longer advance at all, as though obstructed by a supernatural force.

In any event, the attempt to repatriate Drogo’s remains had to be abandoned.   The body was brought back to Sebourg to general acclaim and interred in the village church with rustic pomp.   The villagers erected a cross on the spot where the ox-cart had been obliged to stop and although the cross itself has been replaced several times over the centuries, this simple monument still stands today in a field on the outskirts of Sebourg. Each year on Trinity Sunday, the modern-day villagers commemorate the event with a procession in which the saint’s reliquary is borne from the church to St Drogo’s Cross, preceded by the village children dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses.

Not long after Drogo’s death, accounts of miraculous intercessions attributed to his relics spread through the surrounding country and beyond and a stream of sick pilgrims made their way to Sebourg.   The miracles multiplied and over time the crowds became so substantial, de Gruyse tells us, that it was difficult to approach the saint’s tomb.

By the time of his enrollment in the Martyrologium Romanum, Drogo had long been acclaimed a saint in his homeland by vox populi.   In 1612, the archbishop of Cambrai ordered the formal elevation of Drogo’s relics at Sebourg.   Confraternities dedicated to St Drogo are active today in Sebourg and Carvin, and in Cambrai he is invoked at an annual “Shepherd’s Mass” at which sheep farmers and their lambs are blessed.

St Drogo’s patronage has come to be associated with a variety of occupations and conditions.   First, he is predictably a patron saint of shepherds and a protector of their flocks.   Drogo is also a patron saint of expectant mothers, presumably due to his special sympathy and gratitude toward the mother he never knew.   His physical malady has likewise made him a patron of those who suffer from hernias, kidney stones and other ailments of the abdomen, as well as of persons deemed physically unlovely.drogo icon

Most notable in the contemporary popular culture of the English-speaking world, however, are the surprising identification of Drogo as the patron saint of coffeehouse-keepers and his association more generally with coffee.   This might be dismissed as an apocryphal invention boosted by the coffeehouse boom of the past few decades, were it not historically attested.   A Belgian almanac from 1860 shows that in Mons—just across the present-day Franco-Belgian border from Sebourg—Drogo had already been claimed by the city’s cafetiers (coffeehouse-keepers) as their patron.

Nevertheless, the origin of St Drogo’s association with coffeehouses remains mysterious; coffee was not introduced into France and Belgium until the seventeenth century.   Some have ventured, tongue in cheek, that harried baristas might fittingly invoke a saint reputed to possess the mystical gift of bilocation.   A more plausible connection may reside in a minor detail from some biographical sources – during his years of reclusion, Drogo took no drink but warm water.   Perhaps also, the early coffeehouse-keepers of Hainaut marvelled at how the properties of the coffee bean are transformed by fire without being destroyed by it and were reminded of Drogo’s miraculous survival of the destruction of the church at Sebourg, when kneeling in prayer in his cell, he refused to leave during the fire – the Church was destroyed but NOT St Drogo’s abode.drogo 576px-Église_Saint-Druon_de_Sebourg_29

Thanks to Crises Magazine for most of St Drogo’s beautiful story.