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

Memorials of the Saints – 4 April

St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)
St Isidore’s life:

Bl Abraham of Strelna
St Agathopus of Thessalonica
St Aleth of Dijon
St Benedict of Sicily OFM (1526-1589)
About St Benedict:

Bl Giuseppe Benedetto Dusmet OSB (1818-1894)
St Gwerir of Liskeard
St Henry of Gheest
St Hildebert of Ghent
St Peter of Poitiers
St Plato
St Theodulus of Thessalonica
St Theonas of Egypt
St Tigernach of Clogher
St Zosimus of Palestine


Saint of the Day – 24 March – Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801)

Saint of the Day – 24 March – Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801) Spanish Capuchin Priest Friar, renowned Preacher, Missionary – Known as the “Apostle of Our Lady, the Mother of the Good Shepherd” and the “Apostle of the Blessed Trinity,” Miracle-worker – born as José Francisco López-Caamaño y García Pérez on 30 March 1747 in Cádiz, Seville, Spain and died on 24 March 1801 in Ronda, Malaga, Spain of natural causes.Blessed-Diego-Josef-of-Cadiz

José Francisco López-Caamaño y García Pérez was born in Cádiz in 1743.   His lineage dated from the Visigoth kings.   His mother died when he was 9 years old.   Later, his father moved the family to the city of Grazalema, where he entered the local school run by the Dominican Order.   Though of noble ancestry, as a youth, Joseph could make no progress at school, receiving the nickname of the “dunce of Cadiz”.   A classmate, a Dominican friar named Antonio Querero, testified how difficult study had been for him.

Initially rejected by the Observant Franciscan friars due to this perceived limitation of intellect, López-Caamaño was later accepted by the Capuchin friars and, at the age of 15, entered their novitiate in Seville, at which time he was given the name Didacus Joseph. He was professed as a member of the Order on 31 March 1759.   He was Ordained to the Priesthood in Carmona in 1766, for which he prepared himself by an extremely ascetic life.

In 1771, after further training in homiletics, he was assigned to one of the teams of friars who would preach Parish Missions to residents of isolated, rural villages, which was a major focus of the Capuchins of that era.   His biographers stated that the congregations marvelled at the tender love he displayed to the Crucifix he would hold while preaching and the singular power of his words, which swayed his audiences and left an impression on their lives.   He wandered throughout the entire peninsula on foot, preaching in this way to the various communities he encountered on the Didacus Joseph

Spain was undergoing changes in its intellectual climate, as the influence of the Enlightenment began to spread in the upper classes of the country.   Didacus became a major force in promoting the traditional devotions and beliefs of Catholicism as part of the identity of the nation and is seen, as an early integrist in the development of Spanish culture, opposing Liberal Catholicism.   He also was a strong critic of the policy of consumerism, being promoted in the universities and some government circles.   For this teaching, he was denounced to the Spanish Inquisition for attacking royal prerogatives  . In turn, he accused the proponents of new economic policies and the secularisation of Spanish society of heresy.   He preached at the Royal Court in 1783 but found that he had no effect on the nobility.   Leaving Madrid in disappointment, he later wrote:  “I do not want the royal couple to remember me”.

Didacus was appointed an official of the Inquisition, the synodal examiner for almost all Spanish dioceses and an honourary canon.   The University of Granada conferred upon him the honourary degrees of Master of Arts and Doctorates in Theology and Canon Law. A collection of his sermons numbers 3,000.

Didacus died in 1801, apparently as a result of yellow fever, at the age of 58, in Ronda, Málaga.   His remains are kept for veneration in an urn in the small, simple chapel of Our Lady of Peace in Ronda where he died, on the square now named in the friar’s honor.

He was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII on 22 April 1894.800px-bl Diego_de_Cádiz

This unlearned man became a celebrated preacher in Spain and an honourary Doctor of Theology and Canon law!   During his sermon one day, a child shouted aloud in the church:  “Mother, mother, see the dove resting on the shoulder of Father Didacus!   I could preach like that too if a dove told me all that I should say!”   Didacus prayed devotedly before his sermons, even scourging himself to the point of blood, in order to draw down God’s mercy upon the people.

Once when his superior chided him because of the austerity of his life, Didacus Joseph replied:   “Ah, Father, my sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it.   Those who have been charged with the conversion of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed upon them the sins of all their clients.   By means of our penances we should atone for the sins of our fellowmen and thus preserve ourselves and them from eternal death.   It would hardly be too much if we shed the last drop of our blood for their conversion.”

Many miraculous events are recorded of his life, these three all took place in the main square of Cadiz.   In one, he was able to save the life of a builder who had fallen off a roof, stopping his fall with one hand.   On another occasion, a priest passed him while en route to administer the Last Sacraments to a dying person.   When the acolyte accompanying the priest pointed out to the friar, that he had not removed his hood (the customary form of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament which the Priest would be carrying), Didacus told him, “Tell the priest that the ciborium is empty.”  This turned out to be the case.   On yet another occasion, a heavy rainstorm hit the city.   The square, where Didacus happened to preaching at the time, was the only spot on which no rain fell.

576px-bl didacus Iglesia-Cádiz
The Chapel of Blessed Didacus, located on the site of his birthplace and family home in Cadiz

The 28th Day of Missionary Martyrs + 2020 “In Love and Alive” and Memorials of the Saints – 24 March

The 28th Day of Missionary Martyrs + 2020 “In Love and Alive”
A day of prayer and fasting in memory of the missionary Martyrs of the Faith.blood spattered icon of christ jesus martyrs

The day in which Msgr Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated in 1980, was chosen 28 years ago by the then Missionary Youth Movement of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Italy, to celebrate annually the “Day of Prayer and Fasting in memory of the Missionary Martyrs.”
The Archbishop, assassinated while celebrating Mass, was Beatified on 23 May 2015 and Canonised by Pope Francis on 14 October 2018, together with St Paul VI and 5 others.“Holiness wears many faces” oct 14 canonisations st paul vi st oscar romero st francesco spinelli st nunzio sulprizio st theresa maria st vincenzo romano
The Bishops’ Conference of El Salvador, on the occasion of the 40 years since his Martyrdom, had announced a “Jubilee Year of the Martyrs,” to celebrate the National Martyrs – Fr Rutilio Grande, Msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, Fr Cosme Spessotto.
However, this year, the coronavirus emergency has forced the Bishops to suspend all celebrations and gatherings, so this Day in 2020 will not see public initiatives.
The slogan of the 2020 Day is “In Love and Alive” informs Giovanni Rocca, national secretary of Missio Giovani.   “A message that holds two meanings within itself.   The first, in the qualifying meaning, fully describes those who ardent of love for God the Father and His creatures invested all their time to take care of them.   The second is a real imperative, the legacy that the Martyrs received from our Lord by transmitting it to us today.   Only those who fall in love are willing to abandon the superfluous, in order to grasp the essence of life.   This promise is not only hope for the future but above all a guarantee for the present.”   Then an invitation:  “Convinced that each of us is a worker in the vineyard of the Lord, on 24 March we join in prayer and fasting in memory of the sisters and brothers who by giving their lives continue to be ‘In love and alive.'”
Various aids are available on the Missio Italia website that were prepared to deepen the theme of the day and proposals for concrete initiatives of prayer and solidarity. Following the directives of the Italian government, Missio Giovani has suspended the scheduled events and offers through its social channels – Facebook and Instagram – contents and moments of confrontation to live this time together. (SL) (The Vatican Missionary Agency – Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2020)

St Agapitus of Synnada
St Aldemar the Wise
St Bernulf of Mondovi
Bl Bertha de’Alberti of Cavriglia
Bl Bertrada of Laon
Bl Brian O’Carolan
St Caimin of Lough Derg
St Cairlon of Cashel
St Catherine of Sweden (1331-1381)
Blessed Diego José of Cádiz/Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801)

St Domangard of Maghera
St Epicharis of Rome
St Epigmenius of Rome
St Hildelith of Barking
Bl John del Bastone
St Latinus of Brescia
St Macartan of Clogher
Bl Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart
St Mark of Rome
Bl Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)
Before he was a Saint (Canonised on 14 Oct 2018):

St Pigmenius of Rome
St Romulus of North Africa
St Secundus of North Africa
St Seleucus of Syria
St Severo of Catania
St Timothy of Rome

Martyrs of Africa – 9 saints: A group of Christians murdered for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details about their that survive are the names – Aprilis, Autus, Catula, Coliondola, Joseph, Rogatus, Salitor, Saturninus and Victorinus. .

Martyrs of Caesarea – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little else but six of their names – Agapius, Alexander, Dionysius, Pausis, Romulus and Timolaus. They were martyred by beheading in 303 at Caesarea, Palestine.


One Minute Reflection – 19 March – ‘Blessed Joseph, remember us …’

One Minute Reflection – 19 March – The Solemnity of the Feast of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home … Matthew 1:24matthew 1 24 when joseph awoke he did as the angel commanded him - 19 march 2020

REFLECTION – “When the divine goodness chooses someone to receive a special grace, it gives him all the charisms he needs, which greatly increases his spiritual beauty.   This is wholly confirmed in the case of Saint Joseph, legal father of our Lord Jesus Christ and rightful husband of she, who is Queen of the world and Sovereign of angels.   The eternal Father chose him to be provider and faithful guardian to his chiefest treasures, namely His Son and His bride – a function he faithfully fulfilled  . That is why the Lord said: “Good and faithful servant, come, share your master’s joy” (Mt 25,21).
If you compare Joseph with all the rest of Christ’s Church, is he not the one who has been specially chosen, through whom Christ came into the world in regular and respectable fashion?   So, if the whole of holy Church is indebted to the Virgin Mary, because it was she who enabled it to welcome Christ, after her it is to Saint Joseph that it owes a recognition and honour without compare.
Indeed, it is he who brings the Old Testament to an end, it is in him that the dignity of patriarchs and prophets receives its promised fruit.   He alone possessed in reality what divine goodness had promised to them.   Nor indeed should we doubt that the closeness and respect Christ showed to Joseph during His earthly life, as a son to His father, were ever denied in heaven, rather, He enriched and completed them.   So, with reason, the Lord adds: “Enter into your master’s joy”.indeed it is he who brings the old testament to an end - st bernardine of siena sermon on st joseph - 19 march 2020
PRAYER – Blessed Joseph, remember us, intercede with the help of your prayers to your adopted Son and may you likewise make the blessed Virgin, your spouse, to be favourable towards us, for she is the mother of Him, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns world without end.” … St Bernadine of Siena (1380-1444) – Sermon on Saint Josephblessed joseph remember us - st bernardine of siena 19 march 2020


Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – ‘Keep a clear eye toward life’s end.’

Quote/s of the Day – 19 February – The Memorial of St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351), Today’s Gospel: Mark 8:22-26

Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes
and he looked intently
and was restored and saw everything clearly.

Mark 8: 25mark 8 25 then again he laid his hands upon his eyes - 19 feb 2020

“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)keep-a-clear-eye-st-francis-of-assisi - 19 feb 2017 and 19 feb 2020


Saint of the Day – 19 February – St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351)

Saint of the Day – 19 February – St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351) Hermit, Pilgrim and Penitent, Member of the Third Order of St Francis, born Corrado Confalonieri in c 1290 at Piacenza, Italy and died on 19 February 1351 at Noto, Sicily of natural causes while kneeling before a crucifix.   Patronages – cure of hernias, Calendasco and Noto.   His body is conrad piacenza close up

He was a member of one of the noblest families of Piacenza, in the town of Calendasco, a fiefdom of his family.   The date of his birth is uncertain.   He married an aristocratic young woman named Ephrosyne when he was quite young.   Though pious, he led the normal way of life for a man of his station.

One day, as he was engaged in his usual pastime of hunting within his family’s domain, he ordered his attendants to set fire to some brushwood in which game had taken refuge. The prevailing wind caused the flames to spread rapidly to the surrounding fields and forest.   A peasant who happened to be found near where the fire began was accused of starting the blaze and was imprisoned, tortured to confess and condemned to death.   As the man was being led to execution, a remorseful Conrad publicly admitted his guilt to the Signoria of the city.   As punishment and reparation for the damages he had caused, the city seized all his assets, only sparing his life due to his noble status

Thus reduced to poverty and seeking penance for his act of cowardice, Conrad and his wife saw the hand of God in this event.   As a result, in 1315 they agreed to separate and Conrad retired to a hermitage near the town of Calendasco, joining a community of hermits, who were Franciscan tertiaries, while his wife became a nun of the Order of Poor Clares at their monastery in the city.

Conrad soon developed a reputation for holiness and the flow of visitors left him unable to keep the solitude he sought.   He then embarked on the life of a pilgrim, going to Rome and from there to the Holy Land and Malta and, about 1340, to Palermo in Sicily, where he was directed to an isolated site in the Val di Noto.   After many years of an itinerant life, he settled there in a grotto now named for him and for the rest of his life spent a most austere and penitential life of solitude, working numerous miracles and gifted with conrad piacenza

In 1343 Conrad felt called by God to serve the local people more directly and in 1343 went to the city of Netum, where he cared for the sick at the Hospital of St Martin there for the next two years.   He lived in a hermitage attached to the Church of the Crucified Christ occupied by the Blessed William Buccheri, a former equerry to King Frederick III of Sicily, who had also taken up a life of solitude and prayer.   Conrad would regularly return to his grotto for silent prayer.   His fame was such that in 1348 the Bishop of Syracuse, Giacomo Guidone de Franchis, went to his hermitage to beg his prayers for the relief of a famine afflicting the island.ST CONRAD LG

Conrad died while in prayer, kneeling before a crucifix, on 19 February 1351, the day he had predicted.   At his request, his body was buried at the Church of St Nicholas, the principal one of the city.   After the city was destroyed in an earthquake in the 1690s, it was transferred to the new church of the same name, built in the relocated city, now called Noto, which has since been elevated to the statues of the Cathedral of the region.Saint-Conrad-of-Piacenza

Numerous miracles have been attributed to him while he lived and subsequently at his tomb in Noto, Italy.    Holy legend records, for example, that when the Bishop of Syracuse visited him, the he asked Saint Conrad if he had anything to offer guests.    Conrad said he would check in his cell and returned moments later carrying newly baked bread and cakes, which the bishop accepted as a miracle.    Saint Conrad was also reported to have travelled surrounded by a cloud of fluttering birds, keeping him company.

Conrad is especially invoked for the cure of hernia. This comes from miracles attributed to him.    He was visited at his hermitage by a former friend and companion in arms, Antonio da Stessa, from Daverio.    His friend was suffering from the pain of a hernia he had developed.    Seeing the pain his old comrade was suffering, Conrad was moved to pity and prayed for him.    Stessa was immediately cured of the hernia.   The same outcome was accomplished for a local tailor, who suffered severely from several hernias.

The miracle for which Conrad is best known is the “Miracle of the Bread”.    This developed during the aforementioned famine which afflicted Sicily as a result of a severe outbreak of the bubonic plague on the island during 1348-49.    During that catastrophe, anyone who approached the hermit for help was given a loaf of bread, still warm, which, it was said, he had received from the angels.Saint_Conrad_of_Piacenza

Pope Leo X Beatified Conrad on 12 July 1515 and permitted the town of Noto to celebrate his feast day.    On 30 October 1544, Pope Paul III extended permission to the whole island.    On 2 June 1625, he was Canonised by Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, who was the Duke of Parma and Piacenza in a solemn ceremony at the cathedral of Piacenza, where it was declared an obligatory feast.    On 12 September of that same year, permission was granted to the Franciscan Order by Pope Urban VIII for a distinct text for the Divine Office and Mass to be used for his feast, today, it is celebrated solely by the Third Order of St Francis to which he belonged.   In Vietnam there is a popular devotion to Conrad.

On his feast day, the Parish Church of San Corrado in Noto commemorates him by the distribution of blessed bread.19Feb-St-Conrad-of-Piacenza-2

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

Memorials of the Saints -18 February

Bl Alvarez of Cordova
St Auxibius
St Baoithin
St Barbatus of Benevento (c 610-682)
About St Barbatus:
St Beatus
St Belina
St Boniface of Lausanne
St Conon of Alexandria
St Conrad of Piacenza TOSF (c 1290-1351)

Bl Elizabeth of Mantua
St Gabinus
St George of Lodeve

Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

His life:

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