The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention
for February 2020
Listen to the Migrants’ Cries
We pray that the cries of our
migrant brothers and sisters,
victims of criminal trafficking,
may be heard and considered.
Listen to the Migrants’ Cries
We pray that the cries of our
migrant brothers and sisters,
victims of criminal trafficking,
may be heard and considered.
The spirit of the Holy Family and its characteristic virtues are pictured for us in St Paul’s words to the Colossians (3:12-17), “Brethren, put on, therefore, as the elect of God [through holy baptism], holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience; bearing with one another and forgiving one another if any have a complaint against another; even ‘as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things, have charity, which is the bond of perfection and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also, you are called in one body and be you thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God”.
An inspiring model, a precious instruction! The sacred liturgy, however, is not satisfied with this. She opens to us the sources of strength which are needed for a good, Christian family life. She opens these to us through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Holy Communion, and prayer.
A devoted family spirit and these family virtues are a precious possession both for the human family and for the supernatural family. Among these virtues we may call attention especially to:
To live a good, Christian family life requires sacrifice, the renunciation of one’s own wishes and a reasonable mortification of self. If it is to be perfect, it requires complete victory over self-love. It requires a high degree of virtue, deep piety and living faith, much prayer, and a close union with God.
In our day the very foundations of family life have been shaken by the failure of so many marriages. For this reason the devotion to the Holy Family of Nazareth takes on a new meaning and a new importance. The modern family must again be rejuvenated and filled with the spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth. It must recapture the spirit of faith, the spirit of subjection to the will of God. It is for this intention that we should offer our prayers and sacrifices during the month. — The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, OSB.
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus,
ever to follow the example
of Your Holy Family,
that in the hour of our death
Your glorious Virgin Mother
together with blessed Joseph
may come to meet us
and we may be worthily,
received by You
into everlasting dwellings,
who lives and reigns,
world without end.
Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Everybody desires peace but very few people possess it.
A good many profound and beautiful definitions have been attempted.
Cicero called it “tranquilla libertas,” which one might translate as “undisturbed freedom.”
His general idea was that there can be no peace without liberty.
St Augustine defined it as “Hominum ordinata concordia” (De Civitate Dei, XLX, 13) or “Ordered agreement among men.”
St Thomas Aquinas followed on the same lines when he said, that peace was “tranquillitas ordinis” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q.29, a1 ad 1) or “tranquillity of order.”
There are three necessary elements in peace.
They are order, harmony and liberty.
Right order is the most important.
Everything in us must be in it’s proper place.
As we have shown in the preceding meditation, our lower faculties must be entirely subordinate to right reason and, this must be completely subject to the law of God.
Every act of rebellion against this proper order, creates confusion in our nature and makes peace impossible.
Furthermore, there must be harmony and agreement.
This means that our minds must voluntarily accept and embrace this just order and not merely endure it with reluctance.
As St Thomas Aquinas says, peace is an act of charity, it comes indirectly from justice and directly from charity. (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 29, a1, ad 3).
We have perfect peace when this just order holds sway within us provided that we are not enduring it, as if it were a yoke but lovingly accepting it, under the inspiration of divine charity.
This is that genuine peace which gives us the liberty of the sons of God, that freedom from evil, with which Christ has set us free (Cf Gal 4:31, 2 Cor 3:17).
True peace flourishes in an atmosphere of goodness and perishes when it encounters evil.
Whether it is in the field of social relations or in the spiritual life, peace without liberty is not peace at all but slavery and death!
Quote/s of the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923)
“Never, as in this year,
did I feel so happy to be a Salesian
and I bless the Lord
for having sent me to this leper colony
where I learned how to gain heaven.”
“We have nothing to fear –
if it is a work of God,
it will last.”
