Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WILL of GOD

Second Thought for the Day – 31 December – Blessed Alain de Solminihac (1593-1659) Bishop of Cahors

Second Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas and the Memorial of Blessed Alain de Solminihac (1593-1659) Bishop of Cahors, France

2018 was the 400th Anniversary the Priestly Ordination of Blessed Alain de Solminihac. His Diocese of Cahors, France launched a Year of Vocations to conincide with this event of their former Bishop. One of their aims, besides promoting vocations, was to make known the life and holiness of Blessed Alain. Bishop Laurent Camiade, the current Bishop of Cahors, wrote:

“It is wonderful to know that you are called to holiness and it is inspiring to answer the call, to give your whole life, for consecration in the Church.   All Christians are concerned with the “universal vocation to holiness.”   Some are specifically called to give their whole life – religious consecration, or in an institute, hermit or order of the virgins, or commitment to celibacy with a view to being ordained a priest.

Providence wanted 2018 to be the 400th anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Blessed Alain de Solminihac.   He was Ordained Deacon on 25 March 1617 and Priest on 22 September 1618.   In 1636, he was called again to become Bishop of Cahors.   This is why, after having spoken to different councils, I hope that we will take advantage of this Anniversary to return to listening to the teachings of Blessed Alain.   He teaches us with his vigorous and profound words … and by his exemplary life, to strive to be courageous, ardent and sober.

Today, as in Alain de Solminihac’s time, devoting his whole life to God involves difficulties.   Celibacy according to a sober lifestyle has never been obvious.   In the time of Blessed Alain, the choice of becoming a priest, religious or nun, made it possible to ensure material security, thanks to a system of benefits attached to abbeys or dioceses. As a result, in the 17th century, not all consecrated persons had internalised, the spiritual conditions, for living in accordance with their state and the clergy did not always give a good testimony.   It is in this context, that Blessed Alain would become a “reformer”, that is to say, a demanding promoter of coherence between vocation and lifestyle.

Alain de Solminihac put spirituality and fidelity to the duties linked to the received mission first.   “You must follow the good pleasure of God as soon as you know it , he wrote, and accomplish it by immediately turning your eyes to God, remaining in a simple expectation to receive another sign or command, without wasting time delight in the satisfaction of having accomplished this adorable Will of God.”

The requirements of Blessed Alain sometimes provoked reactions of opposition but they also attracted many young people, happy to give themselves, in a way that made sense and above all, pushed by the Holy Spirit who wanted this for the Church.   His motto was Faith and Valour! and he lived up to it!

It is clearly a current need to relaunch the call to specific vocations (priests, religious, nuns, consecrated).   The desire to give all of one’s life to follow Christ, exists in many young people (recent statistics prove it) but this is seldom realised, as we can see.

The priests and seminarians of our Diocese are deeply attached to Our Lady of Rocamadour, who played an often decisive role in their engagement.   Blessed Alain fought with all the vigour of his temper, to keep this sanctuary in the Diocese of Cahors. We are therefore grateful to him for these graces which, by the will of God, reflect from the pierced heart of Christ, to our local Church.   Blessed Alain considered Rocamadour to be the most famous Marian place in the kingdom  . He was very attached to Mary who, he explains, “had more humility than all the other saints, because, holier than the others, she had a more perfect knowledge of the excellence of God and by consequence of her own nothingness. “

relics of bl alain
Relics of Blessed Alain de Solminihac in Cahors

May Blessed Alain de Solminihac help us to share his missionary ardour and his discreet humility.”

Blessed Alain de Solminihac, Pray for Us!bl alain de solminihac pray for us 31 dec 2019

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, The INCARNATION, The LAMB of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Word made Flesh makes us Divine

Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

The Word made Flesh makes us Divine

Saint Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus (c 170-c 235)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his On the Refutation of All Heresies, Chapter 10

“Our faith is not founded upon empty words, nor are we carried away by mere caprice or beguiled by specious arguments.   On the contrary, we put our faith in words spoken by the power of God, spoken by the Word Himself at God’s command.   God wished to win men back from disobedience, not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will, a call to liberty.

The Word spoke first of all through the prophets but because the message was couched in such obscure language that it could be only dimly apprehended, in the last days, the Father sent the Word in person, commanding him to show Himself openly, so that the world could see Him and be saved.

We know that by taking a body from the Virgin He re-fashioned our fallen nature.   We know that His manhood was of the same clay as our own, if this were not so, He would hardly have been a teacher who could expect to be imitated.   If He were of a different substance from me, He would surely not have ordered me to do as He did, when by my very nature I am so weak.   Such a demand could not be reconciled with His goodness and justice.

No.   He wanted us to consider Him as no different from ourselves and so, He worked, He was hungry and thirsty, He slept.   Without protest He endured His passion, He submitted to death and revealed His resurrection.   In all these ways, He offered His own manhood as the first fruits of our race, to keep us from losing heart, when suffering comes our way and to make us look forward to receiving the same reward as He did, since we know that we possess the same humanity.

When we have come to know the true God, both our bodies and our souls will be immortal and incorruptible.   We shall enter the kingdom of heaven, because while we lived on earth we acknowledged heaven’s King.   Friends of God and co-heirs with Christ, we shall be subject to no evil desires or inclinations, or to any affliction of body or soul, for we shall have become divine.

Whatever evil you may have suffered, being man, it is God that sent it to you, precisely because you are man but equally, when you have been deified, God has promised you a share in everyone of His own attributes.   The saying “Know yourself” means, therefore, that we should recognise and acknowledge in ourselves, the God who made us in His own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognised and acknowledged by our Maker.

So let us not be at enmity with ourselves but change our way of life without delay.   For Christ who is God, exalted above all creation, has taken away man’s sin and has re-fashioned our fallen nature.   In the beginning God made man in His image and so gave proof of His love for us.   If we obey His holy commands and learn to imitate His goodness, we shall be like Him and He will honour us.   God is not beggarly and for the sake of His own glory, He has given us a share in His divinity.”

St Hippolytus (c 170–c 235) was one of the most important second-third century Christian theologians, whose provenance, identity and corpus remain elusive to scholars and historians.   Many unconfirmed ‘facts’ concerning him abound.   I will follow Rome, as in all things – Pope Pius IV identifies him and confirms him as “Saint Hippolytus, Bishop of Pontus” who was martyred in the reign of Severus Alexander through his inscription on a statue found at the Church of Saint Lawrence in Rome and kept at the Vatican.
Hippolytus’ voluminous writings, which for variety of subject can be compared with those of Origen, embrace the spheres of exegesis, homiletics, apologetics and polemic, chronography and ecclesiastical law.   The Apostolic Tradition, recorded the first liturgical reference to the Virgin Mary, as part of the ordination rite of a bishop.
His Feast day is 13 August.he wanted us to consider him as no different - st hippolytus of rome 31 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

Quote of the Day – 31 December – Blessed Alain de Solminihac (1593-1659)

Quote of the Day – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas and the Memorial of Blessed Alain de Solminihac (1593-1659) Bishop of Cahors, France

“You must follow the good pleasure of God
as soon as you know it and accomplish it
by immediately turning your eyes to God,
remaining in a simple expectation,
to receive another sign or command,
without wasting time,
delight in the satisfaction of having accomplished
this adorable Will of God.”

Blessed Alain de Solminihac (1593-1659)you must follow the good pleasure of god - 31 dec 2019 bl alain de solminihac.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – ‘As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted…’

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21, Psalm 96:1-2, 11-13, John 1:1-18

He came to his own home and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God…. John 1:11-12

REFLECTION – “Lord, we have heard Your works and we have been astounded.   We have pondered Your marvels and we have fainted.

As Your Word descended, our heart has been melted and all our innermost being, trembling, has been laid bare to Him.   For while silence, held all things and night, in her journey reached her mid-course, Your Almighty Word came from its royal abode (cf. Wis 18:14-15).   You poured out, O Father, the tenderness of Your love upon us and You could no longer contain the multitude of Your mercies.   You shed light in the darkness, dew upon the dryness and in the bitter frost, You kindled a raging fire.   Your Son appeared to us as an abundance of food when grievous famine threatened, as a spring of living water, to a life in distress and fainting from thirst in the heat.   Or surely, just as there is wont to appear, a strong helper and deliverer for men besieged, who are about to rush out into battle, with death before their eyes and with the enemy’s threatening sword (…): so He appeared for us and became our Salvation.

Yet it is an excellent and salutary thing to recount again the beginning of our Salvation and to treat of His incarnation, to recall whence He came and in what sort He descended.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk, Bishop – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily III, SC 72.john 1 11-12 he came to his own and his own received him not - your son appeared to us - st amadeus of lausanne 31 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship.   Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.the word became flesh alleluia alleluia 31 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARTYRS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – Let Me Spend My Life Near Thee, O Mother

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

Let Me Spend My Life Near Thee, O Mother
Blessed Miguel Pro SJ
Martyr (1891-1927)

Let me spend my life near thee, O Mother
to keep thee company
in thy solitude and deepest grief.

Let me feel in my soul
the sadness of thine eyes
and the abandonment of thy heart.

On life’s highway I do not seek
the gladness of Bethlehem,
I do not wish to adore the infant God
in thy virginal hands,
nor to enjoy the winsome presence of Jesus
in thy humble home of Nazareth,
nor the mingle with the angelic choirs
in thy glorious Assumption.

My wish in life is for the jeers
and derision of Calvary,
for the slow agony of thy Son,
for the contempt, the disgrace
and infamy of the cross.

My wish, O most sorrowful Virgin,
is to stand near thee,
to strengthen my soul through thy tears
to complete my offering
through thy martyrdom,
to temper my heart through thy solitude
and to love my God and thy God
through my self-sacrifice.
Amenlet me spend my life near thee o mother - 31 dec 2019 bl miguel pro

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 December – Blessed Alain de Solminihac OSA (1593-1659)

Saint of the Day – 31 December – Blessed Alain de Solminihac OSA (1593-1659) Bishop of Cahors from 1636 until his death, religious of the Order of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine of Chancelade in Périgueux (now the Confederation of St Augustine).    Blessed Alain was Abbot, Reformer, Marian devotee most especially to Our Lady of Rocamadour, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist especially by his promotion of Adoration, he was also a member of the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement.   Born on 25 November 1593 in the family castle at Belet, Dordogne, France and died on 31 December 1659, aged 66, at Mercues, Lot, France of natural causes.   Patronage – the Diocese of Cahors.bl alaino desolminihac.jpg

Alain was born into an aristocratic family in castle Belet near Perigueux in France.

He wanted to become a member of the Knights of Malta in order to serve God but felt a strong call to the Priesthood and to the religious life so joined the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine of Chancelade in 1613 as a postulant.  The completion of his theological studies soon saw him Ordained to the Priesthood on 22 September 1618.  While still a young man he became the Abbot of Chancelade, which had fallen into disrepair as a result of the turmoil of the times.   He strove with great effort and effect to reform his brothers in the Congregation of the Canons Regular of Chancelade.

In 1636 he became Bishop of Cahors.   He was as a zealous shepherd of the flock with which he was entrusted.   As Bishop he visited each of his 800 parishes at least nine times during the course of his episcopate and he held an episcopal consecration on one occasion.bl alain de solminihac icon.jpg

His great devotion to the Holy Eucharist prompted him to promote Eucharistic Adoration as well as restoring a many pastoral devotions within his Diocese.

He attended the Council of Trent and followed the lead of Saint Charles Borromeo in enforcing it’s decrees in his diocese.   During this time, he met Saint Francis de Sales during Lent in 1619 and the two became friends and had many more meetings following this.   Another friendship was his close relationship with Saint Vincent de Paul.bl Alain_de_Solminihac_(1593-1659).jpg

His reform work not only blessed his Diocese but influenced other parts of France.

Moreover, he remained always faithful to the Holy See.   Misconceptions, which surrounded him, were resolved in his favour.   His convincing love of neighbour made him a brilliant light of faith in 17th Century France.   After a long, zealous, faithful and strenuous life he died on 31 December 1659.bl alain sml.jpg

He was declared a Servant of God after Pope Pius VI opened his cause for sainthood on 6 August 1783 and Pope Pius XI declared him to be Venerable on 19 June 1927.   St Pope John Paul II Beatified him on 4 October 1981.   The miracle required for his Beatification involved the cure of Marie Ledoux on 29 June 1661 in France.bl alain de solminihac book.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 31 December

St Pope Sylvester I (Died 335) (Optional Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/31/saint-of-the-day-st-pope-sylvester-i-died-335/

Blessed Alain de Solminihac OSA (1593-1659)
St Anton Zogaj
St Barbatian of Ravenna
St Columba of Sens
Bl Dominic de Cubells
St Festus of Valencia
St Gelasius of Palestine
Bl Giuseppina Nicoli
St Hermes the Exorcist
St Marius Aventicus
St Melania the Younger
St Offa of Benevento
Bl Peter of Subiaco
St Pinian
St Potentian of Sens
St Sabinian of Sens
St Theophylact of Ohrid
Bl Walembert of Cambrai
Bl Wisinto of Kremsmünster
St Zoticus of Constantinople

Martyrs of Catania – 10 saints: A group of early Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only other information to survive are ten of their names – Attalus, Cornelius, Fabian, Flos, Minervinus, Pontian, Quintian, Sextus, Simplician and Stephen. They were martyred in Catania, Sicily, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 10 saints: A group of Roman women martyred in an early persecution, date unknown. We known the names of ten of them – Dominanda, Donata, Hilaria, Nominanda, Paolina, Paulina, Rogata, Rustica, Saturnina and Serotina.
Their relics were enshrined in the catacombs of Via Salaria, Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Leandro Gómez Gil
• Blessed Luis Vidaurrázaga González

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Her Amazement at her Only Child – Karol Wojtyla

Thought for the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

Her Amazement at her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Light piercing, gradually, everyday events,
a woman’s eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.

In that little town, my Son, where they knew us together,
You called me mother but no-one had eyes to see,
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in Your wish to be with them, through the work of Your hands.

I knew – the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days —
the light was You,
it did not come from me.

And I had more of You in that luminous silence,
than I had of You as the fruit of my body, my blood.

ST JOHN PAUL II’S CHRISTMAS POETRY
Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”

 

her amazement at her only child - st john paul karol wojtyla 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SILENCE, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – Bl Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913)

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave and the Memorial of Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913) “Father of the Poor”

“Do you want to become a saint?
Imitate Jesus Christ,
walk in His footsteps,
think like Jesus,
speak like Jesus,
love like Jesus,
make your life,
a reproduction of His Life.”

do you want to become a saint - bl giovanni maria boccardo 30 dec 2019.jpg

“How many things Jesus tells us in our heart,
when we stand at His feet,
if we are careful to listen to His Voice!”how many things jesus tells us in our heart - bl giovanni boccardo 30 dec 2019.jpg

“In silence, in listening to His Word,
the Lord waits for us
to make His Voice heard.
To take it with us
as we walk the streets …”in silence in listening to his word - bl giovanni boccardo 30 dec 2019.jpg

“When you want to pass judgement
on your neighbour,
act as if it were you,
and you were next!”

Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913)when you want to pass judgement - bl giovanni boccardo 30 dec 2019

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – He is the Kiss of God

One Minute Reflection – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40

“She spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” ... Luke 2:38

REFLECTION – “O Root of Jesse, who stand as a sign to the peoples” (Is 11: 10), “how many kings and prophets wanted to see you and did not” (Lk 10:24)?   Simeon is the happiest of them all because by God’s mercy he was still bearing fruit in old age.   For he rejoiced to think that he would see the sign so long desired.   He saw it and was glad (Lk 8:56).  When he had received the kiss of peace, he departed in peace but first, he proclaimed aloud that Jesus was born, a sign that would be rejected (Lk 2:25-34).   And so it was.   The sign of peace arose and was rejected, by those who hate peace (Ps 119:7).   For what is peace to men of goodwill (Lk 2:14) is a stone to make men stumble, a rock for the wicked to fall over (l Pt 2:8).   “Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Mt 2:3).   He came to His own and His own did not receive Him (Jn 1:11).   Happy those shepherds keeping watch at night who were found worthy to be shown the sign of this vision! (Lk 23:8)

For even at that time He was hiding Himself from the wise and prudent and revealing Himself to the simple (Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21). ( … )   The angel said to the shepherds, “This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12), you who are humble, you who are obedient, you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16), you who are keeping vigil and meditating on God’s law day and night (Ps 1:2).   “This is a sign for you,” he said.   What is this sign?   The sign the angels promised, the sign the people asked for, the sign the prophets foretold, the Lord Jesus has now made and He shows it to you. ( … )

This is your sign.  What is it a sign of?   Indulgence, grace, peace, “the peace which will have no end” (Is 9:7).   It is this sign: “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2: 12).   But this baby is God Himself, reconciling the world to Himself in Him (2 Cor 5: 19). ( … )   He is the Kiss of God, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1Tm 2:5), who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian monk and Doctor of the Churchluke 2 38 - she spoke about the child to all - he is the kiss of god - st bernard 30 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, the human birth of Your Only-begotten Son, was the beginning of new life.   May He set us free from the tyranny of sin.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.the Prince of Peace - peace to men of goodwill 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Staff of Life Springs Forth

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

The Staff of Life Springs Forth
A Nativity Prayer
By St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The feast day of Your birth resembles You, Lord
because it brings joy to all humanity.
Old people and infants alike, enjoy Your day.
Your day is celebrated from generation to generation.
Kings and emperors may pass away,
and the festivals to commemorate them soon lapse.
But Your festival will be remembered
until the end of time.
Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.
At Your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
since You came from heaven to earth on that day.
You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.
You gave us so many gifts on the day of Your birth,
a treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick.
spiritual light for the blind,
the cup of salvation for the thirsty,
the bread of life for the hungry.
In the winter when trees are bare,
You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
In the frost when the earth is barren,
You bring new hope to our souls.
In December, when seeds are hidden in the soil,
the staff of life springs forth
from the virgin womb.
Amenthe feast day of your birth resembles you o lord - nativity prayer by st ephrem 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 December – Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913) “Father of the Poor”

Saint of the Day – 30 December – Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913) he is remembered as “Father of the Poor” – Priest, Founder of the Poor Daughters of Saint Cajetan.    Born on 20 November 1848 in Ca’Bianca, Moncalieri, Turin, Italy and died on 30 December 1913, aged 65 in Moncalieri, Turin, Italy of natural causes.    Patronages – the Poor Daughters of St Cajetan and against cancer.   Blessed Giovanni is the elder brother of Blessed Luigi Boccardo (1861-1936), whose memorial is on 9 June and who founded a contemplative branch of his brother’s order.bl boccardo.2

Giovanni Maria Boccardo was born in Turin, Italy, in 1848 as the eldest of ten children born to Gaspare Boccardo and Giuseppina Malebra.   He was baptised on 21 November. Three brothers – including Luigi Boccardo – became priests and another three died as infants.

Giovanni was generous to the plight of the poor as a child and adolescent and on one occasion cared for a blind beggar.   He studied with the Barnabites in 1861 and graduated from their school in 1864 and thereafter, commenced his studies for the priesthood.   He was Ordained in Turin in 1871.

After his Ordination, he was appointed assistant and then spiritual director of the Seminaries in Chieri and Turin.  In this office he was a guide and father to his seminarians and gave them the best of his heart and his priestly knowledge.   He became a friend of St John Bosco, whilst at the Seminaries and also met and forged longstanding friendships with Blessed Leonardo Murialdo and Blessed Giuseppe Allamano.    He received a doctorate in his theological studies on 1 February 1877.bl giovanni boccardo young

Fr Giovanni was named as a Canon of the Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Chieri and in 1882 was appointed Parish Priest of Pancalieri.   He obediently accepted this post, which was to be his last on earth.   The separation from his Seminarians must have deeply pained his sensitive heart.   For Fr Boccardo, who maintained and increased his early apostolic enthusiasm despite the stress of daily life, his Parish was a true “mission land.”   On the day set for his solemn entry into the parish, at the sight of the church’s bell tower in the distance, Fr Boccardo offered himself as a victim for the good of his parishioners, so that the Lord would not allow a single one of the souls entrusted to his pastoral care to stray.

He was present for his brother Luigi’s first Mass as a priest on 8 June 1884.bl giovanni and bl luigi boccardo - brothers book

After serving as parish priest in Pancalieri for two years, the village was stricken with cholera.   Bl Boccardo threw himself into caring for the sick, even at the risk of his own life, spending on them all his physical and moral energies and means.   When the epidemic was over, the village was left with abandoned elderly, orphaned children and poor people who no longer had a roof over their heads or any resources.   This situation made a deep impression on his fatherly heart.   He prayed, sought advice and, when he was certain of God’s will, he laid the foundations of the Hospice of Charity and later, of a Congregation of Sisters called the Poor Daughters of St Cajetan, who in a few years spread throughout Piedmont and Italy.bl giovanni maria boccardo

He believed that a Parish Priest’s first duty was the saving of souls, via Catechesis  and evangelisation.   He preached Jesus Christ and His Gospel in its entirety.    He celebrated the Sacraments with zeal and love, he preached to teach and help his parishioners grow in sanctity, he was committed to the ministry of Confession and of visiting the prisons of Saluzzo to provide spiritual comfort to prisoners.   He was the “good father”, the father of all, especially of the sick and the poor.   His life was filled with arduous penances hidden beneath a constant smile.   When it was a question helping others, he never refused.

As a faithful shepherd, he served his Parish with paternal affection until his death on 30 December 1913.   His secret?   He did not seek himself but sacrificed himself to strengthen, in his faithful, the life of the spirit.   And, he never failed to serve the body too of the poor, the sick, the needy.beato-giovanni-maria-boccardo-k-1

His spiritual writings runs to a total of 44 volumes.

As of 2005 there were 132 religious in a total of 20 houses in Europe and Argentina, India, various countries in Africa and Togo.

He was Beatified on 24 May 1998 by St Pope John Paul II.   The beatification miracle involved the complete healing from cancer of 80-year-old Lina Alvez De Oliveira of Sao Paolo, Brazil on 12 February 1968, hence his patronage against cancer.canonisation bl-Giovanni-Maria-Boccardo

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 30 December

St Anysia of Thessalonica
St Anysius of Thessalonica
St Egwin of Worcester
St Elias of Conques
St Eugene of Milan
St Pope Felix I
St Geremarus
Blessed Giovanni Maria Boccardo (1848-1913)
St Hermes of Moesia
St Jucundus of Aosta
St Liberius of Ravenna
Bl Margaret Colonna
St Perpetuus of Tours
Bl Raoul of Vaucelles
St Raynerius of Aquila
Bl Richard of Wedinghausen
St Ruggero of Canne
St Sebastian of Esztergom

Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred in the unrest caused by Monophysite heretics. We know the names for five of them – Appian, Donatus, Honorius, Mansuetus and Severus. They were martyred in c 483 at Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Oia – (6 saints): A group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. The only details to have survived are the names – Cletus, Florentius, Papinianus, Paul, Serenusa and Stephen. They were martyred in Oia, Greece.

Martyrs of Spoleto – (4 saints): A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian – Exuperantius, Marcellus, Sabinus and Venustian. They were martyred in 303 in Spoleto, Italy

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, FRANCISCAN OFM, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Bless Your Children!

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

I am most grateful for my upbringing in a truly Catholic family, not one exit was made by the children without a blessing by our parents.   This is such an important and vital element in our daily lives as Catholic families.   And you too, parents, as you exit and enter your homes, bless yourselves with the Sign of the Cross – have a Holy Water Font at your doors – habits are formed by action – start today!bless your children - pope francis - 29 dec 2019.jpg

Bless Your Children
Pope Francis

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
27 December 2015

“How important it is for our families to journey together towards a single goal!   We know that we have a road to travel together, a road along which we encounter difficulties but also enjoy moments of joy and consolation.   And on this pilgrimage of life we also share in moments of prayer.

What can be more beautiful, than for a father and mother, to bless their children at the beginning and end of each day, to trace on their forehead the Sign of the Cross, as they did on the day of their Baptism?   Is this not the simplest prayer which parents can offer for their children?   To bless them, that is, to entrust them to the Lord, just like Elkanah and Anna, Joseph and Mary, so that He can be their protection and support throughout the day.

In the same way, it is important for families to join in a brief prayer before meals, in order to thank the Lord for these gifts and to learn how to share what we have received with those in greater need.   These are all little gestures, yet they point to the great formative role played by the family in the pilgrimage of everyday life.”

grace before meals - 29 dec 2019 - holy family feast .jpg

The Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord
and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive
from Thy bounty,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

grace after meals - 29 dec 2019 - holy family feast.jpg

The Grace After Meals

We give Thee thanks,
Almighty God,
for all Thy gifts,
almighty God,
living and reigning
now and forever.
Amen

I learnt this Capuchin Grace Before a Meal from Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household:

Lord, bless this food
that we are about to receive
from Your bounty.
Help us to provide
for those who do not have any
and make us partakers one day
in Your heavenly banquet,
through Christ, our Lord,
amen.

Posted in CCC, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December- The Holiness of the Family

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

“God, to whom angels submit themselves
and who principalities and powers obey,
was subject to Mary;
and not only to Mary
but Joseph also for Mary’s sake [….].
God obeyed a human creature;
this is humility without precedent.
A human creature commands God;
it is sublime beyond measure.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Doctor of the Churchgod-obeyed-a-human-creature-st-bernard-31-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

“If you want to bring happiness
to the whole world,
go home and love your family.”

St Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)if you want to bring happiness to the whole world go home and love your family st mother teresa 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“The human family, in a certain sense,
is an icon of the Trinity
because of its interpersonal love
and the fruitfulness of this love.”

Pope Benedict XVIthe human family in a certain sense is an icon of the trinity - pope benedict 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“By His obedience to Mary and Joseph,
as well as by His humble work
during the long years in Nazareth,
Jesus gives us the example of holiness
in the daily life of family and work.”

CCC 564by his obedience to mary and joseph ccc 564 - 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

“The Christian family is a communion of persons,
a sign and image of the communion
of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.
In the procreation and education of children,
it reflects the Father’s work of creation….”

CCC 2205the christian family is a communion of persons - ccc 2205 29 dec 2019 holy family.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 29 December – ‘I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes.’

Sunday Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave (excerpts from various homilies of St John Chrysostom).

“What excuse shall we have, or how shall we obtain pardon, if we consider it too much to go to Jesus in the Eucharist, who descended from Heaven for our sake?

This Fountain [of the Holy Eucharist] is a fountain of light, shedding abundant rays of truth.   And beside it, the angelic powers from on high have taken their stand, gazing on the beauty of its streams, since they perceive more clearly than we, the power of what lies before us and its unapproachable dazzling rays.

The wise men adored this body when it lay in the manger…they prostrated themselves before it in fear and trembling….Now you behold the same body that the wise men adored in the manger, lying upon the altar…you also know its power.

How many of you say – I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes.   You do see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him.   He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him but also to be your food and nourishment.  You can call happy those who saw Him. But, come to the altar and you will see Him, you will touch Him, you will give to Him holy kisses, you will wash Him with your tears, you will carry Him within you
like Mary Most Holy.you-can-call-happy-st-john-chrysostom-20-april-2018 and sun refl 29 dec 2019.jpg

When you see (the Most Blessed Sacrament) exposed, say to yourself:   ‘Thanks to this Body, I am no longer dust and ashes, I am no more a captive but a freeman, hence, I hope to obtain heaven and the good things that are there in store for me… eternal life, the heritage of the angels, companionship with Christ; death has not destroyed this Body which was pierced by nails and scourged, . . . this is that Body which was once covered with blood, pierced by a lance, from which issued saving fountains upon the world, one of blood and the other of water. . .  This Body He gave to us to keep and eat, as a mark of His intense love’.”

Prayer Before Holy Communion
By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord, my God,
I am not worthy,
that You should come into my soul
but I am glad that You will come to me,
because in Your loving kindness,
You desire to dwell in me.
You ask me to open the door of my soul,
which You alone have created,
so that You may enter into it,
with Your loving kindness
and dispel the darkness of my mind.
I believe that You will do this
for You did not turn away Mary Magdalene
when she approached You in tears.
Neither did You withhold forgiveness
from the tax collector,
who repented of his sins,
or from the good thief,
who asked to be received into Your kingdom.
Indeed, You numbered as Your friends
all who came to You with repentant hearts.
O God, You alone are blessed always,
now and forever.
Amen

St John Chrysostom (347 to 407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
Bishop of Constantinopleprayer before holy communion by st john chrysostom - 24 june 2018 - solemnity of the birth of john baptist.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The FLIGHT into EQYPT, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14, Psalm 128:1-5, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. … Matthew 2:14joseph rose and took the child and his mother - matthew 2 14.jpg

REFLECTION – “An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph and warned him that Herod was seeking the Child Jesus’ life:  “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt”.   Jesus had hardly been born before he was being persecuted to the death. (…)  Joseph obeyed the angel’s voice without delay and warned his holy wife.   He took such poor tools as he could carry so that he might have the wherewithal to carry on his work in Egypt and have something with which to maintain his little family.   Mary, for her part, gathered together in a bundle the necessary linen for her divine son, then, going to the cradle where He was lying, she went down on her knees, kissed the feet of her beloved child and, weeping tears of tenderness, said to Him:  “Oh my son and my God, You have come into the world to save humankind yet You have scarcely been born and they seek to kill You!”   Then she took Him in her arms and, as they wept, the holy couple shut the door and set out through the night. (…)

Beloved Jesus, You are the king of heaven and now I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.   Tell me, who are You looking for?   I am moved with compassion when I see Your poverty and humiliation.   But what distresses me, even more deeply, is the complete ingratitude with which I see You being treated by the very ones You came to save.   You weep and I weep too for being one of those who have despised and persecuted You.   Yet know, that I would now prefer Your grace to all the kingdoms of the world.

Forgive me all the harm I have caused You.   On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms during the flight to Egypt.   Beloved Redeemer, I have often cast You out of my soul but now, I trust You have repossessed it.   I beseech You, bind it closely to Yourself with the sweet bonds of Your love.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of the Epiphany, no. 3on the journey of this life to eternity - st alphonsus liguori 29 dec 2019 holy family feast no 2

PRAYER – O Most merciful Infant Jesus, I give You thanks for all that You suffered for me. O my sweetest Love, I am sorry that I have offended You.   I desire to be always faithful in Your service.   Fill my heart with Your love.   O Mary, grant that I may belong entirely to you and your Son, Jesus. Amen – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)holy family pray for us 29 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, POETRY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – The Song Of The Eucharist By Liam Ó Comáin

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

The Song Of The Eucharist
By Liam Ó Comáin

Oh, let us adore and praise
The Eucharist who was born
As the Son of God to Mary,
An immaculate loving mother.

Oh Jesus, loving Jesus,
God with us on our way
Crucified and risen
To bring us to eternity.

By giving us Yourself
Before Your crucifixion
You granted us the ultimate
Beyond any imagination.

Oh Jesus, loving Jesus,
God with us on our way
Crucified and risen
To bring us to eternity.

For as the Bread of Life
We long for You daily
For to receive You is
The Fruit of our mother Mary.

Oh Jesus, loving Jesus,
God with us on our way
Crucified and risen
To bring us to eternity.

So let us sing to Jesus
Our most Blessed Sacrament
Offering thanks for His love
Which we experience daily.

Oh Jesus, loving Jesus,
God with us on our way
Crucified and risen
To bring us to eternity.

Amen

“The Truth is that Jesus,
is the greatest of all poems!
In truth, He is the Poet of all poets!
The mystical Source of the Art of all arts!”

