Thought for the Day – 26 August – ‘It is in You, that I breathe’ – St Mary of Jesus Crucified

Thought for the Day – 26 August – The Memorial of St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878)

From the Writings of St Mary of Jesus Crucified

Holy Spirit, inspire me.
Love of God, consume me.
Along the true road lead me.
Mary, my mother, look upon me.
With Jesus bless me.
From all evil, from all illusion,
from all danger, preserve me.

“Holy Spirit, enlighten me.   To find Jesus, what am I to do and how am I to do it?   The disciples were very ignorant, they were with Jesus yet did not understand Him.   I, too, live in the same house with Jesus yet did not understand Him.   The least thing troubles and upsets me.   I am too sensitive, I have not generosity enough to make sacrifices for Jesus. O Holy Spirit, when You gave them a ray of light, the disciples disappeared – they were no longer what they were before.   They found new strength, they found it easy to make sacrifices.   They knew Jesus better than they had ever known Him when with them.   Source of peace and light, come and enlighten me.   I am hungry, come and feed me;   thirsty, come and refresh me;   blind, come and give me sight;   poor, come and enrich me;  ignorant, come and instruct me.   Holy Spirit, I abandon myself to You!

Lord, how good You are to hold a weak reed in Your Hand!   I am that reed, I am even weaker.   But I shall always remain with You, like that reed. I  f You dropped it, it would get broken.   You carry it, it is not the reed that carries You.

My enraptured spirit contemplates all your works.   Who can speak of You, O God so great!   Omnipotent One, my soul is carried away!   His wonderful beauty delights my soul.   Who can tell what the Almighty looks upon?   One look!   You who gaze at me, come to me, a little nothing.   I cannot remain here on earth, my soul longing.   Call me close to You, awaken me.   You alone, my God, my All.   The heavens, the earth, the sun rejoice at your Name so great.   I see You, supreme goodness, Your gaze is maternal.   My Father, my Mother, it is in You, that I sleep.   It is in You, that I breathe.   Awaken!   My soul is mad with yearning, it can do no more, take it!   When will we see Him forever world without end!

What are You like , my God?   The ocean?   That comparison is too feeble.   One single raindrop is not enough to refresh the whole earth, so. too, the love of all hearts is not enough for You, my God.   The drop of water is myself, the ocean is You, I wish to have a heart greater than earth.

Lord, if You abandon me , I am like a cinder.   The cinder will not produce any fruit It hinders vegetable growth.   But if You Lord look down on me, I become a good earth, a fertile soil that brings forth good fruits and plants producing flowers. O Lord, look down on me always!

Thank You, My God, for making me aware of what I am.  I prefer to know my weakness than to perform miracles.   That is better for me, for when people see me fall I have nothing then to nourish my pride upon.   It is better for me because it makes me see You are my only strength, better for me to fall a thousand times, if it makes me say to You two thousand times ” “I hope in You, O Lord.   Thank You, thank You, Lord.”

Inscribed on Blessed Mary’s tombstone

“Here in the peace of the Lord reposes Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, professed religious of the white veil.
A soul of singular graces, she was conspicuous for her humility,
her obedience and her charity.
Jesus, the sole love of her heart called her to Himself
in the 33rd year of her age and the 12th year of her religious life at Bethlehem, 26 August 1878.”

St Mary of Jesus Crucified, Pray for Us!st mary of jesus crucified pray for us 26 aug 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 26 August – St Mary of Jesus Crucified

Quote/s of the Day – 26 August – The Memorial of St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878)

“Everything passes here on earth.
What are we?
Nothing but dust, nothingness
and God is so great,
so beautiful,
so lovable
and He is not loved.”everything passes here on earth - st mary of jesus crucified - 26 aug 2019.jpg

“The proud person is like a grain of wheat
thrown into water – it swells, it gets big.
Expose that grain to the fire – it dries up, it burns.
The humble soul, is like a grain of wheat,
thrown into the earth –
it descends, it hides itself,
it disappears, it dies
but to revive
in heaven.”

St Mary of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878)the proud person - st mary of jesus crucified 26 aug 2019


One Minute Reflection – 26 August – ‘It is from the heart…..’

One Minute Reflection – 26 August – Monday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 23:13–22 and The Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa

“And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.” … Matthew 23:18

REFLECTION – “Consider this analogy.   Think of the altar as the heart and the temple as the whole of Scripture. The temple of God’s glory, spiritually understood, is the divinely inspired Scripture.   The gold refers to the meanings it conveys.   To swear is to witness to the Scriptures, as a validation and confirmation of the word we speak.   Therefore, we ought to profess the whole sense of Scripture, as a confirmation of the sense which we invoke, in all of our words.
…The temple, that is, the reading of the Scriptures, makes a great and venerable sense, just as consecrated gold is valuable.   So we ought not to swear by our own intellects to confirm our beliefs, as if we were creating witnesses that could judge according to the truth.   But let us explore further the analogy of the temple, the gold and the altar.   The altar is the place where a vow is sanctified.   The altar in this passage is the heart of a man.   What happens in the heart happens deeply within a person.   Vows and gifts placed on the altar are clearly those placed upon the human heart.   When you begin to pray, you place the vow of your prayer upon your heart, as if you had placed something upon the altar, so that you might offer your prayer to God.
Suppose you are ready to place an offering of psalms upon your heart, so as to offer to God an offering of psalms, accompanying yourself with a harp.   Or suppose you are ready to give alms.  You make an offering of alms upon your heart, just as if you had placed something on the altar, as you would offer your alms to God  . Suppose you have proposed to fast, in order to make an offering of your fasting upon your heart, as if you had placed something upon the altar.
In this way the heart of a man makes vows in a holy and venerable way.    It is from the heart, that is, the altar, that the vow is offered to God.   Therefore, it is not possible for the offering of a man to be more honourable than his heart, from which the offering is sent up.” … Origen (c 185-253) (Commentary on Matthew, 2)matthew 23 18 if one swears by the altar - it is from the altar that is from the heart - origen 26 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, be the beginning and the end of all that we do and say.   Prompt our actions with Your grace and complete them with Your all-powerful help.   Fill us with the grace of Your true love, that our hearts may be made of flesh and not of stone.   May our hearts, minds and souls belong to You alone.   May the guiding hand of the Mother of Your Son lead us, with unfailing tenderness, to You.   Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, ‘totus tuus’ Maria – please pray for us, amen.our-lady-of-czestochowa-pray-for-us.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 26 August – Give me Strength, O Lord

Our Morning Offering – 26 August – Monday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

Give me Strength, O Lord
By St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ,
King of kings,
You have power over life and death.
You know even things that are uncertain and obscure,
and our very thoughts and feelings are not hidden from You.
Cleanse me from my secret faults,
for I have done wrong and You saw it.
You know how weak I am,
both in soul and in body.
Give me strength, O Lord,
in my frailty and sustain me in my sufferings.
Grant me a prudent judgement, dear Lord,
and let me always be mindful of Your blessings.
Let me retain until the end, Your grace
that has protected me till now.
Amengive me strength o lord - by st ephrem - 26 august 2019.jpg


Saint of the Day – 26 August – St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878)

Saint of the Day – 26 August – St Mary of Jesus Crucified OCD (1846-1878) Discalced Carmelite nun of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Virgin, Stigmatist, Mystic, apostle of charity.   Born on 5 January 1846 at Galilee, Palestine as Mariam Baouardy and died on 26 August 1878, aged 32,  at Bethlehem of gangrene following an injury received at the construction site of the Bethlehem monastery.ST MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED - Mirjam_Abbelin_4

Mariam Baouardy was born on 5 January 1846 at Ibillin, a village in the Holy Land near Nazareth.   Her parents were George Baouardy and Mariam Shashyn, they were Greek Catholics in a predominantly Muslin area.   They were both persecuted for their faith and George spent some time in pri  son. Their first 12 children, all boys, died in infancy so they decided to go on pilgrimage to Bethlehem, to beg Our Lady for a daughter and they promised to call her Mariam.   Their prayers were answered when little Mariam was born, followed two years later by her only surviving brother, Paul.   Mariam was baptised and confirmed when she was ten days old according to the Greek Catholic Rite. Sadly before she was three years old both her parents died from an infectious illness, within a few days of each other.   When her father was dying he commended Mariam to the care of St Joseph, looking lovingly at a picture of him, he said ‘Great saint, here is my child, the Blessed Virgin is her mother, deign to look after her also, be her father’.

