Quote/s of the Day – 24 February – Repent!

Quote/s of the Day – 24 February – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Jonah 3:1-10,Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Luke 11:29-32

“The sign of Jonah”

Luke 11:29

“Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger,
rich in kindness
and relenting in punishment.”

Joel 2:12-13

“… In the conceitedness of our souls,
without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward
as those who have resisted sin to the death!”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Today, for those who will not repent
at the approach of the kingdom of heaven,
the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same…
As for when the end of the world will be,
that is God’s concern…
Even so, the time is very near for each of us,
for we are mortal.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of Grace

“My children, eternal life is being offered to us,
the kingdom of heaven is made ready
and Christ’s inheritance awaits us …
So let us run from now on with increased energy
and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant,
dull of heart, friends of murmuring who,
unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree.
… Let us seek out the fight,
bravely pour with our sweat,
adorn ourselves with crowns,
gain praises and gather up,
like a treasure,
“what eye has not seen
and ear has not heard
and what has not entered the human heart”
(1 Cor 2:9).

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)

“And when I hear it said,
that God is good and He will pardon us
and then see, that men cease not from evil-doing,
oh, how it grieves me!
The infinite goodness
with which God communicates with us,
sinners as we are,
should constantly make us love and serve Him better
but we, on the contrary,
instead of seeing in His goodness
an obligation to please Him,
convert it into an excuse for sin,
which will, of a certainty,
lead in the end,
to our deeper condemnation.”

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)


One Minute Reflection – 24 February – “The sign of Jonah – Luke 11:29-32

One Minute Reflection – 24 February – Wednesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Jonah 3:1-10,Psalms 51:3-412-1318-19Luke 11:29-32

“The sign of Jonah” – Luke 11:29

REFLECTION – “God showed patience in the face of man’s weakness because He saw beforehand, the victory He would eventually give him, through His Word. For, when “power was made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9), the Word caused God’s goodness and tremendous power, to be made manifest.
Indeed, it was the same with man, as it was with the prophet Jonah. God permitted Jonah to be swallowed by a sea-monster, not to make him altogether vanish away and die but, so that when he had been vomited out by the monster, he would become more subject to God and would give all the more glory to Him who had given him this unexpected deliverance.
It was, too, to lead the Ninevites to firm repentance and to convert them to Him, Who would deliver them from death, amazed as they were by the sign accomplished in Jonah
In the same way, God permitted man to be swallowed by that great monster, the author of disobedience, not so that he should altogether vanish away and die but because God, had prepared beforehand, the salvation fulfilled by His Word by means of the “sign of Jonah.”
This salvation has been prepared, for those who have the same feelings for God as Jonah did and, who confess Him in the same words: “I am the servant of the Lord and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jon 1:9).
God desired that man, by receiving an unanticipated salvation from Him, would rise from the dead and worship God, saying with Jonah: “Out of my distress I called to the Lord; from the midst of the nether world he heard my voice” (Jon 2:2). God desired, too, that man would always remain faithful in giving Him worship and unceasing thanks for the salvation he has received from Him.” – St Irenaeus (130-208) Bishop of Lyons, Martyr, Theologian – Against the heresies III, 20, 1

PRAYER – “Dear Lord! It is just when I am in the world
that I have most need of You
because You know it is full of snares
that the devil has set for me.
You must hold my hand, dear Lord,
if You will not abandon me.
A little of the world is not bad for me;
it is even good, for it teaches me how small it is
and I feel the greater happiness
when I come back to You.
But that I may surely do so,
You must only loose Your hold a little,
that it may not try me too far,
You must not entirely leave hold.
Do You see dear Lord?
I wish to clasp Your hand – do not refuse me!” (I Wish to Clasp Your Hand – Do Not Refuse Me! – Prayer of Eugene de Ferronays)
Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us!


Our Morning Offering – 24 February – Grant me, O my God

Our Morning Offering – 24 February – Wednesday of the First week of Lent

Grant me, O my God
By St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

Good Jesus,
let me be penetrated with love
to the very marrow of my bones,
with fear and respect toward You.
Let me burn with zeal for Your honour,
so that I may resent terribly, all the outrages
committed against You, especially those
of which I myself have been guilty.
Grant further, O my God,
that I may adore and acknowledge You humbly,
as my Creator and that, penetrated with gratitude
for all Your benefits,
I may never cease to render You thanks.
Grant that I may bless You in all things,
praise and glorify You
with a heart full of joy and gladness
and that, obeying You with docility
in every respect, I may one day,
despite my ingratitude and unworthiness,
be seated at Your table
together with Your Holy Angels and Apostles
to enjoy ineffable delights.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Saint Ethelbert of Kent (552-616) King

Saint of the Day – 24 February – Saint Ethelbert of Kent (552-616) King of Kent and Confessor. Born in 552 and died on 24 February 616 at Canterbury, England of natural causes. St Ethelbert of Kent is not to be confused with St Ethelbert, King of East Anglia, who died in 794 as a Martyr – also known as Albert or Albrigh. Also known as Ædilberct, Æthelberht, Aedilberct, Aethelberht, Aibert, Albert, Edilbertus.

Ethelbert, son of Eormenric, great-grandson of Hengist, Saxon conqueror of Britain. He was raised as a pagan worshipper of the pagan god Odin. He was the first English king to be converted to Christianity, which proved to be a crucial event in the development of English national identity. In 597, a Roman Monk St Augustine of Canterbury, arrived in Kent as leader of a group of Missionaries sent by St Pope Gregory the Great. There were Christians in Britain already and had been ever since Roman and early Celtic times, before the country was invaded from the mid-fifth century onwards by pagan English of various Germanic tribes, who in time set up small kingdoms.

Ethelbert’s wife, Bertha, was a daughter of the Merovingian Frankish king in what is now France. She was a Christian and it was a condition of the marriage that she would be free to practise her religion. Ethelbert evidently considered that an acceptable price for a close connection with the most powerful ruler in western Europe. The two had three children, including Saint Ethelburgh of Kent.

The details and dates are often uncertain but Bertha brought a Bishop with her from France as her Chaplain and presumably she had her own Christian retinue as well. For worship, she restored the ancient Church of St Martin of Tours, which dated back to Roman times.

Ethelbert had consequently been in close touch with Christianity and he soon accepted it for himself and was Baptised by St Augustine.

St Augustine instructing Ethelbert

His example led to the Baptism of 10,000 of his countrymen within a few months and he supported Augustine in his missionary work with land, finances and influence.

St Augustine baptises Ethelbert

Ethelbert now presided over the creation of a law code which gave the Roman Church a secure place in the Kingdom. St Augustine was made Archbishop of the English on the Pope’s orders and he appointed Bishops of London and Rochester before his death in 604. London was in the Kingdom of Essex, which was ruled by Ethelbert’s nephew Sebert, who had also became a Christian convert.

Bertha died in or soon after 601, it seems. Ethelbert apparently took a second wife. He was succeeded by his son Eadbald, who had reverted to paganism. He horrified the Roman clerics by marrying his father’s second wife, which was strictly against the rules, but he afterwards reverted to Christianity.
In time, other pagan English Kings were impressed by the Roman Church’s positive support for strong regimes, which in turn made religious control easier. These Kings accepted the Roman Church and carried their people with them. Over centuries the process would lead to the creation of a single unified English nation.

When he died in 616, St Ethelbert was buried in the side chapel of Saint Martin in the Abbey Church of Saints Peter and Paul. His relics were later translated to Canterbury.

St Ethelbert at Canterbury Cathedral

In the Roman Martyrology, he is listed under his date of death, 24 February, with the citation: ‘King of Kent, converted by St Augustine, Bishop, the first leader of the English people to do so.’


Plague in Rome ends after Saint Pope Gregory the Great leads a procession with a painting of Our Lady by Saint Luke (591) and Memorials of the Saints – 24 February

Plague in Rome ends after Saint Pope Gregory the Great leads a procession with a painting of Our Lady by Saint Luke (591): – 24 February

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “On this day, in the year 591, St Gregory the Great, having had the picture of Our Lady, which was painted by St Luke, carried in procession, the plague ceased at Rome.”

The miseries that afflicted Rome in the year 591 were substantial. The Gothic War between the Byzantine Empire and the Goths had substantially depopulated Italy, so much so that a Germanic tribe of Lombards had entered the peninsula and established their own kingdom. They were pagans and Arians who did not respect Catholics, burning the famous Benedictine Monastery of Monte Cassino and pillaging the land at will.
The instability and warfare caused famine in large regions, though Rome was still able to obtain grain by sea. Then came earthquakes and flooding to further the suffering, and from this plague Rome was not immune. The banks of the Tiber overflowed and when the waters did not recede, all of the low-lying lands became swamps that brought death and the plague. The disease struck with such rapidity that the victim would often die shortly after realising he had contracted the disease, although there were some who sickened but recovered. Our custom of saying, “God Bless you,” to someone who sneezes came about at this time, for sneezing was one of the signs that someone had contracted the disease.
Even the Roman Pontiff died of the plague on 7 February 590. His successor, was Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who was both a humble and pious man. It would be an understatement to say he did not want the honour of being the next Pope but once in that position, he did everything in his power to try to save his people. He understood that the plague was a chastisement from God and encouraged the faithful to repent of their sins and pray for deliverance while he and the religious cared for the people of Rome.
Finally, Saint Gregory called for a procession to take place at dawn on 24 April. On that day, the faithful first assembled in their groups throughout Rome and then walked through the streets of the City praying and singing as they approached the Church of Saint Mary Major. The plague was so potent at that time, that eighty people collapsed and died as they walked toward the meeting place.
Pope Saint Gregory met them upon their arrival, joining them in prayer as he took his place with them holding aloft the miraculous image of Our Lady painted by Saint Luke the Evangelist. This image is the very famous, Salus Populi Romani (the health or salvation, of the Roman People) As the procession neared the Vatican the participants all saw Saint Michael the archangel standing upon the cupola of Hadrian’s mausoleum as he sheathed his flaming sword. It was a sign that the chastisement had come to an end and, at once, the heaviness in the air abated and the air itself seemed to freshen and clear. Indeed, at that moment the plague ended, as the faithful rejoiced and lifted up their voices to thank the Mother of God.

Regina Coeli laetare, Alleluia! (Queen of heaven, rejoice, Alleluia!)

Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia! (Son whom you merited to bear, Alleluia!)

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia! (He has risen as He said, Alleluia!)

St Adela of Blois
Bl Antonio Taglia
Bl Arnold of Carcassonne
St Betto of Auxerre
Bl Berta of Busano
Bl Constantius of Fabriano OP (1401-1481)
St Cummian Albus of Iona
St Ethelbert of Kent (552-616) King and Confessor
Evetius of Nicomedia
Blessed Ascensión of the Heart of Jesus/Florentina Nicol y Goñi OP (1868-1940)
Her Story:
Bl Ida of Hohenfels
Bl Josefa Naval Girbes
St Liudhard
Bl Lotario Arnari
Bl Marco De’ Marconi
St Modestus of Trier
St Peter the Librarian
St Praetextatus of Rouen
St Primitiva
St Sergius of Caesarea
Bl Simon of Saint Bertin
Blessed Tommaso Maria Fusco (1831-1891)
Blessed Tommaso;s life:


Thought for the Day – 23 February– The “Our Father”

Thought for the Day – 23 February– Meditations with (1881-1971)

The “Our Father”

Our Father, Who art in heaven.”
Heaven is God Himself, Who reveals Himself to the souls of the blessed.
If a man lives in God, his mind and heart are already in Heaven, even though he is still an exile upon this earth.
It is a wonderful experience to lead a bodily existence upon earth, while our minds are with God in Heaven, for, as St Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20).

As we are aware, God is everywhere, in Heaven and on earth.
When we invoke our Father, Who is in Heaven, however, we manifest our faith in Him and in His generosity, whereby, He reveals Himself in all His glory to the blessed and shows His mercy to us poor exiles, when we come to Him.
In the first words of the Pater Noster, we express, not only our faith but, also our hope of being happy with God for all eternity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Day Seven of our Lenten Journey – 23 February – – Tuesday of the First week of Lent – “Thy will be done” Matthew 6:7-15

Day Seven of our Lenten Journey – 23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalms 34:4-5, 6-7,16-17, 18-19, Matthew 6:7-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10

WHATEVER I can desire or imagine for my own comfort, I look for not here but hereafter. For if I alone should have all the world’s comforts and could enjoy all its delights, it is certain, that they could not long endure. Therefore, my soul, you cannot enjoy full consolation or perfect delight except in God, the Consoler of the poor and the Helper of the humble. Wait a little, my soul, wait for the divine promise and you will have an abundance of all good things in heaven. If you desire these present things too much, you will lose those which are everlasting and heavenly. Use temporal things but desire eternal things. You cannot be satisfied with any temporal goods because you were not created to enjoy them.

Even if you possessed all created things, you could not be happy and blessed; for in God, Who created all these things, your whole blessedness and happiness consists — not indeed such happiness as is seen and praised by lovers of the world but such, as that for which the good and faithful servants of Christ wait and of which the spiritual and pure of heart, whose conversation is in heaven, sometime have a foretaste.

Vain and brief is all human consolation. But that which is received inwardly from the Truth is blessed and true. The devout man carries his Consoler, Jesus, everywhere with him and he says to Him: “Be with me, Lord Jesus, in every place and at all times. Let this be my consolation, to be willing to forego all human comforts. And if Your consolation be wanting to me, let Your will and just trial of me, be my greatest comfort. For You will not always be angry, nor will You threaten forever.”
(Book 3 Ch 16:1-2)

Posted in "Follow Me", FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, The LORD'S PRAYER, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 February – The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:7-15

Quote/s of the Day – 23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalms 34:4-5, 6-7,16-17, 18-19, Matthew 6:7-15

“Father, hallowed be thy name.”

