Thought for the Day – 5 October – Christ Jesus, I trust in you! 

Thought for the Day – 5 October – The Memorial of St Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)

And you, Faustina, a gift of God to our time, a gift from the land of Poland to the whole Church, obtain for us an awareness of the depth of divine mercy, help us to have a living experience of it and to bear witness to it among our brothers and sisters.

May your message of light and hope spread throughout the world, spurring sinners to conversion, calming rivalries and hatred and opening individuals and nations to

the practice of brotherhood.

Today, fixing our gaze with you on the Face of the risen Christ, let us make our own your prayer of trusting abandonment and say with firm hope:

Christ Jesus, I trust in you!   Jezu, ufam tobie!

(From St John Paul’s Canonisation Homily, St Peter’s Square, 30 April 2000)

christ jesus i trust in you 5 oct 2019 st faustina

The red and pale white rays, emanating from the Heart of Jesus, in the Image of Divine Mercy represent the blood and water, which gushed forth from His pierced Heart on Good Friday.   Jesus asked that all who venerate His mercy, honour His Passion, by remembering Him with this prayer, at 3 O’Clock in the afternoon.

Divine Mercy 3 O’Clock Prayer
St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

You expired, O Jesus,
but the source of life
gushed forth for souls
and an ocean of mercy
opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water,
which gushed forth
from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of mercy for us,
I trust in You.
Amendivine-mercy-3-oclock-prayer-div-mercy-sunday-28-april-2019 and 5 oct 2019.jpg

St Faustina Kowalska, Pray for Us!st faustina pray for us 5 oct 2019 no 2


Thought for the Day – 28 September – ‘To die for the faith is a gift to some, to live the faith is a call for all.’

Thought for the Day – 28 September – The Memorial of St Lorenzo Ruiz (1600-1637) Martyrto die for the faith is a gift to some to live the faith is a call to all st john paul 28 sept 2019.jpg

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily of
St Pope John Paul
Wednesday, 18 February 1981

“The Lord Jesus by His blood truly redeemed His servants, gathered from every race, tongue, people and nation, to make them a royal priesthood for our God.   The sixteen blessed martyrs, by the exercise of their priesthood—that of baptism or of Holy Orders—performed the greatest act of worship and love of God by the sacrifice of their blood united with Christ’s own Sacrifice of the Cross.   In this way they imitated Christ the priest and victim in the most perfect way possible for human creatures.   It was at the same time an act of the greatest possible love for their brethren, for whose sake we are all called to sacrifice ourselves, following the example of the Son of God who sacrificed Himself for us.

4. This is what Lorenzo Ruiz did.   Guided by the Holy Spirit to an unexpected goal after an adventurous journey, he told the court that he was a Christian and must die for God and wοuld give his life for him a thousand times!

(Had I many thousands of lives I would offer them all for him.

Never shall I apostatise.

You may kill me if that is what you want.   To die for God—such is my will.)

Here we have him summed up, here we have a description of his faith and the reason fοr his death.   It was at this moment that this young father of a family, professed and brought to completion, the Christian catechesis that he had received in the Dominican Friars’ school in Binondo, a catechesis that cannot be other than Christ-centred, by reason both of the mystery it contains and the fact that it is Christ who teaches through the lips of His messenger.

5. The example of Lorenzo Ruiz, the son of a Chinese father and Tagala mother, reminds us that everyone’s life and the whole of one’s life must be at Christ’s disposal.   Christianity means daily giving, in response to the gift of Christ who came into the world so that all might have life and have it to the full.   Or, as so aptly expressed in the theme of my visit to this country – To die for the faith is a gift to some, to live the faith is a call for all.

Dearly beloved, amidst the efforts needed for our own Christian lives and for spreading the light of Christ throughout Asia and the whole world, let us look today to these zealous martyrs who give us deep assurance and fresh hope when they tell us – “In all this we are more than conquerors because of him who has loved us.”   And this is the mystery we celebrate today – the love of Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. Amen.”

St Lorenzo Ruiz, Pray for Us!st lorenzo ruiz pray for us 28 sept 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 23 September – St Padre Pio Prayer by St John Paul

Our Morning Offering – 23 September – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

Prayer to St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
by St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Teach us, we pray, humility of heart,
so that we may be counted
among the little ones of the Gospel
to whom the Father promised
to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom.
Help us to pray without ceasing,
certain that God knows what we need,
even before we ask Him.
Obtain for us the eyes of faith
that will help us recognise in the poor and suffering,
the very face of Jesus.
Sustain us in the hour of trouble and trial
and, if we fall, let us experience the joy
of the sacrament of forgiveness.
Grant us your tender devotion to Mary,
mother of Jesus and our Mother.
Accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage
toward the blessed Homeland,
where we too, hope to arrive
to contemplate forever the
Glory of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit.
Amenprayer to st padre pio by st john paul 23 sep[t 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 22 September – Come Holy Spirit!

Thought for the Day – 22 September – The Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Ignatius of Santhia OFM Cap (1686-1770)

“Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven” (Jn 20, 22-23).

With these words, the Risen One bestows on the Apostles the gift of the Spirit and with it the divine power to forgive sins.   The Capuchin priest Ignatius of Santhiá lived uniquely the mission of forgiving sins and of guiding men and women on the paths of evangelical perfection.

For the love of Christ and to advance more quickly in evangelical perfection he walked in the footsteps of the Poverello of Assisi.

In the Piedmont of his time, Ignatius of Santhiá was father, confessor, counsellor and teacher of many – priests, religious and lay people – who sought his wise and enlightened guidance.

Even today he continues to remind everyone of the values of poverty, simplicity and authentic Christian life.

“Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.”

The Holy Spirit radically transformed the Apostles who out of fear had locked themselves into the Upper Room, making them fervent heralds of the Gospel.   Down through the ages, the Spirit continues to support the Church in her evangelising mission, raising up in every age courageous witnesses to the faith.

With the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary received the gift of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1,14). With her and in communion with the new saints, let us also implore the miracle of a new Pentecost for the Church.   For the humanity of our time let us ask an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of your faithful!
Help us to spread the fire of your love in the world.   Amen!

St Pope John Paul II – Canonisation Homily – Sunday, 19 May 2002

St Ignatius of Santhia, Pray for Us!st ignatius of santhia pray for us 22 sept 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 21 September – O Mary

Our Morning Offering – 21 September – Feast of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist and Mary was there – The Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

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


Thought for the Day – 20 September – ‘Precious Pearls of your Crown.’

Thought for the Day – 20 September – The Memorial of Saint Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres (1851–1904)

Father Jose Maria’s objective was the evangelisation and promotion of the poor, especially women.   He knew that a well formed woman was the foundation of a just and Christian society.   For this reason, he required, that in the schools and orphanages there should be an integral education which would cover the whole person in all its aspects, from its transcendent aspects to its most rudimentary and material, such things as domestic labour.

In 1894 in Puebla he opened the centre, Christian Mercy, to house women who were falling into prostitution.   In this house he built schools and workshops for orphan girls. He was able to accomplish all this because of his trust in God and his wonderful disposition which attracted the generosity of many people in Puebla.

He did not neglect other sectors of society which were not protected:
Charity will make you find in the poor, the brother who has
cried and suffered much and you must know, that those
tears which you dried up with love, Christ Himself keeps as
precious pearls of your crown.   The Servants of the Sacred
Heart of Jesus and of the Poor shall not seek any
recompense on this earth but their treasure will be in
heaven.   For this reason, they will find joy in the scorns,
ingratitude and reproaches they will receive from the poor
seniors, because if everything you do will be pleasant, one
may fear that your recompense will remain here on earth.”charity will - christ himself keeps as precious pearls - st jose maria parres 20 sept 2019.jpg

Having given his whole life to God and to the building of his kingdom on this earth, on the morning of 20 September 1904, after he asked the sisters to sing the Ave Maris Stella, he died.   Many people in Puebla mourned his death since all recognised him as “the Giant of The Poor.”   José María de Yermo y Parres never left us  . His presence continues today in the works he left behind which have transcended time and space:
“That mustard seed, that I do not know how it came to my hands, was born and grew and today, it holds in its branches, a great number of poor people.”

St John Paul said during the Canonisation homily, on Sunday, 21 May 2000:

“José María de Yermo y Parres, who lived his priestly commitment to Christ by following Him with all his might, distinguishing himself at the same time by an essentially prayerful and contemplative attitude.   In the Heart of Christ he found guidance for his spirituality and, in reflecting on his infinite love for men, he desired to imitate Him by making charity the rule of his life.
The new saint founded the Religious Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor, a name which combines the two great loves that express the new saint’s spirit and charism in the Church.”

Saint Jose Maria Parres, Pray for us!st jose maria parres pray for us 20 sept 2019 no 2.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 20 September – The feminine “genius”

One Minute Reflection – 20 September – Friday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 8:1–3 and the Memorial of Saint Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres (1851–1904)

And the twelve were with him and also some women … Luke 8:1-2

REFLECTION “If you knew the gift of God” (Jn 4:10), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman during one of those remarkable conversations which show His great esteem for the dignity of women and for the vocation which enables them to share in His messianic mission… The Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the “mystery of woman” and for every woman – for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the “great works of God”, which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her.   After all, was it not in and through her that the greatest event in human history – the incarnation of God Himself – was accomplished?

Therefore, the Church, gives thanks for each and every woman – for mothers, for sisters, for wives, for women consecrated to God in virginity, for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person, for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community, for women who work professionally and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility…

The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine “genius” which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations, she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God…  The Church asks at the same time that these invaluable “manifestations of the Spirit” (cf. 1 Cor 12:4ff)… may be attentively recognised and appreciated so that they may return, for the common good of the Church and of humanity.” … St John Paul II (1920-2005) – Apostolic Letter « Mulieris dignitatem /The Dignity of women» # 31luke 8 1-2 and the twelve were with him and also some women - the church gives thanks st john paul 20 sept 2019

PRAYER – Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace upon Your children, all Your men and women who gather together to thank you and bless you.   As Your work within us to keep us in the path of Your commandments, may we receive consolation in this present life and eternal joy in the next.   You gave us Saint Jose Maria Parres to protect and assist all in need of help, grant that by his prayer, all may be comforted in their need and may our precious Holy Mother, the icon of all womanhood, accompany us on our journey.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amenst jose maria parres pray for us 20 sept 2019MARY MOTHER OF GOD PRAY FOR US - 1 jan 2019


Thought for the Day – 15 September – “A Soul on Fire”

Thought for the Day – 15 September – The Memorial of Blessed Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952) “A Soul on Fire” – Priest, Missionary in Burma (Myanmar), Superior General of the P.I.M.E., Founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union

In Father Paolo Manna we perceive a special reflection of the glory of God.   He spent his entire life promoting the missions.   In every page of his writings there stands out the person of Jesus, centre of his life and reason for the missions.

In one of his letters to the missionaries, he stated:   “In fact the missionary is nothing if he does not put on the person of Jesus Christ…. Only the missionary who copies Jesus Christ faithfully in himself can reproduce his image in the souls of others” (Letter 6).

Indeed, there are no missions without holiness, as the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio pointed out:   “The missionary spirituality of the Church consists in the movement towards holiness.   One must stir up a new zeal for holiness among missionaries and in the whole Christian community” (n. 90).

St Pope John Paul II, Beatification Homily, Sunday 4 November 2001

“We missionaries often wonder why the work of the conversion of the non-Christian world goes so slowly. We usually give various reasons to explain this painful fact and in truth, the problem may be considered from many angles, some of which do not concern our responsibility.   But for the part that does concern us and it is the main part, the problem has a very clear solution. To save the world, God in His infinite wisdom wanted to have co-workers. God does His part well – do the people called to help Him do their part equally well?
Let us work in such a way that the whole Church, all Christian people, led by their bishops and clergy, truly feel the apostolic duty that is incumbent upon them to promote the propagation of the faith with every means.
Let us work in such a way that that missionaries, the most direct instruments for the conversion of souls, are saints and non-Christians will not be slow to be converted.   The missionary problem has been and still is, almost ignored by the Christian people.   Those who were interested in the past were always a minority and it is extremely painful to see today too, although some progress has been made, how the enormous question is far from being understood and faced fully by clergy and people.   It is extremely painful, because Catholic peoples would have more than enough energies to promote the work of evangelisation more worthily if priests taught, organised and above all inflamed them with a greater spirit of faith and zeal.
Missionaries, also from the human viewpoint, have been excellent people…but neither brilliance nor prudence, nor courage have made them great in our eyes and the eyes of God.   They have been great, they have saved many souls, they have founded Churches, mainly because they were holy men, that is, spiritual men.   This is the secret, the soul of their zeal, their perseverance and their success; this is the solemn teaching they have handed down to us and which I love to remind you of, so that our missionaries of today and those of tomorrow may always build upon it the first and essential reason for their own sanctification and the sanctification of the souls that are and will be, entrusted to them.
You, missionaries in active service in the field, are particularly concerned with your part of co=operation.   Therefore, I say to you, be holy missionaries by following the footsteps of those great missionaries who went before you and, for the part that concerns you, your apostolic duty will have been done to the full.   The souls the Lord in His merciful designs has entrusted to each one of you that you may lead them to salvation, will be saved and at the end of your days, you will be able to say with the Divine Redeemer:  “(Father) I kept those you had given me true to you name. I have watched over them and not one is lost” (John 17:12).”

Blessed Paolo

Of Manna, Father Piero Gheddo writes:   He was a great writer, superior general, missionary animator, organiser, a man of revolutionary ideas and initiatives  . He was the first in Italy to encourage the clergy to work for Christian unity.   But it was above all his holiness, that led him to comply with God’s plan with humility, loyalty and a spirit of sacrifice.   He was a man of prayer and in spite of poor health, he achieved much.   His missionary animation was genial.   He was known to be a “soul on fire”, in love with Jesus Christ, the only love of his life.” (S.L.) (Fides Service 16/1/2004

Blessed Paolo Manna, Pray for Us!bl paolo manna pray for us a soul on fire 15 sept 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 14 September – O Mary, Sorrowful Mother

Our Morning Offering – 14 September – Feast The Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Feast and A Marian Saturday within the Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

O Mary, Sorrowful Mother
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 sorrowful mothr st john paul - 14 sept exaltation of the cross.jpg

St Pope John Paul prayed this prayer on the Conclusion of the Palm Sunday homily, 13 April 2003 during the Eighteenth World Youth Day.


Our Morning Offering – 12 September – Hail Mary, the Angelic Salutation

Our Morning Offering – 12 September – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

Hail Mary, the Angelic Salutation

The Hail Mary/Ave Maria

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Áve María, grátia pléna,
Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tū in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.
Ámen.hail-mary-and-ave-maria-12 september 2019-st-simon-de-rojas-fr-ave-maria-no-2


Thought for the Day – 3 September – Ad Jesum per Maria – to Jesus through Mary

Thought for the Day – 3 September – The Memorial of Blessed Brigida of Jesus Morello (1610-1679)

Ad Jesum per Maria – to Jesus through Mary

Blessed Brigida loved Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, with tenderness.   She venerated Her and instilled in her daughters the truth that Mary is the most faithful follower of Her Son, Jesus.   Loving and imitating Her, is the shortest way to holiness – (Ad Jesum per Maria – to Jesus through Mary).   Constant union with God would be possible by devotion to the Eucharist, to the Word of God, wholly abandoned to His Providence.   Such was the spirituality of Brigida who, with filial devotion, could exclaim: “Confidence, Confidence! A large heart! God is a Father and He will never abandon us!”

The Ursuline Anthem:

Mary, Mother of God,
Immaculate Mother of God,
We see in you the pattern
of our mission and our life.
God’s will was your search,
God’s will was your joy.
Our joy also, shall be in surrender to His will.
Give us a heart like yours,
a heart that always loves.
A heart that’s never hardened,
a humble, noble heart.
A heart that lives for Jesus
and all for whom Jesus loves,
A heart whose sole desire
is fixed on loving, as Jesus loves.

Text and music by Fr JB Fernandez, SJ

St John Paul II said at the General Chapter of the Ursuline Sisters of Mary Immaculate on 27 August 2003:

“The secret of the apostolate consists precisely in knowing that “we have not loved God, but that He has loved us and has sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins” (I Jn 4: 10).3. Contemplating Christ crucified and risen – the heart of the spirituality of Bl Brigida Morello – will expand the horizons of your dedication to the poor, to the sick and to those reduced to the most stringent material and spiritual need, with particular attention to women and to youth.   Thus, you will faithfully safeguard the inheritance the blessed Foundress has left you, her spiritual daughters and you will be ready to adapt the charismatic inspiration to our time, stressing above all who you “are” before what you “do”.

Blessed Brigida of Jesus Morello, Pray for Us!bl brigida of jesus pray for us 3 sept 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 25 August – Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Holy Eucharist

Our Morning Offering – 25 August – 21st Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year C

Prayer of Thanksgiving for
the Holy Eucharist
By St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for Your redeeming sacrifice,
the only hope of men!
O Christ the Saviour,
we give You thanks
for the eucharistic breaking of bread,
which You instituted
in order to really meet Your brothers,
in the course of the centuries!
O Christ the Saviour,
put into the hearts of the baptised,
the desire to offer themselves with You
and to commit themselves,
for the salvation of their brothers!
You, who are really present
in the Blessed Sacrament,
spread Your blessings
abundantly on Your people


Thought for the Day – 11 August – “ Blessed be You, O God, for having created me. ”

Thought for the Day – 11 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 12:32–48 and the Memorial of St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

St Pope John Paul II said of Saint Clare –
“her whole life was a Eucharist because …
from her cloister she raised up a continual ‘thanksgiving’ to God
in her prayer, praise, supplication, intercession, weeping, offering and sacrifice.

She accepted everything from the Father in union with the infinite ‘thanks’ of the only begotten Son.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)her-whole-life-was-a-eucharist-st-john-paul-11-aug-2017, 2018 and 2019-no 2

“ Blessed be You, O God, for having created me. ”

St Clare’s Last Wordsblessed-be-you-o-god-st-clare-11-aug-2017,2018,2019

I Come, O Lord
By St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

I come, O Lord,
unto Thy sanctuary
to see the life and food of my soul.
As I hope in Thee, O Lord,
inspire me with that confidence
which brings me to Thy holy mountain.
Permit me, Divine Jesus,
to come closer to Thee,
that my whole soul may do homage
to the greatness of Thy majesty,
that my heart,
with its tenderest affections,
may acknowledge Thy infinite love,
that my memory may dwell
on the admirable mysteries
here renewed every day
and that the sacrifice,
of my whole being,
may accompany Thine.
Ameni-come-o-lord-into-thy-sanctuary-st-clare-11-aug-2018 and in thought for the day 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 28 July – Saint Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 28 July – Saint Pedro Poveda Castroverde (1874-1936) (aged 61) Priest and Martyr, Founder of the Teresian Association, Teacher, apostle of charity and prayer, promoter of the woman’s role in society especially via Christian female education – born on 3 December 1874 at Linares, Jaen, Spain and died by firing squad on 28 July 1936 at Madrid, Spain.header - st. pedro poveda.jpg

Pedro Poveda was born on 3 December 1874 in Linares, Spain, to a solidly Christian family.   From early childhood he felt called to become a priest and in 1889 he entered the diocesan seminary in Jaén.   Because of financial difficulties, he transferred to the Diocese of Guadix, Grenada, where the Bishop had offered him a scholarship  . He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1897.

After ordination Fr Poveda taught in the seminary and served the diocese in many other ways.   In 1900 he completed a licentiate in theology at Seville and later began an apostolate among the “cave-dwellers”, those who lived in dugouts in the hills outside of Guadix.   Here he built a school for children and workshops for adults that provided professional training and Christian formation.   He was misunderstood, however, and had to leave this special ministry.pedro-poveda-castroverde-809722b2-f0a7-4093-924d-3aefba36b3b-resize-750

So Fr Poveda headed for the solitude of Covadonga, in the mountains of northern Spain, where, in 1906, he was appointed canon of the Basilica of Covadonga in Asturias, where the Blessed Virgin is venerated under this title.

In Covadonga, he devoted much time to prayer and reflected particularly on the problem of education in Spain. He understood that the Lord was inviting him to open new paths in the Church and in the society of his time  . He began to published articles and pamphlets on the question of the professional formation of teachers and was also in contact with other persons who felt the need for the presence and action of Christians in society.

The opposition between faith and science was becoming more and more evident in the culture of his day, which carried with it a de-Christianisation of the public education system.   Fr Poveda, after his apostolic experience in Guadix and his years of reflection and prayer in Covadonga, understood better the need to provide Christian formation for teachers who work in the State school system.   He believed that a solid faith and professional qualifications were both needed to keep the Gospel message alive.

In 1911 he opened the St Teresa of Avila Academy as a residence for students and the starting point of the Teresian Association, dedicated to the spiritual and pastoral formation of teachers.   The following year he joined the Apostolic Union of Secular Priests and started new pedagogical centres and some periodicals.pedro-poveda-castroverde-9a9e56f3-6e0a-47b4-a269-9a2e2c16293-resize-750

To further his work Fr Poveda moved to Jaén, where he taught in the seminary, served as spiritual director of Los Operarios Catechetical Centre and worked at the Teacher Training College.    In 1914 he opened Spain’s first university residence for women in Madrid.

Meanwhile, the Teresian Association continued to develop, spreading to various groups and areas and leading to its ecclesiastical and civil approval in Jaén.   Fr Poveda offered the Teresian Association as a new path of Christian life and evangelisation created with- and for- lay persons, forming them to be witnesses of the Gospel, according to his expression:   “To believe firmly and to keep silent is not possible”.   He wanted the adherents to be ready to give their lives for the faith and in fact, expressed the same desire himself.

In 1921 Fr Poveda moved to Madrid and was appointed a chaplain of the Royal Palace.   A year later he was named a member of the Central Board against illiteracy but most of his time was devoted to the Teresian Association, which received papal approval in 1924. Although he did not direct the Association, as its founder, he worked to consolidate and promote the various dimensions of its mission as it spread to Chile and later to Italy (1934).

It was during the religious persecution in Spain that Fr Poveda would be called to the martyrdom he so desired.  At dawn on 28 July 1936, when told by his persecutors to identify himself, he said, “I am a priest of Christ”.   He died a martyr for the faith and was Beatified on 10 October 1993 and Canonised on 4 May 2003 by St Pope John Paul II…Vatican.vaSan-Pedro-Poveda-©-Institución-Teresiana.jpg

Father Poveda was deeply aware of both the need for education in his country, and for qualified teachers to provide it.   He also saw this as an important role for women. In 1911 Pedro founded 1911 the St Teresa of Avila Academy in Oviedo for those ladies studying to become teachers.   He named it after St Teresa of Avila, a woman of learning, a doctor of the Church and a teacher of prayer.   He named his organisation the Teresian Association.   Its aim is to invite men and women to work for a social and human transformation, in accordance with Gospel values, from the platform of their own professions, especially those related to the fields of education and culture.   The early members of the Association were women involved in all levels of education, from elementary to the provision of higher education for women.   Additional academies were established in many other cities of Spain.  This association has schools around the world, including Brazil, Ireland, Philippines, India and in most South American capitals.

st pedro hq teresian i1024px-Palacete_de_José_Goyanes_Capdevila_(Madrid)_01
The Teresian Headquartes in Madrid

In 1914 he opened Spain’s first university residence for women in Madrid.   Residences for women were opened in those places that have a university.

In 1924, Pope Pius XI approved the Teresian Association as a “pious union of the faithful” and later spread to Chile and Italy.   In 1951 the Teresian Association was granted the status of Secular Institute.   On 10th July 1990, St Pope John Paul II approved that it reverts back to its original identity as being an Association of the Faithful.   The Teresian Association is registered in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life of the Holy See.   It is active in thirty countries.   Its objective is the human promotion of individuals and the transformation of unjust structures by means of an education and culture imparted from a Christian perspective.

A film was made of his life in 2016.poveda

“St Pedro Poveda, grasping the importance of the role of education in society, undertook an important humanitarian and educational task among the marginalised and the needy.   He was … a teacher of the Christian life and of the relationship between faith and knowledge, convinced that Christians must bring essential values and commitment to building a world that is more just and mutually supportive.   His life ended with the crown of martyrdom.” … Homily of St Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his Apostolic Journey to Spain, 4 May 2003


Thought for the Day – 23 July – Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

Thought for the Day – 23 July – The Memorial of Blessed Vasil’ Hopko (1904-1976) Bishop and Martyr

Excerpt from St Pope John Paul’s Beatification Homily
Bratislava, Esplanade of Petržalka
Sunday, 14 September 2003

“O Crux, ave spes unica!   Hail, O Cross, our only hope!”

On the Cross, human misery and divine mercy meet.   The adoration of this unlimited mercy, is for man, the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.

The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God.   By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted.   O Crux, ave spes unica!

O Crux, ave spes unica!   Saint Paul speaks of the same theme in the letter to the Ephesians which we have just heard.   Not only did Christ Jesus become man, in everything similar to human beings but He took on the condition of a servant and humbled Himself even more, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Phil 2:6-8).

Yes, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16).   We admire – overwhelmed and gratified – the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:18-19)!   O Crux, ave spes unica!

4. Certainly, it was meditation on this great and wonderful mystery that sustained Blessed Bishop Vasil’ Hopko and Blessed Sister Zdenka Schelingová in their choice of the consecrated life and, especially, in the sufferings endured, during their terrible imprisonment.

Both shine before us as radiant examples of faithfulness, in times of harsh and ruthless religious persecution.   Bishop Vasil’ never repudiated his attachment to the Catholic Church and to the Pope.   Sister Zdenka did not hesitate to risk her life so as to assist God’s ministers.

Both faced up to an unjust trial and an ignoble condemnation, to torture, humiliation, solitude, death.   And so the Cross became for them, the way that led them to life, a source of fortitude and hope, a proof of love for God and man.   O Crux, ave spes unica!

Blessed Vasil’ Hopko, Pray for Us!BL VASIL HOPKO PRAY FOR US 23 JULY 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 10 July – Open our hearts

Thought for the Day – 10 July – Wednesday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Matthew 10:1–7

“Jesus sent these Men on Mission as the Twelve”

Saint John-Paul II (1920-2005)
Pope from 1978 to 2005

Prayer for Vocations,
35th World Day of Vocations,
3 May 1998

Spirit of eternal Love,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
we thank You for all the vocations
to be apostles and saints
that have made the Church fruitful.
Continue Your work, we beg You.
Remember the moment when, on Pentecost,
You came down on the Apostles united in prayer
together with Mary, the mother of Jesus
and look at Your Church, which today
has a special need for holy priests,
for faithful and authorised witnesses of Your grace,
which needs consecrated men and women
who radiate the joy of those who live only for the Father,
of those who make their own.
the mission and offering of Christ,
of those who build the new world in love.

Holy Spirit, eternal Source of joy and peace,
You open our hearts and minds to the divine call,
You make effective every surge
towards the good, towards truth, towards love.
Your inexpressible groanings
rise up to the Father from the heart of the Church
that is suffering and struggling for the Gospel.
Open the hearts and minds of young men and women,
so that a new flowering of holy vocations
might show forth the fidelity of Your love,
and that all might know Christ,
the true light who came into the world
to give every human being
the assured hope of eternal life.

Mary, Mater Ecclesiae, Pray for us!mary mater ecclesiae pray for 10 july 2019

Apostles of Christ, Pray for the Church!apostles of christ pray for us 10 july 2019


Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – May we never forget Your Presence.

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July –  The Memorial of Blessed Peter Vigne (1670-1740)

“Jesus, so ardently loved,
would that You were known everywhere,
so that the world would glorify You,
who wish to remain hidden
under the appearance of bread and wine
until the end of time.”jesus so ardently loved - bl peter vigne - 8 july 2019.jpg

“Lord, give me a love
which is ever eager to live
as You would have me live.
May I always wish to glorify You
and never forget Your Presence.”

Blessed Peter Vigne (1670-1740)

Apostle of Eucharistic Adorationlord give me a love - never forget your presence - bl peter vigne 8 july 2019.jpg

“Contemplating Christ present in the Eucharist and the saving Passion,
Fr Peter Vigne was led to be a true disciple and a faithful missionary
of the Church.
May his example give the faithful,
the desire to draw daring for the mission
from the love of the Eucharist
and from the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament!”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Homily on the Beatification of Blessed Peter Vigne,
Sunday, 3 October 2004contemplating christ present in the eucharist - st john paul on bl peter vigne 8 july 2019.jpg

Posted in PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 4 July – ‘…A life lived in Christ’s Spirit..’

Thought for the Day – 4 July – Thursday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati OP (1901-1925) “Man of the Eight Beatitudes”

Pier Giorgio Frassati smiled and laughed so freely that he was called “an explosion of joy.”   He whistled and sang loudly and hopelessly out of tune.   He loved playful teasing and practical jokes.   In his early 20’s, he was the picture of strength and health, leading groups of friends into the Alps to scale mountain peaks.

His ready laughter and adventurous spirit were fountains that sprang from a well of holiness.   Pier Giorgio was so filled with virtue, that Saint John Paul II, who beatified him in 1990, called him the “Man of the Beatitudes.”   Joy of life and love of God coursed readily through his veins.   Could anyone who knew him in the sunshine of his youth, in the early twentieth century in Turin, Italy, have believed that he would die before the age of 25?

“At an age in which the passions bubble in the hearts of young people and threaten to break all bounds, Pier Giorgio concentrated his vital forces and kept them in balance.
Day by day, in front of God and men, he learned to conquer himself and to master himself. It would have to be said that, without realising it, he was preparing for leadership, for it is true that, in order to know how to lead the others, first of all one must know how to lead oneself.
The designs of God are incomprehensible, because He sees things from so much higher and so much further than we – both in general and in particular.
But it is permissible to think that, by calling to Himself Pier Giorgio, in the moment in which so many had placed their hopes in him, God intends that his unexpected death, which has caught us unawares, may put in relief, the beauty of his life and that it may attract the attention of you, the young people who will be able to take of inspiration from it.”

Father Martin Stanislaus Gillet, OP, Master-General of the Order of the Friars Preachers, and the man who enrolled Pier Giorgio into the Dominicans

“By his example, he proclaims that a life lived in Christ’s Spirit, the Spirit of the Beatitudes, is “blessed” and that, only the person who becomes a “man or woman of the Beatitudes” can succeed in communicating love and peace to others.
He repeats that it is really worth giving up everything to serve the Lord.
He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone and that, only the revolution of charity, can enkindle the hope of a better future in the hearts of people.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005), during the beatification of Blessed Pier

Prayer to Walk the Path of the Beatitudes
By Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini (1924-2011)
Archbishop of Turin

O Father,
You gave to the young Pier Giorgio Frassati
the joy of meeting Christ
and of living his faith
in the service of the poor and the sick,
through his intercession,
may we, too, walk the Path of the Beatitudes
and follow the example of his generosity,
spreading the spirit of the Gospel in society.
Through Christ our Lord,

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
“Man of the Eight Beatitudes”
Pray for Us!bl pier giorgio frassati man of the 8 beatitudes pray for us 4 july 2019.jpg



O merciful God,
Who through the perils of the world
deigned to preserve by Your grace
Your servant the blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
pure of heart and ardent of charity,
listen, we ask You, to our prayers, and
if it is in Your designs that he be glorified by the Church,
show us Your will,
granting us the graces we ask of You,
through his intercession,
by the merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.


Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – Love to the point of sacrifice

Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist Year C, Gospel: Luke 1:57–66 and the Memorial of St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963) “Mother Lupuita”

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the-true-secret-of-love-is-this-st-peter-julian-eymard-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life.
Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)
(24 June 2001)look-today-to-john-st-john-paul-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“With deep faith, unlimited hope
and great love for Christ, Mother “Lupita”
sought her own sanctification,
beginning with love for the Heart of Christ
and fidelity to the Church.
In this way she lived the motto
which she left to her daughters:
“Charity to the point of sacrifice
and perseverance until death”.

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

On the Beatification of
St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)
“Mother Lupuita”charity to the point of sacrifice - st maria guadalupe mother lupita - 24 june 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 17 June – Love the Holy Eucharist

Thought for the Day – 17 June – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant OCSO (1878-1903)

Fr Joseph-Marie always put his trust in God, in contemplation of the mystery of the Passion and in communion with Christ present in the Eucharist.

Thus, he was imbued with love for God and abandoned himself to Him, “the only true happiness on earth”, detaching himself from worldly goods in the silence of the Trappist monastery. In the midst of trials, his eyes fixed on Christ, he offered up his sufferings for the Lord and for the Church.

May our contemporaries, especially contemplatives and the sick, discover, following his example, the mystery of prayer, which raises the world to God and gives strength in trial!”…St John Paul II (1920-2005) Beatification Homily, Sunday, 3 October 2004

‘The Eucharist is the Saviour Himself, wholly giving Himself to men, His Heart is pierced on the Cross and then tenderly gathers in all those who trust in Him.’

Blessed Joseph-Marie Cassant, Pray for Us!the euchaarist is the saviour himself - bl joseph marie cassant 17 june 2019.jpg

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.

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


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:

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.


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.


One Minute Reflection – 24 April – “Stay with us”

One Minute Reflection – 24 April – Wednesday of Easter week, Gospel: Luke 24:13–35 and the Memorial of St Benedict Menni (1841-1914)

“Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.”   So he went in to stay with them....Luke 24:29

REFLECTION – “When the disciples on the way to Emmaus asked Jesus to stay “with” them, He responded by giving them a much greater gift, through the Sacrament of the Eucharist He found a way to stay “in” them.
Receiving the Eucharist means entering into a profound communion with Jesus.   “Abide in me, and I in you” (Jn 15:4).   This relationship of profound and mutual “abiding” enables us to have a certain foretaste of heaven on earth.   Is this not the greatest of human yearnings?   Is this not what God had in mind when He brought about in history His plan of salvation?   God has placed in human hearts a “hunger” for His word (cf. Am 8:11), a hunger which will be satisfied only by full union with Him.   Eucharistic communion was given, so that we might be “sated” with God here on earth, in expectation of our complete fulfilment in heaven.
This special closeness which comes about in Eucharistic “communion” cannot be adequately understood or fully experienced apart from ecclesial communion…   The Church is the Body of Christ – we walk “with Christ” to the extent that we are in relationship “with his body”. Christ provided for the creation and growth of this unity, by the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.   And He Himself, constantly builds it up by His Eucharistic presence.   It is the one Eucharistic bread which makes us one body.   As the Apostle Paul states:  “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1Cor 10:17)…Saint John Paul II (1920-2005) – Apostolic Letter “ Mane nobiscum Domine ” §19-20luke 24 29 - stay with us - when the disciples on the way to emmaus - st john paul 24 april 2019 - wed easter octave.jpg

PRAYER – Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.   You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, so that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my life and without You, I am without fervour.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my light and without you, I am in darkness.
Stay with me Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You…. St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) (Excerpt)  
And grant holy Father, that the prayers of St Benedict Menni, may assist us on our way. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, benedict menni pray for us 24 april 2019.jpg

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

Quote of the Day – 8 April – “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts.”

Quote of the Day – 8 April – Monday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Augustus Czartoryski SDB (1858-1893)

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts. My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord…. One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” …Psalm 84[83]: 2, 11

“Blessed Augusto Czartoryski wrote these words of the Psalm, his motto of life, on the holy card of his first Mass.   In them is contained the rapture of a man who, following the voice of the call, discovers the beauty of the ministerial priesthood.   In them resounds the echo of the different choices that the person who is discerning God’s will and wishes to fulfil it must make. Augustus Czartoryski, a young prince, carefully prepared an effective method to discern the divine plan.   In prayer, he presented to God all questions and deep perplexities and then in the spirit of obedience he followed the counsel given by his spiritual guides.   In this way he came to understand his vocation and to take up the life of poverty to serve the “least”.   The same method enabled him throughout the course of his life to make decisions, so that today we can say that he accomplished the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way.   I would like to leave this example of holiness especially to young people, who today search out the way to decipher God’s will relating to their own lives and desire to faithfully forge ahead each day according to the divine word.   My dear young friends, learn from Blessed Augustus to ask ardently in prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit and wise guides, so that you may understand the divine plan in your lives and are able to walk constantly on the path of holiness.”…St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of Blessed Augustus on Sunday, 25 April 2004bl-augustus-czartoryski-wrote-these-words-st-john-paul-8-april-2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896) Priest, Apostle of the Poor and Founder of the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici and the Ursuline Sisters of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of which orders he is the zefirino.jpg

Blessed Zefirino Agostini was born in Verona, Italy on 24 September 1813.   He was the oldest son of his parents, his father was a physician, who died when Zefirino was very young.

Blessed Zefirino commenced his studies for the priesthood at the age of eighteen and was Ordained on 11 March 1837.    He was then and was assigned to a very poor parish in Verona.   There he established an after-school programs for girls, religious education for mothers and education for women.

He began a devotion to Saint Angela Merici for the female parishioners and founded the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici whose rule was approved by Bishop Ricabona in 1856.

On All Souls Day of that same year, he opened his first charitable school of poor girls.  In 1860, local women who worked in the school chose community life and Father Agostini prepared the first rule for the community and on 24 September 1869, the first 12 Ursulines made their profession.   On 18 November 1869, they founded the Congregation of Ursulines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate.zefirino agostini

Father Agostini died on 6 April 1869 in Verona, Italy of natural causes.   His order received diocesan approval on 24 June 1923 while the papal decree of praise of Pope Pius XI was issued on 14 March 1932 and full papal approval for the institute came on 3 April 1940 from Pope Pius XII during World War II.   The order now operates in places such as Switzerland and Benin and as of 2005 has 628 religious in 78 houses.

He was Beatified on 25 October 1998 by St Pope John Paul II, after approval of the required miracle.   At the Beatification St John Paul said:

“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength” (2 Tm 4:17).

“These words of the Apostle to Timothy certainly apply to Fr Zefirino Agostino, who never lost heart despite countless difficulties.   He stands before us today as a humble, steadfast witness to the Gospel in the latter half of the 19th century, a fruitful period for the Church in Verona.   His faith was steadfast, his charitable work effective and ardent was the priestly spirit that distinguished him.

The love of the Lord spurred him in his apostolate to the poor, especially in the Christian education of girls, particularly the most needy.   He understood well the important role women play in the rehabilitation of society by teaching the values of freedom, honesty and charity.

He advised the Ursulines, his spiritual daughters:  “Poor girls, let them be the favourite object of your care and attention.   Awaken their minds, teach their hearts virtue and save their souls from malignant contact with the wicked world” (Scritti alle Orsoline, 289).   May his example strongly encourage those who honour him today as blessed and invoke him as their protector.”