Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
“Besides being our infallible teacher, the Church is also our affectionate Mother. Along with the inexhaustible treasury of His graces, it has inherited, from Jesus, His infinite love fo all mankind. Let us consider what the Church does and has done for us. As soon as we are born into this mortal life, She gives us, through the waters of Baptism, a second life, which is supernatural and everlasting. When we are a little older and exposed to the onslaughts of evil, She stengthens us in gace by means of another Sacrament and makes us soldiers of Christ. She raises us up. In the Sacament of Penance, She gives us God’s forgiveness and the spiritual strength to rise agin. Moeover, She gives us Jesus Christ Himself, in the Blessed Eucharist. By means of another Sacament, she elevates those who receive the power of Orders. In yet another, She blesses and consecrates matrimonial love and the pure marriage union. When we are dying, She comes, compassionately to our side again and, through the final Sacrament, gives us strength and purity of purpose, for the great journey into eternity. Nor is this enough. She is present with her prayers and blessings, even by our coffin nd by our graveside.
We owe the Church more than obedience! We owe Her our love! We should love very much, this good Mother, who accompanies us from the cradle to the grave, from our birth upon earth, to our spiritual birth into everlasting happiness!” Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
“The Church, instituted by the Lord and confirmed by the Apostles, is one for all men; but the frantic folly of the diverse impious sects, has cut them off from her. It cannot be denied, that this tearing asunder of the faith, has arisen from the defect of poor intelligence, which twists what is read, to confirm to its opinion, instead of adjusting its opinion to the meaning of what is read. However, while individual parties fight among themselves, the Church stands revealed, not only by her own doctrines but by those also, of her adversaries. And although they are all ranged against her, she confutes the most wicked error which they all share, by the very fact that she is alone and one. All the heretics, therefore, come against the Church but while all the heretics can conquer each other, they can win nothing for themselves. For their victory is the triumph of the Church over all of them. One heresy struggles against that teaching of another, which the faith of the Church has already condemned in the other heresy – for there is nothing which the heretics hold in common, – and, the result is that they affirm our faith, while fighting among themselves.”
St Hilary (315-368) Bishop of Poitiers Father and Doctor of the Divinity of Christ
“For nothing more glorious, nothing nobler, nothing surely, more honourable can be imagined, than to belong to the One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, in which we become members of one Body as venerable as it is unique; are guided by one supreme Head; are filled with one divine Spirit; are nourished during our earthly exile by one doctrine and one heavenly Bread, until at last, we enter into the one, unending blessedness of heaven. But lest we be deceived, by the angel of darkness, who transforms himself into an angel of light, let this be the supreme law of our love – to love the Spouse of Christ, as Christ willed her to be and as He purchased her with His blood.”
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) “Mystici Corporis Christi” 1943
“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19
REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why divine grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others. Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). (…) But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because he had it in mind, to confer numerous people on him and he feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers. He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – On the apostle Peter and the prophet Elijah
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.
Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) – 22 February:
Our Lady of Rennes, in Britanny. The English, having made a mine to blow up the town, it is said that the candles in theCchapel were found miraculously lighted; the bells rung of themselves and the image of the Blessed Virgin was seen to stretch out its arms towards the middle of the Church, where the mine was, which, by that means was discovered. The people rushed to the spot and so, the plot was discovered and the entire town saved through the intervention of Our Lady of Rennes. Great was the rejoicing and deep the gratitude of the people. Known today as the Basilica of Saint Sauveur in Rennes, it is located in the heart of historic Rennes, which was once the capital of Brittany. It is situated at the termination of Saint-Sauveur Street on which its façade faces. As the original Gothic Church partially collapsed in the year 1682, the Classical style Church that can currently be seen, was constructed beginning in 1703 and consecrated in August of 1719. In the year 1793, during the French Revolution, the Church was made into a Temple of Reason and the miraculous statue of Our Lady was destroyed. It was not until 1802, after the end of the Terror, that the Church was opened again to worship. The Church was made into a minor Basilica in 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.
