Our Morning Offering – 5 February – O Mary – Ven Fulton Sheen

Our Morning Offering – 5 February – Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year A

O Mary
By Ven Fulton J Sheen (1895-1979)

O Mary,
we have exiled your Divine Son
from our lives,
our councils,
our education
and our families!
Come with the light of the sun
as the symbol of His Power!
Heal our wars, our dark unrest,
cool the cannon’s lips so hot with war!
Take our minds off the atom
and our souls out of the muck of nature!
Give us rebirth in your Divine Son,
us, the poor children of the earth,
grown old with age!
Ameno-mary-no-2-ven-fulton-sheen-6-feb-2019.and 5 feb 2020

On 18 November Pope Francis approved a miracle for the Beatification of Ven Fulton Sheen, however the celebration has since been postponed.

Prayer for the Canonisation
of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness,
You raise up within the Church in every age,
men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication.
You have blessed Your Church
through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant,
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.
He has written and spoken well
of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ
and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit
in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will,
for the honour and glory of the Most Holy Trinity
and for the salvation of souls,
we ask You to move the Church
to proclaim him a saint.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory beprayr for the canonisation of ven fulton sheen 5 feb 2020


Second Thought for the Day – 8 January – Blessed Fr Titus Zeman

Second Thought for the Day – 8 January – Third day after Epiphany and the Memorial of Blessed Titus Zeman SDB (1915-1969) Priest and Martyr

Many people who knew Fr Titus offered their testimony about his character, dedication and courage, even before the events that led to his martyrdom.   One of his students described him as “my spiritual father.”   Another calls him “simple-hearted, very funny and a great sportsman.”   He helped hide Jews during World War II and hide nuns when the Red Army advanced through Slovakia.   A Salesian student of theology remarked on how he helped clean up their school after the Russians left it full of excrement and stinking like a sewer:  “I saw there his great love and tenacity for his work.   He was a true Salesian who did everything in a humble way.   It was clear he liked us, the young students of theology, a lot.   He saw us as the hope for the Salesian Congregation in Slovakia.”bl titus zeman mass celebration of his birth

Fr Zeman’s “funeral was exceptionally touching … not only because of its outer aspects (it was a true triumph of sympathy, wonder and gratitude) but, mainly because such unity of emotion … is truly rare.   There was not only a homily at the Mass but also several speeches and a funeral oration.   All of the speakers emphasised the great qualities of the deceased – conscientiousness, strength of his spirit, profound faith, strong will, transcendental devotion to God’s will but mainly absolute self-sacrifice for the priestly ideal and effort to save young priestly vocations for the Church and the Salesian Society.”1-9 Zeman funeral (800x532)

Blessed Titus’s best known saying is probably, “Even if I lose my life, I do not consider it a waste, knowing that at least one of those whom I have saved has become a priest to take my place.”   At his funeral the Slovak provincial noted that more than 50 priests and religious owed their vocations to him, his life was a kernel of wheat that fell to the ground and produced abundant fruit.   “If every priest who died in Slovakia left such religious posterity, the funerals of Slovak priests would mean not a decrease but an increase in the priestly ranks.”

Blessed Titus Zeman, Pray for the Salesians, for all the Church, our Priests and us all, amen!

Prayer for the canonisation of Fr Titus Zeman

Almighty God,
you called Fr Titus Zeman
to follow St John Bosco’s charism.
Under the protection of Mary Help of Christians
he became a priest and an educator of the young.
He lived in accordance with your commandments,
and was known and respected among the people
for his friendly character and availability to everyone.
When the Church’s enemies
suppressed human rights and freedom of the Faith,
Fr Titus did not lose courage
and persevered in the way of truth.
Because of his fidelity to his Salesian vocation
and because of his generous service of the Church,
he was incarcerated and tortured.
He bravely resisted his torturers
and was mocked and humiliated because of this.
He suffered it all out of love and with love.
We ask you, almighty Father,
to grant that Blessed Titus
be enrolled among your saints
and through his intercession,
grant us the grace that we now ask you.
Through Christ Our Lord,
Amenbl titus zeman pray for us no 2- 8 jan 2020


Thought for the Day – 12 October – Mary, who gives Comfort and Strength

Thought for the Day – 12 October – The Memorial of Blessed Jan Beyzym SJ (1850–1912), “Apostle of the Lepers of Madasgascar”

Mary, who gives Comfort and Strength
By Fr Mieczysław Bednarz SJ

Our Holy Mother was his strength and comfort.   All his sufferings were dedicated to Her and to the Polish Province of Father’s order.   Our Lady was his lifelong and reliable help in all his deeds and sufferings.   St Joseph, alongside with Mary, was a model of patience for Father Beyzym.   When he had been waiting for long years for the decision with regard to his Sakhalin mission, Father saw the necessity to accept God’s will and follow St Joseph, who had been waiting in Egypt for the Angel’s word telling him to return to the land of Israel.

Father Beyzym’s life, especially the years he devoted to the work for the lepers (Father never complained about that and about them) were full of disappointments, troubles, obstacles and obstruction.   If there were not for his gift of patience, Father would not carry such a burden.

Only the spirit of faith, the vision of faith in the continual praying for the help of God and His Holy Mother, only the power of the Eucharist and the strength of the compassion for the miserable, gave Father the power to endure to the end.   During his last illness he was admired for his patience and courageousness.   “By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21,19), – was one of the mottoes of Father Beyzym’s life.   And he lived up to it.

Humbly and gratefully Father attributed everything to the Blessed Mother, because, as he used to say, he was a complete failure.   She ruled and directed and he was only a tool in Her hands.   There was no heroism in his work for the lepers.   “Our Holy Mother sent me to take care of them.   So, here I am and there is that”.
Humble, small, poor, understanding his badness, always trustful, free of pride and despair, immersed in the mercy of God and Our Holy Mother’s care, he prayed, worked and coped with thousands of difficulties and problems.   This was Father Beyzym – small in his unconscious greatness.   Great was his love – humble and serving to the very end.

Why do you Hurry?
By Father Stanislaw Ziemianski SJ

Why do you hurry Father Beyzym
To the hostile and far away land
Why do you guide your steps of a pilgrim,
Where need and leprosy are hand in hand?

I hurry to save my brothers in Christ,
Unblessed and miserable outcasts.
I go to save my brothers in Christ,
Lepers, desolate hearts!

Why do you sail to Madagascar?
The island is unexplored and wild.
There lepers cramped in their huts
Live in the straits of body and mind.

I hurry to save my brothers in Christ…

Aren’t you afraid you contract the illness,
And you would suffer your chicklings fate?
Deny yourself for the lepers what made you,
Whose voice you heard outcrying for help?

I hurry to save my brothers in Christ…

Holy Mother, Pray for Us!holy-mary-mother-of-god-pray-for-us-sinners-4-may-2018.jpg

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Jan Beyzym
The Apostle of the Lepers of Madasgar

Father of mercy and God of all comfort!
Through the agency of Your Servant Jan Beyzym
You bestowed mercy and consolation
On the most miserable of the miserable,
On the forlorn and outcast,
On the separated off the human society
With the wall of fear and scorn.

By Your mercy in him
And his intercession
Make us the instrument of Your Providence,
Kindness and consolation for all,
Who need it.

And if it is not against Your will,
Deign to include him among Your Saints,
And graciously grant us,
What we sincerely ask You for
With the desire for Your glory
And our benefit.

Through Christ, Our Lord.

Blessed Jan Beyzym, Pray for us!bl jan beyzym pray for us no 2 12 oct 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 9 September – “One of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God …”

Thought for the Day – 9 September – The Memorial of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor” and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

A man convinced of the inestimable worth of each human being, Frédéric served the poor of Paris well and drew others into serving the poor of the world.   Through the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which he founded, his work continues to the present day.

Once, after Frédéric spoke about Christianity’s role in civilisation, a club member said: “Let us be frank, Mr Ozanam, let us also be very particular.   What do you do besides talk to prove the faith you claim is in you?”

Frédéric was stung by the question.   He soon decided that his words needed a grounding in action.   He and a friend began visiting Paris tenements and offering assistance as best they could.   Soon a group dedicated to helping individuals in need under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul formed around Frédéric.

Feeling that the Catholic faith needed an excellent speaker to explain its teachings, Frédéric convinced the Archbishop of Paris to appoint Dominican Father Jean-Baptiste Lacordaire OP (1802-1861), the greatest preacher then in France, to preach a Lenten series in Notre Dame Cathedral.   It was well-attended and became an annual tradition in Paris.   Meanwhile, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society was growing throughout Europe.   Paris alone counted 25 conferences.

In 1846, Frédéric, Amelie, and their daughter Marie went to Italy, there he hoped to restore his poor health.   They returned the next year.   The revolution of 1848 left many Parisians in need of the services of the Saint Vincent de Paul conferences.   The unemployed numbered 275,000.   The government asked Frédéric and his coworkers to supervise the government aid to the poor.   Vincentians throughout Europe came to the aid of Paris.

In 1852, poor health again forced Frédéric to return to Italy with his wife and daughter. He died on 8 September 1853.   In his sermon at Frédéric’s funeral, Fr Lacordaire described his friend as “one of those privileged creatures who came direct from the hand of God in whom God joins tenderness to genius, in order to enkindle the world.”one of those priviliged creatures - bl frederic by jean baptiste lacordaire 9 sept 2019.jpg

Frédéric was beatified in 1997.   Since Frédéric wrote an excellent book entitled Franciscan Poets of the Thirteenth Century, and since his sense of the dignity of each poor person was so close to the thinking of Saint Francis, it seemed appropriate to include him among Franciscan “greats.”

His commitment to the plight of those in need and social justice for all, inspires us to look around our communities today—outside our safety zones—and activate the Christian virtues of charity that we are all called to by the life of Jesus.   He said:

“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves.   The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect.   You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis, You must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of a long term improvement.”

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam

Lord, you made Blessed Frédéric Ozanam
a witness of the Gospel, full of wonder
at the mystery of the Church.
You inspired him to alleviate poverty and injustice
and endowed him with untiring generosity
in the service of all those suffering.
In family life, he revealed a most genuine love
as a son, brother, husband and father.
In secular life, his ardent passion for the truth
enlightened his thought, writing and teaching.
His vision for our society was a network of charity
encircling the world inspired
by St Vincent de Paul’s love, boldness and humility.
His prophetic social vision appears in every aspect of his life,
together with the radiance of his virtues.
We thank you Lord, for these many gifts.
May the Church proclaim his holiness,
as a saint, a providential light for today’s world!
We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Blessed Frederic, Pray for us too, Amen!bl frederic ozanam pray for us 9 sept 2019 no 2.jpg


Thought for the Day – 8 August – Nothingness Itself.

Thought for the Day – 8 August – The Memorial of Ven Antonio Margil of Jesus OFM (1657-1726) “The Flying Father”

A quarter century before St Junípero Serra began his California adventure, there was an extraordinary Franciscan carrying out a great work of evangelisation across Central America, Mexico and finally, Texas.   In his zeal to spread the Catholic faith, he faced inclement weather, hostile animals, forest insects and reptiles, lack of food and water and cruel treatment from hostile Indian tribes.

The life of Fr Antonio Margil of Jesus is an epic story of a man who seems larger than life. Barefoot, carrying only a staff, breviary and the materials he needed to say Mass, he established hundreds of missions in a territory extending from the jungles of Costa Rica to east Texas and the borders of Louisiana.   Countless Indians of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Texas received the divine gift of faith from him and revered him a saint.   For this, he is called the Apostle of New Spain and Texas.

In 1697, Fr Margil was recalled to Querétaro as superior, or presidente, of the Franciscan College of the Holy Cross, and a new phase of his life began as an administrator.   When he reached the College, Fr Margil took off the ragged habit he had worn and mended for 14 years, patching it at times with bark from a certain tree called the mastastes and exchanged it for a new one, thus avoiding the least shadow of singularity.

As superior, he never dispensed himself from any public act or expected anything but what he himself practised.   To maintain accuracy and the decorum of ritual, he imposed upon his religious the obligation of holding a conference once a week on the ceremonies of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.   The friar who loved “Lady Poverty” exhorted his brethren and the faithful to ornament the altars and churches as much as they could, so they might be worthy of the divine majesty of God.

For Our Lord, there was nothing too rich or decorous.   For himself, it was a different story.   With the exception of Sunday, he fasted every day, taking a few herbs, a piece of bread and some water or watered down chocolate once a day.   He permitted himself sleep only from 8 to 11 every evening.   He was wakened then by the brother porter and together they read a chapter from The Mystical City of God by María de Agreda.   After praying the Divine Office at midnight, he made the Stations and would remain in prayer until the hour of Prime, absorbed in God.

The barefoot friar who walked on water in his extraordinary missionary work was a man of deep humility.   More than once he was tortured, beaten, or left for dead. His name, which deserves to be known and his fame spread is Venerable Antonio Margil of Jesus, who titled himself and signed his letters as El Nada Mismo – Nothingness Itself.

“Do not forget your nothingness, no matter what others may do to you.   Do not fear, so long as you live, Antonio, any demon greater than that called ‘I.’”do not forget your nothingness - ven antonio margil of jesus 8 aug 2019.jpg

Let us Pray that Venerable Antonio that he may soon be raised to the altars of the most high!

Prayer for the Intercession of Venerable Antonio

O Lord Jesus Christ,
Your apostle Antonio Margil of Jesus,
left his homeland to bring
the Gospel of Salvation to the people
of Mexico and the United States.
He endured every hardship
and pain for love of You.
May You graciously deign
to reward Your servant Antonio
by hastening the day
when he will be raised
to the honour of Blessed and Saint.

We ask that Venerable Antonio Margil
intercede for us before God
by answering this request.
………………………………. (make your request)
Through Christ Our Lord,

Venerable Antonio Margil of Jesus, Pray for Us!ven antonio margil of jesus pray for us 8 aug 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 4 August – Blessed Frederic Janssoone – His Great Passion, Jesus of Nazareth

Thought for the Day – 4 August – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year and The Memorial of Blessed Frédéric Janssoone OFM (1838-1916) – “God’s Pedlar”, “Good Fr Frederic”

His Great Passion, Jesus of Nazareth

One of the very first things to extract from the life of Father Frederic, is his passion for Jesus of Nazareth.

His early education pointed him toward the Gospels.   His formation with the Franciscans, his plans to become a missionary in the Holy Land, his writings and books all his preaching on Jesus the son of man and son of God, everything reveals to us that the Blessed Frederic is the missionary to the Holy Land par excellence.   His work orients us to know Jesus in the mysteries of His humanity, His birth, His public life, His passion and Resurrection.

It is he who walked about the country of Jesus in every sense during the 14 years that he lived in the Holy Land.   The Stations of the Cross which had been banned since 1621, he negotiated with the Muslim Arabs the right to preach the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa and in the arched souks of Jerusalem.   He directed the construction work of the church of Saint Catherine next to the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.   For this construction, he then went to beg in France and in Canada, hence his first journey in 1881.

He is a pioneer in the dispersion of the gospels in Canada.   From 1893 to 1907, his Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a text in harmony with the Gospels, enjoyed eight printings, which represent a total of 42,000 copies “It was without a doubt the greatest publishing success in Canada” (Legare – Baillargeon, Good Father Frederic, Montreal, Pauline Ed. 1988, p. 277).

Blessed Frederic could be the patron of the seekers of meaning and truth who study the Gospels and especially the life of Jesus of Nazareth, thus the man Jesus.

Prayer for the Canonisation of Blessed Frederic Janssoone

Almighty and eternal God,
You granted to Blessed Frederic Janssoone,
son of France,
to follow the footsteps of Your Son Jesus
in the Holy Land,
and to work there for peace.
Then You led him to Canada,
to invite that nation
to be generous toward the Holy Land,
to found the Sanctuary of the Cap-de-la-Madeleine,
and to better make known
the life of Jesus of Nazareth
and His most holy Mother.
Grant us to become in turn,
true pilgrims,
and veritable missionaries of Your Church.
That we also may be equally
solid pillars of the faith in our Christian communities.

Grant us, through his intercession,
the favour that we ask…
(Silent pause)
Grant this son of Saint Francis of Assisi,
to be canonised soon,
and to draw us all toward Your Son
Jesus, Our Lord.

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…

Blessed Frederic, Pray for Us!bl frederic janssoone pray for us 4 aug 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 19 February – “If you do not believe, you will not understand”

Thought for the Day – 19 February – Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Mark 8:14–21 and the memorial of Bl John Sullivan SJ (1861-1933)

And He said to them “Do you not yet understand or comprehend?”...Mark 8:21

Faith, the theologians say, is a certain and obscure habit of soul.   It is an obscure habit because it brings us to believe divinely revealed truths, that transcend every natural light and infinitely exceed, all human understanding.   As a result, the excessive light of faith bestowed on a soul, is darkness for it – a brighter light will eclipse and suppress a dimmer one.   The sun so obscures all other lights, that they do not seem to be lights at all when it is shining and instead of affording vision to the eyes, it overwhelms, blinds and deprives them of vision since its light is excessive and disproportioned to the visual faculty.   Similarly, the light of faith in its abundance, suppresses and overwhelms that of the intellect…

Another clearer example…  If those born blind were told about the nature of the colours white or yellow, they would understand absolutely nothing, no matter how much instruction they received, since they never saw these colours…   Only the names of these colours would be grasped, since the names are perceptible through hearing…   Such is faith to the soul – it informs us of matters we have never seen or known…   The light of natural knowledge does not show them to us…   Yet we come to know it through hearing, by believing, what faith teaches, in blinding our natural light and bringing it in to submission.   St Paul states:  “Faith comes through hearing” (Rm 10:17).   This amounts, to saying, that faith is not a knowledge, derived from the senses but an assent of the soul, to what enters through hearing…   Faith, manifestly, is a dark night for souls but in this way, it gives them light.   The more darkness it brings on them, the more light it sheds.   For by blinding, it illumines them, according to those words of Isaiah:  “If you do not believe, you will not understand” (cf. Is 7:9).isaiah 7 9 - if you do not believe you will not understand 19 feb 2019.jpg

Blessed John Sullivan was illuminated by the Light of faith, in his many hours of silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, the place where our light is found.

God and Father,
You honour those who honour You.
Make sacred the memory
of Your servant John Sullivan,
by granting through his intercession,
the petition we now make
……………….(name the petition)
and hastening the day,
when his name will be venerated
by the title of Saint.
We make our prayer
through Christ our Lord,
in the Holy Spirit,
God forever.

Blessed John Sullivan, Pray for Us!bl-john-sullivan-pray-for-us-no-2-19-feb-2018.jpg


The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England, Prayer for his Cause of Canonisation

The Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi of the Mother of God C.P. (1792-1849) Apostle of England, Prayer for his Cause of Canonisation

As we celebrate the Memorial of Blessed Dominic Barberi, he who converted so many to the bosom of the Church in England, let us pray for his Canonisation and for that of his greatest convert, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), these two, forever linked in history.

Prayer for the Cause of Canonisation
of Blessed Dominic Barberi (1792-1849)

O God,
Who so lovingly raised Blessed Dominic
to the heights of holiness, learning and apostolic zeal
and made him a powerful minister of Your mercy,
listen to our humble request.
We pray that You will, in Your goodness,
grant a miracle, we pray, through the intercession of Blessed Dominic,
so that the Church may honour him on earth
and that many more will come to know and invoke
the help of this faithful servant of the Church.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
Mary, Mother of Holy Hope, pray for us
Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.o god who so lovingly raised - prayer for the canonisation of bl dominic barberi - 27 aug 2018

PRAYER FOR CANONISATION of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

God our Father,
You granted to Your servant,
Blessed John Henry Newman,
wonderful gifts of nature and of grace,
that he should be a spiritual light
in the darkness of this world,
an eloquent herald of the Gospel
and a devoted servant of the one Church of Christ.
With confidence in his heavenly intercession,
we make the petition for his Canonisation.
For his insight into the mysteries of the kingdom,
his zealous defence of the teachings of the Church
and his priestly love for each of your children,
we pray that he may soon be numbered among the Saints.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Nihil Obstat: Fr Pat McKinney S.T.L.

Imprimatur: + Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham

30th March 2010pray-for-the-canonisation-bl-john-henry-9-oct-2017