NOVENA OF DEVOTION TO THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS – Reminder – begins tomorrow – 22 June!


Reminder – begins tomorrow – 22 June!

I nearly forgot to remind you – please pray with me.

Devotion to the Most Precious Blood is not a spiritual option, it is a spiritual obligation and that, not only for Priests but for every follower of Christ. I really believe that one of the symptoms of modern society (and I would even include, sadly, modern Catholic society) one of the symptoms of a growing, gnawing secularism is the lessening and the weakening of devotion to the Precious Blood. Devotion, as we know, is a composite of three elements: -It is first- veneration, it is secondly- invocation, and it is thirdly- imitation. In other words, devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ, the Lamb of God who was slain, is first of all to be veneration on our part, which is a composite of knowledge, love and adoration. We are to study to come to a deeper understanding of what those two casual words, Precious Blood, really mean.

I found this passage in the oldest document, outside of Sacred Scripture, from the first century of the Christian era – to be exact, from Pope St. Clement I, dated about 96. Says Pope Clement: “Let us fix our gaze on the Blood of Christ and realise how truly precious It is, seeing that it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of conversion to the whole world.

To understand the meaning of the Precious Blood, we must get some comprehension of the gravity of sin, of the awfulness of offending God because, it required the Blood of the Son of God to forgive that sin. We are living in an age in which to sin has become fashionable.

This veneration of the Precious Blood, which is the first element in our devotion to the Precious Blood, means, that we have a deep sensitivity to the awfulness of sin. Sin must be terrible. It must be awful. It must be the most dreadful thing in the universe. Why? Because it cost the living God in human form, the shedding of His Blood.

Lord Jesus,
You became Man, in order, by Your Passion and Death
and the draining of Your Blood on the Cross,
might prove to us, how much You, our God, love us.
Protect us, dear Jesus,
from ever running away from the sight of blood.
Strengthen our weak human wills
so that we will not only, not run away from the Cross
but welcome every opportunity
to shed our blood in spirit,
in union with Your Precious Blood,
so that, dying to ourselves in time.
we might live with You in Eternity.

Excerpted from The Precious Blood of Christ, Servant of God Fr John A.Hardon, S.J.


Thought for the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius Gonzaga

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

St Aloysius Gonzaga

“St Aloysius Gonzaga is one of the outstanding models of holy purity, for young and old alike.
We are told, that when he was nine years of age and went to the City of Florence, he went to the Church of the Annunziata, to pray before the picture of our Blessed Lady.
It was then, that he experienced the ardent desire to consecrate himself to God.
He was the eldest son of Prince Ferdinand de Gonzaga and, therefore, heir to his father’s title.
But, from this moment, he was determined to spend his life in the service of God.
He made a vow of perpetual chastity and placed himself under the protection of the Blessed Virgin.

Now, his life became a continual ascent towards perfection.
Hs chastity, which he had offered to Our Lady, remained spotless until his death.
The spirit of evil could make no headway against his angelic virtue.
This was a grace which he merited as a result of his prayers and penances.
He often spent three or four hours, kneeling in prayer and contemplation.
Even at night, he rose from his bed, in order to pray.
His mind and heart where in Heaven, rather than upon earth.
His prayer was an intimate conversation with Jesus, Mary and the Saints.
Innocent though he was, he practised servere mortifications.

Believing himself to be a great sinner, he scourged his body until his blood flowed freely and deprived himself of food and sleep.

Do we wish to preserve our purity and to become saints?
If so, let us remember that without prayer and mortification, this is impossible.
Jesus said to His disciples “that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1) “Pray” He said again, “that you may not enter into temptation” (Lk 22:40) and further, “Unless you repent, you will all perish” (Lk 13:5)

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga

Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

“There is no more evident sign
that anyone is a saint
and of the number of the elect,
than to see him leading a good life
and, at the same time,
a prey to desolation, suffering and trials.”

O Holy Mary, my mistress,
into your blessed trust
and special custody
and into the grasp of your mercy
I this day, everyday
and in the hour of my death,
commend my soul and my body.
To you, I commit,
all my anxieties and miseries,
my life and the end of my life,
that by your most holy intercession
and by your merits
all my actions may be directed
and disposed
according to your will
and that of your Son.

St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)



One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “Cast out first, the beam in thy own eye” – Matthew 7:5

One Minute Reflection – 22 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” , Readings: Genesis 12: 1-9, Psalms 33: 12-13, 18-19, 20 and 22, Matthew 7:1-5 .

“Thou hypocrite, cast out first, the beam in thy own eye and then shalt thou see, to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5

REFLECTION – “You are very good at excusing and whitewashing your own behaviour but you will not allow your neighbour’s excuses.
You might more fairly accuse yourself and excuse your brother.
If you wish to be borne with, then bear.
Look how far you are, even now, from a true and lowly love which knows no anger nor indignation except against itself.
It is no great thing to live with the good and docile; everyone naturally likes to do so – just as we are all delighted to live in peace with friends who share our views.
But if you can live at peace with harsh, wayward, unbridled and disputatious folk; this is a great grace and a virile achievement worthy of all praise …
The greater the skill in suffering, the greater the peace. In this is self-mastery, lordship over the world, friendship with Christ, the inheritance of Heaven.” – Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)The Imitation of Christ – Book II, Ch 3

PRAYER – As we pray before You Lord, we ask You, in Your loving kindness, for the grace always to ponder in our hearts what we proclaim with our lips. Keep us in Your commandments and strengthen us by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mother, that we may live by a holy conscience and never flinch from the protection of truth. Grant this we pray through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, in the love and unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
SACRED Heart of JESUS, Thy Kingdom come!
Indulgence 300 Days. Everytime Raccolta 178 St Pius X, 4 May 1906.


Our Morning Offering – 21 June – Heart of Jesus!

Our Morning Offering – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart”

Heart of Jesus!
Unknown author
(Published 1929)

Heart of Jesus! I entreat
Fill my soul with graces sweet!
Heart of Jesus! Help me win
Freedom from all mortal sin!

Heart of Jesus! Keep my soul
Ever under Thy control!
Heart of Jesus! Kindle mine
With the fire of faith divine!

Heart of Jesus! Give me a light
To see, to think, to act aright!
Heart of Jesus! Sorrow-rent
Make me truly penitent!

Heart of Jesus! Soften mine
Out of gratitude to Thine!
Heart of Jesus! Full of love
Lead my thoughts to heaven above!

Heart of Jesus! Give me grace
My purgatory here to face!
Heart of Jesus! Let me be
Ever filled with love of Thee!
Heart of Jesus! Holy shrine,
Be It ever home of mine!


Saint of the Day – 21 June – Saint Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 21 June – Saint Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr, Priest, Missionary, Confessor Born in Greece or Albania (sources vary) and died in c 400 by pagan Vandals at Hanum, Germany. His body was beheaded post-mortem. Patronages – against epilepsy, of epileptics, against kidney stones, against hernia; hernia victims. Also known as – Albano di Magonza, Albinus of Mainz.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Alban. Martyr, who was made worthy of the crown of life, after long laours and severe combats.”

The oldest surviving substantial source about Alban of Mainz is the Martyrologium (c 845) of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856), who had two separate entries for the Mainzer Alban and the English Alban. Concerning Alban of Mainz, he wrote:

21 June: The Martyr Alban from native Moguntia [Mainz], who during the reign of Emperor Theodosius went forward from the island of Namsia with the Saint Theonestus and Ursus and reached Mediolanum [Milan] and from there he went out and, with the help of the Lord, he arrived in the provinces of Gaul, and stayed there in the Saviour’s name, willing to suffer Martyrdom in the service of God.
But after Martyrdom took the blessed Ursus in the City of Augusta, Theonestus arrived with Alban in Moguntiacum [Mainz]; while preaching the word of God there, his pupil Alban fulfilled Martyrdom and was buried there, near the City.

— Rabanus Maurus, Martyrologium. Iunius (c. 845)

The second substantial source is the Passio sancti Albani, an incomplete hagiography written in the 1060s or 1070s by schoolmaster Gozwin, who lamented that very little evidence about Alban had survived to his day. Gozwin’s account is much longer and adds many elements not found in Rabanus’ Martyrologium, including a prologue about the First Council of Nicaea (325) which condemned Arianism, that, nevertheless, persisted until Honorius and Arcadius succeeded Theodosius (395). In that time, Alban is mentioned as one of four disciples of St Theonestus, the others being Sts Ursus, Tabraha and Tabratha. These five Catholic clerics are forced to flee from North Africa to Italy after being persecuted by Huneric, the fiercely Arian King of the Vandals, travelling to St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. The most wise Ambrose teaches Theonestus and his disciples refined theology and sends them out to convert the ‘Arian beasts’ in Gaul and Germany. They pass a City called Augusta, where Ursus is killed by Arians, and Alban is eventually beheaded in Mainz by local Arians to whom he was preaching the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity. The legend finishes by narrating, that Alban carried his head in his hands to the place where he wanted to be buried.

A Church and Monastery were built in Mainz in 804 to honour Alban. A map of Fulda from 786 seems to have already mentioned a chapel in Mainz dedicated to Alban. It became the centre of Saint Alban’s Abbey, a large Benedictine Monastery, which was renovated by Charlemagne in 806. The Monastery was devastated in 1557 and never restored.

Albert II, Count of Namur founded the collegiate Church of St Alban at Namur in 1047. When the Diocese of Namur was created in 1559, it was expanded as St Aubin’s Cathedral, which claims to possess relics of Alban of Mainz.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Madonna dei Miracoli / Our Lady of the Miracles, Alcamo, Sicily (1547) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 June

Madonna dei Miracoli / Our Lady of the Miracles, Alcamo, Sicily (1547) – 21 June:

The Processional Statue

The cult of Our Lady of the Miracles in Alcamo dates to 21 June 1547, the day people remember the Madonna’s apparition to some women near a stream running north of Alcamo. According to tradition while washing their clothes in the stream, the women, with a blind and a deaf one among them, saw the apparition of a woman with a child and were hit by a gust of pebbles, during the apparition but without receiving any injury or pain; on the contrary, after being hit by the pebbles, they strangely felt a certain sense of wellbeing and recovered their health. After learning the news, the women’s husbands, thinking that it was a joke, went to investigate, thinking that someone was hidden among the bushes but they didn’t find anybody.
Then the local authorities inquired on the spot, cut down the near grove and found the ruins of a “cuba,” an old arc of a mill that nobody remembered any longer and insidem there was a fresco on a stone made by an anonymous painter of the 13th century representing Our Lady with the Child Jesus, which at first. the believers called “Madonna Fons Misericordiae” (that is Our Lady Source of Mercy).

A representation of the discovery of Our Lady of Miracles’ image (inside its Chapel in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption in Alcamo).

After this discovery, all the people started praying before the rediscovered image and in the following days there were several miracles. Our Lady of Miracles became the Patron of Alcamo, in substitution of the Holy Crucified, who was the Patron Saint of Alcamo and other near small towns (among which Calatafimi and Salemi). The old Patron Saint’s memory however, remains: in fact, they call St Francesco of Paola “santu patri” (whose translation means “Patron Saint”) as the Church named after him was called the Holy Crucified Church.
The Madonna’s discovered image was first called “Our Lady Source of Mercy” but thanks to the high number of subsequent miracles, in 1583 the name was changed into “Our Lady of Miracles”.
Further to these events, Don Fernando Vega, Alcamo’s governor, ordered the construction of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles, which hosts the Madonna’s image. Inside the Church there is a white marble sarcophagus containing the mortal remains of the governor Don Fernando Vega, according to his will.

The Crowned Painting of the Madonna of Miracles in the Sanctuary at Alcamo

Every year in Alcamo there are the celebrations in honour of Our Lady of Miracles from 19 June until 21 of June. This is the most important religious festivity in Alcamo. The real celebrations are often anticipated by other events, so extending the feast to about two weeks, in this way the beginning of the celebrations changes every year, while the last day is always the 21 June.
The celebrations include:
The pealing of church bells” which opens the celebrations together with the burst of fireworks and the passing of the band through the town streets; in the past Alcamo’s band also joined the musical band of Partinico (a neighbouring small town).
The Holy Mass in honour of Our Lady of Miracles in the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (also called “Mother Church”), in which all confraternities and laity groups in Alcamo take part.
The procession to the Sanctuary of Madonna of Miracles (called “calata”), in which all civil and religious authorities of the town (together with the Mayor) take part; they are preceded by the band of the town. In old times people took also the animals that had recovered from an illness. Inside the Sanctuary they sing Vespers and then there is the Eucharistic Blessing/Benediction.

St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) (Memorial) Jesuit Seminarian, Mystic, Marian devotee, born of a noble family as Luigi.
About St Aloysius:

St Agofredus of La-Croix
St Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr, Priest, Missionary

St Ralph of Bourges (Died 866) Archbishop of Bourges, Reformer.
His Life:

St Raymond of Barbastro
St Rufinus of Syracuse
St Suibhne the Sage
St Terence
St Ursicenus of Pavia

Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.