The Stations of the Cross – 20 April – Thirteenth & Fourteenth Stations

The Stations of the Cross – 20 April – Holy Saturday, – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

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

Begin with an Act of Contrition

Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us
By William of Saint-Thierry OSB, O.Cist. (c 1075-1148)
Abbot, Monk, Theologian, Mystic, Writer
Friend of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us.
We beg to shift the blame for our sins,
we make excuses.
But no-one can hide
from the Light of Your Truth,
which both enlightens those,
who turn to it
and exposes those,
who turn away.
Even our blood and our bones
are visible to You,
who created us out of dust.
How foolish we are,
to think that we can rule our own lives,
satisfying our own desires,
without thought of You.
How stupid we are,
to imagine that we can keep our sins hidden.
But although we may deceive other people,
we cannot deceive You.
And since You see into our hearts,
we cannot deceive ourselves,
for Your Light reveals to us,
our own spiritual corruption.
Let us, therefore, fall down before You,
weeping with tears of shame.
May Your judgement,
give new shape to our souls.
May Your power,
mould our hearts
to reflect Your love.
May Your grace,
infuse our minds,
so that our thoughts
reflect Your Will.
Amenpardon us o lord pardon us by william saint thierry - 20 april 2019 holy sat.jpg

The Thirteenth Station
Jesus is taken from the Cross, and laid in Mary’s Bosom

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.

THE multitude have gone home.   Calvary is left solitary and still, except that St John and the holy women are there.   Then come Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and take down from the Cross the body of Jesus and place it in the arms of Mary.

O Mary, at last you have possession of your Son.   Now, when His enemies can do no more, they leave Him in contempt to you.   As His unexpected friends perform their difficult work, you look on with unspeakable thoughts.   Your heart is pierced with the sword of which Simeon spoke.   O Mother most sorrowful, yet in your sorrow there is a still greater joy.   The joy in prospect nerved you to stand by Him as He hung upon the Cross, much more now, without swooning, without trembling, you receive Him to your arms and on your lap.   Now you are supremely happy as having Him, though He comes to you not as He went from you.   He went from your home, O Mother of God, in the strength and beauty of His manhood and He comes back to you dislocated, torn to pieces, mangled, dead.   Yet, O Blessed Mary, you are happier in this hour of woe than on the day of the marriage feast, for then He was leaving you and now in the future, as a Risen Saviour, He will be separated from you no more.

Pater, Ave. &c. thirteenth station jesus is taken from the cross bl john henry newman 20 april 2019 holy sat

The Fourteenth Station
Jesus is laid in the Tomb

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.

BUT for a short three days, for a day and a half—Mary then must give Him up.   He is not yet risen.   His friends and servants take Him from you and place Him in an honourable tomb.   They close it safely, till the hour comes for His resurrection.

Lie down and sleep in peace in the calm grave for a little while, dear Lord and then wake up for an everlasting reign.   We, like the faithful women, will watch around You, for all our treasure, all our life, is lodged with You.   And, when our turn comes to die, grant, sweet Lord, that we may sleep calmly too, the sleep of the just.   Let us sleep peacefully for the brief interval between death and the general resurrection.   Guard us from the enemy, save us from the pit.   Let our friends remember us and pray for us, O dear Lord. Let Masses be said for us, so that the pains of Purgatory, so much deserved by us and, therefore, so truly welcomed by us, may be over with little delay.   Give us seasons of refreshment there, wrap us round with holy dreams and soothing contemplations, while we gather strength to ascend the heavens.   And then let our faithful guardian Angels help us up the glorious ladder, reaching from earth to heaven, which Jacob saw in vision. And when we reach the everlasting gates, let them open upon us with the music of Angels and let St Peter receive us and our Lady, the glorious Queen of Saints, embrace us, and bring us to You, and to Your Eternal Father and to Your Co-equal Spirit, Three Persons, One God, to reign with Them forever and ever.

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord.
R. Have mercy on us.fourteenth station - tomb - bl john henry newman - 20 april 2019 holy sat

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)


God, Who by the Precious Blood of Your only-begotten Son did sanctify the Standard of the Cross, grant, we beseech You, that we, who rejoice in the glory of the same Holy Cross, may at all times and places, rejoice in Your protection, Through the same Christ, our Lord.   Amen.

Lord Jesus, I am too tired to go on but in You I find rest.
Lord Jesus, I feel so alone but You promised that You would never leave me.
Lord Jesus, I am so afraid but Your arms constantly protect me.
Lord Jesus, I cannot make it but You promise that You will carry me.
Lord Jesus, I am lost but through You and You alone I am found.

End with one Pater, Ave and Gloria, for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.


