Thought for the Day – 19 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – The “Our Father”

Thought for the Day – 19 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The “Our Father”

“Our Father, Who art in heaven.”
Heaven is God Himself, Who reveals Himself to the souls of the blessed.
If a man lives in God, his mind and heart are already in Heaven, even though he is still an exile upon this earth.
It is a wonderful experience to lead a bodily existence upon earth, while our minds are with God in Heaven, for, as St Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20).

As we are aware, God is everywhere, in Heaven and on earth.
When we invoke our Father, Who is in Heaven, however, we manifest our faith in Him and in His generosity, whereby, He reveals Himself in all His glory to the blessed and shows His mercy to us poor exiles, when we come to Him.
In the first words of the Pater Noster, we express, not only our faith but, also our hope of being happy with God for all eternity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 19 October – St Peter of Alcantara

Quote/s of the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562),

He does much
in the sight of God
who does his best,
be it ever so little.

If you would suffer patiently
he adversities and miseries of this life,
be a man of prayer. …

No tongue can express
the greatness of the love
which Jesus Christ
bears to our souls.
He did not wish,
that between Him
and His servants,
there should be any other pledge
than Himself…

St Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562)


One Minute Reflection – 19 October – ‘Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of the Eternal Light …’

One Minute Reflection – 19 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 5: 12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21; Psalm 40: 7-10, 17; Luke 12: 35-38

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us if He does not always enter or always remain. May your door be open to Him who comes – open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart, run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He doesn’t want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church (12th Sermon on Psalm 118)

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your eternal light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of all Your Angels and Saints, we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 19 October – Prayer for the Gift of Prayer By St Alphonsus Liguori

Our Morning Offering – 19 October

Prayer for the Gift of Prayer
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

O Incarnate Word,
You have given Your Blood and Your Life
to confer on our prayers that power by which,
according to Your promise,
they obtain for us all that we ask.
And we, O God,
are so careless of our salvation,
that we will not even ask You for the graces
that we must have, if we should be saved!
In prayer You have given us the key
of all Your Divine treasures
and we, rather than pray,
choose to remain in our misery.
Alas! O Lord, enlighten us,
and make us know the value of prayers,
offered in Your name and by Your merits,
in the eyes of Your Eternal Father.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 October – Saint Philip Howard (1557–1595) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 19 October – Saint Philip Howard (1557–1595) Martyr, Married Layman, Father, Convert, 13th Earl of Arundel, Born on 28 June 1557 at Norfolk, England and died on 19 October 1595 of malnutrition after eleven years in the Tower of London, London, England. Patronages – Arundel and Brighton, England, Diocese of, victims of betrayal, difficult marriages, falsely accused people, separated spouses. Additional Memorial – 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

St Philip, born on 28 June 1557, was 13th Earl of Arundel. His father Thomas, IV Duke of Norfolk, was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth in 1572 for involvement in the affair of Mary, Queen of Scots. Philip Howard, Baptised by the Archbishop of York in the Chapel of Whitehall Palace, had Philip of Spain as one of his Godfathers.

St Philip with his father Thomas, 4th Dyke of Norfolk

Philip married Anne, daughter of Lord Dacre of Gilsland, when he was fourteen. He graduated at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1574 and was about eighteen when he attended Queen Elizabeth’s Court. Handsome, high-born, quick-witted and articulate, he neglected his wife and God.

A London event in 1581 proved to be life altering for Philip. A debate took place: on one side was a group of Protestant scholars. On the other, was [St] Father Edmund Campion, a Jesuit Priest, physically weak from torture on the notoriously grisly rack but still mentally sharp and another English Priest, [St.] Father Ralph Sherwin. With no opportunity to prepare, they defended the Faith persuasively, which greatly impressed young Philip. These humble suffering Confessors awakened Philip’s soul and he returned to Arundel to think about reconciliation with the Catholic Church, which he knew meant death. Sadly, both Campion and Sherwin were martyred by the British throne before the end of 1581. Philip reformed his life. Not only did he reconcile with his wife, Anne, he became quite dedicated to her. In 1584, he was received into the Catholic Church and became devoted to the practice of the Faith, although it was necessary for him to keep this quiet. Philip and Anne were suspected of sheltering persecuted Jesuit Priests in their home. The change in Philip was noted by the Queen and he sensed that he was in danger.

In 1585 he made a plan to escape from his London home to Belgium with his family and his brother. He sent a long letter of explanation to the Queen and the group set out from Littlehampton on the south coast of England. Before they could reach their destination, he was arrested at sea and returned to London.
Philip was convicted of treason for being a Roman Catholic and for leaving England without permission. He was fined £10,000 and imprisoned in the Tower of London in April of 1585. Three years later, he was accused again of treason because he allegedly prayed in prison for the success of the Spanish Armada. This mid-1588 Spanish naval effort to remove Queen Elizabeth from the British throne and re-establish Catholicism, was unsuccessful. Interestingly, King Philip II of Spain was Philip Howard’s Godfather at his infant Baptism as well as his namesake. Philip was tried in April of 1589 and as was usually the case at the time, with accused Catholics, the extremely biased outcome was a sentence of execution. The execution required the Queen’s signature but she never signed it. Since Philip did not know this, he was left in prison thinking that his death was imminent. Instead, he was left to die in prison after having been placed there at age twenty-eight. He was allowed study and devotional books and spent his time in prayer, study and penance. He prayed ardently to be able to see his wife and children again; the youngest, his only son, was born after his incarceration. His trial and imprisonment were totally at Queen Elizabeth’s pleasure–the only treason he had committed was being reconciled to the Catholic Church.

One of the Priests who had been sheltered by the Howards was [St] Robert Southwell, who was also being held in the Tower. Philip’s pet dog served as a go-between for the men, who supported and encouraged each other with messages. By the autumn of 1595, he was dying and made one last plea to the Queen to be able to see his wife and children. Her reply was that if he would just attend one Protestant service, he would see his family and regain the Queen’s favour. “Good Queen Bess” indeed! He refused, and died alone on 19 October 1595 at age thirty-eight. He is believed to have contracted dysentery and suffering from malnutrition but some suspected that he was poisoned. He was 39 years old and had spent the last eleven years of his life in the Tower of London. He was buried in the Tower Church with his father and grandfather. Anne, who continued to protect and provide for renegade Priests, obtained permission in 1624 to transfer his remains to Arundel Castle.

Note St Philip’s dog

Written on the step before the Shrine is this inscription: ‘The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next‘. This is a translation of the original Latin cut by St Philip over the fireplace in the Beauchamp Tower, which visitors to the Tower of London can still see: Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro. Arundell – 22 June 1587.

The Cathedral of Arundell and Brighton is named for St Philip Howard. It had been named for St Philip Neri before the Canonisation of today’s Saint in 1970.

St Philip’s Shrine


Virgen del Camino / Our Lady of the Way, León, Spain (1505) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 October

Virgen del Camino / Our Lady of the Way, Valverde de la Virgen, León, Castile and León, Spain (1505) – 19 October:

On 2 July 1505, while watching his sheep, Alvar Simón Fernández saw the Virgin, radiant with light and heard her say: “Go to the city and tell the Bishop to come to this place and install this image my Son wishes to appear here, for the good of this land.” The shepherd answered, “Señora, how will they believe it was you who sent me?” She asked for his slingshot and with it launched a small stone, saying, “When the Bishop sees this stone it will be so large that he will know I have sent you and where you find the stone, is where my Son and I want you to put the image.”

The miraculously-located Shrine was outside the City of León on the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrim road to Compostela, hence the title Virgin of the Way The Virgen del Camino was declared Patron of the León region in 1914. The Statue is a 84 centimetre wooden Pietà, which the Basilica’s website dates to 1514. Its coronation, which Pope Benedict XI authorised in 1917, was carried out on 19 October 1930. The large, modern Sanctuary was completed in 1961 and houses the Statue. The Virgin of the Way is honoured today and on 15 September, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

St Paul of the Cross CP (1604-1775) Priest, Mystic, Preacher, endowed with miraculous powers of healing and prophecy, Founder of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ known as the Passionists. Canonised on 29 June 1867 by Blessed Pope Pius IX who placed his Feast on 28 April. It was moved in 1969.
So great was his eloquence when he spoke of the Passion that both he and his hearers would shed tears and the most hardened hearts were moved to repentance.
(Optional Memorial)
About St Paul here:

Bl Agnes of Jesus
St Altinus
St Aquilinus of Evreux
St Asterius of Ostia
St Beronicus of Antioch
St Desiderius of Longoret
St Ednoth
St Ethbin
St Eusterius of Salerno
St Frideswide

Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyr, Social Justice Activist. Martyred by the Communist occupiers of Poland during and after World War II.
His Life and Death:

St Laura of Cordoba
St Lucius of Rome
St Luke Alonso Gorda
St Lupus of Soissons
St Matthaeus Kohyoe
St Pelagia of Antioch

St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562) Franciscan Friar and Priest, Mystic, Ecstatic, Writer, Preacher, Reformer, Hermit, Apostle of Prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, the Passion and Charity, Miracle-worker.

St Philip Howard (1557–1595) Martyr, Married, Layman

St Potenzianus of Sens
St Ptolemy of Rome
St Sabiniano of Sens
St Theofrid

Blessed Thomas Hélye (c 1180-1257) Priest, Penitent, Teacher, Missionary and renowned Preacher.
An unusual story:

St Varus of Kemet
St Verano of Cavaillon

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 18 Beati
• Blessed Antonio Elizalde Garvisu
• Blessed Constantino Miguel Moncalvillo
• Blessed Dionisio Arizaleta Salvador
• Blessed Emiliano Pascual Abad
• Blessed Eusebio de Las Heras Izquierdo
• Blessed Ferran Castán Messeguer
• Blessed Francesc Solá Peix
• Blessed Francisco Marco Martínez
• Blessed Francisco Milagro Mesa
• Blessed Francisco Simón Pérez
• Blessed Josep Ferrer Escolà
• Blessed Josep Ribé Coma
• Blessed Julio Leache Labiano
• Blessed Juan Senosiaín Zugasti
• Blessed Manuel Font y Font
• Blessed Narcís Simón Sala
• Blessed Nicolas Campo Giménez
• Blessed Pere Vives Coll


Thought for the Day – 18 October – The Fifth Glorious Mystery – The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Thought for the Day – 18 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fifth Glorious Mystery
The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary
as Queen of Heaven and Earth

“Mary is also styled, ‘Queen of the Patriarchs‘ because, it was through her, that they came to possess the object of their desires, the divine Redeemer, Who released them from Limbo and brought them to Heaven.
She is ‘Queen of the Prophets‘ because, their prophecies were realised through her.
She is ‘Queen of the Apostles‘ whom she assisted and encouraged after the departure of her divine Son.
She is the ‘Queen of Martyrs‘ because, her maternal heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow.
She is ‘Queen of the Confessors‘ because, nobody else was capable of so deep and lively a profession of the Faith.
She is ‘Queen of Virgins‘ because, her virginal purity was crowned by the supreme dignity of Mother of God.
She is ‘Queen, moreover, of all the Saints‘, for no other human creature could ever surpass, or even dream of the summit of holiness, to which she attained.
Above all, however, she is our Mother and our most powerful Queen.
She loves us because, we have been redeemed by the Blood of her Son, Jesus Christ and she desires to obtain God’s favours for us and to take us under her maternal protection.

We, the children of Eve, in exile in the vale of tears, should turn to Mary with confidence and trust in her power to save us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 18 October – The Gospel of St Luke

Quote/s of the Day – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist

Luke, the beloved physician,
sends greetings …

Colossians 4:14

He spent the night
in prayer to God

Luke 6:12

And why do you call me,
‘Lord, Lord’
and not do what I say?

Luke 6:46

But whom do you say
that I am?

Luke 9:20

“Whoever does not gather
with me, scatters.”

Luke 11:23

Can any of you by worrying,
add a moment to your lifespan

Luke 12:25

“Open the door to him
at once, when he comes and knocks.”

Luke 12:36

He was in such agony
and he prayed so fervently,
that his sweat became
like drops of blood
falling on the ground.

Luke 22:44

(St Luke, as a Medical Doctor is the only Evangelist who describes Jesus sweating blood. This video mentions the medical explanation for this occurrence).



One Minute Reflection – 18 October – Luke, the beloved physician, sends greetings …

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, pray therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out labourers into his harvest.” – Luke 10:2

REFLECTION – “When, after abandoning the darkness of error to bind himself to God’s love, Paul was joined to the number of the disciples, Luke went with him everywhere and became his travelling companion (Acts 16:10 f.). … He got on with him so well, was so close to him and shared all his graces so nearly, that Paul, in writing to the faithful, called Luke his “beloved” (Col 4:14). From Jerusalem and the country round about, as far as Dalmatia, (Rom 15:19) he preached the Gospel with him. From Judea to Rome he shared the same chains with him, the same work, the same difficulties, the same shipwrecks. He desired to receive the same prize with him since he had shared the same labours.

Having acquired the gift of preaching along with Paul and won over and led so many peoples to the love of God, Luke truly seemed like the Saviour’s loving and beloved disciple, in addition to being the Evangelist who wrote his sacred history. For formerly he had followed the Lord (cf. Lk 10:1), gathered together the testimonies of his first servants (Lk 1:1) and received inspiration from on high.
It was this Evangelist who related the mystery of Gabriel, the messenger sent to the Virgin to announce joy to the whole world.
It was he who told in full, the birth of Christ, showing us the newborn child lying in a manger and describing shepherds and Angels shouting for joy.
He reports the parabolic teachings in greater number than the other Evangelists.
And just as he makes known to us the descent of the Word of God to earth, so too, he describes his Ascension to heaven and return to the Father’s throne (24:51). …

But in Luke, grace does not stop there. His speech is not limited to serving the Gospel alone.
At the end of Christ’s miracles he also relates the Acts of the Apostles. …
Luke was not just a spectator of all those things but really participated in them.
And that is why he put so much care into teaching us about them.
” – Anonymous Byzantine life of Saint Luke – 11th century (Saint Luke, Evangelist and companion of Paul – 6-7; PG 115, 1134-1135).

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings. Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints. Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 18 October – Holy and Learned, Great Saint Luke

Our Morning Offering – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke, the Evangelist

Holy and Learned, Great Saint Luke
Prayer/Hymn in Honour of St Luke
“Plausibus Luca canimus”
Trans the Benedictines of
Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK

Holy and learned, great Saint Luke,
we praise you,
Closely you followed in the steps of Jesus,
As supreme witness to His life and teaching
Shedding your life-blood.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
You left in writing, for all time to study
Stories unrivalled for their depth and beauty,
Christ’s love revealing.

Yours are the records
which we read with pleasure
Of the beginning of the Church so fervent,
Under the impulse of the true and living
Spirit of Jesus.

Paul’s earnest helper, sharer in his travels,
Zealous as he was, with a heart as loving,
Make our souls also steadfast and devoted
To the Lord Jesus.

Tender physician, use your gift of healing,
Comfort our weakness with a faith unswerving,
So that rejoicing, we may praise forever
God the Almighty.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 October – St Amabilis of Auvergne (c 397- c 475)

Saint of the Day – 18 October – St Amabilis of Auvergne (c 397- c 475) Priest, Confessor, miracle-worker. Tradition tells that snakes and demons fled from his voice, often the images and medals depicting him bear the words “The demons flee as well as snakes and fire.” Born probably in Riom, France in c 397 and died in Auvergne in c 475 of natural cuases. Patronages – against demonic possession, against fire, against mental illness, against poison, against snake bite, against wild beasts, of Auvergne, France, of Riom, France. Also known as – Amabilis of Riom, Amabilis the Cantor. Additional Memorial – 1 November.

In the sixth century, St Gregory of Tours in his ‘De gloria confessorum,’ described the popular belief in this Saint’s power over demons and serpents as well as the veneration at his tomb. Gregory reports that he, himself witnessed two miracles there.

Notice the snake at his feet

Amabilis served as a Cantor in the Church of Saint Mary at Clermont and then as the Precentor at Clermont Cathedral . Later as Parish Priest at Riom, where, in 1120, a Church was dedicated to him. He acquired a reputation for holiness in his lifetime.

In the seventh century his relics were transferred to Riom from Clermont. Riom grew up around the collegiate Church of Saint Amable, which was the object of pilgrimages. In the eighteenth century a dispute occurred over these relics between neighbouring Clermont and Riom, where Amabilis is Patron.

Chapel of St Amabilis in the Church dedicated to him at Riom
St Amabilis Church

Public processions in his honour have been traditional in Riom for more than 1500 years, where he is invoked against fire and snakes. Father Antoine Déat, a Missionary in Canada , introduced his cult to North America, where he is also still venerated today. A chapel is dedicated to him in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.


Feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Notre-Dame de Reims / Our Lady of Rheims and Memorials of the Saints – 18 October

St Luke the Evangelist (Feast)
St Luke here:

Notre-Dame de Reims / Our Lady of Rheims – Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of Rheims (405) built by St Nicasius – 18 October:

Dedication of Our Lady of Rheims, built by St Nicasius (died c 407), Archbishop of that City period in the year 405. It was Saint Nicasius who prophesised that France would be invaded by the Vandals, telling the people of Rheims to prepare themselves. When the Vandals finally arrived at the City gates, St Nicasius went out to meet them with his sister, a faithful deaconess. All were killed but their sacrifice gave time for more of the people of Rheims to flee to safety.
It is interesting to note, that when St Nicasius was beheaded he was praying Psalm 119. He was slain at the moment when he reached the phrase “Adhaesit pavimento anima mea,” which means, “my soul is attached to dust.” After he was decapitated, his head struck the ground and he miraculously continued the psalm, saying: “Vivifica me, Domine, secundum verbum tuum,” which means, “revive me, Lord, with your words.
This was the Church where King Clovis humbly confessed his belief in the Triune God and was baptised by St Regimius in 496 and where, all of the subsequent French Kings were crowned. In the Gallery of the Kings there is a magnificent painting of the baptism of King Clovis surrounded by images of all of his successors.

The Baptism of King Clovis by the Master of Saint Giles (16th cent)

This Church, having fallen to ruins, was later rebuilt by Ebo and Hincmar. It was finished in the year 845 and still remains a place of pilgrimage to the Mother of God. At one time enemies of the Cathedral chapter set fire to a monastery of Rheims. Among the relics which the sacristan tried to save was an ivory statue of the Virgin, containing some of her hair. The sacristan prayed fervently to the Virgin that she would preserve this relic. The Abbot, entering the ruins of the Church, found the Statue upright and unharmed as if placed there reverently. From thence forward, the image was believed to be miraculous.
The present Cathedral takes the place of the older churches, the previous one having been damaged by fire in 1210. It was not completed until the 14th century, and is the beautiful Gothic Cathedral that can still be seen today, after much restoration work after the bombardments of WWI and II.

St Acutius of Pozzuoli
St Amabilis of Auvergne (c 397- c 475) Priest, Confessor
St Asclepiades of Antioch
St Athenodorus
St Brothen
Bl Burchard I
St Cadwaladr of Brittany
Bl Domenico of Perpignano
St Eutychius of Pozzuoli
St Gwen
St Gwen of Tagarth
St Gwendoline

St Julian Sabas the Hermit (4th Century) Hermit, Confessor and miracle-worker.

St Justus of Beauvais (c 278—c 287) Martyr, Child of nine years of age. He is a Cephalophores.
About St Justus:

Bl Margherita Tornielli
St Monon of Nassogne
St Proculus of Pozzuoli
Bl Theobald of Narbonna
St Tryphonia of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians martryed together in Africa. The only details that have survived are the names – Beresus, Dasius, Faustinus, Leucius, Lucius, Martialis, Victoricus, Victrix and Viktor. They were martyred in c.300 in Africa.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Alfredo Almunia López-Teruel
• Blessed Francisco Roselló Hernández
• Blessed Isidro Juan Martínez


Thought for the Day – 17 October – The Fourth Glorious Mystery – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fourth Glorious Mystery
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

“Because we are wretched sinners, death for us is a punishment.
Let us accept it with resignation.
We should frequently offer to God whatever death He has in store for us, with all its sorrows and sufferings.

We can gain great merit in this way.
As a result of our daily offering, God will surely grant us a more peaceful death.
There are many people who long for death.
Some desire it in moments of discouragement as a release from the sorrows of life.
Others long for it, to bring to an end their struggle against their sinful inclinations and to assure them of an everlasting reward, to gain which, they may not even have made many sacrifices.
The first kind of desire is unworthy of a true soldier of Christ, while the second, is presumptuous and self-interested.
The only legitimate yearning for death, is the desire to be united, at last, with Jesus.

This was the nature of Mary’s death, as well as that of St Paul, who wrote that he desired “to depart and to be with Christ” (Phil 1:23).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – St Margaret Mary Alacoque

Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”

I think He intends to try you
like gold in the crucible,
so as to number you
amongst His most faithful servants.
Therefore, you must lovingly embrace
all occasions of suffering,
considering them
as precious tokens of His love.
To suffer in silence
and without complaint,
is what He asks of you.

Crosses, contempt,
sorrows and afflictions,
are the real treasures
of the lovers of Jesus Christ Crucified

Go courageously to God,
along the way He has traced out for you,
steadfastly embracing the means
He offers you.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”



One Minute Reflection – 17 October – ‘… If you seek an example … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Isaiah 53: 10-11; Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-20, 22; Hebrews 4: 14-16; Mark 10: 35-45

Whosoever will be first among you, shall be the servant of all.” – Mark 10:44

REFLECTION – “What need was there that the Son of God should suffer for us? There was great need and indeed, it can be assigned to two reasons. The first, is that it was a remedy against sin and the second, is for an example of what we should do. … For the Passion of Christ can bring about a complete reformation of our lives. … If you seek an example of charity, then “no-one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). … If you seek an example of patience, you will find it in its highest degree on the Cross. … Christ suffered greatly upon the Cross and with all patience because “when he was insulted, he returned no insult” (1 Pt 2:23), “like a lamb led to the slaughter, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). … “Let us persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising its shame” (Heb 12:1-2).

If you seek an example of humility, look upon Him Who is Crucified, although He was God, He chose to be judged by Pontius Pilate and put to death. … If you seek an example of obedience, imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father “even to death” (Phil 2:8). “For just as through the disobedience of one person, Adam, the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of One the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). . If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15), “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:3). On the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall. St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Dominican Theologian, Doctor of the Church (On the Apostles’ Creed – Collationes In Symbolum apostolorum, art. 4 # 64.70.72-76; [trans. Joseph Collins])

PRAYER – Holy Father, grant me an operative faith, a faith that will move mountains. Enlighten my soul with Your Light, Goodness, Power and Wisdom. Let my faith be an image of You by lively deeds and love and by conforming myself to Your Will in all things. As the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your only-begotten Son, longed only to serve the God of all in complete self-denial and humility, may we always strive to imitate her Fiat in serving You, with upright hearts and thus manifest a true faith, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 17 October – Prayer before Holy Mass By St Ambrose

Our Morning Offering – 17 October – Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer before Holy Mass
By St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus Christ,
We approach Your banquet table
as saints and sinners
and dare not rely on our own worth
but only on Your goodness and mercy.
Gracious God of majesty and awe,
we seek Your protection,
we look for Your healing.
We appeal to You, the fountain of all mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King,
Crucified for us, look upon us with mercy
and hear our prayer, for we trust in You.
Merciful Father, purify us in body and soul
and make us worthy to taste the Holy of Holies.
May Your Body and Blood,
which we intend to receive,
unworthy as we are,
be for us the remission of our sins,
the washing away of our guilt,
the end of our evil thoughts
and the rebirth of our better instincts.
May it incite us to do the works pleasing to You
and profitable to our health, in body and soul
and may it deliver us from evil.


Saint of the Day – 17 October – Blessed Contardo Ferrini TOSF (1859-1902)

Saint of the Day – 17 October – Blessed Contardo Ferrini TOSF (1859-1902) Layman, Third Order Franciscan, Profesor, Civil and Canon Lawyer, Apostle of the poor, writer, A recognised specialist in Roman and Byzantine law, Contardo Ferrini was a Professor at several Universities but his name is mainly linked to the University of Pavia , where he studied in 1880 and later became a Professor. He was also a fervent Roman Catholic, who lived a devout life of prayer and service to the poor. Born on 4 April 1859 at Milan, Italy and died on 17 October 1902 at Suna, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Italy of typhus, aged 43. Patronages – acedemics, colleges, schools, universities.

The Roman Martyrology mentions him today: “In Suna near Lake Maggiore, Blessed Contardo Ferrini, who, in educating young people, with his example of faith and Christian life, went far beyond human science.

Contardo Ferrini was born on 5 April 1859 in Milan to Rinaldo Ferrini and Luigia Buccellati. He was Baptised at the font where Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, also a native of Milan, had been Baptised 46 years before. After receiving his First Holy Communion at age 12, he joined a Blessed Sacrament Confraternity.

Contardo’s father, a Professor of mathematics and science, taught his son at an early age. By the time he was a young man, he spoke several languages. His apparent love for his faith caused friends to call him by the nickname St. Aloysius (St. Aloysius Gonzaga). He entered University of Pavia at age 17 and, two years later, was appointed Dean of Students. At age 21 he became a Doctor of the law at the University. His doctoral thesis, which related penal law to Homeric poetry, was the basis of his being awarded a scholarship to the University in Berlin, where he specialised in Roman-Byzantine law, a field in which he became internationally acclaimed as expert.

Blessed Bartholomew Longo and Contardo Ferrini

During Contardo’s stay in Berlin, he wrote of his excitement at receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time in a foreign country. The experience brought home to him, he wrote, the universality of the Church.

Upon his return to Italy, he was a Lecturer in Universities at Messina, Modena and Pavia. He received his first Professorship at age 26. Contardo, atthis time, attempted to discern a vocation as a secular priest, a religious, or as a married person. Ultimately, he remained an unmarried layperson. He vowed himself to God, became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis in 1886 and was a member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, to which he had been introduced by his father, a member of a St Vincent de Paul Conference himself.

As a faculty member at the University of Pavia, he was considered an expert in Roman Law. Over the course of his career he published books, articles and reviews. He taught for a time at the University of Paris. He became a Canon Lawyer in addition to being a Civil Lawyer. Mountaineering was an favourite hobby.

An anecdote, unsourced, about Contardo is that he was asked to attend a dinner party and, once there, found it tedious. His resort was to invite all the guests to join him in praying the Rosary.

In 1900, Contardo developed a heart lesion. In Autumn 1902, he went to his country home in Suna in order to rest. There he became ill with typhus. He died at age 43 on 17 October 1902. Residents of Suna immediately declared him a saint. His fellow faculty members at the University of Pavia wrote letters in which he was described as a saint. In 1909 Pope Pius X appointed Cardinal Ferrari to open a cause. Contardo was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XI and he was Beatified by Pope Pius XII on 13 April 1947. His body is venerated in a Chapel of Milan’s Catholic University. He is a patron of universities, colleges and academics. Yesterday we read some of the history of Milan Duomo and the 3159 Saint Statues there. One of the 2245 Spire Saints, on one the lofty Spires of this breathtaking Cathedral, resides our Blessed Contardo.

Shrine at Chapel of Milan’s Catholic University

Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost, Könnyezo Szuz Mária / Our Lady of Tears or the Weeping Madonna, Hungary and Memorials of the Saints – 17 October

Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost
Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Könnyezo Szuz Mária / Our Lady of Tears or the Weeping Madonna (Sajópálfala, Miskolci, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Hungary) (1717) – Third Sunday of October, 16 February:

During the Turkish occupation of the late 1600s, the town of Sajópálfala in northeastern Hungary was destroyed and deserted. Not long after Greek Catholics resettled the area. The painting of the Madonna and Child in their village Church perspired and wept bloody tears, from 6 January to 16 February 1717.

The investigating Bishop took the picture to Eger, where it stayed in the Franciscan Church until the Communists dissolved the religious orders in 1950. Then the painting was lost to the faithful of Sajópálfala, who had made an annual pilgrimage to Eger on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

In 1969, they located the original weeping image in a Church in the Diocese of Pécs, where a friar had taken it when the Eger Monastery closed. On 25 October 1973, after 256 years, the Weeping Virgin Mary returned to the Church of the Visitation in Sajópálfala, where the main pilgrimage days are now Pentecost Sunday and the third Sunday in October.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque VHM (1647-1690) Virgin, Nun of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, Mystic, Saint and Apostle of the Sacred Heart. Her feast day was moved to after Vatican II and prior to that was 17 October. (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:

St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church – Bishop of Antioch and Martyr (Memorial)
Feast until 1969 is 1 February.
Full Biography of St Ignatius here:
And Pope Benedict’s Catechesis here:

St Anstrudis of Laon

Blessed Balthassar of Chiavari OFM (1420–1492) Priest of the Order of Friars Minor of the strict observance, Confessor, renowned Preacher, Professor of Theology, Superior General of the Order.

Bl Battista de Bonafede
St Berarius I of Le Mans
St Catervus
St Colman of Kilroot
Blessed Contardo Ferrini TOSF (1859-1902) Layman, Third Order Franciscan

St Ethelbert of Eastry
St Ethelred of Eastry
St Florentius of Orange

St Francois Isidore Gagelin (1799-1833) Priest and Martyr, Missionary, was a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society in Vietnam.
His Life and Death:

Bl Gilbert the Theologian
St Heron of Antioch
Bl Jacques Burin
St John the Short/Dwarf
St Louthiern
St Mamelta of Persia
St Nothelm of Canterbury
St Richard Gwyn
St Rudolph of Gubbio
St Rufus of Rome
St Serafino of Montegranaro
St Solina of Chartres
St Zosimus of Rome

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: A group of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them that have survived are their names – Alexander, Marianus and Victor. 303 in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of Valenciennes -5 beati: A group of Ursuline nuns martyred in the persecutions of the French Revolution.
• Hyacinthe-Augustine-Gabrielle Bourla
• Jeanne-Reine Prin
• Louise-Joseph Vanot
• Marie-Geneviève-Joseph Ducrez
• Marie-Madeleine-Joseph Déjardins

Martyrs of Volitani: A group of martyrs who were praised by Saint Augustine of Hippo. In Volitani, proconsular Africa (in modern Tunisia).

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• BlessedFidel Fuidio Rodriguez
• BlessedJosé Sánchez Medina
• BlessedPerfecto Carrascosa Santos
• BlessedTársila Córdoba Belda de Girona


Thought for the Day – 16 October – The Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 16 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Third Glorious Mystery
The Descent of the Holy Spirit

“The Apostles were completely transformed after the feast of Pentecost.
They had ben ignorant rustics, timid and vacillating.
They had hardly understood at all, the lofty teachings of Christ, for they were hoping still for an earthly kingdom in which they would occupy the highest posts.

When they received the Holy Spirit, however, their minds were flooded with supernatural light and they became heroic in their resolution.
Ignorant, though they had been, they became masters of Truth, far superior to the sages of Athens or the philosophers of Rome.
They were no longer timid and hesitating but, fearlessly encountered the power of the Sanhedrin, the whips of the soldiery, the dangers of long voyages and, Martyrdom itself.

We too have received the illumination and favours of the Holy Spirit.
Many times, when we have invoked Him, He has inspired and consoled us.
But we may not have responded with the same fervour and self-denial as the Apostles.
Let us remember that, to neglect God’s gifts, is to risk our eternal salvation!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY SPIRIT, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, St PAUL!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.”

Quote/s of the Day – 17 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 4: 13, 16-18; Psalm 105: 6-9, 42-43; Luke 12: 8-12

…Do not be anxious how
or what you are to answer,
or what you are to say;
for the Holy Spirit
will teach you,
in that very hour,
what you ought to say.

Luke 12:11-12

Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27

Be on your guard,
stand firm in the faith,
be courageous,
be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Do not say,
this happened by chance,
while this came to be of itself.”
In all that exists
there is nothing disorderly,
nothing indefinite,
nothing without purpose,
nothing by chance …
How many hairs are on your head?
God will not forget one of them.
Do you see how nothing,
even the smallest thing,
escapes the gaze of God?

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

What is the surest kind of witness?
“Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ
came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2)
and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…
How many there are each day
of these hidden martyrs of Christ
who confess the Lord Jesus!
… So be faithful and courageous
in interior persecutions
so that you may also win
the victory in exterior persecutions.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

God’s love calls us to move beyond fear.
We ask God for the courage
to abandon ourselves unreservedly,
so that we might be moulded
by God’s grace,
even as we cannot see
where that path may lead us

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

Do not look forward
to the changes and chances
of this life in fear –
rather look to them with full hope that,
as they arise, God, whose you are,
will deliver you out of them.
He is your keeper.
He has kept you hitherto.
Do you but hold fast to His dear hand
and He will lead you safely through all things
and, when you cannot stand,
He will bear you in His arms.
Do not look forward to
what may happen tomorrow.
Our Father will either shield you from suffering,
or He will give you strength to bear it.

