Posted in ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vatican Official Prayer to St John Paul II

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

St John Paul, Pray for Us!

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

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN QUOTES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Quote/s of the Day – 18 May – The One Hundredth Anniversary of St Pope John Paul’s Birthday (1920-2005)

Quote/s of the Day – 18 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter and the One Hundredth Anniversary of St Pope John Paul’s Birthday (1920-2005)

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999

the-blessed-martyrs-cry-to-our-hearts-believe-in-god-who-is-love-st-john-paul-20-dec-2019 and 18 may 2020

“To die for the faith
is a gift to some,
to live the faith
is a call for all.”

to-die-for-the-faith-is-a-gift-to-some-to-live-the-faith-is-a-call-to-all-st-john-paul-28-sept-2019-and-20-oct-2019 and 18 may 2020

“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 and 18 May 2020

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

do-not-abandon-yourselves-to-despair-we-are-the-easter-people-22-oct-2019-st-john-paul-the-great and 18 may 2020

“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-2019-1 and 18 May 2020

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 and 18 May 2020

St Pope John Paul II (1920-1005)
Pray for Us!

st pope john paul pray for us 22 oct 2018

Posted in CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, G K CHESTERTON, GOD is LOVE, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PEACE, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the day – 30 April – He IS in control

Quote/s of the day – 30 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrises.”

Saint Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
Father of the Church

the lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrises - st clement of alex 30 april 2020

“Lord, take me from myself
and give me to Yourself.”

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

lord take me from myself and give me to your yourself - st catherine of siena - 30 april 2020

“In the designs of Providence,
there are no mere coincidences.”

Saint John Paul the Great (1920-2005)

in the designs of providence there are no mere conincidences - st john paul 30 april 2020

“We are like the penny,
because we have the image
of the king stamped on us,
the Divine King.”

we are like the penny - gk chesterton 30 april 2020

“If God had a wallet,
your picture would be in it.”

G K Chesterton (1874-1936)

if god had a wallet your picture would be in it - gk chesterton 30 april 2020

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on MISSION, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – ‘… Make His face shine…’

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of Bl Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation FSPA (1770-1824)

“This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life”…John 6:40

REFLECTION“We wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21).   This request, addressed to the Apostle Philip by some Greeks who had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, echoes spiritually in our ears too…  Like those pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the men and women of our own day — often perhaps unconsciously — ask believers not only to “speak” of Christ but, in a certain sense, to “show” Him to them.   And is it not the Church’s task, to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine, also before the generations of the new millennium?

Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His face…  The contemplation of Christ’s face, cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about Him, in Sacred Scripture, which from beginning to end, is permeated by His mystery, prefigured in a veiled way in the Old Testament and revealed fully in the New…  Remaining firmly anchored in Scripture, we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit (cf. Jn 15:26) from whom the sacred texts derive their origin, as well as to the witness of the Apostles (cf. Jn 15:27), who had a first-hand experience of Christ, the Word of life – they saw Him with their eyes, heard Him with their ears, touched Him with their hands (cf. 1 Jn 1:1).   What we receive from them is a vision of faith based on precise historical testimony.”…  St John Paul II (1920-2005) – Apostolic Letter “ Novo Millennio Inuente ” Nos 16-17john 6 40 - this is the will of my father - the men and women of our own day - st john paul 29 april 2020

PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule us.   Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life.  May the prayers of Mary our Mother and Blessed Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mother-mary-pray-for-us-6-may-2018 and 29 april 2020

bl mary magdalene of the incarnation pray for us 29 april 2020

Posted in Act of SPIRITUAL COMMUNION, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – Act of Spiritual Communion by Rafael Merry del Val

Our Morning Offering – 26 April – Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

Most of us are still deprived of Holy Mass and the Holy Eucharist but this practice of making an Spiritual Communion, has been especially used by Christians in times of persecution, such as during the era of state atheism in the Eastern Bloc, as well as in times of plagues, such as now, during the current 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, when we are unable to receive the Eucharist on the Lord’s Day.

Act of Spiritual Communion
By Servant of God Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

At Thy feet, O my Jesus,
I prostrate myself
and I offer Thee repentance of my contrite heart,
which is humbled in it’s nothingness
and in Thy holy presence.
I adore Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love,
the ineffable Eucharist.
I desire to receive Thee into the poor dwelling
that my heart offers Thee.
While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion,
I wish to possess Thee in spirit.
Come to me, O my Jesus,
since I, for my part, am coming to Thee!
May Thy love embrace my whole being in life and in death.
I believe in Thee,
I hope in Thee,
I love Thee.
Amen

Let us remember the words of St Pope John Paul in his Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia:

In the Eucharist, “unlike any other Sacrament, the mystery [of communion] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing –
Here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God
and God joins Himself to us in the most perfect union.”
Precisely for this reason it is good to cultivate in our hearts a constant desire for the sacrament of the Eucharist.
This was the origin of the practice of “Spiritual Communion,” which has happily been established in the Church for centuries and recommended by Saints who were masters of the spiritual life.   St Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer, wrote:
“When you do not receive Communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a Spiritual Communion, which is a most beneficial practice;  by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you” [The Way of Perfection, Ch. 35.].1.

