February is traditionally the Month of the Blessed Trinity, with the Holy Family being celebrated together with the Holy Name of Jesus in January.
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
(50 Days. 100 Days if made with Holy Water Blessed Pope Pius IX, 1865.)
WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine I draw the Holy Sign, All good thoughts stir within me and renew Their slumbering strength divine, Till there springs up a courage high and true To suffer and to do.
And who shall say but hateful spirits around, For their brief hour unbound, Shudder to see and wail their overthrow? While on far heathen ground Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odour, though Its source he cannot know.
John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Oxford – 25 November 1832
A pious practice among Catholics, is to write “✝ J M J ✝” often flanked by two Crosses at the top of letters, cards, documents and personal notes as a reference to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family. Where it is written, “✝ J M J ✝” the writer appeals for the blessing and protection of the Holy Family.
O Gente Felix O House of Nazareth The Blest By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
O house of Nazareth the blest, Fair hostess of the Lord, The Church was nurtured at thy breast And shared thy scanty hoard.
In all the spreading lands of earth. The wandering sun may see No dearer spot, no ampler worth Than erst was found in thee!
We know thy humble tenement Was heaven’s hermitage: Celestial heralds came and went In endless embassage.
There, whatsoever Joseph asks Christ hastens to fulfil; While Mary loves the household tasks That wait her joyous will.
There, Joseph toileth at her side Her joys and griefs to share, With thousand ties knit to his bride, Of love and work and prayer.
Yet how their bosoms constant burn And deeper ardours prove In love of Christ, whose eyes return Tokens of mutual love.
O then, in all the homes of earth, Be Love the bond of life: May it enthrone at every hearth The peace that husheth strife.
All praise to thee, O Jesus, Who parents dost obey; Praise to the sovereign Father And Paraclete for aye. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Unless You Turn and Become Like Little Children, You Will Not Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”
“At the beginning of their ministry, before they had been strengthened and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were as ambitious as most other men. One day, the mother of John and James, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and asked Him, if her two sons could have precedence over the other Apostles and sit on the highest thrones in His Kingdom, one at His right hand and the other at His left. Jesus disapproved of this desire to predominate. “Whoever wishes to become great among you,” He said, “shall be your servant and, whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:26-28).
On another occasion, the Apostles came to Jesus and asked Him, which of them would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ only answer was to call a little child and to place him in the centre of the group. “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).
This is the lofty teaching of the Gospel. If we wish to be great and pleasing in the eyes of God, we must be unimportant in our own regard and in our relations with men. The Gospel involves an overthrow of human values. Anyone who makes himself insignificant, will become great. Anyone who tries to make himself out to be a great man, becomes of little account in the eyes of God. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Cf Js 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). If we wish to please the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first thing we must do, is become as little children. In other words, we shall have to suppress our ambition and vanity and destroy our self-love, so that, the Sacred Heart may fill our hearts with the love of God alone!”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 February – The Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35– c 107) Bishop and Martyr
“We recognise a tree by its fruit and we ought to be able to recognise a Christian by his action. The fruit of faith should be evident in our lives, for being a Christian, is more than making sound professions of faith. It should reveal itself in practical and visible ways. Indeed, it is better to keep quiet about our beliefs and live them out, than to talk eloquently about what we believe but fail, to live by it.”
“Wherever the Bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
(St Ignatius is also responsible for the first known use of the Greek word ‘katholikos’ or Catholic, meaning “universal”, “complete” and “whole” to describe the Church.)
“He who died in place of us, is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes, is my one desire.”
“My dear Jesus, my Saviour, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece.”
One Minute Reflection – 1 February – “Month of the Most Blessed Trinity” – St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Bishop and Martyr – Romans 8:35-39, John 12:24-26
“If it dies, it produces much fruit” – John 12:24
REFLECTION – “Through the glorious achievements of the holy Martyrs with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes, how true are the words we have been singing that: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116:15). For it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of Him, in Whose Name, the death took place.
But the price of those deaths is the death of One Man. How many deaths did that One Man purchase by His death, for, if He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied? You heard His words when He drew near His passion, that is, when He was drawing near to our Redemption: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” On the Cross He carried out a vast transaction; there the purse of our price was unfastened and, when His side was opened by the lance of the soldier, there streamed the price for the Redemption of the whole earth (cf. Jn 19:34).
Now the faithful ones and Martyrs have been purchased but the faithfulness of the Martyrs, has been proved – their blood is the proof … “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3:16). In another place it is stated: “At a grand table you have sat; now carefully consider what has been put before you, since it is your duty to prepare for such things” (cf. Prv 23:1). That table is great where the Lord of the table is Himself the Meal. No-one feeds guests with Himself as food but this is exactly what the Lord Christ does, He, Himself is the host who invites; He, Himself is the food and the drink. Therefore, the Martyrs have recognised what they were eating and drinking, so as to be able to repay such gifts. But whence can they make such return, unless He Who first paid the cost, supplies the source from which restitution may be made? That is the reason for the Psalm, where we sing what is written: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” ... St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor – (Sermon 329, for the Feast of the Martyrs, 1-2 ; PL 38, 1454).
