One Minute Reflection – 8 August – ‘… Cherish this gift of faith that leads you to God…’

One Minute Reflection – 8 August – Saturday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Habakkuk 112-2, 4, Psalm 9:8-13Matthew 17:14-20 and the Memorial of St Cyriacus the Martyr, Deacon (Died c 303) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and of St Dominic (1170-1221)

He said to them, “Because of your little faith.   For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”… Matthew 17:20

REFLECTION – “The word “faith” has one syllable but two meanings. First of all it is concerned with doctrine and it denotes the assent of the soul to some truth.   Faith in this sense brings blessing and salvation to the soul, as the Lord said:  “He who hears my word and believes in him who sent me, has eternal life.” (Jn 5:24)…
The word “faith” has a second meaning – it is a particular gift and grace of Christ.   “To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing” (1Cor 12:8-9).   Faith in the sense of a particular divine grace conferred by the Spirit is not, then, primarily concerned with doctrine but with giving a person powers, quite beyond their natural capability.   Whoever has this faith will say to a mountain:  “Move from here to there” and it will move and anyone who can in fact say these words through faith and “believes without hesitation that they will come to pass,” (Mk 11:23) receives this particular grace.   It is to this kind of faith that the Lord’s words refer – “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed.”   Now, a mustard seed is small in size but its energy thrusts it upwards with the force of fire.  Small are its roots, great the spread of its boughs and once it is fully grown the birds of the air find shelter in its branches (Mt 13:32).  So too, in a flash, faith can produce the most wonderful effects in the soul.
Enlightened by faith the soul gazes at the glory of God so far as human nature allows and, even before the consummation of all things, ranging beyond the boundaries of the universe, it has a vision of the judgement and of God making good the rewards he promised.   As far as it depends on you then, cherish this gift of faith that leads you to God and you will then receive the higher gift which no effort of yours can reach, no power of yours attain.”…St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church (Baptismal Catechesis 5)if you have faith the size of a mustard seed - matthew 17 20 - as far as it depends on you then - sy cyril of jerusalem - 11 aug 2018

PRAYER – Holy God, grant we pray, Your Holy Spirit of love and divine grace to grow ever more in faith. By our prayers and love for You and our neighbour, may we merit Your divine assistance. Lord Jesus, help us to dwell often on the manner in which we are following You. Let us strive each day to become more and more like You in all things and, to become beacons of Your Light, to all the world. St Cyriacus Martyr for Christ, you who were and are a light to all, pray for us and may the prayers of St Dominic assist us in our day and may his zeal be our inspiration to always fight the good fight, cyriacus the martyr 14 holy helper pray for us 8 aug 2020

st-dominic-pray-for-us-2-8-aug-2017 and 5 nov 2019 all dom saints (1)

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 August – Saint Cyriacus the Martyr (Died c 303)

Saint of the Day – 8 August – Saint Cyriacus (also called St Cyriac)  the Martyr, Deacon (Died c 303) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Confessor, Miracle-worker – born in the 3rd Century and died by being tortured and beheaded in 303 on the Salarian Way, Rome, Italy. Patronages – against diabolical possession, against eye disease, against temptations (especially at time of death), Altidona, Italy, Saint-Cierges, Vaud, Switzerland.Saint-Cyriacus-the-Martyr1 sml

Emperor Maximin in token of his gratitude to Diocletian, who had ceded the western half of his empire to him, ordered the building of that magnificent structure in Rome, whose ruins are still known as the “Baths of Diocletian.”   The Christians, imprisoned for the Faith, were compelled to labour under cruel overseers at this building.   A zealous Christian Roman, touched with pity at this moving spectacle, resolved to employ his means in improving the condition of these poor victims of persecution.

Among the Deacons of the Roman Church at that time, was one by the name of Cyriacus, who was distinguished by his zeal in the performance of all good works.   He, with two companions, Largus and Smaragdus, the pious Roman selected for the execution of his plan. Cyriacus devoted himself to the work with great ardour.   One day, whilst visiting the labourers to distribute food amongst them, he observed a decrepit old man, who was so feeble that he was unable to perform his severe task.   Filled with pity, Cyriacus offered to take his place.   The aged prisoner consenting, the merciful Deacon thenceforth performed the arduous labour of the building.

Saint Cyriacus, by the Master of Meßkirch.

After some time he was discovered and cast into prison.  There he again found opportunity to exercise his zeal.   Some blind men who had great confidence in the power of his prayer, came to ask him for help in their affliction and he restored their sight.   He and his companions spent three years in prison and during that time he healed many sick and converted a great number of heathens from the darkness of paganism.

Then, Emperor Diocletian’s little daughte, became possessed by an evil spirit and no-one was able to deliver her from it.  To the idolatrous pagan priests who were called, the evil spirit declared that he would leave the girl only when commanded to do so by Cyriacus, the Deacon. He was hastily summoned and prayed and made the Sign of the Cross over the girl and the evil spirit departed.  The Emperor loved his daughter, therefore, he was grateful to the holy Deacon and presented him with a house, where he and his companions might serve their God unmolested by their enemies.

st cyriacus heals diocletian's daughter
St Cyriacrus heals Diocletian’s daughter

About this time, the daughter of the Persian King, Sapor was attacked by a similar malady and when he heard what Cyriacus had done for Diocletian’s daughter, he wrote to the Emperor, asking him to send the Christian Deacon.   It was done and Cyriacus, on foot, set out for Persia. Arriving at his destination, he prayed over the girl and the evil spirit left her.   On hearing of this miracle, four hundred and twenty heathens were converted to the Faith.   These, the Saint instructed and Baptised and then set out on his homeward journey.

st cyriacus matthias grunewald
St Cyriacus by Mattias Grunewald

Upon his return to Rome, he continued his life of prayer and good works.   But when Diocletian soon afterward left for the East, his co-emperor Maximin seized the opportunity to give vent to his hatred for the Christians and renewed their persecution.   One of the first victims was Cyriacus.   He was loaded with chains and brought before the judge, who first tried blandishments and promises to induce him to renounce Christ and to sacrifice to the idols but in vain.   Then the Confessor of Christ was stretched on the rack, his limbs torn from their sockets and be was beaten with clubs.   His companions shared the same tortures.   Finally, when the Emperor and the judge were convinced that nothing would shake the constancy of the holy Martyrs, they were beheaded.   They gained the crown of glory in March 303.765px-Pfarrkirche_Weitnau_Nothelferfenster_Pantaleon_Cyriacus

In the life of St Cyriacus, two virtues shine forth in a special manner; his love of God and his charity toward his fellow men.   His love of God impelled him to sacrifice all, even his life, for His sake, thereby fulfilling the commandment:  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind” [Matt. 12: 37].   A greater love of God no man can have, than giving his life for Him.

St Cyriacus also fulfilled the other commandment, of which Our Lord declared, “And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” [Matt. 12: 39].   He helped his fellow Christians to bear their burdens, relieved them in their sufferings, assisted and encouraged them by word and deed and edified them by his example.   His sole aim was to do good to all men, mindful of the words of the Royal Prophet: “Blessed is he that understands concerning the needy and the poor” [Ps. 40: 2].   He was so imbued with the virtue of charity, that he was disposed even to sacrifice his life for the relief and assistance of others.

How shall we justify our unfeeling hardness of heart, by which we seek every trifling pretence to exempt us from the duty of aiding the unfortunate?   Remember the threat of the apostle, “Judgement without mercy to him that hath not done mercy” [James 2: 13].

O GOD, Who grants us joy by the remembrance of Thy blessed Martyrs Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus, grant, we beseech Thee, that we, by celebrating their memory, may imitate their fortitude in suffering. Through Christ our Lord.   Amenst cyriacus statue


Memorials of the Saints – 8 August

St Dominic de Guzman OP (1170-1221) (Memorial)
St Dominic!

St Aemilian of Cyzicus
St Altman of Passau
Ven Antonio/Margil of Jesus OFM (1657-1726)
About Venerable Antonio:
St Cyriacus/Cyriac the Martyr, Deacon (Died c 303) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
St Eleutherius of Constantinople
St Ellidius
St Famianus of Compostela
St Gedeon of Besancon
St Hormisdas of Persia
Bl John Felton
Bl John Fingley
St Largus
St Leobald of Fleury
St Leonidas of Constantinople
St Marinus of Anzarba
St Mary of the Cross/ Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) – the first Australian born Saint

St Mummolus of Fleury
St Myron the Wonder Worker
St Paulus Ge Tingzhu
St Rathard of Diessen
St Severus of Vienne
St Sigrada
St Smaragdus
St Ternatius of Besançon
St Ultan of Crayke
Bl William of Castellammare di Stabia
Bl Wlodzimierz Laskowski

Martyrs of Albano – 4 saints: Four Christians who were martyred together, and about we today know little more than their names – Carpóforo, Secondo, Severiano and Vittorino. They were martyred in Albano, Italy – their remains are interred in the San Senator cemetery, on the Appian Way, 15 miles from Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Rome – 5 saints: Five Christians martyred together; we know nothing else about them but the names – Ciriaco, Crescenziano, Giuliana, Memmia and Smaragdus. They were martyred at the 7 mile marker, on the Via Ostia, Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Martyrs of El Saler – 5 beati: Five nuns, all members of the Sisters of the Pious Schools, all teachers, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Antonia Riba Mestres
• Maria Baldillou Bullit
• María Luisa Girón Romera
• Nazaria Gómez Lezaun
• Pascuala Gallén Martí
They were martyred on 8 August 1936 in El Saler, Valencia, Spain and Beatified on 11 March 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Cruz Laplana Laguna
Bl Fernando Español Berdie
Bl Leoncio López Ramos
Bl Manuel Aranda Espejo
Bl Mariano Pina Turón
Bl Pedro Álvarez Pérez


Quote/s of the Day – 7 August – St Albert of Trapani and St Cajetan

Quote/s of the Day – 7 August – The Memorial of St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307) and St Cajetan (1480-1547)

Heal us Lord God
Prayer of St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)

O my God,
You have created the human race
by Your wonderful power.
It is an act of Your clemency that has called us
to share Your glory and eternal life.
When the first sin condemned us to suffer death,
out of Your goodness,
You wished to redeem us
through the blood of Your Son,
To unite us to You through our faith
and Your great mercy.
You have brought us back
from the shame of our sin,
You have veiled our dishonour
in the brightness of Your glory.
Look now and see that what You have created,
giving it subtle limbs and joints
and made beautiful through its immortal soul,
is now subject to the attack of Satan.
Be pleased Lord
to reconstitute Your work and heal it.
May Your power be glorified
and may the malice of the enemy be stunned.