act of spiritual comm by rafael card merry del val 26 april 2020 3rd sun easter

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – the Memorial St Pedro de San Jose de Betancur OFB (1626-1667) “St Francis of Assisi of the Americas” – “The Man Who was Made Charity”

Father Manuel Lobo, a Jesuit who was Brother Pedro de Betancur’s spiritual director for fifteen years, wrote:

“It was because of the great devotion he professed to the mystery of the birth of the Son of God, that, inspired from Heaven, he gave his establishment the name of Our Lady of Bethlehem.   Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’—here it was that the humble shepherds found the Son of God incarnate.
Likewise, in this new Bethlehem, the poor must find not only bread but the Lord God and, with bodily food, spiritual food for the nourishment of their souls.”

Father Manuel Lobo

fr manuel lobo - speaking of st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

“Already in the land of his birth, as in every phase of his life, Brother Pedro was a deeply prayerful man, especially here where, at the hermitage of Calvary, he diligently sought God’s will at every moment.

Thus, he is an outstanding example for Christians today, whom he reminds, that training in holiness “calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer” (Novo millennio ineunte, 32).   I, therefore, renew my exhortation to all the Christian communities of Guatemala and other countries, to be authentic schools of prayer where all activity is centred on prayer.   An intensely devout life always bears abundant fruit.

the man who was made charity st pedro de betancur he is an outstanding - st john paul 25 april 2020

Brother Pedro modelled his spirituality in this way, particularly in contemplation of the mysteries of Bethlehem and of the Cross.   If, in the birth and childhood of Jesus, he immersed himself deeply in the fundamental event of the Incarnation of the Word — which led him to discover spontaneously, as it were, the face of God in man — then, in meditating on the Cross, he found the strength to practise mercy heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.

he immersed himself - st john paul on st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

… Pedro de Betancurt was distinguished precisely by the humble spirit and austere life with which he practised mercy.   The Apostle Paul’s recommendation went straight to his servant’s heart:  “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men” (Col 3:23).   Thus he was truly a brother to all, who lived in misfortune and gave himself with tenderness and immense love, to their salvation.   In this way, throughout his life, his deeds showed his dedication to the sick at the little hospital of Our Lady of Bethlehem, the cradle of the Bethlehemite Order.

he was truly a brother to all - st john paul on st pedro de betancur 25 april 2020

Brother Pedro is a legacy that cannot be lost.   He must be the subject of continuous gratitude;  he must be imitated with renewed purpose.   This legacy must inspire among Christians and among all citizens, the desire to transform the human community into a large family, where social, political and economic relations are worthy of man and within which, the dignity of the person is promoted through effective recognition of his inalienable rights.

I would like to conclude by recalling that devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin was always present in Brother Pedro’s life of piety and mercy.   May she also guide us so that, illuminated by the examples of ‘the man who was made charity,’ as Pedro de Betancur is known, we might come to her Son Jesus!”

St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Canonisation Homily
Guatemala City, Tuesday 30 July 2002

brother pedro - st john paul 25 april 2020

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, GOD is LOVE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 April – “Jesus, I trust in You” 

One Minute Reflection – 19 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Readings: Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31

“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them;
if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” … John 20:23john-20-23-peace-be-with-you-div-mercy-sun-28-april-2019 and 19 april 2020

REFLECTION – “Jesus entrusted to [the fearful, astounded disciples] the gift of “forgiving sins”, a gift that flows from the wounds in His hands, His feet, and especially from His pierced side.   From there a wave of mercy is poured out over all humanity.
Let us relive this moment with great spiritual intensity.   Today the Lord also shows us His glorious wounds and His Heart, an inexhaustible source of light and truth, of love and forgiveness.   The Heart of Christ! His “Sacred Heart” has given men everything- redemption, salvation, sanctification.…
Through the mystery of this wounded heart, the restorative tide of God’s merciful love continues to spread over the men and women of our time.   Here alone, can those who long for true and lasting happiness, find its secret.   “Jesus, I trust in You.”   This prayer, dear to so many of the faithful, clearly expresses the attitude with which we too would like to abandon ourselves trustfully into your hands, O Lord, our only Saviour.
You are burning with the desire to be loved, O Jesus and those in tune with the sentiments of your Heart learn how to build the new civilisation of love.   A simple act of abandonment is enough to overcome the barriers of darkness and sorrow, of doubt and desperation.  The rays of Your divine mercy restore hope, in a special way, to those who feel overwhelmed by the burden of sin.” … St John Paul II (1920-2005) Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday, 22 April 2001the heart of christ his sacred heart - st john paul 19 april 2020

PRAYER – Almighty Father, grant we pray that with Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of Jesus who is the incarnation of Divine Mercy, that we become renewed in the Spirit, in order to co-operate in the work of peace which You are accomplishing in the world and which is not just talk but which is actualised, in the countless gestures of charity by all his sons and daughters.   Grant we pray, that we taste the beauty of the encounter with the Risen Lord and draw from the source of His merciful love, to be apostles of His peace.   Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.mary mother of mercy pray for us 19 april 2020

Posted in EASTER, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MISSION, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 April – The great commission

One Minute Reflection – 18 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: Acts 4:13-21, Psalm 118:1, 14-21, Mark 16:9-15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” … Mark 16:15

REFLECTION –Duc in altum! “let us cast out into deep waters!” (Lk 5:4).   Let us go forward in hope!   …. The Son of God, who became incarnate two thousand years ago out of love for humanity, is at work even toda -: we need discerning eyes to see this and, above all, a generous heart to become the instruments of His work. (…)  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).   The missionary mandate accompanies us into the Third Millennium and urges us to share the enthusiasm of the very first Christians – we can count on the power of the same Spirit who was poured out at Pentecost and who impels us still today to start out anew, sustained by the hope “which does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5).

At the beginning of this new century, our steps must quicken as we travel the highways of the world.   Many are the paths on which each one of us and each of our Churches must travel but there is no distance between those who are united in the same communion, the communion which is daily nourished at the table of the Eucharistic Bread and the Word of Life.   Every Sunday, the Risen Christ asks us to meet Him as it were once more in the Upper Room where, on the evening of “the first day of the week” (Jn 20:19) He appeared to His disciples in order to “breathe” on them His life-giving Spirit and launch them on the great adventure of proclaiming the Gospel.” … St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) Apostolic Letter “ Novo millennio ineunte ”, # 58

mark 16 15 go into all the world and proclaim - our steps must quicken as we travel - st john paul 18 april 2020

PRAYER – Lord our God, You increase and multiply Your faithful by Your abundant gift of grace.   Look now on Your chosen people and clothe them forever in the garment of eternal life.   May we, in confident love of You, go forth and live our lives in witness and speak with joy of the ways of truth.   Grant that the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the saints and angels, may accompany us on our journey.   Through our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.blessed virgin mary immaculate mother - pray for us - 2 sept 2018

Posted in ACT of CONTRITION, DIVINE MERCY, LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – ‘Here is the Son of God …’

Lenten Reflection – 27 March – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, Psalm 34:17-21, 23, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

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

“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28

Daily Meditation:
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.

“In His Resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the Cross as the way to the Resurrection.   And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the Cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.   If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).
Here is the Son of God, who in His Resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death.   And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.” … St Pope John Paul (1920-2005) – Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8

and-it-is-also-the-same-christ-st-john-paul-encyclical-frifourtheweeklent-5-april-2019 AND 27 MARCH 2020

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:17-18

friday of the fourth week 27 march 2020

Intercessions:
Let us pray to Christ our Saviour,
who redeemed us by His Death and Resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into Your glory,
– bring Your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
You made the Cross the Tree of Life,
– give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
On the Cross You forgave the repentant thief,
– forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

Act of Contrition
By St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.
Amenact-of-contrition-st-alphonsus-13-april-2019 and 27 march 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on IGNORANCE, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 4 February – “The child is not dead but asleep”

One Minute Reflection – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3, Psalm 86:1-6, Mark 5:21-43 and the Memorial of St John de Britto SJ (1647-1693) Martyr

“The child is not dead but asleep” … Mark 5:39

REFLECTION -“My dear young people, the future depends on you, the completion of this millennium and beginning of another depend on you.   So do not be passive, assume your responsibilities in every area that opens itself up to you in this world. (…)   Take up your responsibilities!   Inspired by faith in the Lord “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Pet 3:15) (…)   What is the reason for your confidence?   Your faith, recognition and acceptance of the tremendous love God is constantly showing towards humankind.(…)   Jesus Christ, “the same today, yesterday and forever” (Heb 13:8), continues to show to all young people the same love the Gospel describes when he met up with a young man or woman.

So we can contemplate the raising of Jairus’ daughter who “was twelve years old” (…) Jairus frankly exposes his anguish to the Master, he earnestly beseeches his heart:  “My daughter is at the point of death.   Please, come lay hands on her that she may get well and live”.    “Jesus went off with him”.   The heart of Christ, which is moved before this man and his daughter’s human suffering, cannot remain heedless before our suffering.   Christ always hears us but He asks us to turn to Him with faith (…).   The Lord’s every gesture and word express this love.

I would like especially to pause over the words drawn from Jesus’ own lips:   “The child is not dead but asleep”.   These words that are so deeply illuminating, prompt me to think of the mysterious presence, of the Lord of life, in a world that appears to have succumbed to the shameless promptings of hate, violence and injustice.   Yet, no, this world of yours is not dead but sleeps.   In your hearts, dear young people, we perceive the strong beat of life and the love of God.   Youth is not dead when it is close to the Master.   Yes, when it is close to Jesus, you are all close to Jesus.   Listen to all His words, every word, each one. Young people, love Jesus, seek Jesus, meet Jesus.” … Saint John Paul II (1920-2005), Pope from 1978 to 2005 – Speech to the youth of Chile, 02/04/1987mark 5 39 the child is not dead but sleeps - listen to his words every one - st pope john paul 4 feb 2020

PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, the gift of faith, so that we may arise and offer our praise to You and by Your grace, yield fruit from heaven, for the glory of Your Kingdom. Lord God, may St John de Britto, who became precious in Your sight through his pure life and valiant martyrdom, plead for our forgiveness.   Through Jesus Christ, Your divine Son, in unity with the Spirit, one God forever.   St John de Britto, pray for us, amen.st john de britto pray for us 4 feb 2019

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL APOSTOLIC LETTERS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – As the Redeemer of the world, Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church.

One Minute Reflection – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Mark 2:18-22 and the Memorial of St Eustochia Smeraldo Calafato OSC (1434-1485)

“The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” … Mark 2:20mark 2 20 the days will come when the bridgroom is taken away 20 jan 2020

REFLECTION – “Of fundamental importance are the words of the Letter to the Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish…  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’.   This mystery is a profound one and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church” (5:25-32; Gn 2:24)…

We find ourselves at the very heart of the Paschal Mystery, which completely reveals the spousal love of God. Christ is the Bridegroom because “he has given himself” – His body has been “given”, His blood has been “poured out” (cf. Lk 22:19-20).   In this way “he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1).   The “sincere gift” contained in the Sacrifice of the Cross gives definitive prominence to the spousal meaning of God’s love.   As the Redeemer of the world, Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church.   The Eucharist is the Sacrament of our Redemption.   It is the Sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride.   The Eucharist makes present and realises anew, in a sacramental manner, the redemptive act of Christ, who “creates” the Church, His body.   Christ is united with this “body” as the bridegroom with the bride.   All this is contained in the Letter to the Ephesians.   The perennial “unity of the two” that exists between man and woman from the very “beginning” is introduced into this “great mystery” of Christ and of the Church.” … St John Paul II – Pope from 1978 to 2005 – Apostolic Letter “ Mulieris dignitatum ” #23, 26the eucharist is the sacrament of our redemption st john paul 20 jan 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people.   Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave us His life to lead us to You and made us His own body in His Church, grant us the grace of always listening for His word and following His deeds in all that we are and all that we do.   May we too follow His teachings in our Holy Mother Church, for she is His and we are hers.   May the prayers of St Eustochia Calafato, intercede for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.st eustochia calafato pray for us 20 jan 2020

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SPEAKING of ....., St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – Speaking of: The devil

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – Tuesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Speaking of:  The devil

“The most powerful weapon
to conquer the devil is humility.
For, as he does not know at all,
how to employ it,
neither does he know
how to defend himself from it.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)the most powerful weapon - st vincent de paul 14 jan 2020.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 and 14 jan 2020 quotes on devil.jpg

“It is not enough for a Christian
to condemn evil, cowardice, lies
and use of force, hatred and oppression.
He must at all times be a witness to
and defender of justice, goodness, truth, freedom and love.
He must never tire of claiming these values
as a right both for himself and others.”

Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Martyrit-is-not-enough-for-a-christian-to-dondemn-bl-jerzy-19-oct-2019 and 14 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Her Amazement at her Only Child – Karol Wojtyla

Thought for the Day – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave

Her Amazement at her Only Child
Karol Wojtyla
Saint Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Light piercing, gradually, everyday events,
a woman’s eyes, hands
used to them since childhood.
Then brightness flared, too huge for simple days,
and hands clasped when the words lost their space.

In that little town, my Son, where they knew us together,
You called me mother but no-one had eyes to see,
the astounding events as they took place day by day.
Your life became the life of the poor
in Your wish to be with them, through the work of Your hands.

I knew – the light that lingered in ordinary things,
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days —
the light was You,
it did not come from me.

And I had more of You in that luminous silence,
than I had of You as the fruit of my body, my blood.

ST JOHN PAUL II’S CHRISTMAS POETRY
Poem from his 1950 Collection, “The Mother”

 

her amazement at her only child - st john paul karol wojtyla 30 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St JOSEPH, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

981px-THE HOLY FAMILY V LG Cathedral_Dili_window.jpgFeast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honour to His family.   Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honour to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, that would be safeguarded by His family.the holy family.jpg

We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family.   He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them.   This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary and not only to Mary but Joseph also, for Mary’s sake [….].   God obeyed a human creature, this is humility without precedent.   A human creature commands God, it is sublime beyond measure.’   (First Homily on the ‘Missus Est’).Polidoro_da_Lanciano_Holy_Family_with_Angel just amazing

Today’s celebration demonstrates Christ’s humility and obedience with respect to the fourth commandment, whilst also highlighting the loving care that His parents exercised in His keeping.   The servant of God, St Pope John Paul II, in 1989, entitled his Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Redemptoris Custos’ (Guardian of the Redeemer) which was dedicated to the person and the mission of Saint Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.   After exactly a century, he resumed the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, for who Saint Joseph ‘.. shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men’  (Encyclical Quamquam Pluries [1889] n. 3).   Pope Leo XIII continued, ‘.. Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.[…]   It is, then, natural and worthy, that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.’   Not many years before, blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed Saint Joseph, ‘Patron of the Catholic Church’ (1870)415px-The_Holy_Family_-_Rafael

Almost intuitively, one can recognise that the mysterious, exemplary, guardianship enacted by Joseph was conducted firstly, in a yet more intimate way, by Mary. Consequently, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family speaks to us of the fond and loving care that we must render to the Body of Christ.   We can understand this in a mystical sense, as guardians of the Church and also in the Eucharistic sense.   Mary and Joseph took great care of Jesus’ physical body.   Following their example, we can and must take great care of His Mystical Body, the Church, and the Eucharist which He has entrusted to us.   If Mary was, in some way, ‘the first tabernacle in history’ (John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 55) then we, the Tabernacle in which Our Lord chose to reside in person, in His Real Presence, was also entrusted to us.   We can learn from Mary and Joseph! What would they ever have overlooked in the care of Jesus’ physical body?   Is there something, therefore, that we can withhold for the right and adoring care of His Eucharistic Body?   No amount of attention, no sane act of love and adoring respect, will ever be too much!   On the contrary, our adoration and respect will always be inferior to the great gift that comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection, and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer.   We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and the lack of respect that are committed in front of the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.

From the Congregation for the Clergymichelangelo_donitondo_holy family grt

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – A Prayer for Life by St John Paul

Our Morning Offering – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave.

When you think about the slaughter of these innocent children and the continuing slaughter of the unborn through the horrors of abortion, it becomes clear that they come from the same supreme act of selfishness.   Even though Herod heard the message coming from the prophets of his own people, he had no desire to align his heart with the purposes of God.

 

A Prayer for Life
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers of babies
not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
Amen

Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life.”a-prayer-for-life-st-pope-john-paul-28-dec-2017 and 2019

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, CHRISTMASTIDE!, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The CHRIST CHILD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December – O Divine Child of Bethlehem, Be our Peace and our Joy!

Our Morning Offering – The Weekdays of Advent – 23 December

O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
Be our Peace and our Joy!
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

Wipe away,
Baby Jesus,
the tears of children!
Embrace the sick and the elderly!
Move people to lay down their arms
and to draw close
in a universal embrace of peace!
Invite the peoples,
O merciful Jesus,
to tear down the walls created
by poverty and unemployment,
by ignorance and indifference,
by discrimination and intolerance.
It is You,
O Divine Child of Bethlehem,
who saves us,
freeing us from sin.
It is You,
who are the true and only Saviour,
whom humanity often searches for
with uncertainty.
God of peace,
gift of peace for all of humanity,
come to live in the heart
of every individual
and of every family.
Be our Peace and our Joy!
Ameno divine child of bethlehem be our peace and our joy st john paul 23 dec 2019.jpg

 

Posted in GOD is LOVE, I BELIEVE!, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote of the Day – 20 December – ‘Awaken hope!’

Quote of the Day – 20 December – The Memorial of Blessed Michal Piaszczynski (1885-1940) Priest and Martyr

“The blessed martyrs cry to our hearts.
Believe in God who is love!
Believe in Him in good times and bad!
Awaken hope!
May it produce in you,
the fruit of fidelity to God,
in every trial!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

At the Beatification of the 108 Martyrs of World War Two in Poland, 13 June 1999the blessed martyrs cry to our hearts believe in god who is love - st john paul 20 dec 2019.jpg

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

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 22 October

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/10/22/saint-of-the-day-22-october-st-pope-john-paul-ii-the-great-1920-2005/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/saint-of-the-day-22-october-st-pope-john-paul-ii-1920-2005/

St Abericus Marcellus
St Alodia of Huesca
St Apollo of Bawit
St Benedict of Macerac
St Bertharius of Monte Cassino
St Cordula
St Donatus of Fiesoli
Bl Esclaramunda of Majorca
St Hermes of Adrianople
St Ingbert
St Leothade of Auch
St Lupenzius
St Mark of Jerusalem
St Mary Salome (First Century)
St Maroveus of Precipiano
St Mellon
St Moderan of Rennes
St Nepotian of Clermont
St Nunctus of Mérida
St Nunilo of Huesca
St Philip of Adrianople
St Philip of Fermo
St Rufus of Egypt
St Symmachus of Capua
St Valerius of Langres
St Verecundus of Verona

Martyrs of Heraclea – 4 saints: A group of four clerics in Heraclea (modern Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) who were arrested in the persecutions of Diocletian. They were imprisoned, abused and ordered to turn over all the scriptures that they had hidden from authorities; they refused and were executed together. Martyrs. – Eusebius, Hermes, Philip and Severus. They were burned at the stake in 304 in Adrianople (modern Edirne, Turkey).

Martyrs of Adianople:
• Blessed Alexander
• Blessed Anna
• Blessed Elisabeth
• Blessed Glyceria
• Blessed Heraclius
• Blessed Theodota

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Álvaro Ibáñez Lázaro
• Blessed Andrés Zarraquino Herrero
• Blessed Estanislao García Obeso
• Blessed Germán Caballero Atienza
• Blessed José Menéndez García
• Blessed Josep Casas Lluch
• Blessed Luis Minguel Ferrer
• Blessed Pedro Lorente Vicente
• Blessed Victoriano Ibañez Alonso

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MISSION, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, St Pope JOHN PAUL, THOMAS a KEMPIS, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Quote/s of the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday

Quote/s of the Day – 20 October – World Mission Sunday

“We must sow
the seed,
not hoard it.”

St Dominic (1170-1221)we-must-sow-the-seed-not-hoard-it-st-dominic-8-aug-2018and 20 october 2019.jpg

“He will be with you also,
all the way, that faithful God.
Every morning when you awaken
to the old and tolerable pain,
at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty,
on to the judgement seat,
the same Christ there as ever,
still loving you,
still sufficient for you, even then.
And then, on through all eternity.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)he-will-be-with-you-also-that-same-christ-thomas-a-kempis-14-june-2018-and-3-oct-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“It is our vocation
to set people’s hearts ablaze,
to do what the Son of God did,
who came to light a fire on earth
in order to set it ablaze with His love.”

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)it-is-our-vocation-bl-frederic-ozanam-9-sept-2019 20 oct 2019.jpg

“We are apostles!
We are apostles
and we wander far and wide,
we work generously,
only for the sake of souls,
only for the Church,
only for heaven!”

Blessed Paolo Manna (1872-1952)we-are-apostles-bl-paolo-manna-15-sept-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“To die for the faith
is a gift to some,
to live the faith
is a call for all.”

St John Paul II (1920-2005)to-die-for-the-faith-is-a-gift-to-some-to-live-the-faith-is-a-call-to-all-st-john-paul-28-sept-2019 and 20 oct 2019.jpg

“I have a place in God’s counsels,
In God’s world
which no-one else has,
whether I be rich or poor,
despised or esteemed by man,
God knows me
and calls me by my name.
God has created me to do Him
some definite service.
He has committed some work to me,
which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission –
I never may know it in this life
but I shall be told it, in the next.
…Yet, I have a part in this great work,
I am a link in a chain,
…I shall do good,
I shall do His work,
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place
…and serve Him in my calling.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)i have a place in god's counsels - world mission sun 20 oct 2019 st john henry newman .jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 19 October – “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ”

Thought for the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyr

This beloved and unassuming young priest of Poland was a true hero of that tortured land during the Soviet Communist occupation.   Now a Blessed, Father Jerzy was beloved by everyone in his homeland, believers and non-believers alike, because of his bravery in the face of extreme hatred on the part of the Communist officials.   His story should be much more widely known than it is.

Never in good health, the strongest part of Father Jerzy were his hands.   His most beloved possessions were the crucifix and Rosary sent to him by St Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman.   He was sickly his whole life, yet he never complained of illness or injury.   One day, when he was making toys with his brothers and sisters, a nail pierced his palm. Later, one of the children noticed blood dripping from his hand.   One of his siblings told the parents because young Jerzy did not want to bother anyone.

Young Jerzy’s great hero was Saint Maximillian Kolbe, another Polish priest who gave his life to save another prisoner – a man with a family – at Auschwitz.   He determined early on to become a priest but kept it a secret so that the authorities could not alter his examination results or pressure the family to keep him out of the seminary.

In 1966, his entire seminary class was drafted into the special indoctrination unit in violation of a church-state agreement.   This cruel treatment was reserved for the most outspoken church leaders, including the future St Pope John Paul II.

The horrible treatment he received in this “special unit” broke his health but not his spirit.   He wrote to his father “It turned out to be very tough but I can’t be broken by threats or torture.”   His seminary professors demanded that he take a period of rest but he refused.   “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ,” was his reply.

St Pope John Paul said, on his apostolic journey to Poland in 1999:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

“Our century too has written a great martyrology.   I myself, in the course of the twenty years of my papacy, have raised to the glory of the altars many groups of martyrs: Japonese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican.   And how many martyrs there were during the time of the Second World War and under Communist totalitarianism!   They suffered and gave their lives in the death camps of Hitler or those of the Soviets.   In a few days, in Warsaw, I will beatify 108 martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in the concentration camps.   Now is the time to remember all these victims and to grant them the honour which is their due.   These are “the martyrs, many of them nameless, ‘unknown soldiers’ as it were of God’s great cause”, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (No. 37).   And it is good that we speak of them in Poland, since this country had a special role in this contemporary martyrology.   It is good that we speak of them in Bydgoszcz!   All gave testimony of fidelity to Christ in spite of sufferings which horrify us by their cruelty.   Their blood was poured out on our land and made it fertile for growth and for the harvest.   That same blood continues to bring forth fruit a hundredfold for our nation, which perseveres faithfully alongside Christ and the Gospel.   Let us persevere unceasingly in union with them.   Let us thank God that they emerged victorious from their labours:   “God … tried them like gold in the furnace, and like a sacrificial offering he accepted them” (Wis 3:6).   They represent for us a model to be followed.   From their blood we ought to draw strength for the sacrifice of our own life, which we must offer to God each day.   They are an example for us, so that, like them, we may give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

4. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you … on my account” (Mt 5:11).

Christ does not promise an easy life to those who follow Him.   Instead, He proclaims that, by living according to the Gospel, they are to become a sign of contradiction.   If He Himself suffered persecution, so too will His disciples:   “Beware of men”, he says, “for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17).

Dear Brothers and Sisters!   Every Christian, united to Christ through the grace of Holy Baptism, has become a member of the Church and “no longer is his own” (cf. 1 Cor 6:19) but belongs to the one who died and rose for our sake.   From that moment on, the baptised enter into a particular bond of community with Christ and His Church.   They, therefore, have the duty of professing before others the faith they have received from God through the Church.   At times this demands great sacrifice on our part, to be offered each day and sometimes for an entire lifetime.   This firm perseverance alongside Christ and His Gospel, this readiness to face “sufferings for righteousness’ sake”, often involve acts of heroism and can take the form of an authentic martyrdom, carried out every day and at every moment of life, drop by drop, until the final “it is finished”.” – Homily in Bydgoszcz – Monday, 7 June 1999 (Excerpt)

The enemies of Christ rule Poland no more!

Blessed Jerzy, Pray, for us!one doesn't suffer when one suffers for christ bl jerzy pray for us 19 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 10 October – “All through the Heart of Mary in honour of the Most Blessed Sacrament”

Thought for the Day – 10 October – The Memorial of Blessed Angela Truszkowska (1825-1899)

Excerpt from the
Address of the Holy Father JOHN PAUL II
to the Sisters of Saint Felix of Cantalice

Friday 16 June 2000

“Your Foundress would often take the children in her care to the Capuchin Church in Warsaw where Saint Felix is shown bearing the Infant Jesus in his arms.   In the figure of the Holy Child, Blessed Maria Angela recognised the little ones she was called to serve. She knew that Saint Felix was shown bearing the Infant Jesus in his arms, because, in bearing the burdens of the needy, he had carried in his arms the poor Christ Himself and she recognised this as her own calling.   By bearing the burdens of the weakest she and her Sisters would bear in their arms the “little” Lord Jesus.   Blessed Maria Angela knew too, that it was Mary who had placed the Holy Child in the arms of Saint Felix and that, it was Mary, who was now placing her Infant Son in the arms of the Sisters of Saint Felix. How right then that she should dedicate the Congregation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

3. Yet the sword which pierced Mary’s heart (cf. Lk 2:35) pierced the heart of the Foundress too.   “Love means giving”, she wrote, “giving everything that love asks for, giving immediately, without regrets, with joy and wanting even more to be asked of us.”   In obeying the logic of the Incarnation and bearing in her arms, the Lord himself, Blessed Maria Angela became a victim of love.   Step by step she ascended the hill of Calvary, in a journey of suffering, both physical and spiritual, until her life was ablaze with the mystery of the Cross.

As she journeyed more deeply into Calvary’s darkness she became more insistent, that at the heart of the Congregation’s life, there should be devotion above all to the Holy Eucharist and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   She bequeathed to her Sisters the motto: “All through the Heart of Mary in honour of the Most Blessed Sacrament”.   In long hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, she learnt that she and her Sisters were called to “reproduce the pattern of the Lord’s death” (Phil 3:10) so that they might become the Eucharist.   And in the Mother of Christ, Blessed Mary Angela recognised, the one who shared in her Son’s Passion most intimately and she knew, that this was the Sisters’ calling as well.   In Mary Immaculate she recognised the woman of the Magnificat, the woman whose self-emptying, allowed God to fill her with the joy of the Holy Spirit.   This was to be the life of the Sisters of Saint Felix.

4. Ours is a very different world but we are no less challenged by the spiritual lethargy of our time and by the question of where true freedom lies.   It is the Church’s sacred duty to proclaim to the world the true answer to that question and Religious men and women, are crucial in that task.   For the Felician Sisters, this must mean, an ever more radical fidelity to the program of life bequeathed to you by your Foundress, since, if there is not this fidelity among you, then you too can fall victim to the spiritual confusion of the age and there may emerge among you, the anxiety and disunity which are its fruits.

I urge you, therefore, dear Sisters, at this critical time in the life of your Congregation, to commit yourself in this General Chapter to more ardent worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament, to deeper devotion to Mary Immaculate and to a more radical love of the charism of your Foundress.   Embrace the Lord’s Cross as Blessed Angela did!   Then you will become the Eucharist your whole life will sing Magnificat, your poverty will be filled with “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8).   Entrusting the General Chapter and the entire Congregation to Mary, Mother of Sorrows and Mother of all our joys and to the intercession of Saint Francis, Saint Felix and your Blessed Foundress, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing, as a pledge of endless grace and peace in Jesus Christ, “the faithful witness and firstborn from the dead” (Rev 1:5).

Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Angela

God our Father,
we praise and thank You
for the gift of Blessed Angela,
who lived Your will,
in faith and trust
and lived Your love,
in service to others.
I pray, in confidence,
that through her intercession
You will grant me
the favour which I request.
I ask this,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Blessed Angela Truszkowska, Pray for Us!
Amenall through the heart of mary in honour of the bl sacra -blangla truszkowska 10 oct 2019 pray for us.jpg

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 9 October – “Still, He knows what He is about”

Thought for the Day – 9 October – The Memorial of Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

LETTER OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2nd CENTENARY
OF THE BIRTH OF CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

To The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Birmingham

On the occasion of the second centenary of the birth of the Venerable Servant of God John Henry Newman, I gladly join you, your Brother Bishops of England and Wales, the priests of the Birmingham Oratory and a host of voices throughout the world in praising God for the gift of the great English Cardinal and for his enduring witness.

As Newman pondered the mysterious divine plan unfolding in his own life, he came to a deep and abiding sense that “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission” (Meditations and Devotions).   How true that thought now appears as we consider his long life and the influence which he has had beyond death.   He was born at a particular time – 21 February 1801, in a particular place – London and to a particular family – the firstborn of John Newman and Jemima Fourdrinier.   But the particular mission entrusted to him by God ensures that John Henry Newman belongs to every time and place and people.

Newman was born in troubled times which knew not only political and military upheaval but also turbulence of soul.   Old certitudes were shaken and believers were faced with the threat of rationalism on the one hand and fideism on the other. Rationalism brought with it a rejection of both authority and transcendence, while fideism turned from the challenges of history and the tasks of this world to a distorted dependence upon authority and the supernatural.   In such a world, Newman came eventually to a remarkable synthesis of faith and reason which were for him “like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of the truth” (Fides et Ratio, Introduction; cf. ibid., 74).   It was the passionate contemplation of truth which also led him to a liberating acceptance of the authority which has its roots in Christ and to the sense of the supernatural which opens the human mind and heart to the full range of possibilities revealed in Christ.   “Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead Thou me on”, Newman wrote in The Pillar of the Cloud and for him Christ was the light at the heart of every kind of darkness.   For his tomb he chose the inscription: Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem and it was clear at the end of his life’s journey that Christ was the truth he had found.

But Newman’s search was shot through with pain.   Once he had come to that unshakeable sense of the mission entrusted to him by God, he declared:  “Therefore, I will trust Him… If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him… He does nothing in vain…  He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers.   He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me.    (Meditations and Devotions).   All these trials he knew in his life but rather than diminish or destroy him they paradoxically strengthened his faith in the God who had called him, and confirmed him in the conviction that God “does nothing in vain”.   In the end, therefore, what shines forth in Newman is the mystery of the Lord’s Cross – this was the heart of his mission, the absolute truth which he contemplated, the “kindly light” which led him on.i will trust him - bl john henry newman 28 march 2019.jpg

As we thank God for the gift of the Venerable John Henry Newman on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth, we pray that this sure and eloquent guide in our perplexity will also become for us in all our needs a powerful intercessor before the throne of grace.   Let us pray that the time will soon come when the Church can officially and publicly proclaim the exemplary holiness of Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the most distinguished and versatile champions of English spirituality.   With my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 22 January 2001.

IOANNES PAULUS II

Blessed John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!bl john henry pray for us.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, Hail MARY!, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Quote/s of the Day – 7 October – Our Lady of the Rosary

Quote/s of the Day – 7 October – Our Lady of the Rosary

“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

“By making our own,
the words of the Angel Gabriel
and Saint Elizabeth contained in the Hail Mary,
we find ourselves constantly drawn
to seek out afresh in Mary,
in her arms and in her heart,
the “blessed fruit of her womb.”

by making our own, the words of the angel gabriel - st john paul 7 oct 2019

“The centre of gravity
in the Hail Mary,
the hinge, as it were,
which joins its two parts,
is the name of Jesus.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

#15, 24 and 33 – Apostolic Letter “Rosarium Virginis Mariae”the centre of gravity - st john paul rosarium virginis mariae 7 oct 2019.jpg

“Mary joins us, she fights at our side.
She supports Christians in the fight
against the forces of evil… through the Rosary.”mary-joins-us-in-the-fights-against-evil-opope-francis-7-oct-2018.and 2019

“Do you pray the Rosary each day?”

Pope Francisdo-you-pray-the-rosary-each-day-pope-francis-7-oct-2018.jpg