PRAYER – Be mindful of our weakness, O almighty God and since the burden of our deeds is grievous to us, grant that the glorious intercession of blessed Ignatius Thy Martyr and Bishop, may protect us. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Saint of the Day – 1 February – Blessed Reginald of Orléans OP (c 1180 – 1220) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers, Canon Lawyer, renowned Preacher, Born in c 1180 in Orléans, France and died in early February 1220 in Paris, France of natural causes. Also known as – Réginald de Saint-Gilles, Reginaldo… Additional Memorial – 12 February (Dominicans).
Reginald of Orleans was known, even during his lifetime, for his brilliance, his prayer, his austerity and his kindness toward others, especially the poor. Originally a powerful Preacher and esteemed Canonist associated with the University of Paris, Reginald encountered St Dominic in Rome. Reginald was captivated by the apostolic way of life championed by Dominic and decided to join the newly-founded Order. Blessed Reginald is one of the great early Dominicans who were acquainted with Dominic himself and seemed to be given a share of the Founder’s spirit.
Blessed Reginald’s life story can be divided into two parts: one before he met St Dominic,and the other, after he had met the Founder. He was born in Orleans, France in c 1180 and having been Ordained a Priest, he had become a Doctor of Canon Law and a well-known figure in the Church in Paris. Many must have looked at him and thought that he had everything he wanted. But, in reality, he was feeling dissatisfied with his life: as was commonplace in the Church in those times he had a very comfortable and well-off lifestyle, yet he knew that his calling from Jesus Christ was to something greater than mere comfort and prestige. And so he was in a dilemma.
In the year 1218 Reginald was in Rome, when he fell seriously ill. As it happened, Dominic was also in Rome and a mutual acquaintance told him about the condition of Reginald, so that he went to visit him. The biographers tell us, that there was immediately, a perfect understanding between the two men – Reginald saw, that the new Dominican Friars were living the sort of ideal he had been longing for and there and then, he made his religious profession into the Order of Preachers. There was a great sign given to mark this moment of decision: as Reginald lay sick, his life in danger, he was favoured with a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary who anointed him with oil and held out to him the Dominican habit. Blessed Reginald found himself completely cured and began with great energy to live the Dominican life.
It was quickly apparent to everyone, that he was a changed man. In the City of Bologna where he was assigned and became the Prior of the Dominican Convent there, he became known to the whole City, as a great Preacher of the Gospel, preaching with overflowing faith and conviction. An early biographer wrote, that his preaching ‘like a burning torch, inflamed the hearts of all his hearers.Very few people were so stony-hearted that they could resist the effects of this fire.’.
And, if it is a mark of a true apostle, that he will gather followers to his side, then Reginald, more than passed the test: he attracted a great number in Bologna to join him in the Order of Preachers. Many of them were like him, educated university men and like him, they found the Gospel way of life they had been looking for.
Blessed Reginald was not to enjoy a long life as a Dominican. Early in 1220 he again became ill and this time he died peacefully. . But his place in the history of the Dominican family was assured by the memories of those who had known him in Bologna and had seen a saintly apostle on fire with the love of God and of souls. His meeting with St Dominic gave the final meaning to his life – the beautiful calling, which is given to all those who follow the Lord, to preach the Gospel of Jesus in word and in deed.
“I have no fears for the struggle, nay, I rather look forward to it with impatience, for ever since the Mother of God anointed me with her virginal hands in Rome, I have never ceased to put my whole trust in her and now joyfully await the hour of my deliverance, that I may hasten to see her once more. However, that I may not seem to make little of the Church’s anointing, I profess myself willing to receive it and I humbly ask for it at your hands.”– the final words of Blessed Reginald.
St Cecilius of Granada St Cinnia of Ulster St Clarus of Seligenstadt Bl Conor O’Devany St Crewenna St Darlaugdach of Kildare St Henry Morse St Ioannes Yi Mun-u St Jarlath Bl John of the Grating St Kinnia
Bl Patrick O’Lougham St Paul of Trois-Châteaux St Paulus Hong Yong-ju St Raymond of Fitero Blessed Reginald of Orléans OP (c 1180 – 1220) Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers St Sabinus St Severus of Avranches St Severus of Ravenna St Sigebert III of Austrasia St Tryphon of Lampsacus St Ursus of Aosta St Veridiana
Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 Beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution. • Anne-François de Villeneuve• Anne Hamard• Catherine Cottenceau• Charlotte Davy• François Bellanger• François Bonneau• François Michau• François Pagis epouse Railleau• Gabrielle Androuin• Jacquine Monnier• Jeanne Bourigault • Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné• Madeleine Blond• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye• Marie-Anne Vaillot• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier• Marie Grillard• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé• Marie Leroy• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju• Odilia Baumgarten• Perrine Androuin• Perrine Besson• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz• Perrine Grille• Perrine Ledoyen• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault• Renée Grillard• Renée Martin épouse Martin• Renée Valin• Rose Quenion• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau • Suzanne Androuin• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère. They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour: • Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i • Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u • Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju
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