Posted in Catholic NEWS

Happy Birthday Papa Francis!

Happy Birthday Papa Francis!

Please join me in sending Pope Francis

all our best wishes, our love and our prayers,

today 17 December 2019

on his 83rd Birthday.

happy 83rd birthday pope francis 17 dec 2019


Posted in NOTES to Followers, The WORD

My prayers of thanksgiving for Laurie

I offer today, special Prayers for Laurie
who, in her generosity and love, has
contributed to the upkeep of this site.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise,
give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Psalm 100:4

Dear Laurie,
Holy Mass will be said for your Bishop,
who is ill, (as requested by Laurie)
today, Tuesday 17 December
at 18.00 South African time.

I wish you, dear Laurie, a beautiful Christmas.
May the Infant Christ bless you abundantly.

May God shine His Face upon you, your loved ones and on your Bishop.

“Do not be anxious about anything
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7

let us rejoice in the Lord with songs let us praise him - absent today 10 nov 2019.jpg

appeal  - i will praise you lord psalm 9 1-2 - 7 oct 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 17 December – The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 17 December – Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17, Matthew 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

The Mystery of our Reconciliation with God

Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Bishop of Rome, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Letter 31

To speak of our Lord, the son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as true and perfect man, is of no value to us if we do not believe, that He is descended from the line of ancestors set out in the Gospel.   Matthew’s gospel begins by setting out the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham, and then traces His human descent by bringing His ancestral line down to His mother’s spouse, Joseph.   On the other hand, Luke traces His parentage backward step by step to the actual father of mankind, to show that both the first and the last Adam share the same nature.

No doubt, the Son of God in His omnipotence, could have taught and sanctified men, by appearing to them in a semblance of human form, as He did to the patriarchs and prophets, when for instance He engaged in a wrestling contest or entered into conversation with them, or when He accepted their hospitality and even ate the food they set before Him.   But these appearances were only types, signs that mysteriously foretold, the coming of One, who would take a true human nature from the stock of the patriarchs, who had gone before Him.

No mere figure, then, fulfilled the mystery of our reconciliation with God, ordained from all eternity.   The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon the Virgin nor had the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that within her spotless womb Wisdom might build itself a house and the Word become flesh.   The divine nature and the nature of a servant, were to be united in one person, so that the Creator of time, might be born in time and He, through whom all things were made, might be brought forth in their midst.the divine nature and the nature of a servant - st pope leo the great 17 dec 2019.jpg

For unless the new man, by being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, had taken on Himself, the nature of our first parents, unless He had stooped to be one in substance with His mother, while sharing the Father’s substance and, being alone free from sin, united our nature to His, the whole human race would still be held captive under the dominion of Satan.

The Conqueror’s victory, would have profited us nothing, if the battle had been fought outside our human condition.   But through this wonderful blending, the mystery of new birth shone upon us, so that through the same Spirit by whom Christ was conceived and brought forth, we too might be born again in a spiritual birth and, in consequence, the evangelist declares the faithful to have been born not of blood, nor of the desire of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

“Man’s Maker was made man,
that He, Ruler of the stars,
might nurse at His mother’s breast,
that the Bread might hunger,
the Fountain thirst,
the Light sleep,
the Way be tired on its journey,
that the Truth might be accused of false witness,
the Teacher be beaten with whips,
the Foundation be suspended on wood,
that Strength might grow weak,
that the Healer might be wounded,
that Life might die.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church


mans maker was made man - st augustine - 17 dec 2019.jpg


Quote of the Day – 17 December – The Trisagion Chaplet

Quote of the Day – 17 December – The Memorial of St John of Matha O.SS.T (1160-1213) – Founder of the Trinitarians

The Trisagion Chaplet

The Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives, more commonly known as The Trinatarians, was founded in France by St John de Matha and St Felix of Valois (1127-1212) in 1198.

Meeting of St John and St Felix by Vincenzo Carducci

From the very early stages of the of order, the Trinitarians have used a form of prayer based on the Trisagion (sometimes Trisagium or Triagion, from the Greek “three” + ”holy”).
This is a Byzantine prayer still used in the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches in praise of the Holy Trinity.
It’s simplest form is “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.”

The Trisagion Chaplet (also called a rosary) has three sets of nine beads each – of course, a rosary can be used too.
When reciting the Trisagion Chaplet, each set begins with the Trisagion: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.” and the Pater Noster.
An invocation is said on each of the nine beads – “To you be praise, glory, and thanksgiving forever, blessed Trinity. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.”
Each set of nine prayers is followed by a Gloria Patri (“Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…”) and the recitation of the chaplet ends with a closing prayer.

Let us Pray!The-Trisagion-Chaplet-17-dec-2018 and quote of the day 17 dec 2019,jpg.jpg

St John here:
St Felix here:


Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. –

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. – Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17, Matthew 1:1-17O WISDOM - you came forth from the mouth of the most high - 17 dec 2019

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. … Matthew 1:1

REFLECTION – “The Incarnation of the Word only contributed to the doing of those things that were done and the mystery of humankind’s salvation was never, even in the remotest age, at a standstill.   What the propehts foretold, the apostles announced, nor were those things fulfilled too late, which had always been believed.   But the wisdom and goodness of God, made us all the more receptive of His call…  as the foretelling of it had been ancient and oft-repeated.

And so it was no new counsel, no tardy pity whereby God took thought for us but from the foundation of the world He ordained one and the same cause of Salvation for all.   For the grace of God, by which the whole body of the saints is continually made righteous, was increased, not initiated, when Christ was born.   And this mystery of God’s great love, with which the whole world is now filled, was so effectively pre-signified, that those who believed the promise, obtained no less, than those who were the actual recipients.

And so, dearly beloved, since that loving-kindness is now manifest with which all the wealth of divine goodness has been showered on us, whose call to eternal life has been promoted, not only by the supportive example of those who went before us but by the visible and bodily appearance of Truth itself, we are bound to keep the day of our Lord’s nativity with a joy beyond this world…   By the illumination of the Holy Spirit consider who it was who received us into Himself and whom we have received, since as the Lord Jesus became our flesh by being born, so we also became His body by being re-born…  For God suggested to us the standard of His own gentleness and humility…  Let us imitate His humility, then, to whose glory we would wish to be conformed.   He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church – 3rd sermon on the Feast of the Nativity, 4-5he himself will help us and lead us to what he has promised - st pope leo the great 17 dec 2019.jpg

MEDITATION – “Hope marks humanity’s journey but for Christians, it is enlivened by a certainty, the Lord is present in the passage of our lives.   He accompanies us and will one day also dry our tears.   One day, not far off, everything will find its fulfilment in the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and peace.” … Pope Benedict XVI 2 December 2009

ADVENT ACTION – Let us share the good news, the hope of the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


You came forth from the mouth of the Most High
and reaching from beginning to end,
You ordered all things mightily and sweetly.
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israelrejoice rejoice emmanuel shall come to thee o israel-19-dec-2017.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 17 December – Alma Redemptoris Mater

Our Morning Offering – 17 December

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Loving Mother of the Redeemer

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven,
star of the sea,
assist your people
who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin
after as before.
You who received
Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to the Presentation of Jesus in the TempleALMA REDEMPTORIS MATER loving mother of the redeemer 17 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 December – St Olympias of Constantinople (c 361-365 – 408)

Saint of the Day – 17 December – St Olympias of Constantinople (c 361-365 – 408), childless widow, Diaconess, friend of St John Chrysostom, Apostle of charity and Founder of a Convent, hospital and an orphanage, Defender of the true faith – also known as St Olympias the Younger and St Olympias the Deaconess – born at Constantinople and died in exile on 25 July 408 at Nicomedia following a long illness.

St Olympias is one of the 140 Saints on the Colonnade at St Peter’s

St Olympias was born sometime between 360-365, this pious, charitable and wealthy disciple of St John Chrysostom came from an illustrious family in Constantinople.   Her father (called by the sources Secundus or Selencus) was a “Count” of the empire.   One of her ancestors, Ablabius, filled the consular office in 331 and was also praetorian prefect of the East.

Her parents died when she was quite young and left her an immense fortune.  In either 384 or 385 she married Nebridius, Prefect of Constantinople.   St Gregory of Nazianzus, who had left Constantinople in 381, was invited to the wedding but wrote a letter excusing his absence (Ep. cxciii, in P.G., XXXVI, 315) and sent the bride a poem (P.G., loc. cit., 1542 sqq.).   Within a short time, Nebridius died and Olympias was left a childless widow.   She steadfastly rejected all new proposals of marriage, determining to devote herself to the service of God and to works of charity.   Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople (381-97), consecrated her olympias.jpg

On the death of her husband, the emperor had appointed the urban prefect administrator of her property but in 391 (after the war against Maximus) he restored to her the administration of her large fortune.   She built beside the principal church of Constantinople a convent, into which three relatives and a large number of maidens withdrew with her to consecrate themselves to the service of God.  When St John Chrysostom became Bishop of Constantinople in 398, he acted as spiritual guide of Olympias and her companions and, as many undeserving approached the kind-hearted Deaconess for support, he advised her, as to the proper manner of utilising her vast fortune in the service of the poor (Sozomen, “Hist. eccl.”, VIII, ix; P.G., LXVII, 1540). Olympias resigned herself wholly to Chrysostom’s direction and placed at his disposal ample sums for religious and charitable objects.   Even the most distant regions of the empire received her benefactions to churches and the poor.

When St Chrysostom was exiled, at their last interview, Olympias clung to his feet with such desperation that she had to be torn away by force.   But, even in his absence, Olympias supported him in every possible way and remained a faithful disciple, refusing to enter into communion with his unlawfully appointed successor.  St Chrysostom encouraged and guided her through his letters, of which seventeen are extant (P.G., LII, 549 sq.).  These letters are a beautiful memorial of the noble-hearted, spiritual daughter of the great bishop.olympias-the-deaconess-aaec304050.jpeg

Olympias was also exiled and died a few months after Chrysostom on 25 July 408, at Nicomedia.   After her death, she was immediately venerated as a saint.   A biography dating from the second half of the fifth century, which gives particulars concerning her from the “Historia Lausiaca” of Palladius and from the “Dialogus de vita Joh. Chrysostomi”, proves the great veneration she enjoyed.   During he riot of Constantinople in 532, the convent of St Olympias and the adjacent church were destroyed.

Emperor Justinian had it rebuilt and the prioress, Sergia, transferred the remains of the foundress from the ruined church of St Thomas in Brokhthes, where she had been buried.   We possess an account of this translation by Sergia herself.

Another Father and Doctor of the Church, St Gregory Nazianzen, called her “the glory of the widows in the Eastern Church”.st olympias-the-deaconess-7-750.png

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 17 December

St Briarch of Bourbriac
St John of Matha O.SS.T (1160-1213)

St Josep/José Manyanet y Vives (1833-1901)

St Judicaël
St Lazarus of Bethany
BL Mariano Alarcón Ruiz
Bl Mathilde Téllez Robles
St Maxentiolus
St Modestus of Jerusalem
St Olympias of Constantinople (c 361-365 – 408)
Bl Peter of Spain
St Sturmi of Fulda
St Tydecho
St Wivina
St Yolanda

Martyrs of Eleutheropolis – (60+ Martyrs-Beati): Approximately 60 Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army of emperor Heraclius; they were murdered as a group for their faith by invading Saracen Muslims. We know the names of two of them – Calaoicus and Florian. 638 in Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), Palestine.