Novena to St Anne – Day Seven – 23 July

Novena to St Anne – Day Seven – 23 July

Reflections by:
By Fr Daniel A Lord, SJ


Was Anne still alive when Mary became the Mother of the Saviour?

Was it ever Anne’s grandmotherly privilege to hold the Infant king in her arms?

We do not know. The silence of the Scriptures leads us to think that perhaps she had already gone home to God, that she had left her daughter to the gracious care of Joseph, that she was never to see her divine Grandson until as liberator He entered limbo.

But whether she lived or not to see that happy day, the spirit of her devotedness, her calm serenity, her patience, her kindness lived on in the life of Mary.

It was from Anne that Mary learned the art of motherhood.

What Anne had done for her, Mary did for her little Son.

Food, like the food she had eaten at her mother’s table Mary prepared for her growing Boy. The prayers, the lovely story of the Jewish people, the strong words of the law and the prophet’s hope-bearing words, that she had learned from Anne, her mother, Mary passed on to her Son as He grew in age and wisdom and grace.

The imprint of Anne’s training could be seen on the Son of God Himself through Mary, His Blessed Mother.

To this model of motherhood we pray:

Daily Prayer:

O glorious St Anne,
you are filled with compassion
for those who invoke you
and with love for those who suffer!
Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles,
I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you
to take the present intention
which I recommend to you in your special care.
…………………(make your intention)
Please recommend it to your daughter,
the Blessed Virgin Mary
and place it before the throne of Jesus,
so that He may bring it to a happy issue.
Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted.
But, above all, obtain for me the grace, one day,
to see my God face to face
and with you and Mary and all the saints,
to praise and bless Him for all eternity.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory Be . . .

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St Anne, help me now and at the hour of my death.

Good St Anne, intercede for me.


Once again, Good St Anne,
I choose you for my advocate
before the throne of God.
By the power and grace that God has placed in you,
extend to me your helping hand.
Renew my mind and my heart.
Dear St Anne,
I have unbounded confidence in your prayers.
To your daughter’s and your own
blessed hands I entrust my soul,
my body and all my hopes for this world and the next.
Direct my actions
according to your goodness and wisdom.
I place myself under your motherly care.
Receive me, good mother.
Cover me with the mantle of your love.
Look kindly on me.
By your powerful intercession,
may I obtain from God grace and mercy.
Obtain for me remission for sin
and release from the punishment
my offences have deserved.
Pray that I may receive grace
to lead a devout life on earth
and that I may obtain the everlasting reward of heaven.
Amenday seven st anne anovena 23 july 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 23 July – Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

Thought for the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of Blessed Vasil’ Hopko (1904-1976) Bishop and Martyr

Excerpt from St Pope John Paul’s Beatification Homily
Bratislava, Esplanade of Petržalka
Sunday, 14 September 2003

“O Crux, ave spes unica!   Hail, O Cross, our only hope!”

On the Cross, human misery and divine mercy meet.   The adoration of this unlimited mercy, is for man, the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.

The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God.   By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted.   O Crux, ave spes unica!

O Crux, ave spes unica!   Saint Paul speaks of the same theme in the letter to the Ephesians which we have just heard.   Not only did Christ Jesus become man, in everything similar to human beings but He took on the condition of a servant and humbled Himself even more, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Phil 2:6-8).

Yes, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16).   We admire – overwhelmed and gratified – the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:18-19)!   O Crux, ave spes unica!

4. Certainly, it was meditation on this great and wonderful mystery that sustained Blessed Bishop Vasil’ Hopko and Blessed Sister Zdenka Schelingová in their choice of the consecrated life and, especially, in the sufferings endured, during their terrible imprisonment.

Both shine before us as radiant examples of faithfulness, in times of harsh and ruthless religious persecution.   Bishop Vasil’ never repudiated his attachment to the Catholic Church and to the Pope.   Sister Zdenka did not hesitate to risk her life so as to assist God’s ministers.

Both faced up to an unjust trial and an ignoble condemnation, to torture, humiliation, solitude, death.   And so the Cross became for them, the way that led them to life, a source of fortitude and hope, a proof of love for God and man.   O Crux, ave spes unica!

Blessed Vasil’ Hopko, Pray for Us!BL VASIL HOPKO PRAY FOR US 23 JULY 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 24 July – ‘…whoever does the will of my Father in heaven…’

Quote/s of the Day – 24 July – Tuesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50 and the Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)

“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven,
is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 12:50

“His mother is the whole Church,
since it is she, who, by God’s grace,
gives birth to Christ’s members,
that is to say, those who are faithful to Him.
Again, His mother is every holy soul,
who does the Father’s will
and whose fruitful charity
is made known in those,
to whom she gives birth for Him,
“until he has been formed in them”
(cf Gal 4:19).

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctorfor-whoever-does-the-will-of-my-father-matthew-12-50-his-mother-is-the-whole-church-st-augustine-24-july-2018 and 2019.jpg

“O Lord, make haste and illumine the night.
Say to my soul, that nothing happens,
without You permitting it
and that nothing of what You permit,
is without comfort.”

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)o lord make haste and illumine the night - st bridget of sweden 23 july 2019.jpg

“It is a matter of real sorrow when God has given us strength to break stronger fetters, those of vanity and sin, that we neglect our own progress and the attainment of such great blessings, because we will not detach ourselves from trifles.
Not only do we not advance, we fall back.
For it is well known, that on the spiritual road, not to go on, overcoming self, is to go backwards and not to increase our gain, is to lose.
As wood can never be transformed into fire, if one necessary degree of heat is missing, so the soul, that has even one imperfection, can never be perfectly transformed in God.”on the spiritual road not to go on overcoming self - st john of the cross 23 july 2019.jpg

St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchas-wood-can-never-be-transformed-st-john-of-the-cross-24-july-2018 and 23 july 2019 -in-regard-to-matthew-12-50.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 July – “To love what God loves…”

One Minute Reflection – 23 July – Tuesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

“Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father, is my brother and sister and mother” … Matthew 12:50

REFLECTION – “To love what God loves is the logical thing for the one who is truly His lover, outside that wish, there are no desires of our own – or if there should be one, this is in conformity with His will, if this should not be so, then our will would not be united with His.   But if our will is really at one with His love, we shall want nothing that He does not want, we shall love nothing that He does not love and, having given ourselves up completely to His will, we shall not mind whatever He may send us, wherever He may place us.   And about everything that He may want of us, we shall not only feel unconcerned, we shall feel pleased.

I don’t know whether there’s any error in what I am saying. I submit myself to the one who understands about this.   I only say what I feel and that is, that I truly have no other wish than to love Him and everything else, I commend to Him.   May His will be done! Every day I become happier in my complete abandonment into His hands.”… St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) – Spanish Trappist monk – Spiritual writings 10/04/1938matthew 12 50 whoever does the will - but if our will - st rafael arnaiz baron 23 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, Your gift of faith, so that the praise we offer You, may ever yield it’s fruit from heaven.   Grant us the grace to love what You love and to spend our days in loving all that You lead us to.   May the prayers of Your angels and saints, offered on our behalf, be a consolation in our trials.  Holy Mother of God, pray for us, St Bridget of Sweden, Pray for us.   We make our prayer through Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.holy mother of god pray for us 23 july 2019


Our Morning Offering – 23 July – Gaelic Morning Offering

Our Morning Offering – 23 July – Tuesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Gaelic Morning Offering

I am bending my knee
in the eye of the Father
who created me.
In the eye of the Son
who purchased me.
In the eye of the Spirit,
who cleansed me.
In friendship and affection.
Through Your own Annointed One, O God,
bestow upon us fulfilment of our need,
Love toward God,
the affection of God,
the smile of God,
the grace of God,
the fear of God
and the will of God,
to do in the world of the Three,
as angels and saints
do in heaven.
Each shade and light,
each day and night,
each time in kindness,
give us Your Spirit,
Amenno 4 gaelic morning offering - 23 july 2019 i am bending my knee.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 23 July – Blessed Vasil Hopko (1904-1976) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 23 July – Blessed Vasil Hopko (1904-1976) Bishop and Martyr, Founded the Movement of Greek-Catholic Students and the Greek-Catholic Youth Union – also known as Basil, Professor, Writer – born on 21 April 1904 at Hrabské, Presovský kraj, eastern Slovakia and died on 23 June 1976 at Presov, Presovský kraj, Slovakia.   He was a Bishop of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church.  While in prison, in addition to the torture he received, he was given small doses of arsenic which caused a chronic poisoning, which was later verified by an analysis of his bones.  He was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II for his martyrdom under Communist basil hopko lg icon

Vasil’ Hopko was born on 21 April 1904 in Hrabské, a small village in eastern Slovakia. His father died when he was 1 year old, leaving his mother alone to care for the child. Vasil’s mother left for the United States in 1908 to find work, putting Vasil’ under the care of his grandfather.   When the boy was 7, he went to live with his uncle, Demeter Petrenko, a Greek-Catholic priest.

His uncle’s example awakened in Vasil’ a call to the priesthood and in 1923 he decided to enter the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov.   He was ordained a priest on 3 February 1929 and was entrusted with the pastoral care of the Greek-Catholic faithful in Prague. Here, he was involved in many different activities –  work with youth, the elderly, the unemployed and orphans.   Fr Vasil’ founded the Movement of Greek-Catholic Students and the Greek-Catholic Youth Union and contributed to the building of the city’s Greek-Catholic parish, becoming it’s priest.   It was also in Prague that, after 22 years, the young priest met his mother who had returned from the United States.

In 1936, Fr Vasil’ returned to Slovakia where he served as spiritual father in the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Presov.   In 1941, he was appointed as secretary of the Bishop’s Curia and he became professor of moral and pastoral theology at the Theological Faculty in Presov in 1943.   He also found free moments to write and publish various works and became the first editor of the magazine Blahovistnik (The Gospel Messenger).

After World War II, the Czechoslovakian Republic fell under a growing Soviet Bolshevik and atheist influence.   Foreseeing a systematic “Sovietization” and the resulting totalitarian-atheistic Marxism, Bishop Gojdic of Presov asked the Holy See for an Auxiliary Bishop to help him defend against the attacks on the Greek-Catholic faithful and the Church.   Fr Vasil’ became the newly-appointed Auxiliary Bishop and was ordained on 11 May 1947.   He helped the Bishop greatly, preparing the people for hard times on the basil hopko

Little by little the Czechoslovakian Communist Party prepared for the violent elimination of the Greek-Catholic Church in its nation.   On 28 April 1950, the Communists carried out their work of “liquidation” during the so-called “Council of Presov”, held without the presence of Bishops.   Here they declared that the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia no longer existed and that all its priests, faithful and churches were to be transferred over to the Orthodox Church.   Bishops Gojdic and Hopko were arrested.

Following the arrest, Bishop Hopko underwent drastic interrogation and torture so he would deny his faith and confess to fabricated accusations.   On 24 October 1951, after more than a year of cruel and diabolic interrogation, he was condemned by the State Court to 15 years in prison and a loss of all civil rights for 10 years.   While in prison, in addition to the torture he received, he was given small doses of arsenic which caused a chronic poisoning, which was later verified by an analysis of his basil hopko bishop

On 12 May 1964 he was released from prison for health reasons.   After years of mistreatment, the Bishop suffered from grave physical ailments and mental depression caused by the constant torture and inhuman treatment.   Notwithstanding all this, he continued to contribute actively to the resurgence of the Greek-Catholic Church.

On 13 June 1968, the renewal of the Greek-Catholic Church of Czechoslovakia was re-stabilised after 18 years of open persecution.   From 1968, Bishop Hopko began living in Presov, on 20 December 1968, Pope Paul VI confirmed his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop for all Greek-Catholic faithful in Czechoslovakia.   He carried out this responsibility with great care, encouraging the faithful and ordaining priests.

Bishop Hopko died on 23 July 1976 in Presov.   He made his own the words of Bishop Gojdic – “For me, it is not important if I die in the Bishop’s Palace or in prison, what matters is entering into Paradise”.

He was beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 14 September 2003 at basil hopko bodybl basil shrine

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of tthe Saints – 23 July

St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373) (Optional Memorial)

St Bridger’s Story:

Our Lady of Altino – read here:

St Anne of Constantinople
St Apollonius of Rome
Bl Vasil/Basil Hopko (1904-1976) Martyr
Bl Beaudoin of Beaumont
St Conan of Cornwall
Bl Emilio Arce Díez
St Eugene of Rome
St Herundo of Rome
Bl Jane of Orvieto
St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)

Bl Josep Sala Picó
Bl Juan de Luca
Bl Juan de Montesinos
Bl Leonard da Recanati
Bl Margarita de Maturana
Bl Pedro Ruiz de los Paños Angel
St Phocas the Gardener
St Primitiva of Rome
St Rasyphus of Macé
St Rasyphus of Rome
St Ravennus of Macé
St Redempta of Rome
St Romula of Rome
St Severus of Bizye
St Theophilus of Rome
St Trophimus of Rome
St Valerian of Cimiez
Bl Wojciech Gondek

Martyrs of Barcelona – 7 beati: Seven Christians, some lay people, some members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and some of the Franciscan Daughters of Mercy, who were martyred in two groups on the same day in the Spanish Civil War.
• Catalina Caldés Socías
• Francesc Mayol Oliver
• Miquel Pons Ramis
• Miquela Rul-Làn Ribot
• Pau Noguera Trías
• Prudència Canyelles Ginestà de Aguadé
• Simó Reynés Solivellas
23 July 1936 in Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Bulgaria: An unknown number of Christians killed for their faith during the 9th century war between the Greek Emperor Nicephorus and the Bulgars.

Martyrs of Carabanchel Bajo – 9 beati: A group of nine Passionist priests, brothers and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Anacario Benito Nozal
• Felipe Ruiz Fraile
• Felipe Valcobado Granado
• José Osés Sainz
• José Ruiz Martinez
• Julio Mediavilla Concejero
• Laurino Proaño Cuesta
• Manuel Pérez Jiménez
• Maurilio Macho Rodríguez
22 July 1936 in Carabanchel Bajo, Madrid, Spain. They were Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Horta – 10 beati: A lay woman and nine Minim nuns who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Ana Ballesta Gelmá
• Dolors Vilaseca Gallego
• Josefa Pilar García Solanas
• Josepa Panyella Doménech
• Lucrecia García Solanas
• Maria Montserrat Ors Molist
• Mercè Mestre Trinché
• Ramona Ors Torrents
• Teresa Ríus Casas
• Vicenta Jordá Martí
23 July 1936 at the Sant Genís dels Agudells highway, Horta, Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on
27 October 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyrs of Manzanares – 5 beati: Five Passionist clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Abilio Ramos y Ramos
• Epifanio Sierra Conde
• José Estalayo García
• Vicente Díez Tejerina
• Zacarías Fernández Crespo
They were shot on 23 July 1936 in Manzanares, Ciudad Real, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.