Holy Week Thoughts – 20 April – He slept so that we might be awakened, He died so that we might live.

Holy Week Thoughts – 20 April – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

“Darkness is not dark for you and night shines as the day” (Ps 138:12)

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

We who are mortal need to sleep to restore our strength and, therefore, we interrupt our lives with this image of death that yet leaves us at least some scraps of life.   In the same way all those who live in chastity, innocence and fervour, prepare for themselves the life of angels, in exchange for this burden of death, they will receive grace in the eternal life… Now, my brothers, listen to these few words I want to tell you about this coming night that we are about to live through…

Our Lord Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead on the third day, no Christian doubts this.   The Holy Gospels testify, that this event occurred during this night…  It is not from light to darkness but from darkness to light that we struggle to emerge.   The apostle Paul warns us:  “The night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light” (Rom 13:12)… Hence we will stay up on this night when the Lord was raised and began, in His flesh, that life of which I spoke to you before, the life that has no death nor sleep.   And the flesh that He raised from the tomb, will not die again or fall any longer under the law of death.

The women who loved Him came at dawn to visit His tomb, instead of finding His body they heard the voice of angels announcing His resurrection.   No doubt then. that He was raised on the night before this dawn.   Thus He, whose resurrection we celebrate during our long vigils, will make us reign with Him in an everlasting life  . And even if, while we were watching, His body were still in the tomb and had not yet been raised, our watching would still have all its meaning, since He slept so that we might be awakened, He died so that we might live.psalm 138 12 darkness is not dark - he slept so that we might be awakend - st augustine holy sat 20 april 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Yes, Lord, make us Easter people

Quote/s of the Day – 20 April – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

“We give glory to You, Lord,
who raised up Your Cross to span the jaws of death
like a bridge by which souls might pass
from the region of the dead to the land of the living. ..
You are incontestably alive.
Your murderers sowed Your living body in the earth
as farmers sow grain but it sprang up
and yielded an abundant harvest of men
raised from the dead.”

St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Churchwe-give-glory-to-you-lord-st-ephrem-30-march-2018-good-friday.jpg

“Sursum corda” – lift up your hearts, high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – “Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!”   In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: “Conversi ad Dominum” – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions.   We must turn ever anew towards Him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.   We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord.   And ever anew we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, which pulls them down and inwardly we must raise them high,in truth and love.   At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of His word and of the holy Sacraments, He points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards.”

Pope Benedict

22 March 2008susum-corda-lift-up-your-hearts-pope-benedict-easter-vigil-holy-sat-31-march-2018.jpg

Yes, Lord, make us Easter people,
men and women of light,
filled with the fire of Your love.

Pope Francisyes-lord-make-us-easter-people-31-march-2018-holy-sat.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 20 April – “He has been raised as he said!” 

One Minute Reflection – 20 April – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.   And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb but when they went in, they did not find the body…Luke 24:1-3

REFLECTION – “Unlike the disciples, the women are present – just as they had been present as the Master breathed His last on the cross and then, with Joseph of Arimathea, as He was laid in the tomb.   Two women who did not run away, who remained steadfast, who faced life as it is and who knew the bitter taste of injustice.   If we try to imagine this scene, we can see in the faces of those women any number of other faces – the faces of mothers and grandmothers, of children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality.   The faces of those women mirror many other faces too, including perhaps yours and mine.   Once again, someone came to tell them:  “Do not be afraid” but now adding: “He has been raised as he said!”   Do not be afraid, brothers and sisters; he is risen as he said!”

In the resurrection, Christ rolled back the stone of the tomb but He wants also to break down all the walls, that keep us locked in our sterile pessimism, in our carefully constructed ivory towers that isolate us from life, in our compulsive need for security and in boundless ambition, that can make us compromise the dignity of others.   Let us go, then.   Let us allow ourselves to be surprised by this new dawn and by the newness that Christ alone can give.   May we allow His tenderness and His love to guide our steps. May we allow the beating of His heart to quicken our faintness of heart.”…Pope Francis – Homily, Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, 15 April 2017luke 24 2-3 and the found the stone -letus go then - pope francis holy sat 20 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, whose only-begotten Son, descended to the realm of the dead and rose from there in glory, grant that Your faithful people, who were buried with Him in Baptism, may, by His Resurrection, obtain eternal life.   With Mary His Mother, who in her sorrow remained with Him at the Cross and by whose prayers we receive succour, grant that we too will be with Him in glory.   Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mother of sorrows pray for us 20 april 2019 holy sat


Our Morning Offering – 20 April – Beautiful and Glorious

Our Morning Offering – 20 April – Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night

Beautiful and Glorious
By Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

I look at You, my Lord Jesus
and think of Your most holy Body
and I keep it before me
as the pledge of my own resurrection.
Though I die, as die I certainly shall,
nevertheless, I shall not forever die,
for I shall rise again.
O You, who are the Truth,
I know and believe,
with my whole heart,
that this very flesh of mine will rise again.
I know, base and odious as it is at present,
that it will one day,
if I be worthy,
be raised incorruptible
and altogether beautiful and glorious.
This I know,
this by Your grace,
I will ever keep before me.
Amenbeautiful and glorious - bl john henry newman - holy sat 20 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 20 April – St Pope Anicetus (died c 20 April 168)

Saint of the Day – 20 April – St Pope Anicetus (died c 20 April 168) was the Bishop of Rome from c 157 to his death in 168.  st anicetus-3.jpgAccording to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153.   Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism.   He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155) to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.

Born in Emesa, Syria at the end of the first century, he came along at a time when most of the Apostles had already died.   Anicetus was of the generation of leaders who had never met any of the original leaders of the fledgling Church.

It is said that Anicetus came to Rome with St Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the first Christian apologists.   On the martyrdom of Pius I, Anicetus was elected to the bishopric of Rome.   He had quite a bit to face.Papa_Aniceto_cropped.jpg

First, the Gnostic heretics, Valentinian and Marcion, were still in Rome, still trying to sell their concepts of the two Gods, the tyrant of the Old Testament and the kind, loving God of the New.   Valentinian, who, Tertullian says, planned to become the Bishop of Rome but never got the chance, was eventually excommunicated.   There is no documentation as to who finally did the excommunication but it seems that St Polycarp of Smyrna may have done that.   At any rate, he moved back to Asia Minor soon after Anicetus became bishop.   His followers continued to raise havoc in Rome.   Marcion was excommunicated by his own father, the bishop of Sinope.   Because the Roman civilians listened so long to the teachings of these heretics, they tended to fall away from the intense teachings of Peter and Paul.   Anicetus worked very hard at re-educating his see.   He did make a rule to help distinguish the orthodox presbyters from the long-haired Gnostics, they had to keep their hair short.   As the early historian, Hegesippus, wrote, the whole city developed a zeal of sanctity.

Polycarp, the elderly bishop of Smyrna, had sat at the knee of St John the Evangelist and had conversed with others.   Many in the East revered him and clung to his every word. In the middle of the second century, the Eastern Church celebrated Easter Biblically, that is, the 14th day of Nisan, as defined as Passover, no matter what day of the week it fell on.   The Western Church had already been directed to celebrate Easter on the Sunday.  At this time, it was already becoming a straining point between the two segments of the Church.   In 160, the old, revered Polycarp came to Rome to discuss this with Anicetus. Eventually, neither would budge and they had to agreed to disagree.   Anicetus was not going to put the Church at risk by antagonising Polycarp and thus let it alone.   But many years later, this became one of the dividing arguments that split the Church.St anicetus-2.jpg

Soon after Marcus Aurelius became emperor, he must have noted the lack of worship of the standard Roman gods.   A brilliant man in his own right, Aurelius must have known the cause of this behaviour.   He quickly went to the source, Pope Anicetus and took him into custody.  As inflexible as ever in supporting the orthodoxy of the Church and making known the Good News of Jesus Christ, Anicetus did not alter his beliefs.   Most believed he was thereafter martyred for his faith but there are no historical grounds for this account.   17 or 20 April are two dates which have been cited as the date of his death and his memorial was originally on 17 April.   The Liber Pontificalis states he was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.

St Anicetus, pray for us.pope-saint-anicetus.jpg

Posted in HOLY WEEK, SAINT of the DAY

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night and Memorials of the Saints – 20 April

St Agnes of Montepulciano OP (1268-1317)
About St Agnes:
St Pope Anicetus (Died c 168)

Bl Antony Page
St Caedwalla of Wessex
Bl Catwallon
Bl Chiara Bosatta
St Domninus of Digne
Bl Francis Page
Bl Gerald of Salles
Bl Harduin
Bl Hildegun of Schönau
St Hugh of Anzy-le-Duc
Bl James Bell
Bl John Finch
Bl John of Grace-Dieu
St Marcellinus – Bishop of Embrun (born in North Africa- died 374)
St Marcian of Auxerre
St Margaret of Amelia
Bl Maurice MacKenraghty
St Michel Coquelet
Bl Oda of Rivreulle
Bl Richard Sergeant
St Sara of Antioch
St Secundinus of Córdoba
St Servilian
Bl Simon Rinalducci
St Sulpicius
St Theodore Trichinas
St Theotimus of Tomi
St Vincent of Digne
St Wiho of Osnabrück
Bl William Thomson