Liam Ó Comáin

The author was born in the Town of Limavady in the Valley of the Roe in the County of Derry, in the north of Ireland. His birth name in English was William Cummings ( Young Bar The Door) but later on in life he changed his name to its Irish Gaelic form.
A great lover of poetry and, in due course, Liam has had books published about poetry, mysticism, politics and the sport of Pigeon Racing.   He has also written for the media.
A graduate from the Open University and the University Of Ulster at Coleraine in Psychologyand Philosophy (plus).the song of the eucharist by liam o comain o let us adore and praise - 29 dec 2019 feast of the holy family.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St JOSEPH, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

981px-THE HOLY FAMILY V LG Cathedral_Dili_window.jpgFeast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honour to His family.   Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honour to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, that would be safeguarded by His family.the holy family.jpg

We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family.   He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them.   This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary and not only to Mary but Joseph also, for Mary’s sake [….].   God obeyed a human creature, this is humility without precedent.   A human creature commands God, it is sublime beyond measure.’   (First Homily on the ‘Missus Est’).Polidoro_da_Lanciano_Holy_Family_with_Angel just amazing

Today’s celebration demonstrates Christ’s humility and obedience with respect to the fourth commandment, whilst also highlighting the loving care that His parents exercised in His keeping.   The servant of God, St Pope John Paul II, in 1989, entitled his Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Redemptoris Custos’ (Guardian of the Redeemer) which was dedicated to the person and the mission of Saint Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.   After exactly a century, he resumed the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, for who Saint Joseph ‘.. shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men’  (Encyclical Quamquam Pluries [1889] n. 3).   Pope Leo XIII continued, ‘.. Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.[…]   It is, then, natural and worthy, that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.’   Not many years before, blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed Saint Joseph, ‘Patron of the Catholic Church’ (1870)415px-The_Holy_Family_-_Rafael

Almost intuitively, one can recognise that the mysterious, exemplary, guardianship enacted by Joseph was conducted firstly, in a yet more intimate way, by Mary. Consequently, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family speaks to us of the fond and loving care that we must render to the Body of Christ.   We can understand this in a mystical sense, as guardians of the Church and also in the Eucharistic sense.   Mary and Joseph took great care of Jesus’ physical body.   Following their example, we can and must take great care of His Mystical Body, the Church, and the Eucharist which He has entrusted to us.   If Mary was, in some way, ‘the first tabernacle in history’ (John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 55) then we, the Tabernacle in which Our Lord chose to reside in person, in His Real Presence, was also entrusted to us.   We can learn from Mary and Joseph! What would they ever have overlooked in the care of Jesus’ physical body?   Is there something, therefore, that we can withhold for the right and adoring care of His Eucharistic Body?   No amount of attention, no sane act of love and adoring respect, will ever be too much!   On the contrary, our adoration and respect will always be inferior to the great gift that comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection, and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer.   We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and the lack of respect that are committed in front of the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.

From the Congregation for the Clergymichelangelo_donitondo_holy family grt

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave +2019 and Memorials of the Saints – 29 December

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave +2019

Scripture tells us practically nothing about the first years and the boyhood of the Child Jesus.   All we know are the facts of the sojourn in Egypt, the return to Nazareth and the incidents that occurred when the twelve-year-old boy accompanied His parents to Jerusalem.   In her liturgy the Church hurries over this period of Christ’s life with equal brevity.   The general breakdown of the family, however, at the end of the past century and at the beginning of our own, prompted the Popes, especially the far-sighted Leo XIII, to promote the observance of this feast with the hope that it might instil into Christian families something of the faithful love and the devoted attachment that characterise the family of Nazareth.   The primary purpose of the Church in instituting and promoting this feast is to present the Holy Family as the model and exemplar of all Christian families. … (Excerpted from With Christ Through the Year, Rev. Bernard Strasser, O.S.B.)

The feast of St Thomas Becket, which is ordinarily celebrated today, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

2017:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/12/31/31-december-feast-of-the-holy-family-and-the-seventh-day-of-the-octave/

2018:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/30/feast-of-the-holy-family-of-jesus-mary-and-joseph-30-decembe/

St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/saint-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/29/saint-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170-martyr-archbishop-of-canterbury/

St Aileran of Clonard
St Albert of Gambron
St Aproniano de Felipe González
St David the King
St Ebrulf of Ouche
St Enrique Juan Requena
St Florent of Bourges
Bl Francis Ruiz
St Girald of Fontenelle
St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
Bl José Aparicio Sanz
Bl José Perpiñá Nácher
St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
St Libosus of Vaga
St Marcellus the Righteous
St Martinian of Milan
Bl Paul Mary
Bl Peter the Venerable
St Quartillosa of Carthage
St Thaddeus of Scythia
St Trophimus of Arles
St Trophimus of Ephesus
Bl William Howard (1614–1680) Martyr

Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are eight names – Crescentius, Dominic, Honoratus, Lybosus, Primian, Saturninus, Secundus and Victor.

Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are three names – Boniface, Callistus and Felix.

Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints): Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea.
A group of seven lay woman in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were martyred together.
• Barbara Cho Chung-I
• Barbara Ko Sun-I
• Benedicta Hyong Kyong-Nyon
• Elisabeth Chong Chong-Hye
• Magdalena Han Yong-I
• Magdalena Yi Yong-Dok
• Petrus Ch’oe Ch’ang-Hub
They were born in South Korea and were martyred by beheading on 29 December 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. They were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Aproniano de Felipe González
• Blessed Enrique Juan Requena
• Blessed Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave

Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference.   Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne.   He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality.   He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story:  Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen.   They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born.   Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.”   They found Jesus, offered him their gifts, and warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.”   The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah:   “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children…” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob (Israel).   She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

The Holy Innocents are few in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day.   But even if there had been only one, we recognise the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The 15th Century English Carol commemorates the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.

Lully, Lullay, thou little tiny child.
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay thou little tiny child
Bye, bye, lully, lullay

O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day,
This poor Youngling for whom we sing
Bye, bye lully, lullay

Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day,
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye lully, lullay.

Holy Innocents, Pray for Us!holy-innocents-pray-for-us-no-2-28-dec-2017,2018,2019.jpg

 

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave

“These then, whom Herod’s cruelty
tore as sucklings from their mothers’ bosom,
are justly hailed as “infant martyr flowers”;
they were the Church’s first blossoms,
matured by the frost of persecution
during the cold winter of unbelief.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchthese-then-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday, the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)the star of bethlehem shines forth - st teresa benedicta - holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – They are alive! 

