Our Morning Offering – 4 December – God, my God, May I Always Abide in You

Our Morning Offering – 4 December – Friday of the First Week of Advent and the Memorial of St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church

God, my God,
May I Always Abide in You
By St John Damascene (675-749)

God, my God,
unextinguishable and invisible fire,
You make Your angels flaming fire.
Out of Your inexpressible love,
You have given me Your divine Flesh as food
and through this communion
of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood,
You receive me as a partaker of Your divinity.
Permeate all my body and soul,
all my bones and sinews.
Consume my sins in fire.
Enlighten my soul and illumine my mind.
Sanctify my body and make Your abode in me
together with Your blessed Father and all-holy Spirit,
that I may always abide in You,
through the intercession
of Your immaculate Mother
and all Your saints.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 December – Saint Osmund (Died 1099)

Saint of the Day – 4 December – Saint Osmund (Died 1099) Bishop of Salisbury, Confessor, Count of Sées, was a Norman noble, Lord Chancellor (c 1070-1078). Osmund is Also known as Edimund, Edmund, Osimund. Additional Memorial – 16 July (translation of his relics). St Osmund was born at Seez, Normandy, France and died during the night of 3 or early hours of 4 December in 1099 at Salisbury, England of natural causes. Patronages – against insanity or mental illness, against paralysis, against ruptures, against toothache, of paralysed people.

Osmund, a native of Normandy, was the son of Count Henry of Seez and Isabella, half-sister of King William the Conqueror of England. He took part in the Norman Conquest and served William as his Chancellor and accompanied him to England and was made Chancellor of the realm about 1070. He was employed in many civil transactions and was engaged as one of the Chief Commissioners for drawing up the Do0mesday Book. He was created Earl of Dorset at the same time but he did not refer to himself with that title.

Osmund became Bishop of Salisbury by authority of Pope Gregory VII and was consecrated by Blessed Archbishop Lanfranc (see link to Blessed Lanfranc’s life below) around 3 June 1078. His Diocese comprised the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire and Berkshire, having absorbed the former bishoprics of Sherborne and Ramsbury under its incumbent at the 1075 Council of London. In his Acts of the English Bishops, William of Malmesbury describes medieval Salisbury as a fortress rather than a city, placed on a high hill, surrounded by a massive wall. Peter of Blois later referred to the castle and Church as “the ark of God shut up in the temple of Baal.”

Salisbury Cathedral

He set about organising the new Diocese and providing it with its first Cathedral at Sarum. In establishing its constitution, he made it a model for many other such foundations. He is also regarded as the origin of the Sarum tradition of worship, even if it may have developed and been formalised later. Osmund also collected manuscripts for the Cathedral library, was a copier and binder of books, authored a life of St Aldhelm and was responsible for drawing up the books governing the liturgical matters for the Diocese such as the Mass and Divine Office, the so-called Sarum Use. Osmund also founded a Cathedral chapter of canons regular and a seminary for clerics.

Henry I’s biographer C Warren Hollister suggests the possibility that Osmund was in part responsible for Henry’s education; Henry was consistently in the Bishop’s company during his formative years, around 1080 to 1086.

Osmund assisted the king in assembling the massive census which became the Domesday Book and in 1086, he was present at the Great Gemot (political meeting) held at Old Sarum when the Domesday Book was accepted and the great landowners swore fealty to the sovereign.

In the dispute over investiture between King William II and St Anselm of Canterbury, Osmund initially sided with the king but later he admitted he had made a mistake and he begged Anselm’s forgiveness.

Osmund died in the night of 3 December 1099 and was succeeded, after the see had been vacant for eight years, by Roger of Salisbury, a statesman and counsellor of Henry I. His remains were buried at Old Sarum, translated to New Salisbury on 23 July 1457, and deposited in the Lady Chapel, where his sumptuous shrine was destroyed under Henry VIII. A flat slab with the simple inscription “MXCIX” has lain in various parts of the Cathedral. In 1644 it was in the middle of the Lady Chapel. It is now under the easternmost arch on the south side.

William of Malmesbury, in summing up Osmund’s character, says he was “so eminent for chastity that common fame would itself blush to speak otherwise than truthfully concerning his virtue. Stern he might appear to penitents but not more severe to them than to himself. Free from ambition, he neither imprudently wasted his own substance, nor sought the wealth of others.”

The cause for Osmund’s Canonisation began and was pursued from 1228. Pope Callistus III Canonised him in 1457. He was the last English person to be declared a Saint until the Canonisation of Sts Thomas More and John Fisher in 1935.

Almighty God, the light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who set Your servant Osmund to be a Bishop in the Church, to feed Your sheep by the word of Christ and to guide them by good example, give us grace to keep the faith of the Church and so to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, that we may, with Osmund, come to that everlasting joy which is His promise to us. Amen.

The Life of Blessed Lanfrance:

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 4 December

St John Damascene (675-749) Father & Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St John’s Life:
And Pope Benedict on St John Damascene:

St Ada of Le Mans
St Adelmann of Beauvais
Bl Adolph Kolping
St Anno II
St Apro
St Barbara (Died 3rd Century) Martyr
About St Barbara

St Bernardo degli Uberti
St Bertoara of Bourges
St Christianus
St Clement of Alexandria
St Cyran of Brenne
St Eraclius
St Eulogio Álvarez López
St Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
St Felix of Bologna
Bl Francis Galvez
St Francisco de la Vega González
St Giovanni Calabria
St Heraclas of Alexandria
St Jacinto García Chicote
Bl Jerome de Angelis
St John the Wonder Worker
St Maruthas
St Melitus of Pontus
St Osmund (Died 1099) Bishop
Bl Pietro Tecelano
St Prudens
St Robustiano Mata Ubierna
St Sigiranus
Bl Simon Yempo
St Sola
St Theophanes

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Eulogio Álvarez López
• Blessed Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
• Blessed Francisco de la Vega González
• Blessed Jacinto García Chicote
• Blessed Robustiano Mata Ubierna


Thought for the Day – 3 December – Recollection

Thought for the Day – 3 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


“The Holy Spirit places the following words on the lips of the prophet Jeremias.
“With desolation is all the land made desolate, because, there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jer 12:11).
Dissipation is the mark of the worldly and of the mediocre.
The worldling is dissipated because, instead of seeking happiness in God, he looks for it in earthly pleasures and even in sin.
The mediocre Christian, on the other hand, oscillates between God and the world.
He fails to make a definite choice between virtue and sacrifice on one side and his own comfort and satisfaction on the other.

