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Today, 13 December 2019, May we all wish Pope Francis Congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination

Today, 13 December 2019, may we all wish Pope Francis
Congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination
on 13 December 1969The-Priest-Jorge-Mario-Bergoglio-©-Vatican-Media.jpeg

On 13 December 1969, four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest.

The now Pope Francis, received this Sacrament with the imposition of hands of the Archbishop of Cordoba, Monsignor Ramon Jose Castellano.

Young Jorge discovered his vocation on 21 September 1953, the Memorial of Saint Matthew, the tax collector who converted when Jesus invited him to follow Him.   During a Confession, he had a profound experience of God’s mercy, a joy that led him to decide to be a priest, reported “Vatican News.”

Our Congratulations,
Best wishes and Prayers are yours,
dear Holy Father Francis
on the wonderful occasion
of the 50th Anniversary
of your Ordination50th anniversary - pope francis 13 dec 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 13 December – “Bringer of Light”

Thought for the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of St Lucy (c 283-304) Martyr “Bringer of Light”

Every little girl named Lucy must bite her tongue in disappointment, when she first tries to find out, what there is to know about her patron saint.   The older books, will have a lengthy paragraph, detailing a small number of traditions.   Newer books, will have a lengthy paragraph, showing that there is little basis in history for these traditions.   The single fact survives, that a disappointed suitor accused Lucy of being a Christian and she was executed in Syracuse, Sicily, in the year 304.   But it is also true, that her name is mentioned in the First Eucharistic Prayer, geographical places are named after her, a popular song has her name as its title and down through the centuries, many thousands of little girls, have been proud of the name Lucy.

One can easily imagine what a young Christian woman had to contend with in pagan Sicily in the year 300.   If you have trouble imagining, just glance at today’s pleasure-at-all-costs world and the barriers it presents against leading a good Christian life.

Her friends must have wondered aloud about this hero of Lucy’s, an obscure itinerant preacher in a far-off captive nation that had been destroyed more than 200 years before. Once a carpenter, He had been crucified by the Romans after His own people turned Him over to their authority.   Lucy believed with her whole soul that this man had risen from the dead.   Heaven had put a stamp on all He said and did.   To give witness to her faith she had made a vow of virginity.

What a hubbub this caused among her pagan friends!   The kindlier ones just thought her a little strange.   To be pure before marriage was an ancient Roman ideal, rarely found but not to be condemned.   To exclude marriage altogether, however, was too much.   She must have something sinister to hide, the tongues wagged.

Lucy knew of the heroism of earlier virgin martyrs.   She remained faithful to their example and to the example of the carpenter, whom she knew to be the Son of God.   She is the patroness of eyesight.

If you are a little girl named Lucy, you need not bite your tongue in disappointment.  Your patron is a genuine authentic heroine, first class, an abiding inspiration for you and for all Christians.   The moral courage of the young Sicilian Martyr shines forth as a guiding light, just as bright for today’s youth as it was in 304.

Saint Lucy’s name (Lucia in Latin) shares the root luc with the Latin word for light, lux. Because of this connection, Saint Lucy is often depicted in art and religious custom as a bringer of light – which also ties in to her patronage of eyes and sight.   Her feast day today, is during Advent when we await the Light of Christ and is in winter, for the Northern Hemisphere, so there is significant iconography of Lucy as a bringer of light in the darkness.   For this reason, she is particularly venerated as part of Scandinavian Christian custom – young girls dress in a white gown and wear wreaths of lights during celebrations in the darkest days of winter.   Indeed, the fact that Saint Lucy’s feast day is celebrated as a festival of light, seems appropriate for a woman, who believed, she was bearing the light of Christianity in a world that punished her for it.   Let us pray to St Lucy, for the intercession for all those with eye illnesses and for the protection of the ‘eyes of our faith’ of all of us.

O St Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out
instead of denying the faith
and defiling your soul
and God, through an extraordinary miracle,
replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes
to reward your virtue and faith,
appointing you as the protector against eye diseases.
I come to you for you to protect my eyesight
and to heal the illness in my eyes.

O St Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes
so that I may see the beauties of creation,
the glow of the sun,
the colour of the flowers
and the smile of children.

Preserve also the eyes of my soul,
the faith, through which I can know my God,
understand His teachings,
recognise His love for me
and never miss the road that leads me
to where you, St Lucy,
can be found in the company of the angels and saints.
St Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith.
Amenprayer to st lucy for our eyes and the eyes of our faith - 13 dec 2019.jpg

St Lucy, “Bringer of Light” Pray for those with eye ailments,

Pray for us all!st lucy bringer of light pray for us 13 dec 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 13 December – ‘The sweetness of the kingdom of heaven…’

Quote of the Day – 13 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19

“We played the flute for you but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.”