According to popular tradition there was a famous miracle attributed to Our Lady at Rennes during the War of Succession at Brittany. As Rennes was being besieged by the invading English army under the Duke of Lancaster, the people of the city expected the English forces to mine their way under the walls into the City. On the night of 8 February 1357, the Church bells began to ring of their own accord and the candles were spontaneously lit. The Statue of Our Lady, known as Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, pointed out a particular slab in the Church. The inhabitants of the city thus were alerted to the mine and the point of the English attack, and were able to repulse the invasion. The miracle was a popular subject for ballads, especially the troubadour Cavalier. In 1634 the miracle was officially recognised by the Bishop of Rennes, Pierre Cornulier. There are many miracles attributed to Our Lady, including the miraculous healing of Magdalene Morice in the year 1761. She had gangrene in her right foot which was instantly healed on Easter Sunday. The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues currently displayed at the Basilica was placed there in February of 1876. In 1684 a boy of eleven left home for the City of Rennes, in hopes of enrolling at the Jesuit College of Thomas a Becket. The young Louis-Marie was an intelligent boy who was taken under the guidance of the Jesuit Priests and it was at Rennes that he began to consider a possible vocation to the Priesthood. It was here, at the Shrine of Our Lady at Rennes, that Saint Louis de Montfort made the final decision to become a Priest. Amen! We thank our Lady for giving us St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort!
St Maximian of Ravenna St Miguel Facerías Garcés St Mohammed Abdalla St Papias of Heirapolis St Paschasius of Vienne St Raynerius of Beaulieu St Thalassius — Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.
Thought for the Day – 2 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Purification of Our Lady
“Today, the Church commemorates the Presentatio of the Child Jesus in the temple ad the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These ceremonies were carried out, in order to comply with a twofold Mosaic law. One part of this law referred to women who had become mothers; the other pat was concerned with first-born male children. According to the first law, a mother was officially regarded as impure for forty days after she had given birth to a child. When this period was over, she had to present herself in the temple and make an offering of a lamb and a turtledove. If she were poor, she could substitute a second young pigeon for the lamb (Cf Lev 12). The second law (Cf Es 13:2, 34:19; Num 8:16; Lev 27:26) commanded the mother to offer and consecrate to God, her first-born son. She was to do this in memory of the miracle in Egypt when the Angel of God destroyed all the first-born sons of the people of the country and spared those of the Israelites. In later times, when the ritual worship of God became the special obligation of the tribe of Levi, the first-born sons of the other tribes, had to be presented in the temple and bought back by an offering.
It is quite clear, that Jesus and Mary were not bound by this twofold law. But they voluntarily subjected themselves to it, in order to give an example of humility and obedience.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord
“And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God ..…”
“We must be burning with love and radiant with good deeds and so take up Christ in our hands with Simeon. Could anyone hold up a lighted candle in his hands on this day, without at once remembering that old man, who on this same day, took up in his arms Jesus, God’s Word, clothed in flesh like a candle-flame clothed in wax and affirmed Him to be “the Light which would be a beacon for the Gentiles.”
Bl Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157)
“She, the holy Mother of God, must go to the Temple like other Hebrew mothers, as though she had lost something, which needed restoring by a legal sacrifice. He, that is the Son of God and Son of Man, must be treated in all things, as though He were a servant and be ransomed in common. with the poorest Jewish boy. Mary adores the will of God and embraces it with her whole heart. … She was in the Temple of Jerusalem, what she was in the house of Nazareth, when she received the Archangel’s visit; she was the Handmaid of the Lord.”
Servant of God Abbot Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875)
One Minute Reflection – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord, Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, Psalm 24:7-10, Hebrew 2:14-18, Luke 2:22-40
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace …” Luke 2:29
REFLECTION – “A woman touched the tassel on Jesus’ cloak and she was cured.” (cf. Mt 9:20). If this woman gained so many benefits from touching the border of His cloak, what are we to think of Simeon who “took the child in his arms” and, holding him, gave himself up to rejoicing as he perceived, that he was carrying the Child who had come to “proclaim liberty to captives” (Lk 4:18) and that he himself, was about to be set free from the constraints of the body? He recognised, that no one could release someone from the prison-house of the body, in hope of the life to come, except He whom he held in his arms. And it was to Him that he spoke, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace. For so long as I was not holding Christ, so long as I was not cradling Him in my arms, I was held fast and unable to escape from my bonds.”
Moreover, not Simeon alone but the whole human race, is to be understood by these words. If anyone leaves this world, if anyone is set free from prison and the place of captivity, to gain the royal throne, he should take Jesus in his hands and wrap his arms around Him; he should draw Him wholly to his heart. Then, leaping for joy, he will be able to go wherever He wills.” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest and Theologian, Father of the Church – Homilies on Saint Luke’s Gospel, no 15
PRAYER – O Light of All the Earth! Prayer, Morning Hymn for the Feast of the Presentation Liturgy of the Hours
Hail to the Lord who comes, comes to His temple gate, not with His angel host, not in His kingly state.
But borne upon the throne of Mary’s gentle breast, thus to His Father’s house He comes, the heavenly guest.
There Joseph at her side, in reverent wonder stands and, filled with holy joy, old Simeon in his hands, takes up the promised Child, the glory of all lands.
The world’s true light draws near, All darkness to dispel, the flame of faith is lit and dies the power of hell.
Our bodies and our souls, are temples now for Him, for we are are born of grace – God lights our souls within.
O Light of all the earth! We light our lives with Thee, the chains of darkness gone, all sons of God are free.
Our Morning Offering – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
Prayer for the Feast By Servant of God Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)
O Blessed Mother, the sword is already in your heart. You foreknow the future of the Fruit of your womb. May our fidelity in following Him, through the coming mysteries, of His public life bring some alleviations to the sorrows of your maternal heart. Amen
Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February
Besides commemorating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, this day has another meaning, for it is called Candlemas Day. The candle is one of the most widely used sacramentals in the Church; one blessed in a special Mass.
We use candles at Baptism, at Mass and other church devotions, at the Ordination of a Priest, the Consecration of a Bishop, at Easter, at Christmas to signify the coming of Christ. Two blessed candles should be in every home, to use in times of sickness, death, storms and calamities.
In the blessing of candles, the Church reminds us, that the candles signify light; they are blessed for the service of mankind, for health of body and soul, for those who desire to carry them in their hands with honour. Christ, the true Light and Fire of Charity, is asked to bless these candle,; to dispel the darkness of night, to free us from the blindness of vice and to discern what is pleasing to Him and profitable for our salvation.
On the Feast of Mary’s Purification, we greet her with lighted candles – shining with faith and understanding, burning with love and zeal, as Sion welcomed Christ the King; today we go to Christ through Mary, to Christ, the new Light that gives Faith, Hope and Charity to us all.
The two-fold Jewish rites, to which the Holy Family submitted on this occasion, were the legal purifying of the mother after childbirth and the offering of the first-born male child to the Lord. They showed reverence for the Father’s Law, by fulfilling its obligations and so, the Mother submitted to the Purification in all humility.
Angels beheld in wondering awe, what was the greatest event the Temple had ever witnessed. It was nothing less than the second coming of the Lord to His Temple, which the prophets had foretold. At the Presentation, God the Son made Man, took possession of the Temple built for His Father’s glory and so, ratified the worship which is offered to God in sacred courts, churches.
This simple ceremony is the link between the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption; here the Saviour renews the oblation of Himself; “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not but a body Thou hast fitted to me. Then, I said: “Behold, I come: in the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God.”
Jesus really begins His Passion in this mystery of the Presentation and so, too, Mary begins her dolors. It is by Mary’s hands, that Jesus makes the oblation, which is the prelude to His Sacrifice. We honour the Presentation among the Joyful Mysteries but it is also, first in place among Mary’s Sorrows.
Simeon enlightened by the Holy Spirit, understood the mystery and so, too, did Mary. After his first transports of joy at seeing the Messiah, he blessed them and said to His Mother, “Behold this Child is set for the fall and the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted and thy own soul, a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”
This prophecy reminds us, that Mary is always to be associated with the destiny of Jesus, the one solitary partner of His lot, singled out to suffer with Him. Heresies that pierced the Son have trans-pierced the Mother. The early Church guarded the doctrines of Jesus by defining Mary’s titles; today, those who repudiate the honour of Mary, turn from the Son also; in the mind of satan as in the mind of the Church, the honour of Son and Mother go together.
The Church of Jerusalem was the first to celebrate this Feast. On this day, also, a procession was held to the Constantinian basilica. The Armenians still keep the day on 14 February and call it “The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple.” The Greeks called it “Hypapante” the meeting of the Child Jesus and His Mother with Simeon and Anna in to Temple.
This Feast reminds us how intimately Mary is associated with her Son in the work of Redemption. We welcome Her Child to our hearts with love and faith, we bless the Mother, too, for she had “not spared her life by reason of the distress and tribulation of her people but has prevented our ruin, in the presence of our God.”
Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord – also known as Candlemas – 2 February: The feast commemorates the purifying of the Blessed Virgin according to the Mosaic Law, 40 days after the birth of Christ and the presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple. The feast was introduced into the Eastern Empire by Emperor Justinian I and is mentioned in the Western Church in the Gelasian Sacramentary of the 7th century. Candles are blessed on that day in commemoration of the words of Holy Simeon concerning Christ “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles” (Luke 2) and a procession with lighted candles is held in the church to represent the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem. “Candlemas” is still the name in Scotland for a legal term-day on which interest and rents are payable (2 February). Patronages – Jaro, Philippines, Western Visayas, Philippines.
Our Lady of the Candles – (formally known as Nuestra Señora de la Purificación y la Candelaria) is a Marian title and image venerated by Filipino Catholics. The image, which is enshrined on the balcony of Jaro Cathedral, is known as the patroness of Jaro District of Iloilo City and the whole of the Western Visayas. The feast day of Our Lady of the Candles is on Candlemas (2 February) and is celebrated in Iloilo City with a Solemn Pontifical Mass presided by the Archbishop of Jaro.
St Adalbald of Ostrevant St Adeloga of Kitzingen St Agathodoros of Tyana St Andrea Carlo Ferrari St Apronian the Executioner St Bruno of Ebsdorf St Burchard of Wurzburg St St Candidus the Martyr St Columbanus of Ghent St Cornelius the Centurion St Felician the Martyr St Feock St Firmus of Rome St Flosculus of Orléans St Fortunatus the Martyr St Hilarus the Martyr St Jeanne de Lestonnac St Lawrence of Canterbury Bl Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson Blessed Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934) Her Life: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/02/saint-of-the-day-2-february-blessed-maria-domenica-mantovani-1862-1934/ St Marquard of Hildesheim St Mun Blessed Peter Cambiano OP (1320-1365) Priest and Martyr St Rogatus the Martyr St Saturninus the Martyr St Sicharia of Orleans St Simon of Cassia Fidati Bl Stephen Bellesini St Theodoric of Ninden St Victoria the Martyr — Martyrs of Ebsdorf: Members of the army of King Louis III of France under the leadership of Duke Saint Bruno of Ebsdorf. The martyrs died fighting invading pagan Norsemen, and defending the local Christian population. Four bishops, including Saint Marquard of Hildesheim and Saint Theodoric of Ninden, eleven nobles, and countless unnamed foot soldiers died repelling the invaders. They were martyred in the winter of 880 in battle at Luneberg Heath and Ebsdorf, Saxony (modern Germany).
Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Readings: Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9: 1-22, Psalms 117:1, 2, Mark 16:15-18
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
“ … He is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer or the sake of my name.”
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
“The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. … To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments, the pain of that loss, would alone, have been hell and endless, unbearable torture.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father ad Doctor of the Church
“The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul, was changed from a robbing wolf into a meek lamb. Formerly, he was an enemy of the Church, then, is manifest as an Apostle. Formerly, he stalked it, then, preached it.”
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to vthe whole creation.” – Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is and in what our nobility consists and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day, he aimed ever higher; each day, he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: “I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead”… The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor
PRAYER – Great convert Teacher of the Faith Who never ceased from preaching Christ, Saint Paul impart to us your zeal, That we may reach the joys unseen.
All glory to the Trinity, Forever honour, sov’reignty, To God Almighty be all praise, Beginning and the End of all.
St Agape the Martyr St Agileus of Carthage St Amarinus of Clermont St Ananias of Damascus Blessed Antonio Migliorati OSA (1355-1450) Priest Bl Antoni Swiadek St Apollo of Heliopolis St Artemas of Pozzuoli St Auxentius of Epirus St Bretannion of Tomi St Donatus the Martyr St Dwynwen St Emilia Fernández Rodríguez de Cortés St Eochod of Galloway St Joel of Pulsano St Juventinus of Antioch Bl Manuel Domingo y Sol St Maximinus of Antioch St Palaemon St Poppo of Stavelot (977-1048) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/25/saint-of-the-day-25-january-saint-poppo-of-stavelot-977-1048/ St Praejectus of Clermont St Publius of Zeugma St Racho of Autun St Sabinus the Martyr
Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
“ … Sin is washed away by the waters of the font, the Holy Spirit is poured forth in the chrism and we obtain both of these gifts, through the hands and the mouth of the Priest. Thus the whole man is reborn and renewed in Christ.”
St Pacian (c 310–391) Bishop of Barcelona
“He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the Great Light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the Light of Heaven.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church’s Unity
One Minute Reflection – 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord , Readings: Isaiah 55:1-11, Isaiah 12:2-3,4,5-6, 1 John 5:1-9, Mark 1:7-11
“I have baptised you with water but he will baptise you, with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:8
REFLECTION – “Today, the Lord Jesus has come to be baptised. He wanted to wash His body in the water of the Jordan. Someone might say: “Why did He who was the Holy One want to be baptised?” So listen. Christ was baptised, not in order to be sanctified by the water but so that He, Himself would sanctify the water and would purify the waves, that He touched by His personal action. Thus, we have to do with the consecration of the water much more than with that of Christ. For the moment the Lord was washed, all the waters became pure in view of our baptism. The spring was purified so that grace might be obtained for the people who would come afterwards. Thus Christ was the first to go to His baptism, so that the Christian people might follow Him without hesitation. And in this I perceive a mystery. Did not the column of fire go ahead into the Red Sea in this way, so as to encourage the children of Israel to walk behind it? It crossed the water first so as to break a path for those who would follow. According to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, this event was a symbol of baptism (1 Cor 10:1f.). Without any doubt, when the people were covered by the cloud and carried by the water, it was a kind of baptism. And all that was fulfilled by the same Christ our Lord, who in the column of His body now precedes the Christian people to baptism, just as He preceded the children of Israel across the sea, in the column of fire. The same column, which in times past enlightened the eyes of those who were walking, now gives light to the hearts of the believers. Then it marked a solid path in the waves, now in this bath, it strengthens the steps of faith.” – St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420) Bishop – Sermon for the feast of the Epiphany
PRAYER– By the Benedictines of Stanbrook When Jesus comes to be baptised, He leaves the hidden years behind, The years of safety and of peace, To bear the sins of all mankind.
The Spirit of the Lord comes down Anoints the Christ to suffering, To preach the word, to free the bound And to the mourner comfort bring.
Our everlasting Father, praise, With Christ, His well-beloved Son, Who with the Soirit reigns serene, Untroubled Trinity in One. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
O Christ, our Master and God St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Christ, our Master and 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 mankind, 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 Things, for the forgiveness of sins and for life everlasting. For You are the bread of Life, the Fountain of holiness and the Bestower of blessings and to You, we give glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now nad forever and ever. Amen
Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
It was love which inspired the Magi. Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus. Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts! As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered his graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls. In that moment of adoration, they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance. With deep interior joy, they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them. A pious tradition maintains, that they apostles and Saints and, in fact, the Church venerates them as such, today.
We should follow the example of the Magi and promise, before the cradle of the Infant Saviour, that we shall face any sacrifices, even death, rather than offend Him and shall work, in every way possible, for His glory and our sanctification.”
“… They fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” … Matthew 2:11
REFLECTION – “But if with careful thought we wish to see how their threefold kind of gift is also offered by all who come to Christ with the foot of faith, is not the same offering repeated in the hearts of true believers? For he that acknowledges Christ the King of the universe brings gold from the treasure of his heart, he that believes the Only-begotten of God to have united man’s true nature to Himself, offers myrrh and he that confesses Him, in no wise, inferior to the Father’s majesty, worships Him in a manner with incense.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – “Give me, therefore, I pray Thee, this gold, this incense and this myrrh. Give me the gold of Thy holy love, give me the spirit of holy prayer, give me the desire and strength to mortify myself in everything that displeases Thee. I am resolved to obey Thee and to love Thee but Thou knowest my weakness, oh, give me the grace to be faithful to Thee!” … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 6 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Songs of Thankfulness We Raise By Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885) (1862)
Songs of thankfulness we raise, Jesu, Lord, to Thee we raise manifested by the star to the sages from afar, Branch of royal David’s stem in Thy birth at Bethlehem. Anthems be to Thee addressed, God in man made manifest.
Manifest at Jordan’s stream, Prophet, Priest and King supreme, and at Cana wedding-guest in Thy Godhead manifest, manifest in power divine, changing water into wine. Anthems be to Thee addressed, God in man made manifest.
Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord, Mirrored in Thy holy Word. May we imitate Thee now And be pure, as pure art Thou, That we like to Thee may be, At Thy great Epiphany And may praise Thee, ever blessed, God in flesh made manifest. Anthems be to Thee addressed, God in man made manifest.
Sun and moon shall darkened be, stars shall fall, the heavens shall flee. Christ will then like lightning shine. All will see His glorious sign. All will see the Judge appear, all will then the trumpet hear, Thou by all wilt be confessed, God in man made manifest. Anthems be to Thee addressed, God in man made manifest
Christopher Wordsworth (b. Lambeth, London, England, 1807; d. Harewood, Yorkshire, England, 1885), nephew of the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth, wrote this hymn in five stanzas.
The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord – Epiphany celebrates the visit of the three kings or wise men to the Christ Child, signifying the extension of salvation to the Gentiles. The date of Epiphany, one of the oldest Christian feasts, is 6 January the 12th day after Christmas. However, in most countries, the celebration of Epiphany is transferred to the Sunday that falls between 2 January and 8 January (inclusive). Greece, Ireland, Italy and Poland continue to observe Epiphany on 6 January as do some dioceses in Germany. Because Epiphany is one of the most important Christian feasts, it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries.
St Demetrius of Philadelphia St Diman Dubh of Connor St Edeyrn St Eigrad St Erminold of Prüfening St Felix of Nantes Bl Frederick of Saint-Vanne Bl Gertrud of Traunkirchen Bl Gertrude van Oosten St Guarinus of Sion St Guy of Auxerre St Honorius St Hywyn of Aberdaron St Juan de Ribera (1532-1611) Bishop St Julian of Antinoë St Julius Bl Luc of Roucy Bl Macarius the Scot St Macra of Rheims St Merinus St Nilammon of Geris St St Petran of Landévennec St Peter of Canterbury St Pia of Quedlinburg St Pompejanus St Rafaela Porras y Ayllón Bl Raymond de Blanes Bl Rita Amada de Jesus St Schotin St Wiltrudis of Bergen — Martyrs in Africa: Unknown number of Christian men and women who were martyred in the persecutions of Septimus Severus. They were burned to death c 210.
Martyrs of Sirmium – 8 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only surviving details are the names of eight of them – Anastasius VIII, Florianus, Florus, Jucundus, Peter, Ratites, Tatia and Tilis. They were martyred in the 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Vojvodina, Serbia).
Twelve Apostles – Saints of Ireland: Twelve 6th century Irish monks who studied under Saint Finian at Clonard Abbey and then spread the faith throughout Ireland. Each has his own commemoration but on this day they and their good work are considered and celebrated together. Though Saint Finian is sometimes included, most ancient writers list them as – • Brendan of Birr • Brendan the Navigator • Columba of Iona • Columba of Terryglass • Keiran of Saighir • Kieran of Clonmacnois • Canice of Aghaboe • Lasserian of Leighlin • Mobhí of Glasnevin • Ninnidh the Saintly of Loch Erne • Ruadh´n of Lorrha • Senan of Iniscathay
Quote/s of the Day – 3 January – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
“Faith in Jesus and in the power of His Holy Name is the greatest spiritual force in the world today. It is a source of joy and inspiration in our youth; of strength in our manhood, when only His Holy Name and His grace, can enable us to overcome temptation; of hope, consolation and confidence at the hour of our death, when more than ever before, we realise, that the meaning of Jesus is ‘Lord, the Saviour.’ We should bow in reverence to His Name and submission to His Holy Will.”
Bl Henry Suso (1290-1365)
“Was it not through the brilliance and sweet savour of this Name, that God called us into His marvelous light?”
St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)
“If thou are bound down by sickness, if sorrows weary thee, if thou are trembling with fear, invoke the name of Jesus.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 January – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24
“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21
REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.
But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him, and for Him, and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves, and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace
PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord
“If anyone does not believe that Holy Mary is the Mother of God, such a one is a stranger to the Godhead.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“That anyone could doubt, the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God, fills me with astonishment. Surely, she must be the Mother of God, if our Lord Jesus Christ is God and she gave birth to Him!”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor
“Having confidence in you, O Mother of God, I shall be saved. Being under you protection, I shall fear nothing. With your help, I shall give battle to my enemies and put them to flight, for devotion to you, is an arm of Salvation.”
St John Damascene (676-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“What shall we say, brethren? Is she not our mother? Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother. Through her we are born, not to the world but to God.”
But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19
REFLECTION – “Is not Mary the Mother of Christ? Then she is our Mother also. And we must in truth hold that Christ, the Word made Flesh, is also the Saviour of mankind. He had a physical body like that of any other man and again, as Saviour of the human family, He had a spiritual and mystical body, the society, namely, of those who believe in Christ. “We are many, but one sole body in Christ” (Rom. xii., 5). Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God, merely in order, that He might be made man taking His human nature from her but, also in order, that by means of the nature assumed from her, He might be the Redeemer of men. For which reason, the Angel said to the Shepherds: “To-day there is born to you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Wherefore, in the same holy bosom of His most chaste Mother, Christ took to Himself flesh and united to Himself, the spiritual body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour within her, may be said to have also carried, all those whose life was contained in the life of the Saviour. Therefore, all we who are united to Christ and, as the Apostle says, are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary, like a body united to it’s head. Hence, though in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all children of Mary and she is Mother of us all. … If then, the most Blessed Virgin is the Mother at once of God and men, who can doubt that she will work with all diligence to procure that Christ, Head of the Body of the Church (Col 1:18), may transfuse His gifts into us, His members and above all, that of knowing Him and living through Him (I John 4:9)?” – Saint Pius X (1835-1914) – Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum” §10-11
PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother and a heavenly mother through our Saviour, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.
Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Bl Adalbero of Liege St Baglan of Wales St Basil of Aix Bl Bonannus of Roio St Brogan St Buonfiglio Monaldi Bl Catherine de Solaguti St Clarus of Vallis Regia St Clarus of Vienne St Colman mac Rónán St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan St Concordius of Arles St Connat St Cuan St Demet of Plozévet St Elvan St Eugendus of Condat St Euphrosyne of Alexandria St Fanchea of Rossory St Felix of Bourges St Frodobert of Troyes St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) About St Fulgentius! https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/01/saint-of-the-day-1-january-saint-fulgentius-of-ruspe-c-462-533-the-pocket-augustine/ St Gisela of Rosstreppe St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée St Joseph Mary Tomasi St Justin of Chieti Bl Lojze Grozde St Maelrhys St Magnus the Martyr Bl Marian Konopinski St Mydwyn St Odilo of Cluny OSB (962-1049) Priest, Monk, 5th Abbot of Cluny St Odilo of Stavelot St Peter of Atroa St Peter of Temissis Bl René Lego St Sciath of Ardskeagh St Severino Gallo St Telemachus St Thaumastus of Mainz St Theodotus St Tyfrydog Bl Valentin Paquay St Vincent Strambi St William of Dijon St Zedislava Berka St Zygmunt Gorazdowski — Breton Missionaries to Britain Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez
Quote/s of the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18
“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.”
“Thus, parents, I say, are more vicious, more cruel than child-murderers; for, a murderer of children, as Herod was, separates only the body from the soul; while the others, give the souls and bodies of their children to eternal flames! Further, those who are killed would have died in the course of time, though they had not been murdered; while children, neglected by their parents, might have avoided eternal death, had not the wickedness of their parents prepared it for them. Besides this, the general resurrection would have compensated for the bodily death, while the death and destruction of the soul, nothing can restore. A child, condemned by the parent’s fault, has no hope of salvation but has to suffer eternal pains. Hence I am right in saying, that such parents are worse than child-murderers.”
One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18
When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. – Matthew 2:16
REFLECTION – “The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1 Jn 2:6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God’s children but if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8:16f.) … Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness’s sake (Gn 4:8) …; let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who … overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3) … What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the Apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness’ sake, have they not taught us also to die?
The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the martyrdom of infants, so that they who were two years old and under were slain for His name’s sake. An age, not yet fitted for the battle, appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they who are slain for Christ’s sake are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for His name’s sake … How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered! … The Son of God suffered that He might make us sons of God and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God! … The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world … remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15:18-20).” – St Cyprian of Carthage (c.200-258) Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church – Letter 55
PRAYER – We praise You, O God, we acclaim You as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise You. (from the Te Deum).
Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave.
O Dearest Infant By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O dearest Infant, tell me what You came on earth to do. Tell me whom You are seeking. Ah, yes, I now understand… You have come to die for me, a lost sheep, in order that I may no more hide from You but love You. O Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love, my all, if I do not love You, then whom shall I love? Where can I ﬁnd a mother or father, a friend, or a spouse more loving than You? And who has ever loved me more than You have? I am sorry that I have lived so many years in this world and yet still love You so little, even having offended You and sometimes forgotten You. Amen
BL Claudia Weinhardt St Conindrus St Domitian the Deacon St Domnio of Rome St Eutychius St Gowan of Wales Bl Gregory of Cahors Bl Hryhorii Khomyshyn St Iolande of Rome Bl Johannes Riedgasser Blessed Matthia de Nazzarei OSC (1253-1319) Virgin, Nun Bl Nicolas Mello Bl Otto of Heidelberg St Romulus St Simon the Myroblite St Theonas of Alexandria St Theodore of Tabenna St Troadius of Pontus — 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians who were murdered during in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) during the persecutions of Diocletian. Many of them were killed en masse when they were ordered, during Christmas Mass, to sacrifice to idols; when they refused, they were locked in the churches and the buildings burned around them. We know some details of a few of them, but most are known only to God. The names we have are – Agape, Anthimos, Domna, Domna, Dorotheus, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Euthymius, Glykerios, Gorgonius, Hilary, Indes, Mardonius, Mardonius, Maximus, Migdonius, Migdonus, Peter, Peter, Theophila, Theophilus and Zeno. 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey).
Martyrs of Africa – (3 saints): Three Christians murdered together in Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are their names – Castor, Rogatian and Victor.