Posted in HOLY WEEK, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, The HOLY CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – St Raymond of Peñafort

Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – The Memorial of St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275) “Father of Canon Law”

“May you never be numbered
among those whose house
is peaceful, quiet and free
from care,
those on whom
the Lord’s chastisement
does not descend,
those who live out their days
in prosperity and in the
twinkling of an eye,
will go down
to hell!”

may you never be numbered amongst those whose house is peaceful - st ryamond of penafort 7 jan 2020

“This is that enviable
and blessed Cross of Christ . . .
the Cross in which alone,
we must make our boast,
as Paul,
God’s chosen instrument,
has told us.”

this is that enviable and blessed cross of christ - st raymond of penafort 7 jan 2019

 

“May the God of love and peace,
set your hearts at rest
and speed you on your journey,
may He meanwhile,
shelter you from disturbance by others,
in the hidden recesses of His love,
until He brings you, at last,
into that place of complete plenitude,
where you will repose forever,
in the vision of peace,
in the security of trust
and in the restful enjoyment of His riches.”

St Raymond of Peñafort
(1175-1275)

may-the-god-of-love-and-peace-st-raymond-of-penafort-7-jan-2019 and 2020

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Thought for the Day – 26 December – The Armament of Love

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

The Armament of Love

Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (460-533)
Bishop

An excerpt from his Sermon 3

Yesterday, we celebrated the birth in time of our eternal King.   Today, we celebrate the triumphant suffering of His soldier.   Yesterday, our king, clothed in His robe of flesh, left His place in the virgin’s womb and graciously visited the world.   Today, His soldier, leaves the tabernacle of His body and goes triumphantly to heaven.yesterday we celebrated the birth in time today we - st fulgentius of ruspe - st stephen 26 dec 2019.jpg

Our king, despite His exalted majesty, came in humility for our sake, yet, He did not come empty-handed.   He brought His soldiers a great gift, that not only enriched them but also made them unconquerable in battle, for it was the gift of love, which was to bring men to share in His divinity.   He gave of His bounty, yet without any loss to Himself.   In a marvellous way He changed into wealth, the poverty of His faithful follower,s while remaining in full possession of His own inexhaustible riches.

And so, the love that brought Christ from heaven to earth, raised Stephen from earth to heaven – shown first in the king, it later shone forth in His soldier.   Love was Stephen’s weapon by which he gained every battle and so won the crown signified by his name. His love of God kept him from yielding to the ferocious mob, his love for his neighbour made him pray for those who were stoning him.   Love inspired him to reprove those who erred, to make them amend, love led him to pray for those who stoned him, to save them from punishment.   Strengthened by the power of his love, he overcame the raging cruelty of Saul and won his persecutor on earth as his companion in heaven.   In his holy and tireless love, he longed to gain by prayer, those whom he could not convert by admonition.

Now at last, Paul rejoices with Stephen, with Stephen he delights in the glory of Christ, with Stephen he exalts, with Stephen he reigns.   Stephen went first, slain by the stones thrown by Paul but Paul followed after, helped by the prayer of Stephen.   This, surely, is the true life, my brothers, a life in which Paul feels no shame because of Stephen’s death and Stephen delights in Paul’s companionship, for love fills them both with joy.   It was Stephen’s love that prevailed over the cruelty of the mob and it was Paul’s love, that covered the multitude of his sins, it was love that won for both of them the kingdom of heaven.

Love, indeed, is the source of all good things, it is an impregnable defence and the way that leads to heaven.   He who walks in love can neither go astray, nor be afraid, love guides him, protects him and brings him to his journey’s end.

My brothers, Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven.   Hold fast to it, therefore, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof of it and by your progress in it, make your ascent together.

St Stephen, Pray for Us!st stephen pray for us 26 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December –  The prayers of righteous men avail much. 

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings:  Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Psalm31:3-4, 6, 8, 16-17, Matthew 10:17-22

“… You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” … Matthew 10:22

REFLECTION – “When the blood of Stephen was shed, Saul, then a young man, was standing by “consenting unto his death” and “kept the raiment of them that slew him” (Acts 22:20).   Two speeches are recorded of the Martyr in his last moments one, in which he prayed that God would pardon his murderers – the other, his witness, that he saw the heavens opened and Jesus on God’s right hand.   His prayer was wonderfully answered. Stephen saw his Saviour, the next vision of that Saviour to mortal man was vouchsafed to that very young man, even Saul, who share in his murder and his intercession.