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” … Matthew 2:18matthew 2 18 - a voice was heard in rama - feast of the holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Where does this jealousy lead?…   The crime committed today shows us. Fear of a rival to his earthly kingdom fills Herod with anxiety, he plots to suppress “the newborn King” (Mt 2:2), the eternal Kin, he fights against his Creator and puts innocent children to death…   As for those children, what fault had they committed?   Their tongues were dumb, their eyes had seen nothing, their ears heard nothing, their hands done nothing.   They accepted death who had not known life. ( … )   Christ reads the future and knows the secrets of the heart, He weighs our thoughts and probes our intentions (cf. Ps 138[139]), why did He forsake them? ( … )   Why did the newborn heavenly King abandon these companions in innocence, forget the sentinels watching around His crib to such an extent, that the foe who wanted to get at the King, ravaged His whole army?

My brethren, Christ did not forsake His soldiers but covered them with honour by allowing them to conquer, before they had lived and to carry away the prize, without a fight. ( … )   He wanted them to possess heaven rather than earth. ( … )   He sent them before Him as His heralds.   He did not abandon them but saved those who went on ahead.   He did not forget them. ( … )

Blessed are they who have exchanged their travail for repose, their pains for ease, their suffering for joy.   They are alive!   Yes, they are alive, they live indeed, who have undergone death for Christ’s sake. ( … )   Happy the tears their mothers shed for these infants, they have won them the grace of baptism. ( … )   May He who deigned to rest in a stable be pleased to lead us also, to the heavenly pastures.” … St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Churchthey accepted death who had not known life - st peter chrysologus - holy innocents - 28 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum).we-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – A Prayer for Life by St John Paul

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave.

When you think about the slaughter of these innocent children and the continuing slaughter of the unborn through the horrors of abortion, it becomes clear that they come from the same supreme act of selfishness.   Even though Herod heard the message coming from the prophets of his own people, he had no desire to align his heart with the purposes of God.

 

A Prayer for Life
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies
not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
Amen

Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.”a-prayer-for-life-st-pope-john-paul-28-dec-2017 and 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 December – Saint Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894)

Saint of the Day – 28 December – Saint Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894) Religious and Foundress of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of which Order she is the Patron., Apostle of the the Holy Eucharist and of Prayer, of the poor and need.    Born on 21 January 1839 in Naples, Italy and died on 28 December 1894 in Naples, Italy of natural causes. st caterina_volpicelli.jpg

Caterina Volpicelli was born into an upper middle-class Neapolitan family on 21 January 1839 from which she received a sound human and religious formation.   She was taught literature, languages and music at the Royal Educational Institute of St Marcellino by Margherita Salatino (the future foundress, with Bl Ludovico da Casoria OFM (1814-1885), of the Franciscan Grey Sisters of St Elizabeth).   Both belong to that array of “apostles of the poor and marginalised” who in 19th-century Naples were a sign of the presence of Christ, the Good Samaritan, who comes close to all who are injured in body and spirit.

Caterina had been trying to outshine her sister in society, frequently going to the theatre and the ballet but prompted by the Lord’s Spirit, who revealed God’s plan to her through the voice of wise and holy spiritual directors, she soon gave up the transient pleasures of an elegant and carefree life, to adhere with generous decision to a vocation of perfection and holiness.st caterina Volpicelli-a-25-anni.jpg

Her chance meeting with Bl Ludovico da Casoria on 19 September 1854 at La Palma, Naples, as she herself says, was “a rare stroke of preventive grace, charity and favour from the Sacred Heart, delighted by the poverty of his servant”.   Bl Ludovico led her to join the Third Order Franciscans and indicated to her the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the one goal of her life, inviting her to remain in society to be a “fisher of souls.”   Guided by her confessor, the Barnabite Fr Leonardo Matera, on 28 May 1859 Caterina entered the Perpetual Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament but she soon left, for serious health reasons.   Caterina’s confessor showed her the monthly leaflet of the Apostleship of Prayer in France;  from him she received detailed information about this new association with the diploma of Messenger, the first in Naples   In July 1867, Fr Ramière visited the palace of Largo Petrone in Naples, where Caterina was considering establishing her apostolic activities “to revive love for Jesus Christ in hearts, in families and in society.”   The Apostleship of Prayer would be the cornerstone of Caterina’s whole spiritual edifice and would permit her to cultivate her ardent love of the Eucharist and her outreach to others.st caterina volpicelli framed

With the first messengers, on 1 July 1874, Caterina founded the new institute of “Servants of the Sacred Heart”, at first approved by the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, the Servant of God Sisto Riario Sforza and later, on 13 June 1890, by Pope Leo XIII who granted the new religious family the “Decree of praise”.

Concerned about the lot of the young, she then opened the orphanage of the Margherites, founded a lending library and set up the Association of the Daughters of Mary, with the wise guidance of Venerable Mother Rosa Carafa Traetto (d. 1890). saint_Caterina_Volpicelli.jpg

She soon opened other houses, in Naples, in the Sansevero Palace and then at the La Sapienza Church in Ponticelli, where the Servants distinguished themselves in nursing cholera victims in 1884 and in Minturno, Meta di Sorrento and Rome.   On 14 May 1884, the new Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Guglielmo Sanfelice, OSB, consecrated the Shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which she  had had built, next to the Mother House of her institutions.   She built it specifically for adoration in reparation, as requested by the Pope, to support the Church in difficult times for religious freedom and Gospel proclamation.

Caterina’s participation in the first National Eucharistic Congress celebrated in Naples in 1891 (19-22 November), crowned the Apostolate of the Foundress of the Servants of the Sacred Heart.   Caterina Volpicelli died in Naples on 28 December 1894, offering her life for the Church and for the Holy Father.

She was Beatified on 29 April 2001 at Saint Peter’s Square by St Pope John Paul II and Canonised 26 April 2009 also in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI.CVolpicelli.jpg

At her Canonisation, Pope Benedict said:

“St Caterina Volpicelli was also a witness of divine love.   She strove “to belong to Christ in order to bring to Christ” those whom she met in Naples at the end of the 19th century, in a period of spiritual and social crisis.   For her too the secret was the Eucharist.   She recommended that her first collaborators cultivate an intense spiritual life in prayer and, especially, in vital contact with Jesus in the Eucharist.   Today this is still the condition for continuing the work and mission which she began and which she bequeathed as a legacy to the “Servants of the Sacred Heart”.   In order to be authentic teachers of faith, desirous of passing on to the new generations the values of Christian culture, it is indispensable, as she liked to repeat, to release God from the prisons in which human beings have confined Him.   In fact, only in the Heart of Christ can humanity find its “permanent dwelling place.”   St Caterina shows to her spiritual daughters and to all of us, the demanding journey of a conversion, that radically changes the heart and is expressed in actions consistent with the Gospel.   It is thus possible to lay the foundations for building a society open to justice and solidarity, overcoming that economic and cultural imbalance which continues to exist in a large part of our planet.”

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of the Holy Innocents and Memorials of the Saints – 28 December

Holy Innocents (Feast)
About:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/28/saints-of-the-day-feast-of-the-holy-innocents-martyrs-28-december-4th-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

St Anthony of Lérins
St Caesarius of Armenia
Saint Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894)

BL Claudia Weinhardt
St Conindrus
St Domitian the Deacon
St Domnio of Rome
St Eutychius
St Gowan of Wales
Bl Gregory of Cahors
Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn
St Iolande of Rome
Bl Johannes Riedgasser
Bl Nicolas Mello
Bl Otto of Heidelberg
St Romulus
St Simon the Myroblite
St Theonas of Alexandria
St Theodore of Tabenna
St Troadius of Pontus

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.

Posted in ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Thought for the Day – 27 December – ‘He gives all for all and has all in all’ – St John the Beloved

Thought for the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

“There are [Saints] … who are so absorbed in the divine life, that they seem, even while they are in the flesh, to have no part in earth or in human nature but, to think, speak and act under views, affections and motives, simply supernatural.
If they love others, it is simply because they love God and because man is the object, either of His compassion , or of His praise.
If they rejoice, it is in what is unseen, if they feel interest, it is in what is unearthly, if they speak, it is almost with the voice of Angels, if they eat or drink, it is almost of Angels’ food alone – for it is recorded in their histories, that for weeks, they have fed on nothing else but that Heavenly Bread, which is the proper sustenance of the soul.

Such we may suppose, to have been St John!”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the love of jesus - st john 27 dec 2019 thomas a kempis.jpg

“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us onto do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect.   Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath.   Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created.   The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held.   He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in one sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds”

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter V, 3-4

St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for Us!st john beloved of the lord pray for us 27 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Beloved of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

“John’s God-illumined mind,
conceived the incomparable height of divine wisdom,
when he reclined on the Redeemer’s breast,
during the holy Last Supper meal (Jn 13:25).
And because “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3)
are within the heart of Jesus, it is from there, that he drew
and from there, that he greatly enriched our wretchedness,
as people who are poor and generously distributed these goods,
taken from their source, for the salvation of the whole world.
And because this blessed John speaks about God
in a marvellous way, that cannot be compared to that of anyone else,
it is only right that the Greeks as well as the Latins
have given him the name of “Theologian”.
Mary is “Theotokos” because she has truly given birth to God;
John is “Theologos” because he saw in an indescribable way,
that the Word of God, was with the Father
before the beginning of time and was God (Jn 1:1)
and because, too, he spoke about this, with extraordinary depth.”

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churchjohns-god-illumined-mind-st-peter-damian-27-dec-2018 and 2019.jpg

“If Moses, after having conversed
with God in the cloud,
came from the Divine interview
with rays of miraculous light encircling his head,
how radiant must have been the face of St John,
which had rested on the very Heart of Jesus,
in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge [Col. ii 3]
how sublime his writings!
how Divine his teaching!”if moses after having conversed with god - abbott gueranger on ST JOHN 27 dec 2019.jpg

“Then too, as Son and Guardian of Mary,
thou hast to present us to thine own and our Mother.
Ask her to give us, somewhat of the tender love,
wherewith she watches over the Crib of her Divine Son,
to see in us, the Brothers of that Child she bore
and to admit us, to a share of the maternal affection,
she had for thee, the favoured confidant
of the secrets of her Jesus.”

Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)then too, as son and guardian of mary - st john - by abbott guerange - 27 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The INCARNATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – The Word was made flesh …

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist the Memorial of Blessed Sára Salkaházi (1899–1944) Martyr and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:1-4, Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12, John 20:2-8

Beloved:
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life (for the life was made visible;  we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us.… 1 John 1:1-2beloved-what-was-from-the-beginning-what-we-have-heard-1-john-1-1-to-2-27dec2017, 2018 and 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – ““Life itself was therefore revealed in the flesh.
In this way what was visible to the heart alone, could become visible also to the eye and so heal men’s hearts.   For the Word is visible to the heart alone, while flesh is visible to bodily eyes as well.   We already possessed the means to see the flesh but we had no means of seeing the Word.   The Word was made flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us, by which we could see the Word…” … St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Churchlife-itself-was-therefore-revealed-st-augustine-27-dec-2017, 2018 and one min refl 2019-1.jpg

PRAYER – “I am grateful to You for the love You have given me.   My dear Jesus, I place this love into Your hands:  keep it chaste and bless it, so that it may always be rooted in You.   And increase in me my love for You. I know that if I love You, I can never get lost. If I want to be Yours with all my heart, You will never let me stray from You. Amen.    May St John the Evangelist, beloved of the Lord and Blessed Sára Salkaházi, intercede for us that we may love You Lord with all our hearts, minds and souls!if-i-love-you-prayer-of-bl-sara-salkahazi-27-dec-2018 and one min refl 2019

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Our Morning Offering – 27 December – Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint! An Invocation of St John, Evangelist

Our Morning Offering – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint!

An Invocation of St John, Evangelist

Saint of the Sacred Heart,
Sweet teacher of the Word,
Partner of Mary’s woes
And favourite of thy Lord!

Refrain
Oh teach me then, dear Saint!
The secrets Christ taught thee;
The beatings of His Heart,
And how it beat for me!

We know not all thy gifts
But this Christ bids us see,
That He who so loved all,
Found more to love in thee.
Refrain

When the last evening came,
Thy head was on His breast,
Pillowed on earth, where now
In heaven the Saints find rest.
Refrain

Dear Saint! I stand far off,
With vilest sins opprest,
Oh may I dare, like thee,
To lean upon His breast?
Refrain

His touch could heal the sick,
His voice could raise the dead,
Oh that my soul might be
Where He allows thy head.
Refrain

The gifts He gave to thee
He gave thee to impart
And I, too, claim with thee
His Mother and His Heart!
Refraino teach me then dear saint an invocation of st john evangelist hymn - 27 dec 2019.jpg