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.

Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”


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


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


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 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 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 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 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