Novena to St Anne – Day Nine – 25 July

Novena to St Anne – Day Nine – 25 July

Reflections by:
By Fr Daniel A Lord, SJ


All her life Anne lived in the obscure town of Nazareth.   All her days were spent in a tiny house, a home of common people.

Her ancestors might have lived in the royal palaces of David and of his descendants.   It was Anne’s destiny to know no palaces, to be content with a cottage that was made beautiful chiefly by the love that filled it.   But Anne was great.   A thousand, thousand churches are built to her name.

A thousand schools and hospitals are erected under her patronage.

Pilgrims by the millions pour every year into her shrines, kneeling before her altars and begging her to remember them to God.

Unknown in her own day, she is now known across the world.

Having lived during her lifetime in a little cottage, she is now honoured by great buildings of the world.   From her mansion in heaven she looks down to see once more how the buildings that bear her name shelter the Son of God, house the shrines of Mary, His Mother and serve for the peace and strength of God’s sons and daughters of every generation.

To her who was honoured on earth and is enthroned in heaven 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.


Good St Anne,
I have reached the end of this novena in your honour.
I have asked and ask again.
Good mother, let not your kind ear grow weary of my prayers,
though I repeat them so often.
Bounteous Lady,
implore for me from divine Providence
all the help I need through life.
May your generous hand bestow on me
the material means to satisfy my own needs
and to alleviate the plight of the poor.
Good St Anne,
fortify me by the sacraments of the Church
at the hour of my death.
Admit me into the company of the blessed
in the kingdom of heaven,
where I may praise and thank the adorable Trinity,
your grandson Christ Jesus,
your glorious daughter Mary
and yourself, dear St Anne,
through endless ages.
Amenday nine st anne novena - 25 july 2019


Thought for the Day – 25 July – Being Christ-bearers!

Thought for the Day – 25 July – Memorial of St Christopher (died C 251) Martyr

There is a beloved saint whose image can be found inside of cars, on the walls of churches and around the necks of safety-seeking travellers.   His most prevalent image is that of a tall, formidable man who wades across an unruly river.   Wooden staff firmly in hand, his face is often strained, looking upward to the sweet-faced child resting on his oversized shoulders.

He is referenced in literature:   “A Cristofre on his breast of silver shene…,” Chaucer wrote in The Canterbury Tales and in film, such as 2005’s Crash in which a habitual car thief uses his trusty Saint Christopher medal as a good-luck charm.

Saint Christopher—patron of travellers, protector against toothaches, hailstorms and sudden death—is one of the most endearing for Catholics.   His life and story, bordering somewhere between legend and legitimacy, is a complex, faith-affirming exercise in service, grace and love.

A picture of Saint Christopher was found in a monastery on Mount Sinai dating from the time of Justinian (527-565).   His image was cast on coins in Württemberg and Bohemia and his statues could be found on bridges, imparting safety to their many travellers.

Christopher’s woodcarvings and paintings were hung on the walls of many European churches, often accompanied by the inscription, “Whoever shall behold the image of Saint Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day.”

Further proof of his early popularity, Saint Christopher was included as someone invoked against an assortment of hardships.   He was also chosen as the patron of Baden, Brunswick and Mecklenburg and is one of the efficacious saints, The Fourteen Holy Helpers.

And that popularity never wavered.   Even somewhat recently, organisations such as “The Christophers,” founded by Father John Keller, M.M. in 1945, are named after him. The Christophers’ purpose is to encourage all individuals to celebrate “their abilities and use them to raise the standards in all phases of human endeavour.”   It’s a fitting principle.

Despite Saint Christopher’s long-lasting influence, aspects of his life are shrouded in myth and in legend.   But his popularity, regardless of overwhelming uncertainty, is unmistakable.   We love him and trust in his intercession!

Christopher has proven his resilience, growing in popularity over the centuries and withstanding suspicious historians who have questioned his validity.

For many, Saint Christopher reminds us that, in our own way, we carry Christ on our shoulders and in our hearts, across mighty rivers. 

 These mighty rivers of our lives!

St Christopher, Pray for us!st christopher pray for us 25 july 2019.jpg

Partially Excerpted – Christopher Heffron, St Anthony Messenger

Quote of the Day – 25 July -Learning from St James

Quote of the Day – 25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle

“…we can learn much from St James – promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when He asks us to leave the “boat” of our human securities, enthusiasm in following Him on the paths that He indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to Him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life.

Thus James the Greater stands before us as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ.   He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in His Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles.

And, in the end, summarising everything, we can say that the journey, not only exterior but above all interior, from the mount of the Transfiguration to the mount of the Agony, symbolises the entire pilgrimage of Christian life, among the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God, as the Second Vatican Council says.   In following Jesus, like St James, we know that even in difficulties we are on the right path.”

Pope Benedict XVI

General Audience, June 21, 2006we-can-learn-much-from-st-james-pope-benedict-25 july 2017 and 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” 

One Minute Reflection – 25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle, Gospel: Matthew 20:20–28

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.   Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”   They said to him, “We can.”……Matthew 20:28matthew-20-28 - you do not know what you are asking, can you drink - st james 25 july 2017 and 2019.jpg

REFLECTION“Christ laid down His life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1Jn 3,16)…   Jesus said to Peter: “When you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted but when you grow old …  someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go…” (Jn 21,18).   It was the Cross, the Passion, He promised him.   “Go even so far as to pasture my sheep, suffer for my sheep.” This is what a good bishop is to be like.   If he is not, he is no bishop…

Now listen to this other testimony.   Two of His disciples, the brothers John and James who were sons of Zebedee, were ambitious for the first place without consideration for the others…   Our Lord answered them:   “You do not know what you are asking”, for he added:   “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?”   What cup is this if not that… of the Passion?…   And they, forgetting their weakness, immediately said:   “We can”.   Then He said to them:   “My cup you will indeed drink.   But to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father”…   In this way He gave proof of His humility for, in fact, everything the Father prepares is prepared, too, for the Son…   He came in humility – He, the Creator, was created amongst us,   He made us but He was made for us.   God before time began, man in time, He delivered man from time.   This great physician has come to heal our cancer… by His example, He has come to heal pride itself.he came in humility, he the creator - st augustine - 25 july 2019 .jpg

This is what we must give our attention to, in the Lord – let us consider His humility, drink the cup of His humility, clasp Him, contemplate Him.   How easy it is to have elevated thoughts, easy to take pleasure in honours, easy to give one’s ear to flatterers and people who praise us.   But to bear with insult, patiently undergo humiliation, pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5,39.44) – that is the Lord’s cup, that is the Lord’s feast.“… Saint Augustine (354-430) FathEr & Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the ordination of a bishop, Guelferbytanus no.32but to bear with insult, patiently undergo augustine-feast of st james 25 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, who consecrated the first fruits of Your Apostles by the blood of Saint James, grant, we pray, that Your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith and constantly sustained by his protection.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.   St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us!   Amenst-james-pray-for-us-25-july 2017 and 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 25 July – Christ-Bearers!

Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)

The Christopher Prayer

Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ bearers,
that in seeing us
only He is visible.


Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint Christopher (Died c 251) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint Christopher (Died c 251) Martyr and “Christ-Bearer” – Born at Canaan as Offero and Martyred in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman Emperor Decius (reigned 249–251) – Additional Memorials – 9 March (Greek calendar), 9 May (some Eastern calendars), 16 November (Cuba), 10 July (some areas of Spain).   Also known as Christobal, Christoval, Cristobal, Kester, Kitt, Kitts, Offero Patronages – against bad dreams, epileptics; against epilepsy, against floods, against hailstorms, against lightning, against pestilence, against storms, against sudden death, against toothache, Air Forces, archers, motorists, bachelors,bookbinders, bus drivers, taxi drivers, civil aeronautics, fruit dealers, fullers, gardener, of a holy death, truck drivers, mariners, sailors, market carriers, mountain climbers, porters, relief from pestilence, transportation, transportation workers, travellers, travellers in the mountains, Saint Christopher’s Island, Saint Kitts, 13 cities.Borgianni-Orazio-St-Christopher-carrying-the-infant-Christ-c1598-1602-oil-on-canvas-Museo-del-Prado-Madrid.jpg

He was a man of many names, Offero being one of them.   Born in the third century in Asia Minor, son of a king, he would grow to be a restless young man of considerable size. The early years of his life were spent in search of riches, of purpose, of a cause worthy of his allegiance.saint-christopher-carrying-the-christ-child-mateo-cerezo.jpg

As the story goes, a young Offero, looking for the strongest and boldest ruler to follow, briefly courted Satan.   When his new master cowered in fear at a holy cross on the side of a road, Offero abandoned Satan, choosing light over darkness.   During this period of transition, a holy hermit awakened the restless wanderer to Christianity, schooling and baptising him.   From then on, Offero pledged his life to Christ and vowed to serve God’s people along the banks of an untamed river.   So he built a hut and set up camp with a new purpose—to be a boatman to the christopher 5.jpg

His popularity was solidified when a small child once approached him, wanting safe passage across the water.   He hoisted the boy on his shoulders and, with his trusty staff, began the journey.   As the river deepened, the child began to grow heavier.   Waters quickly rising, the precious cargo continued to weigh the giant down.   As he reached the banks of the river, Offero said, “Child, thou hast put me in great peril, thou weighest almost as if I had all the world upon me – I might bear no greater burden.”

“Christopher,” the little boy responded, “thou hast not only borne all the world upon thee but thou hast borne Him that created and made all the world, upon thy shoulders.”

The child instructed Christopher (meaning “Christbearer”) to cross the river again and plant his staff in the ground, telling the ferryman that life would spring forth.   To Christopher’s astonishment, by morning his staff had taken root—bright flowers and fruit grew from christopher.jpg

The rest of Christopher’s life is even sketchier in detail.   One legend states that many in the immediate area converted to Christianity based on his encounter, which drew unwanted attention.   In Lycia—present-day Turkey—under Emperor Decius, he was imprisoned, shot with arrows, burned and then beheaded around 251.

st christopher and st peter
St Christopher and St Peter

Though the life of this mighty martyr was later questioned by historians, Saint Christopher’s story and his worldwide appeal have proven invulnerable.   Amen and alleluia, glory be to God!st christopher lg


Feast of St James the Greater and Memorials of the Saints – 25 July

St James the Greater (Feast) – Son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of Saint John the Apostle. He is called “the Greater” simply because he became an Apostle before Saint James the Lesser.

St James:

Bl Alexius Worstius
Bl Antonio Lucci OFM.Conv. (1682-1752) Bishop of Bovino

Blessed Antonio’s Biography:

Bl Antonio of Olmedo
St Bantu of Trier
St Beatus of Trier
St Christopher (died c 251) Martyr – One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – read more about them here:

St Cugat del Valles
Bl Darío Acosta Zurita
St Ebrulfus
St Euphrasia
St Fagildo of Santiago
St Felix of Furcona
St Florentius of Furcona
St Glodesind of Metz
St Magnericus of Trier
Bl Michel-Louis Brulard
Bl Mieczyslawa Kowalska
St Mordeyren
St Nissen of Wexford
St Olympiad of Constantinople
St Paul of Palestine
Bl Pietro Corradini of Mogliano
St Theodemir of Cordoba

Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the pesecutions of emperor Maximilian and governor Firmilian – Paul, Tea and Valentina. 309 in Caesarea, Palestine.

Martyrs of Cuncolim – 20 saints: On 15 July 1583 the group met at the church of Orlim, and hiked to Cuncolim to erect a cross and choose land for a new church. Local anti-Christian pagans, seeing the unarmed Christians, gathered their weapons and marched on them. One of the parishioners, a Portuguese emigre named Gonçalo Rodrigues, carried a firearm, but Father Alphonsus Pacheco stopped him from using it. The pagans then fell upon them, and killed them all without mercy. They were –
• Alphonsus Pacheco
• Alphonsus the altar boy
• Anthony Francis
• Dominic of Cuncolim
• Francis Aranha
• Francis Rodrigues
• Gonçalo Rodrigues
• Paul da Costa
• Peter Berno
• Rudolph Acquaviva
• ten other native Christian converts whose names have not come down to us
They were martyred on Monday 25 July 1583 at the village of Cuncolim, district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India. Beatified on 30 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.

Martyrs of Motril – 5 beati: Four priests and a brother, all members of the Augustinian Recollects, who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Deogracias Palacios del Río
• José Rada Royo
• José Ricardo Díez Rodríguez
• Julián Benigno Moreno y Moreno
• León Inchausti Minteguía
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Motril, Granada, Spain and Beatified on 7 March 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Toledo – 4 beati: Four brothers and a priest, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Carlos Rubio álvarez
• Eloy Francisco Felipe Delgado Pastor
• Jerónimo Ochoa Urdangarín
• Primo Martínez De San Vicente Castillo
25 July 1936 in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain. They were Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Urda – 3 beati: Three members of the Passionists who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Benito Solana Ruiz
• Felix Ugalde Irurzun
• Pedro Largo Redondo
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Urdá, Toledo, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.