Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – He is in them by the Presence of His Spirit and in them He is seen.

One Minute Reflection – 2 May – Thursday of the Second week of Easter, Gospel: John 3:31–36 and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) – Father and Doctor of the Church and St Antoninus OP (1389-1459), Gospel:  John 3:31–36

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…John 3:34,36

REFLECTION – “The sanctification or, rather, the deification of the nature of man, is one main subject of St Athanasius’s theology.   Christ, in rising, raises His Saints with Him to the right hand of power.   They become instinct with His life, of one body with His flesh, divine sons, immortal kings, gods.   He is in them, because He is in human nature and He communicates in them that nature, deified by becoming His, that them It may deify.   He is in them by the Presence of His Spirit and in them He is seen.”…Bl John Henry Newman (1801-1890)he does not ration his gift john 3 34 - he is in them by the presence - bl john henry newman 2 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, whose name is holy and whose mercy is proclaimed in every generation, send forth Your Spirit into our hearts and grant that, faithfully pondering on all that is holy, we may ever live in the splendour of Your presence.   Listen we beseech You, to the prayers we request from St Athanasius and St Antoninus, to help us on this earthly journey.   We make our prayer through Christ, Your Son our Lord and Saviour, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever

st antoninus - pray for us 2 may 2019


Posted in DOMINICAN, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 May – Saint Antoninus of Florence OP (1389-1459) “Antoninus the Counsellor”

Saint of the Day – 2 May – Saint Antoninus of Florence OP (1389-1459) Archbishop of Florence, Dominican Priest and Friar, Confessor, spiritual director, apostle of mercy, theologian, writer, reformer, Prior of the Order. Born as Antonio Pierozzi (also called de Forciglioni) on 1 March 1389 in the city of Florence and died on 2 May 1459 at Florence, Italy.   Known as “Antoninus the Counsellor”.   Patronages – Moncalvo, Turin, Italy, University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, Manila, Philippines, Saint Antoninus Parish, Municipality of Pura, Tarlac Philippines.header snip st antoninus.JPG

Anthony Pierozzi, born on 1 March 1389, was soon nicknamed “Antoninus” (“Little Anthony”), either because of his small stature or his weak health.   Thus began the life of the future Saint Antoninus born to noble parents in Florence, Italy.

The influence of the Dominicans on Antoninus’ early life led him to seek admittance to the Dominican Order at the age of 15.   Antoninus approached the prior of the convent in Fiesole, Blessed Brother John Dominic (c 1355–1419, with his request to be admitted to the Order.   Perhaps noticing the weak health of the aspirant and not wishing to give an outright refusal to Antoninus’ request, Brother John Dominic told him to come back once he had memorised the Decretum of Gratian, or the Code of Canon Law at the time.   To the prior’s surprise, the youth returned within the year having accomplished the task required of him.   He was thus admitted to the Order.

The love and zeal he had as a novice never left Antoninus.   He became a great reformer more by example than by word.   Elected prior at a young age, Antoninus served as superior for many years.   He, like his brothers in St Dominic and St Thomas Aquinas, was concerned with the formation of the friars of the Order of Preachers.   Hence he prepared the Summa Moralis, a systematic and comprehensive presentation of Christian Moral Theology, which he wrote, as he said, during the summer and the winter of his life. Antoninus’ writings treated the practical aspects of living the faith.   His writings were a major development in the field of moral theology.   St Antoninus also wrote a biography of Blessed John Dominic and a history of the antoninus bishop of florence op.jpg

Antoninus’ devotion to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spiritual counsel earned him the title of Antoninus the Counsellor.   Such was his ability to instruct and to guide others.

Antoninus accepted into the Order Brother John of Fiesole, the future artist, Fra Angelico (c 1395–1455).   Having an eye for recognising the gifts of others, Antoninus instructed Fra Angelico to prepare his own Summa Moralis, not in words but through his painting. Hence when the new convent of San Marco was built, Prior Antoninus had Fra Angelico grace each of the friar’s cells with a painting based on a scene from the life of Christ.

After he was appointed Archbishop of Florence, Antoninus’ residence became known as the hostel for the poor, such was his generosity and service for victims of poverty.   His sensitivity to the needs of others led him to found the “Men of St Martin,” in order to offer quiet support to the wealthy who had become indigent.   Hence, the Archbishop lived out the works of mercy.

The Alms of St Antoninus by Lorenzo Lotto

He came to win the esteem and love of his people, especially by his energy and resource in combating the effects of the plague and earthquake in 1448 and 1453.    Antoninus lived a life of austerity as archbishop, continuing to follow the Dominican Rule.   His relations with the Medici regime were close but not always harmonious, with his serving several times as an ambassador for the Republic to the Holy See during the 1450s.ST ANTONINUS ARCHBISHOP OF FLORENCE.jpg

St Antoninus died on 2 May 1459 and Pope Pius II conducted his funeral.   The pope happened to be on his way to the Council of Mantua when he heard of the archbishop’s death.   The archbishop’s wish was that he be buried at the priory which he had founded in the city.  st sntoninus incorrupt body.JPG

He was Canonised on Trinity Sunday, 31 May 1523 by Pope Adrian VI, who himself held ideas of radical and drastic church reform similar to those of Antoninus.

Eternal God, you blessed Saint Antoninus with a marvellous gift of counsel.   By the help of his prayers, while we walk in the darkness of this life, may we learn from the light of Christ all that we ought to do.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen800px-Collezione_loeser,_busto_di_sant'antonino,_stucco_dipinto,_xv_sec.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Memorials of the Saints – 2 May

St Athanasius (c295-373) – Father and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

St Alpin de Châlons
St Antoninus of Florence OP (1389-1459)

Bl Bernard of Seville
St Bertinus the Younger
Bl Boleslas Strzelecki
Bl Conrad of Seldenbüren
St Cyriacus of Pamphylia
St Eugenius of Africa
St Exsuperius of Pamphylia
St Felix of Seville
St Fiorenzo of Algeria
St Gennys of Cornwall
St Germanus of Normandy
St Gluvias
St Guistano of Sardinia
St Joseph Luu
Bl Juan de Verdegallo
St Longinus of Africa
St Neachtain of Cill-Uinche
St Theodulus of Pamphylia
St Ultan of Péronne
St Vindemialis of Africa
St Waldebert of Luxeuil
St Wiborada of Saint Gall
Bl William Tirry
St Zoe of Pamphylia

Martyrs of Alexandria – 4 saints: A group of Christians marytred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names – Celestine, Germanus, Neopolus and Saturninus. 304 in Alexandria, Egypt


Saint of the Day – Saint Pope Pius V (1504-1572)

Saint of the Day – Saint Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572) – born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, OP) 17 January 1504 at Bosco, diocese of Alessandria, Lombardy, Italy, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572.   He died on 1 May 1572 in Rome, Italy, apparently of a renal disorder caused by kidney stones.   He was a reformer, an apostle of prayer and charity, a great organiser, Marian devotee and apostle of the Holy Rosary, lover of the Holy Cross.  Pius V was highly ascetic.  pius v rosary.jpgHe wore a hair shirt beneath the simple habit of a Dominican friar (for which reason he is often attributed with the institution of the White cassock worn by the Holy Father) and was often seen in bare feet.  In the time of a great famine in Rome he imported corn at his own expense from Sicily and France, a considerable part of which he distributed among the poor and sold the rest to the public at a very low price.  After the papal election, instead of hosting an elaborate banquet, he ordered that the food be given to people in real need.   Tradition holds that he once restored a beggar’s severed foot.header Pius_V_Santi_Giovanni_e_Paolo_Venice_-_Pope_Pius_V_by_Bartolomeo_Letterini.jpg

He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, the Battle of Lepanto and the standardisation of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

As a cardinal, Ghislieri gained a reputation for putting orthodoxy before personalities, prosecuting eight French bishops for heresy.   He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year-old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the papal treasury.

By means of the papal bull of 1570, Regnans in Excelsis, Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for heresy and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states to combat the advancement of the Ottoman Empire in Eastern Europe.  4_30_Pope St Pius V lepanto 3 bestAlthough outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.   St Pius V attributed the victory to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.   Biographers report that as the Battle of Lepanto ended, Pius rose and went over to a window, where he stood gazing toward the East. “…Looking at the sky, he cried out, ‘A truce to business, our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army’.”st pius v  vision.jpg

Pope Pius V was from a poor Italian family and had entered the Dominican order at age 14.   A teacher, a master of novices, a bishop and finally a cardinal, he was a strict and honest man, as well as a zealous reformer.   He wept when he was told in 1566 that he had been elected pope.   The 18-year-long Council of Trent had ended 3 years before and he, as Holy Father, had the task of implementing it.

The previous pope had been easygoing but Pius V made immediate changes.   At first, the people complained that the atmosphere of Rome became like that of a monastery.   But soon the pope’s personal character changed their minds.   He ordered that the gifts given at his coronation be sent to hospitals and to those in need.   The Church finances were examined, the army was reduced and the lifestyles of the cardinals and bishops were simplified.   Seminaries were established, synods were held, dioceses were organised, and parish priests were called to regular meetings.   A new catechism was completed.   Parish priests were made responsible for Catholic education.   The Roman Missal became the sole Mass book for the Western Church (with a few minor exceptions) for four centuries.

His first care as Pope was to reform the Roman court and capital by the strict example of his household and the severe punishment of all offenders.   He next endeavoured to obtain from the Catholic powers the recognition of the Tridentine decrees, two of which he urgently enforced-the residence of bishops and the establishment of diocesan seminaries.

He revised the Missal and Breviary and reformed the ecclesiastical music.   Nor was he less active in protecting the Church.

We see him at the same time supporting the Catholic King of France against the Huguenot rebels, encouraging Mary Queen of Scots, in the bitterness of her captivity and excommunicating her rival the usurper Elizabeth, when the best blood of England had flowed upon the scaffold and the measure of her crimes was full.

But it was at Lepanto that the Saint’s power was most manifest, there, in October, 1571, by the holy league which he had formed but still more by his prayers to the great Mother of God, the aged Pontiff crushed the Ottoman forces and saved Christendom from the Turk.Chapel_of_Pius_V_Santi_Giovanni_e_Paolo_(Venice)_-_Pope_Pius_V_by_Bartolomeo_Letterini

St Pius was accustomed to kiss the feet of his crucifix on leaving or entering his room. One day the feet moved away from his lips.   Sorrow filled his heart and he made acts of contrition, fearing that he must have committed some secret offence but still he could not kiss the feet.   It was afterwards found that they had been poisoned by an enemy.St pius v cross.jpg

After only six years as pope, Pius V died of a painful disease, of which he had never complained.   He was buried in the chapel of St Andrea which was close to the tomb of Pope Pius III, in the Vatican. Although his will requested he be buried in Bosco, Pope Sixtus V built a monument in the chapel of SS. Sacramento in the Liberian basilica. His remains were transferred there on 9 January 1588.  The front of his tomb has a lid of gilded bronze which shows a likeness of the dead pope. Most of the time this is left open to allow the veneration of the saint’s remains.640 tomb-Roma-Santa_Maria_Maggiore01

tomb - Pius_V_head_Wiki
Portrait of Pius V by Pierre Le Gros on the tomb

In 1696, the process of Pius V’s canonisation was started through the efforts of the Master of the Order of Preachers, Antonin Cloche.   He also immediately commissioned a representative tomb from the sculptor Pierre Le Gros the Younger, to be erected in the Sistine Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.   The pope’s body was placed in it in 1698.   Pope Pius V was beatified by Pope Clement X in the year 1672 and was Canonised by Pope Clement XI (1700–21) on 22 May 1712.

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman declared that:

 “St Pius V was stern and severe, as far as a heart burning and melted with divine love could be so … Yet such energy and vigour as his were necessary for the times.   He was a soldier of Christ in a time of insurrection and rebellion, when in a spiritual sense, martial law was proclaimed.”St_Pius_V-.jpg

st pius V lepanto 2


Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – Catherine

Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

“What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why? For God is in love with all those things
and He might weep when they are gone!”what-is-it-you-want-to-change-st-catherine-of-siena-29-april-2018.jpg

“All the way to heaven IS heaven
because Jesus said,
“I am the way.”all the way to heaven IS heaven - st catherine of siena - 29 april 2019

“Speak the truth in a million voices.
It is silence that kills!”speak the truth in a million voices - st catherine of siena - 29 april 2019.jpg

“Turn over the rudder in God’s name
and sail with the wind,
heaven sends us.”

St Catherine of Siena OP (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church

More St Catherine quotes here: over the rudder - st catherine of siena 29 april 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 29 April – “A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window”

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 3:1–8 and the Memorial of St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

“…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”...John 3:6

REFLECTION – “We read in Saint John – No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.   To be reborn in the Holy Spirit during this life is to become most like God in purity, without any mixture of imperfection.   Accordingly, pure transformation can be effected – although not essentially – through the participation of union.

Here is an example that will provide a better understanding of this explanation.   A ray of sunlight shining on a smudgy window, is unable to illumine that window completely and transform it into its own light.   It could do this, if the window were cleaned and polished… The extent of illumination is not dependent on the ray of sunlight but on the window.   If the window is totally clean and pure, the sunlight will so transform and illumine it, that to all appearances the window will be identical with the ray of sunlight and shine just as the sun’s ray.   Although, obviously, the nature of the window is distinct from that of the sun’s ray, even if the two seem identical, we can assert, that the window is the ray or light of the sun by participation.

The soul on which the divine light of God’s being is ever shining, or better, in which it is ever dwelling by nature, is like this window.   A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God.   When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”…St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Churchjohn 3 6 that which is born of the spirit - a ray of sunlight - st john of the cross - 29 april 2019

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, grant that Your faithful people who were buried with Your Son in baptism, may by His Resurrection and intercession at Your right hand, obtain for us eternal life.   Send Your Spirit upon Your adopted children and lead us in Your way.   Grant that by the intercession of St Peter of Verona, our path may be straightened and glow with Your light.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, peter of verona pray for us 29 april 2019


Saint of the Day – 29 April – St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252)

Saint of the Day – 29 April – St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252) also known as St Peter Martyr – Dominican Priest and Friar, a celebrated Preacher, miracle-worker, Marian devotee.   He served as Inquisitor in Lombardy, was killed by an assassin and was Canonised 11 months after his death, making his the fastest Canonisation in history. Patronages – inquisitors, midwives, Castelleone di Suasa, Italy, Verona, Italy, diocese of, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. St Peter is the the first Canonised martyr of the Dominican PeterMartyr-400x526

In the English-speaking part of the world especially, all too little is known about this illustrious Friar Preacher.   Possibly this is in part due to the well-known bias in England against the old-time inquisition, which spread thence into the colonies founded by that country, for Saint Peter was closely connected with that institution.   Indeed, by not a few he is considered as a man without a heart.   Yet he was most compassionate.   His character was rounded out by an admirable strength of will and a mind so judiciously balanced that he neither shrank from duty, whatever the sacrifice, or even danger, it involved, nor allowed his heart to control his judgement.

Father Thomas Agni of Leontino, another noted Dominican, archbishop of Cosenza and later patriarch of Jerusalem, was the first to write a life of the blessed martyr.   His testimony should he all the more reliable because he lived for many years with Saint Peter of Verona, had been his superior and was an eye-witness of the principal events in his life.   The work shows no signs of undue predilection.   Agni’s original manuscript was for long years at Saint Mark’s Convent, Florence. Another, with some additions by Father Ambrose Taegio, was preserved in the Convent of Nostra Donna delle Grazie, Milan.

Peter was born in Verona, Italy in 1205, of parents who had embraced the heresy of Cartharism but he did attend a Catholic school.   He was educated at the University of Bologna and was accepted into the Dominican Order by Dominic himself.  st peter martyr beautiful lg

Because the Dominicans were theologically trained preachers, the popes entrusted the Inquisition to them.   In 1234, Pope Innocent IV recognised Peter’s virtues (severity of life and doctrine, talent for preaching, and zeal for the orthodox Catholic faith) and appointed him Inquisitor in Lombardy.   He spent about six months in that office and it is unclear whether he was ever involved in any trials.   His one recorded act was a declaration of clemency for those confessing heresy or sympathy to heresy.   In 1251 his jurisdiction was extended to most of northern Italy. Although he attracted huge crowds with his preaching, as an inquisitor he also made enemies.

Marvellously filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he laboured continually for the propagation and defence of the true faith, being zealous for its promotion among the people.   To this end he established the Association of the Faith and the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   He was a fervent of promoter of community and fraternal life and served the brethren wisely as a prior.   He was also greatly solicitous for the spiritual good of the sisters, lovingly assisting them with his advice and exhortations to their spiritual benefit.

In his sermons he denounced heresy and also those Catholics who professed the Faith by words but acted contrary to it in deeds.   Crowds came to meet him and followed him, conversions were numerous, including many Cathars who returned to orthodoxy.

Because of this, a group of Milanese Cathars conspired to kill him.   They hired an assassin, one Carino of Balsamo.   Carino’s accomplice was Manfredo Clitoro of Giussano. On 6 April 1252, when Peter was returning from Como to Milan, the two assassins followed Peter to a lonely spot near Barlassina and there killed him and mortally wounded his companion, a fellow friar named Domenico.SaintPeterTheMartyr'sAssasination.JPG

Carino struck Peter’s head with an axe and then attacked Domenico.   Peter rose to his knees and recited the first article of the Symbol of the Apostles (the Apostle’s Creed). Offering his blood as a sacrifice to God, according to legend, he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground: “Credo in Deum” “I believe in God”, the first words of the Apostles’ Creed.   The blow that killed him cut off the top of his head but the testimony given at the inquest into his death confirms that he began reciting the Creed when he was attacked.   Domenico was carried to Meda, where he died five days peter of verona icon

The murderer Carino, renounced heresy, became a Dominican co-operator brother and died with a reputation for sanctity.  He is the subject of a local cult as Blessed Carino of Balsamo.

Wherever he went, the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lame and people sick with every kind of ailment were brought to him.   Ordinarily all were benefited by his prayers.  They praised God for the power of healing which He had given His Peter-of-Verona-Full-e1425844752637-400x454.jpg

Peter of Verona and with reason, was considered a learned doctor.   Yet he ever continued to store his mind with new knowledge, whether through prayer, meditation, or reading the Sacred Writings.   The example which he set his religious brethren showed them by what means they could perfect themselves in their state of life and make themselves useful to the Church.   Never did his degree of Master in Sacred Theology cause him to neglect study.   Study never prevented him from being the first at all the regular exercises.   Well did he know how to combine the practices of the cloister with the labours of the apostolic petermartyr1

In private conversation, just as in his sermons, he stimulated the faithful with his personal sentiments of love for the Blessed Virgin.   Because of his influence in their favour the Servites (they were investigated to ensure their orthodoxy) have ever regarded Peter of Verona in the light of a second founder of their order.   After his Canonisation, they placed him on the list of their holy patrons and protectors.

The Bull of Canonisation was sent at once to all bishops and ecclesiastical superiors, with an order that the feast of Peter of Verona should he celebrated every year on 29 April. This day was chosen for the celebration because that of his martyrdom, 6 April often falls in Holy Week, or within the octave of Easter.   Alexander IV and several of his successors, prescribed that the feast should he of the same obligation as that of Saint Dominic. Finally, Clement X, by a papal decree, ordered that the feast of Saint Peter Martyr should have the rank of a duplex for the whole Church.   This was in 1670 and the practice is in use today, wherever the Roman breviary is recited.

However, veneration of Peter of Verona is especially noteworthy in the Order of Friars Preacher and in that of the Servites.   It is particularly the case in Italy, the land of his birth, the field of his labours and the place of his holy death.   There many are the churches, chapels and confraternities erected in his peter martyr of verona

The body of the martyr is still preserved and venerated in a magnificent chapel of Saint Eustorgio, Milan.   Princes and noblemen of France, Germany, England and Italy (particularly the archbishops of Milan) imitated the king and queen of Cyprus with their rich gifts for the enshrinement of the saint’s relics.   At each time of their various translations (1253, 1340, 1651 and 1736) many miracles were wrought.   Suffice it to say that the Acta Sanctorum, in the third volume for April, where they treat of our martyr, give a long list of attested wonders worked by him.tomb of st peter martyr 439px-Lombardia_Milano4_tango7174.jpg

Saint Thomas of Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, was an ardent admirer of Peter of Verona.  In 1263 he visited the martyr’s sepulchre.   While at Saint Eustorgio’s Convent, the great theologian and poet wrote the following verses in eulogy of the valiant athlete of the faith, which were afterwards engraved on a marble slab and placed near his tomb, where they may still he read:

Here silent is Christ’s Herald.
Here quenched, the People’s Light.
Here lies the martyred Champion
Who fought Faith’s holy fight.
The Voice the sheep heard gladly,
The light they loved to see
He fell beneath the weapons
Of graceless Cathari.

The Saviour crowns His Soldier.
His praise the people psalm.
The Faith he kept adorns him
With martyr’s fadeless palm.

His praise new marvels utter,
New light he spreads abroad
And now the whole wide city
Knows well the path to God.