Thought for the Day – 15 August -You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Thought for the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

You have Borne for us the Clothing of Immortality

Saint John Damascene (675-749)
Priest and Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Homily 9 – On the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“Once indeed God ejected the mortals and first parents of the human race from the paradise of Eden, when they had drunk deeply, from the wine of disobedience and had become so affected by the hangover of sin, through the intoxication of that transgression, which led to the sleepiness of the mind’s eye.   Now, however, shall not paradise receive her who repelled the onslaught of all sin, producing the seed of obedience to God and Father and bringing forth life, for all races of mortal men?   How can death devour this truly blessed woman, who gave birth to the whole person of the Word of God through union with God?   How can hell receive her?   When Christ, who is the way and the truth, said Where I am, there will my servant be also, why would there not be a dwelling for His own mother with Him with an even greater justification?   It is well said that precious in the sight of the Lord God of Hosts, is the death of His saints but even more precious, is the passing of the Mother of God from this life.

Then Adam and Eve, the founders of our race, exclaimed with a loud voice in great rejoicing: “Blessed are you, O daughter, who bore for us the penalties of the commands that had been broken.   When you had gained a mortal body from us, you gave birth to a covering of immortality for us.   You repaid us so that it might be well with us, since you received birth from our loins.   From beyond the grave you have called us back to our ancient seat, we closed paradise for ourselves but you made open the way of the tree of life.   Through our actions, sadness came forth from happiness, through you even more joyful things have returned from sorrow.   In what possible way could you be acceptable to death, O Immaculate one?   You are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven, you are a boat over the sea of death reaching to immortality.

But the woman herself, as she did not shrink from the truth, said: “Into Your hands, my Son, I commend my spirit.   Receive this soul which is dear to You, which You have preserved free from any sin.   I hand over my body, not to the earth but to You.   Take me to Yourself, that where You are, You, the child of my womb, so there I also may be Your companion.   I am hastening to You, who have often come to me on this side of that long distance.”

When she had said this, she heard in reply:   “Come to my rest, my blessed Mother, arise, come, my beloved, most blessed among all women.   Behold, the winter is ended.   You are all fair, my beloved and there is no spot of stain found in you, the odour of your ointments are more precious than all other aromas.”you are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven 15 aug 2019 assumption.jpg


There is an invocation in a Litany to Our Lord in which we ask: ut ad celestia desideria erigas, te rogamus, audi nos – that our souls be raised to the desire for celestial things, we pray Thee, hear us.   This invocation should be the conclusion of our meditation on the Assumption of Our Lady.   We should ask, that we may love the celestial happiness of Our Lady, to give her glory and that we may one day be with her in Paradise.   We should also love and meditate on her joys, as a way to accept with peace and resignation the sorrows and sufferings God sends us, so that we might prove our love for Him.

Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, Pray for Us!our lady assumed into heaven pray for us 15 aug 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 15 August – On the Assumption

Quote of the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

“In the bodily and spiritual glory
which she possesses in heaven,
the Mother of Jesus,
continues in this present world
as the image and first flowering of the Church,
as she is to be perfected in the world to come.
Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth,
until the day of the Lord shall come (cf 2 Peter 3:10),
as a sign of certain hope
and comfort for the pilgrim People of God.”

Lumen Gentiumlumen gentium no 68 on the assumption in the bodily and spiritual glory 15 aug 2019.jpg

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #68.

“While she lived on this earth
she could only be close to a few people.
Being in God, who is close to us,
actually, “within” all of us,
Mary shares in this closeness of God.
Being in God and with God,
she is close to each one of us,
knows our hearts, can hear our prayers,
can help us with her motherly kindness
and has been given to us,
as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother”
to whom we can turn at every moment.”

Pope Benedict XVIwhile she lived on earth - pope benedict assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

“As soon as we apprehend by faith,
the great fundamental truth, that Mary is the Mother of God,
other wonderful truths follow in its train and one of these, is that,
she was exempt from the ordinary lot of mortals,
which is not only to die but to become earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Bl John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890)as-soon-as-we-apprehend-by-faith-bl-john-henry-19-aug-2018 and 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 15 August – My soul glorifies the Lord!

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, Gospel:  Luke 1:39–56

My soul glorifies the Lord ... Luke 1:46luke 1 46 my soul glorifies the lord - assumption 15 aug 2019

REFLECTION – “We heard the Song of Mary, the Magnificat – it is the song of hope, it is the song of the People of God walking through history.   It is the song many saints, men and women, some famous and very many others unknown to us but known to God, mums, dads, catechists, missionaries, priests, sisters, young people, even children and grandparents – these have faced the struggle of life while carrying in their heart the hope of the little and the humble. Mary says, “My souls glorifies the Lord” – today, the Church too sings this in every part of the world.” … Pope Francis (Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August 2013)we hard the song of mary - pope francis - assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For He has blessed me lavishly
and makes me ready to respond.
He shatters my little world
and lets me be poor before Him.
He takes from me all my plans
and gives me more than I can hope for or ask.
He gives me opportunities
and the ability to become free
and to burst through my boundaries.
He gives the strength to be doing,
to build on Him alone,
for He shows Himself
as the ever greater One in my life.
He has made known to me this!
It is in my being servant that it becomes possible.
For God’s kingdom to break through
here and now.
A Magnificat
Translated from the German by Olga Warnke of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Marya magnificat - 9 feb 2018


Our Morning Offering – 15 August – The Ark Which God Has Sanctified

Our Morning Offering – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven

The Ark Which God Has Sanctified

The ark which God has sanctified,
Which He has filled with grace,
Within the temple of the Lord
Has found a resting-place.

More glorious than the seraphim,
This ark of love divine,
Corruption could not blemish her
Whom death could not confine.

God-bearing Mother, Virgin chaste,
Who shines in heaven’s sight;
She wears a royal crown of stars
Who is the door of Light.

To Father, Son and Spirit blest
may we give endless praise
With Mary, who is Queen of heaven,
Through everlasting days.

The Ark Which God Has Sanctified is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey.   In the Divine Office (1974) it is sung with Morning Prayer on 15 August, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   It is set to the 1836 tune – St Peter (Reinagle) by Alexander Robert Reinagle (1799-1877).the ark which god has sanctified - lauds hymn assumption 15 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 August – Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 15 August – Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr, Layman, Evangelist, Marian devotee especially of the Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Born in c 1887 at northeast Republic of the Congo and died on 15 August 1909 in Busira, équateur, Democratic Republic of isidore bakanja

Isidore Bakanja was born around 1887 in Bokendela in Belgian Congo and was evangelised by Belgian Trappist missionaries, receiving the Sacrament of Baptism at 18. He was a mild and honest young man who faithfully adhered to everything the missionaries taught him.   He carried a Rosary with him wherever he went and always wore “Mary’s Habit” (the Brown Scapular) underneath his clothing.

He was zealous in his faith and shared it with whomever would listen.   While he was not an official catechist, this did not stop his desire to spread the Gospel to all of creation.

He eventually left his village and moved to a larger city where there were more Catholics.   Bakanja sought work from a Belgian company and quickly discovered that they hated Catholicism as much as they despised the native African people.   He asked permission to go home and was immediately refused.

One of the agents especially did not like that Bakanja always tried to preach to his fellow workers.   He said, “You’ll have the whole village praying and no one will want to work.” The agent demanded that Bakanja throw away his scapular and when he refused to do so, the agent had him flogged.

The agent flogged him not once but twice and during the second flogging used a whip with nails at the end of it.   Bakanja received over 100 blows and it left him nearly dead. However, since an inspector was due to arrive the agent sent Bakanja away.   He was barely able to walk and hid himself by the side of the road until he saw the isidore martyrofthescapular

Horrified, the inspector later wrote about what he saw that day, “I saw a man come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies.”   The inspector prevented the agent from killing Bakanja but it was too late.

He survived for another six months but in total agony, praying each day and offering his suffering to God.   Bakanja told the missionaries who came to give him the Last Rites that he already forgave his attacker, promising prayers for his soul, “Certainly I shall pray for him.   When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.”

He died on 15 August 1909 with a rosary in his hand and wearing the Brown Scapular.

St Pope John Paul II Beatified him on 24 April 1994 and during his Beatification homily, he said:

“In an Africa that is sorely tried by ethnic strife, your shining example is an encouragement to harmony and reconciliation among the children of the same heavenly Father.   You showed brotherly love to all, without distinction of race or social class, you earned the esteem and respect of your companions, many of whom were not Christians. Thus you show us the necessary way of dialogue among men.”

Blessed Isidore, Martyr of the Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular, Pray for Africa, pray for us all!bl isidore bakanja icon lg.JPG


Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorials of the Saints – 15 August

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the US, however, in most countries of Africa, the Solemnity will celebrated on the Sunday following the 15th).   The feast celebrates the assumption of the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven upon her death.   According to Pope Benedict XIV, it is a probable opinion, which it is impious to deny, though not an article of faith but has since in 1950 has been raised to a DOGMA of the Faith.   The origin of the feast day is not known but it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500.   It is a holy day of obligation, its vigil being a fast day, in many English-speaking countries.   Among the many masters who have painted the subject of the Assumption are Fra Angelico, Ghirlandajo, Rubens, Del Sarto and Titian.
Patronages:  Acadians, Cajuns, Cistercian Order, Cistercians, fish dealers, fish-mongers, French air crews, harness makers, France, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Malta, Paraguay, Slovakia, east Africa (region of east Africa which includes diverse countries, proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII) South Africa (this is not a region but a country) and the Assumption is, therefore, the Patronal Feast of the Country of South Africa – proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII), 24 dioceses, 38 cities.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin:

St Alipius of Tagaste
Bl Alfred of Hildesheim
Bl Agustín Hurtado Soler
St Arduinus of Rimini
Bl Claudio Granzotto
Bl George Halley
Bl Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr
St Napoleon of Alexandria
Bl Pio Alberto del Corona
St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) Doctor of the Church in the Archdiocese of Milan.
Details of the life of St Simplician here:
St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr
About St Tarcisius:

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. No details survive but the names – Eutychian, Philip and Straton. They were martyred in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution: 4 Saints –
St David Roldán Lara
St Luis Batiz Sainz
St Manuel Moralez
St Salvador Lara Puente

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 Agustì Ibarra Angüela
• Blessed Carmelo Sastre y Sastre
• Blessed Clemente Vea Balaguer
• Blessed Francisco Míguez Fernández
• Blessed Ildefonso Alberto Flos
• Blessed Jaume Bonet Nadal
• Blessed Joan Ceró Cedó
• Blessed Josep Santonja Pinsach
• Blessed Juan Francisco Barahona Martín
• Blessed Juan Mesonero Huerta
• Blessed Luis Ros Ezcurra
• Blessed Manuel Formigo Giráldez
• Blessed Miguel Alberto Flos
• Blessed Sebastià Balcells Tonijuan
• Blessed Severiano Montes Fernández