The dissipated soul is absorbed in many things and has no time to reflect on the eternal truths or to think of God and of spiritual progress.
As a result, it is incapable of solid virtue, or, if it achieves this for a while, it soon evaporates.
The man who is recollected retires silently into the presence of God whenever he can.
He derives consolation from conversation with God and responds generously to His inspirations.
The man who is dissipated, wastes the graces which God gives him, is deaf to His appeals and because he is too much in contact with material things, ends by forgetting Heaven and by being drawn by His passions towards spiritual destruction.
By depriving us of God’s grace, dissipation leads to sin and to the death of the soul.
Have we not had personal experience of this?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 3 December – St Francis Xavier

Quote/s of the Day – 3 December – The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

“It is impossible
to find a saint
who did not take
the “two P’s” seriously –
Prayer and Penance.”

“No-one may ever excel in great things,
who do not first excel in little things.”

“If you are in danger,
if your hearts are confused,
turn to Mary!”

More here:

St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)


Advent Reflection – 3 December – ‘Ex Fide’ vs ‘Cum Fide’

Advent Reflection – 3 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 26:1-6,Psalms 118:1 and 8-919-2125-27Matthew 7:2124-27 and The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

Show forth Your power Lord and come.
Come in Your great strength and save us.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” … Matthew 7:24-25

REFLECTION – “The just, (that is to say those who in baptism have put on the new man created in justice) live, insofar as they are just, by faith, by the light that the sacrament of illumination brings to them. The more they live by faith, the more they realise in themselves, the perfection of His divine adoption. Notice this expression carefully: ‘EX fide,’ the exact meaning of this is that faith ought to be the root of all our actions, of all our life. There are souls who live with faith (CUM fide). They have faith and one cannot deny that they practise it. But it is only on certain occasions … that they remember their faith to any purpose. …
But when faith is living, strong, ardent, when we live by faith, that is to say, when in everything, we are actuated by the principles of faith, when faith is the root of all our actions, the inward principle of all our activity, then we become strong and steadfast, in spite of difficulties within and without, in spite of obscurities, contradictions and temptations. Why so? Because, by faith, we judge, we estimate all things as God sees and estimates them – we participate in the divine immutability and stability.
Is not this what our Lord said? “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them” – that is to live by faith – “will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse.” For Jesus Christ immediately adds: “it had been set solidly on rock” (Mt 7:24-25).” … Bl Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – Our Faith, the Victory over the World (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)

PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love. Grant that we may ever keep Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, before our eyes and do all in Him and through Him and for Him. And may the prayers of Your great missioner, St Francis Xavier, he who lived Your words, strengthen our faith.

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 3 December – I Love Thee, God, I love Thee By St Francis Xavier

Our Morning Offering – 3 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent and The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

I Love Thee, God, I Love Thee
By St Francis Xavier
Translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

I love Thee, God, I love Thee—
Not out of hope for heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach Thine arms out dying,
For my sake suffered nails and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death and this for me,
And Thou could see me sinning.
Then I, why should not I love Thee,
Jesu so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake, not to be
Out of hell by loving Thee,
Not for any gains I see,
But just the way that Thou didst me
I do love and will love Thee.
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 December – Saint Emma of Bremen (c 975–1038)

Saint of the Day – 3 December – Saint Emma of Bremen (c 975–1038) Married Laywoman, Princess, mother and widow, apostle of the poor, founder of Churches. Also known as Emma of Lesum, Emma of Stiepel, Hemma, Imma. Born in c 975 and died on 3 December 1038 of natural causes.

Emma was born into the Saxon noble family of the Immedinger, descendants of Widukind. She married Liudger, a son of the Saxon duke Hermann Billung and brother of Bernard I, Duke of Saxony. Emperor Otto III made the couple a present in 1001 of the Pfalz or palatium in Stiepel), where, in 1008 Emma had a church built dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which later became a popular place of pilgrimage. The only child of the marriage was Imad, who was Ordained a Priest and later was consecrated as the Bishop of Paderborn in 1051.

After the early death of her husband in 1011, Emma withdrew to the estate of Lesum (now Bremen-Burglesum) and with her fortune, generously supported Bremen Cathedral and granted the Cathedral chapter her property at Stiepel with its church.

She was portrayed as a great benefactress of the Church and indeed, founded a number of Churches in the Bremen area, although her greatest care was for the poor.

Emma was later venerated as a Saint, although there is no evidence that she was formally ever either beatified or canonised. She was buried in Bremen Cathedral, where her tomb was still to be seen in the 16th century. Her tomb is one of the biggest in the cemetery. When the tomb was opened, her body had crumbled to dust except for her right hand (the hand that dispensed the help to the needy and the poor). That relic was placed in the Abbey of Saint Ludger at Werden.

There is a well-known Bremen legend concerning her gift of a meadow to the town in 1032. When a delegation of the townspeople approached her with a request for more meadowland, Emma promised them as much meadow as a man could run round in an hour. Her brother-in-law Bernard or Benno, Duke of Saxony, with an appraising eye on his inheritance, suggested mockingly that she might as well give them as much land as a man could run round in a day. Emma agreed to this but Bernard asked to choose the man who was to do the running and when Emma agreed to that too, picked out a legless cripple past whom they had just walked. This man proved, however, to have extraordinary strength and endurance and by the end of the day had succeeded in making his way round a very substantial area, bigger even than the present Bremen town meadow.

