Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 4 May – Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505)

Saint of the Day – 4 May – Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505) “The Apostle of Lithuania,” Priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, zealous and tireless Evangeliser, renowned Preacher, Poet and Hymnist, disciple of St Bernardine of Siena and his charism of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and a devotee of the Passio of Christ. Ladislas served his Order in various capacities which included both a Doorkeeper and as its Provincial. He travelled across Poland to evangelise and was a noted preacher. Born in c 1440 in Gniezno, Poland and died on 4 May 1505 of natural causes. Patronages – Lithuania (chosen in August 1753), Poland (chosen in August 1753)m Galicia (eastern Europe), Warsaw, Poland (chosen in August 1753). He is also known as – “The Apostle of Lithuania,” Lithuanian Apostle,” Wladyslaw of Gielniów.

The Roman Martyrology states of him: “In Warsaw in Poland, Blessed Ladislaus of Gielniów, Priest of the Order of Minors, who preached the Passion of the Lord with extraordinary zeal and celebrated it with pious hymns.”

He worked to build up the fledgling Order in Poland and Lithuania, often in the face of resistance from the larger and more established Conventual Franciscans, with their considerably more relaxed way of religious life. The Observants’ very rigorous asceticism and strict interpretation of Franciscan poverty, constantly threatened to open old wounds among the followers of St. Francis and public controversies, between the two groups, often broke out in the fifteenth century.

Blessed Ladislas was born in the Polish City of Gielniow. He attended the University of Warsaw and then entered the City Convent of the Franciscan Friars Minor reformed by St John of Capestrano.

Within a few years ,he was elected Provincial Superior of the Order, a position he held for a long time, promoting the revision of the constitutions, which were then approved by the General Chapter of the Order, which was held in Urbino in 1498.

He carefully selected the most suitable Friars to send to Lithuania for the evangelisation of that Country. However, he reminded them of the greater importance to be attributed to personal holiness, which must always be placed before the proclamation of the Gospel to others. This initiative succeeded in reconciling several schismatics with the Church and also obtained the conversion of numerous pagans,

Ladislas was an ardent and eloquent preacher, He was much sought after and appreciated by the people. His homilies, as the Martyrologium Romanum also recalls, used to emphasise, in a particular way, the salvific value intrinsic to the Passion of Christ. Below is one of his devotional Hymns on the Passion:

Jesus, Judas sold away, for just wretched money
God the Father gave His Son, for our souls’ salvation
Jesus at the paschal feast, gave out His own body,
soothed His sad Apostles’ grief, with His very life blood.

To the garden Jesus went, with His friends, His loved ones
Thrice His Father he implored, on behalf of sinners
Bloody sweat out from Him poured, in His heavy struggle
O my soul, so very loved, look on Him, who loves you so.

He was the author of various hymns on this theme, intended for singing in Vespers. It was precisely religious song and poetry, in fact, that would become Ladislas’s most lasting legacy to Polish religious culture. He is the first major Polish Poet known by name, to write sometimes in the vernacular, rather than exclusively in the learned language of Latin.

His songs and verse represent well, his own piety, as well as those of his Order. Frequently, they illustrate the popular orientation of both. For instance, the simple poverty of Christ and Mary ,is sometimes stressed, in a gentle and colourful way, which, nonetheless, puts across the Gospel story’s emotional weight. Consider these verses from his vernacular song on the Nativity:

A town not large called Bethlehem
Around that time had many guests,
There Joseph with his new-found bride
Arrived, his Mary great with child.

Because these two possessed no wealth
No welcome could they find in town,
So to a stable off they went,
And there they dwelt in poverty
.

The purest Virgin Mary thus
To Jesus Christ the Lord gave birth.
At midnight, God Himself was born,
And all the universe rejoiced.

And when the Babe began to cry,
Upon bare earth itself He lay
Before Him there, His Mother knelt
And so to her small Child gave praise.

‘Wa, wa, wa, wa,’ the baby cried,
Lamenting all our human sins,
His mom then took Him up from earth,
And wrapped Him up in swaddling bands.

Because the stable was too tight,
A manger into crib she made.
No nursemaid there was found with her,
To come to that poor Mother’s aid.

Some, lying, have been known to claim
(And thus that Mother they insult!)
That serving maids abounded there
And gave that Mother lots of help.

When in 1498 Poland found itself having to face an invasion by the Tartars and Turks, an army of 70,000 men in all, Ladislas led a prayer crusade to invoke divine intervention. Tradition attributes the consequent extraordinary floods of the Dnepr and Prut rivers to this, which blocked the foreign invaders. This particular intercession, increased his reputation as a great man of prayer.

He strongly upheld the Bernadine mission of preaching to the laity and poor in accessible, moving and often colourful and even entertaining sermons, although always with forceful appeal to keep and live the Christian faith in all its rigour.

It is also reported that, during the last Good Friday of his life, while he was meditating, he levitated into the air, assuming the position of Christ on the Cross. When he returned to the ground, he collapsed and was confined to his bed. He remained bed-ridden until his death on 4 May 1505 a few weeks later.

Ladislas was Beatified in 1586 by Pope Sixtus V and on 11 February 1750, Pope Benedict XIV his cult received official confirmation.

His relics are interred in the Chapel of Blesed Ladislas in Warsaw, see below.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Notre-Dame de Gray, Gray, Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France (1400s) and Memorials of the Saints – 4 May

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter +2021

Notre-Dame de Gray, Gray, Haute-Saône, Franche-Comté, France / Our Lady of Gray (1400s) – 4 May

By the 1200s, a cruciform oak tree had become a place of devotion in the Flemish Town of Scherpenheuvel.(Montaigu in French) In the early 1400s, the Shrine became famous after a Statue of the Virgin placed on the tree, fell down and could not be moved from the spot.

The copy of the orginal Statue, made in 1613

But Protestants destroyed the Sanctuary in 1568 and in 1604 the tree was cut down. In 1613, a poor widow, Jeanne Bonnet, made a pilgrimage to Montaigu at the age of 70. She brought a piece of the sacred oak home to Salins-les-Bains in eastern France, where sculptor Jean Brange, carved a Statue of the Virgin from it, copying the Belgian original from the description.

From 1616 until the French Revolution, this Statue presided over a long series of miracles at the Capuchin Monastery in the Town of Gray, 37 miles away. When the revolutionaries expelled the Monks and pillaged the Monastery, a family hid the holy image until it could be safely installed in the Basilica at Gray.

In thanksgiving for the end of the 1849 cholera epidemic, Cardinal Mathieu, Archbishop of Besançon, gave the Shrine a silver Statue covered in gold and jewels, which he dedicated on 4 May 1851, at a ceremony attended by 92 Priests, throngs of the faithful, artillery salvos and the ringing of all the bells in Town. Afterwards, the Parish celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Gray with a procession every 4 May.

The new Statue dating from 1849

St Albian of Albée
Bl Angela Bartolomea dei Ranzi
Bl Angela Isabella dei Ranzi
St Antonia of Constantinople
St Antonina of Nicaea
St Antonia of Nicomedia
St Antonius of Rocher
St Arbeo of Freising
St Augustine Webster
St Cunegund of Regensburg
St Curcodomus of Auxerre
St Cyriacus of Ancona
St Enéour
St Ethelred of Bardney
St Florian of Lorch
Bl Hilsindis

Blessed Jean-Martin Moyë (1730-1793) Priest, Missionary, Founder
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/saint-of-the-day-4-may-blessed-jean-martin-moye-1730-1793/

St Jose Maria Rubio y Peralta SJ (1864-1929) “the Apostle of Madrid” and “Father of the Poor,” Confessor
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/04/saint-of-the-day-4-may-saint-jose-maria-rubio-y-peralta-sj-1864-1929-the-apostle-of-madrid/

St Judas Cyriacus
Blessed Ladislas of Gielniów OFM Cap (c 1440-1505) Priest
St Luca da Toro
Bl Margareta Kratz
Bl Michal Giedroyc
St Nepotian of Altino
Bl Paolino Bigazzini
St Paulinus of Cologne
St Paulinus of Senigallia
St Pelagia of Tarsus
St Porphyrius of Camerino Rino
St Richard Reynolds
St Robert Lawrence
St Silvanus of Gaza

Blessed Tommaso da Olera OFM Cap (1563-1631) Lay Brother of the the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Spiritual Advisor, Confessor, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Mystic, Penitent and Ascetic.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/04/saint-of-the-day-4-may-blessed-tommaso-da-olera-ofm-cap-1563-1631/


Carthusian Martyrs: A group of Carthusian monks who were hanged, drawn and quartered between 19 June 1535 and 20 September 1537 for refusing to acknowledge the English royalty as head of the Church:
• Blessed Humphrey Middlemore
• Blessed James Walworth
• Blessed John Davy
• Blessed John Rochester
• Blessed Richard Bere
• Blessed Robert Salt
• Blessed Sebastian Newdigate
• Blessed Thomas Green
• Blessed Thomas Johnson
• Blessed Thomas Redyng
• Blessed Thomas Scryven
• Blessed Walter Pierson
• Blessed William Exmew
• Blessed William Greenwood
• Blessed William Horne
• Saint Augustine Webster
• Saint John Houghton
• Saint Robert Lawrence

Martyrs of Cirta: Also known as
• Martyrs of Cirtha
• Martyrs of Tzirta
A group of clergy and laity martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.

