Thought for the Day – 16 August – St Stephen’s letter to St Emeric

Thought for the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Step  hen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

At the turn of the second millenniu  m, St Stephen succeeded his father as leader of the Magyars in Hungary.   Looking to strengthen his authority, he determined to consolidate the state and extend Christianity throughout the land.   In 1001 he arranged to have Pope Sylvester II name him king of Hungary.   The pope obliged.   As an additional sign of support, Sylvester had a special crown fashioned for Stephen that has become world famous.

Stephen extended his control over Hungary by restricting the power of the nobles. By creating dioceses and establishing monasteries, Stephen strengthened the church and positioned it for expansion. Politically, he aggressively used his power to establish Christianity as Hungary’s religion. He ruthlessly abolished pagan customs, outlawing adultery and blasphemy.   Stephen ordered everyone to marry, except religiou, and forbade marriages between Christians and pagans.

But Stephen had a kinder, gentler side.   Like St Louis IX, he made himself accessible to his people.   He also took personal concern for the poor  . He used to walk the streets in disguise so he could give alms to needy people.   Once he barely escaped when some beggars beat and robbed him.   But he refused to stop the practice.   Stephen was a family man.   In 1015 he had married Gisela, the sister of emperor St Henry II. The couple had one son, Emeric, whom Stephen groomed as his successor.   In the following letter to his son, Stephen lays out his vision of what a Christian monarch must be.  His counsel remains a letter to us all.   For this and your intercession, we bless and thank you St Stephen!

“My dearest son, if you desire to honour the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession.   Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church.   Indeed, in the royal palace – after the faith itself – the Church holds second place, first propagated as she was by our head, Christ, then transplanted, firmly constituted and spread through the whole world by His members, the apostles and holy fathers.   And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient.

However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom, the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted and for that reason, she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians, lest a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly, should be destroyed and annihilated, through your idleness, indolence or neglect.

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness.   Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said:  “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”   Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful but also with the

Finally be strong, lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down.   Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next.   Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.   Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice.   Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily, bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust, like the pangs of

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.”

Sadly, Emeric died in a hunting accident, leaving Stephen no successor.

In 1038, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Stephen delivered his final words to leaders of the Church and state, telling them to protect and spread the Catholic faith.

To the Virgin Mary, the king directed one of his final prayers:
“To thee, O Queen of heaven
and to thy guardianship,
I commend the holy Church,
all the bishops and the clergy,
the whole kingdom, its rulers and inhabitants
but before all, I commend my soul to thy care.”

St Stephen of Hungary died on Aug. 15, 1038. He was buried alongside his son St Emeric and the two were Canonised together in 1083.

St Stephen the Great, King of Hungary, Pray for us!st-stephen-of-hungary-with prayer to mary pray-for-us-16-aug-2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 16 August – “We are ever but beginning…”

Quote of the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

“We are ever but beginning,
the most perfect Christian,
is to himself but a beginner,
a penitent prodigal
who has squandered God’s gifts
and comes to Him,
to be tried over again,
not as a son
but as a hired servant.”

Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)we are ever but beginning - bl john henry newman 16 aug 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 16 August – ‘And the two shall become one flesh’

One Minute Reflection – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 19:3–12 and The Memorial of St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

‘And the two shall become one flesh’ … Matthew 19:5

REFLECTION – “Lord our God,
look with kindness on N. and N.,
whom You have united in marriage,
and pour out Your blessings upon them,
may they be united in one love
as they progress together
towards one holiness of life.
May they rejoice to share in Your creative love
and bring up their children together.
May they live in justice and charity,
showing Your light to all who seek You.
May their household be ever open to the service of their brothers and sisters
and may they be always ready to answer to their needs.
May they be strengthened by the joys and sacrifices of their life together
and bear witness to the Gospel.
May they have a long life together, without misfortune or sickness
and may the work of both be blessed.
May they see their children grow up in peace
and enjoy the support of a happy family.
May they come at last, with all those who have gone before them,
to the dwelling where their love will last eternally.