This story has been current in various forms since at least the 18th century, although there is no documentary evidence for it but gives a whole meaning to the inclusion of the figure of the “cripple” at the feet of the statue of Bremen Roland, the protector of the City of Bremen.

“Cripple” at the feet of the Roland statue in Bremen
Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 3 December

St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) (Memorial)

One of the Greatest Missionaries since St Paul:

St Abbo of Auxerre
St Abran
St Agapius
St Agricola of Pannonia
St Alvaro González López
St Anthemius of Poitiers
St Attalia of Strasbourg
Bl Bernard of Toulouse OP Martyr
St Birinus of Dorchester
St Cassian of Tangiers
St Claudius of Africa
St Claudius the Martyr
St Crispin of Africa
St Edward Coleman
St Eloque of Lagny
St Emma of Bremen (c 975–1038)
St Ethernan
St Francisco Delgado González
St Francisco Fernández Escosura
St Hilaria the Martyr
St Jason the Martyr
Blessed Johann Nepomuk von Tschiderer (1777-1860)
His Life:
St John of Africa
St Juan Bautista Ferris Llopis
St Julián Heredia Zubia
St Lucius
St Lucy the Chaste
St Magina of Africa
St Mamas
St Manuel Santiago y Santiago
St Marcos García Rodríguez
St Maurus the Martyr
St Seleucus
St Stephen of Africa
St Theodore of Alexandria
St Theodulus of Edessa
St Valeriano Rodríguez García
St Veranus
Zephaniah the Prophet

Martyrs of Nicomedia: Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Ambicus, Julius and Victor. c 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Alvaro González López
• Blessed Francisco Delgado González
• Blessed Francisco Fernández Escosura
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferris Llopis
• Blessed Julián Heredia Zubia
• Blessed Manuel Santiago y Santiago
• Blessed Marcos García Rodríguez
• Blessed Valeriano Rodríguez García


Thought for the Day – 2 December – Exactly What is the Peace of Jesus Christ?

Thought for the Day – 2 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Exactly What is the Peace of Jesus Christ?

“The spirit of peace pervades the Gospel.
When Jesus is born, choirs of angels sing above the stable in Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest ad on earth, peace among men of good will” (Lk 2:14).
When our Saviour has risen gloriously from the dead, He appears to His disciples and greets them with the words: “Peace be to you.”
Finally, when He is departing from this earth, He leaves his peace to His followers as their inheritance. “Peace I leave with you,” He says to them, “my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled or be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

Exactly what is the peace of Jesus Christ?
It is much different from worldly peace, presuming that the world can give some kind of peace.
St Paul says of the Saviour that “he himself is our peace” (Eph 2:14).
How are we to understand what is meant by this?
The Apostle himself explains when he writes: “Having been justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
Jesus Christ, therefore, is our peacemaker.
He has shouldered our iniquities and has offered Himself to the Father as a victim of expiation and of reconciliation.
It is at the price of Christ’s precious blood, that we have regained peace with God and freedom from our sins.
This is the peace which our Lord has given us.
Let us remember, however, that if we return to the slavery of sin, we shall lose at once, the jewel of peace which Jesus Christ has bestowed on us.
“There is no peace to the wicked” (Isa 48:22).
We have experienced on many occasions how true this is.
Sin destroys peace of soul because it deprives us of Jesus, without Whom, peace cannot survive.
Let us resolve, therefore, to remain always close to our Lord and far from sin.
Then only shall we be able to preserve our peace of mind in the midst of temptations and of earthly sorrows.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote of the Day – 2 December – “If we would God discern …

Quote of the Day – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent and The Memorial of Bl Jan/John van Ruusbroec(k) (c 1293-1382)

“If we would God discern
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.”

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)

(The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love)


Advent Reflection – 2 December – ” I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”

Advent Reflection – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10,Psalms 23:1-33-456Matthew 15:29-37 and the Memorial of Bl Jan/John van Ruysbroec(k) (c 1293-1382)

Come to us and save us, Lord God Almighty
Let Your face smile on us and we shall be safe.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” … Matthew 15:32

REFLECTION – “The second coming of Christ our Bridegroom takes place daily in good persons; indeed, it takes place frequently and repeatedly, with new gifts and graces, in all those who prepare themselves for it to the best of their ability. We do not intend to speak here of a person’s initial conversion or of the graces, which were first bestowed when he turned from sin to virtue. Rather, we wish to speak of a day-to-day increase in new gifts and new virtues and of a present, daily coming of Christ our Bridegroom into our soul. (…)

This is [a] coming of Christ our Bridegroom which takes place daily with an increase in graces and new gifts, for when a person receives any of the sacraments with a humble heart and without placing any obstacle in the way of the sacrament’s effects, then he receives new gifts and an increase of grace because of his humility and because of the mysterious working of Christ in the sacraments. (…) It is, then, another coming of Christ our Bridegroom which is present to us everyday. We should reflect on it with a heart full of desire so that it might take place in ourselves, for this coming is necessary, if we are to remain steadfast or go forward into eternal life.” … Bl Jan van Ruysbroec (1293-1381) Canon Regular – The Spiritual Espousals, Pt. 2

PRAYER – Prepare our hearts, Lord, by the power of Your grace. When Christ comes, may He find us worthy to receive from His hand, the Bread of Heaven at the feast of eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 2 December – Come, Sun and Saviour

Our Morning Offering – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Come, Sun and Saviour
8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn

Come, Sun and Saviour,
to embrace our gloomy world,
i’s 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

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Saint Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407)

Saint of the Day – 2 December – Saint Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of St Ambrose and Jerome, defender of St John Chrysostom. Chromatius opposed Arianism with much zeal and rooted it out in his Diocese.

Chromatius was brought up in the city of Aquileia, at the head of the Adriatic Sea. In all likelihood, he was born here as well. His father died when he was young and he lived with his mother, older brother and unmarried sisters. His mother had the good opinion of St Jerome, which the Saint expressed in a letter to her, quoted below, in 374. His brother, Eusebius, also became a Bishop and he is also a Saint. Chromatius, had learned at home to know and love Christ. Jerome himself spoke of this in terms full of admiration and compared Chromatius’ mother to the Prophetess Anna, his two sisters to the Wise Virgins of the Gospel Parable and Chromatius himself and his brother Eusebius, to the young Samuel (cf. Ep. VII: PL XXII, 341). Jerome wrote further of Chromatius and Eusebius: “Blessed Chromatius and St Eusebius were brothers by blood, no less than by the identity of their ideals” (Ep. VIII: PL XXII, 342).

After his ordination, Chromatius took part in the synod against Arianism in 381. On the death of St Valerian in 388, he was elected Bishop of Aquileia and became one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. After receiving episcopal ordination from Bishop Ambrose, he dedicated himself courageously and energetically to an immense task because of the vast territory entrusted to his pastoral care – the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Aquileia, in fact, stretched from the present-day territories of Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria and Slovenia, as far as Hungary.

How well known and highly esteemed Chromatius was in the Church of his time, we can deduce from an episode in the life of St John Chrysostom. When the Bishop of Constantinople was exiled from his See, he wrote three letters to those he considered the most important Bishops of the Wes,t seeking to obtain their support with the Emperors – he wrote one letter to the Bishop of Rome, the second to the Bishop of Milan and the third to the Bishop of Aquileia. Those were difficult times also for Chromatius because of the precarious political situation.

Situated at one of the busiest crossroads of the Roman Empire, Aquileia was a major center of trade and commerce. Under Chromatius’ care, guidance and influence, it also became renowned as a centre of learning and orthodoxy. He baptised the monk, theologian and historian, Rufinus in his early manhood.

He kept up an extensive correspondence with both Sts Ambrose and Jerome and also with Rufinus. A scholarly theologian himself, Chromatius encouraged the Bishop of Milan to write exegetical works and also supported St Jerome in his own writings. He helped St Heliodorus of Altino to finance St Jerome’s translation of the Bible. It was also owing to Chromatius’ encouragement that Rufinus undertook the translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History and other works.

In the bitter quarrel between St Jerome and Rufinus concerning Origenism, Chromatius, while rejecting the false doctrines of Origen of Alexandria, attempted to make peace between the disputants.

St Sebastian and St Chromatius

“Chromatius was a wise teacher and a zealous shepherd. His first and main commitment was to listen to the Word, to be able to subsequently proclaim it – he always based his teaching on the Word of God and constantly returned to it. Certain subjects are particularly dear to him – first of all, the Trinitarian mystery, which he contemplated in its revelation throughout the history of salvation.
Then, the theme of the Holy Spirit – Chromatius constantly reminds the faithful of the presence and action, in the life of the Church, of the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. But the holy Bishop returned with special insistence to the mystery of Christ. The Incarnate Word is true God and true man – He took on humanity in its totality to endow it with His own divinity. These truths, which he also reaffirmed explicitly in order to counter Arianism, were to end, up about 50 years later in the definition of the Council of Chalcedon. The heavy emphasis on Christ’s human nature led Chromatius to speak of the Virgin Mary. His Mariological doctrine is clear and precise. To him we owe evocative descriptions of the Virgin Most Holy – Mary is the “evangelical Virgin capable of accepting God”; she is the “immaculate and inviolate ewe lamb” who conceived the “Lamb clad in purple” (cf. Sermo XXIII, 3: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/1, p. 134). The Bishop of Aquileia often compares the Virgin with the Church – both, in fact, are “virgins” and “mothers.” Chromatius developed his ecclesiology above all in his commentary on Matthew. These are some of the recurring concept -: the Church is one, she is born from the Blood of Christ; she is a precious garment woven by the Holy Spirit; the Church is where the fact that Christ was born of a Virgin is proclaimed, where brotherhood and harmony flourish. One image of which Chromatius is especially fond is that of the ship in a storm – and his were stormy times, as we have heard: “There is no doubt,” the Holy Bishop says, “that this ship represents the Church” (cf. Tractatus XLII, 5: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/2, p. 260).

St Chromatius preaching

… Let us include an exhortation of Chromatius which is still perfectly applicable today: “Let us pray to the Lord with all our heart and with all our faith,” the Bishop of Aquileia recommends in one of his Sermons, “let us pray to Him to deliver us from all enemy incursions, from all fear of adversaries. Do not look at our merits but at His mercy, at Him ,who also in the past deigned to set the Children of Israel free, not for their own merits but through His mercy. May He protect us with His customary merciful love and bring about for us, what holy Moses said to the Children of Israel – The Lord will fight to defend you and you will be silent. It is He who fights, it is He who wins the victory…. And so that He may condescend to do so, we must pray as much as possible. He himself said, in fact, through the mouth of the prophet – Call on me on the day of tribulation; I will set you free and you will give me glory” (Sermo XVI, 4: Scrittori dell’area santambrosiana 3/2, pp. 100-102).

Thus, at the very beginning of the Advent Season, St Chromatius reminds us that Advent is a time of prayer in which it is essential to enter into contact with God. God knows us, He knows me, He knows each one of us, He loves me, He will not abandon me. Let us go forward with this trust in the liturgical season that has just begun.” (QUOTE – Pope Benedict XVI General Audience, 5 December 2007).

Chromatius was also an active exegete. Seventeen of his treatises on St Matthew’s Gospel survive, as well as a fine homily on the Eight Beatitudes. In all likelihood, Chromatius died in exile, in Grado, while he was attempting to escape the incursions of the Barbarians in 407, the same year in which St Chrysostom also died.


Feast of Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady, Cause of our Joy and Memorials of the Saints – 2 December

Our Lady of Liesse/Our Lady, Cause of our Joy: 2 December – An ancient statue of the Madonna and Child. It was brought from Egypt to France during the Crusades by three Knights of Malta who had been briefly captured by Saracens. It was enshrined at Liesse, diocese of Soissons. The original statue was destroyed during the French Revolution. A duplicate was installed and crowned in 1857. Patronage – Diocese of Soissons, France.

St Athanasius of the Caves
St Avitas of Rouen
St Bibiana (4th century died c 361) Martyr
Biography here:

St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop
St Evasius of Brescia
Bl Francisco del Valle Villar
St Habakkuk the Prophet
Bl Ivan Sleziuk
Bl John Amero
Bl Jan van Ruysbroec (c 1293-1382)
About Blessed Jan:
St Lupus of Verona
Bl Maria Angela Astorch
St Nonnus of Edessa
St Oderisius de Marsi
St Pimenio in Rome
St Pontian
Bl Rafal Chylinski OFM Conv (1694-1741)
His Life:

Bl Robert of Matallana
St Silvanus
St Pope Silverio

Greek Martyrs of Rome – (9 saints): Several Greek Christians martyred in the persecutions of Valerian – Adria, Aurelia, Eusebius, Hippolytus, Marcellus, Mary Martana, Maximus, Neon and Paulina. They were martyred by various means between 254 and 259 in Rome, Italy and are buried in the Callistus catacombs, Rome.

Martyrs of Africa – (4 saints): Four Christians martyred in Africa in the persecutions of Arian Vandals – Januarius, Securus, Severus and Victorinus.


December – the Month of the Immaculate Conception

December – the Month of the Immaculate Conception

In keeping the Blessed Virgin free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception, God presents us with a glorious example of what mankind was meant to be.
Mary is truly the second Eve, because, like Eve, she entered the world without sin.
Unlike Eve, she remained sinless throughout her life—a life that she dedicated fully to the will of God.

The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it.
Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her at the moment of her conception the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.

It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.

Let us Pray, this theologically rich prayer written by Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) in 1954 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart, appeasement of our ardent desires and a safe harbour from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.
In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognise that they are brothers and that the nations are members of one family, upon which, may there shine forth, the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications and, above all, obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars – You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honour of our people! Amen.


Getting Ready for the arrival of our King! Blessed Advent Season to you all!

Getting Ready for the arrival of our King!

Blessed Advent Season to you all!

Finally, having traversed the long roads and trials of the desert we have arrived in our new coastal home and after much ado, we are back online at last and I am so happy to be with you.
Blessed be God as His many Graces have been poured down upon us and may He bless you all for your many prayers which so kindly accompanied us during this time.

From tomorrow, I will be back in the usual way. May we share this beautiful season of anticipation together.

In the meantime, herewith, a little reminder of the beautiful Catholic tradition of the St Andrew Novena, the Christmas Anticipation Prayer which we began yesterday and pray 15 times everyday until Christmas.

While a Novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honour of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your family and children on the Advent season.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment,
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.

Posted in ABOUT Me - Anastpaul, NOTES to Followers

It is time to say au revoir “Noble Company”

It is time to say au revoir “Noble Company”

Dear fellow “ardent travellers and noble company,” as we were so beautifully described by St Theodore the Studite in this morning’s One Minute Reflection, I have to leave you for a while to prepare for my frightening move in 2 weeks time.

Please remember me in your prayers – we all know the huge stresses of moving. I definitely need assistance from on high! I could probably take a lesson from our Blessed Mother when the Holy Family fled. I am sure they packed a little lighter than what I am trying to do. Between our Blessed Mother Mary and St Joseph, all will be well. And perhaps, St Jude, as the Patron of hopeless causes, will add his prayer to theirs!

I will, as always, be keeping you all, in mine.

May our good Lord bless us all
and our beloved Mother Mary and St Joseph,
constantly intercede for us.


Be our Shelter, Lord, when we are home,
our Companion when we are away
and our welcome Guest when we return.
And at last, receive us into the dwelling place
You have prepared for us
in Your Father’s house,
where You live forever and ever.

With love


Devotion for the Month of November – The Souls in Purgatory

Devotion for the Month of November – The Holy Souls in Purgatory

The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life but, have not yet attained the joys of heaven.
St Paul warns us, that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, “even as others who have no hope … For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven … and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.

The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity.
Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought “well and religiously concerning the resurrection.” It was believed that “they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them” and that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.”
We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord
and may perpetual light shine upon them
and may the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God,
rest in peace.


Thought for the Day – 1 November – The Feast of All Saints

Thought for the Day – 1 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Feast of All Saints

“Today’s feast should inspire in us, a burning desire to become holy.
Men long for many things in this world, things which are often useless and, even sinful.
They desire riches, pleasure, honours, success and material comfort.
These things may be lawful but, they cannot satisfy the human heart, which is made for God.
Whenever we achieve any of our ambitions in this world, are we in fact, happy or even perfectly satisfied?
The truth is, that we are not! because, the soul is greater than the objects which surround us. God alone can fill and satisfy it.

Sanctity should be our principal ambition.
We should yearn to be more closely united to God, so that His Divinity may be reflected in our thoughts and in our actions.
If we enjoy God’s friendship, we shall become more like God and shall be lifted up above petty mundane considerations.
Perhaps, we doubt our ability to reach such a high spiritual level?
Even so, we should, nevertheless, desire to reach it and, not just in a passing and indifferent manner but, constantly and actively.
We should keep our desire alive by repeating it to ourselves and by continually praying for God’s grace to fulfil it.
“I intend to become holy,” said little Dominic Savio and he kept the promise which he had made to God.
Many people have formed the same resolution, both desert hermits and University professors, both humble workmen and rulers of nations.
Since we ought to have the same intention, what is there to prevent us?
Let us make this resolution now and put it into effect, with the help of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD is LOVE, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – All the Saints!

Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints

“Let listening to worldly news
be BITTER FOOD for you
and let the words of
Saintly men
be as combs
filled with honey.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“The Saints must be honoured as friends of Christ
and children and heirs of God.
Let us carefully observe the manner of life
of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics
and just men who announced the coming of the Lord.
And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life,
patience under suffering
and perseverance unto death,
so that we may also share,
their crowns of glory.”

St John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Those in the Catholic Church,
whom some rebuke for praying to Saints
and going on pilgrimages,
do not seek any Saint as their saviour.
Instead, they seek Saints,
as those whom their Saviour loves
and whose intercession and prayer,
for the seeker, He will be content to hear.
For His Own sake,
He would have those He loves honoured.
And when they are thus honoured for His sake,
then, the honour that is given them, for His sake,
overflows especially to Himself.”

St Thomas More 1478-1535) Martyr

“Be often reading the lives of the saints
for inspiration and instruction.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

“God, because of the great love He bears us
and His great desire to see us saved,
has given us, among other means of salvation,
the practice of devotion to the Saints.
It is His will that they,
who are His friends,
should intercede for us
and, by their merits and prayers,
obtain graces for us,
which we ourselves do not deserve.”

St Alphonsus Maria Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

“Every so often,
unite oneself interiorly
with the Saintly souls who serve God
and praise Him… with the holy angels
and all the heavenly court …”

St Eugène de Mazenod OMI (1782-1861)

More here:


One Minute Reflection – 1 November – “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

One Minute Reflection – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints, Readings: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 1 John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12

REFLECTION – “Rejoice in the Lord without ceasing (cf. Phil 4:4), my dear children. I beg you rejoice, citizens of heaven but exiles on earth, inhabitants of the Jerusalem on high (cf. Gal 4:26) but banished from affairs here below, inheritors of the kingdom of heaven but disinherited from taking any part at all, in earthly pleasures! Rejoice, ardent travellers, at undergoing exile and maltreatment in a foreign land in the name of the commandment of God! Rejoice, you who are last in this world but lords of blessings that exceed our understanding (cf. Phil 4:7).
Rejoice, noble company, brought together by God, assembly united in heart and soul, who give life to filial and fraternal love, a replica on earth of the host of angels! (…) Rejoice, God’s workers, apostolic men. (…) Rejoice, you who set your joy in each other, each making his own the reputation of his brother, you in whom is found neither jealousy, rivalry nor envy but, in their place, peace and charity and life in common. In truth, I do not say that we are not attacked – indeed, who is crowned if not the one who struggles and fights, who exchanges thrusts and wounds with his assailants? – but I say that we should not let ourselves be brought down by the machinations of Satan.
Yes, my children, assembly of God, nourish yourselves with the food of the Spirit and drink the water given by the Lord: whoever comes to possess this water will never thirst again but it will become, in Him, a spring of living water welling up to eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14). (…) Yet a little while and we shall have vanquished. And blessed shall we be; blessed also, it shall be said, are the places, family and countries that have borne you (cf. Lk 11:27-28).” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) – Catechesis 47 (The Great Catecheses)

PRAYER – Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, our trusted guide and loving mother and all you holy Saints of the Church Triumphant, pray for us! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 1 November – Blest Are the Pure in Heart

Our Morning Offering – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints

Blest Are the Pure in Heart

Blest are the pure in heart,
For they shall see our God.
The secret of the Lord is theirs,
Their soul is Christ’s abode.

The Lord, who left the heavens
Our life and peace to bring,
To dwell in lowliness with men,
Their pattern and their King.

Still to the lowly soul
He doth Himself impart,
And for His dwelling and His throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.

Lord, we Thy presence seek,
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and lowly heart,
A temple fit for Thee.

By John Keble (1792-1866)

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 November – Blessed Peter Paul Navarra SJ (1560-1622) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 1 November – Blessed Peter Paul Navarra SJ (1560-1622) Priest, Martyr, Missionary, Writer – born as Pietro Paolo in 1560 at Laino Borgo, Cosenza, Italy and died by being burned alive on 1 November 1622 at Ximabara, Nagasaki, Japan. As he was burning he prayed aloud the Litany of Our Lady. He is also known as Paul Navarro and Pietro Paolo Navarro. Additional Feast with the 205 Martyrs of Japan is 10 September.

Peter Paul Navarro was born in the small town of Laino, Basilicata in southern Italy. In 1579 when he was eighteen, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Nola and requested to be sent to the Japanese mission. His request was granted and in 1584 he was sent to Goa, India for his studies and was Ordained in 1585. A year later in August, 1586 he arrived in Hirado, western Japan. There he spent a year studying Japanese and served in mission posts in Shikoku and Honshu. Fr Navarro knew that to be successful in evangelising the Japanese, he himself, must become one of them and this motivated him to speak and write fluently in the language. To prove to the Japanese that they did not have to relinquish their customs and cultural traditions to become Christians, he dressed like them, ate their food and used their type of furniture.

Fr Navarro went to northern Kyushu which became the centre of his missionary activity after he was expelled from his Hirado missions because of persecutions against Christians. Later, in 1614 when all foreign missionaries from Japan were expelled by the edict of Shogun Iyeyasu, Fr Navarro was one of the two dozen Jesuits who went underground rather than leave the country, as more than eighty other Priests had to. For the next seven years, he went about his priestly duties in Shimabara, western Kyushu, disguised as a beggar, wood seller, tradesman or farmer. In these disguises, Fr Navarro was able to enter the homes of Christians to celebrate Mass or administer the Sacraments at night to avoid being captured, since he was being hunted. During this period he wrote in Japanese, “An apology of the Christian Faith against the Calumnies of the Pagans.”

Peter Onizuka and Dennis Fujishima were the two lay Catechists helping Fr Navarro during his final years in Shimabara. Peter was a teenager whose father housed fugitive Priests. Dennis was in his forties and had been a Christian as a young man. Both of them were with Fr Navarro and his servant, Clement Yuemon, after Christmas in 1621 when they were all captured by priest-hunters. They were brought before the daimyo of Arima who treated the captives with great respect. The daimyo detained them in a house owned by a Christian where they were cared for by Christians and he even allowed Fr Navarro to celebrate Mass. He also came frequently to converse with Fr Navarro. The daimyo was prepared to release them if they could renounce Christianity, an offer which they turned down. The daimyo wanted to transfer them secretly to Macao where they could be set free. But before he could do anything, he received orders from the shogun that the three were to die by slow fire.

When Fr Navarro was informed of his impending death, he was happy that his prayers had been answered and wrote to his Jesuit friend, Fr John Baptist Zola, saying: “I give infinite thanks to the Lord and I ask you to thank him with me. I also ask your prayers for perseverance until my final breath.”

On the day of execution, 1 November, Fr Navarro celebrated the Mass of All Saints and the two Catechists, Peter and Dennis, who had asked to enter the Society, pronounced their Jesuit vows during that final Mass. While waiting for the executioners, Fr Navarro wrote his last letter to Fr Matthew de Couros: “For many years I have prayed for this great grace from God but always with some fear, that I would not be heard because of my many sins. The Father of mercies now gives me this long-desired grace. May he be blessed forever.”

In the afternoon the four prisoners escorted by fifty soldiers and a large crowd of Christian,s made their way to the place of execution, with Fr Navarro chanting the Litany of Our Lady and his companions joyfully sang the responses. As they approached the shore, the Martyrs saw the standing stakes awaiting them. The daimyo had instructed the soldiers to place the wood around the stakes so as not to prolong the prisoners’ suffering.

The three Jesuits, Frs Peter Paul Navarro, Peter Onizuka and Dennis Fujishima and their faithful servant, Clement Yeumon, alight in flames, gave final heroic witness of their great love for God.

They were beatified by Blessed Pope Pius IX together with another 201 Martyrs of Japan on 7 May 1867.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

All Saints Day – 1 November and Memorials of the Saints

All Saints Day – 1 November (Solemnity) – (a Holy Day of Obligation) Instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown. It owes its origin in the Western Church to the dedication of the Roman Pantheon in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs by Pope Saint Boniface IV in 609, the anniversary of which was celebrated at Rome on 13 May. Pope Saint Gregory III consecrated a Chapel in the Vatican Basilica in honour of All Saints, designating 1 November as their feast. Pope Gregory IV extended it’s observance to the whole Church. It has a vigil and octave and is a holy day of obligation – the eve is popularly celebrated as Hallowe’en. Patronage – Arzignano, Italy.


St Amabilis of Auvergne
St Austremonius
St Benignus of Dijon
St Cadfan
St Caesarius of Africa
St Caesarius of Damascus
St Ceitho
St Cledwyn of Wales
Bl Clemens Kyuemon
St Cyrenia of Tarsus
St Dacius of Damascus
St Deborah the Prophetess
St Dingad
Bl Dionysius Fugixima
St Floribert of Ghent
St Gal of Clermont
St Genesius of Lyon
St Germanus of Montfort
St Harold the King
St James of Persia
St Jerome Hermosilla
St John of Persia
St Julian of Africa
St Juliana of Tarsus
St Lluís Estruch Vives
St Marcel of Paris
St Mary the Slave
St Mathurin
St Meigan
St Nichole
St Pabiali of Wales
St Pere Josep Almató Ribera Auras
St Peter Absalon
Blessed Peter Paul Navarra SJ (1560-1622) Priest and Martyr
Bl Petrus Onizuka Sadayu
St Rachel the Matriarch
St Ruth the Matriarch
St Salaun of Leseven
St Severinus of Tivoli
St Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa
St Vigor of Bayeux


Thought for the Day – 31 October – “Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

Thought for the Day – 31 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

“We have come to the end of this month, which we have dedicated to Mary and her blessed Rosary.
Let us remember, however, that apart from this month of October, we should dedicate our whole lives to her, up to final moment of death.
We are always in need of Mary’s patronage and intercession with God.
Let us always have recourse to her, therefore, especially in danger and in suffering but, most especially, at the decisive moment of death, for this is the moment on which eternity depends.
This day will arrive sooner or later but, it will certainly come, “at an hour that you do not expect” (Lk 12:40).

In the second part of the Hail Mary, the Church places on our lips, these words of supplication: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.”
How many times we have recited this prayer!
But do we ever think of death?
Let us remember that a mediation on death is the most valuable lesson in life.
One day, we shall find ourselves face-to-face with God, drawing our last breath on earth.
It may be on a sick bed, it may be in the middle of a street – we do not know.
It may be after a long illness at the end of which we are comforted by the Holy Sacraments and blessed by a priest, or it may be quite unexpected.
But, it is certain that death will come.
Let us aim, therefore, at being always prepared, so that it may not come when we have no good works to offer and when our hearts are full of ourselves and of worldly interests.
Like Mary, let us lead lives of holiness and we shall be sure to die holy deaths.
Let us beseech our heavenly Mother to be by our side at that final moment to sustain us in the conflict and to consign our souls to her divine Son, Jesus. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God.- Luke 14:11

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – The last day of the Month of the Holy Rosary – Saturday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Philippians 1:18-26Psalms 42:23,5Luke 14:1,7-11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. ”- Luke 14:11

REFLECTION – “Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.

The most holy Virgin, Our Lady, gave us an outstanding example of this when she spoke these words: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When she said she was the handmaid of the Lord, she was performing the greatest act of humility it is possible to do and, all the more so, in that she was contradicting the praise given her by the angel – that she would be mother of God, that the child to be born from her womb would be called Son of the Most High, a greater dignity than any we might imagine – I say, she opposed her lowliness and unworthiness to all these praises and greatness, by saying that she was the handmaid of the Lord. Yet note how, no sooner had she rendered her duty to humility than she practised outstanding generosity by saying: “May it be to me according to your word.”
What she wanted to say was – It is true I am in no way capable of this grace if one is to consider what I am of myself but, insofar as what is good in me comes from God and what you say to me, is His own most holy will, I believe it may happen and will happen. And so, without the least hesitation, she said: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help us to appreciate and live Your spiritual values and give them the first place in our hearts. Grant that we may always seek them first and remain forever united with You. Send Your Spirit with his gifts and blessings and may the Mother of all Virtue, assist us in our need. Help us to follow the path of humility the Blessed Virgin so splendidly taught us and may we always beseech Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for her intercession, that we may obtain from You, a place in Your Kingdom. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and for all times, amen.


Our Morning Offering –31 October – Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary

Our Morning Offering –31 October – The last day of the Month of the Holy Rosary – Saturday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time

Excerpt from the
Petition to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii
also known as
Supplication to the Queen of the Holy Rosary
By Blessed Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926)
Apostle of the Holy Rosary

O Blessed Rosary of Mary,
sweet Chain,
which binds us to God,
Bond of love,
which unites us to the Angels,
Tower of salvation
against the assaults of hell,
safe Port in our universal shipwreck,
we shall never abandon you.
You will be our comfort
in the hour of agony.
To you, the last kiss of our dying life.
And the last word from our lips
will be your sweet name,
O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii,
O dearest Mother,
O Refuge of Sinners,
O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted.
Be Blessed everywhere,
today and always,
on earth and in Heaven.


Saint of the Day – 31 October – Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447)

Saint of the Day – 31 October – Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447) Lay Friar of the Third Order of St Francis, Penitent, Confessor, renowned Missionary Preacher, Papal legate – born as Tommaso in 1370 at Florence, Italy and died on 31 October 1447 in Rieti, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – butchers, penitents, missionaries. He is also known as Thomas of Florence, Tommaso Bellacci. Blessed Thomas is venerated by the Franciscans on 25 October.

Bellacci was a butcher and became a religious after turning his life around from one of sin to one of penance and servitude to God. He travelled across the Middle East and the Italian peninsula to preach the Gospel and against heresies. He drew many young men to follow in his path of penitence.

Tommaso Bellacci was born in Florence in 1370 in the neighbourhood of the Ponte alle Grazie. His parents came from Castello di Linari in Val d’Elsa. His father was a butcher. He got into a good deal of trouble on various occasions during his youth and led such a wild and dissolute life as an adolescent, that parents warned their sons to keep their distance from him. Persuaded by a friend to change his ways, he tried to enter some religious order but found strong resistance to being accepted. He became a butcher like his father.

Bellacci was accused of having committed a serious crime in 1400, which, in fact he had not committed and so, he wandered the streets of Florence in great turmoil and fear, until he met a Priest who listened to his story, took him in and helped clear his name. The incident shocked him so much – coupled with his great gratitude to the Priest – that he shed his life of sin and decided to live a life of total penance and service to God. He joined the Third Order of Saint Francis in Fiesole under the spiritual guidance of Friar Giovanni da Stronconio. He entered as a lay brother Friar and became noted for keeping vigils and fasting. He was known for his diet of water and vegetables.

So great was Thomas’ adherence to the literal interpretation and implementation of the Franciscan Rule, that he was made the Novice Master, despite the fact that he was not a Priest. In this role, he led by example. He became part of the Observant reform and in 1414 accompanied another Friar to Naples to introduce the Observant practice in the Franciscan houses there. He remained in Naples for six years, preaching and helping to spread the reform.

After his sojourn and work in Naples, Thomas founded Monasteries in Corscia. Pope Martin V called him to preach in the northern cities against the “Fraticelli” who were a group of heretical Franciscans and was also made Vicar General at the Pope’s behest. In 1438, he and Albert Berdini of Sarteano were sent to the Middle East to cities such as Damascus and Cairo in order to promote the reunification of the Eastern and Western Churches when he was over 70. Alberto had to return home due to his ill health which left Bellacci to continue the mission alone.

He attempted to travel to Ethiopia but the Turks captured him three times. The Florentine merchants helped to secure his release twice. The third time he was again captured and suffered enslavement and persecution for several years, by now, he was perhaps in his eighties. Pope Eugene IV helped secure his release. He returned home in 1444 and spent his time in a Convent in Abruzzo until he died in 1446.

Nevertheless, Thomas still wished to return to the Orient but he died in Rieti while on a visit to Rome to request the Pope’s permission to return there.

Thomas was Beatified by Pope Clement XIV in 1771.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

All Hallow’s Eve and Memorials of the Saints – 31 October

All Hallow’s Eve: Eve of the Feast of All Hallows, that is, All Saints Day. Halloween is a day on which many quaint customs are revived. It is popular in the United States and Scotland and in the US has become the second largest secular holiday of the year.

Commemoration of All Holy Relics (Dominicans)

St Alphonsus Rodriguez SJ (1532-1617)

St Ampliatus
St Antoninus of Milan
St Apelles of Eraclea Sintica
St Arnulf of Novalesa
St Begu of Hackness
Bl Christopher of Romagna
Bl Dominic Collins
St Epimachus of Melusio
St Erth of Cornwall
St Foillan of Fosses
Bl Irene Stefani
St Jesús Miquel Girbau
Bl Leon Nowakowski
St Lucilla of Rome
Bl Maria de Requesens
Bl Modesta Moro Briz
St Narcissus
St Notburga of Cologne
St Quentin
Bl Pilar Isabel Sánchez Suárez
St Stachys of Constantinople
Blessed Thomas Bellacci TOSF (1370-1447) Lay Friar

St Urban
St Wolfgang of Regensburg (c 934 –994)
St Wolfgang’s life: