Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Second Thoughts of the Day – 23 January – Blessed Benedetta Carried her Cross to Teach us all!

Second Thoughts of the Day – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) “The White Winter Rose” An Extraordinary Love

Blessed Benedetta Carried her Cross to Teach us all!

“Her bed became the pulpit from which Benedetta ‘preached without preaching’ lessons of patience, humility, fortitude, resignation to God’s will, the value of the Cross endured with Christ and for Christ.”

Father Francis Xavier Grasso SJ

In 1963 Benedetta had another operation which it left her blind.   She could barely speak and could only move her left hand.   However, the number of her visitors increased, as word of her holiness and her gentle understanding, even in this great suffering and of her great love of God, which she was able to impart to all.   Patience, said Benedetta, was “the weapon with which Christ conquered the darkness.”

In a letter to a young man who suffered similarly, she wrote:

“Because I’m deaf and blind, things have become complicated for me. …Nevertheless, in my Calvary, I do not lack hope.   I know that at the end of the road, Jesus is waiting for me.   First in my armchair and now in my bed, where I now stay, I have found a wisdom greater than that of men — I have discovered that God exists, that He is love, faithfulness, joy, certitude, to the end of the ages. …  My days are not easy.   They are hard.   But sweet because Jesus is with me, with my sufferings and He gives me His sweetness in my loneliness and light in the darkness.   He smiles at me and accepts my collaboration.”

Blessed Benedetta, your world became as small as a Communion wafer.
You were immobilised, deaf and blind and yet you were a powerful witness to the love of God and the Blessed Mother.
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is hidden and small too, silent, immobilised and even weak — and still all powerful!
Please pray for me, Benedetta, that I will collaborate, as you did, with Jesus in whatever way He wishes to use me.
May I be granted the grace to allow the almighty Father to speak through my littleness and loneliness, too.

Blessed Benedetta, please Pray for Us All!bl benedetta bianchi porro pray for us no 2 23 jan 2020


Thought for the Day – 23 January – Carrying our Cross

Thought for the Day – 23 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Thursday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Carrying our Cross

When we have renounced ourselves in order to do the will of God in every detail, we must embrace our cross everyday.
We must carry it with resignation and love, in the footsteps of Jesus.
Each of us has his cross.
It might be, ill health or financial distress.
It might be, some person whom we feel to be intolerable and with whom we hve to live.
It might be, humiliation or calumny.
It might be, some temptation, which we find hard to fight and which is continually causing us to fall.
It might be, all of these things together.
Whatever it is, it is our cross.

To rebel, would be to make things far worse.
Our cross would only become heavier and more unbearable.
Jesus tells us to embrace it, as He did.
He tells us to bow beneath it’s weight and follow Him.
If we accept His invitation, at once our cross will seem lighter.
A man who is in love, does not feel fatigue.
We must carry our cross out of love of God and in the hope of a heavenly reward.
Then we can say with St Francis de Sales – “Suffering passes but the experience of having suffered for the love God remains.”
We shall understand how true were Our Lord’s words – “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

The cross, which we accept, from the hands of Jesus and out of love for Him, is a sweet burden.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) “The White Winter Rose”

Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) “The White Winter Rose” An Extraordinary Love

“Sometimes I find myself defeated
under the weight of this heavy cross.
Then, I call upon Jesus
and lovingly cast myself at His feet,
He kindly permits me,
to rest my head on His lap.”

sometimes i find myself defeated under the weight - bl benedetta porro 23 jan 2020

(Bl Benedetta in a letter to a friend)

“For those who believe,
everything is a sign!”

for those who believe everything is a sign bl benedetta porro 23 jan 2020

“Life has only one face – LOVE.”

Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)life has only one face - love bl benedetta porro 23 jan 2020


One Minute Reflection – 23 January – ‘…Cry to God for help and grace.’

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7, Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13, Mark 3:7-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) “The White Winter Rose” An Extraordinary Love

… For he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him…. Mark 3:10

REFLECTION – “And so long as we are in this life, whenever, we in our folly, revert to the contemplation of those who are damned, our Lord tenderly teaches us and blessedly calls us, saying in our souls:  “Leave it alone, my beloved child, attend to me.   I am enough for you and rejoice in your Saviour and in your salvation.”   And I am sure that this is our Lord working in us.   The soul which is pierced with this, by grace, will see it and feel it.   And even though this deed may truly be accepted as done for men in general, still this does not exclude particular men. (…)

And furthermore, He gave special understanding and teaching about the working and revelation of miracles, thus:  “It is known that I have performed miracles in time past, many, most great and wonderful, glorious and splendid and what I have done I always go on doing and I shall in times to come.”   It is known, that before miracles, come sorrows and anguish and trouble and that, because we ought to know our own weakness and the harm that we have fallen into through sin, to humble us and make us cry to God for help and grace.

And afterwards great miracles come and that is from God’s great power and wisdom and goodness, showing His might and the joys of heaven, so much as this may be in this passing life and that is for the strengthening of our faith and as this may increase our hope in love.   Therefore, it pleases Him to be known and worshipped in miracles.   Then this is His intention, He wishes us not to be oppressed because of the sorrows and travails which come to us, for it has always been so, before the coming of miracles!” … Julian of Norwich (1342-after 1416) – Revelations of divine love, ch. 36mark 3 10 for he had healed many - it is known julian of norwich 23 jan 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the extraordinary fortitude and love of Blessed Benedetta Porro, help us and protect us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.blessed benedetta bianchi porro pray for us 23 jan 2020

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 23 January – Thank You, Jesus

Our Morning Offering – 23 January – Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) “The White Winter Rose” An Extraordinary Love

Blessed Benedetta last words were “Thank You”

Thank You, Jesus
By Cardinal Nicholas Cusa (1401-1464)

Thank You, Jesus,
for bringing me this far.
In Your light, I see the light of my life.
Your teaching is brief and to the point,
You persuade us to trust in God,
You command us to love one another.
You promise everything
to those who obey Your teaching,
You ask nothing too hard for a believer,
nothing a lover can refuse.
Your promises to Your disciples are true,
nothing but the truth.
Even more, You promise us Yourself,
the perfection of all
that can be made perfect.
Amenthank you jesus by card nicholas cusa 12 aug 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 January – Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)

Saint of the Day – 23 January – Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964) Laywoman – born on 8 August 1936 at Dovádola, Forli, Italy and died on 23 January 1964 at Sirmione, Italy of complications resulting from her Recklinghausen Disease­Neuro-Fibromatosis.BL Pellegrinaggio-per-la-beatificazione-di-Benedetta-Bianchi-Porro_articleimage

Benedetta Bianchi Porro was born at Dovadola as the second of six children to Guido Bianchi Porro and Elsa Giammarchi.   She was baptised “in necessity” at the request of her mother with water from Lourdes, she received formal baptism on the following 13 August with the name of “Benedetta Bianca Maria”.   Three months after her birth she fell ill with polio and required a brace on her left leg and an orthopedic shoe in order to prevent her spine from deforming.   From March to May 1937 she suffered repeated bouts of bronchitis.

From the age of five she began to keep a journal in which to record experiences, one such entry was at the age of seven:  “The universe is enchanting!  It is great to be alive!”   Porro attended school at a Convent school run by the Ursulines Benedetta was always very homesick while away at school.   In 1942, the family moved to Sirmione.

During her childhood on one particular occasion, her brother Gabriele was involved in a brawl with a boy who mockingly called Porro a cripple and while the mothers of both boys separated them, she said:  “He called me ‘the cripple’ – what is wrong with that? It’s the truth!”bl benedetta child

In May 1944 she received her First Communion in the Church of the Annunciation where she received a Rosary that she would always keep with her.   A fortnight later she was Confirmed by the Bishop of Modigliana, Maximilian Massimiliani.   For the 1950 Holy Year convoked by Pope Pius XII, she and her aunt Carmen travelled on pilgrimages to Assisi, Rome and Loreto.

At the age of thirteen she began to lose her hearing.   She first noticed this on 15 February 1953 when questioned by a teacher in Latin class as she was unable to hear all the questions put to her. At this time, Benedetta also began to stagger and required the use of a cane in order to walk.

In October 1953 – at the age of seventeen – she travelled to Milan where she went to enroll in a physics course in order to appease her father but she instead discovered that her true calling was to medicine.   Here also, she realised that her true vocation was to engage with others as a doctor, to help those who needed aid the most.   Some of her teachers opposed having a pre-medical student who was partially deaf but she proved to be a brilliant benedetta teen

Her illness progressed to the point where she was admitted into a nursing home on 12 July 1955 for a femur condition and for the subsequent rehabilitation.   On the following 26 October, she asked for permission to enroll in clinical medicine and pathology courses.   In November 1955, she was permitted to retake an oral examination from the previous summer but she did so in writing instead and passed with excellent results.

In 1957 her studies reached the point where she could diagnose herself – it was soon discovered that she had fallen victim to the rare Von Recklinghausen’s disease, which would leave her blind and deaf.   Due to her illness, she was forced to leave medical school.   Confined to her home, she began to evangelise others through correspondences in which she discussed faith and love of God.   Friends from medical school visited her on a frequent basis.

Benedetta underwent several operations on her head in the next few years.  Before the last of these, on 27 February 1963, Benedetta admitted her fear to Maria Grazia, who reminded her of this passage from Diary of a Country Priest, a novel by Georges Bernanos:   “If I am afraid, I will say without shame, ‘I’m afraid’ and the Lord will give me the strength.”   For a long time, Benedetta softly repeated this phrase and bit by bit, peace took hold of her.   She thanked her friend effusively.   The day after the operation, she announced that she was now blind but she asked that no- one tell the surgeon, so as not to sadden him.   She accepted this cross of blindness that in 1955 had terrified her and her soul was at peace:  “There is nothing to do but trust in God, with eyes closed.   I am in the process of living simplicity, that is, the stripping of the soul.   How beautiful it is!   One becomes so light and free!”

Although, towards the end, she lost all the senses – the last were taste and sight – Benedetta continued to serve and heal others.   Assisted at home by her mother, she communicated through sign language (with one hand) and transmitted to the world her messages.   Although blind, she was able to see into the soul of those who came to visit her, understanding, even before they themselves, what they needed.  She discovered that silence is the means by which God speaks to the soul and in that total silence of her senses, she grew in intimacy with Jesus.   “We need to give God to others, without love, nothing matters,” she wrote in the diary.BL BENEDETTA BIANCHI PORRO B Berti

In May 1962 she undertook a pilgrimage to Lourdes.   There, she met 22-year-old Maria who was sobbing beside her.   Porro took her hand and urged her to beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary for her intercession, at which point Maria was healed.

At the end of a pilgrimage to Lourdes said, “I don’t need a cure.   I have faith and that is enough.   I came for others.”   And that statement fuelled her intention to be little and to give extraordinary love in the everyday things of each day.   “Whoever comes closer to Jesus through suffering – she suggested to a young visitor – will become kinder, whoever distances himself becomes more cruel without even realising.”

From that point on, for nearly a year, Benedetta was like an inaccessible castle, with neither doors nor windows.   Nevertheless, two little ‘peepholes’ remained open to the outside world—a weak voice to make herself heard and her left hand, which ‘miraculously’ remained functional.   With the fingers of this functioning hand, her loved ones traced on her face the letters of the Italian alphabet for the deaf, which she did not see but could feel (for example, the «b» was formed with the tips of the index finger and middle finger pressing together, resting on the cheek).   She could thus communicate! Her room was besieged by visitors who came to encourage her but also to ask for her help.BL BENEDETTA B Annigoni

Benedetta had the gift of spreading joy around her.   She gave advice and showed everyone the ‘narrow way’ that leads to God.   She told her best friend, who could not bear to see her physically suffering so much:   “We must accept the mystery, Maria Grazia.   What fills us with anguish is asking ourselves ‘why’.   The Lord gives us as much suffering as we can bear—not more, not less.”   Her friend would later testify, “I then unexpectedly noticed something that had changed in her since becoming blind.   A great peace enveloped her, as though she felt completely freed from fear and anxiety.”   Don Gabriele, a priest who often brought her Holy Communion, would receive this confidence:   “If for a brief instant, temptations arise, I call on Him and even if I am pale with fear, I immediately feel the presence of the Lord, who consoles me.”BL BENEDETTA BIANCHI PORRO B Carmelitana Savona miniatura

On 21 January 1964, feeling that the definitive meeting with Jesus her Spouse was very near, Benedetta made her Confession and received Communion.   During the night of the 22nd, she asked her nurse to remain close by, because Satan was tempting her:   “Emilia, tomorrow I will die.   I feel very ill.”   In the morning, her mother noticed that a white rose had opened in the garden.   A rose in bloom, in January!   She announced her discovery to Benedetta, who replied, “This is the sign I was waiting for!”   She then reminded her of a dream she had had on the previous All Saints’ Day – she went into the family burial vault and saw it decorated with a white rose dazzling with light.   A little later, stricken by a hemorrhage, she died at the age of twenty-seven, murmuring, “Thank you.”

Declared venerable by St Pope John Paul II, Benedetta Bianchi Porro was laid to rest in a Sarcophagus in the Abbey of Saint Andrew, in Dovadola near Forlì.bl benedetta Tomba

Pope Francis confirmed a miracle attributed to her intercession in a decree on 7 November 2018.   She was Beatified on 14 September 2019.   The Beatification recognition was celebrated at the Cathedral of Santa Croce in Forlì, Italy, presided by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.

The current Postulator of the cause is Father Guglielmo Camera.BL BENEDETTA PORRO B Tommasi statua 1979-1980


Memorials of the Saints -23 January

St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918)

Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 23 January: Feast in honour of the Blessed Virgin’s espousal to Saint Joseph. It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary.   Still Mary is called “espoused” to Joseph (“his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph”, Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated.   This feast dates from 1517 when it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation by Pope Leo X with nine other Masses in honour of Our Lady.   Adopted by many religious orders and dioceses, it was observed for a time by nearly the whole Church but is no longer in the Calendar.mary and joseph - espousal

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe
Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)
St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe
Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366)
Blessed Henry’s Life:
St Ildephonsus (506-667)

Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almoner/the Merciful (Died c 620)
Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr