Thought for the Day – 23 September – St Pio, the Madonna and her Holy Rosary

Thought for the Day – 23 September – The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

St Pio, the Madonna and her Holy Rosary

“For the stigmatist of the Gargano, love for the Madonna meant perpetual imitation of her, if Jesus is the way and the light that leads to the Father, Mary is the way and the light which leads to Jesus.   With Mary’s help and by imitating her virtues, Padre Pio drew ever closer to Jesus, so very close as to be transformed into Him.

His imitation of Mary meant, most importantly, imitation of her humility.   For him, that humility was a constant interior torment, a slow and painful agony, the anguish of not knowing whether he was corresponding to divine grace.   You could read that deep humility on his face even when he was surrounded by clamorous crowds who believed in him, who trusted in his prayers and expected so many miracles from him every day. He always remained collected.   His humility made it possible for him to be serene and dignified as he silently accepted mortification, slander, quarrels, humiliation and sorrow.

For him, love of the Madonna signified perpetual mortification.   He implored his spiritual director to allow him to make a vow of abstinence from fruit on Wednesdays, he also asked him to suggest a means of pleasing the Blessed Mother in all things at all times.

Love of the Madonna animated Padre Pio and inspired him all the more to become an apostle.   “I should like to have a voice strong enough to invite all the sinners of the world to love the Madonna.”   God heard this sigh of love, he was given a voice that could be heard even when he was silent.   It was a voice that touched the depths of people’s hearts and that penetrated their consciences, a voice that tormented and shook those who were dormant.   It was a voice that was as terrible as the crashing of thunder in the night, yet as sweet as a caress.   It was a voice that was threatening yet inviting, a voice that annihilated yet restored, that consoled and pardoned.

To all those who recommended themselves to his prayers, Padre Pio would say: “Love the Madonna.   Recite the Rosary!”love the madonna ricite the rosary - st pio 23 sept 2019.jpg

One day, his guardian asked him how many rosaries he recited daily.   Padre Pio answered, “Well, I have to tell my Guardian the truth, I have recited thirty-four!” For him, the rosary was a perpetual meditation on the profound mysteries of Calvary, on Jesus’s plan of salvation, on His sorrowful Mother.   Padre Pio was fascinated by the Hail Mary.

…His love became an endless, ardent, faithful prayer.   Who could possibly count the rosaries that he recited over the course of his marvellous life?   He was the Friar of the rosary.   He always carried it in his hand or on his arm as if it were a bracelet or a shield. He had other rosaries under the pillow of his bed, on the bureau in his cell.   He called the rosary his weapon.

One night when he was sick in bed, he was unable to find his rosary beads, so he called Fr Onorato of San Giovanni Rotondo, saying, “Young man, get me my weapon, give me my weapon.”

The rosary was his favourite pray,r; he recited it continually.   He devoured the rosary with insatiable hunger, it was the prayer that he had learned from the Virgin herself, the Virgin of Pompeii, Lourdes and Fatima, as a means of obtaining the conversion and salvation of sinners.

At certain hours, he would walk down the centre path of the friary garden, absorbed in his suffering and in his love, while the beads slipped through the fingers of his wounded hands. in his pockets he carried rosary beads, which he would give to anyone who requested a set, even today, people still hold these dear, saying, “This is a rosary which Padre Pio gave me, I treasure it with all my heart!”

Excerpted from Padre Pio:  A Personal Portrait, by Fr Francesco Napolitano OFM Cap
Padre Pio:  A Personal Portrait is a classic introduction to one of the most intriguing saints of the twentieth century—written five years after the saint’s death by someone who worked alongside the Capuchin priest and knew him well, this account is now in print in English for the first time in more than forty years.

St Padre Pio, help us to love the Rosary

and please Pray for Us!st-padre-pio-pray-for-us-23-sept-2017.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – St Pio

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – The Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“Keep close to the Catholic Church at all times,
for the Church alone can give you true peace,
since she alone possesses Jesus,
the true Prince of Peace,
in the Blessed Sacrament.”keep close to the catholic church - st padre pio - 23 sept 2019.jpg

“Every Holy Mass, heard with devotion,
produces in our souls marvellous effects,
abundant spiritual and material graces
which we, ourselves, do not know…
It is easier for the earth to exist
without the sun
than without the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!”it is easier for the earth to exist without the sun - st padre pio - 23 sept 2019.jpg

“Remember – the sinner,
who is sorry for his sins,
is closer to God,
than the just man,
who boasts of his good works.”remember the sinner who is sorry - st pio - 23 sept 2019.jpg

“If any one would be first, he must be
last of all and servant of all.”

Mark 9:35b

“The life of a Christian is nothing
but a perpetual struggle against self:
there is no flowering of the soul 
to the beauty of its perfection,
except at the price of pain.”the-life-of-a-christian-st-pio-23-sept-2018-mark9-35b-if-any-would-be-first-he-must-be-last-and-servant.jpg

“My past, O Lord, to Your mercy,
my present, to Your love,
my future, to Your Providence.”

More here:

St Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)my past o lord to your mercy st pio 23 sept 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 23 September The Light of the world

One Minute Reflection – 23 September – Monday of the Twenty Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 8:16–18 and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“Take heed then how you hear…” … Luke 8:18

REFLECTION – “The lamp on the lampstand is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Father’s true light “who enlightens everyone coming into the world” (Jn 1:9), in other words, the Father’s Wisdom and Word. having accepted our flesh, He truly became and was called, the “light of the world”.   By our faith and devotion He is honoured and exalted in the Church.   In this way He is made visible to all nations and shines out for “all the people in the house”, namely the whole world, as He said:  “They do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket, it is set on a lampstand , where it gives light to all in the house” (Mt 5:15).

As we have seen, Christ calls Himself a lamp. God by nature, He became flesh according to the plan of salvation, a light held within the flesh as if in a vase…  This is what David was thinking when he said: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119[118]:105).   Since He causes the darkness of ignorance and the evil of men to vanish, my Saviour and my God is called a lamp in Scripture.   And since He is the only one able, to obliterate the darkness of ignorance and disperse the shadows of sin, He has become the way of salvation for all.   He leads towards the Father all those who, through understanding and virtue, walk with Him along the path of the commandments as on a road of righteousness.

The lampstand is holy Church because the Word of God shines out through her preaching.   This is how the beams of its truth can enlighten the whole world… On one condition, however – so long as it is not hidden under the letter of the Law.   Anyone who clings to Scripture according to the letter only is living according to the flesh, he is placing the lamp under a bushel basket.   But when, to the contrary, the Church is set on the lampstand, it enlightens everyone.” … Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) – Abbot and Theologian – Question 63 to Thalassiusluke 8 18 take heed then how you hear - since he causes the darkness - st maximus the confessor 23 sept 2019

PRAYER – Holy God, teach me gratitude for Your love, teach me faithfulness no matter what difficulties I face. Jesus, my Lord, Your Church is my guide and my understanding, help me to always be true to her, my holy mother. St Padre Pio, pray for the Church and all God’s people. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, pio pray for us - 2 - 23 sept 2017


Our Morning Offering – 23 September – St Padre Pio Prayer by St John Paul

Our Morning Offering – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

Prayer to St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
by St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Teach us, we pray, humility of heart,
so that we may be counted
among the little ones of the Gospel
to whom the Father promised
to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing,
certain that God knows what we need,
even before we ask Him.
Obtain for us the eyes of faith
that will help us recognise in the poor and suffering,
the very face of Jesus.
Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial
and, if we fall, let us experience the joy
of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary,
mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage
toward the blessed Homeland,
where we too, hope to arrive
to contemplate forever the
Glory of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit.
Amenprayer to st padre pio by st john paul 23 sep[t 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 September – St Thecla (1st century) Virgin and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 23 September – St Thecla (1st century) Virgin and Martyr, Disciple of St Paul. Patronage – of Tarragona in Catalonia (Spain), where the cathedral has a chapel dedicated to her.   Her feast day remains the town’s major local holiday.header - Św.Tekla_-_Antoni_Szulczyński.jpg

The Acts of Paul and Thecla is a 2nd-century text (circa180) which forms part of the Acts of Paul but also circulated separately.   According to the text, Thecla was a young noble virgin from Iconium who listened to Paul’s “discourse on virginity”, espoused the teachings and became estranged to both her fiancé and her mother.   She sat by her window for three days, listening to St Paul and his teachings.   When they witnessed this, they became concerned that Thecla would follow Paul’s demand “one must fear only one God and live in chastity” and turned to the authorities to punish both Paul and

Thecla was miraculously saved from burning at the stake by the onset of a storm and travelled with Paul to Antioch of Pisidia.   There, a nobleman named Alexander desired Thecla and attempted to rape her.   Thecla fought him off, tearing his cloak and knocking his coronet off his head in the process.   She was put on trial for assault.   She was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts but was again saved by a series of miracles, when the female beasts (lionesses in particular) protected her against her male aggressors. While in the arena, she baptised herself by throwing herself into a nearby lake full of aggressive seals.THECLA1.png

