St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Begins on St Andrew’s Feast Day – 30 November

Just a reminder of this beautiful Catholic tradition

Prepare for the arrival of our King!


Thought for the Day – 28 November – The Blessedness of the Peracemakers

Thought for the Day – 28 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Blessedness of the Peracemakers

We should not imagine, however, that the peace which Jesus brought to us, is a lifeless peace, like that of a cemetery.
On the contrary, it is the peace of conquest, a living peace.

It cannot be attained by the sluggard, who is aiming at an easy and comfortable existence but, by the generous warrior who is always prepared to throw himself into the fight for virtue, for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

The peace of Jesus Christ is a victory over the evil which is rampant within us and around us.
It demands vigilance, strifc and perseverance in fidelity to Our Lord.
It requires the spirit of sacrifice, the love of God and dedication to the welfare of our fellowmen.
It is the fruit of internal and external combat.

It excludes all rancour, envy, detraction and malice, which is why it costs so much hardship and conflict.
When a man has gained the victory, however, he experiences that wonderful spiritual tranquility which God alone can give.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 28 November – St Catherine Labouré and Our Lady

Quote/s of the Day – 28 November – The Memorial of St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Virgin, Religious Sister of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Marian visionary of the Miraculous Medal.

When Our Lady appeared to
Saint Catherine Labouré
on 27 November 1830,
rays of light flowed from
the rings (made of precious stones)
on her fingers.
However, some of the stones on the rings did not shine.

Our Lady explained:

These rays symbolise the graces
I shed upon those who ask for them.
The gems from which rays do not fall
are the graces for which souls omit to ask

Graces will be poured out
on all those, small, or great,
who ask for them
with confidence and fervour.
… ”

The Blessed Virgin Mary
to Saint Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876)
November 1830

If you listen to Him,
He will speak to you also
because with the good God,
it is necessary to speak
and to listen.

St Catherine Labouré (1806-1876)


One Minute Reflection – 28 November – “The night is passed and the day is at hand. Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of Light.” – Romans 12:12

One Minute Reflection – 28 November – The First Week of Advent – Romans 13:11-14, Luke 21:25-33 – Scripture search here:

The night is passed and the day is at hand. Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of Light.” – Romans 12:12

REFLECTION – “We Christians are the light, at least by comparison with unbelievers. Thus the Apostle says: For once you were darkness but now you are Light in the Lord; walk then as sons of the Light. And elsewhere he says: The night is far spent, the day is drawing near. Let us, therefore, lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of Light; let us walk uprightly as in the day.

Nevertheless, since the days in which we are now living are still dark, compared to the Light which we shall see, hear what the Apostle Peter says. He speaks of a Voice that came from the Supreme Glory and said to the Lord Christ: You are My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased. This Voice, he says, we heard coming from Heaven, when we were with Him on the holy mountain. Because we, ourselves, were not present there and did not hear the Voice from Heaven, Peter says to us: And we possess a more certain prophetic word to which you do well to attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts.

When, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ shall come and, as the Apostle says, bring to Light things hidden in darkness and make plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God, then lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself. Therefore, all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which, in the night of this world, burned like lamps, so that we might not remain in darkness.

When all these things are removed, as no longer necessary for our illumination and when the men of God by whom they were ministered to us, shall themselves, together with us, behold the true and dear Light, without such aids, what shall we see? With what shall our minds be nourished? What will give joy to our gaze? Where will that gladness come from which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, which has not even been conceived by the heart of man? What shall we see?

I implore you to live with me and, by believing, to run with me; let us long for our heavenly country, let us sigh for our heavenly home, let us truly feel that here, we are strangers. What shall we then see? Let the gospel tell us: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. You will come to the fountain, with whose dew you have already been sprinkled. Instead of the ray of Light which was sent through slanting and winding ways, into the heart of your darkness, you will see the Light Itself, in all its purity and brightness. It is to see and experience this Light that you are now being cleansed. Dearly beloved, John himself says, we are the sons of God and it has not yet been disclosed what we shall be but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him because we shall see Him as He is.

I feel that your spirits are being raised up with mine to the heavens above but the body which is corruptible, weighs down the soul and this earthly tent, burdens the thoughtful mind. I am about to lay aside this book and you are soon going away, each to his own business. It has been good for us to share the common Light, good to have enjoyed ourselves, good to have been glad together. When we part from one another, let us not depart from Him!” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (An excerpt from his Treatise on John, 35).

PRAYER – O God, Who, by the message of an Angel, willed to take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, maybe assisted by her intercession with Thee. 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).

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 28 November – Let Thy goodness, Lord, Appear to Us

Our Morning Offering – 28 November – The First Week of Advent

Let Thy goodness, Lord, Appear to Us
An Advent Prayer
By St Bernard (1090-1153)
Father and Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

Let Thy goodness, Lord,
appear to us,
that we, made in Thy image,
conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength, we cannot imitate
Thy majesty, power and wonder,
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Thy mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds, to the earth below.
Thou hast come to us as a small child
but Thou hast brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love.
Caress us with Thy tiny hands,
embrace us with Thy tiny arms
and pierce our hearts
with Thy soft, sweet cries.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr

Saint of the Day – 28 November – Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr , also known as James Hudson (an alias used to deflect the enemies of the Church). Born in the 16th century in York, North Yorkshire, England and was schooled and brought up there. He died by being hanged on 28 November 1582 in his hometown, York. He was Beatified on 29 December 1886 by Pope Leo XIII. Additional Memorial – 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai.

This depiction of two of the Douai Martyrs with the Douai College beneath them is in Ushaw College, Durham. Picture by Dominican Lawrence OP.

James arrived at Dr Allen’s College at Rheims on 19 September 1580 and in May of the next year, 1581, by virtue of a special dispensation, was admitted at Soissons, with one Nicholas Fox, firstly as a Deacon and then within 12 days, to the Sacred Orders of the Priesthood, although at the time he was so ill that he could hardly stand.

He was sent on the mission to England, the following 10 August and was arrested at York on 11 August, 1582. On being taken before the Council of the North, he frankly confessed his Priesthood, to the astonishment of his fellow citizens, who knew that he had not been away more than a year.

James was then loaded with double irons and was imprisoned, first in a private prison. When he could no longer pay for his private cell, he was sent to the castle.

On 25 November he was brought to the bar and condemned to the penalties of high treason. Three days later he suffered with great joy and tranquillity at the Knavesmire, York, cintinually protesting that he had never plotted against the Queen and that he died in and for the Catholic Faith. He refused to dispute with the Protestant minister in attendance.

While he was hanging, he first raised his hands to Heaven, then beat his breast with his right hand and finally made a great Sign of the Cross. In spite of his sentence, he was neither disembowelled nor quartered but was buried under the gallows.

Blessed James was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 29 December 1886.

NOTE: Between 1577 – the date of the Martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the Protomartyr of the English Seminary at Douai – and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the College’s last Martyr, 158 College members (Priests and Laymen, secular and religious) were Martyred by the State, for their Catholic Faith. Usually under the charge of Treason or for refusing to take the Oath of Allegianceand Supremacy to Elizabeth I, as Supreme Governor of the Church. Each time the news of another execution reached the College, a solemn Mass of thanksgiving was sung.

Illustration for Memoirs of Missionary Priests by Bishop Challoner (Jack, 1878)
Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 November

St Catherine Labouré DC (1806-1876) Virgin, Religious Sister of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Marian visionary of the Miraculous Medal. St Catherine was Canonised on 27 July 1947 by Pope Pius XII. Her body is Incorrupt
St Catherine’s Story:

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), The Roman Martyrology states: “St Rome, the blessed Pope Gregory III, who departed for Heaven with a reputation for great sanctity and miracles.“
His Life:

St Hilary of Dijon
St Hippolytus of Saint Claude
St Honestus of Nimes
St Irenarcus

St James of the Marches OFM Conv. (1391-1476) Priest of the Friars Minor Conventional, Confessor, brilliant Preacher, Penitent, Reformer, Writer, Papal legate, Inquisitor, founder of several monasteries in Bohemia, Hungary and Austria. St James was Canonised on 10 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. His body is Incorrupt.
About St James:

Blessed James Thompson (Died 1582) Priest Martyr
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)