Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 22 October – Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Thought for the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Many know that St John Paul II’s talents included acting and athletics but did you know the Saint is also an accomplished poet?   He loved to write about nature, humanity and God and wrote poetry throughout his life – as a student, a quarry worker, a priest, bishop and Pope, beginning in 1939 and publishing under pseudonyms in Poland.   It wasn’t until he became Pope that his poetry was published throughout the world.

Known to family and friends as Lolek (a nickname that translates as “Chuck”), the future John Paul II learned about suffering at an early age when his mother died of heart and kidney problems in 1929, shortly before his ninth birthday.  This poem below, “Over This, Your White Grave”” was written before he was twenty.

Over This, Your White Grave

Over this, your white grave
the flowers of life in white—
so many years without you—
how many have passed out of sight?
Over this your white grave
covered for years, there is a stir
in the air, something uplifting
and, like death, beyond comprehension.
Over this your white grave
oh, Mother, can such loving cease?
for all his filial adoration
a prayer:
Give her eternal peace—

over this your white grave poem to his mother st john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg

“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist? And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem, “Name”


In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy: the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

Karol Wojtyla

name-st-veronica-karol-wotyla-st-john-paul-12-july-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St Peter’s Square had a special meaning for St John Paul.   In earlier days he wrote a poem about it.   Below is an excerpt from it:

Marble Floor

Marble floor
our feet meet the earth in this place,
there are so many walls,
so many colonnades,
yet we are not lost. If we find
meaning and oneness,
it is the floor that guides us….
Peter, you are the floor, that others
may walk over you… You guide their steps…
You want to serve their feet that pass
as rock serves the hooves of sheep.
The rock is a gigantic temple floor,
the cross a pasture.

St Peter’s name means “a rock” and Christ said of him “on this Rock I will build my Church.”   The poem is about the role of the Holy Father, who is a shepherd to his flock, a guide to the Church.marble-floor-by-st-john-paul-22-oct-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St John Paul, keep being our Shepherd by your Prayers!st-jp-pray-for-us-22-oct-2017-2.and 22 oct 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 22 October – St John Paul the Great

Quote/s of the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

as in the Rosary,
do the life of Jesus
and that of Mary,
appear so deeply joined.
Mary lives
only in Christ
for Christ!”never-as-in-the-rosary-st-john-paul-no-15-rosarium-virginis-mariae-7-oct-2019.jpg

“Not only the devil is involved in spiritual warfare
but the Holy Spirit is equally involved, or more involved in it,
bringing men and women of goodwill,
the ability to overcome evil in their lives,
so that they too can say:
“Where evil abounded, grace super-abounded!” (Rom 5:20).”

St John Paul II (The Holy Spirit (Dominum Et Vivificantem – 1986)not-only-the-devil-st-jp-22-oct-2017 and 2019.jpg

“Let the eyes of our faith

never wander
from the Cross of Calvary.”let-the-eyes-of-our-faith-st-pope-john-paul-29-may-2018-and 22 oct

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people
is our song.”

St Pope John Paul the Great (1920-2005)

More here:
and here: not abandon yourselves to despair we are the easter people - 22 oct 2019 st john paul the great.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 22 October – ‘There are two means – prayer and detachment from self.’

One Minute Reflection – 22 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel Luke 12:35–38 and the Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes ... Luke 12:37

REFLECTION – “What are we to do if we are to overcome our weakness of soul?   There are two means – prayer and detachment from self.   Our Lord Jesus counsels us to watch. We must be on the watch if we want our heart to be pure but our watching must be peaceful if our heart is to be touched.   Because it can be moved by good things or bad, within or without.   Thus we need to watch carefully.
As a general rule God’s inspiration is an unobtrusive grace, we mustn’t turn it away… if our heart’s aren’t awake, grace turns back.   Divine inspiration is very exact, just as a writer guides his pen, so the grace of God, guides the soul.   So let us try hard to attain greater interior recollection.
Our Lord wants us to desire to love Him.   The watchful soul notices when it falls and realises that, of itself, it cannot reach it’s destination.   That is why it experiences the need for prayer.   Our petition is founded on the conviction that we can do nothing of ourselves but God can do all.   Prayer is needed to obtain light and strength.” … Saint Maximilian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr – Conference of 13/2/1941luke-12-37-blessed-are-those-servants-st max kolbe - what are we to do to overcome - 22 oct 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, strengthen in our hearts the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   May Your Light shine through our lives and be constantly lit to lead us ready for the day the Lord Jesus calls.   St John Paul, by your prayers, may our way be made holy.   Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, john paul II pray for us 18 may 2019 his birthday 99 years old


Our Morning Offering – 22 October – Be with Us, More and More

Our Morning Offering – 22 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Be with Us, More and More
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Be with us, more and more.
Meet us more and more often
because we need it so much.
Speak to us by your motherhood,
by your simplicity and by your holiness.
Speak to us
by your Immaculate Conception!
Speak to us continually!
And obtain for us the grace–
even if we are distant–
of not becoming insensitive
to your presence in our midst.
Amenbe with us more and more - st pope john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 October – Saint Mary Salome (First Century) Disciple of Jesus

Saint of the Day – 22 October – Saint Mary Salome (First Century) Disciple of Jesus, wife of Zebedee and Mother of Saints James and John, Apostles.   She appears briefly in the canonical gospels and in apocryphal writings.   She is named by Mark as present at the Crucifixion and as one of the women who found Jesus’s tomb empty. Interpretation has further identified her with other women who are mentioned but not named in the canonical gospels.   In particular, she is identified as the wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John, two of the Twelve apostles.   In medieval tradition Salome (as Mary Salome) was counted as one of the Three Marys who were daughters of Saint Anne, so making her the sister or half-sister of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus.  Patronage – Veroli, Italy.

Descent from the Cross:  Mary of Cleophas, Mary Salome and John the Evangelist, by Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400-1464)

Like the Jewish greeting “Shalom” and the Arab “Salaam,” Salome is based on an Aramaic word meaning health and peace. It would be hard to think of a more fitting name for a mother.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), “The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship or Torgau” — detail of Salome.jpg
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553), “The Altarpiece of the Holy Kinship or Torgau” — detail of Salome

It is quite probable that Salome was the sister of the Blessed Virgin and it is certain that she was the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James the Greater and John the Evangelist (Matthew 20:20; 27:56).   In the Gospel of St Matthew (20:20ff) it is written:  “Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Him with her sons and did Him homage, wishing to ask Him for something.  He said to her, ‘What do you wish?’ She answered Him, ‘Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at Your right and the other at Your left, in Your kingdom.”

Salome was one of the women who followed Jesus and served him (Mark 15:41), witnessed His Crucifixion and death at Calvary (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40) and who brought spices to embalm Him on Easter morning (Mark 16:1ff) (Delaney, Encyclopedia). Legend says that after the Resurrection she went to Veroli, Italy and spent the rest of her life there spreading the Good mary salome

In art, Mary Salome is shown with her two sainted children (James and John) in her arms.   Occasionally Mary Salome is present at the Nativity because there is a legend that the doubting Salome was a midwife, who came, unbelieving, to the stable at Bethlehem and was converted (cf. Jameson, Legends of the Madonna).  Sometimes Mary Salome together with Mary Cleophas support the Virgin at the Crucifixion or they are present with Mary Magdalene at the Resurrection.


crucifixion blessed virgin, st john mary salome, mary magdalene and mary cleophas
The Crucifixion 1475 – 1485. Master of the Legend of St Catherine


Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 22 October

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:

St Abericus Marcellus
St Alodia of Huesca
St Apollo of Bawit
St Benedict of Macerac
St Bertharius of Monte Cassino
St Cordula
St Donatus of Fiesoli
Bl Esclaramunda of Majorca
St Hermes of Adrianople
St Ingbert
St Leothade of Auch
St Lupenzius
St Mark of Jerusalem
St Mary Salome (First Century)
St Maroveus of Precipiano
St Mellon
St Moderan of Rennes
St Nepotian of Clermont
St Nunctus of Mérida
St Nunilo of Huesca
St Philip of Adrianople
St Philip of Fermo
St Rufus of Egypt
St Symmachus of Capua
St Valerius of Langres
St Verecundus of Verona

Martyrs of Heraclea – 4 saints: A group of four clerics in Heraclea (modern Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) who were arrested in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were imprisoned, abused and ordered to turn over all the scriptures that they had hidden from authorities; they refused and were executed together. Martyrs. – Eusebius, Hermes, Philip and Severus. They were burned at the stake in 304 in Adrianople (modern Edirne, Turkey).

Martyrs of Adianople:
• Blessed Alexander
• Blessed Anna
• Blessed Elisabeth
• Blessed Glyceria
• Blessed Heraclius
• Blessed Theodota

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Álvaro Ibáñez Lázaro
• Blessed Andrés Zarraquino Herrero
• Blessed Estanislao García Obeso
• Blessed Germán Caballero Atienza
• Blessed José Menéndez García
• Blessed Josep Casas Lluch
• Blessed Luis Minguel Ferrer
• Blessed Pedro Lorente Vicente
• Blessed Victoriano Ibañez Alonso