She rejoined the Holy Apostle Paul in Myra, travelled to preach the word of God and became an icon encouraging women to imitate her by living a life of chastity and following the word of the Lord.   She went to live in Seleucia Cilicia.   According to some versions of the Acts, she lived in a cave there for 72 years.   As she became a healer, the Hellenistic physicians in the city lost their livelihood and solicited young men to attempt to spoil her virginity at the age of 90.   She called out to God and a new passage was opened in the cave and the stones closed behind her.   She was able to go to Rome and lie down beside Paul’s tecla.jpg

The Church Fathers recount a number of traditions about Thecla.   St Gregory of Nyssa writes in the 4th century (Homily 14 in Cant) that she undertook the sacrifice of herself, by giving death to the flesh [Gal 5:24], practising great austerities, extinguishing in herself all earthly affections, so that nothing seemed to remain living in her but reason and spirit – the whole world seemed dead to her as she was to the world [Gal 6:14]. Macarius Magnes shortly after AD 300 wrote how the message of Christianity was “the Sword, [Matt 10:34] which cuts relations from each other [Matt:10:35], as it cut Thecla from Theocleia.” [Apocriticus ii.7].   Around AD 280, Thecla features as one of the characters in Methodius of Olympus’ Symposium, in which we learn that she was well versed in philosophy and various branches of literature, of eloquent yet modest discourse.   He says that she received her instruction in divine and evangelical knowledge from Paul and was eminent for her skill in sacred science (“Logos 8”).st tecla snip.JPG

The martyrdom of Thecla is frequently referred to in the earliest Acts of the Martyrs. Eugenius, a martyr of Trebizond under Diocletian (284–305), couples Thecla with David and Daniel in his prayers.   The exordium of the Acts of Polyeuctes [d. 259] refers to Thecla and Perpetua and there were certainly many virgin martyrs who drew their first inspiration from the same source.   Eugenia of Rome in the reign of Commodus (180–192) is reported in the Acts of her martyrdom to have taken Thecla as her model.

In June 2010, on a wall of the Catacomba di Santa Tecla in Rome, Vatican archaeologists of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, using laser technology to remove layers of clay and lime rind, discovered a frescoed portrait of St Paul the Apostle, “recognisable by his thin face and dark pointed beard…with small eyes and furrowed brow,” which they believe is the oldest image in existence of Paul, dating from the late 4th century.

1600 year old Fresco of st paul was restored using a laser.jpg
Around 1600 year old image of St Paul

Our Lady of Valvenecra and Memorials of the saints – 23 September

St Padre Pio/ Pius of Pietrelcina OFM Cap (1887-1968) (Memorial)
Biography here:

Our Lady of Valvenecra:
The title was established at Anguiano in the province and autonomous community of La Rioja in north-central Spain, located near Nájera, where it is celebrated on 23 September. The title originated with the discovery of an image of the Blessed Mother in the Byzantine style from the ninth century in an oak.   The sanctuary of Santa Maria de Valvanera was built in the Gothic style in the 10th century.   The name comes from the Latin expression, Vallis Venaria (valley of the veins of water) because it lies in a valley of springs, waterfalls and streams. The church of today dates from the 15th century while preserving a tower from a Romanesque church of the 12th century.   The statue of the Virgen de Valvanera stands in a niche on the high altar.   The title is also known as Virgen de Valvanera and, mistakenly, as Our Lady of Valvanere; Our Lady of Vulvancre; and Our Lady of Valvencre.
This image is a replica of the original which appears to have dated from the tenth century and is preserved in the Royal Abbey shrine of Our Lady of Valvanera, or Valvanere, in Rioja, jealously guarded by Benedictine monks.   The oldest documents preserved date from the thirteenth century, and tell how, according to tradition, the original image was found by a thief who later converted and became a hermit.Our Lady of Valvenecra

St Alfonso Burgos
St Adamnan of Iona
Bl Antonio of Tlaxcala
Bl Bernardina Maria Jablonska
St Cissa of Northumbria
St Constantius of Ancona
Bl Cristobal of Tlaxcala
Bl Emilie Tavernier Gamelin
Bl Francisco de Paula Victor
Bl Guy of Durnes
Bl Helen Duglioli
Bl Juan of Tlaxcala
St Pope Linus (c 10 – c 76) Successor to St Peter
About St Pope Linus:

St Peter Acontanto
St Polyxena
St Thecla (1st century)
Bl William Way
St Xantippa

Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Crispulo Moyano Linares
• Blessed María Josefa del Río Messa
• Blessed Norberto Cembranos de la Verdura
• Blessed Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez
• Blessed Sofía Ximénez y Ximénez del Río
• Blessed Vicente Ballester Far