Thought for the Day – 1 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Feast of All Saints
“Today’s feast should inspire in us, a burning desire to become holy. Men long for many things in this world, things which are often useless and, even sinful. They desire riches, pleasure, honours, success and material comfort. These things may be lawful but, they cannot satisfy the human heart, which is made for God. Whenever we achieve any of our ambitions in this world, are we in fact, happy or even perfectly satisfied? The truth is, that we are not! because, the soul is greater than the objects which surround us. God alone can fill and satisfy it.
Sanctity should be our principal ambition. We should yearn to be more closely united to God, so that His Divinity may be reflected in our thoughts and in our actions. If we enjoy God’s friendship, we shall become more like God and shall be lifted up above petty mundane considerations. Perhaps, we doubt our ability to reach such a high spiritual level? Even so, we should, nevertheless, desire to reach it and, not just in a passing and indifferent manner but, constantly and actively. We should keep our desire alive by repeating it to ourselves and by continually praying for God’s grace to fulfil it. “I intend to become holy,” said little Dominic Savio and he kept the promise which he had made to God. Many people have formed the same resolution, both desert hermits and University professors, both humble workmen and rulers of nations. Since we ought to have the same intention, what is there to prevent us? Let us make this resolution now and put it into effect, with the help of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints
“Let listening to worldly news be BITTER FOOD for you and let the words of Saintly men be as combs filled with honey.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The Saints must be honoured as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God. Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share, their crowns of glory.”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Those in the Catholic Church, whom some rebuke for praying to Saints and going on pilgrimages, do not seek any Saint as their saviour. Instead, they seek Saints, as those whom their Saviour loves and whose intercession and prayer, for the seeker, He will be content to hear. For His Own sake, He would have those He loves honoured. And when they are thus honoured for His sake, then, the honour that is given them, for His sake, overflows especially to Himself.”
St Thomas More 1478-1535) Martyr
“Be often reading the lives of the saints for inspiration and instruction.”
St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
“God, because of the great love He bears us and His great desire to see us saved, has given us, among other means of salvation, the practice of devotion to the Saints. It is His will that they, who are His friends, should intercede for us and, by their merits and prayers, obtain graces for us, which we ourselves do not deserve.”
St Alphonsus Maria Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
“Every so often, unite oneself interiorly with the Saintly souls who serve God and praise Him… with the holy angels and all the heavenly court …”
One Minute Reflection – 1 November – The Solemnity of All Saints, Readings: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 1 John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:1-12
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” – Matthew 5:12
REFLECTION – “Rejoice in the Lord without ceasing (cf. Phil 4:4), my dear children. I beg you rejoice, citizens of heaven but exiles on earth, inhabitants of the Jerusalem on high (cf. Gal 4:26) but banished from affairs here below, inheritors of the kingdom of heaven but disinherited from taking any part at all, in earthly pleasures! Rejoice, ardent travellers, at undergoing exile and maltreatment in a foreign land in the name of the commandment of God! Rejoice, you who are last in this world but lords of blessings that exceed our understanding (cf. Phil 4:7). Rejoice, noble company, brought together by God, assembly united in heart and soul, who give life to filial and fraternal love, a replica on earth of the host of angels! (…) Rejoice, God’s workers, apostolic men. (…) Rejoice, you who set your joy in each other, each making his own the reputation of his brother, you in whom is found neither jealousy, rivalry nor envy but, in their place, peace and charity and life in common. In truth, I do not say that we are not attacked – indeed, who is crowned if not the one who struggles and fights, who exchanges thrusts and wounds with his assailants? – but I say that we should not let ourselves be brought down by the machinations of Satan. Yes, my children, assembly of God, nourish yourselves with the food of the Spirit and drink the water given by the Lord: whoever comes to possess this water will never thirst again but it will become, in Him, a spring of living water welling up to eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14). (…) Yet a little while and we shall have vanquished. And blessed shall we be; blessed also, it shall be said, are the places, family and countries that have borne you (cf. Lk 11:27-28).” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) – Catechesis 47 (The Great Catecheses)
PRAYER – Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place. May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love. Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, our trusted guide and loving mother and all you holy Saints of the Church Triumphant, pray for us! We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
All Saints Day – 1 November (Solemnity) – (a Holy Day of Obligation) Instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown. It owes its origin in the Western Church to the dedication of the Roman Pantheon in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs by Pope Saint Boniface IV in 609, the anniversary of which was celebrated at Rome on 13 May. Pope Saint Gregory III consecrated a Chapel in the Vatican Basilica in honour of All Saints, designating 1 November as their feast. Pope Gregory IV extended it’s observance to the whole Church. It has a vigil and octave and is a holy day of obligation – the eve is popularly celebrated as Hallowe’en. Patronage – Arzignano, Italy.
St Amabilis of Auvergne St Austremonius St Benignus of Dijon St Cadfan St Caesarius of Africa St Caesarius of Damascus St Ceitho St Cledwyn of Wales Bl Clemens Kyuemon St Cyrenia of Tarsus St Dacius of Damascus St Deborah the Prophetess St Dingad Bl Dionysius Fugixima St Floribert of Ghent St Gal of Clermont St Genesius of Lyon St Germanus of Montfort St Harold the King St James of Persia St Jerome Hermosilla St John of Persia St Julian of Africa St Juliana of Tarsus St Lluís Estruch Vives St Marcel of Paris St Mary the Slave St Mathurin St Meigan St Nichole St Pabiali of Wales St Pere Josep Almató Ribera Auras St Peter Absalon Blessed Peter Paul Navarra SJ (1560-1622) Priest and Martyr Bl Petrus Onizuka Sadayu St Rachel the Matriarch St Ruth the Matriarch St Salaun of Leseven St Severinus of Tivoli St Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa St Vigor of Bayeux
“In those days he departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God.” – Luke 6:12
REFLECTION – “So the Lord prays, not to entreat for Himself but to intercede for me. Although the Father placed all things in the power of His Son, yet the Son, in order to fulfil the form of a man, thinks that the Father must be entreated for us because He is our Advocate. If He is an Advocate, He must intercede on account of my sins.
It says, “He passed the whole night in prayer.” A model is given to you. A form is prescribed which you must imitate. Unless I am mistaken, it is nowhere found that He prayed with the apostles. Everywhere He entreats alone, for human prayers do not grasp the counsels of God, nor can anyone share with Christ, in the inward mysteries.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 5.)
PRAYER – Lord God, You taught us to call upon Your name, through the preaching of the Apostles. Open our eyes each day, grant that we may see Jesus Your Son at our side, open our ears that we may hear His voice, open our mouths, that we may beg forgiveness and proclaim the good news, as we follow the way Your Son carved out for us. At the intercession of Sts Simon and Jude, may Your Church continue to grow and to hope in Your love. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Lord of Miracles/Señor de los Milagros de Nazarenas: A mid-17th-century painting of the Crucifixion that is venerated in Lima, Peru and its celebration involves one of the largest processions in the world.
It was painted by an unnamed African taken to Peru as a slave from what is now Angola. Above the Cross is the Holy Spirit and God the Father. Below and to the right of Jesus, is His mother, the Virgin Mary with her heart pierced by a sword of sorrow. Kneeling and weeping at the foot of the cross is St Mary Magdalene.
The name originated on 13 November 1655 when everything around it was destroyed in an earthquake that left the painting standing and undamaged. Christ is shown enduring the pain of crucifixion. Every year in October, hundreds of thousands of devotees from all races and economic backgrounds participate in a procession honouring the image through the streets of Lima. Boulevards are decorated in purple on 18,19 and the final Feast 28 October to celebrate the Lord of Miracles.
