St Joseph, we ask for your assistance in all our needs. The Novena begins on Wednesday 10 March. Please pray for us!
St Teresa of Avila’s Plea
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint, for I know, by long experience, what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honoured him, by particular services, who did not advance greatly in virtue, for he helps in a special way, those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . .
I ask for the love of God, that he who does not believe me, will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience, the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”
St Alphonsus Liguori on St Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death
“Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honoured him during their life and they do so for three reasons:
“First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend but as a father and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint.
“Second, because St Joseph has obtained special power against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigour at the hour of death.
“Third, the assistance given St Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary, obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death, he will not only help them but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary.”
Thought for the Day – 8 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“St Ambrose describes virtue, as a slow martyrdom. In this sense, we must all be martyrs. There is only one difference. The Martyrs of the Church shed their blood and gave up their lives for Jesus, within one hour or one day and gained their reward immediately. Our martyrdom, on the other hand, will be prolonged. It will last all our lives and will end only when we accept death with resignation from the hands of God. Ours is the martyrdom of virtue. Let us clearly understand, that solid Christian virtue is a slow and continual martyrdom, which will end with death. It is not a flower, which springs up spontaneously in the garden of the soul. It is like a seed which is thrown on the damp earth and must die there slowly, so that it can generate young shoots, which will produce the ears of corn. “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (Jn 12:24-25). It is necessary, then, to descend into the mire of humility and to remain there until we die. Only after we have died to ourselves, shall we rise again in God (Cf ibid). After the death of our lower instincts and vices, we shall find a new life.”
Day Twenty of our Lenten Journey – 8 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15, Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4, Luke 4:24-30
Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
In You is the source of life and in Your Light Lord, we see light Psalm 35(36)
And they rose up and tdrove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.– Luke 4:29
When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men. In the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised. Do you dare to complain of anything?
He had enemies and defamers. Do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.
Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer. For love of Him makes a man despise himself.
A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace. He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men.
He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises. A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals. No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen.
He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behaviour of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals. If all were well with you, therefore and, if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit. But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you. Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things.
But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy. (Book 2 Ch 1)
One Minute Reflection – 8 March – Monday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15,Psalms 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4, Luke 4:24-30 and the Memorial fo St John of God (1495-1550) and Blessed Vincent Kadlubek O.Cist (c 1160-1223)
“There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months and a great famine came over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.” – Luke 4:25-26
REFLECTION – “The poor widow had gone out to look for two blocks of wood to bake some brea,: it is at this time that Elijah meets her. This woman is the symbol of the Church because a cross is made of two pieces of wood, the woman, who was destined to die, searches for something by which to live eternally. There is a hidden mystery in this … Elijah tells her: “Go, feed me first with your poverty and you will not run out of your goods.” What a blessed poverty! If the widow received here on earth such retribution, what a reward may she hope to receive in the life to come!
I insist on this point – let us not expect to harvest the fruit of our sowing now, at the time we sow. Here on earth, we sow with difficulty what will be the harvest of our good works but only later on, will we gather the fruits of this with joy, according to what is said: “Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (Ps 125:6). Actually Elijah’s act towards this woman was not her reward, but only a symbol of it. For if this widow would have been rewarded here on earth for having fed the man of God, what a miserable sowing, what a poor crop! She received just a temporal good – a jar of flour that did not empty and a jug of oil that did not run dry, until the day the Lord watered the earth with His rain. This sign that was given to her by God, for a few days was, therefore, the symbol of the future life where our reward could not be lessened. Our flour will be God himself! As the flour of this woman did not run out in these days, we will not be deprived of God for all the rest of eternity … Sow with faith and your harvest will surely come; it will come later on but when it will come, you will reap it endlessly.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father, Doctor of the Church – Sermon 11, 2-3
PRAYER – Lord our God, make us love You above all things and all our fellow-men, with a love that is worthy of You. May we look to Your Divine Son in love and imitation. Grant we pray, that by the prayers of the St John of God and Bl Vincent Kadlubek we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.
Our Morning Offering – 8 March – Monday of the Third week of Lent
Only What You Will or Will Not By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
Grant me Your grace, most merciful Jesus, so that it may be with me and work with me and persevere with me to the end. Grant that I may always want and desire that which is most acceptable and pleasing to You. Let Your will be mine and let my will always follow Yours and be in perfect accord with it. Let me always will or not will, the same with You and may I not be able to will or not will anything, except what You will or will not. Amen
Saint of the Day – 8 March – Blessed Vincent Kadlubek O.Cist (c 1160-1223) Bishop, Cistercian Monk, noted Historian, prolific Writer and renowned Precher. His Episcopal mission was to reform the Diocesan Priests and to re-invigorate the faithful. Born in 1160 as Wincenty at Karnow, Duchy of Sandomir, Poland and died on 8 March 1223 at Jedrzejow, Poland of natural causes. Patronages – Writers, Sandomierz, Diocese of Kielce, Jędrzejów. He is also known as – Vincent Kadlubo, Vincent Kadlubko, Vincent of Cracow, Wincenty Kadlubek.
Wincenty Kadlubek was born of noble family about the year 1160 at Karnow, in the Duchy of Sandomir in Poland. He studied at the Cathedral school in Kraków. It was while at the latter that he studied under Mateusz Cholewa. It was the latter’s patronage that allowed Vincent to be sent abroad for further studies. He was sent to France and Bolgona in Italy, where met the future Pope Innocent III when the two were students and he also encountered John of Salisbury, the historian and poet. He received Priestly Ordination in 1189 and became Canon and Dean of Cathedral School of Krakow. A document dated 1212 bears his signature as “Praepositus Sandomirensis of the quondam,” namely the Provost of the Cathedral of Sandomir.
On the death of Bishop Fulk of Krakow on 11 September 1207, the chapter voted in favour of the election of Vincent. Pope Innocent III confirmed the decision in a papal bull on 28 March 1208 and Vincent received his Episcopal Consecration from the Archbishop of Gniezno, two months later. Innocent III’s bull referred to Vincent’s wisdom as the motivation for his selection, while referring to him as a “master and preacher.”
Vincent set out to reform the Diocesan Priests to ensure their holiness, while also seeking to invigorate the faithful to active participationthe life of the Church. He also supported the construction of Monasteries in the Diocese. He Consecrated Saint Florian’s Basilica and was said to have once been the Chaplain to Casimir II the Just.
The Bishop was noted for his linguistic skills, for his charismatic preaching and for his expertise in Canon law as well as for his renowned rhetoric abilities. He knew of the natural sciences as well, since he had studied them while in Paris and Bologna. But it was while in Europe that he started reading the life and works of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and became enthralled with the charism of the Cistercians, to whom he granted attention as Bishop.
In 1214, thanks to the providential intervention of Bishop Vincent, a long-running dispute about the possession of Galicia was resolved. In 1215 he participated in the Fourth Council of the Lateran.
In 1218 he resigned from his Diocese, which Pope Honorius III accepted and entered the Cistercian Monastery in Jędrzejów. He became the first Pole to join the Cistercians.
Vincent died on 8 March 1223 and his remains were buried before the high altar of the Monastery Church. His remains were exhumed on 26 April 1633 with his pallium found intact though his remains had become skeletal. Measurements were taken and it was surmised that he was of “fair height.” His remains were moved to a new location before the high altar on the following 16 August. Kadłubek’s remains were again exhumed and reinterred in mid-1765 and some were moved to Sandomierz in 1845 for veneration. Other parts to his remains were moved in 1903 to Wawel and placed in a silver urn.
In 1682, the King Jan III Sobieski petitioned for his Beatification and a similar petition was made in 1699 by the General Chapter of the Order of Citeaux, though it was not until 18 February 1764, under pressure from Wojciech Ziemicki, Abbot of Jedrzejow, that Pope Clement XIII granted confirmation of cult as “Blessed” although he is popularly known as ‘Saint’ in Poland.
Finally worthy of note that the works of Blessed Wincenty Kadlubek composed as the first Polish journalist: “Chronica seu originale et principum Regum Poloniae” in four volumes. The first three are in the form of dialogue between the Archbishop of Gnesen John (1148-65) and Matthew Bishop of Krakow (1145-65). The first is legendary, the second is based on a chronicle of a Gallo, the third and fourth summarize the experience of the author. The period in which the work saw the light does not find the experts agree: it was commissioned by King Casimir, or when Leszek Vincent was already a bishop, while others, he devoted himself to it now imprisoned in the monastery.
Some of Blessed Vincent’s writings had a huge impact on the Polish political doctrine of the 14th and 15th centuries. Some suggest that his most well-known book “Chronicles of the Kings and Princes of Poland” was written at the request of Prince Casimir II others suggest that it at the request of Prince Leszek while Blessed Vincent was a Bishop; still others claim that it was not written until after his retirement.
Nossa Senhora das Virtudes / Our Lady of Virtues, Lisbon, Portugal (15th Century) – 8 March:
The Church of the Monastery of Our Lady of Virtues, or Nossa Senhora das Virtudes, until recently was nothing more than a ruin, located north of Lisbon. A small Church was constructed in 2009 and further work is planned. The site is now protected because of its historical importance but for no other reason, as pilgrimages and devotion to the Blessed Virgin declined from the 19th century until the 21st century, when there remained almost no memory of the glory that once was here. According to tradition, the origin of the Church of Our Lady of Virtues, relates to the appearance of Our Lady to a keeper of cows back in the early fifteenth century. The apparition gave rise to a pilgrimage to the site, as well as the later construction of a primitive Chapel, presumably made of wood and other perishable materials. A short time later, due to the growing importance of the site and the devotion of the faithful, King Duarte commanded that a Franciscan Monastery be built, that would be attached to the Chapel. Following upon the construction of the Monastery, a hospital was also soon built and subsequently inns and other businesses supporting the thriving community that grew up around the Chapel. Pilgrimages to the Shrine became widespread throughout the remainder of the fifteenth century. Of unquestionable importance throughout the Middle Ages, the more recent centuries have seen the abandonment of pilgrimages to the Shrine, as well as the decay of the buildings and the eventual abandonment of the site by the Franciscans. At the beginning of the 1990’s, when excavations were made at the Monastery, all that remained was ruins. Despite the fact that the Monastery was almost completely destroyed, there are still some structural remains located on the north side of the Church and most of these structures are assumed to still be buried beneath the earth. This is believed because the Church of Our Lady of Virtues itself, was partially buried before the archaeological work revealed it.
St Apollonius of Antinoë St Arianus of Alexandria St Beoadh of Ardcarne St Duthus of Ross St Felix of Burgundy St Humphrey of Prüm St Jon Helgi Ogmundarson St Litifredus of Pavia St Philemon of Antinoë St Pontius of Carthage St Provinus of Como St Quintilis of Nicomedia St Rhian St Senan of Scattery St Stephen of Obazine St Theophylact of Nicomedia St Theoticus of Alexandria St Veremundus of Irache Blessed Vincent Kadlubek O.Cist (c 1160-1223) Bishop — Martyrs of North Africa – 9 saints – A bishop and some of his flock who were martyred together in North Africa. The only details that have survived are nine of the names – Beata, Cyril, Felicitas, Felix, Herenia, Mamillus, Rogatus, Silvanus, Urban.