Luke 11:2

“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us.
To ask the Father in words His Son has given us,
to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears,
is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer.
Let the Father recognise the words of His Son.
Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips.
We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father,
when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins,
let us use the words given by our Advocate.
He tells us –
Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.
What more effective prayer could we then make,
in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”

“As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask:
Give us this day our daily bread.
We can understand this petition in a spiritual
and in a literal sense.
For in the divine plan both senses
may help toward our salvation.
For Christ is the Bread of Life;
this Bread does not belong to everyone
but is ours alone.
When we say, our Father,
we understand that he is the Father
of those who know Him and believe in Him.
In the same way, we speak of our daily bread,
because Christ is the Bread of those who touch His body.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr
An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”

“For the author and giver of divine blessings
could not but be our teacher as well,
providing the words of this prayer,
as precepts of life,
for those disciples who believe in Him
and follow the way He taught in the flesh.
Through these words,
He has revealed the hidden treasures
of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3)
that exist in Him as pure form.
And, in all who offer this prayer,
He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian
Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer


One Minute Reflection – 23 February – ‘ … All that is necessary … ‘ Matthew 6:7-15

One Minute Reflection – 23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11Psalms 34:4-56-7,16-1718-19Matthew 6:7-15 and the Memorial of St Polycarp Apostolic Father, Bishop and Martyr (c 69 – c 155)and St Willigis of Mainz (940-1011)

“This is how you are to pray.” – Matthew 6:9

REFLECTION – “Regarding other ceremonies in vocal prayers and other devotions, one should not become attached to any ceremonies or modes of prayer, other than those Christ taught us. When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray [Lk 11:1], Christ obviously, as one Who knew so well His Father’s will, would have told them, all that was necessary, in order to obtain an answer from the Eternal Father and, in fact, He only taught them those seven petitions of the Our Father, which include all our spiritual and temporal necessities and He did not teach numerous other kinds of prayers and ceremonies.
At another time, rather, He told them, that in praying, they should not desire much speaking because our heavenly Father clearly knows our needs.

He only charged us with great insistence to persevere in prayer – that is, in the Our Father – teaching, in another place, that one should pray and never cease. [Lk.18:1]
He did not teach us a quantity of petitions but that these seven be repeated often and with fervour and care. For in these, as I say, are embodied everything that is God’s will and all that is fitting for us.
Accordingly, when His Majesty had recourse three times to the Eternal Father, all three times He prayed with the same petition of the Our Father, as the evangelists recount: “Father, if it cannot be but that I drink this chalice, may your will be done.” [Mt. 26:42]

And He taught us only two ceremonies for use in our prayers. Our prayer should be made either in the concealment of our secret chamber [Mt 6:6] where without noise and without telling anyone we can pray with a more perfect and pure heart … Or, if not in one’s chamber, in the solitary wilderness and at the best and most quiet time of night, as He did..” [Lk. 6:12] – St John of the Cross (1542-1591) – Carmelite, Doctor of the ChurchThe Ascent of Mount Carmel Bk.III, ch.44

PRAYER – Our Father Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.


Our Morning Offering -23 February – Lord Jesus, Think on Me

Our Morning Offering -23 February – Tuesday of the First week of Lent

Lord Jesus, Think on Me
By St Synesius of Cyrene (375-430)
Bishop of Ptolemais

Lord Jesus, think on me,
and purge away my sin,
from earth-born passions set me free,
and make me pure within.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
With care and woe oppressed,
let me Thy loving servant be,
and taste Thy promised rest.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
nor let me go astray,
through darkness and perplexity
point Thou the heav’nly way.
Lord Jesus, think on me,
that, when the flood is past,
I may eternal brightness see,
and share Thy joy at last.

St Synesius, a native of Cyrene, born circa 375. His descent was illustrious. His pedigree extended through seventeen centuries and in the words of Gibbon, “could not be equaled in the history of mankind.”
He became distinguished for his eloquence and philosophy and as a statesman and patriot he took a noble stand. When the Goths were threatening his country he went to the court of Arcadius and for three years, tried to rouse it to the dangers that were coming on the empire. But Gibbon says, ”The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence and neglected the advice of Synesius.”
In 410 he was made Bishop of Ptolemaïs (modern Libya) but much against his will. He died in 430.
We have extant one hundred and fifty-five epistles and ten hymns written at different periods of his life.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 23 February – Saint Willigis of Mainz (c 940-1011) Archbishop

Saint of the Day – 23 February – Saint Willigis of Mainz (c 940-1011) Archbishop of Mainz, Reformer, builder of the Cathedral of Mainz and many Churches, bridges and roads throughout his Diocese, de facto Regent of Germany during the minority of Otto III, to whom he was Guardian. Born in c 940 at Schoningen, Germany and died on 23 February 1011 of natural causes. Patronage – Wheelwrights. Also known as Willigisus, Willigus, Willegis.

Willigis was born in the Duchy of Saxony, possibly at Schöningen, the son of simple, free and pious peasants. His father worked as a wheelwright, hence his patronage and attribute – the wheel also occured in his emblem as Bishop. The able and intelligent young man received a good education and was recommended by Bishop Volkold of Meissen to the service of Emperor Otto the Great. Willigis was appointed Chancellor, an office formerly held by the Emperor’s brother Archbishop Bruno of Cologne. He served Otto throughout the last years of his reign and at the height of his power.

In 975 Emperor Otto II appointed him Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor for Germany. Being of humble origin, Willigis had to cope with many objections but he immediately received Pope Benedict VII confirmation of his supremacy as metropolitan Bishop.

Soon he started to build the great Cathedral of Mainz. Willigis demanded solid learning in his clergy too. He was known as a good and fluent and zealous Precher. In March 975 he received the Pallium from Pope Benedict VII. In January 976 Willigis Consecrated the first Bishop of Prague, Thietmar (Dětmar) at Brumath in Alsace, whose Diocese was put under his jurisdiction.

In his Diocese, he laboured by building bridges, constructing roads and fostering commerce. In Mainz, he initiated the construction of Cathedral and consecrated it on 29 August 1009, dedicating it in honour of St Martin of Tours but on the same day, disastrously, it was destroyed by fire. Willigis immediately gave orders for reconstruction.

Mainz Cathedral

Willigis greatly helped the restoration of the old collegiateCchurch of St Victor and built that of St Stephan. He also built Churches at Brunnen in Nassau and Seesbach. He showed great solicitude for the religious and substantially aided the Monasteries of St Ferrutius at Bleidenstadt, of Disibodenberg and of Jechaburg in Thuringia.

At the 983 Reichstag of Verona, Otto II vested him with large territories in the Rheingau region, thereby laying the foundations for the Prince-Bishopric of Mainz. Upon the Emperor’s death, Willigis as Primas Germaniae (an historical title for the the most important Bishop in the German lands).

On Christmas day in 983 he assisted at the crowning of Otto II’s his three-year-old son Otto III at Aachen. After the Dowager Empress Theophanu died in 991, Willigis became the Guardian of the minor, thus making him, together with Otto’s Grandmother, Adelaide of Italy, de facto Regent of the Empire until Otto III reached his majority in 994.

In 996 he was in the retinue of the King on his journey to Italy. Together with Otto III he pushed the election of Pope Gregory V against the resistance of the Roman nobility led by Crescentius the Younger and was present at the Consecration and at the Synod convened a few days later. In this counsel Willigis strongly urged the return of Bishop Adalbert of Prague, who, unable to bear the conflicts with the Vršovci noble family and the ruling Přemyslid dynasty, had left his Diocese for a second time, to which, after much correspondence between the Holy See and Willigis, he had once already been forced to return in 993. In 997 Pope Gregory V sent the Decrees of a synod at Pavia to Willigis, “his vicar,” for publication.

He was on friendly terms with Rome, though the Papacy was going through a difficult time. These relations were somewhat disturbed by the dispute of Willigis with Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim, about jurisdiction in the house of secular canonesses at Gandersheim Abbey. The immediate monastery established in 852 was originally situated at Brunshausen in the Diocese of Hildesheim but was transferred to nearby Gandersheim within the territorial limits of the Archdiocese of Mainz. Both Bishops claimed jurisdiction, until Pope Sylvester II finally declared in favour of Hildesheim, against Willigis’ initial resistance.

His protégé was the scholarly and just Burchard, who was appointed Bishop of Worms by Emperor Otto III in 1000. Upon the Emperor’s early death, Archbishop Willigis, on 7 June 1002, crowned the Duke of Bavaria Henry IV as King of the Romans at Mainz, after the assassination of his rival Margrave Eckard I of Meissen. Willigis presided at the 1007 Synod at Frankfurt am Main, where thirty-five Bishops signed the bull of Pope John XVIII for the erection of the Diocese of Bamberg.

Though Willigis has never been formally Canonised, Roman Catholics celebrate his feast on 23 February, the day of his death in 1011. Because the rebuilding of the Cathedral had not yet been completed, he was buried in the Church of St Stephan, which he had also built.


Our Lady of the Rock, Pena de Francia, near Salamanca, Spain (1434) and Memorials of the Saints – 23 February

Our Lady of the Rock, Pena de Francia, near Salamanca, Spain (1434) – 23 February:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Roches, near Salamanca, in Spain; an image is there venerated, which was found miraculously, in the year 434, by Simon Vela, who caused a Church to be built there.”

The Simon mentioned above by the Abbot Orsini, was actually born in the year 1401 in Paris, France. The incident that he states had occurred in the year 434 actually occurred in 1434 but that is getting ahead of our story.
Simon was born on4 September 1401, in the City of Paris, France, to pious and wealthy parents. Growing up a good Catholic, Simon despised money and luxury, so that when he grew up and inherited his parents’ money and property, he recognised it for the threat to his eternal welfare that it was and gave all that he owned to the Church and to relieve the poor. Once the money was gone, he went to a Franciscan Monastery and took a position as a chamber boy.
Simon naturally spent a great deal of time in prayer and was especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sometimes when he prayed he asked the Mother of God if there was anything he might do, that would be especially pleasing to her. On one of these occasions, he fell asleep while praying. He was suddenly awakened when he heard a voice speak to him from the empty Church:
“Simon, wake up; be on the watch…From now on, your name will be Simon Vela. Go to Pena de Francia, for there you will find the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Simon travelled for five years over fields and mountains, searching through lonely valleys and gloomy caves, in his quest for this place called Pena de Francia but he could not even find anyone who had ever heard of the place. On the verge of giving up in frustration, he had already begun working his way back home from Spain, when the voice spoke to him from the darkness once again:
“Simon, do not give up the search, do not give up what you have begun. Persevere and your labours will be recompensed.”
Feeling that it was still the will of God, Simon was determined to continue the search.
Simon was passing through the market square in Salamanca on his way to the Church of Santiago, when he observed two men who began shouting in a serious disagreement. Weapons flashed and one of the pair fell wounded at Simon’s feet. The other was restrained from finishing the man, by the crowd, who held him back. Unable to reach his adversary, he shouted:
“Had I killed my enemy, I would have escaped to Pena de Francia where no-one, not even the king, could find me!”
Simon’s heart leapt for joy when he heard this, for it was the first time he had heard the place spoken of, and now he was certain that his search would not be in vain.


It was a short time later when Simon received a second bit of good news. He was on his way to the Church of Saint Martin when he happened upon a travelling merchant. Simon asked the man where he had come from and he answered, Pena de Francia. Thrilled to hear the name, he felt his search was nearly over but when he asked the man to take him there, he refused. He did not want to go back the way he had come, no matter how much Simon begged him. All he would do was point out the general direction.
Simon went down the road from which he had seen the merchant approach, hoping he was not too far from his destination. The road led him to a villa named San Martin de Castanar, which he reached on 14 May 1434. He found a Church there and after Mass, he asked if anyone knew of a place called Pena de Francis. One man knew of it and when Simon kindly asked him to show him where it was, the man walked with him a good distance from the Church and then pointed out a hill in the far distance. That, he said, was Pena de Francia. Simon was elated, thanking God and the man for revealing to him the place that meant the end of his quest.

The place was far off but Simon went off at once, thinking the years he had spent in seeking, were nearly at an end. He gave no thought to his provisions and as the journey was long and arduous, he was far from any help when he realised how weakened his fast had made him. Suffering intense pangs of hunger, Simon did not despair, for he felt certain that God would not forsake him. He continued on his way and soon came across an abandoned pack that contained a loaf of bread and a piece of meat. Refreshed, he turned his attention to finding shelter as the night approached. Finding a suitable cave, he went inside and prayed for guidance until he dropped off into welcome slumber.
Waking early in the morning, Simon began to search the area for the Shrine and quickly found that there were caves all over the hill where he had slept. He naturally became discouraged when it became apparent that it could take him weeks or even months to find what he sought and so, feeling that it was almost as if his quest had started all over again, he fell to his knees and prayed for the grace of perseverance. His prayer was quickly answered, as the now familiar voice said:
“Simon, be awake: do not sleep.”
Simon got up at once and continued his search, awakening with renewed enthusiasm the following morning. As he prepared to leave his cave a brilliant light struck his eyes, the source of which was a spot some distance away on a rocky hill. Trembling with joy, Simon approached the source of that light and found the Blessed Virgin Mary sitting on a golden throne with the Child Jesus in her arms. His heart overflowing with inexpressible joy, he knelt and said:
“Oh, Lady, dream of my soul and inspiration of men and women! My labours are now ended. Many years have I travelled far and wide to seek you and to drink in the beauty of your eyes! Do not forsake me but be my protection.”

Our Lady answered sympathetically:
“Simon, rejoice! Your constancy will be rewarded. Your dream will be realised. Your labours are now ended. Take heed and keep in your heart what I wish you to do. Dig in this spot and take what you can see and place it on the summit of this rocky hill. Build on this hill a beautiful Shrine. You are to begin it and others will come to finish it. This must come to pass as it has been the wish of my Child.”
When the vision ended, Simon remained alone for some time, filled with wonder and awe.
On the spot where the apparition of the Holy Virgin had appeared, Simon began the work of excavating. He had barely begun digging when he heard the same voice once again saying:
“Simon, do not attempt to undertake this large of a task alone. Undertake it in the presence and with the help of two, three, or more persons.”
Evidently this demand was made to ward off any suspicion about the veracity of the coming miracle, as well as Simon’s credibility. So Simon went back to San Martin de Castanar and asked five men to help him, and all of them agreed.
Even though Simon told them the truth, these men believed that they were digging for hidden treasure. Simon repeated that they were after an objective worthier than merely worldly goods and that it was something their hearts would forever cherish. They dug for some time, until finally, on 19 May 1434, they removing a huge stone that was barring their way. They found beneath it, sheltered among several smaller rocks, the most coveted image of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Divine Child in her arms, now known as Our Lady of Rocks.


