Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco
Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions.
"For the saints are sent to us by God
as so many sermons.
We do not use them, it is they who move us
and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.”
Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975)
This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.
Saint of the Day – 20 September – Saint Susanna of Eleutheropolis (Died 362) Virgin Martyr, Deaconess and Abbess. Susanna spent many years as a ‘Monk and then ‘Abbot’ when she disguised herself as a man called John. After detection, she was rescued by the local Bishop, Ordained as a Deaconess and settled as Abbess in a Convent for women. Died in 362 at Eleutheropolis, Palestine while in prayer in her prison cell. Also known as St Susanna of Palestine.
The entry in the Roman Martyrology states: “The holy Martyr, Susanna, daughter of Arthemius, a pagan priest and Martha.“
Susanna grew up in Palestine as the daughter of Arthemius, a rich pagan priest and Martha, a Hebrew woman. After their deaths, she was baptised as a Christian, freed her slaves, gave her property to the poor and decided to live as an ascetic. She cropped her hair, put on men’s clothing, took the name of John and presented herself to a men’s Monastery in Jerusalem. The Monks assumed she was a eunuch and accepted her.
Still disguised, Susanna eventually became ‘Abbot’ of the Monastic community. After twenty years in the Monastery, a visiting Nun fell in love with her and tried to win her affections. When this failed, the Nun accused Susanna of seducing her. The local Bishop, Cleopas of Eleutheropolis, was called in with two Deaconesses. Susanna revealed her gender to the Deaconesses and her name was cleared.
The Bishop was so impressed with Susanna’s dedication and piety, and brought her back to his Cathedral. He ordained her a Deaconess and appointed her Abbess of a Convent. She served as Abbess for many years, serving the poor, extended hospitality and praying for the salvation of souls.
During the persecution of Julian the Apostate, Susanna was arrested and tortured for refusing to offer sacrifices to the pagan gods. When her torturers realised that they could not break her faith, they threw her into prison, where she died from her wounds and lack of food in the year 362.
Notre-Dame-au-Pied-d’Argent / Our Lady with the Silver Foot), Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France (1284) – 20 September:
At Toul, in Lorraine, there was a Statue, which, according to an ancient tradition, informed a woman on 20 September in the year 1284, of an act of treachery which was being planned against the City.
The Statue was called Our Lady with the Silver Foot, or Notre-Dame au pied d’argenth. The faithful keep the memory of this stone Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was located just inside the entrance of the Church and placed over a sculpted clam. In those days there would be a lamp burning before it on feast days and almost every day, the faithful offered small candles which they lit and rested on a circular iron candlestick that was placed before the Statue. It was well known that several people who prayed before this Statue were cured of various diseases but the devotion and respect of the people toward this image, grew more than ever at the time of the Bishop Conrad because of the miracle that occurred in the following manner:
A woman named Helwide was in the Cathedral Saint-Etienne de Toul praying to the Blessed Virgin for consolation and the repose of the souls of her husband and daughter who had recently died. It was about midnight, when the Canons were praying Matins, that the Blessed Virgin Mary suddenly appeared to her. The Virgin Mary ordered Helwide to go immediately to find a man named Rimbert, who was the guardian of “The Door to the Chair.” The Door to the Chair gave access to the Castrum, a little entrance to the City near Tanner Street. Helwide was urged to go quickly, for an enemy proposed to enter the City by the door to set their homes on fire and fill the streets with blood. Regaining her senses after the vision, Helwide got up feeling very puzzled. She was hesitant about what she should do, though as Rimbert’s home was not far distant and was on her way home anyway, she decided she would indeed go there. No sooner had Helwide stepped out of the Church, than she met the night-watch on patrol. She told them the tale of her vision and they responded by mocking her and making derogatory jokes. Despite this, two of them still decided to follow and actually see what would happen if Helwide could find the porter she sought. The pair arrived with Helwide at the house and simply thrust the door open. Rimbert sat on his bunk, seeming startled, yet as if expecting the visit. Helwide briefly stated the purpose of her visit and Rimbert exclaimed, “I had precisely the same vision and the same warning! I do not know if it occurred in my sleep or in the state of wakefulness but I have been told that the Statue will move her foot in testimony of the truth!” At these words, all those present were seized with a great desire to see such a prodigy. With a rush they ran to the Cathedral and removed the candles and all that stood before the image. To their disappointment they found that the Virgin’s feet remained mostly hidden beneath the folds of the clothing of the Statue as before. In the interim, several scholars and some laymen who were called to see the wonder, arrived on the scene. Seeing that nothing was apparently going to happen, they began cursing all the rest as senseless interpreters of dreams. As they stood not far from the Statue, many of them fell silent as they saw the Statue suddenly move as an entire foot of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared from beneath the folds of her garment. Terrified, but convinced, this time they all agreed to announce the peril which they now knew actually threatened them. Quickly rendering their thanks to Mary, they agreed to defend the City and call for reinforcements. They arrived just in time to take up their positions to defend the entrance to the City with the assistance of the Episcopal palace guards. A tremendous struggle occurred when the invaders broke down the door and entered the courtyard, but the defenders were committed to the fight and held their own. When reinforcements arrived, the invaders fell to the last man.
To perpetuate the memory and recognize the protection granted to them by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the people of Toul had a shoe of pure silver made to cover the foot on the Blessed Virgin’s Statue. From that time on the Statue was known as Our Lady with the Silver Foot. They also hung on the wall of the cathedral a picture which represented the heavenly vision and Mary was declared Patroness of the City.
The image of Our Lady with the Silver Foot was venerated in the City and the surrounding areas and in case of the threat of any public calamity, the Blessed Virgin was invoked and ,henceforth, the Statue would be carried in procession throughout the streets of the City. The Governors themselves considered it an honour to take the Statue upon their own shoulders. Pilgrimages were made to Our Lady of the Silver Foot; prayers answered, graces bestowed and miracles wrought.
The original Statue of Our Lady with the Silver Foot was destroyed during the ravages of the French Revolution and was replaced later by a modern statue that was stolen in the 1980’s. The Gothic Cathedral was repaired after being damaged during the French Revolution but still awaits repair after the damage caused when it was struck during an aerial bombardment in the Second World War. There was once also a Monastery at Toul,but no trace of it remains.
Vigil of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist St Agapitus of Rome St Candida of Carthage St Dionysius of Phrygia St Dorimedonte of Synnada St Eusebia of Marseilles
Martyrs of Constantinople – 3 saints: A priest and two bishops who were imprisoned, tortured and martyred for the defense of icons in the iconoclast persecutions of emperor Leo the Isaurian. – Andrea, Asiano and Hypatius. They were martyred in 735 in Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) and their bodies were thrown to the dogs.
Martyrs of Pergen – 6 saints: A group of lay people martyred in the persecutions of Emperor Elagabalus. The names that have come down to us are Dionysius, Dioscorus, Philippa, Privatus, Socrates and Theodore. They were crucified c 220 at Pergen, Pamphylia, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Cristobal Iturriaga-Echevarría Irazola • Blessed Santiago Vega Ponce • Blessed Juan Antonio López Pérez
Thought for the Day – 19 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Unless You Turn and Become Like Little Children, You Will Not Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”
“At the beginning of their ministry, before they had been strengthened and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were as ambitious as most other men. One day, the mother of John and James, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and asked Him, if her two sons could have precedence over the other Apostles and sit on the highest thrones in His kingdom, one at His right hand and the other at His left. Jesus disapproved of this desire to predominate. “Whoever wishes to become great among you,” He said, “shall be your servant and, whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:26-28).
On another occasion, the Apostles came to Jesus and asked Him, which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ only answer was to call a little child and to place him in the centre of the group. “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).
This is the lofty teaching of the Gospel. If we wish to be great and pleasing in the eyes of God, we must be unimportant in our own regard and in our relations with men. The Gospel involves an overthrow of human values. Anyone who makes himself insignificant, will become great. Anyone who tries to make himself out to be a great man, becomes of little account in the eyes of God. “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Cf Js 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). If we wish to please the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first thing we must do, is become as little children. In other words, we shall have to suppress our ambition and vanity and destroy our self-love, so that, the Sacred Heart may fill our hearts with the love of God alone!”
Quote of the Day – 19 September – The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette
“If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it. … ‘Six days I have given you to labour, the seventh I have kept for Myself – and they will not give it to Me.’ It is this which makes the arm of my Son so heavy.”
Our Lady of la Salette 19 September 1846 To Maximin Giraud (11) and Melanie Calvat (14)
One Minute Reflection – 19 September – Readings: Wisdom 2: 12, 17-20; Psalm 54: 3-8; James 3: 16 – 4: 3; Mark 9: 30-37 – The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” – Mark 9:37
REFLECTION – “We Christians are Christ’s body and members, the Apostle Paul says (1Cor 12,27). At Christ’s Resurrection all His members were raised with Him and, as He passed from hell to earth, He made us pass from death to life. The word “Pasch” in Hebrew means “passover” or “passage”. Isn’t this mystery, a mystery concerning the passage from evil to good? And what a passing over it is! From sin to righteousness, from vice to virtue, from age to infancy. I’m speaking here about the infancy that pertains to simplicity, not to age. For virtues, too, belong to their age. Yesterday the decrepitude of sin was sending us downhill. But the Resurrection of Christ brings us to rebirth into the innocence of children. Christian simplicity makes childhood its own.
Children are without malice; they do not know deceit; they dare not strike. Thus this Christian child does not fall into a rage if he is insulted, nor defend himself if he is stripped, nor hit back if he is struck. Our Lord even requires him to pray for his enemies, relinquish both tunic and cloak to the thief and turn the other cheek to those who strike him (Mt 5,29f.).
