Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 August – Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 15 August – Blessed Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr, Layman, Evangelist, Marian devotee especially of the Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Born in c 1887 at northeast Republic of the Congo and died on 15 August 1909 in Busira, équateur, Democratic Republic of isidore bakanja

Isidore Bakanja was born around 1887 in Bokendela in Belgian Congo and was evangelised by Belgian Trappist missionaries, receiving the Sacrament of Baptism at 18. He was a mild and honest young man who faithfully adhered to everything the missionaries taught him.   He carried a Rosary with him wherever he went and always wore “Mary’s Habit” (the Brown Scapular) underneath his clothing.

He was zealous in his faith and shared it with whomever would listen.   While he was not an official catechist, this did not stop his desire to spread the Gospel to all of creation.

He eventually left his village and moved to a larger city where there were more Catholics.   Bakanja sought work from a Belgian company and quickly discovered that they hated Catholicism as much as they despised the native African people.   He asked permission to go home and was immediately refused.

One of the agents especially did not like that Bakanja always tried to preach to his fellow workers.   He said, “You’ll have the whole village praying and no one will want to work.” The agent demanded that Bakanja throw away his scapular and when he refused to do so, the agent had him flogged.

The agent flogged him not once but twice and during the second flogging used a whip with nails at the end of it.   Bakanja received over 100 blows and it left him nearly dead. However, since an inspector was due to arrive the agent sent Bakanja away.   He was barely able to walk and hid himself by the side of the road until he saw the isidore martyrofthescapular

Horrified, the inspector later wrote about what he saw that day, “I saw a man come from the forest with his back torn apart by deep, festering, malodorous wounds, covered with filth, assaulted by flies.”   The inspector prevented the agent from killing Bakanja but it was too late.

He survived for another six months but in total agony, praying each day and offering his suffering to God.   Bakanja told the missionaries who came to give him the Last Rites that he already forgave his attacker, promising prayers for his soul, “Certainly I shall pray for him.   When I am in heaven, I shall pray for him very much.”

He died on 15 August 1909 with a rosary in his hand and wearing the Brown Scapular.

St Pope John Paul II Beatified him on 24 April 1994 and during his Beatification homily, he said:

“In an Africa that is sorely tried by ethnic strife, your shining example is an encouragement to harmony and reconciliation among the children of the same heavenly Father.   You showed brotherly love to all, without distinction of race or social class, you earned the esteem and respect of your companions, many of whom were not Christians. Thus you show us the necessary way of dialogue among men.”

Blessed Isidore, Martyr of the Holy Rosary and the Brown Scapular, Pray for Africa, pray for us all!bl isidore bakanja icon lg.JPG


Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorials of the Saints – 15 August

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in the US, however, in most countries of Africa, the Solemnity will celebrated on the Sunday following the 15th).   The feast celebrates the assumption of the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven upon her death.   According to Pope Benedict XIV, it is a probable opinion, which it is impious to deny, though not an article of faith but has since in 1950 has been raised to a DOGMA of the Faith.   The origin of the feast day is not known but it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500.   It is a holy day of obligation, its vigil being a fast day, in many English-speaking countries.   Among the many masters who have painted the subject of the Assumption are Fra Angelico, Ghirlandajo, Rubens, Del Sarto and Titian.
Patronages:  Acadians, Cajuns, Cistercian Order, Cistercians, fish dealers, fish-mongers, French air crews, harness makers, France, Guatemala, India, Jamaica, Malta, Paraguay, Slovakia, east Africa (region of east Africa which includes diverse countries, proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII) South Africa (this is not a region but a country) and the Assumption is, therefore, the Patronal Feast of the Country of South Africa – proclaimed on 15 March 1952 by Pope Pius XII), 24 dioceses, 38 cities.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin:

St Alipius of Tagaste
Bl Alfred of Hildesheim
Bl Agustín Hurtado Soler
St Arduinus of Rimini
Bl Claudio Granzotto
Bl George Halley
Bl Isidore Bakanja (c 1887-1909) Martyr
St Napoleon of Alexandria
Bl Pio Alberto del Corona
St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) Doctor of the Church in the Archdiocese of Milan.
Details of the life of St Simplician here:
St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr
About St Tarcisius:

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. No details survive but the names – Eutychian, Philip and Straton. They were martyred in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey).

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution: 4 Saints –
St David Roldán Lara
St Luis Batiz Sainz
St Manuel Moralez
St Salvador Lara Puente

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Agustì Ibarra Angüela
• Blessed Carmelo Sastre y Sastre
• Blessed Clemente Vea Balaguer
• Blessed Francisco Míguez Fernández
• Blessed Ildefonso Alberto Flos
• Blessed Jaume Bonet Nadal
• Blessed Joan Ceró Cedó
• Blessed Josep Santonja Pinsach
• Blessed Juan Francisco Barahona Martín
• Blessed Juan Mesonero Huerta
• Blessed Luis Ros Ezcurra
• Blessed Manuel Formigo Giráldez
• Blessed Miguel Alberto Flos
• Blessed Sebastià Balcells Tonijuan
• Blessed Severiano Montes Fernández


Thought for the Day – 14 August – ‘Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.’

Thought for the Day – 14 August – Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”

Apostolic Zeal for the Salvation and Sanctification of Souls

An excerpt from the Letters of Saint Maximilian Kolbe

“The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy.   It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious.   But God is worthy of glory beyond measure and, therefore, it is of absolute and supreme importance, to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources.   Since we are mere creatures we can never return to Him all that is His due.

The most resplendent manifestation of God’s glory is the salvation of souls, whom Christ redeemed by shedding His blood.   To work for the salvation and sanctification of as many souls as possible, therefore, is the preeminent purpose of the apostolic life.   Let me, then, say a few words that may show the way toward achieving God’s glory and the sanctification of many souls.

God, who is all-knowing and all-wise, knows best what we should do to increase His glory.   Through hHs representatives on earth, He continually reveals His will to us, thus it is obedience and obedience alone, that is the sure sign to us of the divine will.   A superior may, it is true, make a mistake but it is impossible for us to be mistaken in obeying a superior’s command.   The only exception to this rule is the case of a superior commanding something, that in even the slightest way, would contravene God’s law. Such a superior would not be conveying God’s will.

God alone is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, our Lord, Creator and Father; He is beginning and end, wisdom and power and love, He is all.   Everything other than God, has value to the degree, that it is referred to Him, the maker of all and our own redeemer, the final end of all things.   It is He who, declaring His adorable will to us through His representatives on earth, draws us to Himself and whose plan is, to draw others to Himself through us and to join us all to Himself in an ever-deepening love.

Look, then, at the high dignity that by God’s mercy belongs to our state in life.   Obedience raises us beyond the limits of our littleness and puts us in harmony with God’s will.   In boundless wisdom and care, His will guides us to act rightly.   Holding fast to that will, which no creature can thwart, we are filled with unsurpassable strength.

Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence, for us to offer glory to God  . If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example.   Scripture, however, summed up His entire life at Nazareth in the words:  He was subject to them, Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of His life, repeatedly declaring that He came into the world, to do His Father’s will.

Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts.   Let our obedience increase that love, above all, when it requires us to surrender our own will.   Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.

We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of His mercy.   It is beyond all doubt, that Mary’s will represents to us, the will of God Himself.   By dedicating ourselves to her, we become in her hands, instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands.   We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit, she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.”

St Maximillian Kolbe, Pray for Us!st-max-pray-for-us-14-aug-2017


One Minute Reflection – 14 August – “There am I in the midst of them.”

One Minute Reflection – 14 August – Wednesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Matthew 18:15–20 and the Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” … Matthew 18:20

REFLECTION – “The Lord said: “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
These words prove that much is given not to the mere number but to the unanimity of those who pray.   “If two of you agree on earth,” He says, putting unanimity and peaceful concord first, teaching us to agree firmly and loyally.   But how can one man agree with another when he disagrees with the body of the Church itself, with the whole brotherhood?…   The Lord’s words were spoken about His own Church and addressed to members of the Church.   If they are agreed, if, as He commanded but two or three are gathered together and pray with one mind, then, although they are but two or three, they can obtain from the divine majesty what they ask.

“Where two or three are gathered, I (he said) am with them.”   That means, of course, with the single-hearted and peaceable, with those who fear God and keep His command-ments.   With these, though but two or three, He declared His presence, as He was present also with the Three Children in the fiery furnace and, because they continued single-hearted and of one mind, refreshed them with the breath of dew as the flames surrounded them (Dn 3,50);   or as He was present with the two apostles in prison, because they were single-hearted and of one mind and Himself opened the prison gates (Acts 25,25)…   So when Christ lays down with authority: “Where two or three are gathered, I am with them,” He is not separating men from the Church which He founded and created.   But He rebukes the faithless for their discord and with His own voice commends peace to the faithful.” … Saint Cyprian of Carthage, (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church – On the Unity of the Churchmatthew 18 20 where two or three - the lords words were spoken about his own church st cyprian cartage 14 aug 2019.jpg

PRAYER – My Lord and my God, You who are the fruit of Mary’s blessed womb and the most Divine Son of our Father, grant that we may always have recourse to You, through her who bore You and through Your Holy Church.   Grant that she may help and comfort us me and lead us to You. Mary, Holy and loving Mother of God, pray for us all.   Grant O Lord, that through the intercession of St Maximillian, we may entrust ourselves to You through Your and our blessed Mother, 2018 2019


Our Morning Offering – 14 August – Daily Consecration to the Immaculata

Our Morning Offering – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”

Daily Consecration Renewal to the Immaculata
By St Maximillian Kolbe

Queen and Mother of the Church,
I renew my consecration to you for this day
and for always, so that you might use me
for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus
in the whole world.
To this end, I offer you all my prayers,
actions and sacrifices of this day.
Amendaily-consecration-renewal-to-the-immaculata-by-st-maximillian-kolbe 14 aug 2017.jpg

Posted in FRANCISCAN, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube Videos

Memorials of the Saints – 14 August

St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity” (Memorial)
Dearest St Max!
And more here:

Bl Aimo Taparelli
St Antony Primaldo
St Arnold/Arnulf of Soissons (1040-1087)
St Athanasia of Timia
St Callistus of Todi
St Demetrius of Africa
St Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia
St Eberhard of Einsiedeln
St Eusebius of Palestine
St Eusebius of Rome
St Fachanan of Ross
St Francisco Shoyemon
Bl Juliana Puricelli
St Marcellus of Apamea
Bl Sanctes Brancasino
St Ursicius of Nicomedia
St Werenfridus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 11 Beati
• Blessed Ángel de la Red Pérez
• Blessed Antonio María Martín Povea
• Blessed Basilio González Herrero
• Blessed Ezequiél Prieto Otero
• Blessed Joaquín Frade Eiras
• Blessed Jocund Bonet Mercadé
• Blessed José García Librán
• Blessed Ricardo Atanes Castro
• Blessed Segundo Pérez Arias
• Blessed Vicente Rubiols Castelló

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 August – The little things in life.

One Minute Reflection – 13 August – Tuesday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 and the Memorial of St John Berchmans SJ (1599-1621)

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”…Matthew 18:3truly i say to you unless you turn and become like little children matthew 18 3 - 1 oct 2018

REFLECTION – “God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realised, so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.”…St Thérèse de Lisieux (1873-1897) Doctor of the Churchgod-would-never-inspire-me-st-t-of-l-1-oct-2018

PRAYER – God, our Father, Your promised Your Kingdom to the little ones and the humble of heart.   Let us ask St John Berchmans to give us some of his great attention to the little things in life being so important in the eyes of God.   Lord God, grant us grace to walk confidently in the way of St John Berchmans, so that helped by his prayers, we may see Your eternal glory.   Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, john berchmans pray for us 13 aug 2019