Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 August – What is a Christian saint, if not one who lives a life of love, first to God and then to man?

Thought for the Day – 5 August – Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Saint Oswald of Northumbria (c 604-642) Martyr and King

What is a Christian saint, if not one, who lives a life of love,
first to God and then to man?

King Oswald was a man of prayer and this must have been quite unusual among kings of his day.   He used to get up very early in the morning to pray in the hour before dawn. St Bede tells us, he prayed so much that whenever he sat down, his hands naturally rested on his knees in an upturned gesture of prayer and thanksgiving.   St Bede also tells us, that his last conscious thought was prayer for his soldiers, for as he fell in battle he said, “God have mercy on their souls.”

Oswald was a man of compassion.   One of the best-known stories describes how one Easter, when he was about to dine with Bishop Aidan, a great crowd of the poor came begging alms.   The king gave them not only the food but also the silver dish, to be broken up and distributed among them.   St Aidan was so moved by this generosity, that he grasped the king’s right hand and exclaimed, “May this hand never perish!” (And Bede tells us that it didn’t, for in his day the king’s hand, which had been severed in his last battle, was preserved in Bamburgh church!)

So great was Oswald’s compassion for the sick, that even the earth on which he died, passed on its blessing in healing, so people said and not to human beings only.   One day a horseman was riding near this place when his horse began to feel great pain, it rolled in agony on the ground, apparently dying, until it happened to roll over the spot where Oswald had died.   Then it was immediately cured.   lt’s owner told the story at the nearest inn and the people there decided to take a paralysed girl to the same spot.   She was cured too.   Then people began to take earth from this spot to put into water for the sick to drink.   So much earth was removed that it left a pit large enough for a man to stand in, says Bede.   Further, when Oswald’s niece wished to have his the remains of his body buried at Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire, the monks there were at first reluctant to accept it, as they looked upon the Northumbrian overlords as no friends of theirs.   But a light from the coffin at night persuaded them to take it in and when they washed the bones and poured away the water, they found that the ground into which it had sunk had power to heal.

Bede gives us more stories.   A sick man in fear for his salvation drank water which contained a chip of the stake on which Oswald’s head had been spiked, the man got better and reformed his life.   A little boy at Bardney was cured of a fever by sitting by Oswald’s tomb.   Power to heal was claimed also for pieces of the cross which had been set up at his first victorious battle and moss from this cross was said to have healed a broken arm.   A plague in Sussex was stopped by Oswald’s intercession and, even in distant Germany, Archbishop St Willibrord (c 658–739) – originally from Northumbria himself – recounted to St Wilfrid, tales of miracles worked by some of Oswald’s relics.

Bede finds it not surprising, in view of the devotion and compassion shown by Oswald in his life.   Ordinary people of the time found it not surprising, for they thought that a good and powerful man was the same man after death but nearer to the source of goodness and power.

History can tell us of King Oswald, one of the most powerful of all the northern kings, skilful in both war and diplomacy.   Such men do not find it simple to be Christian, beset as they are by all the difficult decisions and ambiguities that face any man who wields great earthly power.   How much easier to be a Christian bishop than a Christian king! But Bede’s story invites us to see in Oswald more than the king – to see the saint who gave his life to God and the martyr who gave his death and, who therefore, in life or after death, could be called on with confidence by those in need.

St Oswald, Pray for Us!st oswald of northumbria pray for us 5 aug 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – “Hail Mary”

Quote/s of the Day – 5 August – Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major

Rejoice, O highly favoured daughter!
The Lord is with thee.

Luke 1:28luke 1 28 rejoice o highly favoured daughter the lord is with thee 5 aug 2019

“The salvation of the whole world
began with the “Hail Mary.”
Hence, the salvation of each person
is also attached to this prayer.”

St Louise Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)the-salvation-of-the-whole-world-st-louis-de-montfort.5 aug 2017 and 2019jpg


One Minute Reflection – 5 August – ‘Living communion with Christ is…’

One Minute Reflection – 5 August – Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21 and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed,, and broke and gave the loaves” … Matthew 14:19

REFLECTION – “Jesus loves us so much and wants to be close to us and looks after those who follow Him.   The Lord meets the needs of mankind but wants to render each one of us, a concrete participant in His compassion.
Now let us pause on this, Jesus’ gesture of blessing: “taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke and gave the loaves” (v. 19).   As you see, they are the same signs that Jesus performed at the Last Supper and they are also the same gestures, that each priest performs when he celebrates the Holy Eucharist.   The Christian community is born and reborn continually from this Eucharistic communion. Living communion with Christ is, therefore, anything but being passive and detached from daily life, on the contrary, it includes us more and more in the relationship with the men and women of our time, in order to offer them the concrete sign of mercy and of the attention of Christ.
Jesus wants to reach everyone, in order to bring God’s love to all.” … Pope Francis (General Audience, 17 August 2016)matthew 14 19 he looked up to heaven - the christian community is born and reburn - pope francis 5 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Forgive the sins of Your people Lord and since of ourselves, we are unable to do what pleases You, lead us on the way of salvation in Your divine Son who lives in us and gives us life.   May the prayers of Mary, His Mother help us to constantly meditate on His eternal sustenance.   He is our food, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.blessed-virgin-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-5-aug-2018 and 5 aug 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Maiden yet a Mother

Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major

Maiden yet a Mother
By Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
Tr Msgr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)

Maiden yet a mother,
daughter of thy Son,
high beyond all other,
lowlier is none;
thou the consummation
planned by God’s decree,
when our lost creation
nobler rose in thee!

Thus His place prepared,
he who all things made
‘mid his creatures tarried,
in thy bosom laid;
there His love He nourished,
warmth that gave increase
to the root whence flourished
our eternal peace.

Nor alone thou hearest
When thy name we hail;
Often thou art nearest
When our voices fail;
Mirrored in thy fashion
All creation’s gird,
Mercy, might compassion
Grace thy womanhood.

Lady, let our vision
Striving heavenward, fail,
Still let thy petition
With thy Son prevail,
Unto whom all merit,
prayer and majesty,
With the Holy Spirit
And the Father be.

Maiden Yet A Mother is a translation of a poem by Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri (c 1265–1321).   It is based upon the opening verses of Canto 33 of the Paradiso from his Divine Comedy in which St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) praises and prays to the Virgin Mother on behalf of Dante.   It was translated from the original Italian into English by the Catholic convert, Monsignior Ronald A Knox (1888-1957).   It is one of the Marian Hymns in the Breviary.maiden-yet-a-mother-dante-10-dec-2017 and 5 aug 2019 - dedication of st mary major.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Oswald of Northumbria (c 604-642) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Saint Oswald of Northumbria (c 604-642) Martyr and King, apostle of prayer and charity, diplomat – born in c 604 in Northumbria, England and was killed in battle with invading pagan Welsh and Mercian forces on 5 August 642 at Maserfield, Shropshire, England.   Patronage – Zug, oswald header king of northumbria art.jpg

St Oswald was the son of Ethelfrith, king of Northumbria.   When Edwin seized the kingdom in 616, he fled to Scotland with his family and became a Christian at Iona. When Edwin died in 633, the royal exiles returned to Northumbria.   Oswald’s brothers, Osric and Eanfrid, were killed by the tyrannical British king Cadwalla.   Subsequently, Oswald, at the head of a small army (possibly with the aid of allies from the north, the Scots and/or the Picts, met Cadwallon in battle at Heavenfield, near Hexham.   Before the battle, Oswald had a wooden cross erected, he knelt down, holding the cross in position until enough earth had been thrown in the hole to make it stand firm.   He then prayed and asked his army to join in.

Adomnán in his Life of Saint Columba offers a longer account, which Abbot Ségéne had heard from Oswald himself.   Oswald, he says, had a vision of Columba the night before the battle, in which he was told:

“Be strong and act manfully. Behold, I will be with thee.   This coming night go out from your camp into battle, for the Lord has granted me that at this time, your foes shall be put to flight and Cadwallon your enemy shall be delivered into your hands and you shall return victorious after battle and reign happily.’

Oswald described his vision to his council and all agreed that they would be baptised and accept Christianity after the battle.   In the battle that followed, the British were routed despite their superior numbers; Cadwallon himself was killed.beautiful glass st oswald of northumbria.jpg

When peace was restored, he sent for a bishop to preach the Gospel.   The first man who came was critical and strict and made no headway.   He was soon replaced by the kindly St Aidan of Lindisfarne (c 590-651).   Oswald interpreted his sermons and gave him the island of Lindisfarne for a monastery and episcopal seat near the royal residence of Bamburgh.  As this was not far from 0swald’s main “palace” at Bamburgh, the king and the new bishop could work together for the conversion of the people.

Under St Oswald’s rule peace was restored in Northumbria and good relations developed with the Anglo Saxon kings.   He married Cyneburga, daughter of the King of Wessex.   But his reign did not last long.   After only eight years St Oswald was killed by the pagan king Penda of Mercia at the battle of Maserfield.   He was just 38.   As he was dying, he prayed for the souls of his bodyguards who died with him.   His body was dismembered and sacrificed to the god Woden in a pagan ritual.

Like all Anglo-Saxon kings Oswald was a warrior.   Like other kings he expected to die on the battlefield and so indeed in the end he did.   But unlike other kings, before he died Oswald had won for himself the reputation of being a saint and his death in battle against Penda the heathen king of Mercia was seen as a martyr’s oswald icon.jpg

His remains and relics were moved many times around the country.   His skull was said to have been discovered in the tomb of St Cuthbert in 1827.   Many miracles were attributed to them.   Seventy churches are dedicated to him in England and there are many in Portugal, Bohemia, Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.   St Oswald was celebrated for his heroism, his generosity and his piety.saint_oswald_of_northumbria_by_rowanlewgalon_d6hckuq-fullview.jpg


Dedication of St Mary Major/Our Lady of the Snow and Memorials of the Saints – 5 August

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major/Our Lady of the Snow (Optional Memorial)

Our Lady of Copacabana:  A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary standing four feet tall, made of plaster and maguey fibre and created by Francisco Tito Yupanqui.   Except for the face and hands, it is covered in gold leaf, dressed like an Inca princess, and has jewels on neck, hands and ears.   There is no record of what the image looks like under the robes, the carved hair has been covered by a wig, and the image never leaves the basilica.   On 21 February 1583 it was enthroned in an adobe church on the peninsula of Copacabana, which juts into Lake Titicaca nearly 3 miles above sea level. In 1669 the viceroy of Peru added a straw basket and baton to the statue, which she still holds today.   The present shrine dates from 1805.   The image was crowned during the reign of Pope Pius XI, and its sanctuary was promoted to a basilica in 1949.   It has been the recipient of many expensive gifts over the years, most of which were looted by civil authorities in need of quick cash.
Patronage – Bolivia, Bolivian navy.

St Abel of Rheims
St Addai
St Aggai of Edessa
Bl Arnaldo Pons
St Cantidianus
St Cantidius
St Cassian of Autun
St Casto of Teano
Bl Corrado of Laodicea
St Emidius of Ascoli Piceno
St Eusignius
St Gormeal of Ardoilen
Bl James Gerius
St Margaret the Barefooted
St Mari
St Memmius of Châlons-sur-Marne
St Nonna
St Oswald of Northumbria (604-642) Martyr
St Paris of Teano
Bl Pierre-Michel Noël
St Sobel
St Theodoric of Cambrai-Arras
St Venantius of Viviers
St Viator

Martyrs of Fuente la Higuera: A group of Augustinian priests and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. 5 August 1936 in Fuente la Higuera, Valencia, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
10 Beati:
• Anastasio Díez García
• Ángel Pérez Santos
• Cipriano Polo García
• Emilio Camino Noval
• Felipe Barba Chamorro
• Gabino Olaso Zabala
• Luciano Ramos Villafruela
• Luis Blanco Álvarez
• Ubaldo Revilla Rodríguez
• Victor Gaitero González

Martyrs of the Salarian Way: Twenty-three Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian.
303 on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Eduardo González Santo Domingo
Bl Jaume Codina Casellas
Bl José Trallero Lou
Bl Lluís Domingo Mariné
Bl Manuel Moreno Martínez
Bl Maximino Fernández Marinas
Bl Victor García Ceballos