Announcing a Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary
Begins 28 September
The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is on 7 October.
Please join me in praying a Novena in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary for the nine days preceding her Feast on 7 October and, of course, October is the month of the Holy Rosary.
This feast was instituted to commemorate the victory of Christianity over the forces of Islam at the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571. The victory was brought about through the recitation of the Rosary. In thanksgiving for another victory over the same foes in Hungary in 1715, the feast was extended to the entire Church.
In the course of centuries the Rosary has been a source of abundant blessings. In her apparitions at Lourdes, France, in 1858 and again at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, Mary urged Catholics to pray the Rosary daily in order to bring about the conversion of sinners and a lasting world peace. Resolve to say your Rosary every day. Besides being a beautiful tribute of love to your Heavenly Mother, it will be your support and joy in life and your consolation at the hour of death.
Thought for the Day – 26 September – The Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian (Died c 286) Martyrs
Who were Cosmas and Damian? Tradition has it that they were twin brothers, Arabs by rac, and physicians, practising their profession without claiming payment from their patients. Hence they were known as the “moneyless” or “unmercenary” physicians. The lesson formerly read at Matins has this lovely line: “Not more by their knowledge of medicine than by the power of Christ, they healed diseases which had been hopeless for others.”
Ultimately, Cosmas and Damian gave their lives in witness to the Divine Physician Christ. They were honoured first in the East and by the sixth century they had their own basilica in Rome where they were depicted in mosaics which can still be seen today.
It is no surprise that Cosmas and Damian came to be invoked as the patron saints of physicians, surgeon, and other health care givers. For this reason, I remember today, all the physicians and nurses who have cared for us in the past and who care for us now.
In some way we are, all of us, ‘moneyless’ health care givers. There is a long tradition of this — an apostolic one, in fact. Remember Saint Peter saying at the “gate which is called Beautiful” (Ac 3:2) “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have” (Ac 3:6). Peter then offered healing in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The charism of healing may not given to all but the word of comfort, the word of the Lord that dispels fear and brings assurance, is something that each of us can offer. Holy Father Benedict, speaking of the cellarer of the monastery, says that, “a good word is above the highest gift” (RB 31:14). If words can wound, bringing suffering, they can also heal, bringing light and peace.
The words that bring us together, day after day for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — “This is my Body which will be given up for you,” and “This is the cup of my Blood” — are words of healing. They come forth from the mouth of the Divine Physician, moneyless and unmercenary who, “though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). (Fr Mark of Silverstream Priory)
One Minute Reflection – 26 September – Thursday of the Twenty Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 9:7–9 and The Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian (Died c 286) Martyrs
“Who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him. … Luke 9:9
REFLECTION – “You cannot know Jesus without having problems. You cannot know Jesus “by sitting in first class” or “in the calm”, much less “in the library.” We only come to know Jesus on the daily path of life. … knowing Him with the mind is a step in the right direction but in order to know Jesus, we need to enter into a dialogue with Him. By talking with Him, in prayer, on our knee s. If you don’t pray, if you don’t talk to Jesus, you don’t know Him. The third way to know Jesus is by following Him, by going with Him, by walking with Him, by travelling along the road of His ways. If you know Jesus with these three languages – of mind, heart and action, then you can say that you know Jesus. Therefore, in order truly to know Him, it is necessary to read what the Church tells us about Him, to speak with Him in prayer and to walk along the path of His ways with Him. This is the road and everyone has a decision to make.”
PRAYER – Holy God, through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit, with Mary Mother of the Church, St Joseph her spouse, the communion of Saints, we pray, be with us, lead us, guide us, never leave us. May we learn the ways of Your Son, may we follow them and may we constantly seek His Face in prayer and the Sacraments. Grant we pray, that by the intercession of Sts Cosmas and Damian, we may be filled with courage and joy as we follow behind Him. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Saints of the Day – 26 September – Saints Cosmas and Damian (Died c 286) Martyrs, Twin brothers and Physicians, Apostles of Charity, Evangelists – born in the 3rd century, of Arabic descent and died by being tortured, without suffering any injury and finally they were beheaded c 286 in Aegea, Cilicia (modern Ayas, Turkey). They practised their profession in the seaport of Aegeae, then in the Roman province of Syria. Patronages – surgeons, physicians, dentists, protectors of children, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, orphanages, day-care centres, confectioners, children in house, against hernia, against the plague, midwives, Alberobello, Italy, Ossimo, Italy.
Their charity and Christian witness won many converts to the faith and earned them a place of prominence in the Christian communities of Asia Minor. Therefore, when the Diocletian persecutions began in the latter half of the third century they were of some of the first to be sought out for execution.
Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers, born in Arabia, who went to Syria to study and practice medicine. But they were concerned about more than healing bodies. They brought their belief in Christ to those to whom they ministered. Not only that but they also served people without charging any fees. Lysias, the governor of Celicia, heard about these two brothers and he summoned them before him. When Cosmas and Damian proclaimed they were Christians, Lysias had them tortured and finally beheaded.
Devotion to these two brothers grew and many cures were said to have been worked through their intercessions. Later a church in their honour was constructed over the site of their burial. When the Emperor Justinian was sick, he prayed to Saints Cosmas and Damian for a cure. Out of gratitude for receiving this favour, he enlarged the city of Cyr and its church. Numerous other churches were erected for them at Constantinople and Rome. Nine centuries later, St Francis of Assisi rebuilt the dilapidated San Damiano chapel outside Assisi.
The veneration of Cosmas and Damian quickly spread, accounts of their martyrdom were written by various authors such as St Andrew of Crete, Peter of Argos, Theodore II Laskaris, and a certain Maximus around 1300. The legends are preserved also in Syriac, Coptic, Georgian, Armenian and Latin.
The martyr twins are remembered in the Roman Canon of the Mass in the prayer known as the Communicantes (from the first Latin word of the prayer). They are also recalled in the Litany of the Saints and in the older form of the Roman rite, in the Collect for Thursday in the Third Week of Lent, as the station church for this day is Santi Cosma e Damiano.
If so little about these saints is actually known, why do we honour them? Part of the answer can be found in tradition. When so many believers continue to honour the memory of martyrs, year after year and all over the world, there is good reason to believe that their lives were true witnesses to the Gospel. People who live and die according to their convictions and faith, give hope to the world long after their deaths. Their lives can inspire us and encourage us to be faithful during our little trials and sorrows.
St Senator of Albano
St Vigilius of Brescia
Martyrs of Korea – 12 saints: Twelve lay people in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were imprisoned, tortured and martyred together in the persecutions in Korea.
• Saint Agatha Chon Kyong-Hyob
• Saint Carolus Cho Shin-Ch’ol
• Saint Catharina Yi
• Saint Columba Kim Hyo-Im
• Saint Ignatius Kim Che-Jun
• Saint Iulitta Kim
• Saint Lucia Kim
• Saint Magdalena Cho
• Saint Magdalena Ho Kye-Im
• Saint Magdalena Pak Pong-Son
• Saint Perpetua Hong Kum-Ju
• Saint Sebastianus Nam I-Gwan
They were beheaded September 1839 in Seoul Prison, South Korea and Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Amalia Abad Casasempere de Maestre
• Blessed Andreu Felíu Bartomeu
• Blessed Antonio Cid Rodríguez
• Blessed Josefa Romero Clariana
• Blessed Manuel Legua Martí
• Blessed María Jord´ Botella
• Blessed Pau Castell´ Barber´
• Blessed Teresa Rosat Balasch