Martyrs of England: 85 English, Scottish and Welsh Catholics who were martyred during the persecutions by Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are commemorated together on 22 November.
• Blessed Alexander Blake • Blessed Alexander Crow • Blessed Antony Page • Blessed Arthur Bell • Blessed Charles Meehan • Blessed Christopher Robinson • Blessed Christopher Wharton • Blessed Edmund Duke • Blessed Edmund Sykes • Blessed Edward Bamber • Blessed Edward Burden • Blessed Edward Osbaldeston • Blessed Edward Thwing • Blessed Francis Ingleby • Blessed George Beesley • Blessed George Douglas • Blessed George Errington • Blessed George Haydock • Blessed George Nichols • Blessed Henry Heath • Blessed Henry Webley • Blessed Hugh Taylor • Blessed Humphrey Pritchard • Blessed John Adams • Blessed John Bretton • Blessed John Fingley • Blessed John Hambley • Blessed John Hogg • Blessed John Lowe • Blessed John Norton • Blessed John Sandys • Blessed John Sugar • Blessed John Talbot • Blessed John Thules • Blessed John Woodcock • Blessed Joseph Lambton • Blessed Marmaduke Bowes • Blessed Matthew Flathers • Blessed Montfort Scott • Blessed Nicholas Garlick • Blessed Nicholas Horner • Blessed Nicholas Postgate • Blessed Nicholas Woodfen • Blessed Peter Snow • Blessed Ralph Grimston • Blessed Richard Flower • Blessed Richard Hill • Blessed Richard Holiday • Blessed Richard Sergeant • Blessed Richard Simpson • Blessed Richard Yaxley • Blessed Robert Bickerdike • Blessed Robert Dibdale • Blessed Robert Drury • Blessed Robert Grissold • Blessed Robert Hardesty • Blessed Robert Ludlam • Blessed Robert Middleton • Blessed Robert Nutter • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Sutton • Blessed Robert Thorpe • Blessed Roger Cadwallador • Blessed Roger Filcock • Blessed Roger Wrenno • Blessed Stephen Rowsham • Blessed Thomas Atkinson • Blessed Thomas Belson • Blessed Thomas Bullaker • Blessed Thomas Hunt • Blessed Thomas Palaser • Blessed Thomas Pilcher • Blessed Thomas Pormort • Blessed Thomas Sprott • Blessed Thomas Watkinson • Blessed Thomas Whitaker • Blessed Thurstan Hunt • Blessed William Carter • Blessed William Davies • Blessed William Gibson • Blessed William Knight • Blessed William Lampley • Blessed William Pike • Blessed William Southerne • Blessed William Spenser • Blessed William Thomson •
They were Beatified on 22 November 1987 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Novellara: A bishop and several his flock who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian and whose relics were kept and enshrined together. We know nothing else about them but the names – Apollo, Bono, Cassiano, Castoro, Damiano, Dionisio, Leonida, Lucilla, Poliano, Tecla, Teodora and Vespasiano. They were Martyred on 26 March 303. Their relics were enshrined in the parish of Saint Stephen in Novellara, Italy in 1603.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 April – Blessed Benedict Passionei of Urbino OFM Cap (1560– 1625)

Saint of the Day – 30 April – Blessed Benedict Passionei of Urbino OFM Cap (1560– 1625) Priest of the Order of the Friars Minor of St Francis, Capuchin, Missionary, apostle of the poor, renowned preacher, doctor of civil and canon law. Born on 13 September 1560 in Urbino, Duchy of Urbino, Papal States (part of modern Italy) as Marco Passionei and died on 30 April 1625 in Fossombrone, Pesaro-Urbino, Italy of complications following surgery. Also known as – Benedetto da Urbino, Benito of Urbino. Marco Passionei. Patronage – Missionaries.

It is most striking today, to see a scion of one of the richest and noblest families of Umbria give himself to strenuous manual work in various Friaries. He was sensitive to the poor and full of compassion for them, without distinction. He wanted to preach only in insignificant little towns. He abounded in piety and devotion, poverty and penance, humility and simplicity. He was indeed a ‘classic’ Capuchin friar.

Marco was born into the noble family of the Passioneis in the duchy of Urbino. He was baptised Marco in 1560. He was orphaned by the age of seven and was put into the care of tutors with his ten brothers and sisters. He received the Doctor of Law at the University of Perugia and then rejoined his family, now living at Fossombrone. He made friends with the Capuchin brother questors and was attracted by their charism. Because of his poor health this was opposed by the local superior but, after waiting a year, the newly elected Provincial allowed him to join in 1584. Named Benedict he soon found his place among the preachers and joined St Lawrence of Brindisi in his missionary work in Bohemia. He thrived on it especially when preaching to the poor. He died in Fossombrone in 1625 and was Beatified by Blessed Pius IX on 15 January 1867.

Nearly all the information we have for the life of Blessed Benedict derives from a manuscript biography compiled by Brother Ludovico da Rocca Contrada (†1654) immediately after Benedetto’s death. This biography is the one and only actual contemporary witness and was used in the processes necessary for his Beatification. It is has an enormous documentary value thanks to its reliability and the seriousness of the information gathered, from the most direct sources, whom the author often consulted personally. And the author was, moreover, guardian of the Friary of San Giovanni Battista in Fossombrone. He was present for the happenings at the end of his holy confrere’s life and was present at his deathbed. Therefore, his account is very detailed in its telling of Benedetto’s final sickness and death and of the uninhibited expressions of popular piety regarding Benedetto’s body.

Born on 13 November 1560 in the duchy of Urbino, he was the seventh of the eleven children in the noble family of Domenico Passionei and Maddalena Cibo. He was orphaned while still young and led his life in Cagli where he did his first study at home. At seventeen he then went to Perugia and onto Padua for higher studies. On 28 May 1582, at just twenty two years, he received a degree in Civil and Church law. His career began in the Roman court of Cardinal Pier Girolamo Albani. He found this disagreeable.

Marco Passionei returned to the Marches and settled in Fossombrone where his family had meanwhile taken up residence. He was nourishing a secret call of the spirit and longed for the humble and austere life of the Capuchins. Above Metauro the Capuchins had built a devout hermitage. However, it was not easy for him to get permission both from the family and from the friars until the new provincial minister, Giacomo da Pietrarubbia who, according to the wish of the chapter, admitted him to the novitiate of San Cristina in Fano. His fragile health made his novitiate year difficult. In fact, after a few months, he became ill to the point that his superiors had him leave Fano to go to the friary in Fossombrone. After three months it was considered to send him home but his indomitable will won out in the end. He said that he had been clothed in the habit to live and to die as a Capuchin: “If they had sent him out from one door he would have come back in again through another.” He entrusted himself to prayer and obtained the grace of healing. And so he was able to make his religious profession at the end of May 1585, much to the consolation of the poor who, on the occasion, benefitted economically. He continued his religious formation in Ancona. By 1590 he was already a Priest, a humble preacher, in various Friaries such as Fano and Ostra.

In 1600 the General Minister, Girolamo da Castelferretti, included him in the mission band led by Saint Lorenzo da Brindisi to spread the Order in Bohemia and reinforce there the Catholic faith. Although he had not asked to go he was ready to leave immediately. Exemplary and capable men were needed and the General Minister, also from the Marches, knew him well and considered him suitable for the difficult undertaking. Benedetto confided his difficulties to a letter. However he was very obedient under the guidance of Lorenzo da Brindisi. He had to endure many injuries from heretics who hated him. At the end of the triennium (1602) he was called back to the province where he travelled around various Friaries as preacher, superior and as a simple Friar. He also went questing, both in the city and in the countryside. He said, “It is better to carry the weight of bread rather than sins.” He was so humble, and loved silence so much, that he seemed naïve and uneducated. When he was guardian in the friary in Pesaro the duke of Urbino went to visit him. Accustomed to help in the kitchen after lunch, Benedetto let the illustrious visitor wait until he had finished washing the dishes.

His devotion was carefully organised around night and daylight hours of prayer which extended beyond the pious exercises of the fraternity. As all his biographers relate, he used to begin his day with one or two hours of prayer in the Church before the community recitation of matins. After the office he returned to his cell to rest for half an hour. Then he would be in the church again where he prayed the rosary on his knees. After the rosary he did the discipline and then immersed himself in mental prayer until dawn. He never tired of prayer. Each day he recited the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as the seven penitential psalms, the Office of the Holy Spirit and of the Holy Cross, many decades of the rosary and Our Fathers. He spent most of his time in spiritual reading, making the Stations of the Cross, visiting the tabernacle and the Our Lady altar. Frail, emaciated and weak he seemed to derive his strength from prayer. If sometimes he arrived late to meditation, he would turn the hour glass the recoup the time for prayer. In this he was very exacting, even with the others. As superior he never dispensed the Friars from the two hours of mental prayer each day. Even when he was not in the Friary he maintained his strict and austere style.

For his preaching he said he preferred the towns that had a public clock that struck the hours day and night. In this way he was able to organise his practices of prayer and penance as he did in the friary. He was enamoured of the Crucifix, the Passion, the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin who he affectionately called “mamma.” He invented many gestures of love, such as an hour of prostration on the ground, his “prayer in the garden” with his arms open and face down on the floor. His continuous meditation on the Passion filled his heart with an intense contrition which urged him to go often to confession, as often as three times a week. His confessors however did not see sufficient matter for absolution.

Austere and heroic in his bodily penance he never gave into himself in anything. He was emaciated and weak in appearance, with hunger pangs and kidney stones that prostrated him. His first biographer noted that “he seemed to suck in his breath through his teeth, as they say. But as for his spiritual exercises he seemed like a man of steel.” Always on his feet in his frequent preaching, he had to drag himself along with annoying wounds on his legs. He had to undergo fifteen hernia operations. But he never stopped. He always started up again with courage.

He did not like big cities. If, rarely, he had to preach in Pesaro (1612), and in Urbino and Genoa (1619), he preferred those remote, humble and “little places” hardly mentioned on the general maps. More than once he took on the task of building or restoring churches, as in Barchi and Castelleone. He did not write his talks. He confined himself to brief schemas on scraps of paper. His preaching came from the heart, like a humble exhortation for the humble, but nonetheless all was the word of God, able to move and convert. He preached his last Lent in Saccorvaro.

The journey was all on foot and he had to stop in Urbania due to starvation. After about ten sermons in Saccorvaro he had to stop. He was taken to Urbino and then to Fossombrone. He had to undergo yet another hernia operation which this time brought him to the end of his life. He had a crucifix placed on a little table. He kept his gaze fixed on it, his spirit focused there. If anyone blocked his view he immediately gestured that they should move. He remained silent in this way as if he were resting quietly, so much so that the Friars barely realised when his life faded like a gently quenched candle on 30 April 1625 in the light of the Passion which he wanted read to him. He was nearly sixty five years old, and had lived forty one years of religious life with immense love and joy.

Prayer

Holy Father,
the depth of Your love for us,
revealed in the Cross of Jesus,
transformed Benedict
into a warm and loving minister of your Gospel.
May we experience Your love
and be eager to share it with others.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ver and ever.
Amen

Posted in Act of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN OFM, HOLY COMMUNION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – The Bread of Life

Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)

“I am the bread of life;
he who comes to me,
shall not hunger
and he who believes in me,
shall never thirst.”

John 6:35

“May Jesus be known, loved and adored by all
and be, in every moment,
the receiver of thanksgiving,
in the most holy and most divine Sacrament.”

Bl Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation (1770-1824)

Prayer of Adoration and Repentance/Night Prayer
By St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)

I have come to spend
a few moments with You, O Jesus
and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust
before Your Holy Tabernacle to adore You,
my Lord and God, in deepest humility.
Once more, a day has come to its close, dear Jesus,
another day which brings me nearer to the grave
and my beloved heavenly home.
Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for You,
the true Bread of Life, which contains
all sweetness and relish.
O my Jesus,
mercifully grant me pardon for the faults
and ingratitude of this day
and come to me,
to refresh my poor heart which longs for You.
As the heart pants for the waters,
as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven,
even so does my poor heart long for You,
You Fount of Life.
I love You, O Jesus,
I hope in You,
I love You
and out of love for You,
I regret sincerely all my sins.
May Your peace and Your benediction be mine,
now and always and for all eternity.
Amen

St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Institution of the Confraternity of the Immaculate conception, Toledo, Spain – The Conceptionists (1506) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 April

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter +2021

Institution of the Confraternity of the Immaculate conception, Toledo, Spain – The Conceptionists (1506) – 21 April:

St Beatrice da Silva

The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, was founded in 1484 at Toledo, Spain, by Saint Beatrice da Silva. OIC (c 1424-1492) A contemplative religious order of Nuns, for some years they followed the Poor Clare’s Rule but in 1511, were recognised as a separate religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of the Order of Immaculate Conception.
Saint Beatrice da Silva was a Portuguese noblewoman and sister of the Franciscan Friar, Blessed Amadeus of Portugal. Her great beauty aroused the jealousy of the Queen, her cousin, for which she was cast into prison. It was while she was in prison that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her, telling her that she wanted her to found a new Order of Nuns in her honour.
In 1484, Beatrice, with twelve companions, established themselves in a Monastery in Toledo (now the Monastery of the Order of the Immaculate Conception) set apart for them by Queen Isabel. A few years earlier the Blessed Virgin had shown, in a vision, Saint Beatrice da Silva that she should wear a habit consisting of a white tunic and scapular with a light blue mantle. This was the origin of the Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionist Poor Clare’s.
In 1489, by permission of Pope Innocent VIII, the Nuns adopted the Cistercian Rule, bound themselves to the daily recitation of the Divine Office of the Immaculate Conception and were placed under obedience to the Ordinary of the Diocese. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI united this community with the Benedictine community of San Pedro de las Duenas, under the Rule of St Clare, but in 1511 Pope Julius II gave it a Rule of its own and put them under the protection of General Minister of Friars Minor and for this reason. the Nuns are called Franciscan Conceptionists. Special constitutions were drawn up for the Order in 1516 by Cardinal Francis Quiñones. It was the foundress, Beatrice da Silva, who chose the habit: white, with a white scapular and blue mantle.
A second Monastery was founded in 1507 at Torrigo, from which, in turn, were established seven others. The congregation soon spread through Portugal, Spain, Italy, France; Spain’s colony of New Spain (Mexico), starting in 1540 and as well as in Portugal’s colony of Brazil.

St Anselm (of Canterbury) OSB (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St Anselm!

https://anastpaul.com/2017/04/21/saint-of-the-day-21-april-st-anselm-of-canterbury-doctor-of-the-church/

St Abdechalas
St Anastasius I of Antioch
St Anastasius of Sinai
St Apollo of Nicomedia
St Apollonius the Apologist
St Arator of Alexandria
St Beuno Gasulsych (c 545-c 640) Monk
St Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap (1818-1894) Lay Friar
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/04/21/saint-of-the-day-21-april-st-conrad-of-parzham-ofm-cap-1818-1894/

St Crotates of Nicomedia
St Cyprian of Brescia
St Felix of Alexandria
St Fortunatus of Alexandria
St Frodulphus
St Isacius of Nicomedia
Bl John Saziari
St Maelrubba of Applecross
St Román Adame Rosales (1859-1927) Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/21/saint-of-the-day-21-april-saint-roman-adame-rosales-1859-1927-priest-and-martyr/
St Silvius of Alexandria
St Simeon of Ctesiphon
St Vitalis of Alexandria
Bl Vitaliy Bayrak
Bl Wolbodó of Liège

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 April – Blessed Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289)

Saint of the Day – 19 April – Blessed Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289) Franciscan Friar Missionary, Evangeliser, Penitent, zealous Preacher, Cardinal-elect. Blessed Conrad had a great devotion to the Most Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Born in 1234 in Ascoli, Italy and died on 19 April 1289 as in Ascoli of natural causes aged 55.

At Ascoli in the district of Ancona, Conrad was born of the noble Migliano family in the year 1234. It was marvellous how the small child practised mortifications and self-denial in all things as saints would do. It is recorded, that even as an infant he took his mother’s milk only once on fast days. It was discovered that even as a small boy he possessed the gift of prophecy. Sometimes, for instance, he would go on his knees before a companion named Jerome and he always tendered him great respect. When he was asked for the reason, he said: “I have seen the keys of heaven in his hands.” Jerome later became a Pope, known to us as Nicholas IV.

The two companions formed an intimate friendship. They vied with each other in their application to study but still more, in the practice of virtue. Together with Girolamo (Jerome) Masci, he became a Franciscan Friar in the Convent of Ascoli. United by a close friendship, Corrado and Girolamo devoted themselves with ardour to the piety and austerity of the Franciscan life, following the narrow path of Christian perfection.

From Ascoli they were both sent to Assisi and then to Perugia to complete their studies. They earned the title of “readers” of sacred knowledge and then from Perugia to Rome, where they taught theology and fruitfully preached the Word of God to the people.

Wisdom and humility, austerity of life and zeal for the salvation of souls are the personality traits of the young Corrado. A very humble man, he shunned any reason for personal prestige by living as a true friar minor.

From his friend Girolamo, who became General of the Franciscan Order, he obtained permission to leave for Africa to announce the Word of salvation.
At the cost of great efforts and pilgrimages he evangelised Libya and Cyrenaica. In preaching, he always adapted, with due discernment, his speeches to the intelligence of his listeners. God blessed the simplicity of the religious scholar. His word went straight to the hearts of the listeners.

The privileged object of his proclamation was the adorable mystery of the Most Holy Trinity: it drew everyone to worship God. He accompanied the proclamation of the Word with a harsh and penitent lifestyle. He was strict with himself and indulgent with others. He tenderly loved the Mother of the Lord and the memory and meditation of the Lord Jesus, Crucified love, never fell from his mind.

Pope Nicholas III sent Fra Girolamo Masci as legate to the King of France to induce him to more peaceful sentiments, he wanted Brother Corrado as his companion who, reluctantly, had to leave Africa. When Fra Girolamo saw this close friend arrive in Paris covered in a very poor dress and barefoot, moved by compassion and veneration, he exclaimed “This man is more than Jonah!”.

Once the peace between France and Spain was restored, the two friars returned to Rome, where, in 1278, Fra Girolamo was awarded the dignity of Cardinal. Conrad, after two years of preaching and residing in Rome, was sent to Paris to teach theology, proving himself to be an eminent teacher.

In 1288 Girolamo Masci ascended the Papal throne with the name of Nicholas IV; he called Brother Conrad to him to avail himself of his enlightened advice. To the rumours of his imminent Cardinalate that spread in the Parisian environment, he replied, in his farewell address, exhorting everyone to love above all the Christian virtue of humility and concealment.

Exhausted by the long and uncomfortable journey, he died in Ascoli on 19 April 1289. Nicholas IV deeply mourned and, confirming the intention he had had, to make him a Cardinal, ordered a solemn mausoleum to be erected on his tomb. His remains, buried in the primitive convent, were then transferred in May 1371 to the Church of San Francesco.

Among the Christian virtues practised by Blessed Corrado, a characteristic was that of penance. He wore a very crude habit, walked barefoot, rested for only a few hours on a hard table, fasted on bread and water four days a week.

He had placed the Holy Trinity at the soul of his apostolate, thanks to which, he obtained miracles of all kinds.

Credited legends had flourished, while he was still alive, around his holiness. The popular cult, attributed to him from time immemorial in the Marche and in the various Families of the Minoritic Order, was approved by Pope Pius VI on 30 August 1783.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Easter Friday, Our Lady of Myans, Savoy, France (1249) and Memorials of the Saints –

Easter Friday – Day Six in the Easter Octave +2021

Notre-Dames de Myans, Savoie / Our Lady of Myans, Savoy, France (1249) – 9 April:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “It is believed that this image, in the year 1249, prevented the thunder, which had already consumed the Town of Saint Andre with sixteen villages, from going farther and was the cause of its stopping at Myans.”

Our Lady of Myans in Savoy, is located on a little hill between Modane and Chambery near the Mont Cenis tunnel. It can be easily recognised, as there is a huge statue of the Blessed Virgin standing atop the Shrine’s belfry. The Shrine has been a pilgrimage site since at least the thirteenth century, and its small ‘Black Virgin’ was an object of the devotion of Saint Francis de Sales.
The foundation of the Shrine is no longer remembered but the Church became famous for a miracle that occurred there in 1248.

On the evening of 24 November of that year, a tremendous earthquake shook the region causing Mont Granier, the tallest mountain of the Chartreuse Massif, to disintegrate into huge boulders, which came crashing down into the valley. Some of these boulders, were the size of a house, and 16 villages were crushed and 5,000 lives lost. The Shurch of Myans, however, was spared, though gigantic boulders were stopped abruptly at the very door of the Church. Some of these boulders can still be seen around the church grounds.

Unfortunately, we can’t see the boulders in this image of the Church

A marvellous answer to prayer occurred in 1534, in favour of Jean Grandis of Savoy, who was on a vessel bound from Genoa to Leghorn. When the ship was threatened during a tempest and seemed likely to sink, Jean Grandis called upon Our Lady of Myans, Queen of Savoy. Battered by the waves, the ship foundered and sank. Jean Grandis was the only survivor. As a gesture of thanksgiving, he travelled barefoot to the Shrine and there placed his ex-voto. It is said to be one of the oldest to survive.

Another miracle attributed to Our Lady of Myans was in favour of the brother of Saint Francis de Sales, Count Louis de Sales, who in 1603 was travelling to the Chateau of Cusy to marry Claudine Philiberte de Pingon. Since there was no bridge in sight, the Count attempted to cross the River Cheran at a place that he thought was shallow and safe. However, the Count was swept away by flood water. Invoking the name of Our Lady of Myans and promising to make a pilgrimage, he was suddenly thrust onto an obstruction that saved his life. The wedding ceremony was conducted on 2 April. The next day, Saint Francis de Sales offered a Mass of thanksgiving in the little Crypt Chapel before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Myans.

The Black Madonna of Myans, venerated in the Crypt (lower church), is a 70cm high wooden statue, representing the seated Virgin. It dates to around the 12 th century . With her left arm, she presents the Child Jesus seated on her knees. Under the stiff folds of the mantle, the detail of the attitudes fades and the Virgin appears to be standing. She is a virgin of majesty . The mantle of the Statue is in fine moiré gold cloth, revealing a dress in silver cloth. The whole forms a royal adornment. The Virgin was crowned on 17 August 1905 by decision of Pope Pius X who delegated, for this purpose, Cardinal Couillé, Prelate of Gauls, Archbishop of Lyon, surrounded by 5 Bishops and more than 20,000 faithful.


