Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 21 May – Lord grant us such zeal!   

Thought for the Day – 21 May – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, C and The Memorial of St Eugene de Mazenod OMI (1782-1861)

Born into a noble family in Aix (Provence), Saint Eugene spent part of his childhood in Italy because of the French Revolution. Ordained a priest at Amiens in 1811, he soon organised missionaries to go to rural parts of Provence, instructing the people whose religious training had been disrupted for many years by the French Revolution and its aftermath.

Eugene began the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1816, obtaining papal approval for them 10 years later.   From rural preaching, they soon moved into running seminaries to improve the quality of the clergy.   Their first foreign mission was in Canada in 1841; soon they were in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America.

In 1851, Eugene followed his uncle as archbishop of Marseilles where he died 10 years later.   He had focused his energies on Church renewal and reform while vigorously defending the Church’s right to spread the Good News.

His congregation has grown to become one of the largest in the Church, serving in over 68 countries, especially in Africa and Canada.   Many of its members have become missionary bishops.

At Eugene’s Canonisation in 1998, St Pope John Paul II praised his vision, perseverance, and conformity to God’s will, saying:  “His influence is not limited to the age in which he lived but continues its effect on our time…

Saint Eugene de Mazenod allowed the grace of God to bear rich fruit in his life.   That required a certain amount of flexibility, as well as courage, to face the problems every growing group encounters.   We look to saints like Eugene not to borrow their courage and zeal but, with God’s grace, to discover our own, always seeking first God’s kingdom (see Matthew 6:33).

Note:  We have these Oblates in our Diocese in the Western Cape, South Africa, whilst they look the same as any other priest, they are not – they follow the pattern of St Eugene and are vessels, by the grace of God, of His marvellous and effective love and zeal!

Lord grant us such zeal!   

St Eugene de Mazenod, Pray for Us!st eugene de mazenod pray for us 21 may 2019

Posted in PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 18 May – St John Paul II’s Birthday!

Thought for the Day – 18 May – St John Paul II’s Birthday!

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on 18 May 1920, in Wadowice, Poland.   He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958 and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964.   He was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and in 1978 became the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years.   His Patronages are: Archdiocese of Kraków, World Youth Day (co-Patron), World Meeting of Families 2015 (co-Patron), Young Catholics, Families, Świdnica, Trecastelli, Borgo Mantovano, Rivignano Teor.

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.jpg

St John Paul, Pray for us!st john paul II pray for us 18 may 2019 his birthday 99 years old.jpg

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

Thought for the Day – 10 May – “.. desire always to be one with Him”

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928)

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily
St John Paul II (1920-2005)
Sunday, 22 June 2003

Dear brothers and sisters, the just man, surrounded by divine light, becomes in turn a lamp which radiates light and gives warmth.   This is what we learn today from the figure of Ivan Merz.

A gifted young man, he made a good return on his rich natural talents and obtained great human success – it can be said that he had a very successful life.   But that is not the reason why he is today declared Blessed.   What makes him one of the choir of the Beati is his success in God’s eyes.  The great aspiration of his whole life was “never to forget God, to desire always to be one with Him”.   In all his activities Ivan Merz sought “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” and he allowed Christ to make him his own (cf. Phil 3:8,12).

At the school of the liturgy, the source and summit of the Church’s life (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10), Ivan Merz grew to the fullness of Christian maturity and became one of the principal promoters of the liturgical renewal in his country.

Taking part in Mass and drawing nourishment from the Body of Christ and the Word of God, he drew the inspiration to become an apostle of young people.   It was not by chance that he chose as his motto “Sacrifice – Eucharist – Apostolate”.   Conscious of the vocation he had received in Baptism, he made his whole life a “race” towards holiness, the “high standard” of Christian life (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31).   For this reason, as the First Reading says, “his memory will not disappear and his name will live through all generations” (Sir 39:9).

The name of Ivan Merz, has meant in the past, a programme of life and of activity, for an entire generation of young Catholics.   Today too, it must do the same!

…Do not seek a more comfortable life elsewhere, do not flee from your responsibilities and expect others to resolve problems but resolutely counter evil with the power of good.

Like Blessed Ivan, strive for a personal encounter with Christ which sheds new light on life.   May the Gospel be the great ideal guiding your approaches and your decisions! Thus you will become missionaries in word and deed, signs of God’s love and credible witnesses of the merciful presence of Christ.   Never forget: “one does not light a lamp and put it under a bushel” (cf. Mt 5:15).

Dear brothers and sisters, who take part with such fervour in this celebration, may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, keep your heart and your spirit in the knowledge and love of God and of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessed Ivan Merz, Pray for Us!bl ivan merz pray for us 10 may 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “We wish to see Jesus”

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:35–40 and the Memorial of Blessed Clara Fey (1815-1894)

“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 ”, §16-17this is the will of my father - john 6 40 - the contemplation of christ's face - st john paul 8 may 2019.jpg

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 Clara Fey, 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.jpg

blessed clara fey pray for us 8 may 2019.jpg

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

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Agostino Roscelli ( 1818–1902)

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Agostino Roscelli ( 1818–1902) aged 83, Priest, Founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Immaculata, Spiritual director, Apostle of prayer and charity, Social reformer, founder of training schools and programmes for young adults, both girls and boys, Chaplain to Prisoners and Orphanages – also known as Augustine Roscelli, Augustin Roscelli – born on 27 July 1818 at Bargone di Casarza Ligure, Italy and died on 7 May 1902 at Genoa, Italy of natural causes.   St Agostino inspired social change in Genoa, Italy for children and disadvantaged women.ST AGOSTINO ROSCELLI.jpg

On 27 July 1818, Agostino was born in northern Italy.   His parents, Domenico Roscelli and Maria Gianelli, had him baptised the same day out of fear that he may not survive. Despite his early health problems, Agostino would grow into a quiet intellectual, receiving his basic education from the parish priest, Fr Andrea Garibaldi.   These times were brief however, as he would spend a large part of his childhood caring for his poor farming family’s sheep in the mountains.   During these solitary times, he would fill his hours with prayer.

In May 1835, at the age of 17, Agostino attended a parish mission given by a visiting priest, Fr Antonio Maria Gianelli (1789– 1846) (parish priest of Chiavari and later bishop of Bobbio) and now a Saint and the founder of the Missionaries of St Alphonsus.    (About St Anthony here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/saint-of-the-day-7-june-st-anthony-mary-gianelli-1789-1846/)

This mission thoroughly convinced him he had a call to the priesthood, a calling that would not be easily achieved, considering the poor financial state his family was in. Despite this, he attacked the situation with prayer, which led to financial aid that allowed him to study in Genoa, Italy.   One of his benefactors was Fr Gianelli who found him a post as a sacristan and guardian of a church attached to a girls school.   He was ordained on 19 September 1846.agostino roscelli1-young main .jpg

Agostino was shortly thereafter, appointed to a working class parish, San Martino d’Albaro, in 1846.   He would later move to the Church of Consolation in Genoa in 1854. As a parish priest he soon made a positive impression with his obvious zeal and austerity of life.   He spent long hours in the confessional, which developed his deep concern for the youth of the area.   The boys of the parish were often tempted into a life of crime, having little to no education or hope of finding work.   The girls were even worse off, having less education than the boys and were liable to seek menial work in the city, often being seduced or enticed into a life of prostitution.

Seeing a great need for change, Agostino set about forming a new type of job training for girls.   He gathered together a group of young women and with them founded a “sewing workshop”, in which girls could receive practical and professional training as well as Christian instruction.  STATUE ST AGOSTINO ROSCELLINot wanting to neglect the boys, he would also found a “young craftsman” institute for them in 1858.   He would later go on to establish a residential school to train young women who were in danger of starvation or falling into prostitution because they had no support.

In 1872, Agostino began a ministry to prisoners, working especially with those condemned to death.   Two years later, in 1874, he was appointed Warden and Chaplain of the new provincial orphanage, Monte dei Fieschine, a post he held for 22 years. During that time he would baptise over 8,000 children, as well as providing care for young single mothers, not condemning them but seeing them as simple souls led astray on account of lack of rewarding work.

He lived in an atmosphere of intense prayer, something that would inspire those around him, especially his helpers.   The women who ran the sewing workshop, known as “Roscelli’s Collaborators”, decided their mission would be greatly helped if they were to consecrate themselves to Christ in a more formal way.   Agostino was reluctant to start a religious congregation but was encouraged to seek the advice and approval of Pope Pius IX.

Pope Pius IX’s reply was simple, “May God bless you and your good works”.  ST AGOSTINO Roscelli 3This was what Agostino needed however and he would go on to found the Institute of Sisters of the Immaculata on 15 October 1876.   Agostino would induct the first of the nuns a week later, going on to act as their spiritual director.   He would oversee the early growth of the order beyond Genoa and eventually beyond Italy.

Until the very end of his life, St Agostino would describe himself simply as a “poor priest”, ever humble as to his accomplishments.   On 7 May 1902, he died of natural causes in Genoa, Italy.   He was 83 years old.

On 17 May 1995, Agostino was officially declared Blessed by St Pope John Paul II.   He said:

“A spiritual feature characteristic of Blessed Agostino Roscelli…was to work at the service of his brothers and sisters without ever neglecting his interior union with the Lord.   The true contemplative is the one who is able to work with greater force and incisiveness for the salvation of souls and the good of the Church.   The new blessed’s apostolic activity was truly fruitful because it flowed from a genuine mystical and contemplative life.   His ardent love for God, enriched by the gift of wisdom, enabled him to give himself as far as possible to serving his neighbour without ever being separated from the Lord.”… St John Paul at the Beatification ceremony.”

99 years after his death, Agostino was officially declared a Saint by St Pope John Paul II on 10 June 2001.444px-Bargone-dipinto_Agostino_Roscelli

“‘Great is his love for us.’   The love of God for men is manifested with particular clarity in the life of St Augustine Roscelli, whom we contemplate today in the splendour of holiness.  Its existence, imbued with deep faith, can be considered a gift offered to the glory of God and for the good of souls.   It was faith which made him always obedient to the Church and its teachings, in docile adherence to the Pope and to their own bishop.   By faith he knew how to draw comfort in sad and harsh difficulty and in painful events.   Faith was the solid rock to which he held on tightly to not give in to discouragement.  This same faith led him to feel it his duty to communicate it to others, especially to those who approached the ministry of confession.   He became a master of the spiritual life, especially for the sisters that he founded, which saw him serene even in the most trying situations.   St Augustine Roscelli exhorts us always to trust in God, immersing us in the mystery of His love.”… St John Paul’s homily at the Canonization of Agostino Roscelli, 10 June 2001.

Below is his birthplace and the plaque outside.

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – ‘O Mary’

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Friday of the Second Week of Easter

O Mary
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary, sorrowful Mother,
you are a silent witness
of these decisive moments
for the history of salvation.
Give us your eyes
so that on the face
of the crucified One,
disfigured by pain,
we may recognise
the image of
the glorious Risen One.
Help us to embrace Him
and entrust ourselves to Him,
so that we be made worthy
of His promises.
Help us to be faithful today
and throughout our lives.
Amen!o mary by st john paul - 3 may 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 1 May – Saint Richard Pampuri OH (1897-1930)

Saint of the Day – 1 May – Saint Richard Pampuri OH (1897-1930) aged 33- professed Religious of the Hospitallers of St John of God, medical doctor, founder of the Band of Pius X (a Youth movement) which he dedicated to the medical care of poor people, Third Order Franciscan.     Patronages – Trivolzio, Military chaplains, Nurses, Doctors.  He was an outstanding lover of the Holy Eucharist in Adoration and an avid Marian devotee, as well as living out his short but faith-filled life in total charity to all the needy and poor.header-3-saint-richard-pampuri.jpg

ERMINIO FILIPPO PAMPURI, Brother Richard in religion, was the tenth of the eleven children of Innocenzo and Angela (nee Campari) Pampuri.   He was born at Trivolzio (Pavia, Italy), on 12 August 1897 and was baptised the following day.

When he was three years of age his mother died and he was then taken into the home of his mother’s sister, at Torrino, a village near Trivolzio.   In 1907 also his father is expired at Milan.   He went to two primary schools at nearby villages and then went to Milan where he attended a junior high school.   He completed his high school studies as a boarder at Augustine’s College, Pavia, where after graduation, he enrolled in the Medical Faculty of Pavia University.

Between the years 1915 and 1920, he was in the fighting zone of World War I.   He served firstly as a sergeant and later went into training as an officer in the Medical Corps.ST RICHARD PAMPURI 3.jpg

On 6 July 1921, he graduated top of his class in Medicine and Surgery at the above mentioned university.   After a three years practical experience with this doctor uncle and for a short time as temporary assistant in the medical practice at Vernate, he was appointed to the practice of Morimondo (Milan).   In 1922 he passed his internship with high honours at the Milan Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.   In 1923 he was registered at Pavia University as a General Practitioner of Medicine and Surgery.

Very soon his heart and mind began opening up to the Christian ideals of medicine and the apostolate.   Even as a young boy he wanted to become a missionary priest but was dissuaded from this on account of his delicate health.   From his youth he was always a shining example of Christian virtue everywhere he went.   Whilst living in the midst of the world, he openly and consistently professed the Gospel message and practised works of charity with generosity and devotion.   He loved prayer and kept himself constantly in close union with God, even when he was kept very busy.   He assiduously attended the Eucharistic table and spent long periods in profound adoration before the Tabernacle.  He had a tremendous devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed the Rosary often more than once a day.

He was an active and diligent member of Pavia University’s Severino Boezio Club for Catholic Action.   He also belonged to the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Third Orden of St Francis.   Since his boyhood he was involved in Catholic Action so when he arrived at Morimondo to practice medicine, he gave valuable assistance to the parish priest and helped him to set up a musical band and a Catholic Action Youth Club of which he was the first president.   Both of these under the patronage of St Pius X.   He was also secretary of the Parish Missionary Aid Society.   He organised regular retreats for the Youth Club, farm labourers and local workers, at the Jesuit Fathers’ “Villa del Sacro Cuore” at Triuggio, generally paying their expenses.   He used to invite his colleagues and friends to come along as well.19891101_riccardo_pampuri.jpg

As well as being studious and competent in practising his profession, he was generous, charitable and very concerned for his patients.  Throughout his practice he visited them both by day and night, never sparing himself no matter wherever they lived, even in places difficult to find.   Since most of his patients were poor, he gave them medicines, money, food, clothing and blankets.   His charity extended to the poor rural workers and needy folk in and around Morimondo and even going further afield to other towns and districts.

When eventually he was to leave his practice in six years time, to become a religious, the grief at having lost the “holy doctor” was so greatly felt everywhere, that even the daily press took up the story.

Dr Pampuri joined the Hospitaller Order of St John of God so as to follow the way of evangelical holiness more closely and at the same time to be able to carry on his medical profession so as to alleviate the suffering of his neighbour.   He joined the St John of God Brothers at Milan on 22 June 1927.   He did his novitiate year at Brescia and when it was over, made his profession of religious vows on 24 October 1928.   He was then appointed Director of the dental clinic attached to the St John of God Brothers’ Hospital at Brescia. This was mostly frequented by working people and the poor.   Brother Richard untiringly gave himself fully to serving them with such wonderful charity that he was admired by all.ST RICHARD PAMPURI 2.jpg

Throughout his life as a religious, Brother Richard was, as he had always been before he became a St John of God Brother, a model of virtue and charity – to his Brothers in the Order, the patients, the doctors, the paramedics, the nurses and all who came into contact with him.   Everybody agreed upon his sanctity.

He suffered a fresh outbreak of pleurisy, which he first contracted during his military service and this degenerated into specific bronco-pneumonia.   On 18 April 1930 he was taken from Brescia to Milan, where he died in sanctity on 1 May at the age of 33 years: “leaving behind, the memory of a doctor who knew how to transform his own profession into a mission of charity and a religious brother, who reproduced within himself, the charism of a true son of St John of God” (Decree of heroic virtue, 12 June 1978).

After his death, his reputation of sanctity which he demonstrated throughout his life, greatly expanded throughout Italy, Europe and the entire world.   Many of the faithful received significant graces from God, even miraculous ones, through his intercession.

The two required miracles were accepted and he was Beatified by His Holiness St John Paul II on 4 October 1981.   Later on, a miraculous healing through the intercession of Blessed Richard Pampuri, took place on 5 January 1982 at Alcadozo (Albacete, Spain). This was approved as a miracle and so, on the feast of All Saints, 1 November 1989, he was solemnly Canonised.Saint Richard Pampuri 2.jpg

“The brief, but intense life, of Brother Richard Pampuri is a stimulus for the entire People of God but especially so for youth, doctors and religious brothers and sisters.   He invites the youth of today, to live joyfully and courageously in the Christian faith, to always listen to the Word of God, generously follow the teachings of Christ’s message and give themselves to the service of others.   He appeals to his colleagues, the doctors, to responsibly carry out their delicate art of healing, vivifying it with Christian, human and professional ideals, because theirs is a real mission of service to others, of fraternal charity and a real promotion of human life.

Brother Richard recommends to religious brothers and sisters, especially those who quietly and humbly go about their consecrated work in hospital wards and other centres, to hold fast to the original charism of their Institute in their lives, loving both God and their neighbour who is in need” (Homily, 4 October 1981).

St Richard Pampuri’s body is conserved and venerated in the Parish Church of Trivolzio (Pavia, Italy).   His feastday is celebrated on 1 May.