Posted in MARTYRS, NOTES to Followers, SAINT of the DAY, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 11 September – “Blessed are you when men hate you”

Thought for the Day – 11 September – – Wednesday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 6:20–26 and The Memorial of St John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) Martyr of the Congregation of the Mission

“Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!   Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for so their fathers did to the prophets. ... Luke 6:22-23

A sermon he heard at age 15 inspired St John Gabriel to become a missionary in China. There he met a brutal death on a cross for refusing to renounce his faith.

Born in France in 1802, Jean-Gabriel became a Vincentian priest.   He displayed so many gifts and had such fine personal and spiritual qualities that, for a time, his religious order kept him busy closer to home.

He finally received permission to begin his missionary endeavours in 1835.   After a 1,000-mile trip by boat and foot across three provinces, he arrived in central China.   In one early letter, written to his community in Paris, he described himself as a curious sight –  “my head shaved, a long pig-tail, stammering my new languages, eating with chopsticks.”

He soon joined the Vincentians in helping to rescue abandoned Chinese children and in educating them in the Catholic faith.   He was arrested in 1839 under an edict that banned Christianity.   He was tortured and interrogated for months.   Almost one year later he was executed by strangling while hanging on a cross.

Saint Jean-Gabriel was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II in 1996.   Chinese government officials denied permission for any public Mass commemorating the new saint.

So many saints seem to have lived centuries ago.   Jean-Gabriel is far more recent and we can identify better with his life and circumstances.   His life and death speak to us of living the faith in our own times and places, for these are times of great persecution and endurance for the Son of man!

St John Gabriel Perboyre, pray for us!st john gabriel perboyre - pray for us.2.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Blessed are you!

One Minute Reflection – 17 February – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel: Luke 6:17-26

“Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!   Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven;  for so their fathers did to the prophets.” …Luke 6:22-23blessed are you when - luke 6 22 - 23 - 17 feb 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “O that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to please God!   What gain is it to please the world, to please the great, nay even to please those whom we love, compared with this?   What gain is it to be applauded, admired, courted, followed—compared with this one aim, of not being disobedient to a heavenly vision?   What can this world offer comparable with that insight into spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, that high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that hope of glory, which they have, who in sincerity love and follow our Lord Jesus Christ?

Let us beg and pray Him, day by day, to reveal Himself to our souls more fully, to quicken our senses, to give us sight and hearing, taste and touch of the world to come – so to work within us, that we may sincerely say, ‘You shall guide me with Your counsel and after that receive me with glory.   Whom have I in heaven but You? and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of You. My flesh and my heart fails but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.'”Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Sermon on Divine Calls (Plain Sermons)blessed are you luke 6 22 - what can this world offer - bl john henry newman 17 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy Father, You have given Yourself to us in the Face of Your Divine Son.   You have given Him to us to be our food and our portion.   You have consoled us with His presence on the Altar of Offering and washed us with His blood, day by day, You have sacrificed Him to save us.   Grant us Your grace, we pray, that day by day, we may be strengthened and made holy by this Holy Food you grant us.   May our Holy Mother, be our protection on this journey and may her prayers and the prayers of your saints, grant us courage.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, in the union of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, for all eternity, amen.hail mary pray for us - 17 feb 2019.jpg