The Church was half destroyed during the French Revolution but the Statue was saved and later enshrined again in the restored building, where it was crowned in 1905.
The Sanctuary is particularly resorted to by pilgrimages of men and the image was taken to Rome by a Savoyard pilgrimage for the definition of the Dogma of the Assumption in the year 1950. At the entrance to the choir is evoked the disaster of the landslide of Granier.  In the vault of the nave of the lower Church are painted ten unforgettable figures of the Saints and blessed of Savoy and Dauphiné, including St Francis de Sales  (1567-1622) and St Louis of Savoy  (1462-1508).

In 1855, the steeple, half demolished during the revolution, was raised in its current form to serve as a pedestal for a monumental Statue which crowns its summit.  This Statue, executed in Paris by the sculptor Louis Rochet, was inaugurated on 17 October 1855. It is in gilded bronze, measures 5.25m and weighs 3 tons . The Virgin holds the Child Jesus on her left arm, her right arm is extended as if to bless. She wears the ducal crown, emblem of her sovereignty over Savoy. It is draped in the costume of the 13th century, the time of the Granier disaster.

St Acacius of Amida
St Aedesius of Alexandria
Blessed Antony of Pavoni OP (1326-1374) Priest and Martyr
His Life nd Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/04/09/saint-of-the-day-9-april-blessed-antony-of-pavoni/
St Brogan
St Casilda of Toledo
St Concessus the Martyr
St Demetrius the Martyr
St Dotto
St Eupsychius of Cappadocia
St Gaucherius
St Hedda the Abbot
St Heliodorus of Mesopotamia
St Hilary the Martyr
St Hugh of Rouen
Bl James of Padua
Blessed John of Vespignano
Blessed Celestyna (Katarzyna) Faron IHM (1913 – 1942) Virgin Martyr
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/09/saint-of-the-day-9-april-blessed-celestyna-faron-ihm-1913-1942-virgin-martyr/
St Liborius of Le Mans (early 4th century – 397)
St Liborius’ story:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/saint-of-the-day-9-april-st-liborius-of-le-mans-early-4th-century-397/
St Madrun of Wales
St Marcellus of Die
Bl Marguerite Rutan
St Maximus of Alexandria
Bl Pierre Camino
St Prochorus
Blessed Thomas of Tolentino OFM (c 1255–1321) Martyr
Blessed Thomas’ Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/09/saint-of-the-day-9-april-blessed-thomas-of-tolentino-ofm-c-1255-1321-martyr/
Blessed Ubaldo Adimari OSM (c 1245-1315) Priest and Servite Friar
St Waltrude of Mons

Martyrs of Croyland – 9 saints: A group of Benedictine monks martyred by pagan Danes – Agamund, Askega, Egdred, Elfgete, Grimkeld, Sabinus, Swethin, Theodore and Ulric. Croyland Abbey, England.

Martyrs of Masyla: Massylitan Martyrs Group of Christians martyred in Masyla in northwest Africa.

Martyrs of Pannonia: Seven virgin-martyrs in Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).

Martyrs of Thorney Abbey – 3+ saints: A group of Hermits, hermitesses and monks who lived in or around Thorney Abbey who were martyred together during raids by pagan Danes. We know little more than the names of three – Tancred, Torthred and Tova. 869 by raiders at Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, England.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on DOUBT, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Easter Thursday – “Touch me and see.” – Luke 24:39 – St Anthony of Padua

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Easter Thursday, Readings: First: Acts 3: 11-26 Psalm: Psalms 8: 2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9, Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48

“Touch me and see.” – Luke 24:39

REFLECTION – “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” I think there are four reasons why our Lord showed His side, hands and feet to the Apostles. First of all, to prove He was truly risen and remove from us, any cause for doubt. Secondly, so that the “dove” – that is to say, the Church or the faithful soul – might make its nest in those wounds as in “the crevice of the rock” (Sg 2:14) and find refuge there, from the eye of the bird of prey. Thirdly, to imprint as an emblem, the marks of the Passion in our hearts. And in the fourth place ,as a warning, asking us to show Him pity and not pierce Him anew, with the nails of our sins.

He shows us His hands and His feet: “Behold,” He says, “the hands that have fashioned you (cf. 119[118]:73); see how the nails have pierced them. Behold My heart – the heart where you My faithful, you my Church, were born as Eve was born from Adam’s side: see how the lance has opened it, so that the door of Paradise, held shut by the fiery Cherubim, might be opened to you. The blood that flowed from My side has driven aside that angel and blunted his sword, the water has extinguished the fire (cf Jn 19:34) … Listen carefully, take these words to yourself and peace will be with you.” St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church, Franciscan

PRAYER – Lord God, let there be one faith in our hearts, one love for You, one Way in You, for You are the One Truth and the only Way. We linger in Your light and beg Your unending kindness. Grant that by the prayers of Your Saints we may obtain Your strength and may Your Mother and ours, walk by our side and hold fast to our hand. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.

Epistle: Acts 3: 11-26
11 And as he held Peter and John, all the people ran to them to the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
12 But Peter seeing, made answer to the people: Ye men of Israel, why wonder you at this? or why look you upon us, as if by our strength or power we had made this man to walk?
13 The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released.
14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.
15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.
16 And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.
17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
20 That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ,
21 Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world.
22 For Moses said: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me: him you shall hear according to all things whatsoever he shall speak to you.
23 And it shall be, that every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and afterwards, who have spoken, have told of these days.
25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the testament which God made to our fathers, saying to Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
26 To you first God, raising up his Son, hath sent him to bless you; that every one may convert himself from his wickedness.

Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
35 And they told what things were done in the way and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not.
37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit.
38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have.
40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet.
41 But while they yet believed not and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat?
42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish,and a honeycomb.
43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.
44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me.
45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.
46 And he said to them: Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead, the third day:
47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And you are witnesses of these things.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Penna OFM (c 1193-1271)

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Penna OFM (c 1193-1271) Priest, Friar of the First Order of St Francis and beame a Franciscan dduring St Francis’ lifetime. Fouder of the Order in France, Mystic and gifted with the charism of prophecy. Born in c1193 at Penna San Giovanni, Diocese of Fermo, Italy as Giovanni da Parma and died on 3 April 1271 at Recanati, Italy. Also known as Juan de Pina, Juan da Penna San Giovanni, Giovanni, Johannes. Additional Memorial – 31 October (Franciscans).

Blessed John joined the Franciscans at Recanati about 1213, after hearing Fra Filippo preach. He listened in astonishment to this sermon and afterwards, begged to be received into the order and to be vested in its habit.

The now Ordained Priest attended the Provincial Chapter of the Franciscans in Recanati . Thereafter, in 1217, he was sent to Languedoc in France, along with other Friar companions, to spread the work of the Order. It was there, that he desired his life would soon come to a close, so that he could return to God and so he sat under a tree in prayer and reflection, beseeching the Lord to take him home – but a voice responded that he still had much work to do on Earth. He felt re-ignited with apostolic zeal and founded several houses for the Order in Provence. His apostolate in France, spanned over two decades.

He returned to the Italian peninsula in 1242 after a messenger from the Father Provincial came to summon him back and he returned to live the bulk of three decades in cloistered retirement. In 1248 he settled civil unrest in his hometown after writing a pact that was used during negotiations.

He spent one full night until the next dawn in spiritual reflection until an Angel appeared and foretold, that the Priest would soon die. He offered the Priest a choice – to spend a day in Purgatory or to expiate his remaining sins through one full week of suffering – he chose the latter.

John fell ill at once with a high fever and racking pain including gout in his hands and feet. The devil also came to him in a vision with a list of all the sins he committed and said to him: “Because of these sins which thou hast committed in thought, word and deed, thou art condemned to the depths of Hell.” This depressed him to the point where he told this to his fellow Friars, who at once summoned the aged Matteo da Monte Robbiano – John’s Confessor and a close friend – who arrived not long before his death. Robbiano encouraged John and comforted him and said it was a mere trick of Satan.

John died on 3 April 1271 after his week of suffering. He had won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners. Aridity and a painful illness; spiritual consolations, however, assured him that he had accomplished his purgatory on earth and when he entered his true home, his cell was illuminated with a celestial light.

He was Beatified on 20 December 1806 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmed).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, HOLY SATURDAY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, SAINT of the DAY

Holy Saturday +2021 and Memorials of the Saints – 3 April

Holy Saturday +2021
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/11/sabbatum-sanctum-holy-saturday-the-second-sabbath-10-april/

Our Glorious Most Sorrowful Mother – By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Mary is our Mother — not by the flesh but by love. That is, she is our Mother by love alone. So someone observes that she glories in being the mother of love. She is all love for us, her adopted children.
The first reason for Mary’s great love for human beings, is that she loves God so much. She loved Him more in the first moment of her existence, than all the Saints and Angels every loved Him or will love him.

Just as there is not one, among all the blessed ,who loves God as Mary does, so there is no one, after God, who loves us as much as this most loving Mother does. Furthermore, if we heaped together all the love that mothers have for their children, all the love of husbands and wives, all the love of all the Angels and Saints for their clients, it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.
Mary, to obtain the life of grace for us … offered her beloved Jesus to an ignominious death, and watched him die before her eyes, in cruel and unexampled torments.
It is written of the Eternal Father, that God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son (Jn 3:16), so also, we can say of Mary, that she so loved the world, as to give her only-begotten Son.
So with St Anselm I will cry:

“Let my heart languish and my soul melt away and be consumed with love of you, my beloved Saviour Jesus and my dear Mother Mary! But because I cannot love you unless You give me grace, then give me grace, O Jesus and Mary — by Your merits, not mine — to love You as You deserve to be loved. O God, lover of humankind, You loved sinful human beings to the point of death. Will You deny Your love and Your Mother’s to anyone who begs for it?”

__
Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benatius of Kilcooley
St Benignus of Tomi
St Burgundofara
St Chrestus
St Comman
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Saint or Blessed (conflicting reports?) Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260)
https://youtu.be/MH42oExIiEI?list=PL5_ax08Z6UX-Mp6eiMLvUNsbqM5V47Q9q

Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
St John I of Naples
Blessed John of Penna OFM (c 1193-1271) Priest, Friar
Blessed John of Jesus and Mary/Juan Otazua Madariaga O.SS.T (1895-1937)
Priest Martyr
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-blessed-john-of-jesus-and-mary-o-ss-t-1895-1937-priest-martyr/
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi Cong. Orat. (1804-1884)
About St Luigi:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-luigi-scrosoppi/

A little Note about St Luigi – his Canonisation Miracle occurred in my previous Parish in Oudtshoorn, Cape Town!

Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)
Her life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-blessed-maria-teresa-casini-1864-1937/
St Nicetas of Medicion
St Papo
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-richard-of-chichester-1197-1253/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, HOLY WEEK, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST

Our Morning Offering – 25 March – To You, O Jesus, Hosanna! By St Bonaventure

Our Morning Offering – 25 March – Palm Sunday

To You, O Jesus, Hosanna!
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274)
Seraphic Doctor of the Church

To You, O Jesus,
do I turn as my true and last end.
You are the River of Life
which alone can satisfy my thirst.
Without You, all else is barren and void.
Without all else, You alone are enough for me.
You are the Redeemer of those that are lost,
the sweet Consoler of the sorrowful,
the Crown of Glory of the victors,
the recompense of the Blessed.
One day I hope to receive of Your fullness
and to sing the song of praise, in my true home.
Give me only on earth, some few drops of consolation
and I will patiently await Your coming,
when I hope to enter into the joy of my Lord.
Hosanna!
Amen

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 March – Blessed Pellegrino of Falerone OFM (Died 1233) Lay Brother

Saint of the Day – 27 March – Blessed Pellegrino of Falerone OFM (Died 1233) Lay Brother of the First Order of St Francis of Assisi. He died in 1233 at the Convent of St Severino in the Marches, Italy of natural causes.

Peregrino of Falerone was a fellow student at Bologna University of Blessed Rizziero of Muccia (Died 1235) and like him, the scion of a noble family. Peregrino was the son of Roger, the wealthy Lord of Falerone.

When, after a sermon preached by St Francis at Bolobna, both these young men abandoned their studies and asked him for the religious habit, becoming amongst the first followers of St Francis, who said to Peregrino:

“You, my son, will serve God in the humble vocation of a lay brother and you should apply yourself to practice humility, in a special way.”

For the young nobleman who, until now, had studied philosophy and jurisprudence with great success, it was a great trial that the vocation of a lay brother should be assigned to him. But Peregrino gave proof, that he possessed true nobility of soul and that he valued the lowest place in Christ’s service, higher than all the honours of the world.

Joyfully he received the habit as a lay brother and strove, above all, to lay a firm foundation in humility. On this secure foundation he then built up all the other virtues in a high degree. At some point, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to visit and follow the steps of our Saviour.

One of the first disciples of St Francis, did not hesitate to assert, that Brother Peregrino was one of the most perfect religious in the whole world.

Peregrino was Beatified on 31 July 1821 by Pope Pius VII.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, The LAST THINGS

Our Morning offering – 11 March – Rescue Me, Most Merciful God

Our Morning offering – 11 March – Thursday of the Third week of Lent

Rescue Me, Most Merciful God
By Father Martin von Cochem OSFC (c 1630-1712)

Most merciful God,
remember at how great a price
Thou didst purchase me
and how much Thou didst suffer for me.
For the sake of that inestimable price,
do not permit me to be lost,
rescue me,
number me amongst the sheep
of Thy fold.
With them, I will then
praise and magnify Thy loving kindness,
to all eternity.
Amen

Fr Martin von Cochem was a German Capuchin theologian, preacher and prolific ascetic writer.
Father Martin’s works embrace a great variety of subjects: a huge volume of apologetics against
Protestantism, the life of Christ, lives of the Saints, edifying narratives, the setting forth of certain points in Christian asceticism, forms of prayer, methods to be followed for the worthy reception of the sacraments, etc.
The prayer above is from the renowned “The Four Last Things.”

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 March – Blessed Sylvester of Assisi OFM (Died 1240) Priest

Saint of the Day – 6 March – Blessed Sylvester of Assisi OFM (Died 1240) Priest, Franciscan Frria. One of the first 4 followers of St Francis of Assisi and was the first Priest in the Franciscan Order.

Sylvester was a member of one of the noblest and wealthiest families of the City of Assisi, the Uncle of St Clare Of Assisi.

When St Francis embarked on his campaign to “rebuild My church” Sylvester sold Francis stones which were to be used to rebuild the little Church of St Damiano. When, a short while later, he saw Francis and Blessed Bernard of Quintavalle distributing Bernard’s wealth to the poor, Sylvester complained that he had been poorly paid for the stones and asked for more money.

Though Francis obliged, the handful of money he gave Sylvester later caused him to regret this spirit of greed he found in himself, his conscience rebuked him and he was filled with guilt. He sold all of his goods and gave the money to the poor and began a life of penance. Sylvester was Ordained a Priest and became a Canon of the Cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi.

Thereafter, he joined St Francis. Sylvester became a holy and prayerful man and a favourite of Francis. He was known in the Order for his strict observance of the life of poverty and contemplation. Together with his cousin, Clare, he later prayed for enlightenment to discern the will of God for Francis, when Francis sought advice on how he should best serve God. Should he go out to preach rather than by devoting himself solely to prayer?

The cave at the Eremo delle Carceri, near Assisi, where Blessed Sylvester spent long periods in solitary prayer

Sylvester often accompanied Francis during his preaching tours. Once, in the city of Arezzo, it was claimed by the residents, that Sylvester’s preaching and prayers brought peace to the City, which was falling prey to hatred and violence amongst its citizens. In another City where civil war was raging, Sylvester was commanded by Francis to drive the devils out. At the City gate Sylvester cried out: “In the name of almighty God and by virtue of the command of His servant Francis, depart from here, all you evil spirits.” The devils departed and peace returned to the City.

St Bonaventure, in a special way, mentions the visions which Sylvester had concerning Francis.

Sylvester died in Assisi in 1240, surviving Francis by 14 year. He is one of Francis’ four original companions who are buried near his tomb in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi.

Posted in "Follow Me", FRANCISCAN OFM, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 March – Give and it will be given to you – Luke 6:36-38

One Minute Reflection – 1 March – Monday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 9:4-10Psalms 79:8911 and 13Luke 6:36-38 and the Memorial of Saint Albinus of Angers (469-549) Bishop

“For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.”… Luke 6:38

REFLECTION – “Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin.
Men lose all the material things – they leave behind them in this world but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give.
For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve.” – St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)

PRAYER – We beseech Your mercy Lord, let Your Spirit come upon us in power and fill us with His gifts, to render our minds and hearts pleasing to You and make us docile and merciful as Your Son has taught us. May our Lord Jesus, Your Son, guide us and may the prayers of St Albinus of Angers assist us to engrave Your precepts in our hearts and actions. Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The 5th Luminous Mystery - The INSTITUTION of the EUCHARIST, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 28 February – My Lord, I am Unworthy! By St Bonaventure

Our Morning Offering – 28 February – The Second Sunday of Lent

My Lord, I am Unworthy!
Prayer before Holy Communion
By St Bonaventure (1217-1274)
Doctor of the Church

My Lord,
Who are You
and who am I,
that I should dare to take You
into my body and soul?
A thousand years
of penance and tears
would not be sufficient
to make me worthy
to receive so royal a Sacrament even once!
How much more am I unworthy of it,
who fall into sin daily,
I, the incorrigible,
who approach You so often
without due preparation!
Nevertheless, Your mercy
infinitely surpasses my unworthiness.
Therefore, I make bold
to receive this Sacrament,
trusting in Your love.
Amen

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, INCORRUPTIBLES

Saint of the Day – 25 February – Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) “The Angel of Mexico.”

Saint of the Day – 25 February – Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) “The Angel of Mexico,” Franciscan Lay brother, Confessor, Ascetic, apostle of the poor, builder of roads and bridges in Mexico and thus is honoured as the founder of the transport and road system in Mexico. Born as Sebastiano de Aparicio y del Pardo on 20 January 1502 in La Gudiña, Orense, Spain and died on 25 February 1600 of natural causes, aged 98. Sebastian was a Spanish colonist in Mexico shortly after its conquest by Spain, who after a lifetime as a rancher and road builder, entered the Order of Friars Minor as a lay brother. He spent the next 26 years of his long life, as a beggar for the Order and died with a great reputation for holiness. Patronages – drivers, travellers, road builders and the Transport industry in Mexico. His body is incorrupt.

Sebastian was born in Spain into a peasant family in 1502,. He was a good looking young man with a reserved personality that attracted the interest of quite a few women. He was deeply religious and changed employment several times, before the age of 30, to avoid the temptations opened to him. He worked as a household servant and as a hired field hand.

Despite his illiteracy, he had absorbed the discourse on how to lead a pious and holy life that he could emulate models in hagiographic texts. According to his own account, his life was saved in a miraculous way during an outbreak of the bubonic plague in his town in 1514. Forced to isolate him from the community, his parents built a hidden shelter for him in the woods, where they left him. While lying there helpless, due to his illness, a she-wolf found the hiding spot and, poking her head into his hiding spot, sniffed and then bit and licked an infected site on his body, before running off. He began to heal from that moment.

At the age of 31, Sebastian left Spain for Mexico. He settled in the town of Puebla de los Angeles where he took employment as a field hand. However, he soon noticed a business opportunity for Puebla was an important crossroads and he noted, that the goods transported, were carried on the backs of pack animals or on the backs of the native people.

At first, Sebastian made and sold wheeled carts for the transport of goods. He then expanded into the improvement and building of roads and bridges to improve transport for goods and people. He was responsible for the building of a 460 mile road from Mexico City to Zacatecas, which took 10 years to build and was of enormous benefit to the local economy.

By the age of 50, Sebastian was a wealthy man. He lived very simply and gave his earnings to others, he bought food for the poor, made loans that he never reclaimed to poor farmers too proud to accept charity, he paid the dowries for poor brides and gave free training to Indians in skills that would assist them in earning a living. In addition, people brought him their problems and he had a reputation for his wisdom.

Sebastian became known as “The Angel of Mexico.” He retired at the age of 50 to a hacienda to raise cattle. He married at age 60 at the request of his bride’s parents. His bride was a poor girl and he agreed to the match, on condition that the couple lived as brother and sister, which they did. His wife died and he married again on the same condition. When he was 70, Sebastian’s second wife died and he himself contracted a serious illness.

Upon recovering, he decided to give everything he had to the poor and became a lay Franciscan brother. He undertook many responsibilities, including cook, sacristan, gardener and porter. He was then assigned to the large community of friars in the city of Puebla, at that time consisting of about 100 friars, most of whom, were doing their studies or were retired or recovering from illness. He was appointed to be the quaestor of the community, the one assigned to travel throughout the local community, seeking food and alms for the upkeep of the friars and those who came to them for help. The builder of Mexico’s highway system had become a beggar on it. Despite his advanced age, he felt the vigour needed for the task. This formerly rich man, loved his job and was loved by his fellow Franciscans, the townspeople and the poor that the Brothers helped. He also loved–and was loved–by animals, even the most stubborn mules and oxen would obey the Blessed, much like Saint Francis.

Though he had long suffered from a hernia, Aparicio marked his 98th birthday on the road, apparently in good health. On the following 20 February, he developed what was to be his final illness, as the hernia became entangled. He began to feel pain and nausea and, upon arrival at the friary, was immediately sent to the infirmary. It was the first time he had slept in a bed in 25 years. As his condition worsened, he became unable to swallow. His only regret was that, due to this, he was unable to receive Holy Communion. As he lay dying, he was consoled by the friars’ fulfilling his request that they bring the Blessed Sacrament to his cell.

