Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 16 February – May we all become Sacramentini!

Thought for the Day – 16 February – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph Allamano (1851–1926) – Founder of the Consolata Missionaries and Consolata Missionary Sisters and of World Mission Sunday

20 October 2019 will mark the 93rd World Mission Sunday and this year, the Holy Father has proclaimed October as as ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ to be marked and celebrated in the whole Church throughout the world and entrusted the mission of the Church in the world especially to St Pope John Paul II, as Pope Francis made the announcement he said – “On the day of the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II, missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.’

The first World Mission Day was celebrated in October 1926, eight months after the death of Blessed Joseph Allamano.   This is not a simple coincidence because Joseph Allamano dedicated a great deal of his time and influence during the last years of his life, to the effort of creating awareness in the Church, about the need for a World Mission Day to be celebrated once a year by all Catholics.

This was in line with his vision that Missions and missionary work were the duty of every baptised believer, each one according to his abilities and possibilities but none exempted.   Allamano did not see here on earth the fulfilment of his efforts for the creation of this day of prayer and commitment but witnessed it from heaven.

He can be compared to Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622), a saint he especially admired and proposed as Patron to his Missionaries, who in his time insisted tirelessly on the need to create in Rome a Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples and died a martyr of the faith in April 1622, three months before the creation of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide (for the Propagation of the Faith).

For Allamano it was not simply a question of awakening the missionary zeal in others, he always looked at his faith, whatever the circumstances, as a faith to be shared with the entire world.   He would subscribe especially to the Pope Benedict’s message statement that “every Christian community is born missionary and it is exactly on the basis of the courage to evangelise that the love of believers for their Lord is measured”. (Pope Benedict’s Message 2001 – To All the Churches of the World)

The sources of Joseph’s personal tenderness for all, for the whole world, were Our Lady Consolata and the Eucharist.   The love towards our Mother Mary and the Eucharist made him speak words belonging uniquely to him.   He became progressive resulting in marked changes in his attitude and behaviour  . It was a life shaped by Mary and Jesus. Familiar to us, the sons and daughters of Allamano, are these very words, ‘First Saints and then Missionaries.’

For sure, Blessed Allamano was an excellent father in human relationships.   Who was the source of his inspiration and wisdom?   Indeed, it is only from the Eucharist that Joseph Allamano found God in His essence, the pure love.   Therefore, Allamano became a witness of the pure love, Jesus.   Ultimately, he was inspired to send missionaries to be ‘SACRAMENTINI’ as he would say.   He sent them to ‘love the Eucharist’.

My prayer, is that Blessed Joseph Allamano, priest and missionary for the entire world, may bless all our parish communities and all the Catholics of the world, that our zeal and determination may be increased, to make our treasure, the Gospel and the Holy Eucharist, our Lord and Saviour, available to all.

May we all become Sacramentini!  Amenbl joseph allamano pray for us no 2 - 16 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Message of the Holy Father for the 27th World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2019

Message of the Holy Father

“You received without payment, give without payment” (Mt 10:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).   These are the words spoken by Jesus when sending forth his apostles to spread the Gospel, so that his Kingdom might grow through acts of gratuitous love.

On the XXVII World Day of the Sick, to be solemnly celebrated on 11 February 2019 in Calcutta, India, the Church – as a Mother to all her children, especially the infirm – reminds us that generous gestures like that of the Good Samaritan are the most credible means of evangelisation.   Caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved.

Life is a gift from God.   Saint Paul asks: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7).   Precisely because it is a gift, human life cannot be reduced to a personal possession or private property, especially in the light of medical and biotechnological advances that could tempt us to manipulate the “tree of life” (cf. Gen 3:24).

