Thought for the Day – 4 September – Be imprinted in our hearts, Lord

Thought for the Day – 4 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Catherine of Racconigi OP (1486-1547)

Just as the Carmelites have their many famous Teresas so too do the Dominicans have their Catherines – St Catherine of Alexandria (c287-c305) (by adoption as patroness of the Order), St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church, St Catherine de Ricci (1522-2590), Bl Catherine Jarrige (1754-1836) and Bl Catherine of Racconigi, today’s saint. Most of these Catherine’s were espoused to the Lord.   Many of them received crowns of thorns.   They all showed the greatness of God’s grace to draw hearts close to Him.

Aside from being espoused to the Lord at the age of five and aside from receiving the stigmata and a crown of thorns, Bl Catherine of Racconigi is a prime example of Christ drawing hearts close to Him.   Several times the Lord appeared to her and took her heart so that He might cleanse and beautify it.   Moreover, as the tradition holds, the words Jesu, spes mea –“Jesus, my hope!”–were inscribed on her heart in letters of gold.   Christ loves His virgin brides.   The tokens that He has given them, especially to the saintly Dominicans cloistered nuns and active sisters, shows that He desires nothing but union with souls.   Sometimes, this means sharing in the hardships of His Passion.   For Bl Catherine, this meant a life of destitute poverty, abandonment by many friends at death and even the challenge of being deprived of her confessor before she died.   Yet, through it all, her Hope–Christ the Lord, drew her to Himself, where she is now in perfect happiness in heaven.

O Lord, our Hope, who did enrich with an abundance of celestial gifts, the heart of Blessed Catherine, already filled with You, grant, through the intercession of that glorious Virgin, that You may be wholly fastened to our hearts, who for our sake, was wholly fastened to the cross, Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed Catherine of Racconigi, Pray for Us!bl catherine of racconigi pray for us 4 sept 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 5 September – The Good Samaritan of man. 

One Minute Reflection – 5 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 4:38-44 and the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation

Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them….Luke 4:40

REFLECTION – “Having come to earth to proclaim and to realise the salvation of the whole man and of all people, Jesus shows a particular predilection for those who are wounded in body and in spirit – the poor, the sinners, the possessed, the sick, the marginalised.   Thus, He reveals Himself as a doctor both of souls and of bodies, the Good Samaritan of man.   He is the true Saviour – Jesus saves, Jesus cures, Jesus heals.   Each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer and to those who assist them — family, doctors, nurses — so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness.”… Pope Francis – Angelus, 8 February 2015and-he-laid-his-hands-he-eveals-himself-as-a-doctor-both-of-souls-and-bodies-pope-francis-5-sept-2018 and 4 sept 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, grant that Your faithful, who rejoice in the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may be delivered from every evil here on earth.   By her example, may we run in haste to those in need and through her prayer and come to the enduring joys of heaven.   Mary, our Consolation and Comforter, pray for us!   Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.our lady of consolation pray for us.2

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

Our Morning Offering – 4 September – Raise My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 4 September – Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Raise My Heart
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

O my God,
whatever is nearer to me than You,
things of this earth
and things more naturally pleasing to me,
will be sure to interrupt the sight of You,
unless Your grace interfere.
Keep You my eyes,
my ears,
my heart,
from any such miserable tyranny.
Keep my whole being fixed on You.
Let me never lose sight of You
and while I gaze on You,
let my love of You
grow more and more every day.
Amenraise my heart by bl john henry newman 4 sept 2019.jpg


Saint of the Day – 4 September – Blessed Catherine of Racconigi OP (1486-1547)

Saint of the Day – 4 September – Blessed Catherine of Racconigi OP (1486-1547) – Third Order Dominican, Mystic, Stigmatist – born as Caterina Mattei in June 1486 in Racconigi, Cuneo, Italy and died on 4 September 1547 at Caramagna Piemonte, Cuneo, catherine of racconigi-header

Most of the information regarding Catherine Mattei is derived from a ‘vita’ written by her friend, John Francis Pico, Prince of Mirandola.   Catherine Mattei was born in the Piedmont region of Northwest Italy in 1487 into an impoverished household in the Province of Cuneo.   Intermittent conflicts in the area brought widespread poverty.   Her parents were Giorgio and Bilia de Ferrari Mattei.   Her father, an unemployed locksmith, became despondent and quarrelsome as so many do when they lose their livelihood.  Her mother supported the family by weaving coarse cloth at home.   Catherine and her brother grew up in an atmosphere that was absent of the peace of Christ.

Surprisingly, God reached the heart of little Catherine when she was only five.   It was then that her mystical experiences began.   Our Lady appeared to her while the tiny child was praying alone in her tiny room and told Catherine that Jesus wished to make her His spouse.   Then, as a child her own age, Jesus Himself appeared, accompanied by many other saints including Catherine of Siena and Peter Martyr and the Blessed Mother placed the ring of espousal on her finger.   Like the ring of Saint Catherine of Siena, it was visible to today’s saint but could not be seen by catherine.jpg

Thereafter Catherine had frequent ecstasies and visions.   Jesus always appeared to her as a man her own age, whatever that was at the time.   He talked with her, taught her how to pray and several times took her heart away to cleanse it.   When He appeared with His Cross, she offered to help Him.   He let it rest on her shoulder a moment and it left a wound for the rest of her life.   She also received the stigmata, though it too remained invisible to others and, at her request, it was only revealed by her confessor after her death.

And, of course, Jesus worked many miracles on behalf of His friend – made a broken dish whole again and provided money and food when the family’s poverty was extreme.   In times of trial, the heavenly hosts came to comfort the girl who received great consolation from the aspiration, “Jesus, my hope!”bl catherine of racconigi.jpg

Because her family opposed her becoming a Dominican, she took the habit of a tertiary. Her mystical experiences roused a storm of gossip among her neighbours, who were terrified at the lights and sounds that came from her home.   The devil stirred up more trouble to mitigate her influence over other souls.   Even the Dominican fathers ostracised her and eventually she was forced out of town and settled in Racconigi.

There rich and poor sought out Catherine for her wise counsel, prayers and material assistance.   She was almost continually in ecstasy.   The particular object of Catherine’s prayers was the salvation of soldiers dying in battle and the holy souls in Purgatory. Numerous miracles occurred before and after her death and a cult arose at her tomb almost immediately.   Even her persecutors were aware of her sanctity and retracted their bitter words.

Pope Pius VII confirmed her holiness and cult in 1810 by naming her 486px-Catherine_de_Racconigi.jpg


Feast of Our Lady of Consolation and Memorials of the Saints – 4 September

Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, comes from the Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum. It is found in the Litany of Loreto.   The feast of Our Lady of Consolation is one of the solemnities not inscribed in the General Roman Calendar but which are observed in particular places, regions, churches or religious institutes. Augustinians and many regions, observe today 4 September, the Benedictines 5 July.Our Lady of Consolation.2,jpg.jpg

More about Our Lady of Consolation here:

St Ammianus the Martyr
St Pope Boniface I
St Caletricus of Chartres
St Candida of Naples
St Candida the Elder
St Castus of Ancyra
Bl Catherine of Racconigi OP (1486-1547)
St Fredaldo of Mende
St Hermione
St Ida of Herzfeld
St Irmgard of Süchteln
St Julian the Martyr
St Magnus of Ancyra
St Marcellus of Chalon-sur-Saône
St Marcellus of Treves
St Maximus of Ancyra
St Monessa
St Moses the Prophet
Bl Nicolò Rusca
St Oceanus the Martyr
Bl Peter of Saint James
St Rebecca of Alexandria
St Rhuddlad
St Rosalia/Rose of Viterbo TOSF (c 1233 – 1251)
Her Story:

St Rufinus of Ancyra
St Salvinus of Verdun
Bl Scipion-Jérôme Brigeat Lambert
St Silvanus of Ancyra
St Sulpicius of Bayeux
St Thamel
St Theodore the Martyr
St Ultan of Ardbraccan
St Victalicus

Blessed Martyrs of Nowogródek:
The Eleven Nuns of Nowogródek or Blessed Mary Stella and her Ten Companions were a group of members of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, a Polish Roman Catholic religious congregation, executed by the Gestapo in August 1943 in occupied Poland (present-day Navahrudak, Belarus). They have been declared Blessed by virtue of martyrdom by Pope John Paul II on 5 March 2000.Blessed Martyrs of Nowogrodek.jpg

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Adrián Saiz y Saiz
• Blessed Baltasar Mariano Muñoz Martínez
• Facundo Fernández Rodríguez
• Blessed Francisco Sendra Ivars
• Blessed José Bleda Grau
• Blessed José Muñoz Quero
• Blessed José Pascual Carda Saporta
• Blessed Juan Moreno Juárez
• Blessed José Vicente Hormaechea Apoita
• Blessed Pedro Sánchez Barba