Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Upon this rock …’ Matthew 16:13-19

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4Psalms 23:1-34,56Matthew 16:13-19

“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19

REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).
For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why divine grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others.
Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). (…)
But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because he had it in mind, to confer numerous people on him and he feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers.
He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – On the apostle Peter and the prophet Elijah

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, St PETER!

Our Morning Offering – 22 February – O Peter, who were Named by Christ!

Our Morning Offering – 22 February – Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter, who were Named by Christ!
By Stanbrook Abbey
For the Feast of the Chair of St Peter

O Peter who were named by Christ!
The guardian-shepherd of His flock,
Protect the Church He built on you
To stand unyielding, firm on rock.

Your weakness, Christ exchanged for strength,
You faltered but He made you true.
He knew the greatness of your love
And gave the keys of heav’n to you.

Unseen, eternal Trinity,
We give You glory, praise Your name,
Your love keeps faith with faithless men,
Through change and stress, You are the same.
Amen

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady of of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357), Feast of the Chair of St Peter and Memorials of the Saints – 22 February

Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) – 22 February:

The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues in the Lady Chapel at Saint Sauveur at Rennes

Our Lady of Rennes, in Britanny. The English, having made a mine to blow up the town, it is said that the candles in theCchapel were found miraculously lighted; the bells rung of themselves and the image of the Blessed Virgin was seen to stretch out its arms towards the middle of the Church, where the mine was, which, by that means was discovered. The people rushed to the spot and so, the plot was discovered and the entire town saved through the intervention of Our Lady of Rennes. Great was the rejoicing and deep the gratitude of the people.
Known today as the Basilica of Saint Sauveur in Rennes, it is located in the heart of historic Rennes, which was once the capital of Brittany. It is situated at the termination of Saint-Sauveur Street on which its façade faces. As the original Gothic Church partially collapsed in the year 1682, the Classical style Church that can currently be seen, was constructed beginning in 1703 and consecrated in August of 1719.
In the year 1793, during the French Revolution, the Church was made into a Temple of Reason and the miraculous statue of Our Lady was destroyed. It was not until 1802, after the end of the Terror, that the Church was opened again to worship. The Church was made into a minor Basilica in 1916 by Pope Benedict XV.

The Altar of Our Lady in the main body of the Basilica of Saint Sauveur at Rennes

According to popular tradition there was a famous miracle attributed to Our Lady at Rennes during the War of Succession at Brittany. As Rennes was being besieged by the invading English army under the Duke of Lancaster, the people of the city expected the English forces to mine their way under the walls into the City.
On the night of 8 February 1357, the Church bells began to ring of their own accord and the candles were spontaneously lit. The Statue of Our Lady, known as Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, pointed out a particular slab in the Church. The inhabitants of the city thus were alerted to the mine and the point of the English attack, and were able to repulse the invasion. The miracle was a popular subject for ballads, especially the troubadour Cavalier. In 1634 the miracle was officially recognised by the Bishop of Rennes, Pierre Cornulier.
There are many miracles attributed to Our Lady, including the miraculous healing of Magdalene Morice in the year 1761. She had gangrene in her right foot which was instantly healed on Easter Sunday.
The Statue of Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues currently displayed at the Basilica was placed there in February of 1876. In 1684 a boy of eleven left home for the City of Rennes, in hopes of enrolling at the Jesuit College of Thomas a Becket. The young Louis-Marie was an intelligent boy who was taken under the guidance of the Jesuit Priests and it was at Rennes that he began to consider a possible vocation to the Priesthood. It was here, at the Shrine of Our Lady at Rennes, that Saint Louis de Montfort made the final decision to become a Priest. Amen! We thank our Lady for giving us St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort!

The Chair of Saint Peter (Feast)
About this great Feast:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/feast-of-the-chair-of-st-peter-cathedra-petri-22-february/

St Ailius of Alexandria
St Angelus Portasole
St Aristion of Salamis
St Athanasius of Nicomedia
St Baradates of Cyrrhus
Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Priest and Martyr
St Elwin
Blessed Émilie d’Oultremont d’Hoogvorst/Maria of Jesus (1818-1878)
About Blessed Émilie:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/22/saint-of-the-day-22-february-blessed-emilie-doultremont-dhoogvorst-known-as-emilia-maria-of-jesus-1818-1878/
St John the Saxon
St Limnaeus
St Margaret of Cortona TOSF (1247–1297)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/22/saint-of-the-day-22-february-st-margaret-of-cortona-tosf-1247-1297/

St Maximian of Ravenna
St Miguel Facerías Garcés
St Mohammed Abdalla
St Papias of Heirapolis
St Paschasius of Vienne
St Raynerius of Beaulieu
St Thalassius

Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 22 February

Thought for the Day – 22 February

From the beginning, the specialness, or primacy, of Peter has been recognized.   On the feast of the Chair of Peter, we celebrate our unity as a Church.   We celebrate the love, presence and protection of Christ for us, the Church.    The title Chair of Peter refers to the chair from which a bishop presided, a symbol of his authority.   When the title refers to Saint Peter, it recalls the supreme teaching power of Peter and his successors.  Its first occupant stumbled a bit some of its later occupants have also stumbled a bit, sometimes even failed scandalously.   As individuals, we may sometimes think a particular pope has let us down.    Still, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition we cherish and as a focus for the universal Church.   It is from the chair, from the pastoral power given him, that the pope shepherds Christ’s flock.   When the pope cautions world leaders, pleads for peace, or condemns social injustice, people listen and respond.   What makes the world listen to this man?  The answer lies in Scripture and in Tradition.  Peter is named first among the apostles of Jesus; he was often their spokesman and leader; he was the first to preach after Pentecost and he was the leader in defending Christ and his message AND THE OCCUPANT OF THE CHAIR STILL IS!

Holy Father St Peter and all the Saints and Popes in Heaven, Pray for us!

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Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 22 February

Quote of the Day – 22 February

“He who deserts the chair of Peter,
upon whom the Church was founded,
does he trust himself to be in the Church?”

~~~~~ Saint Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage and Martyr

De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate, 251

he-who-deserts-sty-cyprian

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of the Chair of St Peter – 22 February

Feast of the Chair of St Peter – 22 February – Cathedra Petri), also known as the Throne of Saint Peter, is a relic conserved in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.    The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome.    The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653.    In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as “a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity.”

The wooden throne was a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875.    It has been studied many times over the years, the last being from 1968 to 1974, when it was last removed from the Bernini altar.    That study concluded that it was not a double, but rather a single, chair with a covering and that no part of the chair dated earlier than the sixth century.   Below – The Pope’s throne in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, last publicly exposed in 1867.

The Chair is the cathedra of St. Peter’s Basilica. Cathedra is Latin for “chair” or “throne”, and denominates the chair or seat of a bishop, hence “cathedral” denominates the Bishop’s church in an episcopal see.    The Popes formerly used the Chair.    It is distinct from the Papal Cathedra in St. John Lateran Archbasilica, also in Rome, which is the actual cathedral church of the Pope, because the Cathedra he currently and officially sits upon is in its apse.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, the Latin-rite liturgy celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.   This is a very ancient tradition, proven to have existed in Rome since the fourth century. On it we give thanks to God for the mission he entrusted to the Apostle Peter and his Successors.

“Cathedra” literally means the established seat of the Bishop, placed in the mother church of a diocese which for this reason is known as a “cathedral”; it is the symbol of the Bishop’s authority and in particular, of his “magisterium”, that is, the evangelical teaching which, as a successor of the Apostles, he is called to safeguard and to transmit to the Christian Community.

When a Bishop takes possession of the particular Church that has been entrusted to him, wearing his mitre and holding the pastoral staff, he sits on the cathedra. From this seat, as teacher and pastor, he will guide the journey of the faithful in faith, hope and charity.

So what was the “Chair” of St Peter? Chosen by Christ as the “rock” on which to build the Church (cf. Mt 16: 18), he began his ministry in Jerusalem, after the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost.   The Church’s first “seat” was the Upper Room, and it is likely that a special place was reserved for Simon Peter in that room where Mary, Mother of Jesus, also prayed with the disciples.   Therefore, we have the journey from Jerusalem, the newly born Church, to Antioch, the first centre of the Church formed from pagans and also still united with the Church that came from the Jews.   Then Peter went to Rome, the centre of the Empire, the symbol of the “Orbis” – the “Urbs”, which expresses “Orbis”, the earth, where he ended his race at the service of the Gospel with martyrdom.

…This is testified by the most ancient Fathers of the Church, such as, for example, St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, but who came from Asia Minor, who in his treatise Adversus Haereses, describes the Church of Rome as the “greatest and most ancient, known by all… founded and established in Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul”; and he added: “The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority” (III, 3, 2-3)….

Tertullian, a little later, said for his part: “How blessed is the Church of Rome, on which the Apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood!” (De Praescriptione Hereticorum, 36).
Consequently, the Chair of the Bishop of Rome represents not only his service to the Roman community but also his mission as guide of the entire People of God.

Celebrating the “Chair” of Peter, therefore, as we are doing today, means attributing a strong spiritual significance to it and recognizing it as a privileged sign of the love of God, the eternal Good Shepherd, who wanted to gather his whole Church and lead her on the path of salvation.

Among the numerous testimonies of the Fathers, I would like to quote St Jerome’s. It is an extract from one of his letters, addressed to the Bishop of Rome. It is especially interesting precisely because it makes an explicit reference to the “Chair” of Peter, presenting it as a safe harbour of truth and peace.

This is what Jerome wrote:   “I decided to consult the Chair of Peter, where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle; I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there, where once I received the garment of Christ. I follow no leader save Christ, so I enter into communion with your beatitude, that is, with the Chair of Peter, for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built” (cf. Le lettere I, 15, 1-2).

Dear brothers and sisters, in the apse of St Peter’s Basilica, as you know, is the monument to the Chair of the Apostle, a mature work of Bernini.    It is in the form of a great bronze throne supported by the statues of four Doctors of the Church: two from the West, St Augustine and St Ambrose and two from the East: St John Chrysostom and St Athanasius.

I invite you to pause before this evocative work which today can be admired, decorated with myriads of candles and to say a special prayer for the ministry that God has entrusted to me.    Raise your eyes to the alabaster glass window located directly above the Chair and call upon the Holy Spirit, so that with his enlightenment and power, He will always sustain my daily service to the entire Church.   For this, as for your devoted attention, I thank you from my heart.”…………….. Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday, 22 February 2006

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