Our Morning Offering – 30 October – Wednesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Year C
You are the Giver of all Heavenly Gifts By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
You are fire, enkindle in me Your love.
You are light, enlighten my mind
with the knowledge of eternal things.
You are the Dove, give me innocence of life.
You are the gentle Breeze,
disperse the storms of my passions.
You are the Tongue,
teach me how to bless You always.
You are the Cloud,
shelter me under the shadow of Your protection.
And lastly, You are the Giver of all heavenly gifts,
I beseech You, with Your grace, sanctify me
with Your charity, enlighten me
with Your wisdom, adopt me by Your goodness as Your child
and save me in Your infinite mercy,
so that I may ever bless You, praise You and love You,
first during this life on earth,
and then in heaven for all eternity.
Our Morning Offering – 23 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated today by the Rdedemptorists
Jesus, My Saviour, Help Me By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Jesus, my Saviour, help me.
I am resolved truly to love You
and to leave all to please You.
Help me to free myself
from everything that hinders me
from belonging wholly to You
who have loved me so much.
By your prayers, O Mother Mary,
which are so powerful with God,
obtain for me this grace
to belong wholly to God.
The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer was a Catholic liturgical feast. It is celebrated in Venice as the Festa del Redentore. It is also celebrated by the Redemptorists and was celebrated in the City of Rome.
The feast is found only in the special calendar of some dioceses and religious orders and is celebrated with proper Mass and Office either on the third Sunday of July or on 23 October. In Venice this feast has been observed for more than four centuries with great solemnity. In 1576 a plague broke out in Venice which in a few days carried off thousands of victims. To avert this scourge the Senate vowed to erect a splendid temple to the Redeemer of mankind and to offer therein, each year, on the third Sunday of July public and solemn services of thanksgiving. Scarcely had the plague ceased, when they began to fulfil their vow. The church was designed by the famous Andrea Palladio and the corner-stone was laid by the Patriarch Trevisan on 3 May 1577. The celebrated painters Paolo Veronese and Jacopo Tintoretto decorated the interior. The church was consecrated in 1592 and, at the urgent solicitations of Pope Gregory XIII, placed in charge of the Capuchin Fathers.
By concession of Pope Benedict XIV, dated 8 March 1749, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer solemnises this feast as a double of the first class with an octave on the third Sunday of July. The same congregation also keeps the feast as a greater double on 23 October and 25 February and has, besides, the privilege of reciting once a month the votive office of the Most Holy Redeemer.
In Rome also Pope Pius VIII introduced the feast and by a Decree of 8 May 1830, the Sacred Congregation of Rites assigned it to 23 October. The characteristics of the Mass and Office are joy and gratitude for the ineffable graces and benefits of the Redemption. This appears especially from the Introit “Gaudens gaudebo”, from the antiphons of Lauds “Cantate Domino”, from the Epistle of the Mass, taken from St Paul to the Ephesians, (chapter 1), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings . . . in Christ”. For this reason white is the colour of the vestments and not red, as in the Mass of the Passion.
Why do Redemptorists celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer?
Who are Redemptorists?
A young priest, Alphonsus de Liguori, 36 years of age, gathered a group of companions around him in November of 1732. He was passionate about reaching out to people who were abandoned, socially and religiously, in the countryside all around the then-great city of Naples, in Italy. They were ‘like sheep without a shepherd’. After a shaky start -his first companions left him -he gathered a group of like-minded men around him, who had the same passion, to go out to people, to share the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth with them, to show them the divine dignity that was in each human being and to share with them, the wonder of being redeemed, being set free, by the blood that Jesus shed for all people, everywhere.
That was the dream then. That is still the same dream now. Redemptorists all over the world (about 6000 in number) and their companions work to bring the joy of the Gospel to everyone we meet. ‘Caritas Christi urget nos’ –Christ’s love drives us.
‘Simon, do you love me?’ asked Jesus of Simon Peter. ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you’. ‘Feed my sheep!’ That’s what the young Alphonsus taught, again and again, that Redemptorists are to be about – if we love Jesus Christ (‘Jesus Christ is the centre of your life’ as a group – this is in our Constitutions), If we love Him, we will feed his people constantly. Hold us to it!
Why the name ‘Redemptorists’? The full title in Latin is ‘Congregatio Santissimi Redemptoris’ – a congregation of priests and brothers, under the title of ‘The Most Holy Redeemer’. In Italy, we are known as the Missionari Redentoristi, (playing on the word Redemptoris, in the Latin) and in Ireland we call ourselves ‘Redemptorist Missionaries’. Our middle name is SENT – just like Jesus! Everything about us is meant to reflect that -the way we live, the way we work, the way we pray, the joy in us, our community life together around the person of Jesus, the Redeemer. ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve’, Jesus said.
And St Mark tells us, about the calling of the Twelve Apostles: ‘he called them to be with him and to go out.’ ‘ To be with him’ in our lives, in our prayer and preparation, ‘to go out’ in our efforts always to reach out, to go to people, to be with them along the road of life, to go out physically to people, to reach out by all media available.
The Nuns of the Redemptoristine Order were founded one year before us. They live enclosed lives of prayer for the whole world. In Ireland, they are in Drumcondra, in St Alphonsus’ Monastery, St Alphonsus Road.
Both the Redemptoristines and the Redemptorists are constantly praying that young women and young men, in their twenties and older, will come and share the passion in us for people. We want the work of the Most Holy Redeemer to continue into future generations. … (Redemptorists, Ireland).
‘Every new generation is a continent to be won for Christ!’ (St John Paul II)
St Benedict of Sebaste
St Gratien of Amiens
St Henry of Cologne
St Ignatius of Constantinople
Bl John Angelo Porro
Bl John Buoni
St John of Syracuse
Oda of Aquitaine
St Phaolô Tong Viet Buong
St Romanus of Rouen
Bl Severinus Boethius
St Severinus of Cologne
Syra of Faremoutiers
St Theodoret of Antioch
Bl Thomas Thwing
St Verus of Salerno
Martyrs of Cadiz – 2 saints
Martyrs of Hadrianopolis – 2 saints
Martyrs of Nicaea – 3 saints
Martyrs of Valenciennes – 6 beati: A group of Urusuline and Briggittine nuns murdered together in the anti-Christian excesses of the French Revolution. They were guillotined on 23 October 1794 in Valenciennes, Nord, France and Beatified on 13 June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
• Anne-Joseph Leroux
• Clotilde-Joseph Paillot
• Jeanne-Louise Barré
• Marie-Augustine Erraux
• Marie-Liévine Lacroix
• Marie-Marguerite-Joseph Leroux
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War including Martyrs of Manzanares (7 beati):
• Agapit Gorgues Manresa
• Agustín Nogal Tobar
• Andrés Navarro Sierra
• César Elexgaray Otazua
• Cristóbal González Carcedo
• Dorinda Sotelo Rodríguez
• Eduardo Valverde Rodríguez
• Felipe Basauri Altube
• José María Fernández Sánchez
• Juan Nuñez Orcajo
• Leonardo Olivera Buera
• Manuel Navarro Martínez
• Roque Guillén Garcés
• Toribia Marticorena Sola
Our Morning Offering – 16 October – Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Gerard Majella (1726-1755), Redemptorist Brother
The One Thing Necessary By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor Founder of the Redemptorists
O my God,
help me to remember,
that time is short, eternity long.
What good is all the greatness of this world
at the hour of death?
To love You, my God
and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace of mind or soul.
My God, I need fear only sin
and nothing else in this life,
for to lose You, my God, is to lose all.
O my God, help me to remember,
that I came into this world with nothing,
and shall take nothing from it when I die.
To gain You, I must leave all.
But in loving You,
I already have all good things,
the infinite riches of Christ and His Church in life,
Mary’s motherly protection and perpetual help
and the eternal dwelling place
Jesus has prepared for me.
Eternal Father, Jesus has promised
that whatever we ask
in His Name will be granted us.
In His Name, I pray,
give me a burning faith,
a joyful hope,
a holy love for You.
Grant me perseverance in doing Your will
and never let me be separated from You.
My God and my All,
make me a saint.
Our Morning Offering – 30 June – Thirteenth Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C
My beloved Jesus, do not Refuse to Come to me By St Alphonsus Maria Liguori C.Ss.R. (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O my dear Jesus,
what can You do to make me love You?
Make me understand what an excess of love
You have shown me by reducing Yourself to food,
in order to unite Yourself to poor sinners!
You, my dear Redeemer, have so much affection for me,
that You have not refused to give Yourself again and again
entirely to me in Holy Communion.
And yet, I have had the courage
to drive You away from my soul on so many occasions!
You do not despise a humble and contrite heart.
You became human for my sake.
You died for me.
You even went so far as to become my food.
What more can there remain
for You to do in order to gain my love?
Oh, that I could die with grief
every time that I remember
that I have despised Your grace.
I repent, O my love,
with my whole heart for having offended you.
I love You, O infinite goodness!
I love You, O infinite love!
I desire nothing but to love You
and I fear nothing but to live without Your love.
My beloved Jesus, do not refuse to come to me.
Come, because I would rather die a thousand times
than drive You away again.
I will do all that I can to please You.
Come and inflame my whole soul with Your love.
Grant that I may forget everything,
to think only of You
and to desire You alone,
my sovereign and my only good.
Saint of the Day – 30 June – Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli C.Ss.R. (1702–1743) aged 42 – Redemptorist Priest, Lawyer, Writer, Preacher, Apostle of the Charity, Social Reformer, he also initiated a fervent movement against the spread of prostitution – born on 12 September 1702 in the castle of Duke Zapata, Naples, Italy of a noble family and died on 30 June 1744 in Naples, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – Writers, Italian missionaries.
Sarnelli was one of Saint Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori’s (1696-1787 Most Zealous Doctor of the Church) earliest companions and was also a prolific writer. He published more than 30 books on a wide range of subjects, including socio-juridical studies, moral issues, mysticism, pedagogy, pastoral practice, Mariology and ascetical theology. His apostolic zeal knew no limits – he preached missions and aided his friend St Alphonsus in his work, he tended to the sick and helped to get girls out of prostitution despite the threats levelled against him.
From his childhood he was noted for being modest as well as for his self-denial and his great diligence in his studies. He was obedient to his parents though when he perceived he was disobedient he begged their pardon and would either kiss their hand or throw himself at their feet. He often visited the church of Saint Francis Xavier as a child. In 1716 he desired to become a Jesuit but his father objected due to his age and directed him to learn law instea, the beatification of Saint John Francis Regis was also an influence in his decision. He did this (learning jurisprudence and earning his doctorate in civil and canon law in 1722) and became quite successful in this field as a professional Lawyer and was enrolled in the Congregation of the Knights of the Legal and Medical Professions that the Pious Workers of Saint Nicholas of Toledo directed. One of the rules of this association – which he observed – was visiting the sick in the Hospital of the Incurables. It was while tending to the ill in the hospital that his call to become a priest blossomed to the point he could not ignore such a call.
In September 1728 he abandoned the bar and decided to become a priest after commencing his ecclesial studies. Cardinal Francesco Pignatelli incardinated him as a cleric to the parish of Santa Anna di Palazzo. His zeal showed itself at once in his labours for children whom he catechised with wonderful success. On 4 June 1729 he became a boarder at the Collegio della Santa Famiglia to continue his studies under more peaceful conditions though left on 8 April 1730 to enter the novitiate of the Congregation of the Apostolic Missions. He concluded this probation on 28 May 1731] He was ordained to the priesthood on 8 June 1732 and became a member of the Propaganda of Naples which was a congregation of secular priests devoted to apostolic work. He also gave all his wealth to the poor for he had no use for it himself. Cardinal Pignatelli assigned him to serve as the Director of Religious Instruction in the parish of Saints Francis and Matthew in the Spanish quarter. He also visited the old people in the Hospice of Saint Gennaro and those condemned to death who were ill in the hospital at the docks. It was at this time that he developed a friendship with Saint Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori after the two first met in Chiaiano.
In June 1733 he travelled to Scala to aid a friend at a mission at Ravello and he met up with and became one of the earliest companions to Liguori in founding the Redemptorists which he joined in 1733. The pair worked together and gave missions along the coast of Amalfi from 1735 to April 1736 when Sarnelli’s health started to decline. He had to return to Naples where he spent the next decade in a poor apartment with one religious as a companion. In 1841 he prepared for the canonical visitation of Cardinal Giuseppe Spinelli so planned and participated in missions at Casali. Having become aware of the rampant corruption of girls he decided to direct all his work against prostitution. But doing this work earned him threats from the criminal element that made profit from this. In April 1744 he stopped preaching altogether because his health became so dire.
On the day of his death, the doctor came at around 8:00 am to see him while he later said to the religious next to him: “I feel the chill of death”. The religious rushed to summon the priest who gave him absolution. Sarnelli kissed his clasped Crucifix from time to time. He died at 10:00am on 30 June 1744. His old friend Liguori was present at his bedside as Sarnelli died and noted a sweet odour that remained in the room even long after Sarnelli was buried, the religious Francesco Tartaglione and the novice Francisco Romito were also present. His brother Domenico was so overcome with emotion he did not want to leave the room where his brother’s remains were. His remains were buried on 2 July 1744 in the parish church of Santa Maria dell’Aiuto in Naples (in the San Nicola chapel) though were later reinterred in the Redemptorist church of Santi Alfonso e Antonio at Tarsia in Naples. His remains were moved again on 25 October 1994 to the Redemptorist church of La Santissima Trinità in Ciorani.
His old friend Liguori was his first biographer and noted the circumstances of Sarnelli’s death in which he was present; Liguori noted that his remains “… exhaled a sweet odour – which remained in the room long after the interment.
Sarnelli’s fame for holiness was a well-known fact during his life but his Beatification cause did not open until 1861 in Naples, formal introduction came in 1874 and he was named as Venerable on 2 December 1906. St Pope John Paul II Beatified him on 12 May 1996.
Prayer in Honour of Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli
we place ourselves in Your presence
confident that You are a loving and merciful God.
You walk with us by day and night,
as we strive to proclaim Your gospel with compassion,
to people who are poor and abandoned.
As we reach out to those most in need,
we look to Blessed Gennaro Sarnelli
as a model and help.
His ardent desire was to bring people
on the fringes of society and Church
to a deeper knowledge and love of You.
We pray that his zeal will inspire
and motivate us to share Your redemption
with those who are marginalised.
We especially remember people
who make decisions that lead to destructive
and addictive behaviours.
May our choices be those of Blessed Sarnelli,
who continually lived the gospel
in spite of adversity and opposition.
We ask his help,
that our commitment may not shrink
for lack of support or favour,
for as we become one with those who are outcast,
we become one with You.