Posted in SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 29 July – “The teacher is here and is asking for you,”

Thought for the Day – 29 July – Monday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Martha, Gospel: John 11:19–27

Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death.   “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’   She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).

Scripture commentators point out that in writing his account of the raising of Lazarus, Saint John intends that we should see Martha’s words to Mary before Lazarus was raised, as a summons that every Christian must obey.   In her saying “The teacher is here and is asking for you,” Jesus is calling everyone of us to resurrection—now in baptismal faith, forever in sharing his victory over death.   And all of us, as well as these three friends, are in our own unique way, called to special friendship with him.

St Martha, Pray for Us!st martha pray for us 29 july 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 July – “I believe”

Quote/s of the Day – 29 July – Monday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Martha, Gospel: John 11:19–27

“I believe that you are the Christ”

John 11:27i-believe-that-you-athe-christ-st-martha-john-11-27-29-july-2018.jpg

“He died for us.
Why not live for Him?”

C S Lewishe-died-for-us-c-s-lewis-13-oct-2017-no2 (1).jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 July – “Lord, I believe”

One Minute Reflection – 29 July – Monday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Martha, Gospel: John 11:19–27

“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” … John 11:27

REFLECTION – “Christ went to raise Lazarus and the fame of that miracle was the immediate cause of His seizure and crucifixion (Jn 11,46)…   He felt that Lazarus was wakening to life at His own sacrifice, that He was descending into the grave which Lazarus left.   He felt that Lazarus was to live and He to die, the appearance of things was to be reversed, the feast was to be kept in Martha’s house (Jn 12,1f.) but the last passover of sorrow remained for Him.   And Jesus knew that this reverse was altogether voluntary with Him.   He had come down from His Father’s bosom to be an Atonement of blood for all sin and, thereby, to raise all believers from the grave, as He was then about to raise Lazarus and to raise them, not for a time, but for eternity…

Contemplating then the fullness of His purpose, while now going about a single act of mercy, He said to Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die.”   Let us take to ourselves these comfortable thoughts, both in the contemplation of our own death, or upon the death of our friends.   Wherever faith in Christ is, there is Christ Himself.   He said to Martha, “Believe thou this?”   Wherever there is a heart to answer, “Lord, I believe,” there Christ is present.   There our Lord vouchsafes to stand, though unseen—whether over the bed of death or over the grave, whether we ourselves are sinking, or those who are dear to us.   Blessed be his name! nothing can rob us of this consolation, we will be as certain, through His grace, that He is standing over us in love, as though we saw Him.   We will not, after our experience of Lazarus’s history, doubt an instant that He is thoughtful about us and that he stands at our side.” … Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, theologian – Sermon “ The Tears of Christ at the Grave of Lazarus ” PPS, vol. 3, no.10john 11-27 yes lord i believe - st martha - he had come down - bl john henry newman  29 july 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, Your Son graciously came as a guest to the home of St Martha and was the friend of her family. Martha in her sorrow was moved to declare her total faith in Him, grant we pray, that in our trials and sorrows, we too may prove our love for You.   By her prayers give us grace to serve Christ faithfully in our brethren and bring us to Your home in heaven.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, july 2017.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 29 July – Lord God Look Down upon Us!

Our Morning Offering – 29 July – Monday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Martha

Lord God Look Down upon Us!
(A Prayer for Workers)
By Pope Francis

Lord God look down upon us!
Look at this city, this island.
Look upon our families.
Lord, You were not without a job,
You were a carpenter,
You were happy.
Lord, we have no work.
The idols want to rob us of our dignity.
The unjust systems want to rob us of hope.
Lord, do not leave us on our own.
Help us to help each other;
so that we forget our selfishness a little
and feel in our heart the “we”,
the we of a people
who want to keep on going.
Lord Jesus, You were never out of work,
give us work and teach us to fight for work
and bless us all.
In the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.

*Prayer to the Lord at the conclusion of the meeting with workers (Cagliari, 22 September 2013)LORD GOD LOOK DOWN UPON US BY POPE FRANCIS A PRAYER FOR WORK 29 JULY 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 July – Blessed Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 29 July – Blessed Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099) Bishop, Pope, Abbot, Confessor – born Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was Pope from 12 March 1088 to his death in 1099.   Born at Lagery, France and died on 29 July 1099 in Rome, Italy of natural causes.Papst Urban II. / Gem.v.Zurbaran - Pope Urban II / Zurbaran / 163-/35 - Pape Urbain II / Peint. de Zurbaran

Urban II was a native of France.   He was a descendant of a noble family in Châtillon-sur-Marne.   Reims was the nearby cathedral school that Urban, at that time Eudes, began his studies at 1050, under St Bruno O.Cart. (c 1030 -1101), afterwards founder of the Carthusians.  Otho later became canon and archdeacon at Reims.

About 1070 he retired to Cluny and was professed there under the abbot St Hugh.   After holding the office of prior, he was sent by St Hugh to Rome as one of the monks asked for by Gregory VII.   Otho was of great assistance to Gregory in the difficult task of reforming the Church.   (2 images below are St Bruno with Pope Urban).Saint Bruno at the Feet of Pope Urban II Artwork by Eustache Le SueurFrancisco de Zurbarán - La visita de San Bruno y el Papa Urbano II

On 12 March, 1088, he was unanimously elected Bishop of Rome, taking the title of Urban II.   His first act was to proclaim his election to the world and to exhort the princes and bishops who had been loyal to Gregory to continue in their allegiance.   Urban declared his intention of following the policy and example of his great predecessor – “all that he rejected, I reject, what he condemned I condemn, what he loved I embrace, what he considered as Catholic, I confirm and approve”.bl urban II

Due to issue with the Normans, Urban was unable to stay in Rome.   He went to Sicily instead and Southern Italy.   There was also an antipope in Rome.   Eventually, the troops of pope and antipope met in a desperate encounter which lasted three days, with Urban’s troops winning and Urban returned to Rome.   Urban was again expelled from Rome by Emperor Henry IV.   For three years he was compelled to wander in exile about southern Italy.   He spent the time holding councils and improving the character of ecclesiastical discipline.

Urban also started dealing with a Crusade request during a council held at Piacenza.   The Eastern Emperor, Alexius I, had sent an embassy to the pope asking for help against the Seljuk Turks who were a serious menace to the Empire of Constantinople.   Urban succeeded in inducing many of those present to promise to help Alexius but no definite step was taken till a few months later, when he summoned the most famous of his councils, that at Clermont in Auvergne.   The council met in November, 1095 – thirteen archbishops, two hundred and twenty-five bishops and over ninety abbots answered the pope’s summons.   The synod met in the Church of Notre-Dame du Port and began by reiterating the Gregorian Decrees against simony, investiture and clerical marriage.council of clermont bl pope urban II.jpg

Thousands of nobles and knights had met together for the council.   It was decided that an army of horse and foot should march to rescue Jerusalem and the Churches of Asia from the Saracens.   A plenary indulgence was granted to all who should undertake the journey pro sola devotione and further to help the movement, the Truce of God was extended and the property of those who had taken the cross was to be looked upon as sacred.

Coming forth from the church the pope addressed the immense multitude.   He used his wonderful gifts of eloquence to the utmost, depicting the captivity of the Sacred City where Christ had suffered and diedArtgate_Fondazione_Cariplo_-_Hayez_Francesco,_Papa_Urbano_II_sulla_piazza_di_Clermont_predica_la_prima_crociata.jpg

“Let them turn their weapons dripping with the blood of their brothers against the enemy of the Christian Faith.   Let them, oppressors of orphans and widows, murderers and violators of churches, robbers of the property of others, vultures drawn by the scent of battle, let them hasten, if they love their souls, under their captain Christ to the rescue of Sion.”bl urban II statue.jpg

In October, 1098, the pope held a council at Bari with the intention of reconciling the Greeks and Latins on the question of the filioque “and from the Son”.   One hundred and eighty bishops attended, amongst whom was St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church.   The close of November saw the pope again in Rome; it was his final return to the city.   Here he held his last council in April, 1099.   Once more he raised his eloquent voice on behalf of the Crusades and many responded to his call.   On 15 July, 1099, Jerusalem fell before the attack of the crusaders but Urban did not live to hear the news.

He died in the house of Pierleone which had so often given him shelter.   His remains could not be buried in the Lateran because of the antipope’s followers who were still in the city but were conveyed to the crypt of St Peter’s where they were interred close to the tomb of Adrian I.   Guibert of Nogent asserts that miracles were wrought at the tomb of Urban, who appears as a saint in many of the Martyrologies.   Thus there seems to have been a cult of Urban II from the time of his death, though the feast (29 July) has never been extended to the Universal Church.

Amongst the figures painted in the apse of the oratory built by Calixtus II in the Lateran Palace is that of Urban II with the words sanctus Urbanus secundus beneath it.   The head is crowned by a square nimbus and the pope is represented at the feet of Our Lady.  The formal act of Beatification did not take place till the pontificate of Leo XIII.   The cause was introduced by Mgr Langenieux, Archbishop of Reims, in 1878 and after it had gone through the various stages the decision was given by Leo XIII on 14 July 1881.Bl_Urban_II2.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 29 July

St Martha (Memorial) – Sister of Saint Lazarus and Saint Mary of Bethany.   Friend of Jesus and hostess to Him in her house.   May have been part of an early mission to France.
St Martha:
More on St Martha here:

Chirsk-Pskov Icon of the Mother of God:
The Chirsk (Pskov) Icon of the Mother of God was initially in the Chirsk village church of the Pskov diocese. In a time of a deadly pestilence, tears flowed from the eyes of the Chirsk Icon of the Mother of God. This was reported to authorities in the city of Pskov. Priests and devout men carried the wonder-working icon to Pskov. A procession was held to honour the icon, which was placed in the cathedral church of the Holy Trinity.
On the reverse of the icon are depicted the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke and St Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.

St Antony
St Beatrix of Rome
Bl Beatrix of Valfleury
St Callinicus of Paphlagonia
Bl Charles-Antoine-Nicolas Ancel
St Faustinus of Rome
St Faustinus of Spello
St Felix of Rome
St John Baptist Luo Tingyin
St John the Soldier
Bl José Calasanz Marqués
St Joseph Zhang
St Kilian of Inishcaltra
St Lek Sirdani
Bl Luis Bertran
St Lupus of Troyes
Bl Mancius of the Cross
St Martha Wang
St Olaf II
St Olaus of Sweden
St Paulus Chen Changpin
Bl Petrus of Saint Mary
St Pjetër Çuni
St Prosper of Orleans
St Rufo of Rome
St Seraphina
St Serapia of Syria
St Simplicius of Rome
St Sulian
Bl Pope Urban II (c 1035-1099)
St William of Saint Brieuc

Four Anonymous Martyrs

Martyrs of Calanda – 8 beati: A group of Dominican priests and friars who were martyred over the course of a day in the same town by the same group of anti-Christian forces in the Spanish Civil War.
• Antonio Manuel López Couceiro
• Felicísimo Díez González
• Gumersindo Soto Barros
• Lamberto María de Navascués de Juan
• Lucio Martínez Mancebo
• Matías Manuel Albert Ginés
• Saturio Rey Robles
• Tirso Manrique Melero
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Calanda, Teruel, Spain and Beatified on 11 March 2001 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Lleida – 12 beati: Carmelites of the Ancient Observance novices, friars and priests who were all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Àngel Prat Hostench
• Eliseo Maneus Besalduch
• Gabriel Escoto Ruiz
• Ginés Garre Egea
• Joan Maria Puigmitjà Rubió
• Joan Prat Colldecarrera
• Josep Solé Rovira
• Lluis Fontdecava Quiroga
• Manuel Serrano Buj
• Miquel Soler Sala
• Pere Dorca Coromina
• Pere Ferrer Marín
They were martyred on 29 July 1936 in Clot dels Aubens, Cervera, Lleida, Spain and Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Bartolomé Rodríguez Soria

Martyrs of Rome – 23 saints
Flora the Martyr