The siblings were then each taken in by relatives on different sides of her family living in different villages, she being taken in by a paternal uncle who lived in the same village and her brother went to live with a maternal aunt.   The brother and sister would never see one another again.   She was raised in a loving home in comfortable circumstances. As a child she had a marked spirit of religious fervour and at the age of five began to fast on Saturdays in honour of the Blessed Virgin.ST MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED ART

When Mariam was eight, her uncle and his wife moved to Alexandria, Egypt, to improve their situation.   Five years later, in 1858 when she was aged 13, in keeping with tradition, she was engaged by her uncle to his wife’s brother, who lived in Cairo.   The night before the wedding, she had a religious experience in which she felt called not to marry but to offer her life to God.   Upon being told this the following morning, her uncle flew into a rage and beat her severely.   Despite this and the subsequent ill treatment she began to experience from her uncle, she stayed firm in her decision.

Mariam felt depressed and alone.   She wrote her brother, then living in Nazareth, asking him to visit her.   The young male servant she asked to deliver the letter drew out of her the cause for her sadness.   Upon learning of this, he attempted to woo her for himself, inviting her to convert to Islam.   She rejected his proposal, which caused the young man to fly into a rage, in which he drew a knife and cut her throat.   He then dumped her body in a nearby alley.  And then a miracle saved her.   As she related later, a “nun dressed in blue” brought her to a grotto, which she could never identify, stitched her wounds and took care of her.   Her voice was affected for the rest of her life as a result of the cut, which a French doctor later measured as being 10 cm wide.   After being cared for by this mysterious figure for a month, she recovered enough to leave and find work as a domestic servant in the home of an Arab Christian family in the mary of jesus icon Boston-Carmel_227

In May 1863 a generous patron made it possible for Baouardy to move to Marseille, France, where she became the cook for an Arab family.   While there, she felt called to enter a religious order.   Rejected by the first groups to which she sought admission, in May 1865 she was accepted as a postulant by the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, who had communities in the Holy Land and already had several Palestinian candidates.   It was at this point, that she received the stigmata of Christ.

st mary of jesus crucified photo
St Mary of Jesus as a Postulant

During the last month of this period of candidacy, the Mistress of novices, Mother Honorine who had drawn Baouardy’s life story from her, was replaced by Mother Veronica of the Passion.   After two years as a postulant, Baouardy was up for a vote by the community regarding her admission to the congregation.   To her dismay, she was rejected by the sisters charged with making the decision.   But Divine Providence came to her aid for just then, Mother Veronica had just received permission to transfer to the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Pau to prepare for her forming a new congregation of Religious Sisters serving in India, the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel.   She invited Baouardy to go with her, writing to the prioress of that community and recommending that they accept the young Arab woman.   The prioress accepted Mother Veronica’s advice and, in June 1867, both women went together to Pau, where they received the Carmelite religious habit and Baourdy was given the religious name of Mary of Jesus Crucified.ST MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED ARTWORK

In 1870, Baouardy went with the first group of Carmelite Apostolic Sisters to Mangalore, India.    She served there for two years before returning to Pau. It was there she made her profession of solemn vows as a member of the Order in November 1871.   In September 1875 she helped to found a new monastery in Bethlehem, the first of the Order in that region, where she lived until her death.   During her whole life, she experienced periods of religious ecstasy frequently throughout the day.

St Pope John Paul II declared Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, Blessed on 13 November 1983 and she was Canonised on 15 May 2015 by Pope Francis.   She became the second Greek Catholic to be Canonised, the first being St Josaphat Kuntsevych in mary of jesus crucified icon


Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa and Memorials of the Saints – 26 August

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland

Visit our Mother here:

St Abundius the Martyr
St Alexander of Bergamo
St Anastasius the Fuller
St Bregwin of Canterbury
St Elias of Syracuse
St Eleutherius of Auxerre
St Felix of Pistoia
Bl Herluin
Bl Ioachim Watanabe Jirozaemon
St Irenaeus of Rome
Bl Jacques Retouret
St Jeanne Elizabeth des Bichier des Anges
Bl Jean Bassano
Bl Jean of Caramola
Bl Juan Urgel
Bl Levkadia Herasymiv
Bl Margaret of Faenza
St Mary of Jesus Crucified/Mariam Baouardy OCD (1846-1878)

St Maximilian of Rome
St Melchizedek the Patriarch
St Orontius of Lecce
St Pandwyna
St Rufinus of Capua
St Secundus the Theban
Bl Stanislaus Han Jeong-Heum
St Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars
St Victor of Caesarea
St Victor the Martyr
St Vyevain of York
St Pope Zephyrinus (died 217) Martyr

Martyrs of Celano – 3 saints: Three Christians, Constantius, Simplicius and Victorinus, martyred in the same area at roughly the same time. That’s really all we know, though it didn’t stop writers in later centuries from inventing colourful histories, making them a father and sons, adding saintly family members, earthquakes, close escapes, etc.
They were martyred in c 159 in the Marsica region of Italy. At some point their relics were interred under the main altar of the San Giovanni Vecchio church in the Collegiata di Celano and were authenticated in 1057 by Pope Stephen IX. The city was depopulated in 1222; when it was re-built, the relics were re-enshrined in the church of San Vittorino on 10 June 1406. Patronage – Celano, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Emilio Serrano Lizarralde
• Blessed Francesc Casademunt Ribas
• Blessed Josep Maria Tolaguera Oliva
• Blessed Luis Valls Matamales
• Blessed María de Los Ángeles Ginard Martí
• Blessed Pere Sisterna Torrent


Thought for the Day – 25 August – May our Mother, take us to the path that leads to ‘Heaven’s Gate.’

Thought for the Day – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

“Strive to enter in by the narrow door.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor strive-to-enter-luke-13-24-whoever-would-enter-st-cyril-of-alex-31-oct-2018

This reply may seem perhaps to wander from the scope of the question.   The man wanted to learn whether there would be few who are saved but He explained to him the way whereby he might be saved himself.   He said, “Strive to enter in by the narrow door.” What do we answer to this objection? …  It was a necessary and valuable thing to know how a man may obtain salvation.   He is purposely silent to the useless question. He proceeds to speak of what was essential, namely, of the knowledge necessary for the performance of those duties by which people can enter the narrow door.
I now consider it my duty to mention why the door to life is narrow.   Whoever would enter must first, before everything else, possess an upright and uncorrupted faith and then a spotless morality, in which there is no possibility of blame, according to the measure of human righteousness.   One who has attained to this in mind and spiritual strength will enter easily by the narrow door and run along the narrow way.
“Wide is the door and broad the way that brings down many to destruction.”   What are we to understand by its broadness?   It means an unrestrained tendency toward carnal lust and a shameful and pleasure-loving life.   It is luxurious feasts, parties, banquets and unrestricted inclinations to everything that is condemned by the law and displeasing to God.   A stubborn mind will not bow to the yoke of the law.   This life is cursed and relaxed in all carelessness.   Thrusting from it the divine law and completely unmindful of the sacred commandments, wealth, vices, scorn, pride and the empty imagination of earthly pride spring from it.   Those who would enter in by the narrow door must withdraw from all these things, be with Christ and keep the festival with Him.”

(Commentary on Luke, Homily 9)

May we call upon our Mother Mary as Ianua Caeli, Heaven’s Gate, to guide us in our daily choices and take us to the path that leads to ‘Heaven’s Gate.’   Amenianua caeli heaven's gate pray for us mary - 25 aug 2019


Quote/s of the Day – 25 August – “The Narrow Door”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 13:22–30

“The Narrow Door”

“In the difficulties which are placed before me,
why should I not act like a donkey?
When one speaks ill of him – the donkey says nothing.
When he is mistreated – he says nothing.
When he is forgotten – he says nothing.
When no food is given him – he says nothing.
When he is made to advance – he says nothing.
When he is despised – he says nothing.
When he is overburdened – he says nothing.
The true servant of God must do likewise
and say with David:
“Before Thee I have become like a beast of burden.”

St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)in-the-difficulties-which-are-placed-before-me-st-alphonsus-rodriguez-20-june-2018.jpg

“All, can enter eternal life but for everyone,
the door is narrow.   They are not privileged.
The path to the eternal life is open to all
but it is narrow because it’s demanding,
asks for commitment, abnegation
and the mortification of selfishness.”all can enter eternal life but for everyone the doo is narrow - pope benedict 25 aug 2019.jpg

“To pass through the narrow gate, means
we must commit ourselves to being small,
that is humble of heart like Jesus,
like Mary, His and our mother.”to pass through the narrow gate means we must commit ourselves to being small humble - pope benedict 25 aug 2019.jpg

“True friendship with Jesus
is expressed in how one lives,
in the goodness of one’s heart,
in one’s humility, kindness and mercy,
in one’s love for justice and truth,
in one’s sincere commitment
to peace and reconciliation.
This, we might say, is the ‘identity card’
that qualifies us as true ‘friends,’
it is the ‘passport’
that will let us enter eternal life.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Angelus, 26 August 2007true friendship with Jesus is expressed - 25 aug 2019 the narrow door.jpg

“The whole of our life
must pass through the narrow door
which is Christ.”

Pope Francis

Angelus, 25 August 2013the whole of our life must pass through the narrow door - pope francis 25 june 2019.jpg

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 August – ‘Why is this door narrow…?

One Minute Reflection – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Luke 13:22–30

“Strive to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” … Luke 13:24

REFLECTION – “But why is this door narrow, one might ask?   Why does He say it is narrow?   It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive but because it demands that we restrain and limit our pride and our fear, in order to open ourselves to Him with humble and trusting hearts, acknowledging that we are sinners and in need of His forgiveness. This is why it is narrow, to limit our pride, which swells us.” … Pope Francis – Angelus, 21 August 2016luke 13 24 the narow door - but why is this door narrow - pope francis 25 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart.   Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy.   May the intercession of Your faithful servant, St Maria Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament, bring us strength and courage to persevere in our battles against pride.   Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, maria micaela of the bl sacrament pray for us 25 aug 2019.jpg


Sunday Reflection – 25 August – ‘Sunday’ – Pope Benedict XVI

Sunday Reflection – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C

Pope Benedict XVI

And let us also keep present that the Eucharist, joined to the Cross and Resurrection of the Lord, has dictated a new structure to our time.

The Risen One was manifested the day after Saturday, the first day of the week, day of the sun and of creation.   From the beginning, Christians have celebrated their encounter with the Risen One, the Eucharist, on this first day, on this new day of the true sun of history, the Risen Christ.

And thus time always begins again with the encounter with the Risen One and this encounter gives content and strength to everyday life.   Because of this, it is very important for us Christians, to follow this new rhythm of time, to meet with the Risen One on Sunday and thus “to take” with us His presence, which transforms us and transforms our time. … 17 June 2010from-the-beginning-christians-have-celebrated-pope-benedict-28-oct-2018 - sunday reflection 25 aug 2019


Our Morning Offering – 25 August – Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist

Our Morning Offering – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C

Prayer of Thanksgiving for
the Holy Eucharist
By St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for Your redeeming sacrifice,
the only hope of men!
O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for the eucharistic breaking of bread,
which You instituted
in order to really meet Your brothers,
in the course of the centuries!
O Christ the Saviour,
put into the hearts of the baptised,
the desire to offer themselves with You
and to commit themselves,
for the salvation of their brothers!
You, who are really present
in the Blessed Sacrament,
spread Your blessings
abundantly on Your people

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 August – Saint María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament (1809-1865)

Saint of the Day – 24 August – Saint María Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament (1809-1865) “Mother Sacramento” was a Spanish Roman Catholic professed Religious and the Founder of the Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament, apostle and martyr of charity.    However, despite all odds and opposition from family and friends, in 1850, she left her home to look after the unwanted of society, living with them.   Born as Micaela Desmaisières López de Dicastillo on 1 January 1809 in Madrid, Spain and died on 24 August 1865 in Valencia, Spain of Micaela_Desmaisières

Micaela Desmaisières Lopez de Dicastillo y Olmedo, Viscountess of Jorbalán, was born in Madrid on New Year’s day, 1809 during the War of Independence.   Three days later she was baptised in the church of Saint Joseph in Madrid’s Alcala Street.   Her father was a high ranking Officer in the Spanish Army and her mother was Lady-in-waiting of the then Spanish Queen, Maria Luisa de Parma.   Micaela was the 5th of the 10 children born to the couple.

The War of Independence forced her mother to leave the Court in Madrid and to flee with her husband and family to France, where Micaela’s father and brother Luís died unexpectedly, Maria was then 3 yearsa old.   Under the guidance of the Ursuline sisters of Pau, Micaela received an education consistent with her aristocratic status.   Micaela’s sister Engracia suffered severe mental illness and her sister Manuela was forced to go into exile because of her husband’s political views.

From her childhood Maria Micaela was very fond of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament and of helping the poor and needy.   She had the whole-hearted approval and support of her mother in this.   In her Autobiography we read that, when her Ayah – Nanny, took her out for evening walks, she used to bribe her and spend that time in a church.   Although she was very pious and kind-hearted, her life unfolded in the high circles of the Spanish and French Nobility.   Her brother Diego was the Spanish Ambassador to France and Belgium.   So young Micaela spent a lot of her time in the Royal Palaces of Spain, France and Belgium, attending Royal parties, dances and other gatherings.   She had a very cordial relationship with the Monarchs of these countries. Dances, parties, Social gatherings, horse rides were the order of the day for her, although she did not neglect her charitable works.   She wrote in the Autobiography that the mornings were spent for God, in prayer and charitable works and the evenings in worldly enjoyments.

st Micaela1.jpg
Portrait c 1846

Micaela was engaged to marry a young nobleman but the wedding was abruptly cancelled the night before over slanderous rumours emanating from Madrid about Micaela’s family.   Micaela was profoundly humiliated.   Struggling to pursue her spiritual and religious aspirations, while meeting the demands of her social position, Micaela sought the guidance of Fr.Carasa, a Jesuit.   Rising early in the morning to pray, receive the Eucharist and to do works of charity, in the evening she frequented the theatre, lectures and balls.

Micaela’s life in Paris and Brussels was a life of outstanding care for the poor.   No matter the need, the Viscountess was anxious to provide assistance.   The defining moment in Micaela’s life occurred after she returned to Madrid and was invited to visit the hospital of St John of God, where she met prostitutes afflicted with venereal diseases.   Micaela had known nothing of the existence of such women, let alone the scorn and abuse to which they were subjected.   Profoundly affected by the experience, Micaela set about to establish a shelter for such women.   Unfortunately, she met with misunderstanding and rejection at every turn, even from close friends.   What was a woman related to the wealthiest and most famous families in Spain thinking?   Imagine dedicating herself to caring for maria michael statue

In 1845, Micaela and several companions opened a school to train battered women for gainful employment, the Centre of Our Lady of the Forsaken.   In 1850, she moved out of her elegant home and took up lodging in a miserable hovel with women she helped recover their dignity as persons and daughters of God.   Accustomed to a luxurious life, this new experience was very painful, however, her love for Jesus whom she saw in those unfortunate victims of sexual exploitation, enabled her to go forward courageously.   Love for Christ in the Eucharist was the soul of her work.   Once again, Micaela endured severe economic difficulties and slander from every side.   Her only comfort lay in the Eucharist and in 1856, with the help of St Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870), she founded the Slave Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity.   Micaela became Mother Sacramento.   On 6 January 1859, feast of the Epiphany, she and seven companions professed simple vows and on 15 June 1860, she made her perpetual profession.   st maria michaela full

Archbishop Claret who was Mother Sacramento’s confessor, helped her and the fledgling Institute both spiritually and materially.   He played an important role in framing the Institute’s Constitutions and obtaining their approval.   Both saints suffered unspeakable slander in the press.

Micaela’s heroic life of charity would have been impossible had she not been blessed with an exceptionally strong character.   She was dogged by slander and suffered attempts on her life.   Sometimes, she slept fully dressed, fearing that at any moment the house might be raided.   More than once, Micaela stood alone and helpless in a public house to hide or protect a woman in fear of being held against her will.

Micaela ended up lonely, sad and despised by her friends.   Writing to her fellow religious, she said: “Difficult to find another Founder of community that has been accused, maligned and scolded like me.   My actions have been judged in the worst way possible.   But I could also say like Saint Paul:  “Little interest me in what people are saying about me.   My judge is God.”

In 1865, Spain was hit by a cholera epidemic.   Micaela went to Valencia to help and comfort people.   In spite of useless pleas and warnings of danger, Micaela surrendered to her fate and died on 24 August 1865 at the age of 56., a martyr to charity, realising what the Eucharist had meant to her – communion with Christ, giving his life for the brothers, members of His Body, especially the neediest – the poor, the sick, the weak.   At her death, Mother Sacramento’s institute numbered seven houses.

In 1922, Pope Pius XI, proclaimed Mother Sacramento’s heroic virtues.   On 25 July 1925, he Beatified her and on 4 March 1934, he Canonised her.   St Anthony Mary Claret would be named a patron of the institute she founded.

Oh! St Maria Micaela,
to your great heart of a Mother,
I confide this petition ……..
I trust that you will not leave me
disappointed in my hope.
When you were in this world,
you obtained from the Sacramental Jesus
abundant graces
and do you have less power in heaven?
I hope in your motherly protection
and I trust in your great heart
that you will obtain for me
this grace from Jesus.

st maria michaela stamp


Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C *2019 and Memorials of the Saints – 25 August

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C *2019

St Joseph Calasanz Sch.P. (1557-1648) (Optional Memorial)

St Louis IX (1214-1270) King of France (Optional Memorial)
All about this wonderful Saint here:

St Alessandro Dordi
Bl Andrea Bordino
St Andreas Gim Gwang-Ok
St Aredius of Limoges
St Ebbe the Elder
Bl Eduard Cabanach Majem
St Eusbius of Rome
Bl Fermí Martorell Vies
Bl Francesc Llach Candell
St Genesius of Arles
St Genesius of Brescello
St Genesius of Rome
St Gennadius of Constantinople
St Geruntius of Italica
St Gregory of Utrecht
St Gurloes of Sainte Croix
St Hermes of Eretum
St Hunegund of Homblieres
St Julian of Syria
St Julius of Eretum
Bl Ludovicus Baba
Bl Ludovicus Sasada
Bl Luis Cabrera Sotelo
St Maginus
St Marcian of Saignon
St Maria Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament (1809-1865)
Bl María del Tránsito de Jesús Sacramentado
Bl Maria Troncatti
St Menas of Constantinople
Bl Miguel Carvalho
St Nemesius of Rome
St Patricia of Naples
Bl Paul-Jean Charles
Bl Pedro de Calidis
St Peregrinus of Rome
St Petrus Gim Jeong-Duk
St Pontian of Rome
St Severus of Agde
St Thomas of Hereford
St Vincent of Rome

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antoni Prenafeta Soler
• Blessed Antoni Vilamassana Carulla
• Blessed Enric Salvá Ministral
• Blessed Florencio Alonso Ruiz
• Blessed Fortunato Merino Vegas
• Blessed Josep Maria Panadés Terré
• Blessed Juan Pérez Rodríguez
• Blessed Luis Gutiérrez Calvo
• Blessed Luis Urbano Lanaspa
• Blessed Manuel Fernández Ferro
• Blessed Miguel Grau Antolí
• Blessed Pere Farrés Valls
• Blessed Ramon Cabanach Majem
• Blessed Salvi Tolosa Alsina
• Blessed Vicente álvarez Cienfuegos


Thought for the Day – 24 August – “God has given”

Thought for the Day – 24 August – The Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ – Today’s Gospel: John 1:45–51

The name “Nathanael” means “God has given”

“The apostles’ glory is so indistinguishable and so bonded together by the cement of so many graces that in celebrating the feast of one of them the common greatness of all is called to our interior attention. For they share together the same authority of supreme judge, the same honourable rank and they hold the same power to bind and loose (Mt 19:28; 18:18).   They are those precious pearls that Saint John tells us he beheld in the Book of Revelation out of which are constructed the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rv 21:21.14)…   And indeed, whenever the apostles beam divine light through their signs or miracles, they open up the heavenly glory of Jerusalem, to all those peoples who have been converted to the christian faith…

Of them, too, the prophet says: “Who are these who fly along like clouds?” (Is 60:8)…  God raises the minds of His preachers to contemplation of truths on high… so that they can abundantly pour down the rain of God’s word into our hearts.   Thus they drink water from the spring, so as to give drink to us too.

Saint Bartholomew drew from the fullness of this spring, when the Holy Spirit came upon him, as on the other apostles, in the form of tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).”

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) – Bishop, Doctor of the Church (Sermon 42, 2nd for Saint Bartholomew, PL 144, 726)

St Bartholomew, Pray for Us!st-bartholomew-pray-for-us-24-aug-2018.jpg


Quote’s of the day – 24 August – ‘There is o guile in him.’

Quote’s of the day – 24 August – The Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ – Today’s Gospel: John 1:45–51

“Here is a true child
of Israel.
There is no guile
in him.”

John 1:47john 1 47 here is atrue child of israel - st bartholomew - 24 aug 2019

Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are
the Son of God!
You are the
King of Israel!”

John 1:49john 1 49 rabbi you are the son of god - st bartholomew - 24 aug 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 24 August – “Come and see.”

One Minute Reflection – 24 August – The Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ – Today’s Gospel: John 1:45–51

Philip said to him, “Come and see.” … John 1:46

REFLECTION – “Nathanael’s reaction suggests another thought to us – in our relationship with Jesus we must not be satisfied with words alone.   In his answer, Philip offers Nathanael a meaningful invitation:  “Come and see!” (Jn 1: 46).  Our knowledge of Jesus needs above all a first-hand experience – someone else’s testimony is, of course important, for normally the whole of our Christian life begins with the proclamation handed down to us by one or more witnesse, but afterwards, we, ourselves, have to become personally committed, in a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus.” … Pope Benedict XVI – General Audience, 4 November 2006come and see john 1 45 - in our relationship with jesus - pope benedict 24 aug 2019

PRAYER – Almighty Lord and Father, strengthen in us that faith with which St Bartholomew gave himself wholeheartedly to Christ Your Son.   Grant, at his intercession, that Your Church may become the Sacrament of salvation, for all the nations of the earth.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord and Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever,


Our Morning Offering – 24 August – O Mother of Jesus and My Mother

Our Morning Offering – 24 August – Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle and a Marian Saturday

O Mother of Jesus and My Mother
By Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
let me dwell with you, cling to you
and love you with ever-increasing love.
I promise the honour, love and trust of a child.
Give me a mother’s protection,
for I need your watchful care.
You know better than any other,
the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart.
Keep constantly before my mind
the same thoughts, the same desires,
that my heart may be filled with zeal
for the interests of the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son.
Instil in me a love of all that is noble,
that I may no longer be easily turned to selfishness.
Help me, dearest Mother,
to acquire the virtues that God wants of me,
to forget myself always,
to work solely for Him, without fear of sacrifice.
I shall always rely on your help
to be what Jesus wants me to be.
I am His, I am yours, my good Mother!
Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing
until my last evening on earth,
when your Immaculate Heart
will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven,
there to love and bless you
and your divine Son for all eternity.
Ameno mother of jesus and my mother - bl john henry newman 24 aug 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 August – Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret (1765-1826)

Saint of the Day – 24 August – Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret (1765-1826) was a French Roman Catholic professed Religious and the Founder of the Thouret Sisters – renamed the Sisters of Divine Charity., Apostle of Charity and the Poor and helpless, Teacher.  Thouret’s life was one of service to children and the ill across France in schools and hospitals – some of which her order established.   This active apostolate did not cease when the French Revolution forced her into exile.   She continued her work in both Switzerland and the Kingdom of Prussia.   She was born on 27 November 1765 at Sancy-le-Long, diocese of Besançon, France and died on 24 August 1826 at Naples, Italy of natural causes.   Patronage – The Sisters of Divine Charity.header - st jeanne.jpg

Jeanne-Antide Thouret was born in Sancey-le-Long (Doubs). She was the fifth child in a rural family of the very Christian county of Franche.   At the age of 22 she entered the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul to serve those who are poor, first in Langres and then in Paris.jeanne-antide-thouret-4430bc48-2d29-44b2-9cdb-3ca0470f07f-resize-750.jpeg

In May 1794 Jeanne-Antide returned to Sancey, as during the French Revolution all the Daughters of Charity, just as a good number of religious, were disbanded and had to return to their family homes.

On the 15 August 1795 she went to Switzerland with the « Solitaires » of Father Antoine-Sylvestre Receveur.   Because of the rejection of the Christian faith this community was obliged to roam across Europe for 12 years.   She travelled across Switzerland and part of Germany.   She left the community and arrived in Landeron, near Neuchâtel, Switzerland after a lonely journey of more than 600 kilometers.   There she received an appeal from two French priests who asked her to return to Besançon, France to care for sick and uneducated jeanne antide helping.jpg

On 11 April 1799 with two other young women, in Besançon, she established a free school for girls and and a soup kitchen for the poor.   The people called them the “sisters of the soup kitchen and little schools.”st jeanne-antide thouret 2

From May to September 1802, Jeanne-Antide revised a Rule of Life for her community. Accompanied by several sisters attracted by her ideal of life, she opened new schools and places to care for the sick, where she sent her sisters to teach and care for the poor.   On 23 September 1802 she was asked to take over serving the prisoners in Bellevaux.   There she used her talents as educator, gave them food and organised their work, permitting them to receive a salary.   In Paris in 1807 the Sisters received the official name of “Sisters of Charity of Besanç Jeanne-Antide_Thouret.jpg

On 8 May 1810 she was called to Savoy, Thonon, where she went with some Sisters.   A little later she was called to Naples where she went with eight of her Sisters.   There she was asked to take on the care of the Hospital for Incurables.   She also opened a school and a pharmacy in the midst of the convent they had been given.   She and her Sisters never hesitated to go out to visit and care for the poor and jeanne antide charity.jpg

Their Constitutions were approved by Pope Pius VII on 23 July 1819. He gave them the name, “Sisters of Charity under the protection of St. Vincent de Paul.”   Jeanne-Antide died at “Regina Coeli” monastery in Naples on the evening of 24 August 1826 from a cerebral haemorrhage.

The Community today counts 4000 Sisters spread over the five continents, working in a large variety of services for those who are poor.   Community life, the Eucharist and the Paschal Mystery are today, as they were for Jeanne-Antide, the key elements of their life.

St Jeanne-Antide was Canonised on 14 January 1934 by Pope Pius jeanne antide with children


Feast of St Bartholomew and Memorials of the Saints – 24 August

St Bartholomew the Apostle (Feast)
St Bartholomew:

St Abban
St Abyce
St Agofridus of Lacroix
Bl André Fardeau
Bl Antonio de Blanes
St Emilie de Vialar (1797–1856)

St Eutychius of Troas
St George Limniotes
St Irchard

St Jeanne-Antide Thouret (1765-1826)

Bl Miroslav Bulesic
St Ouen of Rouen
St Patrick the Elder
St Ptolemy of Nepi
St Romanus of Nepi
St Sandratus
St Taziano of Claudiopolis

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Fortunato Velasco Tobar
• Blessed Isidre Torres Balsells
• Blessed Rigoberto Aquilino de Anta Barrio

Martyred in World War II: 6 Beati
Czeslaw Jozwiak
Edward Kazmierski
Edward Klinik
Franciszek Kesy
Jarogniew Wojciechowski
Luis Almécija Lázaro

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 23 August – It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.”

Thought for the Day – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

The first Canonised saint of the New World has one characteristic of all saints—the suffering of opposition—and another characteristic which is more for admiration than for imitation—excessive practice of mortification.

The saints have so great a love of God that what seems bizarre to us and is indeed sometimes imprudent, is simply a logical carrying out of a conviction, that anything that might endanger a loving relationship with God, must be rooted out.   So, because her beauty was so often admired, Rose used to rub her face with pepper to produce disfiguring blotches.   Later, she wore a thick circlet of silver on her head, studded on the inside, like a crown of thorns.  (Scientists recently performed an analysis of her skull, which has been kept by Dominicans in Peru and created a digital reconstruction of her face.  – See below).St_Rose_of_Lima_Credit_Divulga_o_Ebrafol_Brazilian_Team_of_Forensic_Anthropology_and_Odontology_CNA_8_26_15.jpg

What might have been a merely eccentric life was transfigured from the inside.   If we remember some unusual penances, we should also remember the greatest thing about Ros -: a love of God so ardent, that it withstood ridicule from without, violent temptation, and lengthy periods of sickness.   When she died at 31, the city turned out for her funeral. Prominent men took turns carrying her coffin.

It is easy to dismiss excessive penances of the saints as the expression of a certain culture or temperament.   But a woman wearing a crown of thorns may at least prod our consciences.   We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history.   We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable.   Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.”   Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?

St Rose of Lima, Pray for Us!st rose of lima pray for us 23 aug 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 23 August – St Rose of Lima

Quote/s of the Day – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

“If only we would learn how great it is
to possess divine grace and how many riches it has within itself,
how many joys and delights.
We would devote all our concern to winning for ourselves
pains and afflictions,
in order to attain the unfathomable treasure of grace.”if only we would learn - st rose of lima - 23 aug 2019.jpg

“Apart from the Cross
there is no other ‘ladder’
by which we might get to heaven.”apart-from-the-cross-st-rose-of-lima 23 aug 2017.jpg

“We must not fail
to help our neighbours,
because in them we serve Jesus.”

St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)we-must-not-fail-st-rose-of-lima-23-aug-2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 23 August – Love the Lord, Love your neighbour

One Minute Reflection – 23 August – Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:34-40 and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart … You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” … Matthew 22:37,40matthew 22 37 and 40 you shall the lord your god you shall yourneighbour - 23 aug 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Thus, then, the obedient man,with the light of faith, in the truth burning in the furnace of charity … receives his end from Me, his Creator.”…St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Churchthus-then-the-obedient-man-no 2 - st-catherine-of-siena-23-aug-2018.jpg

PRAYER – “God our Father, for love of You, St Rose of Lima left the world and gave herself to a life of penitence, austerity and charity.   Help us by her prayers, so to follow the path of life on earth, in complete love of You and thus of Your children, that we may obtain the fullness of joy in Your presence in heaven and be clothed fit for the wedding feast.  We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever,


Posted in Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 23 August – Give to Me or Take from Me

Our Morning Offering – 23 August – Friday of the 20th week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Give to Me or Take from Me
By Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

O Lord,
let me not henceforth desire health or life,
except to spend them for You
and with You.
You alone know what is good for me,
do, therefore, what seems best.
Give to me or take from me,
conform my will to Yours
and grant that,
with humble and perfect submission
and in holy confidence,
I may receive the orders
of Your eternal providence
and may equally adore,
all that comes to me from You,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amengive-to-me-or-take-from-me-o-lord-let-me-not-blaise-pascal-16-august-2018 and 23 august 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 23 August – Blessed Ladislaus Findysz (1907-1964) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 23 August – Blessed Ladislaus Findysz (1907-1964) Priest, Martyr, Confessor, apostle of charity – born on 13 December 1907 in Kroscienko Nizne, near Krosno, Poland and died on the morning of 21 August 1964 of cancer of the esophagus in the presbytery of Nowy Zmigród, Poland.   He was imprisoned under the Communist regime in 1963 until not too long before his death on the charges of sending religious newsletters to his parishioners.385px-POL-Nowy_Zmigrod-Witraz_bl._ladyslaw_Findysz

Ladislaus Findysz was born on 13th December 1907 in Krościenko Niżne, near Krosno (Poland) to Stanislaus Findysz and Apollonia Rachwał, peasants of long-standing Catholic tradition.   The following day, 14th December 1907, he was baptised in the parish church of the Holy Trinity in Krosno and so began for him the life of grace.

In 1919, on concluding four years of study in the elementary school run by Felician Sisters (CSSF) in Krościenko Niżne, he entered the state-run grammar school.   As a young pupil, Ladislaus joined the Marian Solidality.   In May 1927 he sat the school leaving exams and joined in a retreat organised for school leavers.   In the autumn of that year he moved to Przemyśl and entered the major seminary, beginning studies in philosophy and theology at the Institute there.   His preparation for the priesthood was guided by the Rector, Blessed Father John Balicki.   The high point of this formative period was priestly ordination, which Monsignor Anatol Nowak, Bishop of Przemyśl, conferred on Ladislaus on 19th June 1932, in his cathedral.   After a month’s leave, on 1st August, Father Findysz took up his posting as assistant curate in the parish of Borysław (today in the Ukraine). On 17th September 1935 he was appointed curate in the parish of Drohobycz (also in the Ukraine) and on 1st August 1937 he was transferred to the parish of Strzyżów, again as curate, where on 22nd September 1939, he was appointed as parish administrator. Following this, on 10th October 1940, Ladislaus was appointed as curate in Jasło and then on 8th July of the following year as administrator of the Parish of Sts Peter and Paul Apostles in Nowy Żmigród.   A year later, on 13th August 1942, he became parish priest of this same parish.

Three years as pastor of Nowy Żmigród were marked by unfailing commitment to pastoral work and the painful experiences of the War.   On 3rd October 1944, along with the rest of the town’s inhabitants, Father Ladislaus was expelled by the Germans.   On his return, on 23rd January 1945, he committed himself to reorganising the parish.

Father Ladislaus’ service continued after the War through the hard times of the communist regime.   Father Findysz continued with the work of moral and religious renewal in the parish, giving his all to protect the faithful – especially the young – from the systematic and intensive atheism imposed by Communism.   He also helped the inhabitants of the parish with material aid, regardless of their nationality or denomination.   He saved numerous (Greek Catholic) families who were severely persecuted by the communist authorities and threatened with expulsion from their place of residence without the slightest chance of reprieve, from Łemki.   Father Findysz’s pastoral work proved most discomforting for the communist authorities.   From 1946 onwards he was placed under surveillance by the secret service.   In 1952 academic authorities suspended him from teaching the Catechism in the secondary school.   He was prevented from continuing his activity throughout the parish because, on two occasions (in 1952 and 1954), the district authorities rejected his request for permission to live within the border area where part of the parish was situated.

As far as the ecclesiastical authorities were concerned, Father Ladislaus was considered a zealous parish priest, receiving recognition as an honorary canon in 1946 and subsequently being accorded the privilege of the rochet and mantelletta in 1957.   In the same year he was appointed as vice-dean of the Nowy Żmigród deanery, being appointed dean in 1962.

In 1963 he began the pastoral activity of the “Conciliar Works of Charity” (a sort of Vatican Council spiritual support).   He sent letters of exhortation to parishioners living in irregular religious and moral situations, encouraging them to reorder their Christian lives.   The communist authorities reacted very severely to this activity and accused him of forcing the faithful to participate in religious rites and practices.   On 25th November 1963, after being interrogated by the Procurator of the Voivodeship of Rzeszów, he was arrested and imprisoned in Rzeszów Castle.  20050424_Bl Ladyslaw findysz.jpgFrom 16th to 17th December 1963 his trial took place in the Voivodeship tribunal in Rzeszów and he was condemned and given a custodial sentence of two years and six months.   The motivation for the investigation, the accusation and the subsequent condemnation of Father Findysz was rooted in the Decree “Protection of the Freedom of Conscience and Denomination” of 5th August, 1949. This, however, was simply an instrument in the hands of the communist authorities to restrict and ultimately eliminate “faith” and the Catholic Church from public and private life in Poland.   Father Findysz was also publicly discredited, libelled and condemned through specially edited publications in the press.   He was kept in the Rzeszów Castle prison where he suffered from malnutrition as well as being subjected to physical, psychological and spiritual humiliation.   On 25th January 1964 he was transferred to the central prison in Montelupich Street in Cracow.

Just before being arrested in September 1963, Father Ladislaus underwent a serious operation in Gorlice hospital to remove his thyroid gland, the state of his health remained uncertain due to the risk of complications.   He convalesced under the care of the medics whilst waiting for a second surgical intervention planned for December of the same year – this time to remove a cancerous growth in the oesophagus.   Without doubt the interrogation, trial and imprisonment had serious implications for the state of Father Findysz’s health and he had to be cared for in the prison hospital.   Due to a lack of proper care and the requisite medical expertise, his health did not improve.   The planned surgery to remove the cancerous growth of the oesophagus and a blockage of the stomach was postponed.   In reality, he was condemned to a slow death.   The illness ran its course as the results of medical examinations undertaken in the prisons of Rzeszów and Cracow attest.   Indeed, the very first clinical examination undertaken by the prison doctor on 9th December 1963 revealed an abscess in the throat with a suspected tumour of the oesophagus.

From the outset of Father Ladislaus’ condemnation, to a custodial sentence, his lawyer and the diocesan curia of Przemyśl sought recourse to the Procurator and the Tribunal of Rzeszów, petitioning for the suspension of his arrest on the grounds of the precarious state of his health and the risk of death.  The requests were refused.   They were, however, accepted by the Supreme Court in Warsaw as late as at the end of February 1964.

Given the serious state of his health, Father Ladislaus returned to Nowy Żmigród from prison on 29th February 1964.   Manifesting great patience and submission to God’s will he remained in the presbytery, bearing the sufferings of his illness as well as exhaustion. In the April he was admitted to the specialist hospital in Wrocław.   In spite of the treatment clinical tests confirmed the diagnosis of a cancerous growth between the oesophagus and the stomach.   Further medical examination confirmed that Father Findysz’s tumour, given its advanced state of growth, was no longer operable.   Suffering with his pulmonary emphysema and a relapse into severe anaemia which meant that death was close at hand, he returned home.

During the summer months he took part in the spiritual retreat for priests in the major seminary of Przemyśl.   This was to be his last retreat in preparation for death.

On the morning of 21st August 1964, after having received the Sacraments, he died in the presbytery of Nowy Żmigród and on 24th August was buried in the parish cemetery. Monsignor Stanislaus Jakiel, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Przemyśl, presided at the funeral, together with 130 priests and many faithful.

On 27th June 2000, following numerous requests from the faithful, Monsignor Kazimierz Górny, Bishop of Rzeszów, began the diocesan process for the beatification of the Servant of God Ladislaus Findysz.   The acts of the diocesan inquest were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome on 18th October 2002.

During the Roman stage of the cause for beatification the theological consulters and then the members of the Congregation – Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops – recognised that the Servant of God, Father Ladislaus Findysz, was arrested and condemned by the authorities of the Communist regime on account of his proclamation of the Gospel. What’s more, his imprisonment and the physical and spiritual suffering he endured, were directly responsible for his death.   This being the case, it is necessary to recognise Father Findysz as a Martyr for the faith.   This proposal was presented to the Holy Father and was duly approved by him.   Then on 20th December 2004, in the presence of His Holiness St Pope John Paul II, the decree of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints was promulgated, recognising Father Ladislaus Findysz as a Martyr for the faith.

This is the first successful cause for beatification, based on the martyrdom of a Servant of God who was the victim of the Communist Regime in Poland.   What’s more, this is the first cause for beatification in the Diocese of Rzeszów….


Memorials of the Saints – 23 August

St Rose of Lima (1586-1617) OP (Optional Memorial)

St Abbondius of Rome
St Altigianus
St Apollinaris of Rheims
St Archelaus of Ostia
St Asterius of Aegea
St Claudius of Aegea
St Domnina of Aegea
St Eleazar of Lyons
St Eonagh
St Flavian of Autun
Bl Franciszek Dachtera
Bl Giacomo Bianconi of Mevania
St Hilarinus
St Ireneus of Rome
Bl Jean Bourdon
Bl Ladislaus Findysz (1907-1964) Martyr
St Lupo of Novi
St Luppus
St Maximus of Ostia
St Minervius of Lyons
St Neon of Aegea

St Philip Benizi (1233-1285)
Biography here:

St Quiriacus of Ostia
St Theonilla of Aegea
St Timothy of Rheims
St Tydfil
St Victor of Vita
St Zaccheus of Jerusalem

Martyrs of Agea – 4 saints: A group of Christian brothers, Asterius, Claudius and Neon, denounced by their step-mother who were then tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Pro-consul Lysias. They were crucified in 285 outside the walls of Aegea, Cilicia (in Asia Minor) and their bodies left for scavengers.

Martyred in the Spanish Civl War:
• Blessed Constantino Carbonell Sempere
• Blessed Estanislau Sans Hortoneda
• Blessed Florentín Pérez Romero
• Blessed José Polo Benito
• Blessed Lorenzo Ilarregui Goñi
• Blessed Manuela Justa Fernández Ibero
• Blessed Mariano García Méndez
• Blessed Nicolás Alberich Lluch
• Blessed Pere Gelabert Amer
• Blessed Petra María Victoria Quintana Argos
• Blessed Ramón Grimaltos Monllor
• Blessed Urbano Gil Sáez
• Blessed Vicente Alberich Lluch


Thought for the Day – 22 August – Queen of the World and of Peace

Thought for the Day – 22 August – Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Queen of the World and of Peace

Saint Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)

An excerpt from a Sermon

Observe how fitting it was that even before her assumption, the name of Mary shone forth wondrously throughout the world.   Her fame spread everywhere even before she was raised above the heavens in her magnificence.   Because of the honour due her Son, it was indeed fitting for the Virgin Mother to have first ruled upon earth and then be raised up to heaven in glory.   It was fitting that her fame be spread in this world below, so that she might enter the heights of heaven on overwhelming blessedness.   Just as she was borne from virtue to virtue by the Spirit of the Lord, she was transported from earthly renown to heavenly brightness.

So it was, that she began to taste the fruits of her future reign while still in the flesh.   At one moment she withdrew to God in ecstasy, at the next, she would bend down to her neighbours with indescribable love.   In heaven angels served her, while here on earth she was venerated by the service of men.   Gabriel and the angels waited upon her in heaven.   The virgin John, rejoicing that the Virgin Mother was entrusted to him at the cross, cared for her with the other apostles here below.   The angels rejoiced to see their queen, the apostles rejoiced to see their lady and both obeyed her with loving devotion.

Dwelling in the loftiest citadel of virtue, like a sea of divine grace or an unfathomable source of love that has everywhere overflowed its banks, she poured forth her bountiful waters on trusting and thirsting souls.   Able to preserve both flesh and spirit from death, she bestowed health-giving salve on bodies and souls.   Has anyone ever come away from her troubled or saddened or ignorant of the heavenly mysteries?   Who has not returned to everyday life gladdened and joyful because his request had been granted by the Mother of God?

She is a bride, so gentle and affectionate and the mother of the only true bridegroom.   In her abundant goodness, she has channelled the spring of reason’s garden, the well of living and life-giving waters, that pour forth in a rushing stream from divine Lebanon and flow down from Mount Zion, until they surround the shores of every far-flung nation.   With divine assistance, she has redirected these waters and made them into streams of peace and pools of grace.   Therefore, when the Virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings. amid the company of exulting angels and rejoicing archangels, with the heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord:

At your right hand stands the queen, clothed in gold of Ophir.

Mary Queen of our Hearts, Pray for Us!mary queen of heaven and earth pray for us 22 aug 2019 queenship of mary.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 22 August – From the Fathers on the Queenship of Mary

Quote/s of the Day – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God

“Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace,
because I am honoured above it.
For heaven was not thy mother
but Thou hast made it thy throne.
How much more honourable
and venerable than the throne of a king
is His mother.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Doctor of the Churchlet heaven sustain me st ephrem 22 aug 2019 queenship of mary.jpg

“Be enthroned, Lady,
for it is fitting that you should sit
in an exalted place since you are a Queen
and glorious above all kings.”

St Germanus (378-448)be enthroned lady - st germanus 22 aug 2019 queenship of mary.jpg

“O my Lady, my Sovereign,
You who rule over me,
Mother of my Lord . . .
Lady among handmaids,
Queen among sisters.”

St Ildephonsus (607-670)o my lady my sovereign st ildephonsus 22 aug 2019 queenship of mary .jpg

“Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth,
so also in heaven is her glory unique.
If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9),
who can express what He has prepared
for the woman who gave Him birth
and who loved Him,
as everyone knows, more than anyone else?”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) – Doctor of Light – Mellifluous Doctor

More here from the Saints: aug 2017


One Minute Reflection – 22 August – ‘She stands high above all created things’

One Mi  nute Reflection – 22 August – The Memorial of The Queenship of Mary, Holy Mother of God – Today’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me, according to your word.” And the angel departed from her...Luke 1:38luke-1-38-mary-said-behold-i-am-the-heandmaid-of-the-lord-4-may-2018.jpg

REFLECTION – “With the certainty of faith we know that Jesus Christ is king in the full, literal and absolute sense of the word; for He is true God and man.   This does not, however, prevent Mary from sharing His royal prerogatives, though in a limited and analogous manner; for she was the Mother of Christ and Christ is God and she shared in the work of the divine Redeemer, in His struggles against enemies and in the triumph He won over them all.   From this union with Christ the King she assuredly obtains so eminent a status that she stands high above all created things and upon this same union with Christ is based that royal privilege, enabling her to distribute the treasures of the kingdom of the divine Redeemer.   And lastly, this same union with Christ is the fountain of the inexhaustible efficacy of her motherly intercession, in the presence of the Son and of the Father.
Without doubt, then, does our holy Virgin possess a dignity that far transcends all other creatures.   In the eyes of her Son, she takes precedence over everyone else. In order to help us understand the pre-eminence that the Mother of God enjoy,s over all creation, it would help to remember that from the first moment of her conception, the holy Virgin was filled with such a plenitude of grace as to surpass the graces, enhancing all the saints.   Recall what our predecessor Pius IX, of blessed memory, wrote in his Bull Ineflabilis Deus: “More than all the angels and all the saints has God ineffable freely endowed Mary with the fullness of the heavenly gifts that abound in the divine treasury and she, preserving herself ever immaculately clean, from the slightest taint of sin, attained a fullness of innocence and holiness, so great, as to be unthinkable apart from God Himself, a fullness that no one other than God will ever possess.”…Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) – Excerpted from Ad Caeli Reginamfrom-this-union-with-christ-the-king-ven-pius-xii-22-aug-2018-mem-of-mary-queen.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, our Father, You have given us Mary, the Mother of Your Son, to be our Mother and our Queen.   Grant that, supported by her prayers, we may come to the kingdom of heaven and to the glory destined for Your children.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.mary queen - pray for us.jpg


Our Morning Offring – 22 August – Hail Holy Queen!

Our Morning Offring – 22 August – Celebrating the Queenship of Mary

Salve Regina
Hail Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve,
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us
And after this our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

℣ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Almighty, everlasting God,
who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit
didst prepare the body and soul
of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary
to become a dwelling-place fit for Thy Son,
grant we pray,
that as we rejoice in her commemoration,
so by her fervent intercession,
we may be delivered from present evils
and from everlasting death.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Amensalve regina hail holy queen 22 aug 2019.jpg

The Hail Holy Queen or Salve Regina is a choral anthem going back to the eleventh century. Since the thirteenth century it is the last evening chant in many religious communities.   The authorship is not clearly defined.   The Salve is first mentioned in a meditation by Anselm II, Bishop of Lucca, 1073-86 (PL 184, 1078-98) and (erroneously) to Hermannus Contractus (1013-54) of Reichenau.
The “Hail, Holy Queen” is a salutation deprecatonia, a greeting of petition and intercession.   Mary is called mother of mercy because Christ her Son, is the incarnation of God’s love and mercy.   Giving us Christ, she gave us, sinful humans, the life and hope we need (as baptised children of Eve) to survive in this vale of tears.   This antiphon is not part of the rosary but represents the same spirit.   It is part of the official prayer of the Church (Liturgy of the Hours: Vespers and/or Compline) and thus is even more precious than the rosary.   Sung, it becomes a wonderful expression of our spiritual intimacy with Mary.

It is interesting that it was a Domenican (like today’s Saint Giacomo Bianconi), Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237) who initiated the custom of singing the Salve Regina in procession each night after Compline in the Dominican Order, to ask Our Lady’s protection of the brothers against temptations from the devil.   This is a custom still practised by Dominicans throughout the world and by our community each night.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 August – Blessed Giacomo Bianconi OP (1220-1301)

Saint of the Day – 22 August – Blessed Giacomo Bianconi OP (1220-1301) – Dominican Priest and Friar, Confessor, Spiritual Advisor, founder and restorer of convents and churches – born on 7 March 1220 at Mevania (modern Bevagna), diocese of Spoleto, Umbria, Italy and died on 22 August 1301 at Mevania, Italy of natural causes.   He is also known as Blessed James Bianconi.1_Benedetto_di_Bindo._Blessed_James_of_Bevagna,_c._1415_Fondazione_Monte_dei_Paschi,_Siena.

Blessed Giacomo was born in Bevagna and was received into the Dominican Order at Spoleto in 1236.   After his ordination, he devoted his energies to the eradication of the heresy of the Nicolaites from Umbria and finally succeeded in converting its chief propagator, Ortinellus.   He became Provincial Minister in 1281 and was elected Prior of the Dominican convents in Spoleto, in 1291 and Foligno, in 1299.

Blessed Giacomo was prominent in providing aid to refugees from Bevagna after the Emperor Frederick II sacked the city in 1249.   He was subsequently active in the rebuilding of the town, which culminated in the rebuilding of Palazzo dei Consoli in 1270.   In 1291, he received permission to rebuild the church of San Giorgio in Bevagna and to construct the adjoining convent.   He also established two nunneries in Bevagna – Santa Lucia and Santa Margherita.   Towards the end of his life, he also served as Lector at San Domenico, Orvieto, where he acted as the spiritual advisor of the Blessed Jane of Orvieto.   This Church is now renamed as Sts Domenico & Giacomo.

These two statues below, which are thought to have been bought by the Blessed Giacomo in Perugia, were moved from in Sts Domenico & Giacomo to the Pinacoteca in 2016:

✴a figure of the Madonna and Child; and

✴a wooden Crucifix.   Once, as he prayed before it because he was experiencing doubts about his salvation, blood spurted from the image and he heard Christ saying:  “This blood is the sign of your salvation”.img-Blessed-Giacomo-Bianconi.jpg

Both statutes were recorded in the 17th century the Cappella del Crocifisso at SS Domenico & Giacomo, which belonged to the Antici family.

After a life of extraordinary austerity, Giacomo died in Bevagna.   Sts George and Dominic appeared to him as he died, in order to reward him for the honour that he had shown to them during his life.

When the Blessed Giacomo died in 1301, he was buried in San Giorgio.  Bev-SD-New-SarcophagusMiracles were reported at his grave and his relics were translated in 1302 into a sarcophagus that is now on the counter-facade of Sts Domenico & Giacomo, to the left of the entrance.

The Dominicans rebuilt San Giorgio in 1397 and re-dedicated it as Sts Domenico & Giacomo, probably as part of a bid for the canonisation of Giacomo Bianc  oni. Pope Boniface IX granted indulgences to those who prayed before his relics during the first three days of May.   Boniface IX granted similar indulgences in respect of Blessed Peter Crisci of Foligno.   However, any early attempt to secure canonisation failed.

The relics were re-interred in 1589 in a new sarcophagus, as part of a fresh attempt to secure his beatification.   This was adorned with painted scenes by Ascensidonio Spacca, il Fantino that depict the Blessed Giacomo.

Bishop Alfonso Visconti initiated a process for canonisation in 1608 but this was halted when he died soon after.   Bishop Maffeo Barberini (later Pope Urban VIII) re-opened the case in 1612 and this led in 1632 to a formal process under three bishops, including Bishop Lorenzo Castrucci of Spoleto.   This process was inconclusive and a second was needed before Urban VIII Beatified the Blessed Giacomo in 1641  . The frescoes in the cloister of the convent, which depict scenes from the life of the Blessed James, commemorate this event.

The death of Urban VIII in 1644 probably precluded the canonisation of the Blessed Giacomo.   Yet another process was instituted in 1658 and Pope Clement X confirmed the cult in 1672.   The relics were finally translated to the gilded bronze urn on the high altar of SS Domenico & Giacomo in 1686.  Blessed Giacomo’s praise can be read in the Roman martyrology on 22 August