Amid today’s culture of waste and indifference, I would point out that “gift” is the category best suited to challenging today’s individualism and social fragmentation, while at the same time promoting new relationships and means of cooperation between peoples and cultures.   Dialogue – the premise of gift – creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.   “Gift” means more than simply giving presents – it involves the giving of oneself and not simply a transfer of property or objects.   “Gift” differs from gift-giving because it entails the free gift of self and the desire to build a relationship.   It is the acknowledgement of others, which is the basis of society.   “Gift” is a reflection of God’s love, which culminates in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Each of us is poor, needy and destitute.   When we are born, we require the care of our parents to survive and at every stage of life we remain in some way dependent on the help of others.   We will always be conscious of our limitations, as “creatures”, before other individuals and situations.   A frank acknowledgement of this truth keeps us humble and spurs us to practice solidarity as an essential virtue in life.

Such an acknowledgement leads us to act responsibly to promote a good that is both personal and communal.   Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.   We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts, we cannot overcome our limitations.   So we should not fear, then, to acknowledge those limitations, for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so, in our poverty, He comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining.

In light of the solemn celebration in India, I would like to recall, with joy and admiration, the figure of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta – a model of charity who made visible God’s love for the poor and sick.   As I noted at her canonisation, “Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, of those unborn and those abandoned and discarded… She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created.   For Mother Teresa, mercy was the ‘salt’ which gave flavour to her work, it was the ‘light’ that shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.   Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor” (Homily, 4 September 2016).

Saint Mother Teresa helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity or religion.   Her example continues to guide us by opening up horizons of joy and hope for all those in need of understanding and tender love, and especially for those who suffer.

Generosity inspires and sustains the work of the many volunteers who are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan.   I express my gratitude and offer my encouragement to all those associations of volunteers committed to the transport and assistance of patients, and all those that organise the donation of blood, tissues and organs.   One particular area in which your presence expresses the Church’s care and concern is that of advocacy for the rights of the sick, especially those affected by pathologies requiring special assistance.   I would also mention the many efforts made to raise awareness and encourage prevention.   Your volunteer work in medical facilities and in homes, which ranges from providing health care to offering spiritual support, is of primary importance.   Countless persons who are ill, alone, elderly or frail in mind or body benefit from these services.   I urge you to continue to be a sign of the Church’s presence in a secularised world.   A volunteer is a good friend with whom one can share personal thoughts and emotions, by their patient listening, volunteers make it possible for the sick to pass from being passive recipients of care to being active participants in a relationship that can restore hope and inspire openness to further treatment.   Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous.   It is also a means of making health care more humane.

A spirit of generosity ought especially to inspire Catholic healthcare institutions, whether in the more developed or the poorer areas of our world, since they carry out their activity in the light of the Gospel.   Catholic facilities are called to give an example of self-giving, generosity and solidarity in response to the mentality of profit at any price, of giving for the sake of getting and of exploitation over concern for people.

I urge everyone, at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and of gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste.   Catholic healthcare institutions must not fall into the trap of simply running a business, they must be concerned with personal care more than profit.   We know that health is relational, dependent on interaction with others and requiring trust, friendship and solidarity.   It is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully, only when it is shared.   The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian.

I entrust all of you to Mary, Salus Infirmorum.   May she help us to share the gifts we have received in the spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance, to live as brothers and sisters attentive to each other’s needs, to give from a generous heart and to learn the joy of selfless service to others.   With great affection, I assure you of my closeness in prayer, and to all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Vatican City, 25 November 2018
Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Francis27th world day of prayer 11 feb 2019 pope francis message.jpg

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL MESSAGES, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country,
they laid the sick in the market places
and besought him that they might touch
even the fringe of his garment
and as many as touched it were made well...Mark 6:56and wherever he came - mark 6 56 11 feb 2019 world day of the sick.jpg

REFLECTION – “Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.   We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts, we cannot overcome our limitations.   So we should not fear, then, to acknowledge those limitations, for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so, in our poverty, He comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining.”…Pope Francis, Message for the 27th World Day of the Sick27th world day of the sick - only if we see ourselves - pope francis 11 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities. Grant, we pray that our lives may be gifts to all those who cry out in pain. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever, amen.our-lady-of-lourdes-pray-for-us-11-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER, YouTube Videos

Our Lady of Lourdes (11 February and 16 July of 1858) – (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Lourdes: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-memorial-of-the-apparitions-of-our-lady-of-lourdes-our-lady-of-the-immaculate-conception-and-the-26th-world-day-of-prayer-for-the-sick/

27th World Day of the Sick *2019
and the 6th Anniversary of the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI (his health was the major cause of his resignation)

St Ampelius of Africa
St Ardanus of Tournus
Bl Bartholomew of Olmedo
St Caedmon (Died c 680)

St Calocerus of Ravenna
St Castrensis of Capua
St Dativus the Senator
Bl Elizabeth Salviati
St Etchen of Clonfad
St Eutropius of Adrianopolis
St Felix the Senator
St Gobnata
St Pope Gregory II
Bl Gaudencia Benavides Herrero
St Helwisa
St Jonas of Muchon
St Lucius of Adrianople
St Pope Paschal I
St Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero
St Saturninus of Africa
St Secundus of Puglia
St Severinus of Agaunum
St Soter of Rome
St Theodora the Empress
Bl Tobias Francisco Borrás Román

Guardians of the Holy Scriptures: Also known as –
• Anonymous Martyrs in Africa
• Martyrs of Africa
• Martyrs of Numidia
• Martyrs of the Holy Books
A large number of Christians tortured and murdered in Numidia (part of modern Algeria) during the persecutions of Diocletian, but whose names and individual stories have not survived. They were ordered to surrender their sacred books to be burned. They refused. Martyrs. c 303 in Numidia.

Martyrs of Africa – 5 saints: A group of five Christians who were martyred together; we know nothing else but the names of four of them – Cyriacus, Oecominius, Peleonicus and Zoticus.

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, SAINT of the DAY, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

“Together against human trafficking”

The FIFTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons under the Patronage of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) – 8 February 2019

Theme for 2019:

“Together against human trafficking”

We pray for the generous reception of victims of trafficking in persons, forced prostitution and violence.

Pope Francis – February 2019

“Even if we try to ignore it, slavery is not something other times.
Faced with this tragic reality, no one can wash his hands if he does not want to be, in some way, an accomplice of this crime against humanity.
We can not ignore that slavery exists in the world today, much or perhaps more than before.
We pray for the generous reception of victims of trafficking in persons, forced prostitution and violence.”

Pope Francis is strongly committed to the fight against this scourge in its different expressions.   Recently, in his Angelus on 20 January, he prayed for the victims of human traffickers and also, for those responsible, allowing silence to highlight this.

It is a drama that has been in the heart and in prayer for a long time.   You will remember the return flight from Ireland in July 2018.   He spoke about human trafficking, organised by unscrupulous traffickers, with all his horror.   He had already asked us to organise this month of prayer but just after this trip, during a meeting, he insistently asked that his World Prayer Network truly pray for the men, women and children who live in these situations of slavery.   Faced with this human tragedy, faced with so much suffering, helplessness and anguish of men, women and children who are victims of human trafficking and slavery, often in the context of migration, it is a cry that comes from the heart, it is the cry of prayer to the Lord.   For Francis they are not numbers, they are names, faces, concrete stories, they are our brothers and sisters in humanity.   We can not be silent if we do not wish to sell our soul to the devil.   This is why we are here.   For this reason we have prepared with the Holy Father his monthly video on this drama.   Listen to the Pope’s strong words in this video:  “Faced with this tragic reality, no-one can wash his hands of it he does not want to be, in some way, an accomplice to this crime against humanity”…Fr Frédéric Fornos, SJ (Pope’s Prayer Network)

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita, help those blinded by greed and lust who trample the human rights and dignity of their brothers and sisters.   Help them to break out of their hateful chains and to become fully human again.

Dear Saint Josephine Bakhita, help us when we feel tempted to look away and not to help, to reject others or even to abuse them.

O Loving God, let your merciful light flood into the darkest shadows.   Bring salvation to the innocents who suffer under sinful abuse.   Bring conversion to the utterly lost souls who hold them captive and exploit them.

Let us Pray:

Daily Prayer to End Human Trafficking

God of goodness and mercy, 
Rewarder of the humble, 
You blessed St Josephine Bakhita of Sudan 
with charity and patience. 
May her prayers help us and her example 
inspire us to carry our cross 
and to love You always. 
Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom 
and love with which you filled St Josephine Bakhita, 
by serving You as she did.
May her prayers on behalf of those enslaved
bring awareness and an end to this evil practice.
May we too please You by our faith and actions,
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union
with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.second-prayer-to-end-human-trafficking-8 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS for VOCATIONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Thought for the Day – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life invites all the Church to reflect on the role of Consecrated Life within the Christian community.   Those who choose to live a consecrated life do so for the sake of the gospel.
Some Christian women and men respond to God’s call to become followers of Jesus through profession of vows and a life dedicated to prayer and service.   They live out the consecrated life in different ways.   Religious sisters, nuns, brothers, religious priests and monks consecrate their lives through their profession of the evangelical vows and live as part of a community.   Secular institutes are another form of living the consecrated life as single people.   Those who become followers of Jesus through the consecrated life bless the Church.

And so, as we think about the many ways in which we are called to love in ordinary ways and do it extraordinarily well, let us not forget those women and men who have responded to God’s call to serve as a consecrated religious.   This day and Mass is dedicated to them throughout the world.   On this World Day for Consecrated Life, may the lives of consecrated women and men be blessed with God’s overwhelming grace of love!   May their lives inspire us to hear God’s vocational call.   May this tune be forever in our minds and transform our hearts to say boldly:

“Here I am, Lord, send me!”here i am lord send me world day consecrated life 2 feb 2019.jpg

LET US PRAY FOR ALL CONSECRATED MEN & WOMEN AND FOR VOCATIONS:

Loving God, You call all who believe in You
to grow perfect in love
by following in the footsteps
of Christ Your Son.
Call from among us more men and women
who will serve You as religious.
Open the hearts of many, raise up
faithful servants of the Gospel, dedicated,
holy priests, sisters, brothers and deacons,
who will spend themselves for Your people
and their needs.
Bless those who are serving now
with courage and perseverance.
Grant that many will be inspired by their
example and faith.
By their way of life, may they provide a convincing sign
of Your Kingdom for the Church and the whole world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amenprayer-for-the-consecrated-and-vocations-2 feb 20181.jpg

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, The WORD, WORLD DAYS of PRAYER

One Minute Reflection – 2 February – Today’s Gospel: Luke 2:22–40

One Minute Reflection – 2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Gospel: Luke 2:22–40 and the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to thy people Israel.”...Luke 2:29-32luke 2 29-30 lord now let thy servant - 2 feb 2019

REFLECTION – “Those who have met Jesus no longer fear anything.   We too can repeat the words of the elderly Simeon, he too was blessed by the encounter with Christ, after a lifetime spent in anticipation of this event:  “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Lk 2:29-30).   At that instant, at last, we will no longer need anything, we will no longer see in a confused way. We will no longer weep in vain, because all has passed, even the prophecies, even consciousness.   But not love – this endures.   Because “love never ends” (1 Cor 13:8).”…Pope Francis – General Audience, 25 October 2017we too can repeat the words of the elderly simeon - 2 feb 2019

PRAYER – May the Lord renew in you and in all consecrated people each day the joyful response to His freely given and faithful love.   Dear brothers and sisters, like lighted candles, always and everywhere shine with the love of Christ, Light of the world.   May Mary Most Holy, the consecrated Woman, help you to live to the full, your special vocation and mission in the Church for the world’s salvation.   And may we all follow our Lord in obedience. Amen!world-day-consecrated-life-2018-2 feb 2018.jpg