St Polycarp of Smyrna (c 69 – c 155) Martyr (Memorial)
St Polycarp’s life and death:

St Alexander Akimetes
St Boswell
St Dositheus of Egypt
St Felix of Brescia
St Florentius of Seville
St Giovanni Theristi (1049–1129) Monk
Bl Giovannina Franchi
Bl John of Hungary
St Josephine Vannini (1859-1911)
Bl Juan Lucas Manzanares
Bl Ludwik Mzyk
St Martha of Astorga
St Medrald
St Milburga
Bl Nicolas Tabouillot
St Ordonius
St Polycarp of Rome
Bl Rafaela Ybarra de Villalongo
St Romana
St Serenus the Gardener (Died 307) Martyr
His story:
Bl Stefan Wincenty Frelichowski
St Willigis of Mainz (c 940-1011) Bishop
St Zebinus of Syria

Martyrs of Syrmium – 73 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know no details about them, and only six of their names – Antigonus, Libius, Rogatianus, Rutilus, Senerotas and Syncrotas.


Thought for the Day – 19 January – The Church

Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

The Church

“Besides being our infallible teacher, the Church is also our affectionate Mother.
Along with the inexhaustible treasury of His graces, it has inherited, from Jesus, His infinite love fo all mankind.
Let us consider what the Church does and has done for us.
As soon as we are born into this mortal life, She gives us, through the waters of Baptism, a second life, which is supernatural and everlasting.
When we are a little older and exposed to the onslaughts of evil, She stengthens us in gace by means of another Sacrament and makes us soldiers of Christ.
She raises us up.
In the Sacament of Penance, She gives us God’s forgiveness and the spiritual strength to rise agin.
Moeover, She gives us Jesus Christ Himself, in the Blessed Eucharist.
By means of another Sacament, she elevates those who receive the power of Orders.
In yet another, She blesses and consecrates matrimonial love and the pure marriage union.
When we are dying, She comes, compassionately to our side again and, through the final Sacrament, gives us strength and purity of purpose, for the great journey into eternity.
Nor is this enough.
She is present with her prayers and blessings, even by our coffin nd by our graveside.

We owe the Church more than obedience!
We owe Her our love!
We should love very much, this good Mother, who accompanies us from the cradle to the grave, from our birth upon earth, to our spiritual birth into everlasting happiness!” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Day Six of our Lenten Journey – 22 February – Let Your truth teach me.

Day Six of our Lenten Journey – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23:1-3,4-5, Matthew 16:13-19

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
– Matthew 16:15-16

CHRIST: MY CHILD, walk before Me in truth and seek Me always in the simplicity of your heart. He who walks before Me in truth shall be defended from the attacks of evil and the truth shall free him from seducers and from the slanders of wicked men. For if the truth has made you free, then you shall be free indeed and you shall not care for the vain words of men.

DISCIPLE: O Lord, it is true. I ask that it be with me as You say. Let Your truth teach me. Let it guard me and keep me safe to the end. Let it free me from all evil affection and badly ordered love and I shall walk with You in great freedom of heart.

CHRIST: I shall teach you those things which are right and pleasing to Me. Consider your sins with great displeasure and sorrow and never think yourself to be virtuous because of your good works.
You are truly a sinner. You are subject to many passions and entangled in them. Of yourself you always tend to nothing. You fall quickly, are quickly overcome, quickly troubled and quickly undone. You have nothing in which you can glory but you have many things for which you should think yourself vile, for you are much weaker than you can comprehend.
Hence, let none of the things you do seem great to you. Let nothing seem important or precious or desirable except that which is everlasting. Let the eternal truth please you above all things and let your extreme unworthiness always displease you. Fear nothing so much, blame and abhor nothing so much as your own vices and sins; these should be more unpleasant for you than any worldly losses.

Some men walk before Me without sincerity. Led on by a certain curiosity and arrogance, they wish to know My secrets and to understand the high things of God, to the neglect of themselves and their own salvation. Through their own pride and curiosity and because I am against them, such men often fall into great temptations and sins. I leave them to their own devices without My help and counsel!

Fear the judgements of God! Dread the wrath of the Almighty! Do not discuss the works of the Most High but examine your sins — in what serious things you have offended and how many good things you have neglected.

Some carry their devotion only in books, some in pictures, some in outward signs and figures. Some have Me on their lips when there is little of Me in their hearts.
Others, indeed, with enlightened understanding and purified affections, constantly long for everlasting things, they are unwilling to hear of earthly affairs and only with reluctance do they serve the necessities of nature.
These sense what the Spirit of truth speaks within them, for He teaches them to despise earthly things and to love those of heaven, to neglect the world and each day and night, to desire heaven.
(Book 3 Ch 4:1-4)


Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – ‘ … love the Spouse of Christ … ‘

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

“The Church, instituted by the Lord
and confirmed by the Apostles, is one for all men;
but the frantic folly of the diverse impious sects,
has cut them off from her.
It cannot be denied, that this tearing asunder of the faith,
has arisen from the defect of poor intelligence,
which twists what is read,
to confirm to its opinion,
instead of adjusting its opinion
to the meaning of what is read.
However, while individual parties fight among themselves,
the Church stands revealed,
not only by her own doctrines
but by those also, of her adversaries.
And although they are all ranged against her,
she confutes the most wicked error
which they all share,
by the very fact that she is alone and one.
All the heretics, therefore,
come against the Church
but while all the heretics can conquer each other,
they can win nothing for themselves.
For their victory is the triumph of the Church over all of them.
One heresy struggles against that teaching of another,
which the faith of the Church
has already condemned in the other heresy –
for there is nothing which the heretics hold in common, –
and, the result is that they affirm our faith,
while fighting among themselves.”

St Hilary (315-368)
Bishop of Poitiers
Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ

“For nothing more glorious,
nothing nobler,
nothing surely, more honourable
can be imagined, than to belong
to the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church,
in which we become members of one Body
as venerable as it is unique;
are guided by one supreme Head;
are filled with one divine Spirit;
are nourished during our earthly exile
by one doctrine and one heavenly Bread,
until at last, we enter into
the one, unending blessedness of heaven.
But lest we be deceived,
by the angel of darkness,
who transforms himself into an angel of light,
let this be the supreme law of our love –
to love the Spouse of Christ,
as Christ willed her to be
and as He purchased her with His blood.”

Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)
“Mystici Corporis Christi” 1943



One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Upon this rock …’ Matthew 16:13-19

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4Psalms 23:1-34,56Matthew 16:13-19

“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19

REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).
For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why divine grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others.
Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). (…)
But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because he had it in mind, to confer numerous people on him and he feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers.
He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – On the apostle Peter and the prophet Elijah

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 22 February – O Peter, who were Named by Christ!

Our Morning Offering – 22 February – Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter, who were Named by Christ!
By Stanbrook Abbey
For the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter who were named by Christ!
The guardian-shepherd of His flock,
Protect the Church He built on you
To stand unyielding, firm on rock.

Your weakness, Christ exchanged for strength,
You faltered but He made you true.
He knew the greatness of your love
And gave the keys of heav’n to you.

Unseen, eternal Trinity,
We give You glory, praise Your name,
Your love keeps faith with faithless men,
Through change and stress, You are the same.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 February – Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Priest and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 22 February – Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Jesuit Priest and Martyr, Missionary to Japan. Born in 1578 in Coimbra, Portugal and died by exposure on 22 February 1624 at Sendai, Miyagi, Japan. Patronage Japanese miners.

Diego was born in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1578. After entering the Society of Jesus in his hometown in 1594, late in 1600 he arrived, after a long voyage with sixteen other Jesuits, in Goa, India.

The following year, 1608, he set out for Macau, where he was Ordained as Priest. In 1609, he arrived in Japan, where, after learning Japanese, he was a Missionary in the Amakusa Islands, before relocating to Kyōto around 1612. After the edict of proscription of 1614, in November that year, with seventy-two other Jesuits on three Chinese junks, he was deported to Macau.

Diogo’s heart remained in Japan, however and he secretly returned in 1616. Later he relocated in the north to serve refugees fleeing persecution in the south.

Carvalho’s ministry centred on the silver miners in the districts of Oshu and Dewa. Living conditions were difficult but conversions were abundant. In December 1623 he was working in Miwake when the local prince began to persecute the Christians and ordered soldiers to kill all who refused to apostatise. When the governor of Sendai learned of Father Carvalho, he went searching for him but the Jesuit and about 60 Christians fled into a deep valley seeking to escape. Unfortunately, their tracks in the snow led the soldiers to them and Carvalho gave himself up, in an attempt to allow his people to get away. He was able to save all but 12 of his companions. Then the Christians had to march for seven days through the cold to Sendai. Two who could not keep up, were killed on the spot and the rest were barely given enough food to eat to survive their month-long imprisonment once they reached the City.

Martyrdom came for Carvalho and his companions through the cold. The Hirose River flowed near the fortress where they had been imprisoned; on its bank the soldiers dug a hole and filled it with icy water from the river. The prisoners were forced first to sit naked in the freezing water and then stand up to let the wind hit them. Their captors promised to end the torture if they would renounce Christianity. None did and the cold slowly took away their life. Carvalho was the last to die, enduring the torture long into the night before he also finally perished. The names of his companions are sadly unknown, so they could not be Beatified with him but with God they are Blessed in His Heavenly Kingdom.

The decree of Martyrdom and Beatificztion, was confirmed on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357), Feast of the Chair of St Peter and Memorials of the Saints – 22 February

Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) – 22 February:

The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues in the Lady Chapel at Saint Sauveur at Rennes

Our Lady of Rennes, in Britanny. The English, having made a mine to blow up the town, it is said that the candles in theCchapel were found miraculously lighted; the bells rung of themselves and the image of the Blessed Virgin was seen to stretch out its arms towards the middle of the Church, where the mine was, which, by that means was discovered. The people rushed to the spot and so, the plot was discovered and the entire town saved through the intervention of Our Lady of Rennes. Great was the rejoicing and deep the gratitude of the people.
Known today as the Basilica of Saint Sauveur in Rennes, it is located in the heart of historic Rennes, which was once the capital of Brittany. It is situated at the termination of Saint-Sauveur Street on which its façade faces. As the original Gothic Church partially collapsed in the year 1682, the Classical style Church that can currently be seen, was constructed beginning in 1703 and consecrated in August of 1719.
In the year 1793, during the French Revolution, the Church was made into a Temple of Reason and the miraculous statue of Our Lady was destroyed. It was not until 1802, after the end of the Terror, that the Church was opened again to worship. The Church was made into a minor Basilica in 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.

The Altar of Our Lady in the main body of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur at Rennes

According to popular tradition there was a famous miracle attributed to Our Lady at Rennes during the War of Succession at Brittany. As Rennes was being besieged by the invading English army under the Duke of Lancaster, the people of the city expected the English forces to mine their way under the walls into the City.
On the night of 8 February 1357, the Church bells began to ring of their own accord and the candles were spontaneously lit. The Statue of Our Lady, known as Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, pointed out a particular slab in the Church. The inhabitants of the city thus were alerted to the mine and the point of the English attack, and were able to repulse the invasion. The miracle was a popular subject for ballads, especially the troubadour Cavalier. In 1634 the miracle was officially recognised by the Bishop of Rennes, Pierre Cornulier.
There are many miracles attributed to Our Lady, including the miraculous healing of Magdalene Morice in the year 1761. She had gangrene in her right foot which was instantly healed on Easter Sunday.
The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues currently displayed at the Basilica was placed there in February of 1876. In 1684 a boy of eleven left home for the City of Rennes, in hopes of enrolling at the Jesuit College of Thomas a Becket. The young Louis-Marie was an intelligent boy who was taken under the guidance of the Jesuit Priests and it was at Rennes that he began to consider a possible vocation to the Priesthood. It was here, at the Shrine of Our Lady at Rennes, that Saint Louis de Montfort made the final decision to become a Priest. Amen! We thank our Lady for giving us St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort!

The Chair of Saint Peter (Feast)
About this great Feast:

St Ailius of Alexandria
St Angelus Portasole
St Aristion of Salamis
St Athanasius of Nicomedia
St Baradates of Cyrrhus
Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Priest and Martyr
St Elwin
Blessed Émilie d’Oultremont d’Hoogvorst/Maria of Jesus (1818-1878)
About Blessed Émilie:
St John the Saxon
St Limnaeus
St Margaret of Cortona TOSF (1247–1297)

St Maximian of Ravenna
St Miguel Facerías Garcés
St Mohammed Abdalla
St Papias of Heirapolis
St Paschasius of Vienne
St Raynerius of Beaulieu
St Thalassius

Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.


Thought for the Day – 21 February – Detachment from the World

Thought for the Day – 21 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Detachment from the World

“St John Bosco said, that we should ork as if we never had to die.
But, we should also be as detached from worldly things, as if we had to die in one hour.
A man who works like this, can accomplish wonders because, he is not working for himself but, for God.
We should work and pray with our feet on the earth and our minds in heaven.
We should seek God, not ourselves, in everything which we do.
Let us remember, that one moment in Heaven, is worth infinitely more than all the pleasure, love and vanity of this world!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent – ‘.Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.’

Day Five of our Lenten Journey – 21 February – The First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“The kingdom of God is within you,” says the Lord (Luke 17:21).

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest.
Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.
Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within.
His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great and His intimacy wonderful indeed.
Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you.
He Himself says: “If anyone love Me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23).
Give place, then, to Christ but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you.
He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
[…] Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?
Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away and you together with them.
Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.
If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds.
If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.
(Book 2, Ch 1)

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – St Robert Southwell (and St Peter Damian)

Quote/s of the Day – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent, Readings: Genesis 9:8-15, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Mark 1:12-15 and the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church and St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr

“We … are under an obligation
to be the light of the world
by the modesty of our behaviour,
the fervour of our charity,
the innocence of our lives
and the example of our virtues.
Thus shall we be able
to raise the lowered prestige
of the Catholic Church
and, to build up again,
the ruins that others by their vices have caused.
Others, by their wickedness,
have branded the Catholic Faith
with a mark of shame,
we must strive,
with all our strength, to cleanse it
from its ignominy
and to restore it
to its pristine glory!”

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

More Quotes from St Peter and St Robert here:
AND “The Burning Babe” here:

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent – “This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand” Mark 1:12-15

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent, Readings Genesis 9:8-15Psalms 25:4-56-7,8-91 Peter 3:18-22Mark 1:12-15 and the Memorial of St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church

“This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand” – Mark 1:14

REFLECTION “After John had been arrested, Jesus came into Galilee…” According to our interpretation, John stands for the Law and Jesus the Gospel. Indeed, John says: “One mightier than I is coming after me…” (Mk 1,7) and elsewhere: “He must increase, I must decrease” (Jn 3,30): in this way he compares the Law with the Gospel. And afterwards he says: “I – that is, the Law – baptise you with water; he – that is the Gospel – will baptise you in the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1,8). And so Jesus comes because John had been put in prison. In effect, the Law is finished, it has been brought to an end, it no longer has its former freedom. But we have passed from the Law to the Gospel…

“Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel, the Good News of the Kingdom of God”… When I read the Law, prophets and psalms, I never heard them speak of the Kingdom of heaven – only in the gospel. For only when He came, of whom it is said “the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (Lk 17,21) that God’s Kingdom was thrown open… In fact, before the Saviour’s coming and the Light of the Gospel, before Christ opened the gate of paradise with the thief (Lk 23,43), all holy souls descended to the place of the dead. Jacob himself said: “I will go down weeping and mourning to the nether world” (Gn 37,35)… In the Law, Abraham rests with the dead; in the gospel, the thief is in paradise. We are not denigrating Abraham, we all want to rest in his bosom (Lk 16,23 but we prefer Christ to Abraham, the Gospel to the Law.

We read that after Christ’s Resurrection many saints appeared in the holy city (Mt 27,53). Our Lord and Saviour preached on earth and preached, too, to the underworld. He died and descended to hell to free the souls held captive there (1Pt 3,18f.).” – St Jerome (347-420), Priest, Translator of the Bible, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Mark’s Gospel, no.2A ; SC 494

PRAYER – Through our annual Lenten observance Lord, deepen our understanding of the mystery of Christ and make it a reality in the conduct of our lives,. Teach us by the example and doctrine of St Peter Damian to prefer nothing whatever to Christ and to make the service of Your Church our chief concern and so, come to the joy of Your eternal Kingdom. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 21 February – Anima Christi

Our Morning Offering – 21 February – First Sunday of Lent

Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within Your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into Your presence lead me
to praise You with all Your saints
Forever and ever,

For many years the Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) , as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola and so my image shows St Ignatius at prayer.

However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth. The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).

The invocations in the prayer have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Holy Wounds).

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 February – Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta (1829–1894)

Saint of the Day – 21 February – Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta (1829–1894) Nun of the Sisters of St Anne – whose main charism is the care and education of street children, Mystic with an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, close friend and adviser to St John Bosco in establishing the Rule of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also “lending” two nuns to the new Congregation. During the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak, she cared for and ministered to countless people. She then went on to serve for over three decades as the Superior General of her Congregation. Born on 10 October 1829 in Borgo Salsasio, Carmagnola, Turin, Italy and died on 21 February 1894, aged 64, in Turin, Italy of natural causes. Also known as Mother Maria Enrichetta (her religious name), Anna Caterina, Maria Henrich Dominici, Mother Maria Enrica Dominici.

Caterina Dominici was born on 10 October 1829 near Turin, as the fourth daughter. One brother would become a Priest. She was four when her parents separated and she went with her mother and siblings to live with her Priest uncle.

As a child she grew into the habit of regular Confession and Holy Communion. She moved in 1848 and in November 1850 became a non-cloistered religious of the Sisters of Saint Anne. She assumed the name of “Maria Enrichetta.” Pope Pius IX visited Loreto in 1857 and Sr Maria was present along with St Madeleine Sophie Barat when the Pope met with the professed religious.

Sr Maria Enrichetta was appointed as the Superior General of her Congregation and she at first attempted to discourage her fellow sisters from the appointment.

Now Mother Maria, she founded about thirty houses, reaching Rome and Sicily. With each term of office confirmed, it did not seem possible to have another mother general. As a girl she had dreamed of becoming a missionary to India, now, she could fulfill the vow indirectly, sending her nuns. In February 1871 six of them left, which the Mother entrusted to the Holy Trinity of which she was very devoted. Her new foundation in India opened a path that would bear great fruit. In October 1879 she went in person to distant India, to Secunderabad, to visit the Institute’s first Missionary home.

On 14 July 1884 she was received at an audience by Pope Leo XIII.

Her health started to decline from November 1893 and Caterina was confined to bed. She continued to lead the institute, despite suffering and pain. She spent her last week in drowsiness and despite this, she continued to speak in a weak voice to those around her bedside.

Affable and kind, however, she was reserved and of a few words. She meditated for hours before the Tabernacle and she obtained permission from the Holy See, for her nuns to make daily communion.

Her writings, autobiography and copious letters, speak her total abandonment to God. She wrote: “Oh how happy lives the soul that lives totally abandoned in God. Oh if everyone knew this happiness …”

Sr Maria Enrichetta died in 1894 and her remains were transferred in 1926 to the chapel of the mother house.

The investigation for a miracle attributed to her intercession, spanned from 1949 to 1950 and was validated in 1952. Paul VI approved it in 1977 and Beatified her on 7 May 1978.

There are currently Houses of St Anne in Italy, Switzerland, Cameroon, Argentina, Peru, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, USA. In India there are eighty houses, more than in Italy.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

The First Sunday of Lent +2021, Our Lady of Bon Port/Good Haven, Paimpol, France (1838) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 February

The First Sunday of Lent +2021

Our Lady of Bon Port/Good Haven, Paimpol, France (1838) – 21 February:

In 1838, the crew of a vessel which had just arrived at Paimpol, in France, forty-eight in number, accomplished a vow they had made in a most perilous voyage from Newfoundland.
A terrific tempest had arisen, their sails were tor, and for three days they were in continual danger of finding a watery grave. The ship began to fill with water and all hope of safety seemed lost, when the crew, by common consent, turned their eyes to Mary, Star of the Sea and asked for good haven. They promised if she saved them, they would visit in the most supplicant manner, the Church at Paimpol, where there is an image of Our Lady much venerated by the people. They had scarcely ended their prayer, when the weather became more calm and the waves began to subside.
Profiting by this providential change, they repaired their sails and had a favourable wind, until they reached the coasts of Brittany. They landed in safety at Knod, toward the decline of day and their first act was to prostrate themselves on the ground and give God thanks for their safe return.
They then intoned the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and advanced barefooted and bare-headed along the banks and through the streets of Paimpol, to the Church of the Good Haven. The people attracted in crowds by the novelty of the sight, followed them. There were parents who went to give thanks to Our Lady of Good Haven for the return of their sons and wives, to thank Mary for restoring their husbands to them. Tears streamed down from every eye, and the immense multitude knelt down before the Altar of that powerful Virgin, who had received from her Son, the power to command wind and wave.
The torches shed a dim light on the recessed of the sanctuary, where stood the image of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Good Haven, whose inclined head and exteneded arms seemed to say to all, “Come to me, I am your Mother.”
These pious mariners with the most touching expression of sentiment, chanted the hymn, “Ave Maria Stella” in which they were joined in gratitude by the people.

“Bright Mother of our Maker, hail!
Thou Virgin ever blest,
The ocean’s star, by which we sail,
And gain the port of rest.”

St Peter Damian OSB (1007-1072) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
A lot about St Peter here:

St Avitus II of Clermont
Blessed Caterina Dominici/Maria Enrichetta SSA (1829–1894) Nun
Bl Claudio di Portaceli
St Daniel of Persia
Bl Eleanora
St Ercongotha
St Eustathius of Antioch
St Felix of Metz
St George of Amastris
St Germanus of Granfield
St Gundebert of Sens
Blessed Noel Pinot (1747-1794) Priest and Martyr
His Life and Death:
St Paterius of Brescia (Died 606) Bishop
St Pepin of Landen
St Peter Mavimenus
St Randoald of Granfield

Blessed Richard Henkes
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Martyr
St Robert’s Biography:

St Severian of Scythopolis
St Severus of Syrmium
Bl Thomas Pormort
St Valerius of San Pedro de Montes
St Verda of Persia

Martyrs of Sicily – 79 saints – Seventy-nine Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were martyred in c 303 on Sicily.

Martyrs of Hadrumetum – A group of 26 Christians martyred together by Vandals. We know little more than eight of their names – Alexander, Felix, Fortunatus, Saturninus, Secundinus, Servulus, Siricius and Verulus. c 434 at Hadrumetum (modern Sousse, Tunisia)

Martyrs Uchibori – Three Japanese laymen, all brothers, all sons of Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon, one a teenager, one only five years old and all martyred for their faith in the persecutions in Japan. 21 February 1627 in Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan. Beatified 24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI.


Thought for the Day – 20 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 20 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Doing Everything for the Love of God

“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the will of God, even in our smallest actions.
But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection.
If we aimed always at doing God’s will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace, because we should be holy.
The saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity.
They are always content, because they live in God.
Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service.
As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world.
There they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices.
There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God.
Let us become saints.
Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Day Four of our Lenten Journey – ‘A man must fight long and bravely against himself …’

Day Four of our Lenten Journey – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

The holy Martyr, Lawrence, with his priest, conquered the world because he despised everything in it that seemed pleasing to him and for love of Christ patiently suffered the great high priest of God, Sixtus, whom he loved dearly, to be taken from him. Thus, by his love for the Creator, he overcame the love of man and chose instead of human consolation the good pleasure of God.
So you, too, must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend for the love of God.
Do not take it to heart when you are deserted by a friend, knowing that in the end we must all be parted from one another.

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation.
The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense but prefers severe trials and hard labours for the sake of Christ. …

In what can I hope, then, or in Whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty.
At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God.

The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead, therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and on the left are enemies who never rest. (Book 2, Ch9, 2-3,6,8)


Quote/s of the Day – 20 February – “Follow me.” Luke 5:27 ‘This is the glory of man …’

Quote/s of the Day – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Luke 5:27-32

“Follow me.”

Luke 5:27

“This is the glory of man –
to persevere and remain
in the service of God.
For this reason,
the Lord told His disciples:
‘You did not choose Me but I chose you.’
He meant that His disciples
did not glorify Him by following Him
but, in following the Son of God,
they were glorified by Him.
As He said:
‘I wish that where I am
they also may be,
that they may see My glory.’”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Father of the Church and Martyr

From his Against Heresies (Book 4)

“Christ is the artist,
tenderly wiping away
all the grime of sin
that disfigures the human face
and restoring God’s image
to its full beauty.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395)
Father of the Church

“To welcome the Word of God
into the interior depths of one’s heart
is to be revived by food in plenty
and the eternal spring.
It is to hunger and thirst no more (Jn 6,35).”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Bishop of Milan
Father & Doctor of the Church

Commentary on Saint Luke’s gospel, 5, 16 ; SC 45

“Where, then, is true freedom?
It is in the heart of one who loves
nothing more than God.
It is in the heart of one who is attached
neither to spirit nor to matter
but only to God.
It is in that soul which is not subject
to the “I” of egoism,
which soars above its own thoughts,
feelings, suffering and enjoyment.
Freedom resides in the soul
whose one reason for existence is God,
whose life is God
and nothing else but God.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
Spanish Trappist Monk


One Minute Reflection – 20 February – ‘. I, Levi …’ Luke 5:27-32

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Saturday after Ash Wednesday, Readings Isaiah 58: 9-14Psalms 86:1-23-45-6Luke 5:27-32 and the Memorial of St Elutherius of Tournai (c 456-532) Bishop and Martyr and Saints Francisco (1908-1919) and Jacinta (1910-1920)

“Those who are well, have no need of a physician but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:31-32

REFLECTION – “The Apostle Paul said: “Take off the old self with its practices and put on the new self” (Col 3,9-10)… This was the work Christ accomplished when He called Levi; He refashioned him into a new man. Similarly, it is as a new person, that the former publican prepares a banquet for Christ since Christ takes pleasure in him and he himself, merits to have a share in happiness with Christ… He followed him now, happy, light-hearted and overflowing with joy.

“I have the aspect of a publican no more,” he said, “I don’t carry around the old Levi any longer; I put off Levi when I put on Christ. I flee from my earlier life; my Lord Jesus, you alone, who heal my wounds, I desire to follow. Who shall separate me from the love of God … ? tribulation? anguish? hunger? (Cf Rom 8,35). I am bound to You by faith as by nails, I am held fast by the worthy bonds of love. All Your commandments will be like a cautery that I will apply firmly to my wound; the remedy stings but it takes away the ulcerous infection. Lord Jesus, with Your powerful sword, cut away the corruption of my sins: come quickly, lance my hidden and varied passions. Purge away all infection in the new bath.

“Listen to me, you people who are fixed to the earth, you whose thoughts are intoxicated by your sins. I, Levi, was also wounded by similar passions. But I found a doctor who dwells in heaven and pours out His remedies on earth. He alone can cure my wounds since He Himself has none. He alone can remove the heart’s pain and the soul’s lethargy, for He knows everything that lies hidden.”St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, 5, 23.27

PRAYER – Come my all-powerful, ever-living God, look with compassion on our frailty and for our protection, stretch out to us Your strong right hand. Grant that by the prayers of Mary, our Mother and all your angels and saints we may change our ways, leave everything behind, proclaim the glory of Your kingdom and come safely home to You. St Eleutherius and Sts Jacinta and Francisco, pray for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.