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 17 October – ‘He should take courage … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 17 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Readings: Romans 4: 13, 16-18; Psalm 105: 6-9, 42-43; Luke 12: 8-12

…Do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say – Luke 12:11-12

REFLECTION – “The Christian should not fear or be distressed in difficult circumstances and thus be distracted from trust in God. He should take courage as if the Lord were at hand directing his affairs and strengthening him against all his adversaries.

It is as if the Holy Spirit were instructing him, even as to the very replies he should make to his enemies.”… St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church (The Morals, 63)”

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. Grant that by the prayers of your Saints we may be strengthened and depend only on You. Holy Queen of the Holy Rosary, our Mother Mary and St Hedwig, pray for us. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 16 October – Queen of the Holy Rosary

Our Morning Offering – 16 October – “Month of the Most Holy Rosary” – Mary’s Saturday

Queen of the Holy Rosary

Queen of the Holy Rosary!
Thee as our Queen we greet,
And lay our lowly, loving prayers
Like roses at thy feet.
Would that these blossoms of our souls
Were far more fair and sweet.

Queen of the Joyful Mysteries!
Glad news God’s envoy bore.
The Baptist’s mother thou didst tend;
Angels thy Babe adore,
Whom with two doves thou ransomest;
Lost, He is found once more.

Queen of the Dolorous Mysteries!
Christ ‘mid the olives bled,
Scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns,
Beneath His Cross He sped
Up the steep hill and there once more
Thine arms embraced Him–dead!

Queen of the Glorious Mysteries!
Christ from the tomb has flown,
Has mounted to the highest heaven
And sent His Spirit down
And soon He raises thee on high
To wear thy heavenly crown.

Queen of the Holy Rosary!
We, too, have joys and woes.
May they, like thine, to triumph lead!
May labour earn repose,
And may life’s sorrows and life’s joys
In heavenly glory close.

Taken from:
Cyril Robert – Mary Immaculate: God’s Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 October – St Hedwig of Andechs (1174-1243)

Saint of the Day – 16 October – St Hedwig of Andechs (1174-1243) Mother, Widow, High Duchess of Poland, Apostles of orphans, the poor, the sick, founder with her husband of Monasteries, schools and Churches, Administrator, peace-maker, Born in 1174 in Castle Andechs, Bavaria (part of modern Germany) and died on 15 October 1243 at at Trzebnica, Silesia (part of modern Poland). Also known as – Hedwig of Silesia, Hedwig von Andechs, Jadwiga Slaska, Hedvigis, Hedwiges, Avoice. Patronages – against jealousy, brides, duchesses, death of children, difficult marriages, widows, Silesia, Diocese of Görlitz, Germany, Andechs Abbey, Bavaria, Germany, 6 cities. She was Canonised on 26 March 1267 by Pope Clement IV.

An example of all virtues, especially worthy to be imitated, is presented to us today, in the life of St Hedwig. Her father was Berthold, Duke of Carinthia and Count of Meran. Her mother, Agnes, was of equally high birth. She was one of eight children – of her four brothers, two became Bishops, Ekbert of Bamberg and Berthold of Aquileia. Mechtilde became Abbess of Kitzingen and another sister, became the mother of St Elizabeth of Hungary. Already in Hedwig’s childhood it was visible that God had gifted her with a mind far beyond her age. She possessed an innate inclination to all virtues and nothing of what usually delights the young, touched her heart, just as little pleasure did she evince, in later years, in the honours, riches and amusements of the world. Reading and praying were her only enjoyments. All her books were devout works and her prayers were said mostly before an image of the Blessed Virgin, whom she loved and honoured like a worldly mother.

When scarcely twelve years old, she was given in marriage to Henry, Duke of Poland and Silesia. Although married so early in life, her conduct was so sensible and virtuous, that everyone was greatly astonished at it. Among her maxims was this: “The greater one is by birth, the greater one must be in virtue and the more distinguished we are in station, the more we must distinguish ourselves by our conduct, in order to be a bright example to others.” She became the mother of three sons and three daughters, all of whom she educated most piously.

She was a little over twenty, and her husband thirty years of age, when their sixth child was born; after which, desiring to serve God more perfectly, she made a vow before the Bishop, in which her husband joined, to live in future in perpetual continence.

From that hour, Hedwig grew daily more and more perfect in all Christian virtues, occupying every moment left her from the cares she bestowed upon her children, in prayers and deeds of charity. She found especial comfort in assisting at Holy Mass; hence, she was not satisfied with one but went to as many as she could; and the manner in which she conducted herself in Church was a proof of her deep devotion. Towards widows and orphans, her kindness was truly motherly and many of them she fed in her palace, serving them herself, sometimes on bended knees. She frequently visited the sick in the hospitals; encouraged them to be patient and assisted them by rich alms. She never hesitated to wash the feet of the lepers, or to kiss the sores of the sufferers. She persuaded the Duke, her husband, to build a large convent not far from Breslau, for the Cistercian nuns, which she made a home for poor children, who were educated there and afterwards, provided for according to their station. Nothing could be more modest and plain than the garments of the holy Duchess and her example in this respect induced others living at Court to attire themselves with great simplicity. In the midst of the dissipation of the Court, the Saint lived so austere a life, that it was more to be admired than to be followed.

To prove her virtue, God visited her with a great many cares and sorrows. The enemy invaded the dominions of her spouse, who was wounded in a battle and made prisoner. When this news was brought to her, she raised her eyes confidently to heaven, saying: “I hope to see him again soon, well and free.” She herself went to Conrad, the Duke who had imprisoned her husband and spoke so earnestly to him that he restored her husband to liberty. Soon after, Henry became dangerously ill and Hedwig nursing him most faithfully, did everything to make his death happy. To those who pitied her after his death, she said: “We must adore the decrees of the Almighty, not only in days of happiness but also in those of sorrow and bereavement.” Three years later, she lost her first-born son, who was killed in a battle with the Tartars and this sad event found her as submissive to the will of Providence as she had been on the death of her husband.

Soon after the burial of the Duke in 1238, at the Cistercian Monastery of Nuns, Trzebnica Abbey, Hedwig had too followed him into the Convent, which, at her request, he had founded, to be further removed from all temporal vanity and to serve the Lord more peacefully and perfectly. The widow moved into the Convent of Cistercian Nuns which was led by her daughter Gertrude, assuming the position of a lay sister and donning the habit. She observed most strictly the regulations of the Order, desiring to do the meanest work and to be considered the least of the Sisters. In her austerity to herself she had now full liberty. She fasted daily, except on Sundays and festivals but her fasts were much more rigorous than those of others, for she abstained from all meat and wine and partook only of herbs, bread and water. She wore, day and night, rough hair-cloth and an iron girdle which she had already worn while at Court. She went bare-footed over snow and ice and slept, when well, on the bare boards and when ill, on straw covered with a coarse cloth. Her sleep lasted hardly three hours before Matins; the remainder of the night she occupied in prayer, which she only interrupted to scourge herself to blood. So severe a life emaciated her body to a skeleton. While working, she always raised her soul to the Most High by mental prayer,and she was often found in an ecstasy, or raised high above the ground. Her conversation was only of God, virtue and piety. Towards the Crrucified Saviour, she bore the deepest devotion and the mysteries of His bitter Passion and Death were the objects of her daily meditations, during which, she frequently shed tears. Mary, the Blessed Virgin, was most ardently loved by her,and her whole countenance glowed at the bare mention of her holy name.

So holy a life could only be followed by a happy death, of which a severe sickness was the messenger. Before others became aware that her life was in danger, the Saint asked for the last Sacraments and she received them with a devotion which drew tears from the eyes of all who were present. Before her end, S. Catherine of Alexandria, St Thecla, St Ursula and St Magdalen appeared to her, all of whom she had greatly honoured during her life. These heavenly visitors comforted her and accompanied her to the mansions of everlasting bliss.

Twenty-five years after her death, her holy body was exhumed, as so many extraordinary miracles had taken place at her intercession. On opening the coffin, the whole Church was filled with fragrance. The flesh of the whole body was consumed, except that of three fingers on her left hand. With these she had frequently held a picture of the Blessed Virgin, which she constantly carried with her. While dying, she held this picture so fast, that after her death it could not be removed and it was buried with her. Pope Clement IV. placed the Duchess among the Saints on account of her many great virtues, of the miracles which she had wrought while she lived and of those which took place after her death, through her intercession. The inhabitants of Poland venerate her as one of their special Patrons. (By Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876)


Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of Milan (1417) by Pope Martin V and Memorials of the Saints – 16 October

Dedication of the Church of Our Lady of Milan (1417) by Pope Martin V – 16 October:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Dedication of Our Lady of Milan, by Pope Martin V, in the year 1417. This Church was built in 1388 by John Galleas, Duke of Milan.”

The magnificent Milan Cathedral is a Gothic Cathedral that has its roots in the fourth centurY. Today it is one of the most famous and celebrated structures in all of Europe. It is the second largest Church in Italy after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the third largest Catholic Church in the world.

Dedicated to the Mother of God, the present Cathedral was begun in the 14th century but was not completed until the 20th century when the last gate was finally installed in 1965. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte himself ordered that the façade be finished in the year 1805, as he desired to see the beautiful structure completed. He guaranteed that the French would pay for the work, although they never actually did. Even so, it took seven years to complete the work. There were other additions that followed, including stained glass windows and various arches and lace-like spires. In the end it can be said, that the Cathedral required 6 centuries to complete and is one of the largest Cathedrals in the entire world.

The Madonnina Spire or guglia del tiburio (“lantern spire“), one of the main features of the Cathedral, was erected in 1762 at the height of 108.5 m (356 ft), as designed by Francesco Croce. At the top of the spire is the polychrome Madonnina Statue, designed and built by Carlo Pellicani in 1774, during the episcopacy of Bishop Giuseppe Pozzobonelli who supported the idea to place the Madonnina at the top of the Cathedral, By tradition, no building in Milan may be higher than the Madonnina.

The first Church thought to occupy the location was built by Saint Ambrose, although there is an old baptistery which was constructed in about 335. The good Abbot appears to have been incorrect in dating the Cathedral from 1388, as there is a plate attached to a stone on the Church which states: “El Principio del Duomo di Milano Nel Anno 1386.”

St Ambrose barring Theodocius from Milan Cathedral

The Milan Cathedral houses a Holy Nail which was used to Crucify Christ. It is marked by a tiny red light located in the dome above the apse. There are more Statues on this Cathedral than any other in the world, 3159 in total. 2245 of these are on the exterior together with 96 gargoyles and 135 spires. It is said that if the Statues were placed on top of each other, they would reach a height of about 5,300 meters (3.3 miles).

The Cathedral is 158.5 meters (520 feet) long, 92 meters (302 feet) wide. It has a cruciform plan in the form of a Latin cross that covers nearly 12,000 square meters. 40,000 people can fit comfortably within. Its construction was up five naves, a central and two lateral on each side, resting on 40 columns of 24.50 meters (80 feet) each.

Access to the Cathedral is made through five large bronze doors from Piazza Duomo. The central one [pic. below] is the oldest and was created in the nineteenth century by Ludovico Pogliaghi.

After exploring the inside, visitors can pay a small fee to take a fascinating trip to the Duomo’s roof via
steps or elevator. It is an amazing experience to walk among the forest of spires and the view from the roof is unmatched. On a clear day you can see as far as the Alps and Apennines.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque VHM (1647-1690) Virgin, Nun of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, Mystic, Saint and Apostle of the Sacred Heart. Her feast day was moved to after Vatican II and prior to that was 17 October. (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:

St Amandus of Limoges
St Ambrose of Cahors
Bl Anicet Koplinski
Bl Augustine Thevarparampil
St Balderic
St Baldwin
St Bertrand of Comminges
St Bolonia
St Conogon of Quimper
St Dulcidius of Agen
St Eliphius of Toul
St Eremberta of Wierre
St Florentinus of Trier

St Gall (c 550–c 646) “Apostle of Switzerland,” Monk, Missionary, Hermit – he was a disciple and one of the traditional twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to the continent.
About St Gall:

St Gerard Majella CSsR (1726-1755) Religious Lay Brother of the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer, better known as the Redemptorists, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, Apostle of Charity, known as a Thaumaturge.
St Gerard’s Story:

Bl Gerald of Fossanuova
St Hedwig of Andechs (1174-1243) Mother, Widow, High Duchess of Poland
Bl Jesús Villaverde Andrés
Bl Józef Jankowski
St Junian
St Lull
St Magnobodus of Angers

St Marie Marguerite d’Youville (1701–1771) Foundress of the Sisters of Charity – commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal., Widow, “Mother of Universal Charity.”
Her Life:

St Martinian of Mauretania
St Mummolinus
St Saturian of Mauretania
St Silvanus of Ahun
St Victor of Cologne
St Vitalis of Noirmoutier

Martyrs in Africa – 220 saints: A group of 220 Christians martyrs about whom we know nothing but that they died for their faith.

Martyrs of North Africa – 365 saints: A group of 365 Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of the Vandal king Genseric. The only details that have survived are the names of two of the martyrs – Nereus and Saturninus. 450 in North Africa.


Thought for the Day – 14 October – The Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

Thought for the Day – 15 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Second Glorious Mystery
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

In the course of our ascent, we must never stop and decide that we have gone far enough!
To stop would inevitably mean going backward.
Jesus and Mary are inviting and encouraging us to go higher and higher.

Have we been purified of sin, the defiler of the soul and the destroyer of human dignity?
Have we an intense horror, even of venial sin, which separates us from God and kills the life of grace?
It is still not enough – we must go higher.

Are we generous and unselfish in the fight to achieve holiness, guarding ourselves against the evil suggestions of the world, the flesh and the devil?
It is still not enough – we must continue to advance.

Do we carry the daily cross which God has entrusted to us and accept the burden with perfect resignation to His Holy Will?
Very good but even this is not enough!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – St Teresa of Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

When we accept
what happens to us
and make the best of it,
we are praising God.

However softly we speak,
God is near enough to hear us.

Souls who do not practice prayer,
are like people whose limbs are paralysed.

Let us live in such a way,
as not to be afraid to die.

I am Thine and born for Thee,
What wilt Thou do with me?”
By St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
(Excerpted on the image)

Sovereign Lord, upon Thy throne,
Endless Wisdom, One and whole,
Goodness that dost feed my soul,
Good and great, One God alone,
As I sing my love for Thee.
What wilt Thou do with me?

Thine I am, for Thou didst make me;
Thine, for Thou alone didst save me;
Thine – Thou couldst endure to have me;
For Thine own, didst deign to take me.
Never once, didst Thou forsake me.
Ruined were I, if not for Thee:
What wilt Thou do with me?

What, O good and loving Lord,
What wilt Thou have this creature do?
This Thy slave, a sinner too,
Waiting till she hears Thy word?
With Thy will in close accord,
Sweetest Love, I come to Thee:
What wilt Thou do with me?

Take, O Lord, my loving heart:
See, I yield it to Thee whole,
With my body, life and soul
And my nature’s every part.
Sweetest Spouse, my life Thou art;
I have given myself to Thee:
What wilt Thou do with me?

Let me live or let me die;
Give me sickness, give me health;
Give me poverty or wealth;
Let me strive or peaceful lie.
Weakness give or strength supply –
I accept it all of Thee:
What wilt Thou do with me?…

I am Thine and born for Thee,
What wilt Thou do with me?”

Poem – I am Yours, for You I was born –
“Vuestra Soy, para Vos nací

(trans. E.Allison Peers)


St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 15 October – ‘For love calls for love in return. …’

One Minute Reflection – 15 October – Readings: Romans 4: 1-8; Psalms 32: 1b-2, 5, 11; Luke 12: 1-7 – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows
.”…Luke 12:7

REFLECTION – “What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, He will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves Him and always keeps Him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul – it seems, that no other name fell from his lips, than that of Jesus because, the name of Jesus, was fixed and embedded in his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the Saints, the great contemplatives and found, that they took no other path – Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God’s hands. If God should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares His secrets, we ought to accept this gladly.

Whenever we think of Christ, we should recall, the love that led Him to bestow on us, so many graces and favours and also, the great love God showed in giving us, in Christ, a pledge of His love – for love calls for love in return. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to rouse ourselves to love Him. For if, at some time the Lord should grant us the grace, of impressing His love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall accomplish great things quickly and without effort.” – St Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from her On the Book of Life)

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all of the deep treasures of Your Heart to St Teresa. May her merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Heart. Through You, Lord Jesus, who live and reign forever, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, amen.

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The WILL of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 15 October – Thy Holy Will

Our Morning Offering – 15 October – The Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church

Thy Holy Will
By St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

grant that I may always
allow myself to be guided by Thee,
always follow Thy plans
and perfectly accomplish Thy Holy Will.
Grant that in all things,
great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do,
whatever Thou may require of me.
Help me to respond
to the slightest prompting
of Thy grace,
so that I may be Thy trustworthy instrument,
for Thy honour.
May Thy Will be done in time
and eternity –
by me, in me and through me.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 October – Saint Aurelia of Strasbourg (Died 1027)

Saint of the Day – 15 October – Saint Aurelia of Strasbourg (Died 1027) Virgin Recluse, Princess Died on 15 October 1027 at Regensburg, Gemany of natural causes. Aurelia’s name means – “she who shines like gold,.” Patronage – against fever. Also known as – Aurelia of Ratisbon, Aurelia of Regensburg.

Aurelia was a Princess of the Hugo Capet family, who fled to Alsace to escape from marriage and lived as a Recluse. Only Bishop Wolfgang of Ratisbon knew of her hermitage and he cared for her spiritual and material welfare.

Royal documents from the 10th century validate the existence of a Church built over the crypt in which the tomb of Saint Aurelia was situated. The Church was dedicated to Aurelia and her tomb was highly revered by the faithful, during the Middle Ages. Aurelia was invoked particularly for help in cases of fever.

After the Protestant Reformation, the aforementioned Church passed into the hands of the Lutherans, who in 1524 desecrated the Saint’s tomb and disposed of the relics but without succeeding in eliminating the cult that remains alive to this day.


Virgen de los Remedios / Virgin of the Remedies, Rubite, Granada, Spain (12th Century) and Memorials of the Saints – 15 October

Virgen de los Remedios / Virgin of the Remedies, Rubite, Granada, Spain (12th Century) – 15 October:

The Virgin of Los Remedios is the title of the Virgin Mary which was promoted by the Trinitarian Order, founded in the late 12th century. The devotion became tied to the re-conquest of Spain, then still at its height. In the following century it spread to other parts of Europe.
When Spain began the exploration and conquest of the Americas, it was a favourite devotion of the Spanish conquistadores.
It remains a popular devotion in Spain.
Patronages – Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the island of Tenerife, and the city of Cali, Colombia.

This Statue of the Virgin of Los Remedios, is kept in the Cathedral of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain)

St Teresa of Jesus of Avila OCD (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Biography here:
AND Excerpt of Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Teresa:

St Antiochus of Lyon
St Aurelia of Strasbourg (Died 1027) Virgin Recluse, Princess
St Callistus of Huesca
St Cannatus of Marseilles
Bl Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida
St Euthymius the Younger
Bl Josefa Martínez Pérez
St Leonard of Vandoeuvre
Bl Narcis Basté y Basté
Bl Pere Verdaguer Saurina
Bl Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual
St Sabinus of Catania
St Severus of Trier

St Thecla of Kitzengen OSB (Died c 790) a Benedictine Nun and Abbess. Born in England, she went to Germany to assist Saint Boniface in his missionary labours.
Her Life:

St Willa of Nonnberg

Martyrs of Cologne: A group of 360 Christian soldiers martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian. They were martyred in 303 outside the city walls of Cologne, Germany.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Cipriano Alguacil Torredenaida
• Blessed Josefa Martínez Pérez
• Blessed Narcis Basté y Basté
• Blessed Pere Verdaguer Saurina
• Blessed Ramón Esteban Bou Pascual