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.
Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Humility is the most difficult of all the virtues because, it requires us to deny ourselves. Jesus warns us, that anyone who wishes to follow Him, must deny himself. “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself” (Mt 16:24).
Humility is necessary if we wish to go straight to Jesus, Who was the first to humble Himself by becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross (Phil 2:8). The Imitation of Christ contains some profound remarks upon this subject. “Seldom do we find anyone, so spiritual, as to be stripped of all things… If a man gives his whole substance, still it is nothing. And if he do great penance, it is but little. And if he attain to all knowledge, he is far off still. And if he have great virtue and very fervent devotions, there is still much wanting to him, namely, the one thing which is supremely necessary for him. What is that? That having left all things else, he leave also himself and wholly go out of himself and retain nothing of self-love.” (Bk II, c.2:4).
When he has done all this, remember, he has only given God all that he received from Him. He has given nothing which was really his. He has only fulfilled an obligation of restitution. When he has arrived at this stage of humility, therefore, he should repeat the words of Jesus. “When you have done everything that was commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants, we have done what it was our duty to do’” (Lk 17:10).
This is genuine humility, as preached in the Gospel.”
Thought for the Day – 18 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Veneration and Imitation of the Saints
“The worship of the Saints, is an act of veneration (dulia), not of adoration (latria), which can be given only to God. It is wrong to imagine, as many Protestants do, that by praying to and venerating the Saints, we subtract something from the homage we owe to God. The veneration of the Saints and the adoration of God are entirely distinct activities. Moreover, the Saints are the faithful servants of God and intercede with Him on our behalf. By venerating and invoking them. we honour the Giver of all holiness.
If anyone, on the other hand, were to disregard the worship of God, in favour of devotion to the Saints, he would be making a serious mistake. A person who goes into a Church and rushes over to a Statue of the Blessed Virgin or of one of the Saints, without giving a thought to the Living and Eeal Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist, is developing false and sentimental piety!”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
“And so I say to you, you are Pter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
“I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle; I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ. I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with Your beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know, is the rock upon which the Church is built.” (cf Le lettere I, 15, 1-2)
St Jerome (343-420) Father & Doctor od rhw Church
“Yes, the Apostle chosen to be His co-worker, merited to share, the same Name as Christ. They built the same Building together – Peter does the planting, the Lord gives the increase and it is the Lord, too, Who sends those, who will do the watering (cf 1 Cor 3:6f).”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 18 January – Feast of the Chair of St Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Matthew 16:13-19
“Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the Wisdom and Power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, Angels served Him. … And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. Thus, even though there are many Priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. …
The Lord asks all the Apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance. But when the Lord demands to know, what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he, who is the first in dignity of the Apostles. As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you. Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you. It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover Me but He, Whose only Son I am.
“And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested My Divinity to you, so I Am making known your superiority to you. “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11). But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My Strength and, what I have by virtue of My Power, you have in common with Me, by the fact,, that you participate in it. “On this rock I will build my Church” … On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to Heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church ( 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecration).
PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.
Saint of the Day – 18 January – Saint Prisca (1st Century) Child Virgin Martyr. Born to the imperial Roman hristian nobility and died by being stabbed with a sword in 275 in Rome, Italy. Also known as – Priscilla, Prisque.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In the City of Rome, the holy Virgin and Martyr Prisca; after many tortures she gained the Crown of Martyrdom under Emperor Claudius II (about 270).”
Born to Christian parents of a noble family, Prisca was raised during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. While Claudius did not persecute Christians with the same fervour as other Roman Emperors, Christians still did not practice their faith openly. In fact, Prisca’s parents went to great lengths to conceal their faith and thus they were not suspected of being Christians.
Prisca, however, did not feel the need to take precaution. The young girl openly professed her dedication to Christ and eventually, she was reported to the Emperor. Claudius had her arrested and commanded her to make a sacrifice to Apollo, the pagan god of the sun.
According to the legend, Prisca refused and was tortured for disobeying. Then, suddenly, a bright, yellow light shone about her and she appeared to be a little star.
Claudius ordered that Prisca be taken away to prison, in the hopes that she would abandon Christ. When all efforts to change her mind were unsuccessful, she was taken to an amphitheatre and thrown in with a lion.
As the crowd watched, Prisca stood fearless. According to legend, the lion walked toward the barefoot girl and then gently licked her feet. Disgusted by his thwarted efforts to dissuade Prisca, Claudius had her stabbed to death with a sword.
Seventh-century accounts of the grave sites of Roman Martyrs refer to the discovery of an epitaph of a Roman Christian named Priscilla in a large catacomb and identifies her place of interment on the Via Salaria as the Catacomb of Priscilla.
Feast of the Chair of St Peter: In 1960, Pope John XXIII removed from the General Roman Calendar, the 18 January Feast of the Chair of Peter, Two Liturgical Feasts were celebrated in Rome, in Honour of Chairs of Saint Peter, one of which was kept in the Baptismal Chapel of St Peter’s Basilica, the other at the Catacomb of Priscilla. The dates of these celebrations are 18 January and 22 February. The two Feasts were included in the Tridentine Calendar with the rank of Double, which, in 1604, Pope Clement VIII raised to the rank of Greater Double. Those traditional Catholics. who do not accept the changes made by Pope John XXIII, continue to celebrate both Feast days: “Saint Peter’s Chair at Rome” on 18 January and the “Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch” on 22 February. https://anastpaul.com/2017/02/22/feast-of-the-chair-of-st-peter-22-february/
Thought for the Day – 17 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Vicissitudes of Life
“There are three kinds of trials which we have to expect:
(a) Suffering in the guise of illness or accidents.
(b) The insults, lack of understanding and ingratitude of our fellowmen.
(c) Temptations and allurements of sin.
We must make a spiritual preparation at the beginning of everyday and surrender ourselves with filial confidence into the hands of God. Sorrows, illness and misfortune may come. Let us offer ourselves to God in our morning prayer. Like Jesus and with Jesus, let us bow beneath the cross, which is laid upon us.
Perhaps men will insult us and misunderstand us. Let us accept all this with resignation and love for God and our neighbour, whoever he may be. In this, we shall be like our Divine Redeemer, Who, when He was nailed to the Cross, not only forgave but prayed to His Eternal Father, for those who had Crucified Him.
The enchantment of sin may disturb the peace and purity of our soul. In this matter especially, we must prepare to resist, from the very beginning of the day. We must intercede with God, fervently renew our resolutions and turn our attention, when necessary, to other worthwhile thoughts and activities. Let us never panic but place our trust in God. He will enable us to conquer!”
One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Readings: Ecclus 45:1-6, Luke 12:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)
“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 does not 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 St Anthony Abbot, 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.
Excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry)
I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need; the wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward; the Word of God to give me speech, His Heavenly Host to be my guard. Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course; of few or many, far or nigh, in every place and in all hours against their fierce hostility, ……. Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three, of whom all nature hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word. Praise to the Lord of my salvation: Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 January – Blessed Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch (c 720-c 802) Priest, Monk, Hermit. Born in c 720 in Bavaria (in modern Germany) and died in c 802 of natural causes.
“Such was his kindness of heart, that he used to buy the little birds caught by the peasants, in order to set them free. He never allowed his servants to work in the fields or woods, if bad weather threatened. He valued, above everything, peace and concord and kept the peace among his parishioners, as far as he possibly could.” – from “The Little Bollandists” by Monsignor Paul Guérin, 1882
Gamelbert was of noble descent and a Lord of Michaelsbuch. After a pilgrimage to Rome, Gamelbert became a Priest and then the Parish Priest in Michaelsbuch, Germany for over 50 years.
In the mid-8th Century he acquired from Duke Tassilo III a piece of woodland on the opposite bank of the Danube between Mariaposching and Deggendorf, for which he had to pay a tax known as the Medema. From this was derived the name of Metten both for the place itself and for the Monastery which he established there, Metten Abbey..
The first Abbot was Gamelbert’s Godson Blessed Utto (Feast day 3 October), who directed the construction of the Monastery from his hermitage (the present Uttobrunn). In 766 twelve monks arrived from Reichenau Abbey as the first official occupants, although the place was well settled by then
In art, Gamelbert is represented as a Priest or as a pilgrim surrounded by birds.
Blessed Gamelbert was Beatified on 25 August 1909 by Pope Saint Pius X (cultus confirmed).
St Achillas of Sketis St Amoes of Sketis St Antony of Rome Bl Euphemia Domitilla Blessed Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch (c 720-c 802) Priest St Genitus St Genulfus St Jenaro Sánchez Delgadillo St John of Rome Bl Joseph of Freising St Julian Sabas the Elder St Marcellus of Die St Merulus of Rome St Mildgytha St Nennius St Neosnadia St Pior St Richimir
Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Help of God
“There are several passages in Sacred Scripture which emphasise clearly and effectively, our utter weakness and dependence on God. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” says St Paul, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).
Jesus warns us, that without Him, we can do nothing: “Without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). He uses the allegory of the vine and the branches as an illustration of this. I am the vine, He says and you are the branches. So it is necessary for you to remain united to me and I to you. In the same way as a branch that does not live on, in the vine, can yield no fruit of itself, so you can do nothing, if you do not live on in Me. If anyone does not remain united to Me, he will be like a withered branch which is thrown into the fire to be burned (Jn 15),
We must remain united to Jesus, therefore, if we wish to do anything good and to merit everlasting life. Otherwise, the supernatural life of grace will not be transmitted to us. If Jesus is not there, death comes into our souls. Let us remain close to our Divine Redeemer. If we continue to live in Him, He will give us everything we ask, as He has promised: “If you abide in me and, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you” (Jn 15:7).
Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: John 2:1-11.
“Do whatever he tells you.”
“You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.”
“Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, … he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor
“ True spiritual life consists in this: that man keep his eyes on God all the time, long for nothing but for God, keep nothing in mind but God, begin every single action,in God’s name and direct it to Him.”
St Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539)
“You see, my children, the Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven (Mt 6:20). So our thinking must go to where our treasure is. The human person has a beautiful task, to pray and to love. You pray, you love – that is the human being’s happiness on earth.”
One Minute Reflection – 16 Januaryr – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:6-16, John 2:1-11.
“This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him…” – John 2:11
REFLECTION – “The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing, to those who know, that God is its Author. Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year. That which the servants poured into the jars, was changed into wine by the action of the Lord – in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine, through the same action of the Lord. And yet, we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear. Yet, it is far more worthy of our attention, than what took place in the jars filled with water. Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God, Who directs and governs the whole world? Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and, as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles? If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there, that astounds the observer. But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator. This is why God reserves to Himself, the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him.”…St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people. Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may love Your glory, manifest around us in all the great deeds of Your Word. Grant us love and peace in our day and may the prayers of The Holy Mother of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour and all Your Saints and Martyrs, lead us home to You. We make our prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 January– Second Sunday after Epiphany
Give me Yourself, O My God By St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
Give me Yourself, O my God, give Yourself to me. Behold I love You and if my love is too weak a thing, grant me to love You more strongly. I cannot measure my love to know how much it falls short of being sufficient but let my soul hasten to Your embrace and never be turned away, until it is hidden in the secret shelter of Your presence. This only do I know, that it is not good for me when You are not with me, when You are only outside me. I want You in my very self. All the plenty in the world which is not my God is utter want. Amen
Saint of the Day – 16 January – Saint Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) Papal Ascension May-June 308. Also known as – Marcel, Marcelo. Patronage – Stablemen.
Nothing of Marcellus’ life before his papacy has survived the centuries. He became Pope at the end of the persecutions of Diocletian in aound 3089. The persecutions had disrupted the Church so much, that there had been a gap of over a year without a Pope.
Once he was elected, he faced several challenges, including reconsituting the clergy, which had been decimated and whose remnant had practiced their vocation only covertly and with the expectation of martyrdom. He worked hard to recover and welcome back all who had denied the faith in order to keep from being murdered.
When a group of the apostatised, known as the Lapsi, refused to do penance, Marcellus refused to allow their return to the Church. Some of these caused such civil disruption that Emperor Maxentius exiled the Pope in order to settle the matter.
Legend says that Marcellus was forced to work as a stable slave as punishment, however we do know that he died of the terrible conditions he suffered in exile and is considered a Martyr because of that.
The account in the Liber Pontificalis continues: “But although he served many days in the stable, he did not cease his service to the Lord with prayers and fastings. Moreover, in the ninth month, all his clergy came by night and removed him by night from the stable. A certain matron and widow whose name was Lucina, who had lived with her husband Marcus for 15 years and had been 19 years a widow, received the blessed man. And she dedicated her house as a Church in the name of the blessed Marcellus and there day and night the Lord Jesus Christ was confessed with hymns and prayers.”
This is the Church known in modern times as San Lorenzo in Lucina where a Basilica was subsequently built in the mid-4th century, restored and embellished numerous times throughout the centuries. Traces of the original Roman structure may be seen amidst the foundations even to this day.
The Liber Pontificalis continues: “But Maxentius heard of it and sent and seized the blessed Marcellus a second time and gave orders that in that very Church, boards should be laid down and the animals of the stable should be collected and kept there and the blessed Marcellus should tend them. And he died in the service of the animals, clad only in a hair shirt.
And the blessed Lucina took is body and he was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Via Salaria, 16 January.
And the Bishopric was empty 20 days.
Lucina herself was condemned by proscription.”
The remains of the Martyred Pope were later transferred to the Basilica of San Marcello al Corso in Rome. An epitaph of Pope Saint Marcellus, written by Pope Damasus about 80 years after Marcellus’s Martyrdom, was found in the cemetery of Priscilla.
St Juana Maria Condesa Lluch Bl Konrad II of Mondsee St Leobazio St Liberata of Pavia St Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) Martyr, Papal Ascension May-June 308 St Melas of Rhinocolura St Priscilla of Rome St Sigeberht of East Anglia St Titian of Oderzo St Triverius St Valerius of Sorrento
Thought for the Day – 15 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Beggars of God
“Both in the natural and in the supernatural order, we are in continual need of the help of God. We did not exist and God, in His infinite goodness, created us. It is He, Who preserves us in existence from day to day and from moment to moment. The act of conservation, is like a continuous creation. If God did not sustain us, we should return immediately to the dust from which we came: “Remember, man, that dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).
We are continually dependent on our Lord and Creator for our existence and activity. If we remained always aware of this tremendous fact, we would never offend God. We would show Him a filial gratitude and humbly implore His assistance.
We are so poor and He is so rich. We are so weak and He is so strong. We are blind and He is the true Light, which illumines every man who comes into the world (Jn 1:9). Ask for God’s help with confidence, perseverance and resignation to His Holy Will. As St Augustine says, we are the beggars of God!”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – Readings: Phillippians 3:7-12, Matthew 11:25-34
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls…”
“For in prosperity, a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chastens and humbles him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity, the mind is elated, and in prosperity. a man forgets himself. In hardship, he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity, a man often destroys the good he has done. Amidst difficulties, he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness.”
St Alfred the Great (849-899) King
“How can you become a sharer, in His glory (1 Pt 5:1) if you will not consent, to become a sharer, in His humiliating death?”
St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)
“Arm yourself with prayer, instead of a sword; be clothed with humility, instead of fine raiment.”
St Dominic de Guzman OP (1170-1221)
“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) Angelic Doctor of the Church
“ … If you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“If humble souls are contradicted, they remain calm; if they are calumniated, they suffer with patience; if they are little esteemed, neglected, or forgotten, they consider this their due; if they are weighed down with occupations, they perform them cheerfully. ”
One Minute Reflection – 15 January – Readings: Philippians 3:7-12, Matthew 11:25-30 and the Feast of Our Lady of Banneux (1933)
“Although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike”– Matthew 11:25
REFLECTION – “The fact ,that the all-powerful God has been able to humble Himself even to the humility of the human condition, constitutes a greater proof than the impact and supernatural character of miracles. Indeed, when divine power effects something of great sublimity, this is, after a fashion, in conformity with and appropriate to, God’s nature… On the other hand, that God descended even to our lowliness is, in a certain way, the expression of an overwhelming power, that is not in the least restrained, by what is contrary to its nature…
Neither the expanse of the heavens, the brightness of the stars, the governing of the universe, nor the harmony of created things, reveal the splendid power of God as much as His indulgence, which leads Him to lower Himself to the weakness of our nature… God’s goodness, wisdom, justice and power are revealed in His plans on our behalf: goodness in His will to “save that which was lost” (Lk 19,10); wisdom and justice in His manner of saving us; power in the fact that Christ became “in the likeness of men” (Phil 2,7-8) and made Himself conformable to the humility of our nature.” – St Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Catechetical Discourse 23-26 ; SC 453).
PRAYER – Holy God, our Father, we turn to You in confidence as children and pray, give us meekness of heart, make us “poor in spirit” that we may recognise that we are not self-sufficient, that we are unable to build our lives on our own but need You, we need to encounter You, to listen to You, to speak to You. Help us to understand that we need Your gift, Your wisdom, which is Jesus Himself, in order to do the Your will in our lives and thus to find rest in the hardships of our journey. May the prayers of His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Banneux, help us to learn the true humility of Your divine Son. Grant this, we pray, through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 January – Mary’s Saturday
Mary, Mother of Grace By St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him Who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called, full of grace. Remember us, most Holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, O Virgin full of graces. Amen
Saint of the Day – 15 January – Saint Romedius of Nonsberg (Died 4th Century or 11th Century) Hermit, Penitent., Pilgrim. Born in Thaur, Tyrol, Austria and died in the 4th Century in Salzburg, Austria of natural causes. Also known as – Romedio of Hohenwart, Romedio of Salzburg, Romedio of Sanzeno, Romedio of Thaur. Romedio. Additional Memorial – 1st Sunday in October (translation of relics). Patronages – against accidents, against bone diseases, against danger at sea, against fever, against fire, against floods, against hail, against headaches, against toothaches, of prisoners, theology students, travellers. Canonised on 24 July 1907 by Pope Pius X (cultus confirmation).
The Roman Martyrology states: “In the Val di Non in Trentino, St Romedius, an anchorite, who, having given his possessions to the Church, led a life of penance in the hermitage that still bears his name today.”
Romedius was the son and heir of the wealthy Count of Thaur, the lord of a castle near Innsbruck and owner of salt pans in the valley of the River Inn. After a pilgrimage to Rome, Romedius gave all his possessions to the Church, withdrawing into a hermitage in grottoes in the Val di Non. he was accompanied by two companions, Abraham and David.
A later date emerges from the history of his works and extensive research. It is most likely that Romedius came from the family of the Counts of Andechs , lived in the 11th century, gave up his fortune in Thaur and joined the then spreading mendicant movement. After a visit to the Bishop of Trento , he visited the Martyrs’ graves of Alexander , Martyrius and Sisinniusin Sanzeno. It is believed that he died at the age of 74.
Romedius is often depicted alongside or astride a bear. According to his hagiography he wanted to visit the friend of his youth, St Vigilius, Bishop of Trento (who died in 405) but his horse was torn to pieces by a wild bear. Romedius, however, had the bear bridled by his disciple David. The bear became docile and carried Romedius on its back to Trento.
Upon Romedius’ death, his body was laid to rest in a small tomb above his cave in the mountains, a site that was soon visited by pilgrims. The Sanctuary of San Romedio grew from the little Church that was built to venerate him, to a popular pilgrimage site. The Santuario di San Romedio is across the lake from Cles at the head of the Val di Non, above the village of Sanzeno. The Sanctuary where Romedius lived with his bear companion, is now a complex of several Churches, from the Romanesque period to the 20th century beyond a gateway on the forested slopes. Votive offerings of crutches line the walls of the narrow stone stairwell up to the highest chapel, said to mark the site of the Saint’s retreat.
His local cult, which consolidated itself in the course of the 11th century, was officially recognised in the twelfth by the Bishop of Trento. In 1795, permission was given for special offices in his name in the Diocese of Brixen, which at that time, included the Northern Tyrol. His cult remains popular in Trentino, Bavaria, and the Tyrol.
Romedius’ Bear In remembrance of this legend, in 1958 Italian Senator G. G. Gallarati Scotti, honorary member of the committee for the foundation of the World Wildlife Fund in Italy, purchased Charlie, a bear intended to be killed and donated it to the Sanctuary of San Romedius, in the Valle di Non.
Today, the Province of Trentino protects the last brown bears of the Alps in the Adamello-Brenta National Park and, near the Sanctuary, takes care of young bears born in captivity in Trentino.
In the work known as Illustrissimi, a collection of letters written by Pope John Paul I when he was Patriarch of Venice, Romedius’ bear is one of the “recipients” of the letters.
St Blaithmaic of Iona St Bonitus of Clermont St Britta St Ceolwulf of Northumbria St Emebert of Cambrai St Ephysius of Sardinia St Eugyppius St Francis Ferdinand de Capillas Bl Geoffrey of Peronne Bl Giacomo Villa St Gwrnerth St Habakkuk the Prophet St Isidore of Scété St Isidore the Egyptian St Ita of Killeedy St John Calabytes St Liewellyn St Lleudadd of Bardsey St Macarius of Egypt St Malard of Chartres
St Maurus OSB (c 512-584) Benedictine Monk, Abbot and Deacon, miracle-worker. Maurus was the first disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (512–584). He is mentioned in Saint Gregory the Great’s biography of the latter as the first oblate, offered to the Monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy, to be brought up in the monastic life. The formula and blessing of St Maurus were universally adopted and approved for use in the Blessing of the Sick. His Life and Miracles: https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/15/saint-of-the-day-15-january-saint-maurus-osb-c-512-584/
Bl Peter of Castelnau St Placid St Probus of Rieti St Romedio of Nonsberg St Sawl St Secondina of Anagni St Secundina of Rome St Tarsicia of Rodez St Teath
Martyrs of Suances – 5 Beati: A Priest and four laymen in the Archdiocese of Burgos, Spain who were Martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. • Blessed Donato Rodríguez García • Blessed Emilio Huidobro Corrales • Blessed Germán García y García • Blessed Valentín Palencia Marquina • Blessed Zacarías Cuesta Campo They were martyred on 15 January 1937 near Suances, Cantabria, Spain The Beatification was celebrated in Burgos, Spain, presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato.
Thought for the Day – 14 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Proper Use of Time
“The high value of the divine gift of time imposes an obligation on us to avoid laziness. The obligation to avoid sin, is still greater. Sin is the most serious way in which we can abuse this gift of God. It is also an act of deep ingratitude, in that, we turn this treasure which God has bestowed on us, into a weapon to be used against the Giver of every good. To use time properly, it is necessary to direct all our actions, intentions and desires towards God, Who is the source of our being and the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.
If everything we do, intend, or desire, springs from our love of God and is aimed at the manifestation of His glory and the expansion of His kingdom upon earth, then, even our most humble and apparently indifferent actions, are precious in the sight of the Mos High and receive His blessing. But, if we are working for ourselves, for our own satisfaction and petty glorification, we ruin everything. All that we do is barren. If we seek ourselves instead of God, we shall hear Him say one day: “You shall have no reward with your Father in Heaven”(Mt 6:1).
Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger than when it is attacked, never better known than when it is accused, never more powerful than when it appears forsaken.”
(Treatise on the Trinity)
“The Church is the Ship outside which it is impossible to understand the Divine Word, for Jesus spoke from the boat to the people gathered on the shore.”
“No matter how sinful one may have been, if he has devotion to Mary, it is impossible that he be lost.”
“Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind, opens the road to Heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones.”
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 5:13-19 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace. In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed. No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised. 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 (An excerpt from Sermo 51).
PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary was a shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
I Owe You a Most Particular Duty By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
I am well aware, Almighty God and Father, that in my life, I owe You a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word, speak of You. In fact, You have conferred on me, this gift of speech and it can yield no greater return than to be at Your service. It is for making You known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God and preaching this, to the world, that knows You not and to the heretics, who refuse to believe in You. … Grant that I may express what I believe. Amen
Excerpt from a Sermon On the Trinity (Lib 1, 37-38: PL 10, 48-49) by Saint Hilary of Poitiers. It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast of St Hilary, today.