Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 23 November – Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro SJ (1891 – 1927) Priest and Martyr “Viva Cristo Rey!”

Saint of the Day – 23 November – Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro SJ (1891 – 1927) Priest and Martyr of the Cristero War, Jesuit – known as “Cocol” – born José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez on 13 January 1891 in Guadalupe, Zacatecas, Mexico and died by being shot by firing squad on 23 November 1927 in Mexico City, Mexico.   He was 36 years old.BL MIGUEL PRO MAGNIFICENT ARTWORK.jpg

Don Miguel and his wife were the happy parents of eleven children.   Miguel Jr, was the third born.   Four died in infancy.   The two eldest, Maria de la Concepcion and Maria de la Luz, became Sisters of the Good Shepherd.   Two of the boys, Miguel and his younger brother Humberto, were martyred.   The rest of the children, Ana Maria, Edmundo Jose, and Roberto married.   Since a young age, he was called “Cocol” as a nickname.
One of his companions, Pulido, said that he “had never seen such an exquisite wit, never coarse, always sparkling.”   He was noted for his charity and ability to speak about spiritual subjects without boring his audience.   Pulido remarked, that there were two Pros – the playful Pro and the prayerful Pro.   He was known for the long periods he spent in the chapel.BL MIGUEL INFO.jpg

Long-time President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz was ousted in 1911 after staging a rigged re-election and a struggle for power – the Mexican Revolution – began.

He entered the Jesuit novitiate at El Llano on 15 August 1911 and studied in Mexico until 1914 when a massive wave of governmental anti-Catholicism forced the novitiate to dissolve and the Jesuits to flee to Los Gatos, California, in the United States.   He then went to study in Granada, Spain (1915–19) and from 1919 to 1922 taught in Nicaragua.

For his theological studies Pro was sent to Enghien, Belgium, where the French Jesuits (also in exile) had their faculty of Theology.   His health continued to deteriorate.   There he was ordained a priest on 31 August 1925.   He wrote on that occasion:  “How can I explain to you the sweet grace of the Holy Spirit, which invades my poor miner’s soul with such heavenly joys?   I could not hold back the tears on the day of my ordination, above all at the moment when I pronounced, together with the bishop, the words of the consecration.   After the ceremony the new priests gave their first blessing to their parents.   I went to my room, laid out all the photographs of my family on the table and then blessed them from the bottom of my heart.”BL Pro-Miguel-GLASS.jpg

His first assignment as a priest was to work with the miners of Charleroi, Belgium. Despite the socialist, communist and anarchist tendencies of the workers, he was able to win them over and preach the Gospel to them.

Three months after ordination, he was forced to undergo several operations for ulcers. He remained cheerful and courageous, explaining that the source of his strength was his prayer.

In summer 1926 – his studies in Europe completed – Pro returned to Mexico.   On the way he visited Lourdes where he celebrated Mass and visited the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.BL MIGUEL PRO OLD PIC.jpg

He arrived at Veracruz on 8 July 1926.   Plutarco Elías Calles was now president of Mexico.   Unlike his predecessors, Calles vigorously enforced the anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 constitution, implementing the so-called Calles Law, which provided specific penalties for priests who criticised the government (five years’ imprisonment) or wore clerical garb in certain situations outside their churches (500 pesos).   This law went into effect on 31 July 1926.

By this time, some states, such as Tabasco under the notorious anti-Catholic Tomás Garrido Canabal, had closed all the churches and cleared the entire state of serving priests, killing many of them, forcing a few to marry and the remaining few serving covertly at risk of their lives.   On his return, Fr Miguel served a Church which was forced to go “underground.”   He celebrated the Eucharist clandestinely and ministered the other sacraments to small groups of Catholics.   Details of Pro’s ministry in the underground church come from his many letters, signed with the nickname Cocol.   In October 1926, a warrant for his arrest was issued.   He was arrested and released from prison the next day but kept under surveillance.

A failed attempt to assassinate Álvaro Obregón, which only wounded him, in November 1927, provided the state with a pretext for arresting Pro again, this time with his brothers Humberto and Roberto.   A young engineer who confessed his part in the assassination testified that the Pro brothers were not involved.   Miguel and his brothers were taken to the Detective Inspector’s Office in Mexico City.

President Calles gave orders to have Pro executed for the assassination attempt.   Pro and his brothers were visited by Generals Roberto Cruz and Palomera Lopez around 11 p.m. on 22 November 1927.   The next day, as Pro walked from his cell to the courtyard and the firing squad, he blessed the soldiers, knelt and briefly prayed quietly.   Declining a blindfold, he faced his executioners with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other and held his arms out in imitation of the crucified Christ and shouted out, “May God have mercy on you!   May God bless you!   Lord, Thou knowest that I am innocent!   With all my heart I forgive my enemies!”   Before the firing squad was ordered to shoot, Pro raised his arms in imitation of Christ and shouted the defiant cry of the Cristeros, “Viva Cristo Rey!”“Long live Christ the King!”. bl miguel-pro-christ-the-king.jpg

When the initial shots of the firing squad failed to kill him, a soldier shot him at point-blank range.

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Calles had the execution meticulously photographed and the newspapers throughout the country carried photos on the front page the following day.   Presumably, Calles thought that the sight of the pictures would frighten the Cristero rebels who were fighting against his troops, particularly in the state of Jalisco.   However, they had the opposite effect.

Calles is reported to have looked down upon a throng of 40,000 who lined Pro’s funeral procession.   Another 20,000 waited at the cemetery where he was buried without a priest present, his father saying the final words.   The Cristeros became more animated and fought with renewed enthusiasm, many of them carrying the newspaper photo of Pro before the firing squad.bl miguel's funeral maxresdefault.jpgBL MIGUEL BUST STATUE.jpg

At Pro’s Beatification in Saint Peter’s Square on 25  September 1988, St Pope John Paul II said:

“Neither suffering nor serious illness, nor the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to Him, even unto death.”

Blessed_Padre_Miguel_Augustin_Pro.jpg
This portrait of Blessed Miguel resides in the La Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain
Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 27 October – Adoro te Devote, latens Deitas!

Our Morning Offering – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Adoro te Devote, latens Deitas!
I Devoutly Adore You, hidden Deity
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

We adore You, O wonderful Sacrament
of the presence of the One
who loved His own “to the end.”
We thank You, O Lord,
who edifies,
gathers together
and gives life to the Church.
O divine Eucharist, flame of Christ’s love
that burns on the altar of the world,
make the Church, comforted by You,
evermore caring, in wiping away,
the tears of the suffering
and in sustaining the efforts
of all who yearn for justice and peace.
And you, Mary, “Eucharistic” Woman
who offered your virginal womb
for the incarnation of the Word of God,
help us to live the Eucharistic Mystery
in the spirit of the “Magnificat.”
May our lives be a never-ending praise
of the Almighty who concealed Himself
beneath the humility of the Eucharistic signs.

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas. ..
Adoro te… adiuva me!

I Devoutly Adore You, hidden Deity
I Adore You, help me!adoro te devote latens deitas st john paul 27 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD is LOVE, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 24 October – Pardon us, O Lord, Pardon us

Thought for the Day – 24 October – The Feast of the Holy Redeemer

St John Paul II from ‘Redemptor Hominis’ his first Enycyclical, ‘The Redeemer of Humankind.’   In it he dealt with the core of our faith, the Person of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World.

10 . The human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption

We cannot live without love.   We remain beings that are incomprehensible for ourselves, our lives are senseless, if love is not revealed to us, if we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, if we do not participate intimately in it.   This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”, ‘fully reveals us to ourselves’.
If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption.   In this dimension we find again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to our humanity.
In the mystery of the Redemption we become newly “expressed” and, in a way, are newly created.   We are newly created!   “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”64.
If we wish to understand ourselves thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial and even illusory standards and measures of his being-we must with our unrest, uncertainty and even our weakness and sinfulness, with our life and death, draw near to Christ.   We must, so to speak, enter into Him with all His own self, we must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find ourselves.   If this profound process takes place within us, we then bear fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at ourselves.
How precious must we be in the eyes of the Creator, if we “gained so great a Redeemer” and if God “gave his only Son “in order that we “should not perish but have eternal life”.

God does not leave us groping in the dark.   He has shown Himself to us as a man.   In His greatness, He has let Himself become small. ... Pope Benedict XVIjohn-14-9-he-who-seen-me-god-does-not-leave-us-groping-in-the-dark-pope-benedict-18-may-2019 and 23 oct 2019.jpg

Pardon us, O Lord, Pardon us
By William of Saint-Thierry OSB, O.Cist. (c 1075-1148)
Abbot, Monk, Theologian, Mystic, Writer
Friend of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us.
We beg to shift the blame for our sins,
we make excuses.
But no-one can hide
from the Light of Your Truth,
which both enlightens those,
who turn to it and exposes those,
who turn away.
Even our blood and our bones
are visible to You,
who created us out of dust.
How foolish we are,
to think that we can rule our own lives,
satisfying our own desires,
without thought of You.
How stupid we are,
to imagine that we can keep our sins hidden.
But although we may deceive other people,
we cannot deceive You.
And since You see into our hearts,
we cannot deceive ourselves,
for Your Light reveals to us,
our own spiritual corruption.
Let us, therefore, fall down before You,
weeping with tears of shame.
May Your judgement,
give new shape to our souls.
May Your power, mould our hearts
to reflect Your love.
May Your grace, infuse our minds,
so that our thoughts reflect Your Will.
Amenpardon-us-o-lord-pardon-us-by-william-saint-thierry-20-april-2019-holy-sat adn 23 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, POETRY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 22 October – Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Thought for the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Happy feast day of St John Paul the Poet!

Many know that St John Paul II’s talents included acting and athletics but did you know the Saint is also an accomplished poet?   He loved to write about nature, humanity and God and wrote poetry throughout his life – as a student, a quarry worker, a priest, bishop and Pope, beginning in 1939 and publishing under pseudonyms in Poland.   It wasn’t until he became Pope that his poetry was published throughout the world.

Known to family and friends as Lolek (a nickname that translates as “Chuck”), the future John Paul II learned about suffering at an early age when his mother died of heart and kidney problems in 1929, shortly before his ninth birthday.  This poem below, “Over This, Your White Grave”” was written before he was twenty.

Over This, Your White Grave

Over this, your white grave
the flowers of life in white—
so many years without you—
how many have passed out of sight?
Over this your white grave
covered for years, there is a stir
in the air, something uplifting
and, like death, beyond comprehension.
Over this your white grave
oh, Mother, can such loving cease?
for all his filial adoration
a prayer:
Give her eternal peace—

over this your white grave poem to his mother st john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg

“Veronica?”
“Bernice Veronica” – both names referring to the Woman who wiped the Face of Jesus, commonly depicted in every Catholic church, at the Sixth Station of the Cross.

Did she exist? And what does it mean to be “a Veronica?”

St Pope John Paul II expressed the answer to the question of Veronica most beautifully in his poem, “Name”

“Name”

In the crowd walking towards the place

[of the Agony]–

did you open up a gap at some point or were you

[opening it] from the beginning?

And since when? You tell me, Veronica.

Your name was born in the very instant

in which your heart

became an effigy: the effigy of truth.

Your name was born from what you gazed upon.

Karol Wojtyla

name-st-veronica-karol-wotyla-st-john-paul-12-july-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St Peter’s Square had a special meaning for St John Paul.   In earlier days he wrote a poem about it.   Below is an excerpt from it:

Marble Floor

Marble floor
our feet meet the earth in this place,
there are so many walls,
so many colonnades,
yet we are not lost. If we find
meaning and oneness,
it is the floor that guides us….
Peter, you are the floor, that others
may walk over you… You guide their steps…
You want to serve their feet that pass
as rock serves the hooves of sheep.
The rock is a gigantic temple floor,
the cross a pasture.

St Peter’s name means “a rock” and Christ said of him “on this Rock I will build my Church.”   The poem is about the role of the Holy Father, who is a shepherd to his flock, a guide to the Church.marble-floor-by-st-john-paul-22-oct-2018 and 22 oct 2019

St John Paul, keep being our Shepherd by your Prayers!st-jp-pray-for-us-22-oct-2017-2.and 22 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 22 October – St John Paul the Great

Quote/s of the Day – 22 October – The Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

“Never,
as in the Rosary,
do the life of Jesus
and that of Mary,
appear so deeply joined.
Mary lives
only in Christ
and
for Christ!”never-as-in-the-rosary-st-john-paul-no-15-rosarium-virginis-mariae-7-oct-2019.jpg

“Not only the devil is involved in spiritual warfare
but the Holy Spirit is equally involved, or more involved in it,
bringing men and women of goodwill,
the ability to overcome evil in their lives,
so that they too can say:
“Where evil abounded, grace super-abounded!” (Rom 5:20).”

St John Paul II (The Holy Spirit (Dominum Et Vivificantem – 1986)not-only-the-devil-st-jp-22-oct-2017 and 2019.jpg

“Let the eyes of our faith

never wander
from the Cross of Calvary.”let-the-eyes-of-our-faith-st-pope-john-paul-29-may-2018-and 22 oct 2019.no-2

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people
and
hallelujah
is our song.”

St Pope John Paul the Great (1920-2005)

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/22/quote-s-of-the-day-22-october-the-memorial-of-st-pope-john-paul-ii-1920-2005/
and here:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/10/22/quotes-of-the-day-22-october-the-memorial-of-st-pope-john-paul-ii-1920-2005/do not abandon yourselves to despair we are the easter people - 22 oct 2019 st john paul the great.jpg

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 October – ‘There are two means – prayer and detachment from self.’

One Minute Reflection – 22 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel Luke 12:35–38 and the Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes ... Luke 12:37

REFLECTION – “What are we to do if we are to overcome our weakness of soul?   There are two means – prayer and detachment from self.   Our Lord Jesus counsels us to watch. We must be on the watch if we want our heart to be pure but our watching must be peaceful if our heart is to be touched.   Because it can be moved by good things or bad, within or without.   Thus we need to watch carefully.
As a general rule God’s inspiration is an unobtrusive grace, we mustn’t turn it away… if our heart’s aren’t awake, grace turns back.   Divine inspiration is very exact, just as a writer guides his pen, so the grace of God, guides the soul.   So let us try hard to attain greater interior recollection.
Our Lord wants us to desire to love Him.   The watchful soul notices when it falls and realises that, of itself, it cannot reach it’s destination.   That is why it experiences the need for prayer.   Our petition is founded on the conviction that we can do nothing of ourselves but God can do all.   Prayer is needed to obtain light and strength.” … Saint Maximilian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr – Conference of 13/2/1941luke-12-37-blessed-are-those-servants-st max kolbe - what are we to do to overcome - 22 oct 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, strengthen in our hearts the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us.   May Your Light shine through our lives and be constantly lit to lead us ready for the day the Lord Jesus calls.   St John Paul, by your prayers, may our way be made holy.   Through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st john paul II pray for us 18 may 2019 his birthday 99 years old

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 22 October – Be with Us, More and More

Our Morning Offering – 22 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Be with Us, More and More
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Be with us, more and more.
Meet us more and more often
because we need it so much.
Speak to us by your motherhood,
by your simplicity and by your holiness.
Speak to us
by your Immaculate Conception!
Speak to us continually!
And obtain for us the grace–
even if we are distant–
of not becoming insensitive
to your presence in our midst.
Amenbe with us more and more - st pope john paul 22 oct 2019.jpg