St Abdias of Babylon St Abraham of Ephesus St Alberic of Stavelot St Anastasia the Elder St Anglinus of Stavelot St Cyril of Rome St Cyrilla of Rome St Diomedes the Younger St Dorbhene of Iona St Eadsin of Canterbury St Elius of Lyon St Faro of Meaux St Fidelis of Como (Died c 304) Soldier-Saint Martyr St Genesius of Thiers St Gioan Dat St Godwin of Stavelot St Maria Ascuncion St Remigius of Lyons St Rodrigo Aguilar Aleman St Salvius of Amiens — Martyrs of Avila – 3 saints: Two sisters and a brother who, during a period of persecution, fled Talavera de la Reina, Spain, were caught and executed. Martyrs: Christeta, Sabina and Vincent. 303 in Avila, Spain.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Claudio Julían García San Román • Blessed Maria Asuncion
Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”
“Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist
“Many indeed are the wondrous happenings of that time: God hanging from a cross, the sun made dark and again flaming out; for it was fitting that creation should mourn with it’s Creator. The temple veil rent, blood and water flowing from His side – the one as from a man, the other as from what was above man; the earth shaken, the rocks shattered because of the Rock; the dead risen to bear witness to the final and universal resurrection of the dead. The happenings at the sepulcher and after the sepulcher, who can fittingly recount them? Yet no-one of them, can be compared, to the miracle of my salvation. A few drops of blood renew the whole world and do, for all men, what the rennet does for the milk – joining us and binding us together.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The light of Christ is an endless day that knows no night.”
“Our Saviour’s passion raises men and women from the depths, lifts them up from the earth and sets them in the heights.”
St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)
“As they were looking on, so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs. We see His blood as He dies. We see the price offered by the Redeemer, touch the scars of His Resurrection. He bows His head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended, that He may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind – as He was once fixed to the cross, in every part of His body for you, so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers. All love that takes not it’s beginning from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous. Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour, unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour! Love and death are so mingled in the Passion of Our Saviour that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other. Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love, nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“Yes, my gentle Redeemer, let me say it, You are crazy with love! Is it not foolish for You to have wanted to die for me? But if You, my God, have become crazy with love for me, how can I not become crazy with love for You?”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)
Jesus, by this Saving Sign, bless this listless soul of mine. Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast, mend the missteps of my past. Jesus, with Your riven hands, bend my will to love’s demands. Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare, warm my inner coldness there. Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head, still my pride till it is dead. Jesus, by Your muted tongue, stay my words that hurt someone. Jesus, by Your tired eyes, open mine to faith’s surprise. Jesus, by Your fading breath, keep me faithful until death. Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign, save this wayward soul of mine. Amen
“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles, He was bound like a criminal, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death and burdened with a cross; finally, when He arrived at Calvary, He was nailed to the gibbet, where He shed His Precious Blood and gave His life for our redemption. Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us. “Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.” The Saints were moved to tears by the strange spectacle of God-made-man, dying on the Cross for men. What is our reaction?”
Our Morning Offering – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer and Friday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time
Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O Good Jesus, hear me. Within Your wounds hide me. Permit me not to be separated from You. From the wicked foe, defend me. At the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to You That with Your saints, I may praise You Forever and ever. Amen
For many years the prayer was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola, as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St Ignatius Loyola.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth.
The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates back to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
St Benedict of Sebaste St Clether St Domitius St Elfleda St Ethelfleda St Gratien of Amiens St Henry of Cologne St Ignatius of Constantinople Blessed John Angelo Porro OSM (1451-1505) Bl John Buoni St John of Syracuse St Oda of Aquitaine St Phaolô Tong Viet Buong St Romanus of Rouen Bl Severinus Boethius St Severinus of Cologne Syra of Faremoutiers St Theodoret of Antioch Bl Thomas Thwing St Verus of Salerno — Martyrs of Cadiz – 2 saints Germanus Servandus Martyrs of Hadrianopolis – 2 saints Dorotheus Severus Martyrs of Nicaea – 3 saints Euerotas Socrates Theodota
Martyrs of Valenciennes – 6 beati: A group of Urusuline and Briggittine nuns murdered together in the anti-Christian excesses of the French Revolution. They were guillotined on 23 October 1794 in Valenciennes, Nord, France and Beatified on 13 June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. • Anne-Joseph Leroux • Clotilde-Joseph Paillot • Jeanne-Louise Barré • Marie-Augustine Erraux • Marie-Liévine Lacroix • Marie-Marguerite-Joseph Leroux
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War including Martyrs of Manzanares (7 beati): • Agapit Gorgues Manresa • Agustín Nogal Tobar • Andrés Navarro Sierra • César Elexgaray Otazua • Cristóbal González Carcedo • Dorinda Sotelo Rodríguez • Eduardo Valverde Rodríguez • Felipe Basauri Altube • José María Fernández Sánchez • Juan Nuñez Orcajo • Leonardo Olivera Buera • Manuel Navarro Martínez • Roque Guillén Garcés • Toribia Marticorena Sola
Quote/s of the Day – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
“You should be aware that the word “angel” denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance, are called angels and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance, are called Archangels.”
St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Angels take different earthly forms at the bidding of their master, God. They thus reveal themselves to human beings and unveil the Divine Mysteries to them.”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“God loves in the Seraphim, as charity, knows in the Cherubim, as truth, is seated in the Thrones, as equity, reigns in the Dominions, as majesty, rules in the Principalities, as principle, guards in the Powers, as salvation, acts in the Virtues, as strength, reveals in the Archangels, as light, assists in the Angels, as piety.”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“God is humanity’s universal teacher and guardian but His teaching to humanity, is mediated by angels.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Angelic Doctor
“The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian but his angel guardian will come to console him. His patrons and St Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants, in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:7-12, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, Gospel: John 1:47-51
“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and it’s angels fought back …” … Apocalypse 12:7
REFLECTION – “We must not think that the devil and his angels dared to fight in heaven, since he could not even tempt Job without God’s permission. Rather by “heaven” he quite manifestly indicates the Church, where each one of the faithful constantly contends against spiritual evils. Therefore, the apostle says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers and against the world rulers of this present darkness.”
And so he says here, that Michael with his angels fights against the devil because by praying according to the will of God, for the Church in this world and, by granting her his aid, he is properly understood to be fighting for her. And so the apostle says, “Are not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” Indeed, the name of Michael himself is interpreted to mean “the helper of God” and so, this work is properly assigned to him. Also Daniel said, that in the last distress, [Michael] would come for the succour of the church: “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who stands for the children of your people. And there shall be a time, such as has never been since the nations first began to be. And in that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.” The angels are said to be his by a certain manner of speaking, such as we read, “For their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
And so it speaks of those who, by believing, began to be citizens in Christ and thus are His angels, because they are regarded as protected by one guardian king and as made glad by one life-giving spirit. The devil and his angels are not only those who are similar to him in nature and will. They are also as men, who after being caught in his traps, became pursuers of such things. Indeed, because of the qualities of his wil,l it is said about the devil, “An evil man has done this” and about Judas, “[One of you] is a devil.” The devil is said to express himself by way of a twofold body. When he is conquered, he is said to be thrown out by those who have renounced him and have received faith in Christ and so no longer copy his errors. Rather, in them “love [remains] from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” Or, since the Church is already separated from any admixture of evil and is glorified by the future blessedness, no place is given to the devil and to his angels to seduce the evil, or to tempt the good. The psalm refers to him and says, “I passed by and lo! he was not and I sought him, but his place was not found.” … Primasius of Hadrumetum Bishop (Died c 560) – Commentary on the Apocalypse, 12
NOTE:Primasius (died c 560) was Bishop of Hadrumetum and primate of Byzacena, in Africa. One of the participants in the Three Chapters Controversy, his commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), is of interest to modern scholars for it’s use of the lost commentary of Ticonius on the same book of the New Testament.
PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that the angels who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen
Our Morning offering – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Praise the Lord, ye Heavens, Adore Him Morning Hymn from the Breviary
Praise the Lord, ye heavens, adore Him; Praise Him, angels in the height; Sun and moon, rejoice before Him; Praise Him, all ye stars of light. Praise the Lord for He has spoken, Worlds His mighty voice obeyed; Laws which never shall be broken, For their guidance He has made.
Praise the Lord, for He is glorious, Never shall His promise fail; God hath made His saints victorious, Sin and death shall not prevail. Praise the God of our salvation, Hosts on high His power proclaim; Heaven and earth and all creation, Praise and magnify His name.
Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Lord, we offer unto Thee; Young and old, Thy praise expressing, In glad homage bend the knee. All the saints in heaven adore thee, We would bow before Thy throne; As Thine angels serve before thee, So on earth Thy will be done.
Day Eight Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
V/. O God + come to my assistance R/. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Gloria Patri …
Sweet Mother of Sorrows, Providence wished that Saint Helena, like you the mother of a king, find the Cross of your Son and lavish honours on this relic of relics. Grant, me Sorrowful Queen and Mother that, like Saint Helena, I always honour the symbol of our salvation, the Cross. And like the Church, may I hold it high, display and wear it with gratitude and pride. Above all, may I unite my sufferings to that of Jesus on the Cross and carry my crosses not in shame but in faith, love and patience as He did. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched thy most loving heart at the death of your Son, Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of patience in suffering and the gift of zeal for the salvation of souls and this my special intention ……………………. (mention your intention) Amen
Reflection (St Alphonsus de Liguori)
Meditation: Consider how, after the death of our Lord, two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, took Him down from the Cross and placed Him in the arms of His afflicted Mother, who received Him with unutterable tenderness and pressed Him to her bosom.
Ave Maria …
Prayer of St Alphonsus: O Mother of Sorrows, for the love of this Son, accept me for thy servant and pray to Him for me. And Thou, my Redeemer, since Thou hast died for me, permit me to love Thee, for I wish but Thee and nothing more. I love Thee, my Jesus and I repent of ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always and then do with me what Thou will. Amen
Note:As St Alphonsus has only done the Seven Sorrows, Day 8 has been adapted and included from his Stations of the Cross. However, Day 9 is from his reflections and prayers on our Mother of Sorrows.
Quote/s of the Day – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
“Do not rejoice in the Cross only in times of peace, preserve the same faith in times of persecution. Do not be a friend to Jesus in times of peace alone, only to become His enemy in times of war. You are now receiving forgiveness for your sins and the spiritual gifts lavishly bestowed by your King so, when war breaks out, fight valiantly for your King.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Father and Doctor of the Church
“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.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“This is that enviable and blessed Cross of Christ . . . the Cross in which alone, we must make our boast, as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”
St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent!”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
“Act of Contrition
My Lord Jesus Christ, You have made this journey to die for me, with love unutterable and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You but now I love You with my whole heart and because I love You, I repent sincerely for having ever offended You. Pardon me, my God and permit me to accompany You on this journey. You go to die for love of me, I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to You.” Amen
By St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
“Like Jesus, we must bow our heads before our Cross and embrace it, with resignation and love. We must unite our sufferings with those of our Redeemer, for the expiation of our sins.”
“…And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”… John 3:14-15
REFLECTION – “We are celebrating the Feast of the Cross which drove away darkness and brought in the light… Had there been no Cross, Christ could not have been Crucified. Had there been no Cross, Life Itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if Life had not been nailed to it, they would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal bond of our sin would not be cancelled, we should not have obtained our freedom, we should not have enjoyed the fruit of the tree of life and the gates of paradise would not stand open. Had there been no Cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled… The Cross is called Christ’s glory, it is saluted as His triumph.”….St Andrew of Crete (650-740)
PRAYER – O God, who willed that Your Only Begotten Son should undergo the Cross to save the human race, grant, we pray, that we, who have known His mystery on earth, may merit the grace of His redemption in heaven. For You placed the salvation of the human race on the wood of the Cross, so that, where death arose, life might again spring forth and the evil one, who conquered on a tree, might likewise on a tree be conquered through Christ. O cross, You are the glorious sign of victory. Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus. We adore you Christ and we praise you, for by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Prayer In Honour of the Holy Cross Third Prayer from the Seven Penitential Psalms Devotion
Almighty God, Lord Jesus Christ, who, for our sake, stretched out Your pure hands on the Cross and redeemed us with Your precious Blood, grant me to feel and understand that I may have true repentance and great perseverance, all the days of my life. Your reign is a reign for all ages. Amen
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross – 14 September
“Let me not boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”
It is a great thing that we are promised by the Lord but far greater is what has already been done for us and which we now commemorate.
Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them?
When Christ has already given us the gift of His death, who is to doubt that He will give the saints the gift of His own life?
Why does our human frailty hesitate to believe that mankind will one day live with God?
Who is Christ if not the Word of God: in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?
This Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us. He had no power of Himself to die for us – He had to take from us our mortal flesh.
This was the way in which, though immortal, He was able to die; the way in which He chose to give life to mortal men – He would first share with us and then enable us to share with Him.
Of ourselves, we had no power to live, nor did He of Himself have the power to die. In other words, He performed the most wonderful exchange with us. Through us, He died; through Him, we shall live.
The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon Himself the death that He found in us, He has most faithfully promised to give us life in Himself, such as we cannot have of ourselves.
He loved us so much, that, sinless Himself, He suffered for us sinners, the punishment we deserved for our sins.
How then can He fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for He is the source of righteousness? How can He, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints, when He bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin Himself?
Brethren, let us then fearlessly acknowledge and even openly proclaim, that Christ was Crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.
The apostle Paul saw Christ and extolled His claim to glory. He had many great and inspired things to say about Christ but he did not say that he boasted in Christ’s wonderful works – in creating the world, since He was God with the Father, or in ruling the world, though He was also a man like us.
Rather, he said: Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
St Augustine – Sermon Guelf 3 from the Office of Readings, Monday of Holy Week
Quote/s of the Day – The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the One.”
Origen (c 185-253)
“She is the flower of the field from whom bloomed the precious lily of the valley.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
“Today the Virgin is born, tended and formed and prepared for her role as Mother of God, who is the universal King of the ages. … Therefore, let all creation sing and dance and unite to make worthy contribution to the celebration of this day. … Let everything, mundane things and those above, join in festive celebration. Today this created world is raised to the dignity of a holy place for Him who made all things. The creature is newly prepared to be a divine dwelling place for the Creator.”
St Andrew of Crete (650-740) Bishop
Happy birthday, dearest Mother! Sing our youthful hearts today, And the birds and flowers seem joining In our merry roundelay. How the angels must be singing Round thy white, resplendent throne, While the saints in their holy rapture Claim thee as their very own. But, dear Mother, deign to listen As thy children here on earth Offer unto thee their greetings, Though they be of little worth, Save that love is pulsing through them From thy little ones sincere, Who are hoping they may meet thee On some birthday, Mother dear.
Brother Cyril Robert
Mary Immaculate: God’s Mother and Mine. Marist Press, 1946
One Minute Reflection – 8 September – Feast of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Readings: Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30, Psalms 13:6, 6, Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23
Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son … Matthew 1:23
REFLECTION – “She was called Mary, that is, star of the sea, in the foreseeing purpose of God, that she might declare by her name, that which she manifests more clearly in reality. (…)
Robed in beauty, robed equally in strength, she has girded herself, ready to curb with a single gesture the extraordinary tumults of the sea (Ps 92:1,4). For those who sail upon the sea of the present age and call on her with complete faith, she rescues from the breath of the storm and the raging of the winds and brings them, rejoicing with her, to the shore of their happy country. One cannot tell, beloved, how often some would have struck hard rocks, about to suffer shipwreck, some fall on foul sandbanks to return no more (…) did not the star of the sea, Mary ever virgin, stand in the way with her mighty aid and when now the rudder was broken, the deck shattered and they were without human aid, bring them, by her heavenly leading, to the haven of inner peace. Therefore, rejoicing in new triumphs in the new rescue of the boat, in the new additions of peoples, she manifests her joy in the Lord (…)
Indeed, glowing and and conspicuous with this twofold love on the one hand, she is most ardently fixed on God to whom she clings and she is one spirit with him (cf. 1 Cor 6:17); on the other, she gently comforts and attracts the hearts of the elect and shares with them excellent gifts coming from the generosity of her Son.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne O.Cist (1110-1159) Bishop – Homily VIII in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary
PRAYER – Lord God, the day of our salvation dawned when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to Your Son. As we celebrate her nativity, grant us Your grace and Your peace. Through Christ, our Lord, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, amen.
Our Lady of Covadonga – 8 September: is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the name of a Marian shrine devoted to her at Covadonga, Asturias. The shrine in northwestern Spain rose to prominence following the Battle of Covadonga in about 720, which was the first defeat of the Moors during their invasion of Spain. A statue of the Virgin Mary, secretly hidden in one of the caves, was believed to have miraculously aided the Christian victory. Our Lady of Covadonga is the patron of Asturias, and a basilica was built to house the current statue. St Pope John Paul II visited the shrine to honour Our Lady of Covadonga to honour, whose feast day is 8 September.
Our Lady of Health of Vailankanni – 8 September: This is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by people as she twice appeared in the town of Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, India, in the 16th to 17th centuries. The Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29 August and ends on the day of the feast. The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Marathi, East Indian, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.
Our Lady of Meritxell – 8 September: This is an Andorran Roman statue depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Meritxell is the patron saint of Andorra. One 6 January in the late 12th century, villagers from Meritxell, Andorra were going to Mass in Canillo. Though it was winter, they found a wild rose in bloom by the roadside. At its base was a statue of the Virgin and Child. They placed the statue in a chapel in the church in Canillo. The next day the statue was found sitting under the wild rose again. Villagers from Encamp took the statue to their church but the next day the statue had returned to the rose bush. Though it was snowing, an area the size of a chapel was completely bare and the villagers of Meritxell took this to mean that they should build a chapel to house the statue and so they did. On 8-9 September 1972 the chapel burned down and the statue was destroyed, a copy now resides in the new Meritxell Chapel. The feast day of Our Lady of Meritxell is 8 September and the Andorran National Day.
St Adam Bargielski St Adela of Messines Bl Alanus de Rupe St Corbinian (c 670–c 730) Bishop St Disibod of Disenberg St Ethelburgh of Kent St Faustus of Antioch St Isaac the Great St István Pongrácz St Kingsmark St Peter of Chavanon Bl Seraphina Sforza St Pope Sergius I St Timothy of Antioch Bl Wladyslaw Bladzinski — Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints) A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Ammon, Dio, Faustus, Neoterius and Theophilus. Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Japan – (21 beati): A group of 21 missionaries and converts who were executed together for their faith. • Antonio of Saint Bonaventure • Antonio of Saint Dominic • Dominicus Nihachi • Dominicus of Saint Francis • Dominicus Tomachi • Francisco Castellet Vinale • Franciscus Nihachi • Ioannes Imamura • Ioannes Tomachi • Laurentius Yamada • Leo Aibara • Lucia Ludovica • Ludovicus Nihachi • Matthaeus Alvarez Anjin • Michaël Tomachi • Michaël Yamada Kasahashi • Paulus Aibara Sandayu • Paulus Tomachi • Romanus Aibara • Thomas of Saint Hyacinth • Thomas Tomachi Died on 8 September 1628 in Nagasaki, Japan Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius XI
Martyred in England: Bl John Norton Bl Thomas Palaser
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Adrián Saiz y Saiz • Blessed Apolonia Lizárraga Ochoa de Zabalegui • Blessed Bonifacio Rodríguez González • Blessed Dolores Puig Bonany • Blessed Eusebio Alonso Uyarra • Blessed Ismael Escrihuela Esteve • Blessed Josefa Ruano García • Blessed Josep Padrell Navarro • Blessed Mamerto Carchano y Carchano • Blessed Marino Blanes Giner • Blessed Miguel Beato Sánchez • Blessed Pascual Fortuño Almela • Blessed Segimon Sagalés Vilá • Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miquel
Quote/s of the Day – 24 August – The Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ
“Here is a true child of Israel. There is no guile in him.”
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
“The saints must be honoured as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God. Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the Apostles, Martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory.”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The Apostles’ glory is so indistinguishable and so bonded together by the cement of so many graces, that in celebrating the feast of one of them, the common greatness of all, is called to our interior attention. For they share together the same authority of supreme judge, the same honourable rank and they hold the same power to bind and loose (Mt 19:28; 18:18). They are those precious pearls that Saint John tells us he beheld in the Book of Revelation out of which are constructed the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rv 21:21.14)…”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Bishop, Doctor of the Church
(Sermon 42, 2nd for Saint Bartholomew, PL 144, 726)
“Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” … John 1:48
REFLECTION – “Now Jacob had been called in Scripture a man without guile. Jacob himself, as you know, was surnamed Israel. That is why in the Gospel, when the Lord saw Nathanael, he said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile.” And that Israelite, not yet knowing who was speaking to him, replied, “How do you know me?” And the Lord said to him, “While you were under the fig tree I saw you,” as though to say, “While you were under the shadow of sin, I predestined you.” And Nathanael, remembering he had been under the fig tree where the Lord had not been, recognised the divinity in Him and answered, “You are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.” Though he was under the fig tree, he did not become a withered fig tree – he acknowledged Christ. And the Lord said to him, “Because I said, While you were under the fig tree I saw you, is that why you believe? You shall see greater things than that.”
What are these greater things? “Amen, I tell you.” Because that man is an Israelite in whom there is no guile, look back to Jacob, in whom there is no guile and recollect, when Jesus tells you, the stone at his head, the vision in his sleep, the stairs from earth to heaven, the beings coming down and going up and then see, what the Lord says to the Israelite without guile: “You shall see heaven opened”—listen, guileless Nathanael, to what guileless Jacob saw—“and angels going up and coming down”—to whom?—“to the Son of man.”” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 89
PRAYER – Collect: Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith, by which the blessed Apostle Bartholomew clung wholeheartedly to Your Son, and grant that through the help of his prayers Your Church may become for all the nations, the sacrament of salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Bl Miroslav Bulesic St Patrick the Elder St Ptolemy of Nepi St Romanus of Nepi St Sandratus St Taziano of Claudiopolis — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Fortunato Velasco Tobar • Blessed Isidre Torres Balsells • Blessed Rigoberto Aquilino de Anta Barrio
Martyred in World War II: 6 Beati Czeslaw Jozwiak Edward Kazmierski Edward Klinik Franciszek Kesy Jarogniew Wojciechowski Luis Almécija Lázaro
Thought for the Day – 15 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“It is generally believed that Our Blessed Lady died, since she would not have wished to escape death anymore than her divine Son did.
Our Lord, however, had see her sharing in His agony and death upon Mount Calvary and He willed that her own death would be so peaceful as hardly to justify the name.
The just die, in the love of God and the Martyrs died, for the love of God.
But Mary died, consumed by the love of God.
It was not disease which brought an end to her life but love.
Her love for Jesus, was more ardent and more perfect, than that of any other creature.
She loved Him, when she held Him in her arms in the stable at Bethlehem, when she fled with Him into Egypt and, when she offered Him in the temple to His heavenly Father.
She loved Him, when she found Him after He had been lost and when she looked after Him in their home at Nazareth.
She loved Him, as she followed Him to His death on Calvary.
She loved Him, in the joy of His Resurrection and, subsequently, of His Ascension into Heaven.
Jesus desired her to remain on earth for a while, to comfort the infant Church and to initiate the loving patronage which she would exercise over it, in Heaven.
Her love grew, from day to day, until it entirely consumed her and her Immaculate Heart could no longer contain it.
Mary fulfilled, in a most perfect manner, the Creator’s command to His creatures, to love Him with all their hearts and with all their strength.
Consequently, her love reached such a peak, that her soul, in it’s final ecstasy, glided from her body.
Let us ask our Mother, Mary, to help us to die with the love and grace of God in our hearts and, with the names of Jesus and Mary on our lips.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 August – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven
“It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles… it was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son and that she should be honoured by every creature as the Mother and the Handmaid of God.”
St John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Saviour and our God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by Him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with Him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to Himself in a way known only to Him.”
St Modestus of Jerusalem (Died 630)
“And with regard to ourselves, how deservedly do we keep the Feast of the Assumption with all solemnity. What reasons for rejoicing, what motives for exultation have we on this most beautiful day! The presence of Mary illumines the entire world so that even the holy city above has now a more dazzling splendour from the light of this virginal Lamp. With good reason, thanksgiving and the voice of praise, resound today throughout the courts of Heaven… let us not complain, for here we do not have a lasting city but we seek one that is to come, the same which the blessed Mary entered today.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
“Now, behold, Mary leaves the earth and calling to mind the many graces she had there received from her Lord, she looks on it affectionately. And now Jesus offers her His Hand and the Blessed Mother rises in the air, passes beyond the clouds and arrives at the gates of heaven.”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor