Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception Begins 29 November Feast 8 December
The Dogma was promulgated by Blessed Pius IX in 1854 in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus. This Dogma is rejected by all Protestants including the Orthodox – another reason why we cannot interact with these the way some do and the Vatican II church endorses.
Let us Pray to our Mother, the Immaculate and Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin.
Thought for the Day – 28 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of the Poor
“Blessed are the poor in spirit” said Jesus, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). We should take care to have a proper understanding of the meaning of these words. Catholic perfection does not actually consist in being poor. A man can be poor, even voluntarily so, without being vittuous and without receiving any blessing thereby. “Christian perfection,” explains St Thomas Aquinas, “does not especially consist in voluntary poverty, which is only an instrument of perfection. Therefore, it cannot be said that where there is greater poverty there is greater sanctity. The highest perfection can co-exist with great wealth, for we read that Abraham was wealthy and God said to him, ‘Walk in my presence and be perfect‘” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 185, a 6 ad 1).
Perfection then, does not consist in poverty as such but, in detachment from worldly possessions. Whether we are rich or poor, we must have this detachment, if we wish to be true followers of Christ. It was God Who created the fruits of the earth and gave them to men. When He had created them, He was pleased with His Work and declared, that all things were good. Evil consists in the abuse of these goods, which, in themselves, are intended to be aids to perfection. It is necessary, therefore, to preserve the proper hierarchical order of all that is good. We must guard against riveting our ambitions on earthly objects, as if tbey were capable of constituting the goal of our lives.
God has given us these things as possessions, not as ends in themselves. He has ordered us to be masters of the world, not it’s slaves. Detachment is essential but not a complete surrender of our possessions. The latter was never commanded but simply indicated, as an evangelical counsel of perfection. The observance of this counsel, however, is valueless, if it is not accompanied by detachment. Worldly possessions, such as money, are good servants but bad masters!”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory III (Died 741
“The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honour, strive to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels.”
St Pope Gregory III (Died 741)
“When God is our strength, it is strength indeed; when our strength is our own, it is only weakness.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 28 November – The First Sunday of Advent – Readings: Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-10, 14; First Thessalonians 3: 12 – 4: 2; Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy, from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life and that day catch you by surprise, like a trap.”- Luke 21:34-35
REFLECTION – “Why is the date of an individual’s death hidden from him? Clearly, it is so that he might always do good, since he can expect to die at any moment.
The date of Christ’s second advent is withheld from the world for the same reason, namely, so that every generation might live in the expectation of Christ’s return. This is why when His disciples asked Him, “Lord, will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father has established by his authority. But know this, that if the head of the household had known the hour at which the thief would arrive, he would have been vigilant and would never have allowed his house to be burglarised.”
The head of the household represents the human soul, the thief is the devil, the house is the body, the doors are the mouth and ears and the windows are the eyes. Like the thief who gains access through the doors and windows, to despoil the householder, the devil also finds easy access to the soul of a man, through his mouth, ears and eyes, to take him captive. This is why Jeremiah wrote, “For death entered through our windows .. ”
If you wish to be secure, install a bolt on your door, which is to say, put the law of the fear of God in your mouth, so that you can say with the psalmist, “I will guard my ways that I might not sin with my tongue. I will put a guard at my mouth.” – Anonymous ancient Christian writer. The ancient work is known as the ‘Incomplete Work on Matthew’ – (Homily 51)
PRAYER – Holy God, Father Almighty, grant we pray, by the true Light of the world, Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who enlightens all men for their salvation, give us grace to herald His coming, by preparing the ways of justice, love and peace. May the Holy Spirit fill us with all His gifts and virtues, so that we may await the coming of Your Son, guided by His Light and may Mary, the blessed Virgin, accompany us, guarding and giving us her prayerful help. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 28 November – Th4 First Sunday of Advent
Come, Sun and Saviour 8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn
Come, Sun and Saviour, to embrace our gloomy world, its weary race. As groom to bride, as bride to groom, The wedding chamber, Mary’s womb. At Your great Name, O Jesus, now All knees must bend, all hearts must bow, All things on earth with one accord, Like those in heaven, shall call You Lord. Come in Your holy might, we pray, Redeem us for eternal day. Defend us, while we dwell below, From all assaults of our dread foe. Amen
Saint of the Day – 28 November – Saint Pope Gregory III (Died 741) Bishop of Rome 11 February 731 until his death on 28 November 741. Born in Syria and died on 28 November 741 of natural causes.
The Roman Martyrology states: “St Rome, the blessed Pope Gregory III, who departed for Heaven with a reputation for great sanctity and miracles.“
Beside the fact that Gregory was a Priest at Saint Crisogono Church in Rome and that he was the son of a Syrian named John nothing else is known about his life prior to being elected the 90th pope. He was elected by popular acclamation in 731, during the funeral procession of his predecessor, because of his reputation for virtue and learninge.
Gregory’s Pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was troubled by the iconoclastic controversy (the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols) in the Byzantine Empire.
Upon his accession as Pope, Gregory immediately appealed to the Byzantine Emperor Leo III, to moderate his position on the Iconoclastic controversy. When Pope Gregory’s representative was arrested on the orders of the Emperor, Gregory called a Synod in November 731, which condemned Iconoclasm outright. Leo responded by trying to bring the Pope under control, although the fleet he sent to enforce the imperial will, was shipwrecked in the Adriatic Sea. Failing, he appropriated Papal territories in Sicily and Calabria, transferring ecclesiastical jurisdictions in the former Praetorian Prefect, to the Patriarch of Constantinople. His attempt to force the Duke of Naples to enforce an imperial decree to confiscate [apal territory in the duchy failed, as the Duke was supportive of the Pope’s stand.
Pope Gregory demonstrated his opposition to Iconoclasm by emphasising his veneration of icons and relics. He repaired numerous beautiful Churches, adorning them with icons and images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and many Saints. He ordered, in the heart of St. Peter’s Basilica and Iconostasis, (an iconostasis is a wall of artworks and religious paintings, used to separate the Nave from the Sanctuary) situated between six onyx and marble columns. He also built a new oratory in St. Peter’s Basilica, which housed relics of several Saints. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of monasticism – he established the Monastery of S. Chrysogonus and rebuilt the Hospice of Saints Sergius and Bacchus near St Peter’s.
Pope Gregory also promoted the Church in northern Europe. He supported the continuing mission of St. Boniface in Germany, elevating him to the rank of Archbishop in 732. In 732, Gregory banned the consumption of horsemeat, both domestic and wild, comparing it as an “abomination” since it was associated with pagan ritual feastings. He was very conscious of the ongoing Lombard threat but was unsuccessful at stopping their advance. He also undertook and completed, the restoration of the Walls of Rome.
Pope Gregory III died on 28 November 741. He was succeeded by Pope Zachary and was buried in St Peter’s Basilica, in the oratory he had built at the start of his Pontificate.
Nyina wa Jambo – Mother of the Word, Kibeho, Rwanda (1981) – 28 November
The apparitions began in November 1981 when six young girls and one boy claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. But only the visions of the first three — 17-year-old Alphonsine, 20-year-old Nathalie, and 21-year-old Marie Claire — have received Bishop Misago’s solemn approval. Because there were reservations about the other four visionaries and the supposed visions of Jesus, Bishop Misago did not confirm the authenticity of either those visions or visionaries. The Virgin appeared to them with the name “Nyina wa Jambo,” that is “Mother of the Word,” which is synonymous with “Umubyeyl W’iamna” that is, “Mother of God,”,as she herself explained to them. In the visions, Our Lady emphasised the call to pray the Rosary. She also asked for penance and fasting. A dreadful vision all three girls received became a key apparition leading to the official acceptance and approval of Kibeho. These girls reported seeing a gruesome picture – a river of blood, people who killed one another, abandoned bodies with no-one to bury them, a tree on fire, an open chasm, a monster, and severed heads. The vision is now considered a prophecy of the ethnic genocide that would take place in the country 13 years later. Tragically, in 1994, visionary Marie Claire became one of its victims.
Description “She had a seamless white dress and also a white veil on her head. Her hands were clasped together on her breast and her fingers pointed to the sky… I could not determine the colour of her skin,” said Alphonsine, “but she was of incomparable beauty.“ From the beginning in Kibeho, in southern Rwanda, there were conversions, prayer meetings, pilgrimages, miraculous cures and favours and abnormal phenomena during the apparitions. Also, the sun appeared to pulsate, spin, or split in two — a miracle reminiscent of Fatima.
Approval “Yes, the Virgin Mary did appear in Kibeho on 28 November 1981″ and then over “the course of the following six months,” proclaimed Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro, Rwanda, Africa, when he announced his official approval of the apparitions. “There are more reasons to believe this than to deny it.”
Prayer Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Word, Mother of all those who believe in Him and who welcome Him into their life, we are here before you to contemplate You. We believe that you are among us, like a mother in the midst of her children, even though we do not see You with our bodily eyes.
We bless you, The Sure Way that leads us to Jesus the Saviour, for all the favours which You endlessly pour out upon us, especially, that, in your meekness, You were gracious enough to appear miraculously in Kibeho, just when our world needed it most.
Grant us always the light and the strength necessary to accept, with all seriousness, Your call to us to be converted, to repent, and to live according to your Son’s Gospel. Teach us how to pray with sincerity and to love one another as He loved us, so that, just as You have requested, we may always be beautiful flowers diffusing their pleasant fragrance everywhere and upon everyone.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, teach us to understand the value of the cross in our lives, so that, whatever is still lacking to the sufferings of Christ, we may fill up in our own bodies for His mystical Body, which is the Church. And when our pilgrimage on this earth comes to an end, may we live eternally with You in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen
St Anrê Tran Van Trông Bl Calimerius of Montechiaro
St Fionnchu of Bangor St Pope Gregory III (Died 741) Bishop of Rome 11 February 731 until his death on 28 November 741. (His Feast was moved to 10 December in 1969), St Hilary of Dijon St Hippolytus of Saint Claude St Honestus of Nimes St Irenarcus
Bl James Thompson St Papius St Quieta of Dijon St Rufus St Simeon the Logothete St Sosthenes of Colophon (1st Century) Bishop, Martyr. St Stephen the Younger Bl Theodora of Rossano — Martyrs of Constantinople – 8 saints: A group of over 300 Christians martyred during the persecutions of the Iconoclast emperors. We have a lot of information on Saint Stephen the Younger, but for the others we have nothing but seven of their names – Andrew, Auxentius, Basil, Gregor, John, Peter and Stefan. They were scourged, stoned and/or dragged to death through the streets of Constantinople in 764.
Martyrs of North Africa – 13 saints: A group of thirteen clerics killed or exiled in the persecutions of Arian Vandals in North Africa – Crescens, Crescentian, Cresconius, Eustace, Felix, Florentian, Habetdeum, Hortulanus, Mansuetus, Papinianus, Quodvultdeus, Urban and Valerian.
Martyrs of Tiberiopolis – 14 saints: A group of fourteen Christian laymen, deacons, priests and bishops who were martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate – Basil, Chariton, Comasios, Daniel, Etymasius, Hierotheos, John, Nicephorus, Peter, Sergius, Socrates, Theodore, Thomas and Timothy. 361 at Tiberiopolis, Phyrgia (in modern Turkey)
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Martyred Augustinians of Madrid – 12 beati; Martyred Hospitallers of Madrid – 15 beati; Oblate Martyrs – 23 beati. • Blessed Ángel Francisco Bocos Hernández • Blessed Ángel Sastre Corporales • Blessed Antonio Hilario Delgado Vílchez • Blessed Antonio Meléndez Sánchez • Blessed Avelino Rodríguez Alonso • Blessed Balbino Villaroel y Villaroel • Blessed Benito Alcalde González • Blessed Bernardino Álvarez Melcón • Blessed Cándido Castán San José • Blessed Cecilio Vega Domínguez • Blessed Clemente Díez Sahagún • Blessed Clemente Rodríguez Tejerina • Blessed Daniel Gómez Lucas • Blessed Eduardo Bautista Jiménez • Blessed Eleuterio Prado Villaroel • Blessed Francisco Esteban Lacal • Blessed Francisco Polvorinos Gómez • Blessed Gregorio Escobar García • Blessed Isidoro Martínez Izquierdo • Blessed José Guerra Andrés • Blessed José Mora Velasco • Blessed José Peque Iglesias • Blessed José Prieto Fuentes • Blessed José Ruiz Cuesta • Blessed José Vega Riaño • Blessed Juan Alcalde y Alcalde • Blessed Juan Antonio Pérez Mayo • Blessed Juan Baldajos Pérez • Blessed Juan Herrero Arroyo • Blessed Juan Jesús Adradas Gonzalo • Blessed Juan José Caballero Rodríguez • Blessed Juan María Múgica Goiburu • Blessed Juan Pedro del Cotillo Fernández • Blessed Julián Plazaola Artola • Blessed Justo Fernández González • Blessed Justo Gil Pardo • Blessed Justo González Lorente • Blessed Lucinio Ruiz Valtierra • Blessed Luis Campos Górriz • Blessed Manuel álvarez Rego • Blessed Manuel Gutiérrez Martín • Blessed Marcelino Sánchez Fernández • Blessed Marcos Pérez Andrés • Blessed Pascual Aláez Medina • Blessed Pedro de Alcántara Bernalte Calzado • Blessed Pedro María Alcalde Negredo • Blessed Vicente Andrés Llop Gaya • Blessed Publio Rodríguez Moslares • Blessed Ramiro Frías García • Blessed Sabino Rodrigo Fierro • Blessed Samuel Pajares García • Blessed Senén García González • Blessed Serviliano Riaño Herrero • Blessed Vicente Blanco Guadilla