Matthew 11:17

“When some children are dancing and others are singing a dirge, their purpose does not agree.   Both sides find fault with their friends for not being in harmony with them.   So the Jews underwent such an experience when they accepted neither the gloominess of John the Baptist nor the freedom of Christ.   They did not receive help one way or another.   It was fitting for John as a lowly servant, to deaden the passions of the body through very hardy training and for Christ, by the power of his Godhead, freely to mortify the sensations of the body and the innate practice of the flesh and to do so, without reliance on strenuous ascetic labours.
Nevertheless John, “while he was preaching the baptism of repentance,” offered himself as a model for those who were obliged to lament, whereas the Lord “who was preaching the kingdom of heaven” similarly displayed radiant freedom in Himself.
In this way Jesus outlined for the faithful indescribable joy and an untroubled life.
The sweetness of the kingdom of heaven is like a flute.
The pain of Gehenna is like a dirge.”

Origen – (c 185-253)

Fragments, 142-143the sweetness of the kingdom of heaven is like a flute - origen matthew 11 17-13 dec 2019.jpg


Advent Reflection – 13 December – “All my hope lies only in Your great mercy.”

Advent Reflection – 13 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Matthew 11:16-19

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’   But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19matthew 11 18-19 for john came neither eating nor drinking - 13 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Saint John the Baptist was separated from the world.   He was a Nazarite (Lk 1:15; Nb 6:2).   He went out from the world and placed himself over against it… and called it to repentance.   Then went out all Jerusalem to him into the desert (Mk 3:5) and he confronted it face to face.   But in his teaching he spoke of One who should come to them and speak to them in a far different way.   He should not separate Himself from them, He should not display Himself as some higher being but as their brother, as of their flesh and of their bones, as one among many brethren, as one of the multitude and amidst them;  nay, He was among them already:   “There hath stood in the midst of you, whom you know not” (Jn 1:26)…

At length Jesus begins to disclose Himself and to manifest His glory in miracles but where?   At a marriage feast… And how? in adding to the wine…   Now compare this with what He says in St Matthew’s Gospel of Himself:  “John came neither eating nor drinking—The Son of man came eating and drinking and they say:  Behold a man that is a glutton and wine-drinker.”   John might be hated but he was respected;  Jesus was despised…

This was, O dear Lord, because Thou so loved this human nature which Thou has created.   Thou did not love us merely as Thy creatures, the work of Thy hands but as men.   Thou love all, for Thou has created all but Thou love man more than all.   How is it, Lord, that this should be?   What is there in man, above others?   “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?” (Ps 8,5)…   Thou did not take on Thee an angelic nature when Thou did manifest Thyself for our salvation, so too Thou would not come in any shape or capacity or office which was above the course of ordinary human life—not as a Nazarene, not as a Levitical priest, not as a monk, not as a hermit but in the fullness and exactness of that human nature, which, so much Thou love… in that very flesh which had fallen in Adam and with all our infirmities, all our feelings and sympathies, sin excepted.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) – Meditations and Devotions, Part III, VII God with us 1

MEDITATION – Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers.   Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me, speak to them of My great mercy. . . .  The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.   You always console Me when you pray for sinners.   The prayer most pleasing to Me, is prayer for the conversion of sinners.   Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered. …St Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1396-1397

ADVENT ACTION – With St Augustine we pray, “All my hope lies only in Your great mercy.”   So, we turn in repentance and tell of His great love and mercy for us all, sinners though we are!

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence.   Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You.   Give courage to those who falter because of their failures.   In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit.   May they one day proclaim Your saving acts of kindness in Your eternal kingdom.   Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.friday of the second week of advent - matthew 11 16-19 13 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Jesus, my Saviour, Help me

Our Morning Offering – 13 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Year A

Jesus, my Saviour, Help me
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Jesus, my Saviour, help me.
I am resolved truly to love You
and to leave all, to please You.
Help me to free myself from everything,
that hinders me, from belonging wholly to You,
who have loved me so much.
By your prayers, O Mother Mary,
which are so powerful with God,
obtain for me this grace
to belong wholly to God.
Amenjesus my saviour help me st alphonsus liguori 13 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – Blessed Giovanni Marinoni CR (1490-1562)

Saint of the Day – Blessed Giovanni Marinoni CR (1490-1562) Priest of the Theatines of St Cajetan (1480-1547) (The Congregation of the Clerics Regular of the Divine Providence), renowned Preacher and spiritual director.   Also known as John and Francesco Marinoni – born as Francesco Marinoni on 25 December 1490 at Venice, Italy and died on 13 December 1562, aged 71, at Naples, Italy of natural causes.    Patronage – of Preachers.BL GIOVANNI JohnMarinoni.jpg

Blessed Giovanni was the third and youngest son of a noble family, originally of Bergamo but was born at Venice, in 1490.   From his infancy it was his chief delight to be on his knees at the foot of the altar and to hear as many masses everyday as his employments permitted him.

He usually studied before a crucifix and sanctified his studies by most frequent fervent acts of divine love.   To beg of God the grace never to sully his baptismal innocence, he spent forty days in prayer and a rigorous fast in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.

Having embraced an ecclesiastical state, he served among the clergy of St Pantaleon’s church and, when he was ordained priest, became chaplain and afterwards superior of the hospital of incurables, in which charitable employ he was a comforting angel to all who were under his care.BL GIOVANNI MARINONI.jpg

He was called to be the Canon in the celebrated church of St Mark, where his life was the edification of his colleagues and of the whole city.   Out of a desire of serving God in a more perfect disengagement from earthly things, he decided to take the habit of the regular clerks called Theatines and made his profession in 1530, then taking the name “Giovanni”, on 29 May, at the age of 40.   He was received into the Order by the Founders, St Cajetan and Cardinal Giovanni Pietro Carafa – the future Pope Paul IV, the Bishop of Chieti or Theate, who had instituted this order six years before.

In August 1533 he left Venice for Naples at the request of Pope Clement VII and remained there to direct the faithful.   He also made an attempt to strengthen the faith and to prevent unorthodox views from taking root.   He was appointed as the Superior of the House of San Paolo Maggiore in April 1540 and served as the spiritual director of a Dominican convent.   He also served as a spiritual adviser to Saint Andrew Avellino (1521-1608).   Avellino made reference to Marinoni as a great giovanni John_Marinoni.jpg

Pope Paul IV wanted to bestow upon him the Archbishopric of Naples but he refused it.

Both by his prayers and sacrifices and by his exhortations in the pulpit and confessional, he was an instrument of salvation to many.

His age and disease undermined him as he continued to work for others in Naples and the cholera epidemic that spread there, overcame him in 1562 which led to his death on 13 December 1562.blessed-giovanni john-marinoni.jpg

He was Beatified by a bull of Clement XIII on 5 December 1764, who granted to his order, an office in his honour to be celebrated on 13 December.   On 27 June 2011 Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree of heroic virtues and approved a miracle attributed to Blessed Giovanni’s intercession and thus cleared the way for his Canonisation cause.

Read about St Cajetan here:

And St Andrew Avellino here:

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 13 December

St Lucy (of Syracuse) – St Lucy/Lucia of Syracuse (c 283-304) Virgin and Martyr
About St Lucy:

St Antiochus of Sulci
Bl Antonio Grassi Cong. Orat. (1592 – 1671)
Blessed Antonio’s biography:

St Aristone
St Arsenius of Latro
St Aubert of Arras
Bl Bartholomew of Tuscany
St Edburgh of Lyminge
St Einhildis of Hohenburg
Bl Elizabeth Rose
St Jodocus
Bl Giovanni Marinoni CR (1490-1562)
St Martino de Pomar
St Odilia of Alsace
St Roswinda
St Tassio of Bavaria
St Wifred
Blessed Mercedarian Knights – (7 beati): A group of Mercedarian knights who fought the enemies of the Catholic faith in the first century of the Order.
• Blessed Bernardo de Podio
• Blessed Giacomo de Copons
• Blessed Giovanni de Bruquera
• Blessed Guglielmo de Sa
• Blessed Pietro Boguer
• Blessed Pietro Ricart
• Blessed Raimondo de Frexa

Martyrs of Jeongju – (6 saints): Six Christian laymen who were imprisoned, tortured and martyred together in the persecutions in Korea. They were beheaded on 13 December 1866 in Supjeong-i, Jeongju, Chungcheong-do, South Korea
and Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.
• Bartholomaeus Chong Mun-Ho
• Iosephus Han Won-So
• Peter Cho Hwa-so
• Petrus Son Son-Ji
• Petrus Yi Myong-So
• Petrus Chong Won-Ji

Martyrs of Sebaste – (5 saints): A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Auxentius, Eustratius, Eugene, Mardarius and Orestes. They were martyred in c 302 at Sebaste, Armenia (in modern Turkey) and their relics are enshrined at the church of Saint Apollinaris in Rome, Italy.