One Minute Reflection – 1 February – Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A , Readings: 2 Sm 12:1-7A, 10-17, Psalm 51(50),12-13.14-15.16-17, Mk 4:35-41 and the Memorial of Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923)
And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion … Mark 4:37-38
REFLECTION – “With the Lord’s grace, I am going to talk to you about today’s gospel. With God’s help, I also want to encourage you not to let faith sleep in your hearts in the midst of the storms and swells of this world. Without any doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ exercised His power over sleep, no less than over death and, when He was sailing on the lake, the Almighty could not succumb to sleep, if He did not want to do so. If you think He did not have this power, it is because Christ is asleep in you. If on the contrary, Christ is awake in you, your faith is also awake. The apostle Paul said: “May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Eph 3:17)
So Christ’s sleep is the sign of a mystery. The people in the boat represent the souls that go through the life of this world on the wood of the cross. Furthermore, the boat is a figure of the Church. Yes, truly, all the faithful are temples where God dwells and the heart of each one of them, is a boat sailing on the sea. It cannot go down if the mind maintains good thoughts. You have been insulted, it is the wind that is whipping you. You became angry, it is the rising tide. Thus, when the wind is whistling and the tide is rising, the boat is in danger. Your heart is in danger, it is shaken by the waves. The insult aroused in you, the desire for vengeance. And you took vengeance, thus giving way to the fault of another and you were shipwrecked. Why? Because Christ went to sleep in you, that is to say, you forgot Christ. So awaken Christ, remember Christ, may Christ awaken in you. Think of Him.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo and Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon 63, 1-3
PRAYER – Waken us holy Lord, to Your presence in us, with us, now and forever. Open our eyes to see Your presence and our ears to hear Your voice. Teach us that You are always with us and Your presence is all we need to survive the storms and the winds of this world. For You, just You, are our rock and our foundation, our ship and our harbour. Grant that the prayers of Blessed Luigi Variara and all Your saints may serve to remind us of Your love and power. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 February – Saturday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Year A
I Will Love You Lord
By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
I will love You, O Lord,
my Stony Rock
and my Defense,
my one desire and love.
I will love You
with all the power
You have given me –
not as much as You deserve to be loved,
for that can never be
but as much as I am able to.
The more power to love You give me,
the more I will love You.
Saint of the Day – Blessed Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923) Priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Founder of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which Order he is the Patron. Blessed Luigi Variara was born in Viarigi (Asti), Italy, on 15 January 1875 and died on 1 February 1923 in Cucuta, Colombia. He was an apostle to the lepers in Colombia and founder of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who ran the homes he set up for lepers.
He was born to Pietro Variara and Livia Bussa. When he was 12 years old he entered the Salesian Oratory in Turin, while the founder Don Bosco of the Salesian Congregation, was still alive. Luigi had the privilege of meeting this living saint on one occasion and it was an encounter that changed his life. John Bosco looked into the eyes of the young boy and this gaze was for Luigi a confirmation of his future Salesian vocation. John Bosco died a month later on 31 January 1888.
In 1891 he entered the novitiate and shortly afterward he made his profession in the hands of Bl Michael Rua, Don Bosco’s first successor. After his novitiate, Luigi did his study of philosophy at Valsalice and there he met Fr Michele Unia, the Salesian apostle of lepers of Colombia, who had come to speak to the community about his mission. His talk won Luigi over and in 1894 he left for Colombia with Fr Unia when he returned. Here he dedicated himself to the lepers of Agua de Dios, sharing with them his passion for music and drama. Fr Unia died shortly thereafter, leaving Luigi and three other priests in charge of the leper colony.
The three years before his priestly ordination in 1898 proved to be a time of spiritual growth and maturation for the young Luigi, who came to understand better the reality of sacrifice and self-giving in serving others and in running the risk of contagion through continual contact with lepers.
After his ordination, he exercised his duties as priest in the leper colony and with responsibility for the parish, often spending four or five hours a day in the confessional. He also continued to teach music and drama, especially concerned for the moral health of the young people of Agua de Dios.
From the first year of his priesthood, Luigi felt the need to open a leprosarium for young patients, a project that mirrored that of his predecessor, Fr Unia. The scope of such a foundation was to educate these children in the faith, to teach them how to read and write and skill in manual labour, so that they would be saved from a life of desolation and vice. In 1905 the “Michele Unia Youth Hostel” was opened. On 7 May 1905 he founded the Congregation of the “Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary”, in order to provide care for the residents of the hostel. “Our goal”, he stated, “along with that of our own personal sanctification, is to care for the leperosy patients in the hostel and in serving God by offering ourselves as victims of expiation”.
He also said of the year 1905: “Never as in this year did I feel so happy to be a Salesian and I bless the Lord for having sent me to this leper colony where I learned how to gain heaven.”
As the Congregation was also founded with the intention of offering to women lepers the possibility to consecrate their lives to God, Fr Variara’s initiative was much criticised and misjudged by other religious institutes and even by some of his own brothers, who questioned whether this new Salesian “branch” was in accordance with the charism of their founder. He had founded a community of “outcasts” it seemed, in the eyes of the world.
Luigi, however, held firmly to God’s will and began to climb the Calvary of not being understood or accepted by those who should have been closest to him. He received, however, the consolation and relief of knowing that he was acting out of obedience, since Fr Michael Rua, Don Bosco’s first successor stood behind him and encouraged him to continue with the foundation.
His greatest trial proved to be his transferal from Agua de Dios to Venezuela, a separation from his Congregation which cast a shadow of mystery on the foundation itself and began 18 years of misunderstandings for Luigi. He was transferred from city to city after leaving Agua de Dios and in 1921 he was definitively moved to Táriba. He continued, however, to keep in contact with Mother Lozano, co-foundress of the Institute. He assured her that there was “nothing to fear – if it is a work of God, it will last.” Luigi Variara died on 1 February 1923 in Cucuta, aged 48.
The Congregation is currently present in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Dominican Republic and Equatorial Guinea and is dedicated in the service of the poor and the sick. ... Vatican.Va
As of 2005 there have been around 382 religious of the congregation operating in a total of 71 houses.
St Pope John Paul II approved a miracle attributed to his intercession and celebrated his Beatification on 14 April 2002. The current postulator of the cause is the Salesian Father Pierluigi Cameroni.
Bl Andrew of Segni
Bl Anthony Manzoni
St Autbert of Landevenec
St Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
Bl Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) – Martyr
The first South African Blessed:
St Brigid of Fiesole
St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523)
St Brigid’ Story:
St Cecilius of Granada
St Cinnia of Ulster
St Clarus of Seligenstadt
Bl Conor O’Devany
St Darlaugdach of Kildare
St Henry Morse
St Ioannes Yi Mun-u
Bl John of the Grating
Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923)
Bl Patrick O’Lougham
St Paul of Trois-Châteaux
St Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Raymond of Fitero
St Severus of Avranches
St Severus of Ravenna
St Sigebert III of Austrasia
St Tryphon of Lampsacus
St Ursus of Aosta
Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution.
• Anne-François de Villeneuve
• Anne Hamard
• Catherine Cottenceau
• Charlotte Davy
• François Bellanger
• François Bonneau
• François Michau
• François Pagis epouse Railleau
• Gabrielle Androuin
• Jacquine Monnier
• Jeanne Bourigault
• Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau
• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly
• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz
• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné
• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné
• Madeleine Blond
• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau
• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau
• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye
• Marie-Anne Vaillot
• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau
• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau
• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson
• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier
• Marie Grillard
• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau
• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé
• Marie Leroy
• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet
• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju
• Odilia Baumgarten
• Perrine Androuin
• Perrine Besson
• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz
• Perrine Grille
• Perrine Ledoyen
• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault
• Renée Grillard
• Renée Martin épouse Martin
• Renée Valin
• Rose Quenion
• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau
• Suzanne Androuin
• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère
They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour:
• Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
• Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u
• Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju