Posted in SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Saint of the Day – 18 August – Saint Macarius the Wonder-Worker (Died 850)-

Saint of the Day – 18 August – Saint Macarius the Wonder-Worker (Died 850) Monk, Abbot, Defender of Icons, miracle worker – Born in the 9th century Constantinople as Christopher and died on 18 August 850 on the island of Aphusia, Bithynia of natural causes.  St Macarius is also known as Christopher and St Macarius of Constantinople.

St Macarius’ legacy is one of working miracles and standing for truth even in the face of torture.

Macarius was born in the ninth century in Constantinople, originally named Christopher.   He took the name Macarius when he became a monk.monks.JPG

Eventually, he was selected as abbot of his monastery and became well-known for healing miracles, which is how he earned his title – St Macarius the Wonder-Worker. Crowds would flock to the monastery to seek cures.

St Macarius opposed the emperor’s orders to suppress icons in one of the great iconoclasm controversies.   The controversy over icons was a dispute that arose when some misinterpreted the Second Commandment, which forbids the worship of images. The Church has consistently insisted upon the orthodoxy of icons and other religious imagery as a consequence of the Incarnation – Jesus proved that God redeems all of creation and that all of creation can help mediate God’s presence to us.   Icons and religious imagery point our hearts and minds to God and remind us of holy figures, they are not themselves objects of veneration.

Macarius was imprisoned and tortured for defending the use of icons.   When the emperor died, the successor released him from prison and tried to win him over  . He rejected the new emperor as well and was exiled.   He died during this banishment.

The relics of St Macarius rest in the reliquary chapel in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame’s campus.

St Macarius, who suffered torture and exile for your defence of religious images—pray for us!

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 16 August – St Stephen’s letter to St Emeric

Thought for the Day – 16 August – Friday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and The Memorial of St Step  hen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

At the turn of the second millenniu  m, St Stephen succeeded his father as leader of the Magyars in Hungary.   Looking to strengthen his authority, he determined to consolidate the state and extend Christianity throughout the land.   In 1001 he arranged to have Pope Sylvester II name him king of Hungary.   The pope obliged.   As an additional sign of support, Sylvester had a special crown fashioned for Stephen that has become world famous.

Stephen extended his control over Hungary by restricting the power of the nobles. By creating dioceses and establishing monasteries, Stephen strengthened the church and positioned it for expansion. Politically, he aggressively used his power to establish Christianity as Hungary’s religion. He ruthlessly abolished pagan customs, outlawing adultery and blasphemy.   Stephen ordered everyone to marry, except religiou, and forbade marriages between Christians and pagans.

But Stephen had a kinder, gentler side.   Like St Louis IX, he made himself accessible to his people.   He also took personal concern for the poor  . He used to walk the streets in disguise so he could give alms to needy people.   Once he barely escaped when some beggars beat and robbed him.   But he refused to stop the practice.   Stephen was a family man.   In 1015 he had married Gisela, the sister of emperor St Henry II. The couple had one son, Emeric, whom Stephen groomed as his successor.   In the following letter to his son, Stephen lays out his vision of what a Christian monarch must be.  His counsel remains a letter to us all.   For this and your intercession, we bless and thank you St Stephen!

“My dearest son, if you desire to honour the royal crown, I advise, I counsel, I urge you above all things to maintain the Catholic and apostolic faith with such diligence and care that you may be an example for all those placed under you by God and that all the clergy may rightly call you a man of true Christian profession.   Failing to do this, you may be sure that you will not be called a Christian or a son of the Church.   Indeed, in the royal palace – after the faith itself – the Church holds second place, first propagated as she was by our head, Christ, then transplanted, firmly constituted and spread through the whole world by His members, the apostles and holy fathers.   And though she always produced fresh offspring, nevertheless in certain places she is regarded as ancient.

However, dearest son, even now in our kingdom, the Church is proclaimed as young and newly planted and for that reason, she needs more prudent and trustworthy guardians, lest a benefit which the divine mercy bestowed on us undeservedly, should be destroyed and annihilated, through your idleness, indolence or neglect.

My beloved son, delight of my heart, hope of your posterity, I pray, I command, that at every time and in everything, strengthened by your devotion to me, you may show favour not only to relations and kin, or to the most eminent, be they leaders or rich men or neighbours or fellow-countrymen but also to foreigners and to all who come to you. By fulfilling your duty in this way you will reach the highest state of happiness.   Be merciful to all who are suffering violence, keeping always in your heart the example of the Lord who said:  “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”   Be patient with everyone, not only with the powerful but also with the weak.be-merciful-to-all-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2018.jpg

Finally be strong, lest prosperity lift you up too much or adversity cast you down.   Be humble in this life, that God may raise you up in the next.   Be truly moderate and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.   Be gentle so that you may never oppose justice.   Be honourable so that you may never voluntarily, bring disgrace upon anyone. Be chaste so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust, like the pangs of death.be-humble-in-this-life-st-stephen-of-hungary-16-aug-2019.jpg

All these virtues I have noted above make up the royal crown and without them no one is fit to rule here on earth or attain to the heavenly kingdom.”

Sadly, Emeric died in a hunting accident, leaving Stephen no successor.

In 1038, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Stephen delivered his final words to leaders of the Church and state, telling them to protect and spread the Catholic faith.

To the Virgin Mary, the king directed one of his final prayers:
“To thee, O Queen of heaven
and to thy guardianship,
I commend the holy Church,
all the bishops and the clergy,
the whole kingdom, its rulers and inhabitants
but before all, I commend my soul to thy care.”

St Stephen of Hungary died on Aug. 15, 1038. He was buried alongside his son St Emeric and the two were Canonised together in 1083.

St Stephen the Great, King of Hungary, Pray for us!st-stephen-of-hungary-with prayer to mary pray-for-us-16-aug-2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The SIGN of the CROSS, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 8 July – In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Our Morning Offering – 8 July – Monday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed
when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amenin the name of the father son and holy spirit - st hilary - 8 july 2019.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized

Memorials of the Saints – 6 July

St Maria Goretti (1890-1902) (Optional Memorial)

About St Maria here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/saint-of-the-day-6-july-st-maria-goretti/

Bl Angela of Bohemia
Bl Augustin-Joseph Desgardin
Bl Christopher Solino
St Cyril of Thessaloniki
St Dominica of Campania
St Gervais
St Giusto of Condat
St Goar of Aquitaine
St Godelieve
Bl Maria Theresia Ledóchowska
St Monenna
Bl Nazaria Ignacia March y Mesa (1889-1943)To be Canonised on 14 October 2018, together with Blessed Pope Paul VI and Blessed Oscar Romero and others on 14 October 2018.
Her story:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/06/saint-of-the-day-6-july-blessed-sr-nazaria-of-saint-teresa-of-jesus-nazaria-ignacia-march-y-mesa-1889-1943/

St Noyala of Brittany
St Petrus Wang Zuolung
St Romulus of Fiesole (Died c 90) Martyr
St Saxburgh of Ely
St Sisoes the Great
Bl Suzanne Agathe de Loye
St Thomas Alfield
St Tranquillinus of Rome

Martyrs of Campania – 23 saints:   A group of 23 Christians arrested, tortured and then beheaded together in the later 3rd century by order of governor Rictiovarus in the persecutions of Diocletian. The names that have come down to us are – Antoninus, Arnosus, Capicus, Cutonius, Diodorus, Dion, Isidore, Lucia, Lucian, Rexius, Satyrus and Severinus.

Martyrs of Fiesole – 5 saints:   Five Christians martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Domitian – Carissimus, Crescentius, Dulcissimus, Marchisianus and Romulus. c 90 near Fiesole, Italy.

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, NOVENAS, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS, Uncategorized

Novena in honour of the Sacred Heart – Day Eight – 26 June

Novena to the Sacred Heart
Day Eight – 26 June

Eighth Day – Peace be with you!

Today’s Scripture
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’   They were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.   He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?   Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.   Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’…Luke 24: 36-39

Reflection for the Eighth Day
Peace; Look; Listen;  Go!   Jesus greets the apostles with that soothing word, ‘Shalom’ (Peace) – it means I wish you the fullness of well-being of mind and body and soul.   He then invites them to look at His hands and side.   He encourages them to listen to what the scriptures say about Him and then to go and preach the Good News that He is Risen!

Today’s Prayer
Lord, You see my poverty
and still You love me better than
I can love myself.
Supply my wants with Yourself,
according to Your mercy.
Help me to accept Your will
without seeking
to understand disappointments.
Help me to resign myself entirely
and absolutely to You.
Amen

Daily Invocation
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus, the needs of Your people,
open Your Sacred Heart in love for each of us.
You care for us when we are lost,
sympathise with us in loneliness
and comfort us in mourning.
You are closest to us, when we are weakest.
You love us most, when we love ourselves least,
You forgive us most, when we forgive ourselves least
and You call us to spread Your love
in whatever way we can.
Lord Jesus, Your Sacred Heart
is moved with compassion
when we are suffering,
when we need Your help
and when we pray for each other.
I ask You to listen to my prayer during this Novena
and grant what I ask.
—————————-
(Mention your intention silently.)
If what I ask is not for my own good
and the good of others,
grant me what is best,
that I may build up Your kingdom
of love in our world.
AmenDAY EIGHT- NOVENA SACRED HEART - 26 june 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MORNING Prayers, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The WORD, Uncategorized

Novena in honour of the Sacred Heart Day Four – 22 June

Novena to the Sacred Heart
Day Four – 22 June

Fourth Day – How do we look at each other?

Today’s Scripture
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions….Mark 10: 21-22

Reflection for the Fourth Day
A Dominican theologian once wrote, ‘A person is enlightened not when they get an idea but when someone looks at them’. How we look at another has tremendous consequences for self-esteem. The Sacred Heart looks at each one of us with deep love, understanding and compassion. We are called to look at others in the same way.

Today’s Prayer
Jesus, You looked at the rich young man with love
and yet he could not respond to Your call.
Help our prayer
to become our looking at You
looking at us
and smiling with love
so that we will not run
from the love that You offer.

Daily Invocation
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus, the needs of Your people,
open Your Sacred Heart in love for each of us.
You care for us when we are lost,
sympathise with us in loneliness
and comfort us in mourning.
You are closest to us when we are weakest.
You love us most, when we love ourselves least,
You forgive us most, when we forgive ourselves least
and You call us to spread Your love
in whatever way we can.
Lord Jesus, Your Sacred Heart
is moved with compassion
when we are suffering,
when we need Your help
and when we pray for each other.
I ask You to listen to my prayer during this Novena
and grant what I ask.
—————————-
(Mention your intention silently.)
If what I ask is not for my own good
and the good of others,
grant me what is best,
that I may build up Your kingdom
of love in our world.
AmenDAY FOUR - 22 JUNE - SACRED HEART NOVENA.jpg