N. and N. and all you who are present here,
may God the all-powerful bless you,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” … The Roman Missal – Ritual of Marriage : Solemn blessingmatthew 19 5 and the two shall become one flesh - lord our god - roman missal ritual of marriage blessing 16 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty Father, let Your light so penetrate our hearts and minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our teacher and our guide. Grant that the prayers of St Stephen of Hungary may continue to defend us, as he did in the world. Through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, stephen of hungary pray for us 16 aug 2019

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 August – May All I Do Today

Our Morning Offering – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

May All I Do Today
By Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

May all I do today begin with You, O Lord.
Plant dreams and hopes within my soul,
revive my tired spirit – be with me today.
May all I do today, continue with Your help, O Lord.
Be at my side and walk with me – be my support today.
May all I do today, reach far and wide, O Lord.
My thoughts , my work, my life –
make them blessings for Your Kingdom,
let them go beyond today.
O God, today is new unlike any other day,
for God makes each day different.
Today, God’s everyday grace falls on my soul
like abundant seed, though I may hardly see it.
Today is one of those days, Jesus promised to be with me,
a companion on my journey
and my life today,
if I trust Him, has consequences unseen.
My life has a purpose.
I have a mission.
I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
God has not created me for naught.
Therefore, I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am,
I can never be thrown away.
God does nothing in vain.
He knows what He is about.
Amen.may all i do today o lord - bl john henry newman 16 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O. Carm (1385-1438)

Saint of the Day – 16 August – Blessed Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O. Carm (1385-1438) was an Italian Priest and a professed member of the Carmelite order.   He was a noted preacher, prior and reformer, teacher of theology and was known for his pious devotion to the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Carmelite Rule of Life and to the profession of the Gospel.  Patronage – Preachers.

Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi was born in Florence in 1385 to Augustin Mazzinghi.

He entered the Carmelite order in 1413 and after he made his solemn profession was ordained to the priesthood.   He began to teach theological studies in both Florence and Frascati (in Rome) and was also a preacher in the former.   He was the first member of the reformed observance of Our Lady of the Wood and was made as the prior of several of the Carmelite houses.   He launched the reform of the convent of Santa Maria delle Salve and was appointed as the convent’s Prior from 1419 until 1430 and then once again in 1437.Bl angelo mazzinghi

Mazzinghi preached a series of Lenten retreats in Florence from 1431 and was to preach his final retreat in 1436 before he retired to a Carmelite convent.   On one particular occasion of preaching – according to fellow Carmelite Nicholas Calciuri – who was a witness of the miracle, roses and lilies poured from Angelo’s mouth, which two angels wove into a crown for the latter.

Angelo was known for his humble and pious demeanour as well as for his ardent devotion to both the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Before his death he retired to a Carmelite house where he spent the remainder of his life in contemplation and meditation.   Bl Angelo died on 17 August 1438 in Florence at the age of 53.    He was buried in Santa Maria del Carmine but his relics were moved to the Banacacci Chapel in 1739 and moved to the main altar in 1930 in what was the final transferral of his remains.

Pope Clement XIII approved his cultus and Beatified Blessed Angelo on 7 March 1761.

Posted in CARMELITES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 16 August

St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038) King of Hungary (Optional Memorial)

Bl Angelo Agostini Mazzinghi O.Carm. (1385-1438)
St Armagillus of Brittany
St Arsacius of Nicomedia
St Frambaldo
Bl Iacobus Bunzo Gengoro
Bl Jean-Baptiste Menestrel
Bl John of Saint Martha
Bl Laurence Loricatus
Bl Magdalena Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Maria Gengoro
Bl Ralph de la Futaye
St Roch (1295-1327) “Pilgrim”
The story of St Roch here:

St Serena
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon

Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert