Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Martyr and a Prayer to St Matthew as your Patron Saint

Saint of the Day – 21 September – The Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Martyr. Patronages – accountant, bookkeepers, bankers, customs officers, financial officers, money managers, guards, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectors, Diocese of Trier, Germany, Archdiocese of Washington, 5 cities.

St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
By Fr Leonard Goffiné O.Praem (1648-1719)
(Excerpt from The Church’s Year)

Matthew, before his conversion called Levi, was a Galilean, a son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) consequently a brother of St James the Less, another of the Apostles. (Mark 3:18). Matthew was a collector of the toll which the Jews were obliged to pay to the Roman Emperors and was called from his custom-house by our Lord to be an Apostle.

In his Gospel, which he wrote later, he calls himself from humility always by his early designation, Matthew the Publican. He followed Jesus faithfully and after the descent of the Holy Ghost remained, as the historical writers Eusebius and Epiphanus inform us, in Judea and its neighbourhood, until just before the destruction of Jerusalem, when the Apostles dispersed and went into foreign lands to preach the doctrine of Christ. When obliged to separate from the recent converts in Jerusalem, Matthew wrote his Gospel to leave with them in place of his presence among them and was the first to write concerning our Lord’s life upon earth.

The Calling of Matthew – van Hemessen

He led a rigorous life, prayed much, never touched meat and lived on herbs, roots and wild fruits. He was at last stabbed by the Ethiopian King Hirtakus, as the generality of writers inform us, while standing at the Altar and offering the Sacrifice of Mass because the Saint had refused consent to the King’s marriage with the virgin Eugenia, who was dedicated to God. His sacred remains were, in the tenth Century, brought to Salerno, Naples, where they are still highly venerated.

Matthew was the first to write a Gospel. How proper it is, that he, who after many sins, becomes converted, should be the first to announce the Infinite Mercy of the Redeemer, Who came into this world, not to call the just but sinners.

“Christ, the Saviour, looked with His mild eyes at St Matthew in his custom-house and called him. Matthew obeyed, instantly arose and followed Christ, becoming thus, from a publican, an Apostle of the Lord, a great Saint.
How comforting an example of Divine Mercy, even towards the greatest sinner! How wholesome a lesson!
The same kind, merciful Saviour, Who gazed so mildly upon Matthew and called him, turns His loving eyes on you also, even if you live in mortal sin. He calls you to repentance – He calls you to follow Him. Obey Him as St. Matthew did, without putting it off.
Let neither the greatness, nor the number of your sins detain you. Your Saviour is ready to forgive them, to receive you into His favour and to make you a Saint.
If you are a publican or a sinner,” says St Chrysostom, “you may still become an Evangelist. If you are a blasphemer, you may still become an Apostle.
This means that you may obtain pardon and gain salvation, as St Matthew and St Paul did, the former of whom was a publican, a sinner;and the other, according to his own testimony, a blasphemer.
St Augustine says the same in the following words: “Perhaps some may think that the sin they have committed, is so great that it cannot obtain pardon from God. Oh! may such thoughts be far from us. Why, O man, regard only the number of thy sins and not the Omnipotence of the Heavenly Physician? As God is merciful because He is gracious and, as He can be merciful because He is Omnipotent, he who believes that God will not or cannot forforgive him, closes the door of the Divine Mercy on himself, by denying that God is gracious or Omnipotent. Hence, let no-one doubt the Mercy of God, even if he has committed a hundred, nay a thousand crimes. But this belief should incite him, to reconcile himself immediately with the Almighty.
” – Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)

Prayer to St Matthew
as your Patron Saint

Saint Matthew, whom I have chosen
as my Special Patron, pray for me,
that I, too, may one day
glorify the Blessed Trinity in Heaven.
Obtain for me your lively faith,
that I may consider all persons,
things and events,
in the light of Almighty God.
Pray, that I may be generous
in making sacrifices of temporal things,
to promote my eternal interests,
as you, so wisely did.
Set me on fire with a love for Jesus,
that I may thirst for His sacraments
and burn with zeal,
for the spread of His kingdom.
By your powerful intercession,
help me in the performance
of my duties to God,
to myself and to all the world.
Win for me the virtue of purity
and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin.
Protect me this day
and everyday of my life.
Keep me from mortal sin.
Obtain for me the grace of a happy death.


Saint of the Day – 3 August – The Finding of the Relics of St Stephen, Protomartyr.

Saint of the Day – 3 August – The Finding of the Relics of St Stephen, Protomartyr.
St Stephen, the ProtoMartyr (c 05-c 34) – 26 December the Second Day in the Octave of Christmas.

The Finding of the Relics
of St Stephen, the ProtoMartyr

By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)

After St Stephen, the First Martyr, had been stoned to death by the Jews for having uncontestably proved that Christ, Whom they had Crucified, was the true Messiah, some pious men, filled with deep sorrow, buried him with all due reverence. Foremost among these was St Gamaliel, who had formerly been a rabbi and later a disciple of St Paul. He arranged everything, so that the body of St Stephen was carried, during the night, by some Christians, from the spot in which it lay, to his country-seat, which was a few miles from Jerusalem.

The burial of St Stephen

“In the course of time and in consequence of the persecution of the Christians in Juda, the location of his tomb was forgotten, until it pleased the Almighty to reveal it, in the time of the Emperor Honorius. There lived, at that period, in the place where St Stephen was buried, a Priest of the Church of Jerusalem, named Lucian. St Gamaliel appeared to this holy man in his sleep and disclosed to him where the bodies of St Stephen, St Nicodemus, his son St Abibon and his own body, were lying, telling him, at the same time, to inform St John, Bishop of Jerusalem, of this fact and to say that it was the will of God that he should exhume them for the benefit of many men. Lucian awakening and fearing it was but a dream, or perhaps even a delusion from Satan, did not tell the Bishop but humbly prayed to God that, if it were a revelation from on high, He would grant him a repetition of the vision. To this effect, Lucian continued in prayer and fasting for eight days, when Gamaliel again appeared to him and repeated all he had said before.

Lucian did not yet obey but, to be more certain, fasted and prayed eight days more. St Gamaliel appeared to him for the third time and, with a severe countenance, reproving him for not believing his words, commanded him to make the Bishop acquainted with the facts immediately, in order that the faithful might no longer be deprived of the benefits which they would obtain by the intercession of St Stephen and the other Saints.

After this third apparition, Lucian could no longer doubt and, betaking himself to the Bishop of Jerusalem, he communicated to him all that had happened. The joy of the holy Bishop was exceedingly great. He called the Bishops and Priests of the neighbouring Churches and, accompanied by them and a great number of Christians, he went to the place indicated and had the satisfaction of finding four coffins, on which were engraven the names of the Saints abovementioned – St Stephen, St Nicodemus, St Abibon, St.Gamaliel. When the coffins were reverently opened, there issued from them a fragrance as if the place had been filled with blooming flowers.

St Stephen mourned by Saints Gamaliel and Nicodemus

More than seventy persons, some of whom were sick and others possessed by evil spirits, were instantly restored to health, or relieved of their torments, upon touching the Sacred Relics, especially those of St Stephen. The body of the Protomartyr was carried with great solemnity to Jerusalem, and deposited in the Church of Sion, the oldest and largest Church in that City.

During the reign of Theodosius the Younger, it was transported to Constantinople, and thence to Rome in the reign of Pope Pelagius I. The rearkable discovery of the relics of St Stephen and the miracles, which had been wrought at their touch, were soon known all over the Christian world. The heretics, who, at that time persecuted the Church, were ashamed and the faithful strengthened in the True Faith and animated in their veneration for the Protomartyr.

All Countries and Cities applied for portions of the Relics and many were favoured with them, to the great benefit of the people. Many received only some of the earth in which the holy body had rested; others, a piece of linen which had touched his coffin but, by the pious use of them, as many miracles were wrought as by the relics themselves.

In St Augustine, we have an indisputable witness of this, as he lived at the time of the discovery. Among other things, he tells us, in the twenty second book of the “City of God,” of many great miracles wrought, in his presence, by these relics, in the city of Hippo, of which he was bishop, as also in adjacent Countries. A few of these we will here relate.

A blind woman’s sight was immediately restored, by touching her eyes with a flower, which, at her request, had been laid on the Relics of St Stephen. Lucillus, a Bishop, was cured of a dangerous fistula by devoutly carrying the Sacred Relics. Eucharius, a Priest, arose again to life, when they placed upon his corpse, a tunic which had rested on St Stephen’s body. Two men suffering with gout were cured by the same. A lad who was killed by being run over by a carriage, was not only restored to life, but his broken limbs were healed. A nun who had died, retuned to life and health, when her habit was laid upon her, ,after it had touched the Sacred Relics. Eleusinus placed the corpse of his child upon the spot where the Relics of the Saint had rested, and immediately, the child lived again. Upon the head of Marial, a hardened Jew, his brother-in-law–a Christian–laid a flower, which had been on the Altar near the Relics and the next day the Jew requested to be Baptised. Two sisters, who were afflicted with epilepsy, were instantly cured by these relics. Many other miracles are narrated by St Augustine and he concludes with these words: “If I alone were to relate what I know of the miraculous cures performed by St Stephen at Calama and in its neighbourhood, I should have to write many books and yet, not be able to collect all of them!”

What does a non-Catholic think or say on reading or hearing these and many other things which the holy Fathers have written of the Sacred Relics? He rejects all these histories and accuses St Augustine and other great teachers, of falsehood and superstition. But, if he believes even one of these miracles, how can he, according to the doctrines of his religion, condemn the veneration of Relics and the invocation of the Saints!?”

For us, who believe in the powerful intercession of our Saints through their holy Relics, let us pray:

A Prayer to the Holy Martyrs
to Obtain Their Protection
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

O you blessed Princes of the heavenly Kingdom!
you who sacrificed to the Almighty God the honours,
the riches received in return, the unfading glory
and never-ending joys of Heaven!
you who are secure in the everlasting possession
of the brilliant Crown of glory
which your sufferings have obtained!
Look with compassionate regard upon
our wretched state in this vale of tears,
where we groan in the uncertainty
of what may be our eternal destiny.
And from that Divine Savior,
for Whom, you suffered so many torments
and Who now repays you with so unspeakable glory,
obtain for us that we may love Him,
with all our heart and receive in return,
the grace of perfect resignation,
under the trials of this life,
fortitude, under the temptations of the enemy
and perseverance, to the end.
May your powerful intercession
obtain for us that we may one day,
in your blessed company,
sing the praises of the Eternal
and even as you now do,
face-to-face, enjoy the Beatitude of His Vision!

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote’s of the Day – 25 July – St Christopher and the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Quote’s of the Day – 25 July – Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Fourteen Holy Helpers: – Plague Saints for a time of plague!

Prayer to the Fourteen Holy Helpers
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church

Great princes of Heaven, Holy Helpers,
who sacrificed to God all your earthly possessions,
wealth, preferment and even life
and who now are crowned in Heaven
in the secure enjoyment of eternal bliss and glory;
have compassion on me,
a poor sinner in this vale of tears
and obtain for me from God,
for Whom you gave up all things
and Who loves you as His servants,
the strength to bear patiently all the trials of this life,
to overcome all temptations
and to persevere in God’s service to the end,
that one day I too may be received into your company,
to praise and glorify Him, the supreme Lord,
Whose Beatific Vision you enjoy
and Whom you praise and glorify forever.

The “fourteen Angels” of the lost children’s prayer in the Composer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s (1854-1921) (not the popular Welsh singer) fairy opera, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, are the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The English words are familiar and very beautiful:

When at night, I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels, watch do keep,
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two upon my right hand,
Two upon my left hand.
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to Heaven.

And the beloved St Christopher, probably one of the most loved Saints of all time.

The Christopher Prayer,
Make Us True Christ-Bearers

Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill, the world around us,
with Your light.
Strengthen us, by Your Holy Spirit,
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ-Bearers,
that in seeing us,
only He is visible.


Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint James the Greater, Apostle and Martyr, “Son of Thunder.”

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Saint James the Greater, Apostle and Martyr, “Son of Thunder.”

The Roman Martyrology reads: “ST JAMES the Apostle, brother of the blessed Evangelist, John, who was beheaded by Herod Agrippa, about the Feast of Easter. His sacred bones were, on this day, carried from Jerusalem to Spain and placed in the remote Province of Galicia, where they are devoutly honoured by the renowned piety of the inhabitants and the frequent concourse of Christians, who visit them through piety and in fulfilment of their vows.”

By Fr Leonard Goffiné O.Praem (1648-1719)
(Excerpt from The Church’s Year)

St James, born in Galilee, son of Zebedee and Salome and a relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was a fisherman like his brother John and one of the first of the Apostles called by Christ. He left everything to follow the Lord and with Peter and John, was favoured by Christ, with special confidence.

He was present when Christ was glorified on Mount Thabor, when He healed Peter’s mother-in-law of the fever, raised the daughter of Jairus to life and when He suffered the unutterable terror on Mount Olivet.

He was also, with the rest of the Apostles, a witness of Christ’s Ascension, received with them the Holy Ghost on Pentecost and then preached the Gospel in Judea and the neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

He and his brother John, were called by Christ the Sons of Thunder, on account of their great zeal for the honour and Kingdom of God. When James with this thunderlike zeal continued to preach the Resurrection and the doctrine of Jesus, in Judea, the Jews were so enraged against him, that King Herod thought nothing would please them more than that they should condemn the Apostle to death. This they did, at Easter in the year of our Lord 44.

But when the he, who led him to execution, saw the firmness of his faith, he also became converted to Christ and both were, therefore ,led to death. On the way he prayed the Apostle to forgive him, who said to him: “Peace be with you!” and kissed him. Both were beheaded. This James was the first of the Apostles to shed his blood for Christ and to drink of the chalice of suffering.

His sacred remains were afterwards brought to Compostella in Spain by Abgeks. The Church celebrates his feast on the day of his translation and not on the day of his martyrdom, which, as already said, was at Easter.

O brave Apostle,
the first to drink the Chalice of suffering
after the example of Christ,
Who had shed His Blood for thee,
obtain, I beseech thee,
the grace from Him,
that I may not fear
to drink of the Chalice of pain and suffering
but may bear patiently,
all that the hand of my God offers me,
so that I may, one day,
be worthy to enjo,
in thy society,
the joy of Heaven.

Patronages etc here:

Posted in ArchAngels and Angels, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga

Quote of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) “The Angel of Purity”

Recommend yourself to your Angel Guardian
three times a day –
in the morning. by the prayer “Angele Dei”
in the evening, by the same prayer
and during the day,
when you visit the Altars in Churches.
Remember that you are to be guided
by your Angel, like a blind man
who cannot see the dangers of the streets
and trusts entirely.
to the person who leads him.

St Aloysius de Gonzaga (1568-1591)

Prayer for the Intercession of St Aloysius Gonzaga,
(Can be Prayed as a Novena for Nine Consecutive Days)

O Saint Aloysius,
adorned with angelical manners,
although I am thy unworthy servant,
I recommend to thee,
in an especial manner,
the chastity of my soul and body;
I conjure thee, by thy angelical purity,
to commend me to Jesus Christ,
the spotless Lamb
and to His most Holy Mother,
the Virgin of virgins.
Preserve me from every grievous sin;
never suffer me to sully my soul ,
with any impurity;
whenever thou seest me in temptation,
or danger of sin,
ward off from me,
every impure thought and affection
and awakening in me,
the remembrance of eternity
and of Jesus Crucified,
imprint deeply in my heart
the sentiment of the fear of God.
Inflame me with divine love,
in order that,
by imitating thee on earth,
I may merit to enjoy God
with thee in Heaven.
Our Father, Hail Mary



Quote/s of the Day – 6 June – St Norbert and a Prayer for his Intercession for a Safe Childbirth

Quote/s of the Day – 6 June – Pentecost Monday and the Memorial of St Norbert (c 1080-1134) Bishop, Confessor, Founder of the Premonstratensian or the Norbertine Canons and Sisters, “Defender of the Eucharist” and “Apostle of the Eucharist,” Exorcist, Reformer, Preacher

On the day of his ordination, St Norbert said:

O Priest! You are not of yourself because you are of God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you?
Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care, lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!

You will never enjoy
the sweetness of a quiet prayer,
unless you shut your mind,
to all worldly desires and temporal affairs.

St Norbert (c 1080-1134)

Why is St Norbert Patron of Expectant Mothers & Infertile Married Couples?

A pious woman once approached St Norbert asking whether she and her husband ought to separate and enter Monasteries because they lived in an infertile marriage.
St Norbert prophesied that they would be blessed with children, the first of whom would be dedicated to God. This child, Nicholas, did indeed become a Norbertine at Prémontré.
St Norbert is traditionally invoked for a safe childbirth too.
The Norbertine Canonesses at Doksany (Czech Republic) in modern times, promote this devotion to St Norbert as ‘Patron of Infertile Couples and Endangered Pregnancies’ and report hundreds of families now blessed with children, the Sisters, having well over 3,000 spiritual children as of 2012. It would be wonderful to find an updated figure 10 hears later.

A Prayer to St Norbert
for a Safe Childbirth

St Norbert, great and faithful servant of God!
You venerated the holy
and miraculous birth of our Saviour,
Whom, His Mother,
the purest Virgin Mary,
conceived without the loss of her virginity
and gave birth, ever remaining a virgin.
You connected the origin
of the Premonstratensian Order
with the day of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
I humbly pray to you, St Norbert,
as a great protector,
so that God will give me the grace,
through your intercession,
to give birth to this conceived child.
And so, that He will give me also,
the grace that this child
will join the Church of Christ
through the Sacrament of Baptism
and that he/she will serve
Almighty God
the whole of his/her life
so that in the end
we both will reach eternal salvation.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever.

(Translated from The Little Hours, 1749, by one of our Norbertine Sisters at Doksany)


Thought for the Day – 5 May – Mary, Our Mother

Thought for the Day – 5 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Our Mother

“Holy Mary, it is consoling for me to know that you are my Mother, who loves and protects me and intercedes with God on my behalf, that I may obtain everlasting salvation.
I desire to be your child and to love you and your Son Jesus, more and more.
I wish to imitate your virtues, as far as possible, especially your complete acceptance in joy and in sorrow, of the Holy Will of God.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – St Peter Canisius

Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – The Memorial of St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church

Better that only a few Catholics
should be left,
staunch and sincere in their religion,
than that they should,
remaining many,
desire as it were,
to be in collusion
with the Church’s enemies
and in conformity with the open foes
of our faith.