On the evening of 25 February, Aparicio asked to be laid on the ground to meet his death, in imitation of St. Francis. He soon died in the arms of a fellow Galician, Friar Juan de San Buenaventura, with his last word being “Jesus.” When his body lay in state, the crowds that gathered were large and the miracles wrought were so numerous, that he could not be buried for several days. His habit had to be replaced repeatedly, as mourners would snip a piece of it off to keep as the relic of a saint.

The Blessed’s remains were never buried but at the request of the local people, exposed in a prominent place for veneration. His body, although darkened, has remained incorrupt and can be viewed in the Church of Saint Francis in Puebla.

Nearly 1,000 miracles were reported at his intercession, even before his death and such claims continue to this day. Pope Pius VI Beatified him on 17 May 1789.

A statue of the Blessed Sebastian outside the Franciscan Church of Puebla where his incorrupt body is preserved for veneration.
Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, INCORRUPTIBLES, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Great Power, Quebec, Canada, (1673) and Memorials of the Saints – 25 February

Our Lady of Great Power, Quebec, Canada, (1673) – 25 February:

Our Lady of Great Power is little known in America, unless among the pupils of the Ursulines in Quebec. Generations of these, however, have dwelt within the walls of the Old Monastery during two centuries and more, since the arrival of the statue in the last years of the 17th century.
In the annals of the Ursulines of the Sacred Heart at Perigueux, France, where the statue was solemnly crowned, we find the origin of the devotion. The devotion to Our Lady of Great Power began in the monastery of Issoudun. There a holy Ursuline nun, Mother Saint Peter, was inspired during her prayer to invoke Our Lady under this title. She spoke of her inspiration to her Sisters and her Superiors. The devotion was adopted with enthusiasm and very soon it was decided, that a statue be sculptured and a Chapel built, dedicated to Our Lady of Great Power; she would henceforth be chosen, as first and principal Superior of the Monastery.
The feast of the dedication took place 25 February 1673 and was celebrated with great pomp, as the chronicle testifies:

“After High Mass two ecclesiastics carried the statue to the entry of the monastery where the nuns, in solemn procession, received it. It was placed on a richly decorated litter and, to the chanting of hymns, psalms and canticles, it was brought to the prepared Chapel.
When the same statue was raised on its pedestal, the Superior laid the keys of the monastery, the seals and constitutions at Our Lady’s feet, begging her, in the name of the community, to accept the gift of all hearts and of the entire monastery and to allow them, to look on her as their Superior forever. Each rendered homage while hymns and canticles of thanksgiving were sung in Mary’s honour.”

Ever after, when a Superior was elected, the ceremony was renewed and is still renewed in each Ursuline community every year on a principal feast of the Blessed Virgin; though homage is rendered only every three years, after the election or nomination of Superiors.
The statue of Our Lady of Great Power was carried off and profaned during the dark days of the French Revolution. It was found and returned to the monastery at Perigueux and the devotion continued fervently until 1892, when the Bishop of Perigueux, in the name of the Soverign Pontiff, placed a richly jewelled crown on the head of the Mother and the Child and ratified the numberless and signal favours obtained through Our Lady of Great Power.
Through the Ursulines in Quebec, the devotion soon spread through the New World. Before the Altar in Quebec hangs the famous votive light promised to be kept burning as a token of thanks for favours granted to Mother Saint Agatha (Madeleine de Repentigny). Relatives and descendants of this holy nun have kept the lamp burning. One relative, Miss Anthon, had a new lamp made, an artistic gem, the work of the celebrated ecclesiastical goldsmith Calliat of Lyon, France.

St Adelelmo of Engelberg
St Aldetrudis
St Ananias of Phoenicia
Bl Avertano of Lucca
St Caesarius of Nanzianzen
St Callistus Caravario
Bl Ciriaco Maria Sancha Hervas
Bl Didacus Yuki Ryosetsu
St Domenico Lentini
St Donatus the Martyr
Saint Felix III, Pope
St Gerland the Bishop
St Gothard the Hermit
St Herena the Martyr
St Justus the Martyr
St Laurentius Bai Xiaoman
St Luigi Versiglia
Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani (1806-1855)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/02/25/saint-of-the-day-25-february-blessed-maria-adeodata-pisani-osb-1806-1855/
St Nestor of Side
St Riginos
Bl Robert of Arbrissel
Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio OFM (1502-1600) Franciscan Lay Brother
St Tharasius
St Toribio Romo González
St Victor of Saint Gall
St Walburga

Martyrs of Egypt – A group of Christian men who were exiled to Egypt for their faith and were eventually martyred for their faith in the persecutions of Numerian. We know little more than their names:
Claudianus
Dioscurus
Nicephorus
Papias
Serapion
Victor
Victorinus

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Good Tidings, Lempdes, France (1500’s) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 February

Our Lady of Good Tidings, Notre Dame-de-Bonne Nouvelle, Lempdes, France (1500’s) – 18 February:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Good Tidings, near Rouen, where a great number of people are seen, particularly on Saturdays.”

It was on 23 December 1563, when the Bishop of Lucon, Jean-Baptiste Tiercelin, consecrated the Church under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. This first Chapel came into the world in the midst of religious convulsions that were then taking place in Switzerland, Germany and England, by the leaders of the ‘Reformation’ and must necessarily be seen, as an action bravely going against the tide. The religious wars that began raging in France ten years after its erection, began to be another reason for some concern for faithful Catholics but the pilgrimages to the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle continued undisturbed. From time immemorial, there had been venerated at Notre Dame a Statue of the Blessed Virgin, holding in her arm the Infant Jesus. Many went to her in procession, especially children, who came each year to ask Mary for perseverance after their first Communion.
The revolutionary turmoil in France, which was to take the throne and the altar, could not leave behind the parish of Our Lady of Good Tidings. In 1790 the National Assembly decreed a new law in which the Church of Our Lady of Good Tidings was dissolved. As the Priest, Fr M Fabre, had the courage to refuse the oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he was thrown into the street.
A short time later, on 22 May 1791, the Abbot Fourquet de Damalis, convened in the Church an assembly of the faithful and there were very many who responded. This occurred under the noses of twelve national guardsmen and so the Police Commissioner, a man named Cafin, responded there quickly. He asked the Abbot why there was such a meeting and the Abbot answered him, that he was explaining to the faithful the decrees of the National Assembly for the public good. The Police Commissioner accepted the explanation and the meeting, having been perfectly peaceful, the police commissioner was obliged to agree to the monthly meetings and record it in his minutes.
One might think that the worship would be suspended at Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle during the Terror but we have evidence to the contrary. As at Chartres, a great number of the faithful remained active and opposed the removal of the sacred ornaments of the Church and defended their Priests and eager to fulfil their religious duties, they were not to be intimidated by the fear of imprisonment and even death. From the registry of marriages and baptisms, including a few that date back to 1793, we know that there were religious ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings held there secretly, sometimes in an oratory, sometimes in the Church.
In the year 1818, a severe epidemic was ravaging the country. The faithful vowed, with the agreement of their Bishop, to go in procession to Our Lady of Good Tidings and celebrate in perpetuity the feast of the Visitation, which was the feast of the Chapel. The procession took place and God quickly put an end to the scourge of the plague.
At about that time, a young boy began making regular visits to the Church of Our Lady of Good Tidings, who was the patroness of the village. He was a poor boy materially, for Lempdes was one of the poorer villages in France and he had been born into a peasant family, that was struggling to eke out a living in the wreck of post-revolutionary France. He kept the faith and when he grew up, Jean Baptiste Lamy was Ordained a Priest, eventually becoming the first Archbishop of Sana Fe, New Mexico.

Blessed Alvarez of Cordova OP (c 1350–c 1430) Priest
St Auxibius
St Baoithin
St Barbatus of Benevento (c 610-682)
About St Barbatus:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/19/saint-of-the-day-19-february-st-barbatus-of-benevento-c-610-682-apostle-of-the-south/
St Beatus
St Belina
St Boniface of Lausanne
St Conon of Alexandria
St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351)
The Life of St Conrad:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/19/saint-of-the-day-19-february-st-conrad-of-piacenza-tosf-c-1290-1351/

Bl Elizabeth of Mantua
St Gabinus
St George of Lodeve

Blessed John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)
His life:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/saint-of-the-day-19-february-blessed-john-sullivan-s-j-1861-1933/

Bl Józef Zaplata
St Lucia Yi Zhenmei
St Mansuetus of Milan
St Odran
St Proclus of Bisignano
St Quodvultdeus
St Valerius of Antibes
St Zambdas of Jerusalem

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, LENT 2021, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SACRED HEART PRAYERS

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – Jesus, Pierce My Soul with Your Love By St Bonaventur

Our Morning Offering – 18 February – Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Jesus, Pierce My Soul with Your Love
By St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274)
The Seraphic Doctor

Jesus, pierce my soul with Your love
so that I may always long for You alone,
the fulfilment of the soul’s deepest desires.
May my heart always hunger and feed on You,
my soul thirst for You,
the source of life,
wisdom, knowledge, light
and all the riches of God.
May I always seek and find You,
think about You,
speak about You
and do everything for Your honour and glory.
Be always my hope,
my peace, my refuge and my help,
in whom my heart is rooted,
so that I may never
be separated from You.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, LENT 2021, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday

“Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger,
rich in kindness
and relenting in punishment.”

Joel 2:12-13

“He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.
Do not forget your purpose
and destiny as God’s creature.
What you are in His sight,
is what you are and nothing more.
Remember that when you leave this earth,
you can take nothing that you have received…
but only what you have given – a full heart
enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

“Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, INCORRUPTIBLES

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Philippa Mareri OSC (c 1195-1236)

Saint of the Day – 16 February – Blessed Philippa Mareri OSC (c 1195-1236) Religious Nun of the Poor Clares, foundress of the monastery of Franciscan Sisters of Saint Philippa Mareri of the Poor Clares, Penitent and disciple of the teachings of St Francis of Assisi. Born in c 1195 in Mareri, Rieti, Italy and died on 16 February 1236 in Borgo San Pietro, Rieti, Italy of natural causes aged 41. Also known as Filippa Mareria. Patronage – Sulmona, Italy. Her heart is incorrupt.

Blessed Philippa Mareri, who belonged to the illustrious family of the Mareri, saw the light of day at the castle of her parents near Rieti in Italy, toward the close of the twelfth century. At a very early age she was the favourite of all who knew her, not only because of her natural gifts but principally because of her steady advancement in perfection. As a young woman she lived quietly at home, devoted to prayer and the cultivation of her high mental endowments. She took particular pleasure in reading the Holy Scriptures and studying the Latin language, in which she became very proficient.

About this time, St Francis often visited the valley of Rieti, where he established several convents and sometimes called at the home of the devout Mareri. His forceful admonitions, filled with holy simplicity and unction and his severe life of penance, made a deep impression on Philippa.

It was not long before Blessed Philippa Mareri resolved to imitate our holy Father, foregoing wealth and consecrating herself entirely to God. She rejected a proposal to marry with the words:

“I already have a spouse, the noblest and the greatest, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Neither the remonstrances of her parents, nor the ridicule of her brother Thomas, had any effect in changing her mind. She cut off her hair, donned a very coarse garmen, and with several companions withdrew to a cave in the rocks of a nearby mountain.

Her austere life of penance and intimate union with God changed the resentment and mockery of her family into admiration. Thomas visited the mountain recess to ask Philippa’s forgiveness and placed at her disposal, the Church of St Peter and an adjacent convent once occupied by the Benedictines, over which he was the patron. Full of joy, the young community took up its abode there, accepting the place as a gift from heaven. They lived according to the rule of St Clare under the direction of Blessed Roger of Todi, to whom St Francis had entrusted the care of their souls.

The new foundation flourished remarkably and many of the noblest young women joined their ranks. Philippa’s excellent example and loving manner were particularly instrumental in bringing about these results. Although she filled the capacity of Superior, she was the humblest member of the community. She had no equal in zeal for prayer and mortification, and, like St Francis and Blessed Roger, she held poverty in the highest esteem. Blessed Philippa Mareri exhorted her sisters to have no care for the morrow and more than once, in times of need, her trust in God was signally rewarded with miraculous assistance.

Blessed Philippa Mareri had lived and laboured and made sacrifices for God for many a year, when it was revealed to her that the time of her death was at hand. She was seized with a fatal illness. Gathering her sisters around her deathbed, she bade them farewell and exhorted them to persevere in their efforts toward perfection and to remain united in sisterly love. Having received the last sacraments at the hands of Blessed Roger, she addressed to her sisters the words of the Apostle:

“The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

She then expired quietly and went home, on 16 February 1236.

Striking miracles occurred on the very day of her burial and many more have occurred since then throughout the years. Shortly after her death Pope Innocent IV approved the veneration paid to her and on 30 April 1806 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation; decree of heroic virtues) -renewed the approbation. Blessed Philippa’s incorrupt heart is preserved today in a silver reliquary, while her other remains are preserved in the Monastery of Borgo San Pietro in the Valle del Salto. Today, nearly eight centuries after her death, the devotion to the Saint and the Pilgrimage Site has kept on growing, not only in her homeland but also in many other countries and other continents.

The Sanctuary and Statue of Blessed Philippa

The Grotta di Santa Philippa is the place where the noble woman, belonging to the important Mareri family, took refuge, when she abandoned luxury and comfort to follow her faith. Located near Petrella Salto, it is immersed in the green nature of the Valley. Here Philippa Mareri took refuge in the thirteenth century with some companions, to escape the pressures of family members who opposed her choice of religious life. Today the cave has been transformed into a graceful and simple rock church, the destination of many faithful and reachable via the pilgrim’s path. Inside there is a statue of the saint and a marble altar covered by a wooden canopy.

Posted in CARMELITES, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of Fire, Forli, Italy (1428) and Memorials of the Saints – 4 February

Our Lady of Fire, Forli, Italy (1428) – 4 February:

The best-known print in early times was certainly the miraculous woodcut of Forli in north-eastern Italy, which became famous as Our Lady of Fire, or Our Lady of the Fire. It is the subject of the earliest monograph on a printed picture, which also fixes the earliest date that can be attached to a surviving Italian print. This book is Giuliano Bezzi’s “Il Fuoco Trionfante,” printed in 1637 at Forli, between Florence and Ravenna and he speaks of the miracle remembered as Our Lady of Fire.
“Around the year of our Lord 1420, in a pleasant house by the Cathedral at Forli, the devout and learned Lombardino Brussi of Ripetrosa imitated Christ among the disciples at Emmaus by breaking the bread of the fear of the Lord and of humane letters with school boys. Their household devotion turned to the Virgin. They ever began and ended their literary exercises by praising and praying to this great sovereign of the universe. They said their prayers before an image of Our Lady rudely printed from a woodblock on a paper about a foot square. Printing was then new and who knows if this may not have been the first print by the first printmaker? The simplicity of the image certainly matched the well-mannered scholar’s simplicity of heart. It showed and still shows, the most Blessed Virgin holding her Holy Infant and surrounded by saints like King Solomon by his guard. Above to the right and left shine the sun and the moon, luminously forecasting that the Virgin was to consecrate this paper with a power like the moon’s over water and the sun’s over fair weather.

The devotion to the Virgin had advanced these happy boys from easy letters to graver studies when, on 4 February 1428, fire broke out in the downstairs classroom. Whether it started by accident or by design, is not known but certain it is, that the outcome so glorified God and His Blessed Mother that fires nowadays cause joy where they burn! When this fire had feasted on the benches and cupboards of the school, it followed its nature to ascend and sprang at the sacred paper. In awe at the sight of the most holy image, the flames stopped and – wonder of wonders – like the blameless fingers of a loving hand, they detached it from the wall to which it was tacked. The fire thought the wall too base a support for so sublime a portrait and longed to uphold the heaven of that likeness, like the other heaven, on a blazing sphere. Above the flames raging in the closed room the unscorched image floated as on a throne. When the fire had consumed the ceiling beams it wafted out the revered leaf, not to burn but to exalt it. With this leaf on its back it flew to the second floor, to the third, to the roof, then through the roof and behold, the Virgin’s image burst above the wondrous pyre like a phoenix, triumphant and unconsumed! The miracle drew the eyes of all the populace and came to the ears of Monsignor Domenico Capranica, the Papal Legate, who carried the paper in a procession, accompanied by all the people, to the Cathedral of Santa Croce, where it was placed in a holy but simple chapel.”

The building burned to the ground but the image of Our Lady of Fire was not forgotten. Copies were made of the image and they could be found in every Christian home in the region. The original print itself, was the focus and centre of religious life in the town of Forli, which had been blessed to witness such a great miracle.

St Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop

Bl Dionisio de Vilaregut
St Donatus of Fossombrone
St Eutychius of Rome
St Filoromus of Alexandria
St Firmus of Genoa
Bl Frederick of Hallum
St Gelasius of Fossombrone
St Geminus of Fossombrone
St Gilbert of Sempringham
St Isidore of Pelusium
St Jane de Valois O.Ann.M and TOSF (1464-1505)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/saint-of-the-day-4-february-saint-jane-of-valois-o-ann-m-1464-1505/

St John de Britto SJ (1647-1693) Martyr Priest
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/04/saint-of-the-day-4-february-st-john-de-britto-sj-1647-1693-martyr/

St John of Irenopolis
Bl John Speed
St Joseph of Leonissa OFM (Cap) (1556-1612)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/saint-of-the-day-4-february-st-joseph-of-leonissa/

St Liephard of Cambrai
St Magnus of Fossombrone
St Modan
St Nicholas Studites
St Nithard
St Obitius
St Phileas of Alexandria
Blessed Rabanus Maurus OSB (776-856)
Blessed Rabanus’ Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/04/saint-of-the-day-4-february-saint-rabanus-maurus-osb-776-856/
St Rembert
St Themoius
St Theophilus the Penitent
St Vincent of Troyes
St Vulgis of Lobbes

Jesuit Martyrs of Japan: A collective memorial of all members of the Jesuits who have died as martyrs for the faith in Japan.

Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints: A group of shepherds martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about them are the names – Claudian, Conon, Diodorus and Papias. They were martyred in c 250 in Perga, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 February – Blessed Andrew of Segni OFM (1240-1302)

Saint of the Day – 1 February – Blessed Andrew of Segni OFM (1240-1302) Priest, Friar of the the Order of Friars Minor, Hermit, spiritual teacher, mystic, miracle-worker and exorcist. Andrew is best known for his humble life of solitude in which he was subjected to demonic visions and attacks, though his faith in God saw him emerge time and time again, as the victor. He lived his life in a small grotto in the Apennines. Born as Andrea De Comitibus dei Conti in 1240 in Anagni, Italy and died on 1 February 1302 at his Mount Scalambra Hermitage near Piglio, Italy of natural causes, aged 62. Additional Memorial – 3 February in the Diocese of Anagni and by the Franciscans. Patronage – against demons, Diocese of Anagni.

Andrea De Comitibus of the Counts of Segni, was born in Anagni around 1240. He was a close relative of popes Innocent III, Gregory IX, Alexander IV and Boniface VIII, of the last two he was respectively Nephew and Uncle.

The road to high honour had opened its portals to him too but even as a young man, he recognised the vanity of the world and renounced it entirely. He left his father’s castle, worldly honour and riches and sought another home in the newly founded Franciscan convent of St Lawrence in the Apennines. There, he found a solitary grotto, where, with the permission of the superiors, he made his abode. The cavern was so narrow and low that, because of his tall stature, Andrew was obliged either to kneel or to bend over considerably when he was inside. But here he remained for the rest of his life and he became the perfect model of Franciscan humility and mortification, of modesty and piety. The cave in which he spent most of his day in prayer and in the most severe poverty and penance is still visible today.

In spite of this inconvenience he spent almost his entire life there in the contemplation of heavenly things, practicing great austerities and struggling almost continually against the evil spirits, over which, with the grace of God, he always emerged the victor. He was diligent also in pursuing the study of the sacred sciences and was the author of a treatise on the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, which was treasured by his contemporaries but which has, unfortunately, not survived to our day.

In the year 1295 his uncle, Pope Alexander IV, visited Blessed Andrew Segni with the purpose of presenting him with the Cardinal’s hat. But neither Alexander, nor later Boniface VIII, succeeded in inducing the saint to accept the dignity. This humility made such an impression on Boniface VIII, that he expressed the wish to outlive Andrew so that he might have the privilege of Canonising him. In 1295, his nephew, Pope Boniface VIII wanted again to appoint him Cardinal but he refused this dignity, preferring to serve the Church in his solitude.

In the last years of his life Andrew was favoured with the gift of miracles and of prophecy. On one occasion he was far too ill to eat and so a friend bought him a plate of roasted birds to assuage his illness. Andrew was too distressed to see the slain birds that he made the Sign of the Cross over them and – it has been said – bought them back to life.

On 1 February 1302, the humble servant of God went forth to receive heavenly honours. His body reposes with the Friars Minor Conventual at St Lawrence and he is still signally honoured by the people and invoked by them, as special protector against the attacks of evil spirits. His cult was recognised and approved by Pope Innocent XIII, a scion of the same noble family, on 11 December 1724. During the last World War, his tomb received damage from the allied bombing of 12 May 1944 and to repair it, a survey of the relics was carried out on 8 February 1945.

An ancient image of the Blessed dated to the 14th century can be seen in a fresco by Taddeo Gaddi in the Basilica of St Croce in Florence.

Blessed Andrew’s liturgical celebration is on 1 February in Piglio (Frosinone) and in the Diocese of Anagni, and in Franciscan Churches, on 3 February.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, St Louis-Marie Grignion de MONTFORT

Memorials of the Saints – 1 February

Baptism of St Louis de Montfort /Eve of the Purification of Our Lady, Paris: 1 February
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was born on 31 January 1673. He was a Missionary Priest but it was his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his ‘Total Consecration’ for which he is now most famous.
Baptism is recalled as part of the vow of consecration: “I…renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.”

The saints see things very differently than most men. In his Consecration to Mary, St Louis states, “You are truly blessed if the world persecutes you, opposing your plans though they are good, thinking evil of your intentions, calumniating your conduct and taking away unjustly your reputation or your possessions.”
“My son, beware of complaining to others, rather than to Me, of the bad treatment you receive, and do not seek ways of justifying yourself, particularly when you are the only one to suffer from it. On the contrary, pray for those who procure for you the blessings of persecution.
Thank Me for treating you as I Myself was treated on earth, a sign of contradiction.
Never be discouraged in your plans because you meet with opposition, it is a pledge of future victory. A good work which is not opposed, which is not marked by the sign of the cross, has no great value before Me and will soon be destroyed.
Regard as your best friends those who persecute you because they procure for you, great merit on earth and great glory in heaven.
Regard as unfortunate those who live in luxury, who feast sumptuously, who frequent the world of fashion, who make their way in the world, who succeed in business and who spend their lives in pleasures and amusements.
Never do anything, either good or evil, out of human respect to avoid any blame, insult, mockery, or praise.
When through your own fault some loss or disgrace befalls you, do not be disturbed by it but rather humble yourself before God and accept it from His hands as punishment for your fault.”

Saint Louis de Montfort had a difficult life in which he was often unjustly persecuted and where he faced unexpected challenges in his desire to promote love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In some ways and by worldly standards, he often appeared a failure and his motives were misunderstood. Nothing was wasted, for all his work was truly for the glory of God and for the honour of the Mother of God and his devotion to her has borne great fruit! Amen!

St Agrepe
Blessed Andrew of Segni OFM (1240-1302) Priest
Bl Anthony Manzoni
St Asclepiades
St Autbert of Landevenec
St Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) – Martyr
The first South African Blessed:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/saint-of-the-day-1-february-blessed-benedict-daswa-1946-1990-martyr/

St Brigid of Fiesole
St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523)
St Brigid’ Story:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/01/saint-of-the-day-st-brigid-of-ireland-kildare-c-453-523/
St Cecilius of Granada
St Cinnia of Ulster
St Clarus of Seligenstadt
Bl Conor O’Devany
St Crewenna
St Darlaugdach of Kildare
St Henry Morse
St Ioannes Yi Mun-u
St Jarlath
Bl John of the Grating
St Kinnia
Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/01/saint-of-the-day-blessed-blessed-luigi-variara-sdb-1875-1923/
Bl Patrick O’Lougham
St Paul of Trois-Châteaux
St Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Raymond of Fitero
St Sabinus
St Severus of Avranches
St Severus of Ravenna
St Sigebert III of Austrasia
St Tryphon of Lampsacus
St Ursus of Aosta
St Veridiana

Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution.
• Anne-François de Villeneuve• Anne Hamard• Catherine Cottenceau• Charlotte Davy• François Bellanger• François Bonneau• François Michau• François Pagis epouse Railleau• Gabrielle Androuin• Jacquine Monnier• Jeanne Bourigault
• Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné• Madeleine Blond• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye• Marie-Anne Vaillot• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier• Marie Grillard• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé• Marie Leroy• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju• Odilia Baumgarten• Perrine Androuin• Perrine Besson• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz• Perrine Grille• Perrine Ledoyen• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault• Renée Grillard• Renée Martin épouse Martin• Renée Valin• Rose Quenion• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau
• Suzanne Androuin• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère.
They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour:
• Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
• Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u
• Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on WISDOM, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – “What is this? A new teaching with authority!” – Mark 1:27

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, Mark 1:21-28 and the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of the St Mark the Evangelist to Venice

“What is this? A new teaching with authority!” – Mark 1:27

REFLECTION“Only one is your teacher, the Messiah.” (Mt 23:10). … For Christ is “the reflection of the Father’s glory, the exact representation of the Father’s being and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” (Heb 1:3)
He is the origin of all wisdom.
The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom.
Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn 14:6). …
As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge according to faith. … That is why Peter teaches in his second letter: “We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place.” (1:19). … For through His coming in the spirit, Christ is the origin of all revelation and through His coming in the flesh, He is the strengthening of all authority.

He comes first in the spirit as the revealing light of every prophetic vision. According to Daniel: “He reveals deep and hidden things and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with him.” (2:22)
This is the light of divine wisdom, which is in Christ.
According to John, Christ said: “I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall ever walk in darkness” (8:12) and “While you have the light, keep faith in the light, thus you will become children of light.” (12:36). …
Without this light which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith. And that is why we read in the Book of Wisdom: “O God, send forth that Wisdom from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne, dispatch her that she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is your pleasure … For what man knows God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?” (9:10-13)
No-one can come to the certainty of revealed faith, except through Christ’s coming in the spirit and the flesh.” – St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Church Sermon ‘Christus unus omnium magister’

PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Sanctify our hearts, minds and actions with Your power, that all we are may speak of Your Light. May the prayers of our Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth and glorious St Mark the Evangelist, who so diligently followed You in the darkness around him, bring us to peace and confidence. We make our prayer through Your Son, our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 January – Blessed is the servant ….

One Minute Reflection – 28 January – Thursday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 10:19-25, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Mark 4:21-25 and the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274) and Blessed Julian Maunoir SJ (1606-1683)

“For to the one who has, more will be given and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” – Mark 4:25

REFLECTION – “Blessed is the servant who attributes every good to the Lord God, for he who holds back something for himself, hides within himself, the money of his Lord God (Mt 25:18) and that which he thought he had, shall be taken away from him (Mt 25:18.28; Lk 8:18).

Blessed is the servant who esteems himself, no better when he is praised and exalted by people, than when he is considered worthless, simple and despicable; for what a man is before God, that he is and nothing more. …

Blessed is that religious, who takes no pleasure and joy except in the most holy words and deeds of the Lord and with these, leads people to the love of God in joy and gladness … Blessed is the servant who, when he speaks, does not reveal everything about himself in the hope of receiving a reward and, who is not quick to speak but wisely weighs what he should say and how he should reply.
Woe to that religious, who does not keep in his heart, the good things the Lord reveals to him and who does not manifest them to others, by his actions but, rather seeks to make such good things known by his words. He, thereby, receives his reward while those who listen to him, carry away but little fruit. …

Blessed is that servant who stores up in heaven (Mt 6,20) the good things which the Lord has revealed to him and does not desire to reveal them to others, in the hope of profiting thereby. For the Most High will manifest his deeds to whomever he wishes. Blessed is the servant who keeps the secrets of the Lord in his heart.” – St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226) Founder of the Friars Minor – Admonitions, 19-22.28

PRAYER – Lord, our God, since it was by Your gift that St Thomas became so great a Saint and theologian, give us grace to understand his teaching and follow his way of life. May his great love for Jesus Crucified and His pure adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, be our guide to follow in Your Son’s footsteps and take up our cross and follow Him. Grant that by the prayers of St Thomas, we may grow in love and sanctity, amen.

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Great and Glorious God By St Francis

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Great and Glorious God
By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

Great and glorious God,
my Lord Jesus Christ!
I implore Thee to enlighten me
and to disperse the darkness of my soul.
Give me true faith, firm hope and perfect charity.
Grant me, O Lord, to know Thee so well
that in all things I may act by Thy light
and in accordance with Thy holy will.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – “Follow me!” Mark 1:17-18

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readins: Jonah 3: 1-5, 10, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1: 14-20 and the Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him…Mark 1:17-18

REFLECTION “Follow me!” Jesus says these words … to every Christian. Follow me, naked as I am naked, free from every hindrance as I myself am. Jeremiah said: “You will call me ‘My Father’ and never turn away from me” (Jer 3:19). So follow Me and put down the burdens you are bearing. For, laden as you are, you cannot follow Me who am running ahead. “I ran in thirst” says the psalmist about me (Ps 61:5 LXX), the thirst to save humanity. And where is He running? To the Cross. You too, run after Him. As He bore His Cross for you, take up your own for your good. From whence these words of Saint Luke’s gospel: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself” by renouncing his own will, “take up his cross” by mortifying his passions, “daily,” that is all the time, “and follow me.” (Lk 9:23) …

Jesus speaks to us like a mother who, wanting to teach her child to walk, shows him apiece of bread or an apple and says to him: “Come with me and I’ll give it to you.” And when the child is so close that he can almost catch hold of it, she draws away a little, showing the thing to him and repeating: “Follow me if you want it.” Some kinds of birds lead their little ones out of their nest and, by flying, teach them to fly and to follow them. Jesus does the same. He shows Himself as an example and promises us His reward in the kingdom so that we might follow Him.

So “follow me” for I know the right way and will guide you. We read in the book of Proverbs: “I will show you the way of wisdom; I will lead you by the ways of equity. When you have entered, your steps will not be constrained and when you run you shall not meet a stumbling block” (cf. Prv 4:11-12 LXX). … Therefore, “follow me”.” … St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the feast of Saint John the Evangelist

PRAYER – Grant Lord, that in the service of our fellowmen, we may always reflect Your own gentleness and love and so imitate St Francis de Sales, whom You made all things to all men, for the saving of souls. Grant that his prayers on our behalf may assist us in our daily struggles in traversing our pilgrim way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorials of the Saints

Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 23 January: Feast in honour of the Blessed Virgin’s espousal to Saint Joseph. It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called “espoused” to Joseph (“his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph”, Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated. This feast dates from 1517 when it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation by Pope Leo X with nine other Masses in honour of Our Lady. Adopted by many religious orders and dioceses, it was observed for a time by nearly the whole Church but is no longer in the Calendar.

St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/saint-of-the-day-23-january-st-marianne-cope/

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe
Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)
Her Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/23/saint-of-the-day-23-january-blessed-benedetta-bianchi-porro-1936-1964/
St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe
Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366)
Blessed Henry’s Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/23/saint-of-the-day-blessed-henry-suso-op-1295-1366/
St Ildephonsus (506-667)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/saint-of-the-day-23-january-st-ildephonsus-607-667/

Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almoner (Died c 620) Bishop of Alexandria
Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr