and Preparation for the
Canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
The Journey to Sainthood
“I have a part in this great work, I am a link in a chain.”
I know there are some of you, “Newmanites” here with me. So let us join our prayerful hands, with those faithful, all over the world, who are preparing to celebrate the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13 October. This is a time of special grace for us to form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven.
I encourage you to become part of this chain by joining in the Novena with Newman – nine days of prayerful preparation for the Canonisation, starting on tomorrow, Friday 4 October and finishing on Saturday 12 October on the eve of the Canonisation.
The novena highlights each day an aspect of Newman’s character – an example of humility, child of Mary, priest of God’s altar, man of prayer, guardian of conscience, counsellor of converts, educator of the laity, servant of the Church, and model of friendship. These meditations by the new saint will lead us to a more personal loving conversation with God. They can be a very good preparation for his Canonisation and ultimately for heaven, calling to mind that we are on a journey to God. We can also simply say – Saint Newman, help me from heaven to better follow and love our Lord Jesus Christ.
Each day of the Novena includes an intention, an extract from his writings, a decade of the rosary and the Novena prayer.
Let us Pray:
Saint John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!
Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary – Day Six – 3 October
Day Six: We Pray for the Virtue of Meekness
along with our private intentions.
our pride, stubbornness
and lack of faith labelled each thorn
as it pierced Your Sacred Head.
Our exclusion of spiritual realities
tightened the branches around Your Head.
Our lack of confidence in Your Mercy
and the lukewarmness of our love,
braided torture into a wreath of unspeakable pain.
O Jesus, let us NEVER forget Your love for us all
and the reparation You offered the Father for our sake.
Let our soul magnify the Lord by humility of heart,
purity of mind
and a gentle spirit,
so that we may overcome pride, vainglory and resentments
and look forward for an increase in faith.
Send Your beloved Mother and ours, O Lord,
to teach us meekness and humility.
Make us like unto Yourself, O Lord, “for I am meek and humble of heart.”
Daily Prayer along with our Daily Rosary:
My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet.
Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart and for this special favour which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena: ………………………….. (Mention your request).
I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son.
If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused.
I know, dearest Mother, that you want me
to seek God’s holy Will concerning my request.
If what I ask for should not be granted,
pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul.
I offer you this spiritual Bouquet of Roses because I love you.
I put all my confidence in you,
since your prayers before God are most powerful.
For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus,
your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
Our Lady of the Rosary,
pray for our Holy Mother Church
and for our country.
Our Lady of Fatima,
obtain for humanity a lasting peace.
Sweet Heart of Jesus,
be my love.
Sweet Heart of Mary,
at the hour of my death,
lead me home.
Thought for the Day – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) Martyr
“Let us thank God for this heroic pastor of the Church who followed the Lamb to the very end! May his witness bring comfort to those, who even today, are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.”
Pope Benedict XVI
We must always pray to the “Lord of the harvest”, namely, God the Father, that He send labourers into His field which is the world.
These imperatives show that the mission is based on prayer, that it is itinerant – it is not idle, it is itinerant, that it requires separation and poverty, that it brings peace and healing, signs of the closeness of the Kingdom of God, that it is not proselytism but proclamation and witness and that, it also requires frankness and the evangelical freedom, to leave, while highlighting the responsibility of having rejected the message of salvation but without condemnation and cursing.
If lived in these terms, the mission of the Church will be characterised by joy.
And how does this passage end? The 72 “returned with joy” (cf. v. 17). It is not an ephemeral joy, which flows from the success of the mission – on the contrary, it is a joy rooted in the promise that — as Jesus says – “your names are written in heaven” (v. 20).
Quote/s of the Day – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
“Go your way, behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
“He will be with you also, all the way, that faithful God. Every morning when you awaken to the old and tolerable pain, at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty, on to the judgement seat, the same Christ there as ever, still loving you, still sufficient for you, even then. And then, on through all eternity.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 10:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) Martyr
After this the Lord appointed seventy* others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place … Luke 10:1
REFLECTION – “Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which, the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet, with which, He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands, with which, He is to bless others now. … St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, increase our love and trust for and in You, every day. Teach us total abandonment to Your loving providence and thus enable us to do Your will in all things. Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy you who suffered great persecutions and trials but always abandoned yourself to the Divine Will, please pray for us that we learn to do the same. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 3 October – Thursday of the Twenty Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C
Jesus, What a True Friend You are By St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Jesus, what a true friend You are
and how powerful.
May You be blessed forever, Lord,
for offering Your hand of love
in my darkest,
most lonely moments,
for loving me
more than I love myself
and for putting up with
such a stubborn soul as mine.
Saint of the Day – 3 October – Blessed Szilárd István Bogdánffy (1911-1953) aged 42, Bishop (auxilliary), Martyr, Spiritual Director, Professor – Patronages – Bishops, Priests.
Szilárd Bogdánffy was born to Hungarian parents on 21 February 1911 in the village of Feketetó, then part of Torontál County, Austria-Hungary. He lived there with his family until 1925. He was baptised in the parish church of Čoka to which his village belonged and where his father was a cantor.
The Bogdánffy family is a Transylvanian Armenian family which was granted nobility by the Habsburgs. The Bogdánffys are a branch of an ancient Armenian Gajzágó family, one of the families that built the Transylvanian town of Szamosujvár (Armenopolis, Gherla now in Rumania) in the 18th century and which gave many Armenian Catholic (in union with Rome) Priests to the town which became the Armenian Catholic Bishopric of Transylvania.
Bogdánffy went to elementary school in Crna Bara until 1925, when the Bogdánffy family moved to Timişoara, a city in Eastern part of Banat. There he went to the Piarists high school. After his final exams, he was accepted to the Catholic seminary of the Latin-rite Diocese of Oradea. He was ordained a Priest by the Bishop of Oradea Stefan Fiedler on 29 June 1934. He continued his studies at the University of Budapest, where he earned a PhD in philosophy and dogmatics (with a thesis on “Apocalyptics in the Synoptic Gospels”). Upon his return to Romania he became professor of the Catholic seminary in Oradea and confessor at the Ursuline convent in the city. In 1939 he was followed by the Royal Romanian Secret Services for alleged anti-Romanian activity. During World War II – because he was hiding Jews – he was also interrogated by the Hungarian Fascist “Nyílas” gendarmes.
After the end of the war, the new Romanian communist leadership started a campaign against the Christian religion (especially against catholic Christians). As a consequence, the Vatican allowed secret consecration of bishops. Fr Szilárd Bogdánffy was consecrated as Bishop of Oradea of the Latins and Auxiliary Bishop of Satu Mare on 14 February 1949 by Gerald Patrick O’Hara, Regent of the Apostolic Nunciature to Bucharest. The new Bishop was arrested and imprisoned only two months later.
He had previously been approached, on several occasions, by representatives of the regime, with the request that he lead an “independent Romanian Latin-rite Church, with no ties to the Vatican” which he adamantly refused. Until his death he spent four years as a captive in various prisons throughout Romania, including the evil reputed Capul-Midia camp. He fell seriously ill, being affected by the atrocious conditions and regular torture. In Aiud Prison, as the Byzantine rite Catholic Bishop of Lugoj, Ioan Ploscaru recalled, Bishop Bogdánffy was “humble and serene, always ready to help his fellow sufferers.”Although suffering with serious pneumonia, the prison doctor refused him the necessary medication claiming he was not worthy of it. He died in solitary confinement on 3 October 1953 in the prison of Aiud, Romania.
His Beatification took place on 30 October 2010 in Oradea as approved by Pope Benedict XVI.
His Beatification Mass with 200 Priests, 42 Bishops and two Cardinal. Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, preached. Cardinal Angelo Amato, President of the Congregation for causes of the Saints, presided on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI.
He is the first Catholic martyred during the Communist regime in Romania to be elevated to the honour of the altars.