Prayer of a Catechist
to Jesus, Lover of Children

O Jesus, Friend of children,
Who from Thy most tender years
did grow visibly in wisdom
and in grace before God and men.
Who at the age of twelve,
was seated in the Temple,
in the midst of the doctors,
listening to them attentively,
humbly asking them questions
and exciting their admiration
by the prudence and wisdom
of Thy discourse.
Who didst receive, so willingly,
the children, blessing them
and saying to Thy disciples:
Let them come to Me,
for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Inspire me as Thou did inspire
the blessed Peter Canisius,
model and guide of the perfect Catechist,
with a profound respect
and a holy affection for childhood,
a taste and a marked devotion
for instructing them in Christian doctrine,
a special aptitude, in making them understand
its mysteries and love its beauties.
I ask this of Thee,
through the intercession
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and Saint Peter Canisius.

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Church



Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – I must proclaim the kingdom of God

Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – Thursday of the Third Week of Lent – Jeremias 7:1-7, Luke 4:38-44

“And the crowds were seeking after Him
and they came to Him
and tried to detain Him,
that He might not depart from them.
But He said to them,
To the other towns too
I must proclaim the kingdom of God,
for this is why I have been sent.

Luke 4:42-43

Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which, the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet,
with which, He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands,
with which, He is to bless others now.

St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

Great convert Teacher of the Faith
Who never ceased from preaching Christ,
Saint Paul impart to us your zeal,
That we may reach the joys unseen.

All glory to the Trinity,
Forever honour, sov’reignty,
To God Almighty be all praise,
Beginning and the End of all.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARCH the month of ST JOSEPH, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St JOSEPH

Quote/s of the Day – 19 March – St Joseph,

Quote/s of the Day – 19 March – St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I cannot call to mind
that I have ever asked him,
at any time for anything,
which he has not granted
and I am filled with amazement
when I consider the great favours
which God has given me,
through this blessed Saint;
the dangers from which he has delivered me,
both of body and of soul!”

St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

“… You can see how low and humbled
he was brought,
more than can be said or imagined…
he went to his own country
and town of Bethlehem
and none but he, was turned away
from all those inns…
Notice how the Angel turns him about
with both hands.
He tells him he has to go to Egypt
and he goes, he orders him to return
and he returns.
God wants him to be always poor…
and he submits to it with love
and not only for a while,
for he was poor his whole life long

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

Blessed Joseph, Remember Us
By St Bernadine of Siena (1380-1444)

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.


Posted in HYMNS, MARCH the month of ST JOSEPH, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St JOSEPH

Our Morning Offering – 19 March – Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!

Our Morning Offering –19 March – St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!
By Father Frederick William Faber CO (1814-1863)

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Chaste spouse of Mary hail!
Pure as the lily flow’r
In Eden’s peaceful vale.
Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Prince of the house of God!
May His best graces be
By thy sweet hands bestowed.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Comrade of Angels, hail!
Cheer thou the hearts that faint,
And guide the steps that fail.
Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
God’s choice wert thou alone!
To thee the Word made flesh,
Was subject as a Son.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Teach us our flesh to tame
And, Mary, keep the hearts
That love thy husband’s name.
Mother of Jesus! bless,
And bless, ye Saints on high,
All meek and simple souls
That to Saint Joseph cry.


Lenten Preparation Novena to the HOLY FACE Day Six – 25 February

Lenten Preparation Novena
in Reparation to the Holy Face
Day Six

All those who, attracted by My Love and venerating My Countenance, shall receive, by virtue of My Humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of My Divinity. This splendour shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features, with My Divine Countenance.” Our Lord Jesus Christ to St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)


O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,
through the intercession of Holy Mary,
whose soul was pierced through
by a sword of sorrow
at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son,
we ask Your help,
in making a perfect Novena of Reparation with Jesus,
united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints
to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena
to the Most Holy Face of Jesus
and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

(Console Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer)

Psalm 51,12-13
A pure heart create for us O God,
put a steadfast spirit within us.
Do not cast us away from your presence
nor deprive us of your Holy Spirit.

May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord,
by the in-pouring of the Holy Spirit
and may He render them fruitful
by watering them with His heavenly dew.
Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit,
intercede for us,
Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of Your Precious Blood
and your Holy Face, O Jesus,
grant us our petition ………………
Pardon and mercy.

O Victorious Prince,
Guardian of the Church of God
By St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

O Victorious Prince,
most humble guardian of the Church of God
and of faithful souls,
who, with such charity and zeal,
took part in so many conflicts
and gained such great victories over the enemy,
for the conservation and protection
of the honour and glory,
we all owe to God,
as well as for the promotion of our salvation.
Come, we pray Thee, to our assistance,
for we are continually besieged
with such great perils by our enemies,
the flesh, the world and the devil
and as Thou wast a leader
for the people of God,
through the desert,
so also be our faithful leader
and companion through the
desert of this world,
until Thou conduct us safely,
into the happy land of the living,
in that blessed fatherland
from which we are all exiles.

Pray (1) Our Father, three (3) Hail Marys, one (1) Glory Be.

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine,
be every Adoration Thine

(Three times)


One Minute Reflection – 14 February – ‘ … Be aware that we have been hired as labourers…. ‘

One Minute Reflection – 14 February – “Month of the Most Blessed Trinity” – The Memorial of St Valentine (176-273) Bishop and Martyr, 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5, Matthew 20:1-16

The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.” – Matthew 20:1

REFLECTION – “To hire labourers for his vineyard.” What is the vineyard of God here? Not men, as elsewhere; for men are called the cultivators of the vineyard. The vineyard is justice and in it different kinds of virtues are placed like vines. For example, gentleness, chastity, patience, high-mindedness and countless other good qualities, which are all in general called virtues. So let us note how earnestly we should cultivate the heavenly vineyard. Adam was put in paradise to cultivate it and work it, but because he neglected it, he was ejected from it. We have been put here to cultivate justice; if we neglect it, we will be cast out, just as the Jews also were cast out, of whom it was written: “Add iniquity to their iniquity, that they may not enter thy justice.” The fall of those going before, should be a warning for those following. But if we the followers have also fallen into ruin, those who were the first to fall, deserve pardon more than we, who follow. A hired hand placed in the vineyard will not only lose his pay if he neglects it but, he will also be charged with the loss of the abandoned vineyard! So we too, if we neglect the justice committed to us, will not only have no reward but, we will also be charged for the justice that has been abolished. For God’s vineyard is not outside us but has been planted inside our very selves. So anyone who commits sin destroys the justice of God within himself but anyone who does good works, cultivates it in himself. The well-cultivated justice of God within you, brings forth grapes, that is, Christ. For those who do just deeds form Christ in themselves, as is written: “My little children, with whom I am again in travail, until Christ be formed in you.

Anyone who consigns a vineyard to another to work consigns it, not so much for the other’s benefit, as for his own but God, giving His justice to our understanding, gave it, not for His own benefit but for ours. God does not need our labour but we, who do just work, may live because of it. The owner who consigned the vineyard to someone else for his own benefit, expects to receive it back in the same condition as He handed it over. How then will justice not be demanded back from us, in as immaculate a condition as He created it in us, particularly as He gave it, not for His own benefit but for our salvation?

Be aware that we have been hired as labourers. If we have been hired as labourers, we ought to know what our tasks are, for a hired labourer cannot be without a task. Our tasks are the works of justice, not to till our fields and vineyards; not to amass riches and pile up honours but to benefit our neighbours. And although we can do this tilling and amassing without sin, yet they are not our tasks but our daily occupations.

No-one hires a labourer to work, only so that the labourer may eat. So we too have been called by Christ, to do, not merely what pertains to our own benefit but, to do what pertains, to the glory of God. The hired hand, who only works so that he may fill his belly, wanders purposelessly about the house. So we too, if we do only what pertains to our benefit, live without reason on the earth. And just as the hired hand first looks to his work and then to his wages, so we too are Christ’s hired hands and first ought to look at what pertains to God’s glory and to the benefit of our neighbours …. Charity and true love toward God “does not insist on its own way” but desires to perform everything to the wish of the Beloved—than to what pertains to our own benefit.” – An anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew (Sermon 34).

PRAYER – O glorious advocate and protector, St Valentine,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession,
the miseries under which we labour
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy
to join you in praising the
Almighty for all eternity:
through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze. Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth. A new life is about to emerge but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control. Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.

Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces, as Burnand intended you to do and through them, discover the empty tomb.” (Elisabeth Ehrhard-Crises Magazine).

Oh Teach Me then, Dear Saint!
An Invocation of St John, Apostle and Evangelist
Unknown Author

Saint of the Sacred Heart,
Sweet teacher of the Word,
Partner of Mary’s woes
And favourite of thy Lord!

Oh teach me then, dear Saint!
The Secrets Christ taught thee;
The Beatings of His Heart,
And how it beat for me!

We know not all thy gifts
But this Christ bids us see,
That He Who so loved all,
Found more to love in thee.

When the last evening came,
Thy head was on His breast,
Pillowed on earth, where now
In Heaven the Saints find rest.

Dear Saint! I stand far off,
With vilest sins opprest,
Oh may I dare, like thee,
To lean upon His Breast?

His Touch could heal the sick,
His Voice could raise the dead,
Oh that my soul might be
Where He allows thy head.

The gifts He gave to thee
He gave thee to impart
And I, too, claim with thee
His Mother and His Heart!


Quote/s of the Day – 13 December – Light! Dear St Lucy and St Odilia

Quote/s of the Day – 13 December – The Memorial of St Lucy (c 283-304) Virgin Martyr “Bringer of Light” and St Odilia of Alsace (c 660-720) Virgin Both Patrons of those with eye ailments

I am the light of the world;
he who follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.

John 8:12

Saint Lucy’s name (Lucia in Italian) shares the root luc with the Latin word for light, lux. Because of this connection, Saint Lucy is often depicted in art and religious custom as a bringer of light – which also ties in to her Patronage of eyes and sight. Her feast day today, is during Advent when we await the Light of Christ and is in winter, for the Northern Hemisphere, so there is significant iconography of Lucy as a bringer of light in the darkness.

In your light God,
we see light.

Psalm 35:36

Let us pray to St Lucy, for the intercession for all those with eye illnesses and for the protection of the ‘eyes of our faith’ of all of us.

Let your light shine before men

Matthew 5:16

O St Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out
instead of denying the faith
and defiling your soul
and God, through an extraordinary miracle,
replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes
to reward your virtue and faith,
appointing you as the protector against eye diseases.
I come to you for you to protect my eyesight
and to heal the illness in my eyes.

O St Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes
so that I may see the beauties of creation,
the glow of the sun,
the colour of the flowers
and the smile of children.

Preserve also the eyes of my soul,
the faith, through which I can know my God,
understand His teachings,
recognise His love for me
and never miss the road that leads me
to where you, St Lucy,
can be found in the company of the angels and saints.
St Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith.

St Lucy, “Bringer of Light” Pray for those with eye ailments,
Pray for us all!

Light came into the world.”

John 3:19

St Odilia, born blind – at the age of 12, her bodily eyes were opened and she was equally enlightened by the “eyes of faith” when she was Baptised, Pray for those with eye ailments, Pray for us all that our faith may grow and strengthen as those around us grow more and more blind!

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

Mark 8:25

Prayer for the Intercession of St Odilia

Merciful God,
I come to You to ask Your aid
that my life may always give You praise.
I ask through the intercession
of St Odilia and all your holy people
to be a beacon of Your Light to all I meet.
Give me holiness of soul and body
and bring me into Your divine Light.
May I obtain these favours,
as well as my special prayer,
St Odelia, pray for my eyes
and the eyes of my faith.
Through the merits of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ,
Your Son, our Lord,
Who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.

Posted in ArchAngels and Angels, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PARTIAL Indulgence, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS

Saint of the Day – 24 October – St Raphael the Archangel

Saint of the Day – 24 October – St Raphael the Archangel. Patronages – the blind, travellers, happy meetings, nurses, physicians, medical workers, matchmakers, Catholic Marriage and Catholic studies.The Feast day of Saint Raphael was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on 24 October. With the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the Feast was transferred to 29 September for celebration together with the Archangels, Saints Michael and Gabriel.

O God,
Who gave Blessed Raphael the Archangel
to Tobias as his travelling companion,
grant to us Thy servants,
that we also may be guarded by his care
and receive the protection
of his assistance.
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

St Raphael, Archangel
By Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

The two youths then set out on their journey. After the first day’s march, Tobias rested on the bank of the river Tigris and when he went to wash his feet in this river, an immense fish came suddenly up to devour him. When he called to his companion for help, Raphael told him to seize the fish courageously and draw him to land. Tobias did so, after which, Raphael told him to open the fish, take out the entrails and keep the heart, liver and gall, as useful medicines. They continued their journey,and took lodgings in the house of Raguel, who was of the same tribe as Tobias and who had an only daughter, named Sara, whom Raphael advised Tobias to take as wife. Tobias feared to do this, as he had heard that Sara had already been given in marriage to seven husbands, all of whom had been killed by the devil. Raphael, however, said: “Hear me and I will tell thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. It is they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from their heart and mind.”

Tobias exactly followed the directions of his holy companion and remained unharmed. From how many evils would persons about to be married be saved, if they had first received and followed suitable instructions from their pastors who, in regard to them, take the place of Raphael, advising them what they should do in order to enter the state of holy matrimony properly prepared. They should purify their heart by a good general confession and be married, not like heathens in the darkness of night but at Mass receiving the blessing of the Priest at the Altar. After marriage, they should live as becomes the marriage state, faithfully fulfilling the admonition of St Paul, sanctifying each other and taking care, that their children shall become, without delay, children of God through Baptism. Indeed, how much displeased must be the Guardian Angels of new-born children at seeing them, through the neglect of their parents, to have them Baptised in time, left in the power of the devil, in original sin and in danger of eternal perdition. While Tobias remained at the house of Raguel, his heavenly companion went to Rages, demanded and received, without any hesitation, the borrowed money from Gabelus, returned to Raguel and having made a short stay there, accompanied Tobias back to his home at Ninive.

Anna, Tobias’ mother, had meanwhile, grieved very much at the long absence of her son. She daily went to a high mountain and looked into the distance, to see whether her son was approaching and, when, on the day of his return, she saw him from afar, she ran to her husband and informed him of his son’s approach. Being blind, Tobias gave his hand to a servant and went to meet his son, as also did Anna. Both fell on his neck, kissed him and wept for joy. Having all entered their house, they adored the Almighty and gave due thanks to Him for the happy issue of the journey. Tobias, the son, then took some of the gall of the fish, and anointed his father’s eyes, as the Angel Raphael had told him to do, before they had reached the house and immediately, the blind father recovered his sight. Indescribably great ,was the joy of the father, the mother, the whole household and neighbourhood. Having given humble thanks to God for this new grace, Tobias told his parents how many benefits he had received from his travelling companion. “He conducted me and brought me safely back again,” said he; “he received the money from Gabelus, he caused me to obtain my wife and he chased from her the evil spirits and gave joy to her parents. Myself, he delivered from being devoured by the fish, thee also, father hath he made to see the light of heaven and we are filled with all good things through him. What can we give him sufficient for all these?

Before his father could answer, he begged him to give so faithful a companion, as recompense, one-half of all the things they had brought. Tobias acceded to this proposal of his son without hesitation and calling the Angel, they both begged him to accept one-half of all the things they had brought, as a recompense for his services. But the Angel said to them: “Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to Him in the sight of all that live because he hath showed mercy to you. For it is good to hide the secret of a king but honourable to confess and reveal the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms, more than to lay up treasures of gold; for alms delivereth from death and the same is that which purgeth away sin and maketh us to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. When thou didst pray with tears and didst bury the dead and didst leave thy dinner and hide the dead by day in thy house and bury them by night, I offered thy prayers to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee and to deliver Sara thy son’s wife from the devil. For I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord.”

Having thus spoken, the Holy Archangel was silent but Tobias and his son were seized with fear and fell trembling, with their faces to the ground. The Angel cheered them, with the words: “Peace be to you, fear not. For when I was with you, it was by the will of God: bless ye Him and sing praises unto Him. It is time now that I return to Him that sent me but bless ye God and publish all His wonderful works.” Having said these words, he vanished from their sight. They, however, lay prostrate on the ground for three hours, partly from fear, partly in wonder at the great goodness of God who had sent so high a Prince of Heaven to protect, comfort and help them. At length, having overcome their awe they repeated their thanks to God and announced everywhere, the benefits He had bestowed upon them. The beautiful hymn of praise which Tobias composed on that occasion is to be found in Holy Writ. From this event, as true as it is wonderful, several historians, not without reason, conclude that the intercession of St Raphael ought to be invoked by those who are either troubled or tempted by the Evil One, who are blind, or otherwise infirm, or who go on a journey. The name, Raphael, means “the remedy, or the physician of God” and shows ,that this Holy Angel assists, particularly those who are sick, either in soul or body. The true Church teaches those who intend to undertake a journey to pray: “May the Angel Raphael be with us on our way!” from which we infer, that he is the especial patron of all travellers.

Prayer to Saint Raphael the Archangel

Glorious Archangel, St Raphael,
great Prince of the Heavenly Court,
illustrious by thy gifts of wisdom and grace,
guide of travellers by land and sea,
consoler of the unfortunate
and refuge of sinners,
I entreat thee to help me in all my needs
and in all the trials of this life,
as thou didst once assist the young Tobias
in his journeying.
And since thou art the “Physician of God,”
I humbly pray thee to heal my soul
of its many infirmities
and my body of the ills that afflict it,
if this favour is for my greater good.
I ask, especially, for angelic purity,
that I may be made fit
to be the living temple of the Holy Ghost.

(Indulgence of 100 days.—-Pope Leo XIII., 21 June 1890)


Our Morning Offering – 6 October –

Our Morning Offering – 6 October – Ad Te, Beate Joseph

In Catholic Time, Wednesdays are traditionally St Joseph’s day. Saint Joseph is known as the Prince and chief Patron of the Church. As the earthly Father of Jesus, he had a special role in protecting, providing for and instructing Jesus during His earthly life. Now that Christ is ascended into Heaven, St Joseph continues his fatherly guardianship of Christ’s body, the Church. He is a very powerful help to all of us.

Ad Te, Beate Joseph
To Thee, O Blessed Joseph
By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ.
O most loving father,
ward off from us,
every contagion of error
and corrupting influence.
O our most mighty protector,
be propitious to us
and from heaven assist us
in our struggle with the power of darkness
and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus
from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy
and from all adversity.
Shield, too, each one of us
by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example
and your aid, we may be able
to live piously,
to die holy
and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven.

Pope Leo asked that this prayer be added to the end of the Holy Rosary during the Month of October.


Our Morning Offering – 24 April – Mother of my God, Lady Mary, Queen of Mercy

Our Morning Offering – 24 April – Saturday of he Third Week of Easter

Mother of my God,
Lady Mary, Queen of Mercy
By St Alphonsus Ligouri (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Mother of my God and my Lady Mary,
as a beggar, all wounded and sore,
presents himself before a great Queen,
so do I present myself before you,
who are Queen of heaven and earth.
From the lofty throne on which you sit,
disdain not, I implore you,
to cast your eyes on me,
a poor sinner.
God has made you so rich
that you might assist the poor
and has made you Queen of Mercy,
that you might relieve the miserable.
Behold me then and pity me.
Behold me and abandon me not,
until you see me changed
from a sinner into a saint.


Our Morning Offering – 19 March – Blessed Joseph, Remember Us

Our Morning Offering – 19 March – The Solemnity of St Joseph

Blessed Joseph, Remember Us
By St Bernadine of Siena (1380-1444

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.


Our Morning Offering – 30 January – Into the Arms of Your Mercy

Our Morning Offering – 30 January – Mary’s Saturday, as always

Into the Arms of Your Mercy
By St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

Into the Arms of Your Mercy,
O Mary, my Queen,
I cast myself, into the arms of your mercy.
I place my soul and body,
in your blessed care
and under your special protection
from this world.
I entrust to you,
all my hopes and consolations,
all my anguish and misery,
my life and the end of my life.
Through your most holy intercession
and through your merits,
grant that all my works
may be directed and carried out,
in accordance with your will
and the will of your Divine Son.


Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – The Most Holy Redeemer

Quote/s of the Day – 23 October – Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer

“I did not come to condemn the world
but to save the world.”

John 12:47

“Come along then, every human family,
full of sin as you are
and receive the forgiveness of your sins.
For I Myself, am your forgiveness,
I am the Passover of salvation,
the Lamb slain for your sakes,
your redemption, life and resurrection;
I am your Light, your Salvation and your King.
It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven,
I, who will raise you up;
it is I, who will bring you to see the Father
who is from all eternity;
it is I, who will raise you up
by My all-powerful Hand.”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist

Paschal Homily

Many indeed are the wondrous happenings
of that time:
God hanging from a Cross,
the sun made dark
and again flaming out;
for it was fitting,
that creation should mourn
with its Creator.
The temple veil rent,
Blood and Water flowing
from His Side –
the one as from a Man,
the other as from what was above man;
the earth shaken,
the rocks shattered because of the Rock;
the dead risen to bear witness
to the final and universal
resurrection of the dead.
The happenings at the sepulchre
and after the sepulchre,
who can fittingly recount them?
Yet not one of them, can be compared,
to the Miracle of my Salvation.
A few drops of Blood
renews the whole world
and do, for all men,
what the rennet does for the milk –
joining us and binding us together!

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

“Our Saviour’s passion
raises men and women
from the depths,
lifts them up from the earth
and sets them in the heights.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“As they were looking on,
so we too gaze on His wounds as He hangs.
We see His blood as He dies.
We see the price offered by the Redeemer,
touch the scars of His Resurrection.
He bows His head, as if to kiss you.
His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you.
His arms are extended, that He may embrace you.
His whole body is displayed for your redemption.
Ponder how great these things are.
Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind –
as He was once fixed to the cross,
in every part of His body for you,
so He may now be fixed in every part of your soul.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers.
All love that takes not it’s beginning
from Our Saviour’s Passion is frivolous and dangerous.
Unhappy is death without the love of the Saviour,
unhappy is love without the death of the Saviour!
Love and death are so mingled
in the Passion of Our Saviour
that we cannot have the one in our heart without the other.
Upon Calvary one cannot have life without love,
nor love without the death of Our Redeemer.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“Yes, my gentle Redeemer,
let me say it,
You are crazy with love!
Is it not foolish for You
to have wanted to die for me?
But if You, my God,
have become crazy with love for me,
how can I not become crazy with love for You?”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)

Jesus, by this Saving Sign,
bless this listless soul of mine.
Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast,
mend the missteps of my past.
Jesus, with Your riven hands,
bend my will to love’s demands.
Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare,
warm my inner coldness there.
Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head,
still my pride till it is dead.
Jesus, by Your muted tongue,
stay my words that hurt someone.
Jesus, by Your tired eyes,
open mine to faith’s surprise.
Jesus, by Your fading breath,
keep me faithful until death.
Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign,
save this wayward soul of mine.

“He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane,
He was betrayed by Judas,
denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles,
He was bound like a criminal,
insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death
and burdened with a cross;
finally, when He arrived at Calvary,
He was nailed to the gibbet,
where He shed His Precious Blood
and gave His life for our redemption.
Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us.
“Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.”
The Saints were moved to tears
by the strange spectacle of God-made-man,
dying on the Cross for men.
What is our reaction?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


Quote/s of the Day – 28 September – Good King Wenceslaus

Quote/s of the Day – 28 September – The Memorial of St Wenceslaus (907-935) King of Bohemia, Martyr

St Wenceslas was considered a Martyr and a Saint immediately after his death, when a cult of Wenceslas grew up in Bohemia and in England. Within a few decades of Wenceslas’ death, four biographies of him were in circulation. These hagiographies had a powerful influence on the High Middle Ages conceptualisation of the rex justus, or “righteous king”, that is, a monarch whose power stems mainly from his great piety, as well as from his princely vigour. The chronicler Cosmas of Prague, writing in about the year 1119, states:

But his deeds I think you know better than I could tell you; for, as is read in his Passion, no-one doubts that, rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty, so much so, that he was considered, not a prince but the father of all the wretched.

Several centuries later the legend was claimed as fact by Pope Pius II.

The hymn “Svatý Václave” (Saint Wenceslas) or “Saint Wenceslas Chorale” is one of the oldest known Czech hymns in history. It’s roots can be found in the 12th century and it still belongs to the most popular religious songs to this day. In 1918, in the beginning of the Czechoslovak state, the song was discussed as one of the possible choices for the national anthem. His feast day is celebrated today, while the translation of his relics, which took place in 938, is commemorated on 4 March.

Good King Wenceslaus

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho’ the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel.

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know’st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together;
Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.

“Sire, the night is darker now and the wind blow stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page. Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage freeze thy blood less coldly.”

In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.


Our Morning Offering – 24 August – Great Saint of God, Bartholomew

Our Morning Offering – 24 August – Feast of St Bartholomew, Apostle of Christ

Great Saint of God, Bartholomew
Breviary Hymn for the
Feast of St Bartholomew

Great Saint of God, Bartholomew,
Apostle now enthroned above,
Our lowly supplications hear,
Accept our hymn of praise and love.

With tender eyes Christ welcomed you.
Among His Twelve you would have part.
You wondered as He greatly praised
Your deep sincerity of heart.

He whom the prophets had foretold,
Foreshadowed too in many ways,
The great Messiah, come at last,
Smiled back to greet your joyous gaze.

Heart spoke to heart and from that day,
Your faith and love in strength would gain,
For you would follow Him in death
And then for ever with Him reign.

Apostle and close friend of Christ
Who rules beyond the chain of time,
You share in joy your Master’s life,
And help us from that fount sublime.

To Him be glory and all praise
Who by your help and loving prayer,
Will grant that we in heaven’s home
Your everlasting joy may share.

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Louis-Marie Grignion de MONTFORT, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 10 August – O Mary, my Queen By St Louis de Montfort

Our Morning Offering – 10 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

O Mary, my Queen
By St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)

O Mary, my Queen,
I cast myself into the arms of your mercy.
I place my soul and body
in your blessed care
and under your special protection
from this world.
I entrust to you
all my hopes and consolations,
all my anguish and misery,
my life and the end of my life.
Through your most holy intercession
and through your merits,
grant that all my works
may be directed and carried out
in accord with your will
and the will of your divine Son.
Ameno mary my queen - st louis de montfort - 10 aug 2019 marian sats


18 May 2020 – The Centenary of the Birth of St John Paul (1920-2005) – Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter

Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter Marking St John Paul II’s Birth Centenary

The English translation of this letter,
dated 4 May was released 15 May
by the Polish Bishops’ Conference.centenary of the birth of st john paul II 18 may 2020 no 2

“100 years ago, on 18 May, Pope John Paul II was born in the small Polish town of Wadowice.

After having been divided for over 100 years by three neighbouring major powers of Prussia, Russia, and Austria, Poland regained Her independence at the end of the First World War.   It was a historic event that gave birth to great hope but it also demanded much hardship as the new State, in the process of Her reorganisation, continued to feel the pressure of the two Powers of Germany and Russia.   In this situation of oppression, bu,t above all, in this situation marked by hope, young Karol Wojtyła grew up.   He lost his mother and his brother quite early and, in the end, his father as well, from whom he gained deep and warm piety.   The young Karol was particularly drawn by literature and theatre.   After passing his final secondary school exam, he chose to study these subjects.

“In order to avoid the deportation, in the fall of 1940 he went to work in a quarry of the Solvay chemical plant.”  (cf. Gift and Mystery).   “In the fall of 1942, he made the final decision to enter the Seminary of Kraków, which Kraków’s Archbishop Sapieha had secretly established in his residence.   As a factory worker, Karol already started studying theology in old textbooks; and so, on 1 November 1946, he could be ordained a priest.” (cf. Ibid.)   Of course, Karol not only studied theology in books but also through his experience of the difficult situation that he and his Country found itself in.   This is somewhat a characteristic of his whole life and work.   He studied books but the questions that they posed, became the reality that he profoundly experienced and lived. As a young Bishop — as an Auxiliary Bishop since 1958 and then Archbishop of Kraków from 1964 — the Second Vatican Council became the school of his entire life and work. The important questions that appeared, especially in connection with the so-called Schema 13 which would subsequently become the Constitution Gaudium et Spes, were questions that were also his own.   The answers developed by the Council would pave the way for his mission as Bishop and, later, as Pope.

When Cardinal Wojtyła was elected Successor of St Peter on 16 October 1978, the Church was in a dramatic situation.   The deliberations of the Council had been presented to the public as a dispute over the Faith itself, which seemed to deprive the Council of its infallible and unwavering sureness.   A Bavarian parish priest, for example, commented on the situation by saying, “In the end, we fell into the wrong faith.”   This feeling that nothing was no longer certain, that everything was questioned, was kindled even more by the method of implementation of liturgical reform.   In the end, it almost seemed that the liturgy could be created of itself.  St Paul VI brought the Council to an end with energy and determination but after its conclusion, he faced ever more pressing problems that ultimately questioned the existence of the Church Herself.   At that time, sociologists compared the Church’s situation to the situation of the Soviet Union under the rule of Gorbachev, during which the powerful structure of the Soviet State collapsed under the process of its reform.

Therefore, in essence, an almost impossible task was awaiting the new Pope.   Yet, from the first moment on, John Paul II aroused new enthusiasm for Christ and his Church.   His words from the sermon at the inauguration of his pontificate:  “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors for Christ!”   This call and tone would characterise his entire pontificate and made him a liberating restorer of the Church.   This was conditioned by the fact that the new Pope came from a country where the Council’s reception had been positive – one of a joyful renewal of everything rather than an attitude of doubt and uncertainty in all.

The Pope travelled the world, having made 104 pastoral voyages, proclaiming the Gospel wherever he went as a message of joy, explaining in this way, the obligation to defend what is Good and to be for Christ.

In his 14 Encyclicals, he comprehensively presented the faith of the Church and its teaching in a human way.   By doing this, he inevitably sparked contradiction in Church of the West, clouded by doubt and uncertainty.

It seems important today to define the true centre, from the perspective of which we can read the message contained in the various texts.   We could have noticed it at the hour of his death.   Pope John Paul II died in the first moments of the newly established Feast of Divine Mercy.   Let me first add a brief personal remark that seems an important aspect of the Pope’s nature and work.   From the very beginning, John Paul II was deeply touched by the message of Faustina Kowalska, a nun from Kraków, who emphasised Divine Mercy as an essential centre of the Christian faith.   She had hoped for the establishment of such a feast day.   After consultation, the Pope chose the Second Sunday of Easter.   However, before the final decision was made, he asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to express its view on the appropriateness of this date.   We responded negatively because such an ancient, traditional and meaningful date like the Sunday “in Albis” concluding the Octave of Easter should not be burdened with modern ideas.   It was certainly not easy for the Holy Father to accept our reply.   Yet, he did so with great humility and accepted our negative response a second time.   Finally, he formulated a proposal that left the Second Sunday of Easter in its historical form but included Divine Mercy in its original message.   There have often been similar cases in which I was impressed by the humility of this great Pope, who abandoned ideas he cherished because he could not find the approval of the official organs that must be asked according established norms.

When John Paul II took his last breaths on this world, the prayer of the First Vespers of the Feast of Divine Mercy had just ended.   This illuminated the hour of his death, the light of God’s mercy stands as a comforting message over his death.   In his last book Memory and Identity, which was published on the eve of his death, the Pope once again summarised the message of Divine Mercy.   He pointed out that Sister Faustina died before the horrors of the Second World War but already gave the Lord’s answer to all this unbearable strife.   It was as if Christ wanted to say through Faustina:  “Evil will not get the final victory.   The mystery of Easter affirms that good will ultimately be victorious, that life will triumph over death and that love will overcome hatred”.

Throughout his life, the Pope sought to subjectively appropriate the objective centre of Christian faith, the doctrine of salvation and to help others to make it theirs.   Through the resurrected Christ, God’s mercy is intended for every individual.   Although this centre of Christian existence is given to us only in faith, it is also philosophically significant, because if God’s mercy were not a fact, then we would have to find our way in a world where the ultimate power of good against evil is not recognisable.   It is finally, beyond this objective historical significance, indispensable for everyone to know, that in the end God’s mercy is stronger than our weakness.   Moreover, at this point, the inner unity of the message of John Paul II and the basic intentions of Pope Francis can also be found – John Paul II is not the moral rigourist as some have partially portrayed him.   With the centrality of divine mercy, he gives us the opportunity to accept moral requirement for man, even if we can never fully meet it.   Besides, our moral endeavours are made in the light of divine mercy, which proves to be a force that heals for our weakness.

While Pope John Paul II was dying, St Peter’s Square was filled with people, especially many young people, who wanted to meet their Pope one last time.   I cannot forget the moment when Archbishop Sandri announced the message of the Pope’s departure. Above all, the moment when the great bell of St Peter’s took up this message remains unforgettable.   On the day of his funeral, there were many posters with the words “Santo subito!”   It was a cry that rose from the encounter with John Paul II from all sides. Not from the square but also in different intellectual circles the idea of giving John Paul II the title “the Great” was discussed.

The word “saint” indicates God’s sphere and the word “great” the human dimension. According to the Church’s standards, sanctity can be recognised by two criteria – heroic virtues and a miracle.   These two standards are closely related.   Since the word “heroic virtue” does not mean a kind of Olympic achievement but rather that something becomes visible in and through a person that is not his own but God’s work which becomes recognisable in and through him.   This is not a kind of moral competition but the result of renouncing one’s own greatness.   The point is, that a person lets God work on him and so God’s work and power become visible through him.

The same applies to the criterion of the miracle – here too, what counts is not that something sensational happening but the visible revelation of God’s healing goodness, which transcends all merely human possibilities.   A saint is the man who is open to God and permeated by God.   A holy man is the one who leads away from himself and lets us see and recognise God.   Checking this juridically, as far as possible, is the purpose of the two processes for Beatification and Canonisation.   In the case of John Paul II, both were carried out strictly according to the applicable rules.   So, now he stands before us as the Father, who makes God’s mercy and kindness visible to us.

It is more difficult to correctly define the term “great.”   In the course of the almost 2,000-year long history of the papacy, the title “the Great” has been maintained only for two popes:  Leo I (440 – 461) and Gregory I (590 – 604).   In the case of both, the word “great” has a political connotation but precisely because something of the mystery of God himself becomes visible through their political success.   Through dialogue, Leo the Great was able to convince Attila, the Prince of Huns, to spare Rome – the city of the Apostolic Princes Peter and Paul.   Without weapons, without military or political power, through the power of his conviction for his faith, he was able to convince the feared tyrant to spare Rome.   In the struggle between the spirit and power, the spirit proved stronger.

Gregory I’s success was not as spectacular but he was repeatedly able to protect Rome against the Lombard — here too, by opposing the spirit against power and winning the victory of the spirit.

If we compare both stories with that of John Paul II, the similarity is unmistakable.   John Paul II also had no military or political power.   During the discussion about the future shape of Europe and Germany in February 1945, it was said that the Pope’s reaction should also be taken into account.   Stalin then asked: “How many divisions does the Pope have?”   Well, he had no available division.   However, the power of faith turned out to be a force that finally unhinged the Soviet power system in 1989 and made a new beginning possible.   Undisputedly, the Pope’s faith was an essential element in the collapse of the powers.   And so, the greatness that appeared in Leo I and Gregory I is certainly also visible here.

Let us leave open the question of whether the epithet “the great” will prevail or not.   It is true that God’s power and goodness have become visible to all of us in John Paul II.   In a time when the Church is again suffering from the oppression of evil, he is for us a sign of hope and confidence.”

On the Anniversary of his Birth, we ask for his intercession.

Vatican Official Prayer to St John Paul II

Oh, St John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided,
courageously leading it along the paths of the world,
in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus.
Bless the young, who were your great passion.
Help them dream again, help them look up high again,
to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless families, bless each family!
You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious
and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth.
St John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family
and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions,
wars and injustice.
You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St John Paul, from heaven’s window,
where we see you next to Mary,
send God’s blessing down upon us all.
Amenprayer-to-st-john-paul-birthday-today-18-may-20181 and 18 May 2020

St John Paul, Pray for Us!

ST john paul pray for us 18 may 2020 centenary of his birth


Saint of the Day – 1 May – Saint Peregrine Laziosi OSM (1260-1345) the “Angel of Good Counsel.” Today is the 675th anniversary of his death.

Saint of the Day – 1 May – Saint Peregrine Laziosi OSM (1260-1345) known as the “Angel of Good Counsel,” Priest of the Servite Order (The Order of Servants of Mary ), Apostle of the poor and the sick, Miracle-worker, Spiritual Advisor – born in 1260 at Forli, Italy and died on 1 May 1345 at Forli, Italy of natural causes, aged 85.  Today is the 675th anniversary of his death.   Patronages – against cancer, against breast cancer, against open sores, against skin diseases, AIDS patients, sick people, Diocese of Forli-Bertinoro, Italy, City of Forli, Italy.   St Peregrine’s body is Incorrupt. st peregrine-1- header 675 years anniversary of death 1345-2020

Peregrine Laziosi was born in Forli, Italy, the only son of well-to-do parents.   In his teens he joined the enemies of the Pope in his hometown and soon became a ringleader of rebels.

Pope Martin IV had placed Forli under a spiritual interdict which closed churches in the city, hoping to bring its citizens to their senses.   That failing, he sent St Philip Benizi, of the Order of Servites (Servants of Mary), as his personal Ambassador to try to bring peace to the angry rebels.

No welcome mat was spread for the Papal Delegate.   While addressing crowds of malcontents one day, he was dragged off the rostrum, beaten with clubs and pelted with rocks.   Peregrine knocked him down with a vicious blow to the face.   Moments after, stricken with remorse, the youth cast himself at the feet of the bruised and bleeding Priest and asked for his forgiveness, which was granted with a peregrine holy card

Peregrine became a staunch champion of Philip Benizi.   He heeded Philip’s suggestion and often prayed in Our Lady’s chapel in the Cathedral.   While kneeling there, he had a vision of the Blessed Mother holding in her hands a black habit like the one the Servites wore.   “Go to Siena,” Mary told the astonished Peregrine. “There you will find devout men who call themselves my servants.   Attach yourself to them.”

The Servites gave him a warm welcome  . He was clothed ceremoniously in the religious habit by Philip Benizi himself.

Daily he sought to become a more fervent religious man.   To atone for past misdeeds he treated himself harshly and worked hard for the poor and afflicted.   One of the special penances he imposed on himself was to stand whenever it was not necessary to sit. When tired he would support himself on a choir stall.ST PEREGRINE ICON SML

After being Ordained a Priest, he was sent back to Forlì, where he founded a new Servite house there and became well known for his preaching and holiness as well as his devotion to the sick and poor.   He miraculously multiplied grain and wine during a severe shortage in his area.   People took to calling him the “Angel of Good Counsel,” so grateful were they for his wise advice so freely given.

At the age of 60, he developed an infection in his right leg.   It was so painful that he finally agreed with the surgeon who wanted to amputate.   The night before the scheduled surgery, Peregrine spent hours in prayer before a fresco of the Crucifixion in the chapter room.   Then he fell into a deep trance-like sleep and seemed to see Christ descend from the Cross and touch his leg.   The thrill of it woke him up.   In the dim moonlight he saw that his leg, carefully bandaged a few hours earlier, was completely healed.St-Peregrine-XXX

The following day, the doctor arrived to perform the amputation and finding no sign of the cancer, news spread of the miraculous cure throughout the town.   This only increased the regard Forlineses’ for Peregrine.   When they were sick they appealed to his prayers.   Some were cured when he whispered “Jesus” into their ears.   The Church has since appointed him Patron of persons with cancer, or any incurable disease.ST PEREGRINE FRAMED

Peregrine died on 1 May 1345 of a fever, aged 85.   An extraordinary number of people from the town and countryside honoured his death.   Some of the sick who came to his funeral, were healed immediately, through his intercession.

His body rests in the Servite church of Forlì, the Basilica of Saint Pellegrino Laziosi.   Pope Paul V declared him Blessed in 1609 and Pope Benedict XIII Canonised him in 1726.Findlay window St Peregrine

The lesson of Peregrine’s life is not that God worked a miracle but that a faithful servant placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of God.   Peregrine’s trust in God, therefore, serves as a model for those dealing with sickness.   Thousands of clients especially those who have been cured by his intercession, pay him special honour today, his Feast, each year.

Prayer to St Peregrine
for his Intercession

St Peregrine, we come to you confidently
to implore your aid with God in our necessity.
You were converted instantly from a worldly life
by the good example of one holy person.
You were cured instantaneously of cancer by God’s grace
and your unceasing prayer.
In your gracious kindness,
please ask the Lord to heal us also in body, mind and soul.
May we then imitate you in doing His work
with renewed vigour and strength.
Amenprayer to st peregrine for his intercession 1 may 2020



Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Prayer to St Joseph For the Opening of our Churches

Our Morning Offering – 30 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

“Let us Pray together, entrusting ourselves to the intercession of St Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Church, the Holy Family, Guardian of all our families.   Even the carpenter of Nazareth knew precariousness and bitterness.   Though he worried about the future, he knew how to walk the darkness of certain moments, always letting himself be guided by God’s will without reservation.” ... -Pope Francis, 18 March 2020

Prayer to St Joseph
For the Opening of our Churches
Adapted from a Prayer by Pope Francis

Protect, O Holy Guardian, this our Holy Church.
Enlighten our Bishops,
so that they might know — like you do —
how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.
Bless, O St Joseph, the Church,
beginning with her ministers,
make her the sign and instrument
of your light and your goodness.
Accompany, us O St Joseph,
as we await the re-opening of our Churches.
We are bereft and suffering without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The Food for our journey is necessary to grant us strength,
although we call Our Lord to come to our hearts,
we miss His Real Presence.
Preserve the elderly from loneliness,
especially those who are recipients of the Holy Eucharist
in their homes, grant that no-one might be left in desperation
from abandonment and discouragement.
Comfort those who are the most frail,
encourage those who falter in faith,
strengthen all of us,
intercede for the poor.
With the Virgin Mother, beg the Lord to liberate the world
from every form of suffering and want
and to come back to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Amenprayer to st joseph for the opening of our Chruches - covid 19 29 april 2020 adapted by pope francis


Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 4 April – St Isidore of Seville (c 560-636) Father & Doctor of the Church, Creator of the first encyclopedia – often called “The Last Scholar of the Ancient World” and “The Schoolmaster of the Middle Ages.”   His most well known patronage is of computers and the internet (though not officially so_ – his full story with Patronages is here: but today we will follow his life with Pope Benedict XVI during his Catechetical audiences on the Doctors of the Church.   This was given at St Peter’s on Wednesday, 18 June 2008.saint-isidore-of-sevilla-miguel-zitow wow header

He was a younger brother of St Leander (c 534-c 600) memorial 13 March, Archbishop of Seville and a great friend of St Pope Gregory the Great.   Pointing this out is important, because it enables us, to bear in mind, a cultural and spiritual approach, that is indispensable for understanding Isidore’s personality.   Indeed, he owed much to Leander, an exacting, studious and austere person who created around his younger brother a family context, marked by the ascetic requirements proper to a monk and from the work pace demanded, by a serious dedication to study.   Furthermore, Leander was concerned to have the wherewithal to confront the political and social situation of that time – in those decades in fact, the Visigoths, barbarians and Arians, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula and taken possession of territories that belonged to the Roman Empire.   It was essential to regain them for the Roman world and for Catholicism. Leander and Isidore’s home was furnished with a library richly endowed with classical, pagan and Christian works.   Isidore, who felt simultaneously attracted to both, was, therefore, taught under the responsibility of his elder brother, to develop a very strong discipline, in devoting himself to study with discretion and Isidor_von_Sevilla murillo

Thus, a calm and open atmosphere prevailed in the episcopal residence in Seville.   We can deduce this from Isidore’s cultural and spiritual interests, as they emerge from his works themselves, which include an encyclopaedic knowledge of pagan classical culture and a thorough knowledge of Christian culture.   This explains the eclecticism characteristic of Isidore’s literary opus, who glided with the greatest of ease from Martial to Augustine, or from Cicero to Gregory the Great.   The inner strife that the young Isidore had to contend with, having succeeded his brother Leander on the episcopal throne of Seville in 599, was by no means unimportant.   The impression of excessive voluntarism that strikes one, on reading the works of this great author, considered to be the last of the Christian Fathers of antiquity, may, perhaps, actually be due to this constant struggle with himself.   A few years after his death in 636, the Council of Toledo in 653 described him as “an illustrious teacher of our time and the glory of the Catholic Church.”

Isidore was, without a doubt, a man of accentuated dialectic antitheses.   Moreover, he experienced a permanent inner conflict in his personal life, similar to that which Gregory the Great and St Augustine had experienced earlier, between a desire for solitud, to dedicate himself solely to meditation on the word of God and, the demands of charity to his brethren, for whose salvation, as Bishop, he felt responsible.   He wrote, for example, with regard to Church leaders:  “The man responsible for a Church (vir ecclesiasticus) must on the one hand allow himself to be crucified to the world, with the mortification of his flesh and, on the other, accept the decision of the ecclesiastical order – when it comes from God’s will – to devote himself humbly to government, even if he does not wish to”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 1: PL 83, col 705 B).   Just a paragraph later he adds:  “Men of God, (sancti viri), do not in fact desire to dedicate themselves to things of the world and groan when by some mysterious design of God they are charged with certain responsibilities….   They do their utmost to avoid them bu,t accept what they would like to shun and do what they would have preferred to avoid.    Indeed, they enter into the secrecy of the heart and seek there to understand what God’s mysterious will is asking of them.   And when they realise that they must submit to God’s plans, they bend their hearts to the yoke of the divine decision”   (Sententiarum liber III, 33, 3: PL 83, coll. 705-706).st isidore old image

To understand Isidore better, it is first of all, necessary, to recall the complexity of the political situations in his time to which I have already referred – during the years of his boyhood he was obliged to experience the bitterness of exile.   He was, nevertheless, pervaded with apostolic enthusiasm.   He experienced the rapture of contributing to the formation of a people, that was at last, rediscovering its unity, both political and religious, with the providential conversion of Hermenegild, the heir to the Visigoth throne, from Arianism to the Catholic faith.   Yet we must not underestimate the enormous difficulty of coming to grips with such very serious problems as were the relations with heretics and with the Jews.   There was a whole series of problems which appear very concrete to us today too, especially if we consider what is happening in certain region, in which we seem almost to be witnessing the recurrence of situations, very similar to those, that existed on the Iberian Peninsular, in that sixth century.   The wealth of cultural knowledge that Isidore had assimilated, enabled him to constantly compare the Christian newness with the Greco-Roman cultural heritage, however, rather than the precious gift of synthesis, it would seem that he possessed the gift of collatio, that is, of collecting, which he expressed in an extraordinary personal erudition, although it was not always ordered as might have been

In any case, his nagging worry not to overlook anything, that human experience had produced, in the history of his homeland and of the whole world, is admirable.   Isidore did not want to lose anything that man had acquired, in the epochs of antiquity, regardless of whether they had been pagan, Jewish or Christian.   Hence, it should not come as a surprise if, in pursuing this goal, he did not always manage to filter the knowledge he possessed sufficiently, in the purifying waters of the Christian faith as he would have wished.   The point is, however, that in Isidore’s intentions, the proposals he made, were always in tune with the Catholic faith, which he staunchly upheld.   In the discussion of the various theological problems, he showed, that he perceived their complexity and often astutely suggested solutions, that summarise and express, the complete Christian truth.   This has enabled believers through the ages and to our times, to profit, with gratitude, from his definitions.   A significant example of this is offered by Isidore’s teaching on the relations between active and contemplative life.   He wrote: “Those who seek to attain repose in contemplation must first train in the stadium of active life and then, free from the dross of sin, they will be able to display that pure heart which alone makes the vision of God possible” (Differentiarum Lib. II, 34, 133: PL 83, col 91A).   Nonetheless, the realism of a true pastor, convinced him of the risk the faithful run, of reducing themselves to one dimension.   He therefore added: “The middle way, consisting of both of these forms of life, normally turns out to be more useful in resolving those tensions, which are often aggravated, by the choice of a single way of life and are instead better tempered, by an alternation of the two forms” (op. cit. 134; ibid., col 91B).st isidore glass

Isidore sought in Christ’s example the definitive confirmation of a just orientation of life and said:   “The Saviour Jesus offers us the example of active life, when during the day He devoted Himself to working signs and miracles in the town but, He showed the contemplative life, when He withdrew to the mountain and spent the night in prayer” (op. cit. 134: ibid.).   In the light of this example of the divine Teacher, Isidore can conclude with this precise moral teaching:  “Therefore let the servant of God, imitating Christ, dedicate himself to contemplation without denying himself active life. Behaving otherwise, would not be right.   Indeed, just as we must love God in contemplation, so we must love our neighbour with action.   It is therefore impossible to live without the presence of both the one and the other form of life, nor can we live without experiencing both the one and the other” (op. cit., 135; ibid. col 91C).   I consider that this is the synthesis of a life that seeks contemplation of God, dialogue with God in prayer and in the reading of Sacred Scripture, as well as action at the service of the human community and of our neighbour.   This synthesis, is the lesson that the great Bishop of Seville has bequeathed to us, Christians of today, called to witness to Christ at the beginning of a new millennium.   Amen …

Pedro Duque Cornejo and Manuel Guerrero de Alca'ntara, St. Isido
St Isidore at Seville Cathedral

St Isidore on the Facade of Seville Cathedral

Prayer for the Intercession of St Isidore
before accessing the Internet

Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good,
true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person
of Thy only-begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee that,
through the intercession of Saint Isidore,
Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet,
we will direct our hands and eyes
only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience,
all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord.

Orátio ante colligatiónem in interrete:
*Omnípotens aetérne Deus,
qui secúndum imáginem Tuam nos plasmásti
et omnia bona, vera, et pulchra,
praesértim in divína persóna Unigéniti Fílii Tui
Dómini nostri Iesu Chrísti, quaérere iussísti,
praesta, quaésumus,
ut, per intercessiónem Sancti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Doctóris,
in peregrinatiónibus per interrete,
et manus oculísque ad quae Tibi sunt plácita intendámus
et omnes quos convenímus cum caritáte ac patiéntia accipiámus.
Per Christum Dóminum nostrum.

prayer for the intercession of st isidore before internet - 4 april 2020

Posted in PRAYERS to the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 1 April

Blessed Abraham of Bulgaria
Blessed Alexander of Sicily
Saint Anastasio
Blessed Antonius of Noto
Saint Berhard of Amiens
Blessed Bernhardin of Noto
Saint Celsus of Armagh
Saint Dodolinus of Vienne
Blessed Gerard of Sassoferrato
Saint Gilbert de Moray
Blessed Giuseppe Girotti
Blessed Hugh of Bonnevaux
Saint Hugh of Grenoble
Saint Jacoba of Rome
Blessed John Bretton
Saint Leucone of Troyes
Saint Lodovico Pavoni FMI (1784-1849)

Blessed Marcelle
Saint Mary of Egypt
Saint Melito Bishop of Sardis (Died c 180) Early Church Father
Blessed Nicolò of Noto
Saint Prudentius of Atina
Saint Tewdrig ap Teithfallt
Saint Theodora of Rome
Saint Valery of Leucone
Saint Venantius of Spalato
Blessed Vinebault
Blessed Zofia Czeska-Maciejowska

Apostles of Picardy:
Saint Caidoc
Saint Fricor

Martyrs of Dalmatia and Istria – 9 saints: A group of Christians martyrs who died at various locations in Dalamtia and Istria (in modern Croatia, whose relics were later taken to Rome, Italy, and who are remembered together. We know the names Anastasio, Antiochiano, Asterius, Gaiano, Mauro, Paoliniano, Septimius, Telio and Venantius.
• on the Adriatic coast of modern Croatia
• relics translated to Rome, Italy

Martyrs of Thessalonica – 6 saints: A group of Christians martyred. We know nothing about them but the names Alexander, Dionysius, Ingenianus, Panterus, Parthenius and Saturninus.
Thessalonica, Greece, date unknown

Martyred Sisters of Thessalonica:
Saint Agape
Saint Chionia

Martyred in Alexandria:
Saint Stephen
Saint Victor

Martyred in Armenia:
Saint Irenaeus
Saint Quintian

Martyred in Heraclea:
Saint Castus
Saint Victor

Martyred in the Mexican Revolution
Blessed Anacleto González Flores
Blessed Jorge Vargas González
Blessed Luis Padilla Gómez
Blessed Ramón Vargas González


Lenten Reflection – 19 March – “He has so much to say to us, in this time, of a strong sense of being orphaned.”

Lenten 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

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers,
I will raise up your offspring after you,
who shall come forth from your body and I will establish his kingdom. …2 Samuel 7:12

“He has so much to say to us, in this time, of a strong sense of being orphaned.”

“And this man, this dreamer, is able to accept this duty, this grave duty.   He has so much to say to us, in this time, of a strong sense of being orphaned.   And so this man takes the promise of God and carries it onward in silence, with strength, he carries it onward so that God’s Will might be done.   He is the man who doesn’t speak but obeys, the man of tenderness, the man capable of carrying forward the promises so that they might become solid, certain, the man who guarantees the stability of the Kingdom of God, the paternity of God, our sonship as children of God.
I like to think of Joseph as the guardian of weaknesses, of our weaknesses too, he is able to give birth to so many beautiful things from our weaknesses, even from our sins.” … Pope Francishe-is-the-man-who-doesnt-speak-but-obeys-pope-francis-19-march-2019-st-joseph and 19 march 2020

For thy steadfast love was established forever,
thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

Psalm 89:2lent - thursday of the third week 19 march 2020

Christ our Lord came among us as the light of the world, that we might walk in His light
and not in the darkness of death. Let us praise Him and cry out to Him:
Let Your word be a lamp to guide us.

God of mercy, help us today to grow in Your likeness,
– that we who sinned in Adam may rise again in Christ.
Let Your word be a lamp to guide us,
– that we may live the truth and grow always in Your love.
Teach us to be faithful in seeking the common good for Your sake,
– that Your light may shine on the whole human family by means of Your Church.
Touch our hearts to live in trust of Your saving help,
– and to make amends for our sins against Your wisdom and goodness.

Closing Prayer:

St Joseph, be our Protector
By St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

St Joseph,
be always our protector.
That your internal spirit of peace,
silence, honest work and prayer
in the service of the Church
give us life and happiness
in union with your blessed Spouse,
our Sweet and Immaculate Mother
in the strong and mild love to Jesus,
Glorious and Immortal King
of the centuries and the people.
Amenst-joseph-be-our-protector-st-pope-john-xxiii-19-march-2019 and 19 march 2020