Marian Thoughts – 14 May – Pope Francis – The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

Marian Thoughts – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you.   It’s a spiritual medicine.   Don’t forget to take it.   “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (17 November 2013)pope francis' reflections on the joyful mysteries 1st mystery 14 may 2019.jpg

The First Joyful Mystery:   The Annunciation

“The annunciation to Mary can be read alongside the announcement to Zechariah of John the Baptist’s birth.   One annunciation happens to a priest in the Temple of God, during a liturgy, where everyone is waiting outside, while the other, happens to a young woman named Mary, in a small town that did not necessarily have a good reputation.   This contrast is not insignificant.   It serves as a sign that the new Temple of God, the new encounter of God with His people, will happen in places which we normally do not expect, on the margins, on the peripheries.   By now, it will no longer be in a place reserved for the few, while the majority wait outside. Nothing and no-one, will be indifferent, no situation will be deprived of His presence, the joy of salvation began in the daily life of the home of a youth in Nazareth.
Even today, God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming His invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard.
God continues to walk our neighbourhoods and our streets, He pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to His invitation and making it become flesh here and now.
In the end, the Lord continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions.
Just like He did with Mary, God also takes the initiative in our lives, inserting Himself into our daily struggles, anxieties and desires.
It is precisely in the daily routine of our lives, that we receive the most beautiful announcement we can hear – “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!”
(Pope Francis, 2017)

Holy Mary of the Annunciation of Emmanuel,

God with us,

Pray for us!mary's fiat - holy mary pray for us 14 may 2019 pope francis and the rosary from Fr Enrico no 1.jpg


Thought for the Day – 14 May

Thought for the Day – 14 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Feast of St Matthias, Apostle of Christ

The virtues, labour and sufferings of St Mathias have not been handed down to us, this explains the lack of proper lessons on his life, such as we have for the feasts of the rest of the apostles.
St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) records in his writings several sayings of our holy apostle.   One of these is so very appropriate to the spirit of the present season, that we consider it a duty to quote it.
‘It behooves us to combat the flesh and make use of it, without pampering it by unlawful gratifications. As to the soul, we must develop her power by faith and knowledge.’
How profound is the teaching contained in these few words!   Sin has deranged the order which the Creator had established.   It gave the outward man such a tendency to grovel in things which degrade him, that the only means left us for the restoration of the image and likeness of God unto which we were created, is the forcible subjection of the body to the spirit.   But the spirit itself, that is, the soul, was also impaired by original sin and her inclinations were made prone to evil, what is to be her protection?   Faith and knowledge.   Faith humbles her and then exalts and rewards her and the reward is knowledge.

— Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger OSB

St Matthias, Apostle of Christ, Pray for Us!ST MATTHIAS PRAY FOR US.jpg


Quote of the Day – 14 May – ‘Always be brave and trust’

Quote of the Day – 14 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Saint Michel Garicoïts SCJ (1797-1863)

“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again
but always be brave and trust.
Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy.
The right way is to see all events and all obstacles
in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord
and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion,
as He did to the disciples
‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.'”

St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)therefore never allow yourself to start brooding - st michel garicoits 14 may 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Saint Matthias, the witness to the resurrection chosen by God

One Minute Reflection – 14 May – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17.20-26. and the Feast of St Matthias, Apostle of Christ

“During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and spoke.”…Acts 1:15

REFLECTION – “Because he is fervent and is the senior member of the group, he is always the first to speak:   “My brothers, it is necessary we choose one of the men who accompanied us.”   Note how he wants these new apostles to be eyewitnesses.   No doubt, the Holy Spirit would come and yet Peter placed a great deal of importance on this point – “One of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us” (v.21).   He indicates that they must have lived with Him and not just been disciples.   For in fact, in the beginning, many people followed Him… “Until the day when he was taken up from us.   He must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (v.22)

Peter did not say: “a witness to everything else” but only – “a witness to his resurrection.” For a disciple who could say, “Someone who ate and drank and was crucified was the same who was raised” would be more worthy of credence.   Therefore,it was not necessary that he should be a witness to the times beforehand, nor to those that followed, nor to the miracles.   What was required of him was that he should be a witness to the resurrection. Everything else had been manifest and proclaimed, whereas the resurrection took place in secret.   It was manifested only to a few.”…St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church3rd sermon on the Acts of the apostles ; PG 60, 33 (trans. breviary 14/05)acts 1 15 peter stood up and spoke - what was required - st john chrysostom on matthias 14 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Matthias to complete the number of the twelve. By his prayer, include us among Your chosen ones, since we rejoice to see that the lot marked out for us, is in Your Love. Through Jesus the Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever,

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 14 May – O Holy Mary

Our Morning Offering – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

O Holy Mary
By St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)

O Holy Mary, my mistress,
into your blessed trust
and special custody,
and into the grasp of your mercy
I this day, every day,
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you, I commit,
all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
and disposed
according to your will
and that of your Son.
Ameno holy mary by st aloysius gonsaga 14 may 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 May – Saint Michel Garicoïts (1797-1863)

Saint of the Day – 14 May – Saint Michel Garicoïts (1797-1863) “An Apostle of the Love of God” Priest, Founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bétharram, Defender of the Faith, Confessor, Teacher, Preacher, ardent devotee of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacred Heart.  Patronages – the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Bétharram and Teachers.beautiful engraving st michel garicoits.jpg

Born on the 15th April 1797, Michel Garicoits was the eldest of six children.   He spent his youth in an isolated house at the foot of the Pyrenees, not far from the Spanish frontier with France.   He grew up in a Catholic family, remained faithful to the Church of Rome during the persecution of the Revolutionary period.   His parents and grandparents made a deep impression on him by their piety and example.   He received a very strict up- bringing from his mother principally and later, he would say that after God, he owed her everything.

The young lad knew his catechism by heart and would sing hymns and canticles while guarding the cattle.   At the age of 13 he was sent as a servant to the farm belonging to the Anghelu family at Oneix.   It is here that he made his First Communion on Sunday 9 June 1811, feast of the Holy Trinity.   He was 14 years of age.   This powerful experience of the Presence and Love of God was to accompany his whole life through.

His First Communion triggered his vocation. On returning to his native village he announced to his father “I want to be a priest.”   It was an impossible dream for lack of money in the household.   But his grandmother had no hesitation in doing the 25 kilometres on foot which separated them from Saint-Palais.   She convinced the Parish Priest to enrol Michael at the school in exchange for a few services.   A very hard worker by nature, our little Basque friend would study by candlelight late into the night and quickly became the best pupil in Latin and French.

A promising young cleric:
Both at the Junior Seminary in Aire-sur-Adour and the Major Seminary in Dax, Michel made a very good impression.   By his success in his studies, together with personal piety, he came to be compared with St Aloysius Gonzagua.   While still a student he was called by Father Claverie to help out in the Junior Seminary in Laressore.   Thanks to his kindness and seriousness, our young cleric soon became the favourite teacher both in the classroom and during recreation.   On 20 December 1823 he was Ordained a priest by Mgr d’Astros in Bayonne michel garicoits young art.jpg
He was appointed to Cambo where he quickly won the hearts of his parishioners while at the same time promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   Little by little, he placed the Heart of Christ at the centre of his life and spirituality.
After two years, Father Garicoits swapped his role of curate to become a teacher in Betharram.   In 1825 the seminary was in a deplorable state.   Mgr d’Astros, who had originally thought of founding a group of missionaries there, soon found in Michael Garicoits a visionary rather than a reformer.
Not far from there, he got to know Jeanne Elizabeth Bichier des Ages and the Daughters of the Cross which she had founded.   The meeting was decisive.   Thanks to their lack of the essential and the dedication of this new community, he discovered the Religious Life. At the same time, the Superior of the Seminary, was fully aware ,of the helplessness of the hierarchy, in the face of the carelessness and the lack of discipline of some of the clergy.   His decision was made:  “I shall train priests who, by their obedience, will be a consolation for their Bishops.”

The Priests of the Sacred Heart:
Right from the start, Michel Garicoits intended to found a real religious congregation (with vows and a superior who would be elected).   His dream was a body of soldiers for Christ, ever ready to answer the Church’s call.   In 1832, a thirty day retreat in a Jesuit centre, helped him to accept God’s will.   His spiritual director, Father Le Blanc, explained it thus: “God wants you to be more than a Jesuit, follow your inspiration which is from Heaven and you will become the father of a family which will be our sister.” 

As soon as he got back to Betharram, Michel threw himself down in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.   From this experience, he was confirmed in a project which was to occupy the rest of his life.   There would be no shortage of problems. – “How difficult it is to give birth to a Congregation!” he once exclaimed on his return from a visit to Bayonne. There was no shortage of graces michel-garicots-38753bc5-2030-4c41-9b81-962b18bb5b3-resize-750
The Betharramites first assembled in 1835 and in 1841 took the name of Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   Father Garicoits guided his little family by word and example.   He suggested to his companions to live according to the rules of the Jesuits and in the spirit of St Ignatius.   He threw his little society far and wide, sending the first Betharramites to the Argentine.   He accompanied the religious of the diocese, beginning with the Daughters of the Cross in Igon.   He gave weekly conferences and guided the retreats of his religious.   His concern was that everyone  – teacher, missionary, pastor, manual worker- should receive the right formation for his ministry.   In community, he was close to his brethren, in society he was attentive to all human needs.

St Michel of Betharram and of the whole wide world:
In 1853 Father Garicoits was victim of severe illness.   “Don’t be afraid” he said to those who were worried by his partial paralysis, “we shall carry on as long as God wants.”  One Ascension Thursday Michel reached the heavens which as a child he vainly tried to touch as he skipped over the hills.  On Thursday, 14 May 1863, at about 3:00 am, he died without having seen his work completed.  His final words were:  “Have pity on me, Lord, in Your great mercy”.   It would take a further fourteen years for his dream to be realised.   The Constitutions of the Congregation of Betharram were approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1877.  st michel-garicots-baa6f473-c489-440d-b913-6dcc015fafe-resize-750

Today the spirit of St Michel Garicoits is very much alive in different parts of the world. Although few in number, the Betharramites are imbued by his charism  “Here I am to do your will”.   It is this same energy which drives them to answer the Bishops’ call, especially for places, where no-one is able, or willing to go.

Following in the footsteps of their Father, St Michel, the Betharramites too try to share with others the happiness which is theirs.   They entrust themselves to God and His Divine Providence, to continue the mission of the Sacred Heart and with the same conviction, as that of their Founder, they strive “to see that God as the author and guardian of our Society.   He governs it and will protect it.”   As Christians and members of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, they answer God’s love in their different michel garicoits at prayer

The sainthood cause commenced under Pope Leo XIII in mid-1899 while Pope Benedict XV later named Michel as Venerable on 10 December 1916 upon the confirmation of his heroic virtue.    Pope Pius XI Beatified him in 1923 while Pope Pius XII Canonised him on 6 July 1947.shrine - st michel-garicots-3f5286d7-ec2c-4573-a383-b1d5a39d772-resize-750


Feast of St Matthias, the Apostle and Memorials of the Saints – 14 May

St Matthias the Apostle (Feast)
St Matthias!

St Ampelio
St Boniface of Ferentino
St Boniface of Tarsus
St Carthage the Younger
St Corona the Martyr
St Costanzo of Capri
St Costanzo of Vercelli
Bl Diego of Narbonne
St Dyfan
St Engelmer
St Erembert of Toulouse
St Felice of Aquileia
St Fortunatus of Aquileia
St Gal of Clermont-Ferrand
Bl Giles of Santarem
St Henedina of Sardinia
St Justa of Sardinia
St Justina of Sardinia
St Maria Domenica Mazzarello
St Maximus
St Michel Garicoïts (1797-1863)
St Pons of Pradleves
St Pontius of Cimiez
St Tuto of Regensburg
St Victor the Martyr

Martyrs of Seoul – 5 Beata: A group of lay people martyred together in the apostolic vicariate of Korea.
• Petrus Choe Pil-je
• Lucia Yun Un-hye
• Candida Jeong Bok-hye
• Thaddeus Jeong In-hyeok
• Carolus Jeong Cheol-sang
14 May 1801 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea – Beatified: 15 August 2014 by Pope Francis