Christ’s infancy surpasses human infancy… The latter owes its innocence to weakness, the former to virtue. Moreover, it is worthy of far greater praise: His hatred of evil comes from His Will, not His powerlessness.” – St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420) – Bishop (Sermon 58 ; PL 57, 363)
PRAYER – Grant us Lord, a true knowledge of salvation, so that, freed from fear and from the power of our foes, we may serve You faithfully in love and sorrow for our sins. May we, through the love You grant us, extend our love to all we meet and may the tears of the Holy Virgin of la Salette and of Sorrows, not reject our prayers but intercede for us, obtain for us the grace to love and follow our Lord Jesus above all else. May we console you by a holy life and so come to share the eternal life Christ gained by His Cross. Our Lady of La Salette, pray for us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever,amen.
Our Morning Offering – 19 September – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
O Christ, our Master and God Thanksgiving after Holy Mass By St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Christ, our Master and our God, King of the ages and Creator of all, I thank You for all the good things that You have given to me and for the reception of Your most pure and life-giving Mysteries. I pray You, therefore, O good Lover of Humankind, keep me under Your protection, in the shadow of Your Wings. Grant that with a pure conscience, until my last breath, I may worthily partake of Your Holy Gifts, for the forgiveness of sins and for life everlasting. For You are the Bread of Life, the Fountain of Holiness and the Bestower of all Blessings and to You we give glory together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, now and forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 19 September – St Maria de Cervellón OdeM (1230– 1290) Virgin, Catalan Superior of a Second Order of Mercedarians, known as “Maria of Help,” Mystic, graced with the gift of bilocation, apostle of the poor, the abandoned, the needy. She was the first woman to wear the Habit of the ‘ Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Ransom. She is considered the Founder of the Mercedary Nuns. Born in 1230 at Barcelona, Spain and died on 19 September 1290 at Barcelona, of natural causes. Patronages – Mercadarian Nuns and Sisters, Navigators, against shipwreck, Spanish sailors., of the abandoned. Also known as – Maria di Cervellon, Maria dell’Aiuto, Maria de Socos., Mary of Cerevellone. Her body is incorrupt.
Her entry in the Roman Martyrology states: “At Barcelona in Spain, blessed Maria de Cervellione, Virgin of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom. She is commonly called Maria of Help on account of the prompt assistance she renders to those who invoke her.“
María de Cervellón was born in Barcelona on 1 December 1230. At that time, the Mercedarian Friars had been redeeming captives from the power of the Saracens for several years,and in that seaport and commercial City, there was talk about the great work of charity and of the growing needs of the Friars in financing redemptions and the upkeep of the Hospital of St. Eulalia, where the ransomed were kept once they returned.
As with every young woman in her time, her family had made other plans for her future. They had tried several times to marry her off to various and prominent men so as to strategically improve their familial alliances and strengthen their position. However, Maria’s heart belonged to Another and she refused each offer her family made on her behalf. She had become the bride of Christ the Redeemer and would spend her life in service to her Spouse in the guise of the captive, the wounded, the sick and the needy. With the assistance of Fr. Bernardo de Corbera, she consecrated herself to God in the Order of Mercy on 25 May 1265, together with other young women from Barcelona.
Maria was not the first, for there is written evidence that the female branch of the Order of Mercy began earlier but she is the first one whose self-offering we know about. From then on, her life would be spent between her house and the Hospital of Saint Eulalia, on the sea, on the shore of Villanova, where it was built thanks to a donation by Raimundo de Plagamans. The Sisters were not originally formed as a contemplative family, but their life was centred on prayer. They were not founded as cloistered Nuns, but gathered in fellowship to be able to live out the Lord’s command – “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Maria took this call to heart and was able to convince others to follow the path that she had set out on. They formed a community of Sisters who were ready to share in the work of redemption, even to the end.
It is reported that Maria had the gift of bilocation. In Spanish, she was known by the surname de Socós or de Socorro (meaning helper), because she was seen coming to the aid of the ransom ships, walking in the midst of the waves of stormy and rough seas, in order to guide the sailors and their precious cargo to safety.
She died on 19 September 1290, and her remains are preserved in the Basilica of La Merced in Barcelona.
On 13 February1692, Pope Innocent XII gave a favourable judgement and confirmed her immemorial cult;and she was introduced into the Roman Martyrology as a Saint on 8 November 1729. Today, the Nuns and Sisters of the Order proclaim her as a strong woman who followed Jesus Christ, taking flesh in the realities of captivity, so as to be redeemers with Christ through prayer and various apostolates according to their respective constitutions.
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Notre-Dame de la Salette / Our Lady of La Salette), La Salette-Fallavaux, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France (1846) 19 September: Mary appeared to two small children, Melanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud, on the mountain of La Salette in the French Alps. She was crying and around her neck was a crucifix, with a hammer and pincers on either side – 19 September 1846. Approved by the Diocesan Bishop in 1851. Read the story here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/feast-of-our-lady-of-la-salette-19-september/
St Eustochius of Tours St Felix of Nocera St Festus of Pozzuoli St Goeric of Metz St Maria de Cervellón OdeM (1230 – 1290) Virgin, Second Order of the Mercedarians. Please watch this video if you are able to spare the time. It is absolutely beautiful.
St Pomposa St Sequanus St Sosius of Puzzuoli St Theodore of Canterbury St Trophimus of Synnada — Martyrs of Antioch – (3 saints): Christians imprisoned, tortured and executed in various ways in the persecutions of Emperor Probus; some names have come down to us – Dorymedon, Sabbatius and Trophimus. c 277 at Antioch (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of Phunon – (4 saints): Four bishops in Egypt who were sentenced to forced labour in a rock quarry and martyred in the persecution of Diocletian. Noted for celebrating Mass in prison. – Elias, Nilus, Patermuzio and Peleus. They were burned to death in 310 at Phunon, near Petra in Palestine.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Consuelo Aguiar-Mella Díaz • Blessed Herman José Fernández Sáenz • Blessed Juan Pérez Rodrigo • Blessed Lucas Martín Puente • Blessed María de La Encarnación de La Yglesia de Varo • Blessed María Dolores Aguiar-Mella Díaz • Blessed Miguel Faúndez López • Blessed Sebastián Obeso Alario
Thought for the Day – 18 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Seeing God in All Things
“Sometimes we fail to see God in all the events of life because we lack faith and absolute confidence in the Lord. We must try to increase this faith and live always in the presence of God and, we must regard the honour and glory of this world as worth absolutely nothing without God. “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Mt 16:26).
We often attach too much importance to the things of this world, which, viewed in the light of eternity are worth very little. When we find ourselves at the point of death and think back over the events of life, how small these things will seem to us! Then, we shall marvel at our folly and regret that we worried so much about them, while we allowed ourselves to forget the only Being really necessary to us, God Himself! St Francis de Sales said, that when we arrive at the end of life, the affairs with which we have been preoccupied, will seem about as important, as the sand-castles we built as children, castles which cost us a lot of trouble to build and a great deal of sorrow afterwards, when they had been destroyed!”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 September – Readings: Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 8: 4-15
“And as for that in the good ground they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bring forth fruit with patience.”
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit… he who does not obey the Son, shall not see life.”
“And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.”
“Scripture brought me to the Gate of Paradise and the mind stood in wonder as it entered.”
“When you begin to read or listen to the Holy Scriptures, pray to God thus: “Lord Jesus Christ, open the ears and eyes of my heart so that I may hear Thy words and understand them and may fulfill Thy will.” Always pray to God like this, that He might illumine your mind and open to you, the power of His words. Many, having trusted in their own reason, have turned away into deception.”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). … As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge … Without this Light, which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
“Not content with sending His servants, He came Himself, He marked out the way we should take, He came to make known His holy Word. … Brethren, it is absolutely impossible to love and please God, unless we are fed by this divine Word.”
One Minute Reflection – 18 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 8: 4-15
“And some seed fell on good ground” – Luke 8:8
REFLECTION – “In my view it was to Mary that the blessed Prophet Joel was speaking when he exclaimed: “Fear not, O land! Exult and rejoice! For the Lord has done great things in you” (2,21). For Mary is a land – that ground on which Moses, the man of God, heard the command to remove his sandals (Ex 3,5), an image of the Law now replaced by grace. She is also that land on which, through the Holy Spirit, He was built up of whom we sing that He “fixed the earth on its foundations” (Ps 104,5). She is a land which, without being sown, brings forth the fruit that feeds all flesh (Ps 136,25). A land on which the thorns of sin have never sprung up, to the contrary, she has given birth to Him who pulled it up by the roots. And she is a land that is not cursed as the first one was, to bring forth a harvest of thorns and thistles (Gn 3,18) but on whom rests the Lord’s blessing and who bears in her breast, a “blessed fruit” as sacred scripture says (Lk 1,42)…
Rejoice, O Mary, House of the Lord, earth trodden by the Footsteps of God… Rejoice, O Paradise more happy than the Garden of Eden, where every virtue has been seeded and where the Tree of Life has grown.” – St Theodore the Studite (750-826) Father, Abbot, Theologian, Writer (Homily 2 for the Nativity of Mary, 4, 7; PG 96, 683f)
PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, turn our ears and hearts to Your Word, that we may hear and live by the seed You have sown. May all that grows in us be of Your good seed and yield fruit a hundredfold. Grant us the grace of imitating the virtues of Mary, the Mother of Your only-begotten Son and our Mother and may her prayers intercede on our behalf. May we may be filled with courage and love and spread Your Word by our lives. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord and Word, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 18 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” and Mary’s Saturday
O Mother of Sorrows, Stand by Me in My Last Agony By St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou did stand at the Cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord, in atonement for my sins. Offer to the Eternal Father the most Precious Blood of Jesus, mingled with your tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus. Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has at last come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him, for I knew not what I did. Beg Him to receive me into His kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 18 September – Saint Eustorgius of Milan (Died c 349) Ninth Bishop of Milan, Confessor, Defender of the Faith. Both St Athanasius and St Ambrose remember Eustorgius of Milan as one of the most steadfast and illustrious opponents of the Arian heresy.
The Roman Martyrology says of him: “At Milan, St Eustorgius, Bishop of that City, highly recommended by blessed Ambrose.”
According to tradition, Eustorgius was a noble Greek. He was the legate of Milan and he was elected as Bishop at the death of Protasius in 343. Eustorgius travelled to Constantinople to have his election as Bishop ratified by the Emperor, the Son of Constantine. Not only did he get it but he also obtained exemption from taxes for the Milanese and a grandiose marble ark with the bodies of the Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Returning to Milan, Eustorgius erected the Basilica that took its name from him, to house these most precious Relics.
From 345 to 346 and from 347 to 348, he held two Synods. He also began construction of Churches and Basilicas in Milan. Saint Athanasius called him a “Defender of the Faith” and mentions him as an opponent of Arianism. Saint Ambrose called him by the honourable title of “Confessor.” His name was included in the Ambrosian Rite and his cult in Milan is testified by the presence of five Churches dedicated to him, the best known of which, is the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio. containing the Holy Relics of the Magi.
Eustorgius died on 18 September and was buried in the Basilica dedicated to him.
In 1164, te Relics of the Magi were taken from Milan by Holy Roman Emperor, Fredrick Barbarossa and given to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel. A Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral still exists (a part of these Relics were returned to the Basilica of St Eustorgius of Milan in 1904).
St Sophia of Egypt — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Ambrosio María de Torrent (Salvador Chuliá Ferrandis) • Blessed Carlos Eraña Guruceta • Blessed Fernando García Sendra • Blessed Jacinto Hoyuelos Gonzalo • Blessed Jesus Hita Miranda • Blessed José García Mas • Blessed José María Llópez Mora • Blessed Justo Lerma Martínez • Blessed Salvador Fernández Pérez • Blessed Vicente Gay Zarzo • Blessed Vicente Jaunzarás Gómez
Thought for the Day – 17 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Divine Counsellor
“Nobody can speak to our souls with greater efficacy than Jesus Christ, “Listen to the interior Master,” wrote St Margaret Mary Alacoque, “Never do anything without seeking His advice.”
Certain conditions are necesaary, however, before we can hear the Voice of God in the intimacy of our hearts. First of all, there must be silence and recollection. Jesus does not speak where there is noise and dissipation and, even if He were to speak, His Voice would not be heard.
It is necessary, now and again – especially in moments of difficulty – to remove ourselves from the external confusion of life, so that we shall be able to hear the Voice of God. Then, it is true, we shall hear two voices and we shall hesitate … One is the voice of nature. When we feel that we have been offended, it urges us to seek revenge or, at least, to let our attitude be known. When temptation assails us and upsets our peace of mind, we hear a pleasant voice urging us to satisfy our sinful inclinations. But there is another Voice within us – it is gentle and sweet like Jesus Himself; it is calm, serene and lofty, like all that is eternal. We must listen to this, not to the other; this we must accept and follow with full deliberation, even if it entails grave sacrifice.
There must be sacrifice, for it is not sufficient to enter an atmosphere of silence and recollection, in order to listen to the Voice of Jesus, our Divine Counsellor. We must also have the courage and the Christian fortitude to put His advice and teaching into practice!
Quote/s of the Day – 17 September – The Memorial of St Hildegard von Bingen OSB (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church
“Even in a world which is being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong.”
“All of creation is a song of praise to God.”
“Holy Spirit, the life that gives life: You are the Cause of all movement. You are the Breath of all creatures. You are the Salve that purifies our souls. You are the Ointment that heals our wounds. You are the Fire that warms our hearts. You are the Light that guides our feet. Let all the world praise You!”
St Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 17 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ” – Readings: Timothy 6: 2c-12; Psalm 49: 6-10, 17-20; Luke 8: 1-3
“And the twelve were with him … and also some women” – Luke 8:1,3
REFLECTION – “If anyone does not believe that wherever they preached the Gospel, the Apostles brought women of holy life with them, so that these women might minister the necessities of life to them from their abundance, let him hear the Gospel and realise that the Apostles did this, by the example of our Lord Himself.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – (The Works of Monks, 5)
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to be holy in the way that You have laid out for me. Let me carry out my duties of my state of life to the full and grant me the grace to carry my crosses in honour of You. Only in You may I attain holiness, learning to give myself, my will, my heart and my soul only to You. Mary Holy Sorrowful Virgin and Glorious Mother of Christ Jesus, we ask for your intercession. We make our prayer in unity with Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, one with You, now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 17 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ”
Morning Offering May Every Beat of My Heart Be a Prayer By St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868)
O my God, may every beat of my heart, be a prayer, to obtain grace and pardon for sinners. May all my sighs be so many appeals to Your infinite mercy. May each look have the virtue to gain to Your love, those souls, whom I shall look on. May the food of my life, be to work without ceasing for Your glory and the salvation of souls. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 September – Saint Peter Arbues OSA (1442-1485) Priest Martyr, Canon Regular of the Augustinian Order, learned Professor and Inquisitor. Born as Pedro de Arbués in 1442 at Épila in the region of Saragossa, Spain and died on 17 September 1485 in the Cathedral of Saragossa by being attacked and murdered.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Pedro of Arbues, first Inquisitor of the faith in the Kingdom of Aragon, who received the Palm of Martyrdom by being barbarously massacred by apostate Jews, for defending courageously, the Catholic faith, according to the duties of his office. He was Canonised by Pope Pius IX in 1867.“
Peter was born to the nobleman Antonio de Arbués and Sancia Ruiz. He studied philosophy perhaps in Huesca but later travelled to Bologna on a scholarship to the Spanish College of Saint Clement which was part of the University of Bologna. n 1473, he obtained his Doctorate in both Canon and Civil Law and he served as a Professor of Moral Philosophical studies or ethics.
Upon his return to Spain he was Ordained and became a member of the Cathedral Chapter of the Canons Regular at La Seo where, in 1474 he made his religious profession.
About that time Ferdinand and Isabella had obtained from Sixtus IV a Bull, to establish in their Kingdom, a tribunal for searching out heretics and especially Jews, who after having received Baptism had relapsed openly or secretly into Judaism – these were known as Marranos. In 1483, the famous Thomas Torquemada,, was appointed Grand Inquisitor over Castile and, being acquainted with the learning and virtue of Peter Arbues, in 1484, named him Inquisitor Provincial in the Kingdom of Aragon.
Peter performed the duties with zeal and justice. Although the enemies of the Inquisition accuse him of cruelty, it is certain that not a single sentence of death can be traced to him. The Marranos, however, whom he had punished hated and resolved to do away with him. One night while kneeling in prayer before the Altar of Our Lady in the metropolitan Cathedral where he used to recite the Office with his brother Canons, attacked him and hired assassins inflicted several wounds from which he died on 17 September 1485. He was just 44 years old.
His remains were entombed in a special Chapel dedicated to him in the Cathedral.
He was Beatified on 20 April 1664, by Pope Alexander VII and Canonised on 29 June 1867 by Pope Pius IX who said in the document formalising the Canonisation (Maiorem caritatem): “The divine wisdom has arranged, that in these sad days, when Jews help the enemies of the Church with their books and money, this decree of sanctity has been brought to fulfillment.“
In explanation, it should be noted, that the most powerful families among the converted Jews seem to have been involved in funding the murder.
Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi: Two years before the great Saint Francis of Assisi died and when he was forty-two years old — one year after he had built the first crib in honour of Our Lord — he went off to a lonely mountain called Mount Alvernia, to prepare himself by forty days of fasting and prayer for the Feast of Saint Michael, the greatest of God’s Angels, whose Feast day is 29 September. On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September, Saint Francis received in his hands, feet and side the Sacred Wounds from Our Lord’s own body.
Never was a Saint more beautifully loved by Jesus than Saint Francis of Assisi. The wounds Jesus gave him stayed in his hands, feet and side and continually bled for two more years, until he died in 1226. The day on which Saint Francis received the Five Wounds of Our Lord was 14 September but so, that this beautiful event might have a feast day for itself, the Stigmata of Saint Francis is commemorated today, on 17 September. The simple liturgy of this holy Saint’s life might be put this way – the crib in 1223 and the Cross in 1224.
St Agathoclia St Brogan of Ross Tuirc St Columba of Cordova St Crescentio of Rome St Emmanuel Nguyen Van Trieu St Flocellus
Thought for the Day – 16 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Putting Christianity into Practice
“Only the uiversal practice of Christianity, could change the world. Even after a period of twenty centuries, it is true to say, that for many Christans, the Gospel is an unexplained book, the principles of which, have yet to be fully realised in their ordinary lives.
None of us can change the world on his own but, each of us can accomplish that part of the task, which depends on himself.
Do we really love God whole-heartedly and above all things? Do we really love our neighbour as ourselves? Let us examine ourselves earnestly and find out how far we have still to go. Our love of God may be too feeble and this may be the reason why we have not achieved spiritual perfection. Our love of our neighbour may not be as generous as it should be. If this is so, we shall have to answer for it to God ,when He pronounces that terrible sentence on those who have been rejected: “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you did not give me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me” (Mt 26:41-43). Let us resolve to be charitable and generous to all!”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ” – Readings:Timothy 4: 12-16; Psalm 111: 7-10; Luke 7: 36-50
“Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“Without love, there is only faith, which the devil has.”
“Once for all, then, a short precept is given you – Love and do what you will, whether you hold your peace, through love, hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare. Let the root of love be within, of this root, can nothing spring but what is good.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father nd Doctor of Grace
“You are rewarded, not according to your work, or your time but according to the measure of your love.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
I Will Love and Follow You By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
Oh my Lord, Let my heart expand in Your love. Let me learn to know how sweet it is, to serve You, how joyful it is, to praise You and to be absorbed in Your love. Oh, I am possessed by love and rise above myself because of the great fervour I feel, through Your infinite goodness. I will sing the canticle of love to You and I will follow You, my Beloved, wherever You go and may my soul never weary of praising you, rejoicing in Your love. I will love You more than myself and myself, only for Your sake. I will love all others in You and for you, as Your law of love commands. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 16 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ” – Readings:Timothy 4: 12-16; Psalm 111: 7-10; Luke 7: 36-50 and the Memorial of Sts Cornelius & Cyprian
“… She stood behind him … weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.” – Luke 7:38
REFLECTION – “With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach His kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until He will return to her. This means that He will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.”
When will He speak these words? He will speak them when He will come in the majesty of His Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous, like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet, what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members, what you refused to your Creator. Then He will say to the Church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Homilies”of the Church (Sermon 95)
PRAYER – Look upon us Lord, Creator and Ruler of the whole world, give us the grace to serve You with all our hearts, to take up our cross and follow You, that we may come to know the power of Your love and the forgiveness which You give and You teach. Grant that by the intercession of Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, we may attain the glory of Your kingdom and see You face to face. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary ”
Jesu, be You my Life! By Msgr Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914)
I cannot live alone another hour, Jesu, be You my Life! I have not power to strive, be You my Power In every strife! I can do nothing – hope, nor love, nor fear. But only fail and fall. Be You my soul and self, O Jesu dear. My God and all! Amen
Robert Hugh Benson AFSC KCSG KGCHS (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was an English Anglican reverend who in 1903 was received into the Catholic Church in which he was Ordained Priest in 1904. He was a prolific writer of fiction and wrote the notable dystopian novel Lord of the World (1907). His output encompassed historical, horror and science fiction, contemporary fiction, children’s stories, plays, apologetics, devotional works and articles. He continued his writing career at the same time as he progressed through the hierarchy to become a Chamberlain to Pope Saint Pius X in 1911 and gain the title of Monsignor. He was a LaSallian Brother (AFSC) and a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (KCSG KGCHS).
Saint of the Day – 16 September – Saint Euphemia (c 290-c 305) Virgen Martyr. Her name means “the well-spoken [of].” Patronages – Alba Adriatica, Italy, Rovinj, Croatia. Also known as – Euphemia of Chalcedon.
The Roman Martyrology states of her today: “At Chalcedon, the birthday of St Euphemia, Virgin and Martyr, under the Emperor Diocletian and the Proconsul Priscus. For faith in Our Lord, she was subjected to tortues, imprisonment, blows, the torment of the wheel, fire, the crushing weight of stones, the teeth of beasts, scourging with rods, the cutting of sharp saws, burning pans, all of which she survived. But when she was again exposed to the beasts in the amphitheatre, praying to Our Lord to receive her spirit, one of the animals, having inflicted a bite on her sacred body, whilst the rest licked her feet, she yielded her unspotted soul to God.”
St. Euphemia lived on the cusp of the 3rd and 4th centuries. According to tradition, she was the daughter of a senator named Philophronos and his wife Theodosia in Chalcedon, located across the Bosporus from the City of Byzantium (modern-day Istanbul). From her youth she consecrated her virginity to God.
The governor of Chalcedon, Priscus, had published a decree that all of the inhabitants of the City take part in sacrifices to the deity Ares. Euphemia was discovered, with forty-nine other Christians, hiding in a house and worshipping God, in defiance of the governor’s orders. Because of their refusal to sacrifice, they were tortured for a number of days,and then, all but Euphemia, were sent to the Emperor for trial. Euphemia, the youngest among them, was separated from her companions and subjected to particularly harsh torments, including the wheel, in hopes of breaking her spirit. She was placed in the arena, where lions were sent out to kill her,but they instead licked her wounds. She eventually died of wounds from a wild bear in the arena.
The Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council, took place in the City of Chalcedon in the year 451. It repudiated the Eutychian doctrine of monophysitism and set forth the Chalcedonian Definition, which describes the “full humanity and full divinity” of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
Present at the Council were 630 representatives from all the local Christian Churches. The meetings were quite contentious and no decisive consensus could be reached.
According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, a collection of hagiographies,, both parties wrote a confession of their faith and placed them on the breast of Saint Euphemia within her tomb. After three days the tomb was opened and the scroll with the confession of the true faith, was seen in the right hand of St Euphemia, while the scroll of the Monophysites lay at her feet.
When the persecution of Diocletian ended, the Christians laid Saint Euphemia’s relics in a golden sarcophagus, placed within a Church that was dedicated to her. Her relics attracted crowds of pilgrims for centuries.
Around the year 620, in the wake of the conquest of Chalcedon by the Persians in the year 617, Saint Euphemia’s relics were transferred to a new Church in Constantinople. There, during the persecutions of the Iconoclasts, her reliquary was said to have been thrown into the sea, from which it was recovered by the ship-owning brothers, Sergios and Sergonos, who belonged to the Church and who gave it to the local Bishop who hid them in a secret crypt. The relics were afterwards taken to the Island of Lemnos and in 796 they were returned to Constantinople. The majority of her relics are still in the Patriarchal Church of St. George, in Istanbul and others are in Rovini, Croatia.
Nuestra Señora de las Lajas / Our Lady of the Flagstones, Potosí, Caldas, Colombia (1754) – 16 September:
In 1754, Maria Mueses de Quinones, an Indian woman from the village of Potosi, Colombia and her deaf-mute daughter, Rosa, were caught in a very strong storm. They sought refuge in a cave in the gigantic Lajas mountains. To Maria’s surprise, her mute daughter, Rosa exclaimed with her first words “the mestiza is calling me…” Maria did not see the figures of a woman and child that the girl described and fearfully ran back with her daughter to Ipiales and told the townspeople. After later returning to the spot, the woman saw an apparition of Our Lady and Child. Some months later, Rosa died and was returned to life when her mother prayed again at the cave. The townspeople came to see this place and encountered the miraculous image burned into the rocks!
The congregation celebrated the first Mass in the Pastarán river cave – it was 16 September 1754 and they built a straw grotto. With the endorsement of the ecclesiastical authorities, who declared the event as a miracle on 15 September 1754. Very soon, the image began to be venerated with great fervour and many miraculous events occurred there. Around the image the faithful devotees have erected four successively larger Churches, until culminating in the current Sanctuary whose construction lasted 30 years and was completed in 1949. In 1952 , Pope Pius XII granted the image the canonical coronation and in 1954 he granted the Sanctuary, the title of Minor Basilica.
St Abundantius of Rome St Abundius of Rome St Andrew Kim Taegon St Cunibert of Maroilles St Curcodomus Bl Dominic Shobyoye St Dulcissima of Sutri St Edith of Wilton St Eugenia of Hohenburg St Euphemia (c 290-c 305) Virgin Martyr St Geminianus of Rome St John of Rome
Blessed Luigi Ludovico Allemandi (c 1390-1450) Bishop and Cardinal, called “The Cardinal of Arles.” Blessed Luigi was a Priest driven by immense love for the Holy Mother of God and for the Church. His involvement in various Councils and Papal dissentions, were the result of his great desire to maintain the purity of the Chair of Peter. He was Beatified in 1527 by Pope Clement VII. His Life; https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/16/saint-of-the-day-blessed-luigi-ludovico-allemandi-c-1390-1450/
St Lucy of Rome St Ludmila St Marcian the Senator Bl Martin of Huerta Bl Michael Himonaya
Thought for the Day – 15 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary’s Only Treasure
“Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings. His Mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle and the holy women who had always followed Him. Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth. She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure. Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God. Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.
She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption. “He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7). He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother
“Let my heart languish and my soul melt away and be consumed with love of You, my beloved Saviour Jesus and my dear Mother Mary! But because I cannot love You unless You give me grace, then give me grace, O Jesus and Mary — by Your merits, not mine — to love You as You deserve to be loved. O God, lover of humankind, You loved sinful human beings to the point of death. Will You deny Your love and Your Mother’s to anyone who begs for it?”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
“During the entire course of her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, never deviated in the slightest from the precepts and examples of her Divine Son. This was true both in the most sweet joys Mary experienced and in the cruel sufferings she underwent, which made the the Queen of Martyrs.”
Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)
When Mary Weeps By Father Frederick M Lynk (1881-unknown)
When Mary weeps, her mother’s heart Is full to overflowing. When Mary weeps, pain’s piercing dart Stabs Him beyond all knowing, Who is by sinners Crucified, Blasphemed, forsaken and denied.
When Mary weeps, God’s holy wrath Is kindling cruel fires. When Mary weeps, poor mankind’s path Leads through war’s blood-soaked mires And makes all human mothers moan In love and pity for their own.
When Mary weeps, it’s time to pray To have our sins forgiven. When Mary weeps, each night and day By sorrow must be riven, Until His and her children will Once more seek peace on Calvary’s hill. When Mary weeps, we all must try To dry her tears of sorrow. When Mary weeps, we too must cry To glimpse a brighter morrow, When her Son’s name is recognised And all, in love adore the Christ. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother – Readings: First Timothy 3: 14-16; Psalm 111: 1-6; John 19: 25-27 or Luke 2: 33-35
“Behold, your mother” – John 19:27
REFLECTION – “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.
At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …
When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all!” – Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.
PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother
O Afflicted Virgin! By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O afflicted Virgin! O soul, great in virtues and great also in sorrows! for both arise from that great fire of love thou hast for God; thou “whose heart can love nothing but God.” O Mother, have pity on me, for I have not loved God and I have so much offended Him. Thy sorrows give me great confidence to hope for pardon. But this is not enough; I wish to love my Lord and who can better obtain this for me than thou, thou who art the Mother of fair love? O Mary, thou dost console all, comfort me also. Amen