St Albert of Trapani (c 1240-1307)

heal us lord god - prayer of st albert of trapani 7 aug 2019

“My desire is not my way
but Your way.”

my desire is not my way but your way - st cajetan 7 aug 2020

“I am a sinner and do not think much of myself;
I have recourse to the greatest servants of the Lord,
that they may pray for me to the blessed Christ and His Mother.
But do not forget,
that all the saints cannot endear you to Christ
as much as you can yourself.
It is entirely up to you!”

but do not forget that all the saints cannot endear you to christ - st cajetan

“May all praise and thanks
be continually given
to the Most Holy
and Most August Sacrament.”

may all praise and thanks be continually given - st cajetan 7 aug 2020

“We may seek graces
but shall never find them
without the intercession of Mary.”

St Cajetan (1480-1547)

More here:

we may seek graces but shall never find them - st cajetan 7 aug 2020


One Minute Reflection – 7 August – ‘… Walk with me …’

One Minute Reflection – 7 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Friday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Readings:  Nahum 1:152231-36-7 (2, 1, 3; 3,1-3, 6-7), Responsorial psalm Deuteronomy 32:35-3639-41Matthew 16:24-28 and the Memorial of St Donatus of Arezzo (Died 362) Bishop

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” … Matthew 16:24matthew 16 24 - if any man ...take up his cross and follow me - 9 aug 2019 no 2 lg

REFLECTION – “At the responsory:  “See, the Lord our protector comes, the Holy One of Israel,” Gertrude understood, that if someone applies himself, with all his heart, to desire that his whole life be governed, in prosperity and adversity, according to the most laudable will of God, then by such thoughts, by God’s grace, he would be giving as much honour to God, as one would give to an emperor in placing the imperial crown on his head. …
She saw the Lord walking along a path, pleasant to behold, with fairest flowers and verdure but narrow and lined with dense hedges bristling with sharp thorns.   She saw that He seemed to be preceded by a cross which parted the thorns and made the way wider and easier.   With a serene expression on His face, turning toward those who belonged to Him, He invited them to follow Him, saying: “Whoever wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me…” (Mt 16:24).
From this she knew that the cross of each, is his own personal trial.  For example, for some souls obedience is a cross when they are obliged to do what is contrary to their wishes.   For others, to be burdened with infirmity, which acts as a restraint and so on.   We should all carry our crosses and apply ourselves with a good will to suffer adversity gladly and, in addition, to do all that is in our power, neglecting nothing, which we know to be for the greater glory of God.” … St Gertrude of Helfta/the Great (1256-1302) Benedictine nun – The Herald of Divine Love, Book III, SC 143we should all carry our crosses - st gertrude the great 7 aug 2020

PRAYER“O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You.   Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me.   I do not see very far ahead but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will open before me and I shall be met with peace.   How wondrous are the marvels of Your love, we are amazed, we stammer and grow dumb, for word and spirit fail us.  Amen” St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942) Martyr   St Donatus of Arezzo, Pray for us!i do not see very far ahead - st teresa benedicta of the cross 7 aug 2020

st donatus of arezzo pray for us 7 aug 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 August – Saint Donatus of Arezzo (Died 362) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 7 August – Saint Donatus of Arezzo (Died 362) Bishop and possibly a Martyr, Confessor, Miracle-worker – born in Nicomedia (part of modern Turkey) and died on 7 August in 362.   Patronages – Arezzo, Italy, Diocese of Arezzo, Italy, Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, Italy, Cavriglia, Italy, epileptic, bakers, Contursi Terme, Acerno, Anzi, Castel di Ieri, Castel del Monte, Fossacesia, Guardiagrele, Pinerolo, Ranzo, San Donato di Lecce, Montesano Salentino, San Donato di Ninea, San Donato Milanese, San Donato Val di Comino, Soveria Simeri, Val della Torre, Villa Martelli, Monteforte Cilento (Salerno) all in Italy.4_yuag_leonardo_exhibit_a_miracle_of_saint_donatus_detail_da_vinci_0

A Passio of Donatus’ life was written by a Bishop of Arezzo, Severinus. He calls Donatus a Martyr, though Donatus is described as a Bishop and Confessor of the faith in ancient sources and not as a Martyr.    An early hagiography of Donatus was already known to Gregory the Great.

According to Severinus’ account, as a child Donatus came to Rome with his family from Nicomedia.   According to  Severinus’ account, Donatus was educated by a Priest named Pymenius.    His friend and companion in these religious studies, was a boy named Julian –who would later become Emperor Julian the Apostate.   Julian rose to the position of sub-deacon;   Donatus became a lector.   Saint Peter Damian would later write in his Sermones that “in the field of the Lord two sprigs, Donatus and Julian, grow together but one will become a cedar of Paradise, the other coal for the eternal flames of Hell.”img-Saint-Donatus-of-Arezzo1

On 4 February 362, Julian promulgated an edict to guarantee freedom of religion.   This edict proclaimed that all the religions were equal before the law and that the Roman Empire had to return to its original religious eclecticism, according to which the Roman State did not impose any religion on its provinces.   Christian chroniclers considered that it had as it’s purpose, the restoration of paganism at the expense of Christianity.

Catholic tradition states that Julian also persecuted individual Christians and that Donatus’ parents, as well as his teacher Pymenius, would die during these persecutions.   Donatus escaped to Arezzo and would work with a Monk named Hilarian, to preach the Christian faith, as well as perform penances and miracles.    Severinus’ Passio states that Donatus brought back to life a woman named Euphrosina;  fought and slew a dragon who had poisoned the local well;  gave sight back to a blind woman named Syriana and, exorcised a demon that had been tormenting Asterius, the son of the Roman prefect of Arezzo.576px-St_Donatus_of_Arezzo

Donatus was Ordained a Deacon and then Priest by Saint Satyrus of Arezzo, Bishop of that city and continued to preach in the city and in the surrounding region.    At the death of Satyrus, Donatus was appointed Bishop by Pope Julius I.   A man named Anthimus was Donatus’ deacon.

During a celebration of Mass, at the moment of the giving of Communion, in which a glass chalice was being administered, some pagans entered the church and shattered the chalice in question. Donatus, after intense prayer, collected all of the fragments and joined them together.   There was a piece missing from the bottom of the cup, miraculously, however, nothing spilled from the cup.   Astounded, seventy-nine pagans converted to Christianity.

Jose_de_Ribera_-The_Miracle_of_Saint_Donatus header
St Donatus and the Miracle of the Chalice by Jose de Ribera

A month after this episode, the prefect of Arezzo, Quadratian, arrested Hilarian the Monk and Donatus.    Hilarian was Martyred on 16 July 362 and Donatus was beheaded on 7 August at donato footer

In 1125, some of Donatus’ relics (and those of the alleged dragon said to have been killed by the saint) were brought to the Church of Santa Maria and San Donato on the island of Murano, near Venice.

Church of Santa Maria and San Donato on the island of Murano, near Venice.

A large silver reliquary bust of Donatus from the 13th century is now found in the National Museum at Naples.San-Donato-1-e1505122656201

The Patron Saints of Guardiagrele are Donatus of Arezzo and Saint Emidius.   Annually between 6 and 8 August, there is a festival celebrating these saints in which the effigy of Donatus is paraded around the streets of Guardiagrele.

In the Cathedral dedicated to St Donatus and where some of his relics lie together with a Shrine to him, there is a magnificent “Arch” depicting his life and miracles.

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Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 7 August

St Pope Sixtus II (Died 258) Martyr (Optional Memorial)

St Cajetan (1480-1547) (Optional Memorial)

About St Cajetan:

St Afra of Augsburg
Bl Agathangelus Nourry
St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)
His Life:
Bl Cassian Vaz Lopez-Neto
St Claudia of Rome
St Donat
St Donatian of Chalons-sur-Marne
St Donatus of Arezzo (Died 362) Bishop and possibly a Martyr
St Donatus of Besancon
Bl Edmund Bojanowski
Bl Edward Bamber
St Faustus of Milan
St Hilarinus of Ostia
St Hyperechios
Bl John Woodcock
Bl Jordan Forzatei
St Julian of Rome
St Miguel de la Mora
Bl Nicholas Postgate
St Peter of Rome
Bl Thomas Whitaker
Bl Vincent de L’Aquila
St Victricius of Rouen

Martyred Deacons of Rome – 6 saints: A group of deacons who were martyred with Pope Saint Sixtus II. We know nothing about them but their names and their deaths – Agapitus, Felicissimus, Januarius, Magnus, Stephen and Vincent. They were
beheaded on 6 August 258 in a cemetery on the Appian Way, Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Como – 6 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Martyred in the persecutions of Maximian. We know little else but the names – Carpophorus, Cassius, Exanthus, Licinius, Secundus and Severinus. c.295 on the north side of Lake Como, near Samolaco, Italy. Their relics in the church of San Carpoforo, Como, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 10 Beati
Bl Dalmacio Bellota Perez
Bl Diodorus Hernando Lopez
Bl Francisco Gargallo Gascón
Bl Luis Villanueva Montoya
Bl María del Carmen Zaragoza y Zaragoza
Bl María Rosa Adrover Martí
Bl Rafaél Severiano Rodríguez Navarro
Bl Tomás Carbonell Miquel


Quote/s of the Day – 6 August – The Transfiguration and Sts Justus and Pastor

Quote/s of the Day – 6 August – Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Memorial of Justus and Pastor – The Holy Martyred Children of Alcala de Henares in Spain (Died 304)

“Do not fear death of the body nor the torments, little brother.
Calmly receive the strike of the sword.
The God who has seen fit to call us to such a great grace,
will give us the necessary strength,
to endure the sufferings that await us.”

St Justus to his Brother St Pastor (Died 304)
Holy Children Martyrs

do not fear death of the body - st justus to st pastor 6 aug 2020

“No-one should fear to suffer
for the sake of justice,
no-one should lose confidence in the reward
that has been promised.
The way to rest is through toil,
the way to life is through death.
Christ has taken on Himself
the whole weakness of our lowly human nature.
If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him
and in our love for Him,
we win the victory that He has won,
we receive what He has promised.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)

Father and Doctor of the Church

no-one should fer to suffer - st pope leo - transfiguration 6 aug 2020

“By His loving foresight,
He allowed them to taste for a short time,
the contemplation of eternal joy,
so that they might bear persecution bravely.”

The Venerable St Bede (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

by his loving foresight - st bede transfiguration 6 aug 2020

“Jesus goes before us to show us the way,
both up the mountain and into heaven and —
I speak boldly — it is for us now,
to follow him with all speed . . .
Let us run with confidence and joy
to enter into the cloud like Moses and Elijah,
or like James and John.
Let us be caught up like Peter
to behold the divine vision
and to be transfigured by that glorious transfiguration.
Let us retire from the world,
stand aloof from the earth,
rise above the body,
detach ourselves from creatures
and turn to the Creator,
to whom Peter in ecstasy exclaimed:
‘Lord, it is good for us to be here.’”

St Anastasius (Died 628)

jesus goes before us to show us the way - st anastasius 6 aug 2019 transfiguration

“At His Transfiguration
Christ showed His disciples,
the splendour of His beauty,
to which He will shape and colour
those who are His:
‘He will reform our lowness
configured to the body of his glory.’

St Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)
Doctor of the Churchat his transfiguration - st thomas aquinas 6 aug 2020


One Minute Reflection – 6 August – ‘Mould yourself on this figure ….’

One Minute Reflection – 6 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”- Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Readings: Daniel 7:9-1013-14 or 2 Peter 1: 16-19Psalm 97:1-25-69Matthew 17:1-9

” … His face shone like the sun” ... Matthew 17:2

REFLECTION“He was transfigured before them” (Mt 17:2).    Mould yourself on this figure as though with soft wax so to imprint the image of Christ on it, of whom it is said:  “His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as snow.”   In this passage you should keep in mind four things – the face, the sun, the clothing and the snow.   In the front of the head, which is called a man’s face, there are three senses that are ordered and disposed in a wonderful way.   These are sight, smell, taste.   In the same sort of way, in the face of our souls, there are the vision of faith, the smell of discretion and the taste of contemplation. (…)

In the sun there is brightness, whiteness and heat.   The brightness of the sun accords perfectly with the vision of faith that, together with the clarity of its light, perceives and believes invisible realities.   May the countenance of our souls shine like the sun!   May what we see by faith shine in our deeds!   May the good we perceive through our interior eyes be brought to fruition externally in the purity of our actions, may what we taste of God in contemplation, be transformed to heat, in love of neighbour.   So, like that of Jesus, our faces “will shine like the sun.”St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church – Sermon for Septuagesima Sundayhis face shone like the sun matthew 17 2 - mould yourself - st anthony of padua 6 aug 2020

PRAYER – Father, at the Transfiguration in glory of Your only-begotten Son, You confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness to Jesus of the prophets Moses and Elijah.   You foreshadowed what we shall be when You bring our sonship to its perfection.   Grant that by listening to the voice of Jesus, we may become heirs with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and may Mary, our tender and caring Mother, help us to be bright rays of the saving light of her Son Jesus. Amentransfiguration - listen to him 17 march 2019

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – 6 August – Saints Justus and Pastor – The Holy Martyred Children of Alcala de Henares in Spain. (Died 304).

Saints of the Day – 6 August – Saints Justus and Pastor – The Holy Martyred Children of Alcala de Henares in Spain. (Died 304). Born c 295-297 in Spain and died by being scourged and beheaded in 304 at Alcala, Spain at ages 9 and 7.   Patronage – Alcalá de Henares; Diocese of Alcalá and Madrid.   Saints Justus and Pastor of Alcala were two brothers, who in their tender age overcame, with an heroic courage, the rage and power of Dacian, armed with all the instruments of cruelty.saint-justus-and-saint-pastor-jose-juarez-1653-f18e1221 HEADER

“Do not fear death of the body nor the torments, little brother. Calmly receive the strike of the sword.   The God who has seen fit to call us to such a great grace will give us the necessary strength to endure the sufferings that await us.”

During the Roman Empire, Christians were subjected to numerous persecutions, the harshest of which was perhaps the persecution of the emperor Diocletian in the fourth century.   Instigated by Galerius, Diocletian promulgated the first edict against Christians on February 23 in the year 303 in Nicomedia, which demanded the destruction of Christian Churches and holy books and prohibited, that the faithful gather together, causing Christians, established in dignity to lose their honour.   Following this first edict were three others – the second edict ordered the arrest and imprisonment of all clergy;  the third granted the freedom of imprisoned clergy who apostatised and abandoned Christianity and harsh tortures for those who refused and the fourth obliged Christians to sacrifice to the gods of the Empire or suffer death.

To comply with the edict, the prefect Publius Dacianus was sent to Hispania (Spain) to cruelly and strictly enforce the imperial order. Christianity had taken strong root in Spain, clearly seen from the large number of Martyrs who shed their blood during the prefect’s rule. Among them are St Cucuphas, St Felix the “African,” St Pontius and St Narcissus, St Engracia and her eighteen companions, St Aquilina, etc.

Dacianus reached Complutum, today known as Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) in August of the year 304.   Complutum was founded during the first century in the valley of Henares.   The city had an ideal central location and enjoyed great prosperity during the third and fourth centuries.   In this city, the “holy children,” Justus and Pastor, won the palm of Martyrdom.   Very little has been written about them but we do know that they were from a good and holy Christian family.   We also know the circumstances of their Martyrdom.   The liturgy mentions that they were 7 and 9 years old respectively.

The most important part of the account of their Martyrdom has been passed on to us by tradition.   When the imperial edict was made public in Complutum, the two brothers, Justus and Pastor, were at school. Stirred by an interior inspiration and an ardent desire to give their lives for Jesus Christ, they threw the slate tablets they used for writing on the ground and ran in haste to Dacianus’ residence with ardent hearts, ready to bear witness to their faith even to the point of Martyrdom.   Despite their young age, the love of Christ had a profound effect in their hearts.   They were unwilling to deny their God for anything in the world.  sts justus and pastor martyr boys

Upon seeing them so young, the doorkeepers thought they were playing but because the young boys insisted on seeing Dacianus, they were eventually taken to his presence.   Before the prefect, they confessed firmly and with confidence that they were Christians and that they were unwilling to sacrifice to idols.   In vain, the prefect tried to win them over with gifts and appeasements but seeing that he was unable to persuade them, he ordered them to be flogged with rods.   The punishment was so severe that the two boys ended up bathed in blood.  el-martirio-de-los-santos-ninos-justo-y-pastor blurred

The bodies of the children were battered but their souls were anchored in God and their fortitude left those who contemplated them in awe.   Justus and Pastor knew well in whom they had believed (cf. 2 Tim 1:12) and desired nothing other than to find the One who first loved them and said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not prevent them” (Mt 19:14).   Full of anger and fearful of the courageous example the holy children could give to Christians, Dacianus ordered the executioners to take them out of the city and behead them.justo-pastor240

Centuries later, St Isidore of Seville wrote concerning their Martyrdom: “While they were taken to the place of torment, the two little lambs mutually encouraged one another.   Justus, the youngest, fearful that his brother would falter, spoke to him thus, ‘Do not fear death of the body nor the torments, little brother. Calmly receive the strike of the sword.   The God who has seen fit to call us to such a great grace will give us the necessary strength to endure the sufferings that await us.’   In reply, Pastor said, ‘You have spoken well, my brother.   I will gladly accompany you in Martyrdom to gain the glory of this combat.’”

On a stone. in a field outside the city walls of Complutum, later known as Campo Loable or Laudable (Praiseworthy or Laudable Field), the children’s Martyrdom took place.   Justus was the first to be beheaded followed by Pastor.   Laudate pueri Dominum!   Children, praise the Lord!   The sacrifice was accomplished.   The inhabitants of Complutum zealously guarded the place of the Martyrdom as well as the Martyrs’ remains and later built a chapel over their burial place to honour their memory.sts justus and pastor statues

Fearful of what the Muslims could do, in the year 760 St Urbez transferred the relics of the “holy children” to the hermitage of Santa Maria, a remote place in the Valley de Nocito.   Later on, they were transferred to San Pedro el Viejo in Huesca.

justo-pastor320 relics
The Urn containing the Relics of the Holy Children Martyrs, Sts Justus and Pastor

In 1567, St Pius V promulgated a papal bull in which he ordered part of the relics of Saints Justus and Pastor to be taken from Huesca to Alcalá de Henares, the city of their birth and Martyrdom.   In November of that same year, Philip II and his son prince Charles sent letters addressed to the Bishop of Huesca so that the Pope’s order could be fulfilled.   Thus, part of the relics of Saints Justus and Pastor were sent to the city of Alcalá de Henares where the “Holy Children” were considered patrons.

How did the children Justus and Pastor have the strength to face Martyrdom?   God Himself vested them with fortitude and made them ready for battle against the forces of evil, “the grace of God led the conflict against Him and delivered the weak and set them as firm pillars, able through patience to endure all the wrath of the evil one.   They joined battle with Him, undergoing all kinds of shame and injury.   Regarding their great sufferings as little, they hastened to Christ, revealing truly that ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.'” (Eusebius of Caesarea-Bishop and Historian).    The power of God is fully made manifest in weakness.HEADER STS JUSTUS AND PASTOR OF ALACALA

Below is the Basilica of Sts Justus and Pastor in Alcala, Spain

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Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 6 August

Transfiguration of Our Lord (Feast)


Bl Gezelin of Schlebusch
St Gislain of Luxemburg
St Glisente of Brescia
Bl Goderanno
Bl Guillermo Sanz
St Hardulf of Breedon
St Pope Hormisdas (c 450-523)
His Life:
St James the Syrian
St Justus and St Pastor of Alcala – Holy Martyred Children (Died 304)
Bl Maria Francesca Rubatto
Bl Octavian of Savona
St Stephen of Cardeña
Bl Tadeusz Dulny
Bl William of Altavilla

Martyrs of Cardeña: Two hundred Benedictine monks at the Saint Peter of Cardegna monastery, Burgos, Spain who were martyred in the 8th century by invading Saracens. They were buried by local Christians in a nearby churchyard in Burgos, Spain and Beatified in 1603 by Pope Clement VIII (cultus confirmed).

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 10 Beati
• Blessed Alejandro Casare Menéndez
• Blessed Andrés Soto Carrera
• Blessed José González Ramos Campos
• Blessed José María Recalde Magúregui
• Blessed Juan Silverio Pérez Ruano
• Blessed Saturnino Ortega Montealegre


Our Morning Offering – 5 August – Concórdi lætítia

Our Morning Offering – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major

Concórdi lætítia
Harmonious Joy

Sounds of joy have put to flight
All the sadness of the night.
Now a Maid beyond compare
Hears her praises fill the air:
Virgo María.

Who is she whom angels sing,
Making all creation ring?
She it is who wins our priase,
As on earth our voice we raise:
Virgo María.

Queen of virgins, Maiden mild,
Hear me, take me for your child.
Ever my protector be,
Bring eternal life to me:
Virgo María.

Mighty Godhead, Three in One,
While eternal ages run,
Look to Mary, full of grace,
And forgive the human race:
Virgo María.
Amenconcori laetitia - dedication of st mary major salus populi romano 5 aug 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Blessed Salvio Huix-Miralpeix CO Cong. Orat. (1877–1936) Bishop and Martyr

Saint of the Day – 5 August – Blessed Salvio Huix-Miralpeix CO Cong. Orat. (1877–1936) Bishop of Ibiza and later of Lleida, Catalonia and Martyr, Religious of the Congration of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Professor of Theology, Apostle of the sick – born on 22 December 1877 in Santa Margarida de Vallors, Girona, Spain and died by being shot in the head on the morning of 5 August 1936 in a cemetery in Lleida, salvio-huix-miralpeix-large

Salvio Huix was born on 22 December 1877.   His family, were fairly well-off and were more than ordinarily devout Catholics — daily Mass, Rosary, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament were built into the life of the family.   There were always Priests visiting the home and there were quite a few Priests in the family, so it came as no real surprise, when young Salvio announced his intention to offer himself as a candidate for the Priesthood, leaving home for the local minor seminary at the age of 10.   There, he excelled at his studies, not on account of any unusual intelligence but because of his tremendous application to his work.   It was said by those who knew him that he would always do whatever was needed as well as he possibly could and, that he was an immensely practical sort of person, not given to day dreams or idling. The virtues noticed by his fellow students were to be those admired by his fellow Oratorians – his obedience, his joy and warm heartedness, his natural interest in others, his capacity for hard work and real leadership, while at the same time, shying away from any publicity.   It must be said that this young man was also hot tempered and at times had difficulty in controlling his temper.

Salvio was Ordained Priest on 19th September 1903 and was sent to work as a country curate.   He served in two rural Parishes but found there wasn’t work enough to absorb his energies;  moreover, he wanted to be near people and to be active in the business of helping people become holy.   It was this desire that lead him to enter the Oratory in Vich in 1907.   He was then 30 years old.

What was life at the Oratory of Vich like?   The fathers would rise each morning at 4:30am, except on Sunday and feast-days, when they would get up half an hour earlier.   After an hour of mental prayer, they would go down to the Church to hear Confessions and after the last penitent was done, the fathers would say their Masses at one of the side-altars in the church.   The afternoon was spent in the confessional, or working with one of the groups or sodalities which were attached to the church -Brothers of the Little Oratory, groups for young people etc. There were the sick to be visited and children to be catechised.   Fr Huix became aware that there was nothing for young married men, who seemed to have no part in the life of the Church.   Bl Salvio believed that a religion that attracted only women and children in large numbers was seriously deficient, so he started a confraternity for married men under the patronage of St Joseph.   Both these men and the young ,he encouraged in the apostolate.   He was anxious to get them working for the sick, not just by visiting them but by actually looking to their physical and material needs.   He himself was unafraid to get his hands dirty and when he wasn’t busy in the Confessional or at the Seminary, where he was Professor of Mystical and Ascetical Theology, he was likely to be found tending the sick — washing them if needs be and changing their salvio-huix-miralpeix-blk and white

In 1927, Fr Salvio, by now provost of the little community, was nominated Bishop of Ibiza.   The island had been without a Bishop for 69 years and so his appointment was greeted with great joy.   A photograph of his arrival shows the quay crowded with hundreds of cheering people.   Even though his Episcopal Consecration (which took place 28 April that year) meant that Fr Huix would have to leave his Congregation, he remained very much a son of St Philip, even in the way he governed his Diocese.   As Bishop he showed himself to be a very caring shepherd and very practical one too.   Another photograph taken at a reception soon after his appointment as Bishop, shows him, his head inclined towards the person he is talking to, holding his hand, evidently interested in what he is saying.   His clergy, he found, were extremely poor and so he organised a life insurance scheme which would guarantee them some security in their old age.   He continued to encourage the laity in the social apostolate.   He was very much a man for his people.

In 1931, Spain was declared a Republic and although the Spanish Bishops initially urged the faithful to co-operate with the Government, within a few weeks, things began to change and as the new order made itself felt.   In Madrid and elsewhere, convents were pillaged and burned;  the Jesuits were suppressed;  the Archbishop of Toledo was expelled;  all schools run by religious orders were closed.   Cemeteries were secularised and Catholic burials were forbidden.   All Crucifixes were ordered to be removed from the cemeteries.   On Ibiza, men carried the great Crucifix from the cemetery to the Cathedral doors, where the Bishop himself shouldered the Crucifix and carried it to the sanctuary.   Bl Salvio was unimpressed by the anti-religious laws and ideas and in his Lenten pastoral letter of 1932, he told his people that even though the dogs bark and the pigs grunt, the sun and the moon will continue to shine.

He remained Bishop of Ibiza for 8 years, when in 1935, he was translated to the more prestigious see of Lerida on the mainland.  There he hoped to continue his pastoral programme but this was not to be, because within the year, the civil war broke out.

consagrada el 27 de mayo de 1781
The Cathedral of Lerida

Between July 1936 and March 1937, there was an onslaught of violence against the Church, a few months in which thousands of people died. By the end of the war, it was reckoned that 6,832 priests and religious had been killed, 12 bishops and 283 religious sisters.

On 18 July there was a military uprising against the Republican government.   Two days later, the city of Lerida was in the hands of republican forces, who burned the Cathedral and the Churches of the city, killing, in the course of several months, 80% of the Priests of the Diocese.   The last photograph of Mgr Huix, taken in June of 1936, shows him flanked by the Priests he had just Ordained;  within a month, all but one of those young men, together with their Bishop, were dead.   One of his seminarians, aged about 15 was given a mock trial.   The crowd shouted for his death and the ‘Judge’, so called, went through the motion of washing his hands, before condemning him to death.   The boy was then beaten, stripped and nailed to a beam where he died.

On the night of the 21st July, after republicans had burned the Cathedral, they turned their attention to the Episcopal residence. Whilst they were beating down the doors, Huix, together with his Secretary, the porter and his daughter, confessed, consumed the Blessed Sacrament and escaped by the back door.   He had, it seems, expected something of the sort to happen, since he kept a suitcase with a simple suit packed ready, just in case.   At first, he took refuge in the house of the gardener but realising the danger to which he was exposing this man and his family, he gave himself up to the police.   ‘I am the Bishop of Lerida,’ he said, ‘and I place myself under your protection.’   The police promptly handed him over to the republicans, who imprisoned him.   Many of the leading people of the city were already in gaol, also a number of his clergy.   All were struck by the Bishop’s cheerfulness and his continuing care for his flock.   On St James’ feast, he was able to say Mass, using vessels that had been smuggled in to the prison.   He administered Communion and heard Confessions.

Early in the morning (4:30am) on the 5th August, the feast of Our Lady of the Snows, the Bishop and 20 others were told that were going to be taken for trial at Barcelona.   Once outside the city, the lorries stopped by the cemetery and the prisoners were instructed to get out.  Realising they were about to be killed, the group all asked their Bishop for his blessing.   This he gave, telling them, ‘Be brave, for within the hour we shall be reunited in the presence of the Lord.’   He is said to have used a popular Catalan saying on reaching the end of a long journey:  Ja soms a sants (We are saints).   They then recited the Credo together and were made to dig their graves.  bl salvio holy cardOne account tells that Mgr Huix was offered his life if he would abjure his faith.   This he refused to do but asked one favour, that he might be the last to die.   As each was killed, he blessed them.   One of the militia men, objecting to this, shot him through the hand, he continued to bless with his left   In a written testimony after the Martyrdom, the man who had administered the coup de grace to the dying, said how there was much blood and that the sinews of the Bishop’s arms were exposed through having been shot a number of times.

Blessed Salvio was not the only father of the Oratory to lose his life in the tragic events of the Civil War.   Four fathers from Barcelona were murdered, five from Gracia and the Provost of Vich.    May their blood and that of all the Martyrs, be the seed of a new spring in the life of the Church in his country and their intercession, the means of a true reconciliation and understanding.   I have perhaps spoken at too great a length about Blessed Salvio , when it might well have sufficed to quote St Ambrose:  ‘I have called him Martyr. I have said everything.’

Blessed Salvio was Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis in Tarragona, Spain along with another 521 martyrs.  His liturgical feast is kept today, 5 August.

Almighty and eternal God, who in your goodness bestowed on the Bishop and Martyr Salvio Huix, the gift of pastoral charity even to the point of shedding of his blood for Christ and His Church, bestow on us also, the grace to work faithfully in your vineyard and to experience his intercession in this life.   Through Christ our Lord.   Amenbl salvio huix v lg


Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Feast of Our Lady of Copacabana and Memorials of the Saints – 5 August

Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major/Our Lady of the Snow (Optional Memorial)

Our Lady of Copacabana:  A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary standing four feet tall, made of plaster and maguey fibre and created by Francisco Tito Yupanqui.   Except for the face and hands, it is covered in gold leaf, dressed like an Inca princess and has jewels on neck, hands and ears.   There is no record of what the image looks like under the robes, the carved hair has been covered by a wig and the image never leaves the Basilica.   On 21 February 1583 it was enthroned in an adobe church on the Peninsula of Copacabana, which juts into Lake Titicaca nearly 3 miles above sea level.   In 1669 the Viceroy of Peru added a straw basket and baton to the statue, which she still holds today.   The present shrine dates from 1805.   The image was crowned during the reign of Pope Pius XI and it’s sanctuary was promoted to a Basilica in 1949.   It has been the recipient of many expensive gifts over the years, most of which were looted by civil authorities in need of quick cash.   Patronage – Bolivia, Bolivian navy.our lady of copacobana lg

St Abel of Rheims
St Addai
St Aggai of Edessa
Bl Arnaldo Pons
St Cantidianus
St Cantidius
St Cassian of Autun
St Casto of Teano
Bl Corrado of Laodicea
St Emidius of Ascoli Piceno
St Eusignius
St Gormeal of Ardoilen
Bl James Gerius
St Margaret the Barefooted
St Mari
St Memmius of Châlons-sur-Marne
St Nonna
St Oswald of Northumbria (604-642) Martyr
St Paris of Teano
Bl Pierre-Michel Noël
Blessed Salvio Huix-Miralpeix C.O. Cong Orat (1877–1936) Bishop and Martyr
St Sobel
St Theodoric of Cambrai-Arras
St Venantius of Viviers
St Viator

Martyrs of Fuente la Higuera: A group of Augustinian priests and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. 5 August 1936 in Fuente la Higuera, Valencia, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
10 Beati:
• Anastasio Díez García
• Ángel Pérez Santos
• Cipriano Polo García
• Emilio Camino Noval
• Felipe Barba Chamorro
• Gabino Olaso Zabala
• Luciano Ramos Villafruela
• Luis Blanco Álvarez
• Ubaldo Revilla Rodríguez
• Victor Gaitero González

Martyrs of the Salarian Way: Twenty-three Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian.
303 on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Eduardo González Santo Domingo
Bl Jaume Codina Casellas
Bl José Trallero Lou
Bl Lluís Domingo Mariné
Bl Manuel Moreno Martínez
Bl Maximino Fernández Marinas
Bl Victor García Ceballos


Quote/s of the Day – 4 August – St John Vianney

Quote/s of the Day – 4 August – The Memorial of St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

“The Holy Spirit leads us along,
as a mother leads her two year old child by the hand,
as a sighted person leads a blind one.
We should say each morning:
“Oh my God, send me Your Holy Spirit
who will make me understand
what I am and what you are …”
A soul who possesses the Holy Spirit
enjoys an exquisite taste in prayer,
it never loses the holy presence of God.”

the holy spirit leads us along - st john vianney 4 aug 2020

“There is one thing everyone can do,
whether they find it hard to meditate or not
and that is to make up their mind in the morning,
to cultivate some particular virtue during the day,
to practice the interior Presence of God
and to live their life in union with Him.”

there is one thing - st john vianney - 26 feb 2018 - mon 2nd week lent

“The sign of the cross
is the most terrible weapon
against the devil. 
Thus the Church wishes not only,
that we have it continually
in front of our minds,
to recall to us 
just what our souls are worth 
and what they cost Jesus Christ 
but also that we should make it
at every juncture ourselves: 
when we go to bed, 
when we awaken during the night, 
when we get up, 
when we begin any action, 
and, above all, 
when we are tempted.”

the sign of the cross - st john vianney.- new version - 17 jan 2018 jpg

“To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there
and to live under her commands, is more than to govern.”

to serve the queen of heaven is more than to - st john vianney 22 aug 2018

“What does Jesus Christ do in the Eucharist?

It is God, who, as our Saviour, offers Himself each day for us to His Father’s justice.

If you are in difficulties and sorrows, He will comfort and relieve you.
If you are sick, He will either cure you or give you strength to suffer, so as to merit Heaven.
If the devil, the world and the flesh are making war upon you, He will give you the weapons with which to fight, to resist and to win the victory.
If you are poor, he will enrich you with all sorts of riches for time and for eternity.
Let us open the door of His Sacred and Adorable Heart and be wrapped about for an instant, by the flames of His love and we shall see, what a God who loves us, can do.
O my God, who shall be able to comprehend?”

what does jesus christ do in the eucharist - st john vianney - sun reflection 10 march 2019

“We should consider
those moments spent before
the Blessed Sacrament
as the happiest of our lives.”

we should consider those moments - st john vianney - 4 aug 2018

“We do not have to talk very much to pray well,”
we know that God is there in His Holy Tabernacle.
Let us open our hearts to Him,
let us rejoice in His Sacred Presence.
This is the best prayer.”

we do not have to talk very much to pray well - st john vianney 4 aug 2020

“When we cannot go to the church,
let us turn towards the tabernacle;
no wall can shut us out from the good God.”

when we cannot go to the church let us turn -no wall - st john vianney 26 april 2020 3 easter

“His look rests on you alone.”

St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

his look rests on you alone - st john vianney 4 aug 2020


One Minute Reflection – 4 August – “Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed …”

One Minute Reflection – 4 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22, Psalm 102:16-21, 29, 22-23, Matthew 15:1-2,10-14 and The Memorial of St John Vianney (1786-1859)

“Let them alone;  they are blind guides [of the blind].   If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” … Matthew 15:14matthew 15 14 - let them alone they are blind guides leading the blind - 4 aug 2020

REFLECTION – “When, in these last days, the Word of God was born of Mary, clothed in flesh and revealed to the world, what was seen of Him was something other than the mind could discern.   The appearance of His body was clear to all but knowledge of His divinity was only granted to some.   Similarly, when the Word of God speaks to us through the Old Law and the prophets, He shows Himself beneath the veil of the appropriate garments.

In His incarnation He is clothed with flesh;  in the Holy Scriptures He is clothed with the veil of the letter.   The veil of the letter can be compared to His humanity and the spiritual sense of the Law, to His divinity.   In the book of Leviticus we find the rites of sacrifice, the various sacrificial animals, the priestly liturgical service …  blessed the eyes that discern the divine Spirit hidden beneath the veil …

“Whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed … and, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” says the Apostle Paul (2 Cor 3:16-17).   Thus it is to the Lord Himself, the Spirit Himself, we must pray, that He will deign to remove every obscurity, so we can behold in Jesus, the wonders of the spiritual meaning of the Law, like the man who said: “Open my eyes that I may see the wonders of your Law (Ps 119[118]:18).” … Origen (c 185-253) Priest and Theologian, Church Father – Homily 1 on Leviticusin his incarnation he is clothed with flesh - origen - 4 aug 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, light of the faithful and shepherd of souls, who gave blessed John Vianney to Your Church to feed Your flock by his teaching and form them by his example, grant that by his intercession, we may keep the faith which he taught and follow in the way he walked, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit. St John Vianney, pray for us,


Our Morning Offering – 4 August – I Love You, O My God by St John Marie Baptiste Vianney

Our Morning Offering – 4 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time and The Memorial of St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

St John Vianney’s prayer which is quoted in the CCC

I Love You, O My God
By St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

I love You,
O my God
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.
I love You,
O my infinitely lovable God
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask,
is to love You eternally
My God,
if my tongue cannot say
in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You
as often as I draw breath.
Ameni love you o my god - st john vianney 4 august 2020

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Saint of the Day – 4 August – Saint Aristarchus (1st Century) Disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, first Bishop of Thessalonica, Martyr.

Saint of the Day – 4 August – Saint Aristarchus of Thessalonica (1st Century) Convert and Disciple of Saint Paul the Apostle, first Bishop of Thessalonica, Martyr.   Born in Thessalonica and died by being beheaded in the 1st century in Rome, Italy.   Also known as • Aristarco • Aristarque • Arystarch.Aristarchus_of_Thessalonica_2

He was one of those faithful companions of the Apostle Paul who shared with him his labours and sufferings.   He is first mentioned along with Gaius as having been seized by the excited Ephesians during the riot stirred up by the silversmiths (Acts 19:29).   They are designated “men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel.”

We learn later that he was a native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4; 27:2). They were probably seized to extract from them information about their leader Paul but when they could tell nothing and since they were Greeks, nothing further was done to them.

When Aristarchus attached himself to Paul we do not know but he seems to have remained in Paul’s company ever after the Ephesian uproar.

He was one of those who accompanied Paul from Greece via Macedonia (Acts 20:4).   Having preceded Paul to Troas, where they waited for him, they travelled with him to Palestine.   He is next mentioned as accompanying Paul to Rome (Acts 27:2).   There he attended Paul and shared his imprisonment.

He is mentioned in two of the letters of the Roman captivity, in the Epistle to the Church at Colossae (4:10) and in the Epistle to Philemon (1:24), in both of which he sends greetings.   In the former Paul calls him “my fellow-prisoner.”

According to tradition he was Martyred during the persecution of Nero.   He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 4 August. Aristarchus son of Aristarchus, a politarch of Thessalonica (39/38 BC).


Memorials of the Saints – 4 August

St John Mary Vianney (1786-1859) (Memorial)

St Agabius of Verona
St Aristarchus of Thessalonica (1st Century) Convert and spiritual student of Saint Paul the Apostle, first Bishop of Thessalonica. Martyr.
St Crescentio of Rome
St Eleutherius of Bithynia
St Epiphanes of Besançon
St Euphronius of Tours
St Francesc Mercader Rendé
Blessed Frédéric Janssoone OFM (1838-1916) “God’s Pedlar” “Good Father Frédéric”
His Life:

St Hyacinth of Rome
St Ia of Persia
St Isidore of Besançon
St Lua of Limerick
St Onofrio of Panaia
St Perpetua of Rome
St Protasius of Cologne
St Rainerio of Split
St Sithney
St Tertullinus of Rome
Bl William Horne

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 28 July – Saint Pope Victor I (Died 199)

Saint of the Day – 28 July – Saint Pope Victor I (Died 199) Pope, Martyr, Confessor – born in Africa, exact location not recorded in the early years of the 2nd Century.   His Papal Ascension was in 189 and died by being Martyred 198-199 (though the date of his death and whether he was martyred is not certain).   He was the first Bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa—probably in Leptis Magna (or Tripolitania).   Nothing else is known of his younger years.St-Pope-Victor-I-1

Victor’s reign showed many changes in the Church.   Culture had begun to change in the Roman Empire.   No longer was Greek the standard language.   Latin had taken precedence as the official language of the Church, as well.   Victor, unlike many of his predecessors, wrote in Latin.   During the time of peace in the Church, Victor acted more like a ruler than many of the previous Bishops of Rome had been able to.

The mistress of Emperor Commodus was a woman named Marcia.   It is said that she was a secret Christian, or at least, a woman tolerant towards Christianity.   At one time, she called Victor to her, asking for a list of names of the Christians who had been sentenced to work in the mines of Sardinia.   He gave her a list.   This implies that the Christians were a tight group who knew each other well enough to keep tabs on one another.   Marcia had them pardoned and sent the presbyter Hyacinthus, who may have been her advisor, to secure their release.  One man, Callistus, chose to remain behind, possibly to preach to the pagans there.   The Roman Christians sent him a stipend until he Pope_Victor_I

At the time, not only was there peace but Christians could practice their religion and serve in the imperial court, which some did.   This was a time when the Church attracted men and women of position and wealth.

Victor sought to solidify Roman control of the Church throughout the Mediterranean.   He proclaimed that Easter was to be celebrated only on Sunday, a continuing battle, if you have read other entries on the Popes.   Many Middle Eastern Christians had moved to Rome and were celebrating Easter as they did at home, following the Passover dates, rather than having Easter on a specific day.   Victor requested their Bishops to send him a letter indicating how many people followed this custom.   It was the great majority.   Victor was not pleased and he went so far as to demand that the Eastern churches follow his rule.   He set up the first Synod of Rome to deal with this.   But, Eastern churches chose to ignore Victor and continued as they were, despite his threat of excommunication.   St Ireneas, Bishop of Lyons and others wrote to Victor asking him to not be so harsh and demanding that he keep the Middle Eastern Churches within the fold.   There are no letters of response from Victor but he must have relented because the Eastern churches

There was a Priest who had known St Polycarp and was probably taught by him.   The man’s name was Florinus.   He began to teach questionable doctrine and eventually Gnostic heresy.  St Ireneas wrote two treatises against Forinus’ preaching then notified Victor of the man’s work.  Pope Victor immediately excommunicated sndf defrocked Florinus.

Another man, Theodotus, came to Rome from Asia and preached that Jesus was just a normal man until he was Baptised and was endowed with the Spirit.   As much as Victor tried to excommunicate him, Theodotus continued his preaching.   He and his followers developed a schismatic group which continued for a while.-Pope-Saint-Victor-I

In addition to these two, the Montanists were still troubling the churches of Asia with their odd prophecies, indicating that marriage was as much a sin as adultery and on and on.  At first, from a distance, Victor thought them to be just zealously pious.   But when some came to speak to him, he realised his mistake and ordered excommunication.

In addition to Victor’s writings about the paschal question, he was known to have written a treatise against gambling.

Considering the attitudes of the government at the time, it is thought that St Pope Victor probably did not die as a Martyr.

Pope St Victor I – Bone Relic
Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 28 July

St Acacius of Miletus
St Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception/India FCC (1910-1946)
About St Alphonsa:
St Arduinus of Trepino
St Botwid of Sudermannland
St Camelian of Troyes
St Celsus of Rome
Bl Christodoulos
Bl Davíd Carlos-Marañon
St Eustathius of Galatia
St Irene of Cappadocia
Bl John Soreth
St José Caselles-Moncho
Bl José Melchór García-Sampedro Suárez
Bl Josep Castell-Camps
St Longinus of Satala
St Lucidius of Aquara
St Lyutius
Bl Manuel Segura-López
St Nazarius of Rome
St Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) Priest and Martyr
His Life and Martyrdom:

St Peregrinus
St Samson of York
Blessed Stanley Francis Rother (1935-1981) Martyr

He is the first US-born Priest and Martyr to be Beatified (on 23 September 2017) and the second person to be Beatified on US soil following the 2014 Beatification of New Jersey-born nun, Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich S.C. (1901-1927).
His First Feast Day today, 28 July 2018

St Pope Victor I (Died 199) Martyr

Martyrs of Laodicea – 8 saints

Martyrs of Thebaid: A large but unspecified number of Christians who were imprisoned, tortured and murdered together in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian. 3rd century Thebes, Egypt.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Martyrs of Fernán Caballero – 14 beati: Fourteen Claretian clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. – 28 July 1936 in Fernán Caballero, Ciudad Real, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.

Bl Antolín Astorga Díez
Bl Enrique Serra Chorro
Bl Gregorio Charlez Ribera
Bl Joan Ayats Plantalech
Bl Joan Bover Teixidor
Bl Joan Costa Canal
Bl José Aurelio Calleja de Hierro
Bl José Gutiérrez Arranz
Bl Josep Camí y Camí
Bl Josep Martí Coll
Bl Lluis Casanovas Vila
Bl Lorenzo Arribas Palacio
Bl Manuel Collellmir Sentíes
Bl Miguel Léibar Garay
Bl Narcís Felíu Costa
Bl Pedro Alonso Fernández
Bl Pelagi Ayats Vergés
Bl Pere Vilar Espona
Bl Primitivo Sandín Miñambres
Bl Ramon Gros Ballbé
Bl Vicente Toledano Valenciano


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 26 July

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020
Sts Anne & St Joachim (Memorial) – Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandparents of Jesus

Bl Andrew the Catechist
St Austindus of Auch
St Bartholomea Capitanio SCCG (1807-1833)

St Benigno of Malcestine
Bl Camilla Gentili
St Charus of Malcestine
Bl Edward Thwing
Bl Élisabeth-Thérèse de Consolin
St Erastus
Bl Évangéliste of Verona
St Exuperia the Martyr
Bl George Swallowell
St Gérontios
Bl Giuseppina Maria de Micheli
St Gothalm
St Hyacinth
Bl Jacques Netsetov
Bl John Ingram
St Joris
Bl Marcel-Gaucher Labiche de Reignefort
Bl Marie-Claire du Bac
Bl Marie-Madeleine Justamond
Bl Marie-Marguerite Bonnet
St Olympius the Tribune
St Parasceva of Rome
St Pastor of Rome
Bl Pérégrin of Verona
Bl Pierre-Joseph le Groing de la Romagère
Blessed Robert Nutter OP (c 1557-1600) Martyr
His Life:
St Simeon of Padolirone
St Symphronius the Slave
St Theodulus the Martyr
Blessed Titus Brandsma OCD (1881-1942) Martyr of the Faith

St Valens of Verona
Bl William Ward

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 July – Saint Bartholomea Capitanio SCCG (1807-1833)

Saint of the Day – 26 July – Saint Bartholomea Capitanio SCCG (1807-1833) Religious and the Co-Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Lovere, Teacher, Apostle of the Poor, the ill, children  – commonly known as the Sisters of Maria Bambina, which she established with St Vincenza Gerosa (about St Vinenza ).   Born on 13 January 1807 at Lovere, Bergamo, Italy and died on 26 July 1833 at Lovere, Bergamo, Italy of tuberculosis, aged 26.   Patronages – Teachers, Sisters of Charity of Lovere.   St Bartolomea Capitanio was Canonised in Rome by Pope Pius XII on 18 May 1950 together with St Vincenza Gerosa.  The two Saint friends, have an additional Memorial on 18 May in the Ambrosian Rite which includes the Sisters of Maria Bambina, the Diocese of Brescia, Italy, the Diocese of Bergamo, Italy and the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy.

header st bartholomea and st vincenza
St Bartholomea, left and St Vincenza, right

Bartolomea Capitanio was born at Lovere, a flourishing commercial centre on the western bank of Lake Iseo, on 13 January 1807, as the first born of Modesto Capitanio and Caterina Canossi.   Of the six children born after her, only Camilla survives, all the others died at a young age.   Her father, a merchant of grains, managed a small shop with which he maintained the family.   The girl grew vivacious and dynamic, gifted with an exceptional intelligence.

Her mother, unable to care for her as she would have preferred, to give her proper Catholic instruction and to keep her away from dangers, due to having to work in the shop, entrusted her to the Sisters of the Poor Clares.   She attended their School at the  Monastery in Lovere.

bartolomea-capitanio-birth home 750
St Bartholomea’s Birth home

Here, at just 12 years of age – as witnesses attest – having chosen the longest straw in a game, that indicated who would have become a Saint first, she decided really to become  “a saint, a great saint, a saint soon.”   Discovering the tangible signs of God’s love in her life, Bartholomea became fascinated by this immense love, unmerited and gratuitous, and felt the need to respond to it, with the whole strength of her exuberant and determined/strong-willed nature.   She understood that there is no better way to reciprocate God’s love, than that of loving concretely one’s brothers and sisters, those whom He loves as He has loved her and for whom, He did not hesitate to descend to earth, to offer His life on the Cross and to give himself totally in the Eucharist.bartolomea-capitanio-d6b51841-5a6b-43ba-ab4e-2d8911d2872-resize-750

And so, as soon as she came out of the Monastery, without disregarding her family duties, she took care of the needy persons of her town – the girls in moral danger, for whom she opened a small school with the help of the Parish Priest;  she revived with brilliant initiatives, the Oratory which had been started by Caterina (St Vincenza) in her wealthy house;  the abandoned sick and those who were in the hospital, that was also begun by “Lady” Caterina with the bequest of her uncle.   She visited the prisoners and the poor.

Bartholomea kept in contact with many of her companions through her frequent correspondence and with the Priests of the neighbourhood to favour the renewal of Christian practice after the outburst of irreligiousness and anti-clericalism that had turned Italy upside down, following the French revolution.   The passage of Napoleonic army had left the population in a deep material, moral and spiritual desolation.

The activity of Bartolomea was untiring, sustained by an intense prayer that pervaded every second of her day, lived in a spousal intimacy with her Lord.   She understood that in order to give continuity to the works initiated, it was necessary to begin an Institute “whose aim should be – the Works of Mercy.”   With the support of the Parish Priest and the help of her Spiritual Father, Fr Angelo Bosio, amidst difficulty and tribulation, she began her Order in an extremely precarious situation, in a poor house, with only one companion, Caterina (later Sr Vincenza).   On the Feast of the Presentation – on 21 February 1832 – the pair dedicated themselves to God (in Bosio and Barboglio’s presence at San Giorgio in Casa Gaia) and began to live a communal life.   The formal founding was on 21 November 1832.  Within five months of it’s beginning, a grave pulmonary sickness took her to her tomb at only 26 years of bartholomea capitanio

st bartholomea with children teaching

She accepted it as the call of the Lord with serenity, with the certainty that from heaven, she could have helped the Institute more than on earth.   At her death, everything seemed to end because Caterina, already mature in years, did not feel capable of the project of Bartolomea.  Nevertheless, solicited by the Parish Priest and supported by Fr Bosio, she carried on the work and took it forward with fidelity and holiness of life.   Thus the Institute grew quickly, expanding in Lombardy-Venice and in Tyrol.

In 1860 the sisters were requested to evangelise Bengal (India) and following it, they continued to spread, going where their presence was called for because “the need is great and urgent,” just as the Foundress used to desire

Today they are present in 20 Countries on four continents.   For this reason, the Institute has acquired a clear international physiognomy. Everything sprang forth from that small seed in the beginning, sown with trust in the Lovere soil, which had accepted to die in order to let the Lord to make it fruitful for the necessity of men and women of their and our time.

The Sisters of Charity of the Saints Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa (SCCG) grateful for the gift that God had given them and to the whole Churc, committed themselves to witness, with a life dedicated to charity, to the Redeemer’s ardent love for every man and woman, of any race, language, culture, religion and social origin, as Bartolomea and Vincenza did.

They are familiarly called Sisters of Maria Bambina because they preserve in the Shrine in Milan, where the body of St Bartholomea lies, an effigy of baby Mary gifted to the Institute in bartolomea-capitanio body

st Bartolomea_Capitanio-_santuario_delle_sante_Gerosa_e_Capitanio body tomb


One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “How shall I repay the Lord?”

One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Readings:  2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Psalm 126, Matthew 20:20-28


“Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” … Matthew 20:28

REFLECTION“How shall I repay the Lord?” (Ps 115[116B],12)   Not with holocausts or sacrifices or the observances of the legal cult but with my whole life itself.   And this is why, says the psalmist, “The cup of salvation I will take” (v.13).   The labour he underwent in the struggles of his filial devotion to God and the constancy with which he resisted sin even to death – this is what the psalmist calls his cup.

It was concerning this cup that our Lord Himself expressed Himself in the Gospels :   “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26:39).   And again, to His disciples:  “Can you drink the cup that I shall drink?”   He intended to speak of that death He desired to suffer, for the salvation of the world.   Therefore, He says:  “The cup of salvation I will take up,” namely, my whole being is reaching out, parched, towards the consummation of martyrdom, even to the point of holding the torments endured, in the struggles of filial love as rest and not as suffering, for soul and body.   I too, He says, will offer Myself to the Lord as a sacrifice and oblation. …   And I am ready to pay these vows before all the people, for:  “My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people!” (v.14).” … St Basil the Great (330-379) Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father & Doctor of the Churchmatthew-20-28-25-july-2017 and 2020

PRAYER – Lord our God, You accepted the sacrifice of St James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake.   May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.   St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us! Amenst-james-pray-for-us-25-july-2017 and 2020

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Christopher Prayer

Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)

The Christopher Prayer

Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
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.
Amenthe-christopher-prayer-written-by-me-25-july-2018 - 2020


Saint of the Day – 25 July – Blessed Pietro Corradini OFM (1435–1490) Priest

Saint of the Day – 25 July – Blessed Pietro Corradini OFM (1435–1490) Priest of the Franciscan Friars Minor, Confessor, Preacher, Spiritual Director – born 1435 in Mogliano, Macerata, Italy and died during the night of 24 to 25 July 1490, aged 55, near Fermo, Italy after a brief illness.   Pietro and a great devotion to the Holy Mother and constantly taught love of her.   Fr Pietro served in several leadership positions within his Order which bought him into contact with the likes of St James of the Marches (his life: ) and St Camilla Battista da Varano – (her life here: ).-Blessed-Pietro-Corradini-of-Mogliano

Pietro Corradini was born in 1435 in Macerata into a prominent household.   When he was only thirteen years old he was graced with a vision.   God showed Peter the whole world in ruins.   Then God showed him that the world would be rescued by a single monk.  The vision is reminiscent of Christ’s request to St Francis: “Francis, rebuild my Church.”    How can a single man or a small group of men and women have such an impact?    It defies common sense and the ways of the world.

Perhaps Blessed Peter was mindful of this, or perhaps his well-off family pushed him into university but in either event, Peter’s life took a more practical turn and he achieved his doctorate in law.    He seemed poised to become a successful man of the world until he experienced a deep conversion upon listening to the sermon of a visiting Franciscan.    Pietro immediately approached the Preacher and asked to be admitted as a Franciscan.

He joined the Order of Friars Minor in 1467 and was later Ordained to the Priesthood.   He became a travelling Preacher in the Marche region, perhaps always zealously aiming to be the monk of his dream and save the world.   He preached with immense power of his love for Christ and His Church and the dire need of the conversion of soul.

Much later he sent to Crete where he served as a Commissioner for the entire Order and advisor and collaborator of St James of the Marches who selected Corradini to be his protégé.

Fr Pietro was also a friend, as well as, both the Confessor and the Spiritual Director of St Camilla Battista da Varano and to to her father. Fr Pietro preached a Crusade against the Ottoman Empire and on three occasions served s the as the Franciscan Provincial for the Marche region.   His first period of administration was in 1477 followed with appointments in 1483 and 1489.   He also served as a Franciscan Representative to Rome in 1474.

He became ill in Camerino and immediately requested the Viaticum before he died, which occurred just after midnight on 25 July 1490.

The bells for the Te Deum during the midnight office rung when he died.   St Camilla Da Varano presented a eulogy at the graveyard.

The Beatification process commenced not too long after Fr Pietro’s death and culminated on 10 August 1760 after Pope Clement XIII issued a formal decree that approved Corradini’s local ‘cultus’ thus naming him Blessed.

The image below is of Blessed Peter at the Holy House of Loreto, communing with the Blessed Virgin and the Christ pietro coradini


Feast of St James the Greater and Memorials of the Saints – 25 July

St James the Greater (Feast) – Son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of Saint John the Apostle.   He is called “the Greater” simply because he became an Apostle before Saint James the Lesser.

St James:

Bl Alexius Worstius
Blessed Antonio Lucci OFM.Conv. (1682-1752) Bishop of Bovino

Blessed Antonio’s Biography:

Bl Antonio of Olmedo
St Bantu of Trier
St Beatus of Trier
St Christopher (died c 251) Martyr
St Christopher!
St Christopher is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – read more about them here:

St Cugat del Valles
Bl Darío Acosta Zurita
St Ebrulfus
St Euphrasia
St Fagildo of Santiago
St Felix of Furcona
St Florentius of Furcona
St Glodesind of Metz
St Magnericus of Trier
Bl Michel-Louis Brulard
Bl Mieczyslawa Kowalska
St Mordeyren
St Nissen of Wexford
St Olympiad of Constantinople
St Paul of Palestine
Blessed Pietro Corradini OFM (1435–1490) Priest
St Theodemir of Cordoba

Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the pesecutions of emperor Maximilian and governor Firmilian – Paul, Tea and Valentina. 309 in Caesarea, Palestine.

Martyrs of Cuncolim – 20 saints: On 15 July 1583 the group met at the church of Orlim, and hiked to Cuncolim to erect a cross and choose land for a new church. Local anti-Christian pagans, seeing the unarmed Christians, gathered their weapons and marched on them. One of the parishioners, a Portuguese emigre named Gonçalo Rodrigues, carried a firearm, but Father Alphonsus Pacheco stopped him from using it. The pagans then fell upon them, and killed them all without mercy. They were –
• Alphonsus Pacheco
• Alphonsus the altar boy
• Anthony Francis
• Dominic of Cuncolim
• Francis Aranha
• Francis Rodrigues
• Gonçalo Rodrigues
• Paul da Costa
• Peter Berno
• Rudolph Acquaviva
• ten other native Christian converts whose names have not come down to us
They were martyred on Monday 25 July 1583 at the village of Cuncolim, district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India. Beatified on 30 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.

Martyrs of Motril – 5 beati: Four priests and a brother, all members of the Augustinian Recollects, who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Deogracias Palacios del Río
• José Rada Royo
• José Ricardo Díez Rodríguez
• Julián Benigno Moreno y Moreno
• León Inchausti Minteguía
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Motril, Granada, Spain and Beatified on 7 March 1999 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Toledo – 4 beati: Four brothers and a priest, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Carlos Rubio álvarez
• Eloy Francisco Felipe Delgado Pastor
• Jerónimo Ochoa Urdangarín
• Primo Martínez De San Vicente Castillo
25 July 1936 in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain. They were Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyrs of Urda – 3 beati: Three members of the Passionists who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Benito Solana Ruiz
• Felix Ugalde Irurzun
• Pedro Largo Redondo
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Urdá, Toledo, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.


One Minute Reflection – 24 July – The disposition of the ground …

One Minute Reflection – 24 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Jeremiah 3:14-17, Responsorial psalm Jeremiah 31:10-13Matthew 13:18-23 and the Memorial of St Charbel Makhluf (1828-1898)

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it;  he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”...Matthew 13:23

REFLECTION – “And yet, if both the land be good and the Sower one and the seed the same, wherefore did one bear a hundred, one sixty, one thirty?
Here again the difference is from the nature of the ground, for even where the ground is good, great even therein, is the difference.
Understand that not the Sower is to be blamed, nor the seed but the land that receives it? not for its nature but, for its disposition.
And herein too, great is His mercy to man, that He does not require one measure of virtue.
… And these things He says, lest they that followed Him should suppose that hearing is sufficient for salvation.
… Yes, both vainglory and all the rest belong to this world and to the deceitfulness of riches, such as pleasure and gluttony and envy and vainglory and all the like.

But He added also the “way” and the “rock,” signifying that it is not enough to be freed from riches only, but we must cultivate also the other parts of virtue.
But what if you are free indeed from riches, yet are soft and unmanly? and what if you are not indeed unmanly but are remiss and careless about the hearing of the word?
No one part is sufficient for our salvation but there is required first, a careful hearing and a continual recollection, then fortitude, then contempt of riches and deliverance from all worldly things.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctormatthew 13 23 - parable of the seed - but what if you are free indeed from riches - st john chrysostom 24 july 2020

PRAYER – A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me! (Ps 50[51]) Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace to us.   Keep us within in the path of Your commandments, help us to work on the earth of our souls, rooting out the weeds and casting forth the stones of malice.   Grant that by the prayers of St Charbel Makhluf, who by Your grace triumphed in all virtues, we may succeed in attaining sanctity.   Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, and 2020

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 24 July

St Charbel Makhluf OLM (1828-1898) (Optional Memorial)
About St Charbel:

The Chaplet of St Charbel:

St Aliprandus of Pavia
St Antinogenes of Merida
St Aquilina the Martyr
St Arnulf of Gruyere
Bl Balduino of Rieti
St Boris of Kiev
St Capito
St Christiana
St Christina of Bolsena
St Christina of Tyre
St Christina Mirabilis/the Astonishing (1150-1224)
Her amazing life:

Bl Cristobal of St Catherine TOSF (1638-1690)

St Cyriacus of Ziganeus
St Declan of Ardmore
Bl Diego Martinez
Bl Donatus of Urbino
Blessed Giovanni Tavalli (1386-1446) Bishop
St Gleb
Bl Godo of Oye
St John Boste
Bl Joseph Fernandez
Bl Joseph Lambton
Bl Juan Solorzano
St Kinga
St Lewina of Seaford
Bl Louise of Savoy
Bl Menefrida
St Meneus
St Niceta
Bl Nicholas Garlick
Bl Paulus Yi Do-gi
Bl Pierre de Barellis
St Rainofle
Bl Richard Simpson
Bl Robert Ludlam
Rufinus of Mercia
St Sigolena of Trocar
St Stercatius of Merida
St Ursicinus of Sens
St Victor of Merida
St Victorinus of Amiterno
St Vincent of Rome
St Wulfhad of Mercia

Martyred in England:
John Boste
Joseph Lambton
Nicholas Garlick
Richard Simpson
Robert Ludlam

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Cándido Castán San José
Bl Cecilio Vega Domínguez
St Ignacio González Calzada
St Jaime Gascón Bordas
Bl José Joaquín Esnaola Urteaga
Bl José Máximo Moro Briz
St Josep Guillamí Rodo
St Marcos Morón Casas
Bl Maria Angeles of Saint Joseph
Bl Maria Mercedes Prat
Bl Maria Pilar of Saint Francis Borgia
Bl Teresa of the Child Jesus and of Saint John of the Cross
St Xavier Bordas Piferrer

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 24 July – Blessed Giovanni Tavalli (1386-1446)

Saint of the Day – 24 July – Blessed Giovanni Tavalli (1386-1446) Archbishop, Friar of the Jesuit Friars of Saint Jerome, Spiritual Advisor – born in 1386 in Tossignano, Bologna, Italy and died on 24 July 1446 in Ferrara, Italy of natural causes.

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Blessed Giovanni Tavelli praying
before the Assumption of the Virgin ( Giacomo Zampa ).   This artwork resides in the Church in Ferrara , the Church of San Girolamo built by Bl Giovanni.

Giovanni was born into a wealthy family, he undertook studies in philosophy and law, first in Tossignano, then at the University of Bologna.   In 1408 he abandoned his studies to enter the Order of the Gesuati  – the Jesuit Friars of Saint Jerome.

In 1426 he was appointed Prior of the Convent of the Order, in Ferrara. In 1428 he built the Church of San Gerolamo, intended for his order.

In October 1431, Pope Eugene IV appointed him Bishop of Ferrara even though he was not yet a Priest.   Initially he refused but accepted after the Pope’s insistence.   He was Ordained a Priest and Consecrated as Bishop on 27 December 1431.Blessed-Giovanni-Tavalli

He visited his entire Archdiocese six times, attended the Council of Basel in 1433 and the Council of Ferrara in 1438.

He extended his help in whatever way he could, to help the citizens of Ferrara during a flood and during the plague.   It was in these circumstances that he conceived the construction of a Hospital where the sick could find comfort.   In 1443 he founded the Sant’Anna hospital to which he dedicated the last years of his life.   Today it is the most important and biggest Hospital in Ferrara and it’s province.

Blessed Giovanni Tavelli by Tanzio da Varallo

He was the Spiritual Advisor to high-level personalities, including Cardinal Niccolò Albergati and Pope Eugene IV .

His cult began immediately after his death and was subsequently approved by Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605).   On 19 August 1729, his remains were transferred to the Church of San Girolamo, built in 1428 by Tavelli himself and placed under the main altar.   Later, in 1947, these were placed under the altar of the Crucifix, in the first Chapel on the left of the church, where they still rest.

576px-09_Chiesa_di_San_Girolamo_-_Ferrara bl giovann tavelli
The side Chapel of the Church of San Girolamo in Ferrara, which contains the remains of Blessed Giovanni Tavelli.   His body is just visible under the Altar.

On 20 July 1748 Pope Benedict XIV granted his permission for Holy Mass to be celebrated in his honour in the whole Archdiocese of Ferrara and, the following year, he extended the concession also to the territory of Tossignano .

In August 1846 , shortly after his election, Pope Pius IX , who had been Bishop of Imola, allowed that the relic of the metacarpus of the right hand of Blessed Tavelli, be kept in the Bishopric of Ferrara, was donated to the Church of Tossignanese.  Since then, it has been kept in the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo in Tossignano.   Another relic is preserved in the Diocesan Museum of Pope Pius IX in Imola.

In Ferrara there is also a Parish, in a new neighbourhood, dedicated to Blessed Tavelli.