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.