Strange indeed it was and what would have been St Stephen’s thoughts could he have known it!   The prayers of righteous men avail much.   The first Martyr had power with God to raise up the greatest Apostle.   Such was the honour put upon the first-fruits of those sufferings, upon which the Church was entering.   Thus, from the beginning, the blood of the Martyrs was the seed of the Church.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, Theologian, Apologist – Parochial and Plain Sermons II #9matthew 10 22 you will be hated by all - st stephen - the prayers of righteous men - st john henry newman 26 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER –
C. By the merits and prayers of blessed Stephen
R. Be merciful, O God, to Your people

Almighty and everlasting God, who consecrated the first-fruits of Your martyrs in the blood of blessed Stephen the deacon, grant, we beg You, that he may pray for us, even as he prayed for his persecutors, to our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who lives and reigns, world without end.  AmenPrayer-for-the-feast-of-st-stephen-26-dec-2018 and one min refl 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Saint of the Day – 5 July – St Anthony Mary Zaccaria CRSP (1502-1539)

Saint of the Day – 5 July – St Anthony Mary Zaccaria CRSP (1502-1539) Founder of the Barnabites, The Clerics Regular of Saint Paul – The First Order Named after St Paul Apostle. He was an early leader of the Counter Reformation and a promoter of the devotion to the Passion of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, Eucharistic Adoration and the renewal of the religious life among the lay people.st anthony mary zaccaria lg.jpg

He also founded a congregation of nuns which now no longer exists.   He was a great admirer of St Paul and was himself imbued with the teaching of the great Apostle, whom he gave to his followers as a model and a patron.   He was a zealous and untiring preacher and completely wore himself out at this work – he died at the age of thirty six on 5 July 1539.snip book st anthony mary zaccaria.JPG

Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born of a noble family at Cremona in Lombardy and even in childhood gave signs of his future sanctity.   Very early he was distinguished for his virtues, piety towards God, devotion to the Blessed Virgin and especially mercy towards the poor, who he more than once gave his own rich clothing for their relief.   He studied the humanities at home and then went to Pavia for philosophy and Padua for medicine and easily surpassed his contemporaries both in purity of life and in mental ability. San_Antonio_Maria_Zaccaria After gaining his degree in medicine, he returned home, where he understood that God had called him to the healing rather of souls than of bodies.   He immediately gave himself to sacred studies.   Meanwhile, he never ceased to visit the sick, instruct children in Christian doctrine and exhort the young to piety and the elders to reformation of their lives.

While saying his first Mass after his ordination, he is said to have been seen by the amazed congregation in a blaze of heavenly light and surrounded by angels.   He then made it his chief care to labour for the salvation of souls and the reformation of manners.   He received strangers, the poor and afflicted, with paternal charity and consoled them with holy words and material assistance, so that his house was known as the refuge of the afflicted and he himself was called by his fellow-citizens an angel and the father of his country.st anthony mary zaccaria saying mass card.jpg

Thinking that he would be able to do more for the Christian religion if he had fellow labourers in the Lord’s vineyard, he communicated his thoughts to two noble and saintly men, Bartholomew Ferrari and James Morigia and together with them founded at Milan a society of Clerks Regular, which from his great love for the apostle of the Gentiles, he called after St Paul.   It was approved by Clement VII, confirmed by Paul III and soon spread through many lands.   He was also the founder and father of the Angelic Sisters. But he thought so humbly of himself that he would never be Superior of his own Order. So great was his patience that he endured with steadfastness the most terrible opposition to his religious.

Such was his charity that he never ceased to exhort religious men to love God and priests to live after the manner of the apostles and he organised many confraternities of married men.   He often carried the cross through the streets and public squares, together with his religious and by his fervent prayers and exhortations brought wicked men back to the way of salvation.snip - zaccaria 2.JPG

It is noteworthy that out of love for Jesus crucified he would have the mystery of the cross brought to the mind of all by the ringing of a bell on Friday afternoons about vesper time.   The holy name of Christ was ever on his lips and in his writings and as a true disciple of St Paul, he ever bore the mortification of Christ in his body.   He had a singular devotion to the Holy Eucharist, restored the custom of frequent communions and introduced that of the public adoration of Forty Hours. my snip from video - zaccaria and the eucharist.JPG

Such was his love of purity that it seemed to restore life even to his lifeless body.   He was also enriched with the heavenly gifts of ecstasy, tears, knowledge of future things and the secrets of hearts and power over the enemy of mankind.

At length, after many labours, he fell grievously sick at Guastalla, whither he had been summoned as arbitrator in the cause of peace.   He was taken to Cremona and died there amid the tears of his religious and in the embrace of his pious mother, whose approaching death he foretold.   At the hour of his death he was consoled by a vision of the apostles and prophesied the future growth of his Society.   The people began immediately to show their devotion to this saint on account of his great holiness and of his numerous miracles.   The cult was approved by Leo XIII, who solemnly Canonised him on Ascension Day, 1897.st anthony mary medallion founder.jpg

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger OSB

Posted in Catholic NEWS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

29 June 1951-2019 – The 68th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Papa Benedict XVI

29 JUNE 1951-2019
The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Congratulations, Prayers and Love
to our dearly beloved
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
on the occasion of the
68th Anniversary
of his Priestly Ordination68th anniversary of pope benedict's ordination 29 june 2019

“Domineering over your faith is not my purpose.   I prefer to work with you for your happiness”.   It is what the Apostle Paul (II Cor 1,24) wrote and his quote was used 65 years ago on the celebration day of Peter and Paul Patron Saints – 29th June 1951 – during the priestly ordination of Joseph Ratzinger.   It was held in the Cathedral of Freising and celebrated by Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of Munich.   Paul’s quote was written on the holy card in order to celebrate the event.   This important anniversary will be marked by a solemn celebration in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on 28th June. Pope Francis and the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will attend the celebration. Joseph Ratzinger will receive a book on priesthood as a present.

“We were more than forty candidates and we all answered Adsum – that is “Here I am” – Ratzinger wrote in his Autobiography .   It was a beautiful and unforgettable summer day, the most important moment in my life.”    I shouldn’t be superstitious but while the old archbishop was laying his hands on me, a little bird – maybe a lark – raised from the high altar of the Cathedral and sang a short joyful song – I thought it was a voice from above saying: you are in the right way.” Ratzinger said.   

His elder brother Georg was ordained with him.   “The day of the first Mass the church of Saint Oswald was in its splendour and people showed us their joy and involvement.   We had been asked t  o bring the blessing of the first Mass to the town and we were welcomed everywhere. Everybody showed friendliness, even the people we didn’t know at all.   I became aware of the expectations men and women have with a priest – they trust in his blessing and the power of the sacrament.   It was not because of me or my brother =  what did we mean to the people we met?   They saw us as the men to whom Christ had given a task, that was to show His presence.”

“Priesthood is not “a job, but a sacrament.   God asks a poor man to be like Him, to be with all men and women and to act on their behalf” said Benedict XVI on 11th June 2010, during the homily at the end of the Year for Priests, that he established on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, Saint Patron of Priests.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 29 June – Glorious Princes of the earth and Servants of Heaven!

Thought for the Day – 29 June – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Blessed Isaac of Stella O.Cist. (c 1100 – c 1170)
Cistercian Monk

Sermon 49, 1st for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

“These were men of mercy whose good deeds shall not be forgotten; the wealth they have left their inheritance will last for ever” (Latin liturgy; cf. Sir 44:10-11).”

Today, beloved, we are celebrating the birthday of the apostles Peter and Paul and it is altogether fitting that… such a death should be called ‘birth’ since it gave birth to life… See to what the saints have come – through the death that bestows life, they leave this life that leads to death, so as to come to that life-giving life, which is in the hands of Him who, as Christ said: “has life in Himself” – the Father (Jn 5:26)…

There are three kinds of people who are merciful.   The first give of their goods… so as to contribute out of their superfluity to the penury of their neighbour… The second give all their goods away and, for them… everything is held in common with others from then on… But as for the third, they not only expend all they have but are “themselves utterly spent” (2 Cor 12:15) and give themselves up in person to the dangers of prison, exile and death so that they may rescue others from the dangers in which their souls are lying. They pour themselves out because they are so full of ardent desire for others.   They will receive the reward of that love of which “there is no greater – to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13)… Such are those glorious princes of the earth and servants of heaven of whom today – after long privations “from hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness”, exhaustion and danger, “from their own race, from Gentiles, from false brethren” (2 Cor 11:26-27) – we celebrate the death that was so magnificently victorious. To such as these, the saying well applie – “Their good deeds shall never be forgotten” because they have not forgotten mercy… Yes, to the merciful, “their lot has fallen in a pleasant land, their inheritance is without compare” (Ps 16[15]:6).

Glorious Saints Peter and Paul, Pray for Us!sts peter and paul pray for us 29 june 2019 sts petr and paul.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 June – Their sound has gone out into all the earth!

Quote/s of the Day – 29 June – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

“Their sound has gone out
into all the earth
and their words
to the ends of the world”

Psalm 19:5psalm 19 5 their sound has gone out - 29 june 2019 sts petr and paul.jpg

“There must be general rejoicing, dearly beloved,
over this holy company whom God has appointed
for our example in patience and for our confirmation in faith.
But we must glory even more in the excellence of their fathers,
Peter and Paul, whom the grace of God has raised
to such a height among all the members of the Church
that He has set them like twin lights
of eyes in that Body whose head is Christ.”he-has-set-them-like-twin-lights-inthe-eyes-st-pope-leo-the-great-29-june-2018

“Saint Peter does not cease to preside over his See
and preserves an endless sharing, with the Sovereign Priest.
The firmness that he received from the Rock which is Christ,
he himself, having become the Rock,
transmits it equally to his successors.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)

Doctor of the Church’s Unityst peter does not ceasee to preside - st pope leo the great 29 june 2019 sts peter and paul.jpg

“And so it is with Rome, where the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, gave with their blood their final witness.   The vocation of Rome is of apostolic origin and the ministry which it is our lot to exercise here, is a service for the benefit of the entire Church and of mankind.   But it is an irreplaceable service, because it has pleased the Wisdom of God to place the Rome of Peter and Paul, so to speak, on the road that leads to the eternal City, by the fact that Wisdom chose to confide to Peter—who unifies in himself the College of Bishops—the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

Exhortation on Christian Joy, 1975and-so-it-is-with-rome-bl-paul-vi-29-june-20181