Memorials of the Saints -23 January

St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918)

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.mary and joseph - espousal

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)
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:
St Ildephonsus (506-667)

Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almoner/the Merciful (Died c 620)
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


Saint of the Day – 22 January – Blessed William Joseph Chaminade SM (1761-1850)

Saint of the Day – 22 January – Blessed William Joseph Chaminade SM (1761-1850) Priest and Founder of the Society of Mary, usually called the Marianists, in 1817, Reformer, evangeliser, teacher, missionary.   The Marianist Family’s other three branches—the married and single men and women of the Marianist Lay Communities, the consecrated laywomen of the Alliance Mariale and the Religious Sisters known as the Daughters of Mary Immaculate.   Born on 8 April 1761 at Perigeux, France and died on 22 January 1850 of natural causes in Bordeaux, France.   Patronages – the Marianists, Marian sodalities.220px-G.-J._bl Chaminade_(Joseph_Vabre,_1954)

Bl. William Joseph Chaminade (he took the name Joseph as his Confirmation name and preferred it) was born in Périgueux, France, in 1761.   He was the 14th child of a deeply Christian family – besides William Joseph, three of his brothers were priests.   In 1771 he entered the minor seminary of Mussidan and four years later made private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.   He was ordained a priest in 1785.

In 1790 after the outbreak of the French Revolution, he moved to Bordeaux, where he spent most of his life.   In 1791 he refused to take the oath of the so-called Civil Constitution of the Clergy and clandestinely exercised his priestly ministry, putting his life in constant danger.   At this time he came to know the Ven. Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous (1754-1836), who was one of his closest collaborators and whom he later helped to found the Miséricorde in Bordeaux to aid fallen women.   In 1795 he was given the delicate task of receiving back into the Diocese, priests who, having taken the constitutional oath, wanted to make their peace with the Church.   He facilitated the reconciliation of some 50 william joseph Chaminadeportrait

In 1797, during the reign of the Directorate, he was forced to emigrate to Zaragoza, Spain, where he lived for three years.   Near the Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar, he forged his Marian-apostolic convictions and was inspired to found a family of religious and laity dedicated to Mary.   In November 1800 he returned to Bordeaux and re-founded the old Marian Sodality on a new basis.

He made every effort to give his sodalists solid religious formation and directed them towards precise apostolic objectives, encouraging them to offer, to an indifferent and de-Christianised society, “the spectacle of a people of saints.”    This sodality would be the basis of his untiring evangelising activity, aimed at the re-Christianisation of chaminade_aspel[1]

During these years he was named Apostolic Administrator for the reorganisation of the Diocese of Bazas.   In 1801 he received the title of Missionary Apostolic from the Holy See.   It was the official confirmation of his insights into the Church in this new era.

Fr Chaminade viewed his own ministry and that of the Marian Sodalities as a permanent mission directed towards formation in the faith, using new methods and working in close alliance with william joseph chaminade art

The Sodality of Bordeaux spread to other cities of the region and throughout France through groups that asked for affiliation because they wished to follow Fr Chaminade’s inspiration and methods.   He fostered some groups of young men and women who, desiring greater dedication, made private vows and dedicated themselves to the apostolate of the Sodality without leaving their secular work.

In 1816, together with the Ven. Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon (1789-1828), he founded at Agen the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the following year, at Bordeaux, the Society of Mary.   His first members, who would later be called Marianists, were members of the Marian Sodalities, men and women who wished to respond to the Lord with a more radical commitment, an extension of their baptismal consecration and of their devotion to the Virgin william joseph artwork

The two institutes developed rapidly in France and in 1839 received the decretum laudis from Pope Gregory XVI.   Since teaching was a primary need at that time, both institutes of Marianists, dedicated themselves to primary and secondary schools and to trade schools  . They taught in order to educate and form their pupils in the faith.   Fr Chaminade also conceived an ambitious project to establish a network of teachers’ schools for Christian education.   Some of these schools were founded by sisters and brothers but the 1830 Revolution made their continuation impossible.

During these years Fr Chaminade gave priority to drafting the Constitutions and wrote important circulars on consecration-covenant with Mary and on Marianist religious life. The Society of Mary continued to grow in France, then in Switzerland (1839) and the United States of America (1849).bl william joseph chaminade black and white

After 1836 the Daughters of Mary established a number of rural schools in south-western France for the education and advancement of women.

The last 10 years of his life were a time of severe trial – health problems, financial difficulties, the departure of some disciples, misunderstandings and distrust, obstacles to the exercise of his mission as founder.   He faced these difficulties with great confidence in Mary, faithful to his conscience and to the Church, filled with faith and charity.   He died peacefully in Bordeaux, surrounded by many of his sons, on 22 January 1850. …

Since his death, his orders and apostolates have spread throughout the world and have consistently been sources of evangelisation and conformity to the Catholic Faith.  Blessed William was Beatified by St Pope John Paul II on 3 September 2000, after the confirmation of miracles due to his william joseph chaminade icon


Memorials of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and of the Saints – 27 November

Memorial of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal/The Medal of the Immaculate Conception (the correct title is the latter) :
27 November is the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and is celebrated by it’s own Mass in Some Places.
The Miraculous Medal is a devotion to the Virgin Mary called the “Miraculous” Medal for the many miracles associated with those that wear it.   It is one of my favourite medals to wear.our-lady-of-the-mm.jpg
The Miraculous Medal came to the world through an Apparition of the Virgin Mary to Catherine Labouré in Paris, France in 1830.   In Mary’s second apparition, she asked that “a medal should be struck in this image.   The people wearing it, will receive my indulgence and those who piously say this short prayer will enjoy my very special protection”.
Two of the most famous conversions due to the miraculous medal was that of Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne NDS (1814-1884), an anti-Catholic Jewish banker and Claude Newman (1923-1944).
Fr Alphonse Ratisbonne received a vision of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. After his conversion, he became a priest and worked for the conversion of the Jewish people.

St Acacius of Sebaste
St Acharius of Noyon
St Apollinaris of Monte Cassino
St Barlaam
Bl Bernardine of Fossa
St Bilhild of Altmünster
Bl Bronislao Kostkowski
St Eusician
St Facundus
St Fergus the Pict
St Gallgo of Wales
St Gregory of Sinai
St Gulstan
St Hirenarchus of Sebaste
St James Intercisus
St John Angeloptes
St John of Pavia
St Josaphat
Bl José Pérez González
Bl Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga
St Laverius
St Leonard of Port Maurice OFM (1676-1751)
About St Leonard:

St Maximus of Reiz
St Primitivus of Sahagun
St Secundinus of Ireland
St Severinus the Hermit
St Siffred of Carpentras
St Valerian of Aquileia
St Virgilius of Salzburg (c 700-784)

Martyrs of Antioch – (3 saints): A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. Little information has survived except for their names – Auxilius, Basileus and Saturninus.

Martyrs of Nagasaki – (11 beati): A group of eleven Christians martyred together for their faith during a period of official persecution in Japan. They are:
• Blessed Alexius Nakamura
• Blessed Antonius Kimura
• Blessed Bartholomaeus Seki
• Blessed Ioannes Iwanaga
• Blessed Ioannes Motoyama
• Blessed Leo Nakanishi
• Blessed Matthias Kozasa
• Blessed Matthias Nakano
• Blessed Michaël Takeshita
• Blessed Romanus Motoyama Myotaro
• Blessed Thomas Koteda Kyumi
They were martyred on 27 November 1619 in Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Bartolomé Gelabert Pericás
• Blessed Eduardo Camps Vasallo
• Blessed José Pérez González
• Blessed Juan Antonio de Bengoa Larriñaga
• Blessed Miguel Aguado Camarillo
• Blessed Pedro Armendáriz Zabaleta


Thought for the Day – 21 November – She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Thought for the Day – 21 November – The Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

She Who Believed by Faith, Conceived by Faith

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Sermon 25

“Stretching out His hand over His disciples, the Lord Christ declared: Here are my mother and my brothers; anyone who does the will of my Father who sent me is my brother and sister and my mother.   I would urge you to ponder these words.   Did the Virgin Mary, who believed by faith and conceived by faith, who was the chosen one from whom our Saviour was born among men, who was created by Christ before Christ was created in her—did she not do the will of the Father?   Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father’s will and so it was for her, a greater thing, to have been Christ’s disciple, than to have been His mother and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood.   Hers was the happiness of first bearing in her womb, Him, whom she would obey as her master.

Now listen and see if the words of Scripture do not agree with what I have said  . The Lord was passing by and crowds were following Him.   His miracles gave proof of divine power and a woman cried out:  Happy is the womb that bore you, blessed is that womb! But the Lord, not wishing people to seek happiness in a purely physical relationship, replied:  More blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.   Mary heard God’s word and kept it and so she is blessed.   She kept God’s truth in her mind, a nobler thing than carrying His body in her womb.   The Truth and the Body were both Christ – He was kept in Mary’s mind, insofar as He is Truth, He was carried in her womb, insofar as He is man but, what is kept in the mind, is of a higher order than what is carried in the womb.

The Virgin Mary is both holy and blessed and yet, the Church is greater than she.   Mary is a part of the Church, a member of the Church, a holy, an eminent—the most eminent—member but still only a member of the entire body.   The body undoubtedly is greater than she, one of its members.   This body has the Lord for its head and head and body together make up the whole Christ.   In other words, our head is divine—our head is God.

Now, beloved, give me your whole attention, for you also are members of Christ, you also, are the body of Christ.   Consider how you yourselves can be among those, of whom the Lord said:  Here are my mother and my brothers.   Do you wonder how you can be the mother of Christ?   He Himself said:  Whoever hears and fulfils the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and my sister and my mother.   As for our being the brothers and sisters of Christ, we can understand this, because, although there is only one inheritance and Christ is the only Son, His mercy would not allow Him to remain alone. It was His wish, that we too should be heirs of the Father and co-heirs with Himself.the virgin mary is holy and blessed and yet the church - st augustine - 21 nov 2019 presentation of mary.jpg

Now having said that all of you are brothers of Christ, shall I not dare to call you His mother?   Much less would I dare to deny His own words.   Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ?   You, to whom I am speaking, are the members of Christ.   Of whom were you born?   “Of Mother Church,”   I hear the reply of your hearts.   You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ.   Now you, in your turn, must draw to the font of baptism as many as you possibly can.   You became sons when you were born there yourselves and now, by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power, to become the mothers of Christ.   Amen!”

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,

Mother of the Church, Pray for Us!

mary pray for us - preesentation 21 nov 2019

mary mater ecclesiae pray for 10 july 2019


One Minute Reflection – 21 November – ‘May your peace be in your love.’

One Minute Reflection – 21 November – Thursday of the Thirty Third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 19:41-44 and Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!”…Luke 19:41-42and-when-he-drew-near-he-wept-luke-19-41-42-22-nov-2018 and 21 nov 2019.jpg

REFLECTION“I rejoiced because they said to me, ‘We will go up to the house of the Lord.’ And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Ps 122[121]:1-2).   What Jerusalem is this?   On earth there is a city of this name but it is a mere shadow of that other Jerusalem.   What kind of happiness is there in standing in a Jerusalem here below that is unable to stand of itself but which fell to the ground in ruins?…   It is not of the Jerusalem here below that someone speaks who has such great love, such great longing, such great desire to come to the Jerusalem, “our mother”, of which Saint Paul says that it is “eternal in the heavens” (Gal 4:26; 2 Cor 5:1)…

“O Jerusalem, may your peace be in your strength” (Ps 122[121]:7).   That is to say, may your peace be in your love, for your love is your strength.   Hear the Song of Songs: “Love is strong as death” (8:6)…   And indeed, love destroys what we have been, so that we might become, through a sort of death, what we were not…   This was the sort of death that was working in him who said: “The world is crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14).   It was of this death that the same apostle was speaking when he said:  “You have die, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). Yes, “love is strong as death”.   If love is strong, then it is powerful, it has great strength, it is strength itself…   So may your peace be in your strength, O Jerusalem.   May your peace be in your love.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 121[122]:1, §3,12if love is strong then it is powerful - st augustine 21 nov 2019 luke 19 41-44.jpg

PRAYER – Lord, as we honour the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary and seek her help, grant that we, like her, may shine in the fullness of Your grace.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.presentation of mary - our hope pray for us 21 nov 2019.jpg


Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 21 November

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 21 NovemberPresentation-Mary.JPG

While the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not generally celebrated in the West until the 11th century, it appears in most of the earliest calendars of the Eastern Churches.   Derived from accounts in apocryphal literature, especially the Protoevangelium of James, the feast seems first to have appeared in Syria, where the Protoevangelium and other apocryphal books, such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, originated.   The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary first rose to prominence, however, in Jerusalem, where it was associated with the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary the New.Presentation-of-the-BVM-03.jpg

That basilica was built near the ruins of the Temple in Jerusalem and the Protoevangelium of James and other apocryphal works, told the story of Mary’s presentation at the Temple at the age of three.   In gratitude for being granted a child after years of infertility, Mary’s parents, Saints Joachim and Anna, had vowed to dedicate Mary to the service of God at the Temple.   When they presented her at the Temple at the age of three, she stayed willingly, showing her dedication to God even at that young age.

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, Testa

The Protoevangelium of James, while an extra-biblical document, is the source of many details of Mary’s life that became universally accepted by the Church, including the names of her parents, the story of her birth, her age at her betrothal to Saint Joseph and Saint Joseph’s advanced age and his status as a widower with children by his first wife.   It also played a large role among Christians, both Eastern and Western, in recognising Mary as the new Temple, the true Holy of Holies.   When Mary left the Temple at the age of 12 after her betrothal to Joseph, she remained pure and chaste and at the Annunciation, God came to dwell in her.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary first made its way to the West through monasteries in Southern Italy in the ninth century, by the 11th century, it had spread to other locales but was by no means universally celebrated.   Under the influence of a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Pope Gregory XI began celebrating the feast during the Avignon papacy.presentation of mary.jpg

Pope Sixtus IV first placed the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the universal calendar in 1472 but in the Tridentine reform of the calendar in 1568, Pope Pius V removed the feast.   It was restored 17 years later by Pope Sixtus V and remains in the Roman calendar today as a memorial.presentation of mary glass



Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Quinche and Memorials of the Saints – 21 November

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin (Memorial)

Our Lady of Quinche:   Also known as
• La Pequeñita
• Virgen de Monte del Sol
• Virgin of the Rock
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the image of a cedar statue in Quinche, Ecuador. About two foot tall, it was carved in 1586 by Don Diego de Robles, an artist who created many other images of Mary. He carved it on order from the Lumbici Indians, who were unable to pay for it at delivery. Diego traded the statue to the Oyacachi Indians in exchange for a large load of cedar for future projects.
Legend says that the vision of Our Lady appeared in a cave to some of the Oyacachi, promising to the protect their children; the image Diego brought for trade looked just like the lady in the vision. The Oyacachi asked Diego to stay and help them build a shrine for the statue; he declined and started home. His horse threw him as they crossed a bridge and Diego was miraculously saved after he had prayed for Our Lady’s intervention; he understood that this was a sign, went back to the Indian, and built an altar for the statue.
In 1604 the statue was moved to the local village of Quinche and a chapel was built for it. A new sanctuary was built in 1630 where the statue stayed until the church was destroyed in an earthquake in 1869. The church was re-built and housed the image until moved to another new church in 1928; in 1985 the Vatican proclaimed the chapel to be a national sanctuary of Ecuador. Many miracles, especially healings, have been associated with the image and there is a huge catalogue of songs in several languages that have been written in devotion over the centuries.
Patronage – Equador.our-lady-of-quinche.jpg

St Amelberga of Susteren
St Celsus the Martyr
St Clement the Martyr
St Demetrius of Ostia
St Digain
Bl Eoin O’Mulkern
St Pope Gelasius I
Bl Gelasius O’Cullenan
St Heliodorus of Pamphylia
St Hilary of Vulturno
St Honorius of Ostia
Bl Maria Franciszka Siedliska
St Maurus of Cesena
St Maurus of Porec
St Maurus of Verona
Bl Nicholas Giustiniani
St Rufus of Rome

Martyrs of Asta – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together for their faith during the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them to survive are their names – Eutychius, Honorius and Stephen. They were martyred in c 300 at Asta, Andalusia, Spain.