Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 3 February – THE BLESSING of ST BLAISE

Quote of the Day – 3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise Bishop Martyr (Died c 316)

The Blessing of the Throats is a Sacramental of the Church, ordinarily celebrated today, the Feast day of Saint Blaise.

Saint Blase was, according to various accounts, a Physician before becoming a Bishop. His cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died due to a fishbone in his throat. From the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.

If the Blessing is conferred during Mass, the Blessing follows the homily and general intercessions, or, for pastoral reasons, the Prayer of Blessing may take the place of the final Blessing of the Mass. When the Blessing is given outside Mass, it is preceded by a brief celebration of the Word of God. If the Blessing is to be celebrated at Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer, it is given after the Reading and Responsory (and homily) and before the Gospel Canticle.

The Blessing may be given by touching the throat of each person with two candles which have been Blessed yesterday, on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. The candles are held together in the form of a Cross.

THE BLESSING of ST BLAISE

Through the intercession
of Saint Blaise,
Bishop and Martyr,
may God deliver you
from ailments of the throat
and from every other evil.
In the name of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – ‘Draw near, then and listen …’

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – Hebrews 12:4-711-15Psalms 103:1-213-1417-18Mark 6:1-6 and The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316)

“What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands?” – Mark 6:2

REFLECTION – “The Father sent the Word to appear to the world, who was dishonoured by His people, preached through Apostles and believed in by pagan nations. It is He who was from the beginning (Jn 1:1), who appeared new and proved to be old and is ever born young in the hearts of saints. He is the eternal, today counted a son (Ps 2:7).
Through Him the Church is enriched and grace unfolding is multiplied in the saints, affording understanding, revealing secrets mysteries, making them understand the signs of the times, rejoicing over the faithful, given to those who seek for it, by whom pledges of faith are not broken and the boundaries set by the Fathers are not passed over. Then the fear of the law is praised in song and the grace announced by the prophets is learned and the faith of the gospels is established and what has been handed down from the Apostles is guarded and the Grace of the Church exults for joy.
If you do not offend this Grace, you will learn what the Word talks about, through those through whom He wishes to talk, when He pleases … Draw near, then and listen earnestly to them and you will know what God bestows on those who truly love Him, who become a garden of delight, causing to grow in themselves a thriving tree bearing all kinds of rich fruits. For in this place are planted the tree of knowledge and the tree of life (Gn 2:9) … Let your mind be knowledge and the Word of truth become your life. If this tree grows in you and, if you ardently long for its fruit, you will always gather the vintage of God’s best gifts.” – A Letter to Diognetus (c 130) – 11, 3-7; 12, 1-2 and 7-8;

PRAYER – Lord our God, make us love You above all things and all our fellow-men, with a love that is worthy of You. May we look to Your Divine Son in love and imitation. Grant too, that by the prayers of St Blaise, we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings, to one day reachYou, in our heavenly home. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.

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

Feast of Our Lady of Saideneida, Damascus and Memorials of the Saints – 3 February

Our Lady of Saideneida, Damascus – 3 February:

Outside of Palestine one of the most famous sanctuaries of the Mother of God in the Levant, is a Convent of Orthodox nuns, – Dair as-Sagura, located within the walls of an ancient fortress on a hill near Damascus. It is thought to be the site where Abel, the murdered brother of Cain, is buried and, is also the site of one of the world’s most ancient Monasteries.

Saidnaya, (or Saydnaya or Sednaya), is a city located in a mountainous region of Syria about 17 miles north of Damascus. The word Saidnaya means “Our Lady” and refers to a famous icon of the Virgin Mother of God that is still kept in the main Church.
The origin of the Shrine of Our Lady of Saideneida goes back to a time long before the separation of the Orthodox Church from Old Rome. In fact, there is a tradition, that associates the Shrine to at least the time of the Roman Emperor Justinian I (died 565). According to this tradition, the Roman Emperor Justininian I was leading his army through the desert in modern day Syria. His army was suffering greatly from a lack of water and was near despair, when the Emperor saw a beautiful gazelle in the distance. Justinian chased the animal, which came to a rocky knoll where there was a spring of fresh water. He was preparing to shoot the animal when it suddenly transformed into an icon of the Mother of God which shone with a heavenly light. A voice could be heard to say, “No, thou shalt not kill me, Justinian but thou shalt build a Church for me here on this hill.” The light then faded and the beautiful figure disappeared.
The water from the spring saved his army and Justinian told his commanders what he had seen. He ordered them to draw up the plans for the Church Our Lady had requested. The architects complained of insurmountable problems and the Blessed Virgin appeared to the Emperor in a dream and gave him the plan for the Church and convent, of which she herself would be the protectress. The project was completed on the Feast of Our Lady’s nativity.

Mosaic depiction of Mary ordering Justinian not to kill her but to build a church on the rock in the background, after having first appeared to him as a gazelle. The scroll she holds reads: “No, thou shalt not kill me, Justinian but thou shalt build a Church for me, here, on this rock.”

Once constructed, the convent became so renowned that it was second only to Jerusalem as a site of pilgrimage.
The icon, called Our Lady of Saideneida and attributed to St Luke, was said to have been brought to its home in the year 870 from Jerusalem. The holy Abbess of the convent, a woman named Marina, spoke to a Greek pilgrim named Theodore who had stopped at the convent for rest on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Since he was on his way to Jerusalem, the holy abbess Marina asked Theodore to purchase an icon of the Blessed Virgin in the Holy City and bring it back to the convent.
The hermit, once in Jerusalem, forgot about the Abbess’s request and began making his way home, when he was stopped by a voice which asked, “Have you not forgotten something in Jerusalem? What have you done in regard to the commission from the Abbess Marina?”
Theodore turned back and purchased a beautiful icon of the Theotokos that he knew would be acceptable to the Abbess. His journey back to the convent was fraught with difficulties, as he and his companions were set upon by bandits and suffered the attack of wild beasts. The hermit turned to the Blessed Virgin in all these dangers, invoking her intercession as he prayed before the icon. Despite all the attacks and violence, all those in the caravan were miraculously saved from every danger through the aid of the Mother of God.

The hermit Theodore, was convinced of the powerful aid of the icon and was tempted to keep it for himself. He decided to return home by another route to avoid the Abbess and Saideneida completely. He paid to take ship but the vessel encountered such a furious storm that they were forced to turn back rather than be lost. Repenting of his error, he returned to the road he had taken and made his way back to Saideneida. Once back at the convent, the days passed and he found that he did not want to part with the icon. He lied to the Abbess, telling her he had not purchased the icon she had requested and planned to depart from the convent in secret rather than face the disappointed abbess again.
Moving in the darkness the following morning, the hermit made his way soundlessly to the gate so as to begin his trek back to his homeland. As he attempted to pass through the convent gate, however, there was an invisible power that would not allow him to pass. It was as if he were trying to walk through a wall of solid stone, though nothing could be seen that barred his way. When he realised that he would not be able to leave the convent, he turned back and faced the Abbess, admitting to her that he had lied and had intended to keep the icon for himself.
With tears of gratitude, the Abbess Marina gave glory to God and His Holy Mother and the icon found its home. That same icon, known as the Shaghoura, meaning “the illustrious,” is kept in a pilgrimage Shrine that is separate from the rest of the chapel. It is hidden in an ornate niche with silver doors. Childless couples especially and pilgrims seeking miracles of cures, still come seeking the Blessed Virgin’s intercession.
The Shrine was formerly well known in the West, where from about 1200 it was popularised by the stories of miracles and miraculous cures. A German chronicler, during the ages of the crusades, wrote of his pilgrimage to the convent and spoke of the special properties of a miraculous, holy oil that was emitted from the icon. It was believed, that the oil could cure the sick and Templar knights, especially, would go to the Shrine to obtain the holy oil for their Churches.
Interestingly, not only Catholics but also Moslems go to the Shrine as pilgrims. It is remembered, that a sultan, in thanksgiving for a prayer answered through the icon, set a lamp to burn perpetually before the image of Our Lady.
The Middle Ages were certainly a time of faith and there were many images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin and various Saints that were produced for the edification of the people. Inflamed with a true zeal for the faith and anxious to give glory to God, there were many Shrines all over Europe, many of which are now long forgotten in our age when the world struggles mightily to extinguish the Light of Christ.

St Blaise (Died c 316) – Martyr (Optional Memorial)
All about St Blaise: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/saint-of-the-day-st-blaise-died-c-316-martyr/

Bl Alois Andritzki
St Anatolius of Salins
St Ansgar OSB (801-865) “Apostle of the North”, Bishop
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/03/saint-of-the-day-3-february-saint-ansgar-osb-801-865-apostle-of-the-north/
St Anna the Prophetess
St Berlinda of Meerbeke
St Blasius of Armentarius
St Blasius of Oreto
St Caellainn
St Celerinus of Carthage
St Claudine Thevenet
St Clerina of Carthage
St Deodatus of Lagny
St Eutichio
St Evantius of Vienne
St Felix of Africa
St Felix of Lyons
St Hadelin of Chelles
Bl Helena Stollenwerk
Bl Helinand of Pronleroy
St Hippolytus of Africa
St Ia of Cornwall
St Ignatius of Africa
Bl Iustus Takayama Ukon
Blessed John Nelson SJ (1535-1578) Priest Martyr
Bl John Zakoly
St Laurentinus of Carthage
St Laurentius of Carthage
St Lawrence the Illuminator
St Liafdag
St Lupicinus of Lyon
St Margaret of England
Bl Marie Rivier
St Oliver of Ancona
St Philip of Vienne
St Remedius of Gap
St Sempronius of Africa
St Tigrides
St Werburga of Bardney
St Werburga of Chester

Benedictine Martyrs: A collective memorial of all members of the Benedictine Order who have died as martyrs for the faith.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – Gospel: Luke 4:21–30 “And they rose up and put him out of the city”

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 4:21–30 and The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316) and St Ansgar (801-865)

And they rose up and put him out of the city and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.   But passing through the midst of them he went away….Luke 4:29-30

REFLECTION – “A doctor came amongst us to restore us to health – our Lord Jesus Christ. He discovered blindness in our hearts and promised the light that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and has not entered the heart of man” (1Cor 2:9).
The humility of Jesus Christ is the cure for your pride.   Don’t scorn what will bring you healing, be humble, you for whom God humbled Himself.   Indeed, He knew that the medicine of humility would cure you, He who well understood your sickness and knew how to cure it.   While you were unable to run to the doctor’s house, the doctor in person came to your house… He is coming, He wants to help you, He knows what you need.
God has come with humility precisely in order that man might imitate Him.   If He had remained above you, how would you have been able to imitate Him?   And, without imitating Him, how could you be healed?   He came with humility because He knew the nature of the remedy He had to administer – a little bitter, it is true but healing.   And do you continue to scorn Him?   He who holds out the cup to you and you say:  “But what sort of God is this God of mine?   He was born, suffered, was covered with spittle, crowned with thorns, nailed on the cross!”   O miserable soul!   You see the doctor’s humility and not the cancer of your pride.   That is why humility displeases you…
It often happens that mentally ill people end up by beating their doctor.   When that happens, the unfortunate doctor is not only not distressed by the one who beat him but attempts to treat him…   As for our doctor, He did not fear being killed by sick people afflicted with madness, He turned His own death into their remedy.   Indeed, He died and rose again.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Churchluke 4 29 and they rose and oput him out - as for our doctor - st augustine 3 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER –  Lord our God, make us love You above all things and all our fellow-men, with a love that is worthy of You.   May we look to Your Divine Son in love and imitation.   Holy Father, You sent St Ansgar, Monk and Bishop, to bring the light of Christ to many nations of Northern Europe.   Through his prayer give us grace to live always in the light of Your truth.   Grant too, that by the prayers of St Blaise, we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings, to You, in our heavenly home.   We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.st-blaise-pray-for-us-3-february-20171

st-ansgar-pray-for-us-3-feb-2018

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

BLESSING of ST BLAISE

3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316)

THROAT BLESSING of ST BLAISE

Although separated by customs, language, politics and more, Catholics around the world celebrate many of the same God-inspired devotional acts, practices and rituals handed down through the centuries by Holy Mother Church.   Such a devotion is the optional memorial celebrating St Blaise and the blessing of throats today, every 3 February.

Throat blessings
The candles used in the blessing of throats may be those blessed yesterday, on Candlemas, or when blessed during the St. Blaise memorial.

With the crossed candles touched to the throat of each person, the celebrant says immediately:

Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness.    In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.

Each person responds:  Amen.blessing of st blaise - 3 feb 2018

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316)

Quote of the Day – 3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316)

“Speaking of Prayer”

The heart-rending and beautiful words of another Martyr, St Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941), on the power of prayer.

The day was long,
The burden I had borne
Seemed heavier than I could longer bear
And then it lifted but I did not know
Some one had knelt in prayer;
Had taken me to God, that very hour,
And asked the easing of the load and He,
In infinite compassion, had stooped down
And taken it from me.
We cannot tell how often, as we pray
For some bewildered one,
Hurt and distressed,
The answer comes,
But many times those hearts,
find sudden peace and rest.
Someone had prayed and Faith,
a reaching hand,
Took hold of God
and brought Him down, that day!
So many, many hearts have need of prayer.
Oh, let us pray!

St Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941)the day was long - st maximillian kolbe - 3 feb 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316) and St Ansgar (801-865)

One Minute Reflection – 3 February – The Memorial of St Blaise – Martyr (Died c 316) and St Ansgar (801-865)

...Do not use your freedom as an opening for self-indulgence but be servants to one another in love….the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control; no law can touch such things as these…Galatians 5:13,22-23

REFLECTION – “If I were worthy of such a favour from my God, I would ask that He grant me this one miracle: that by His grace He would make of me a good man.”- St Ansgar to a parishioner who was praising him for being a miracle workerif i were worthy - st ansgar - 3 feb 2018

PRAYER – Holy Father, You sent St Ansgar, Monk and Bishop, to bring the light of Christ to many nations of Northern Europe.   Through his prayer give us grace to live always in the light of Your truth.   Grant too, that by the prayers of St Blaise, we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings, to You, in our heavenly home.   We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen.st ansgar - pray for us - 3 feb 2018st-blaise-pray-for-us-3-february-2017

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, THOMAS a KEMPIS, Uncategorized

Saint of the Day – 3 February – St Blaise (Died c 316) – Martyr

Saint of the Day – 3 February – St Blaise (Died c 316) – Martyr

Today the Church remembers the life and witness of Saint Blaise, a 3rd century Armenian bishop who endured terrifying torments and surrendered his life rather than repudiate his profession of Faith.st blaise statue - large

Much of the life of Saint Blaise is history that has passed into legend but even these legendary accounts offer spiritual insight.

It is said that Blaise was renowned as a wonderworker, effecting miraculous cures. T  his would have been enough to attract attention but he was also not averse to calling out the Roman officials who ruled the region in which he lived, Cappadocia, for their tyranny and intolerance of Christian faith and practice.   The combination of a reputation for supernatural power and the courage of his convictions was not welcomed by Rome and the governor ordered Bishop Blaise to be arrested.   Blaise was able to elude capture and took refuge in the wilderness.   It was there in the caves of Cappadocia that his ministry and his mission continued.

There is an account of Saint Blaise that identifies not only his pastoral care for the Christian faithful but also for the animals of the wilderness.

It seems that a woman had witnessed her piglet carried off by a wolf and spoke of her plight to the bishop.   Saint Blaise called for the wolf, demanded her return the piglet to its rightful owner and reminded the wolf of the grave penalty that awaited a thief.   The wolf complied and returned the piglet to its owner- a credit to the bishop’s power of persuasion.   The woman would later return the favour to Saint Blaise when he was finally captured and imprisoned.   She brought to him candles to illuminate his dank and dreary cell.

This legend hints at how the saints represent, in their holiness, the restoration of a paradise lost and regained in Christ.   The ease and familiarity with which the Biblical character of Adam is believed to have communed with nature before the fall is recapitulated in Saint Blaise- he is a sign that anticipates the restoration of all things in Christ where the lion will rest with the lamb and in this case, the wolf will return stolen property to its rightful owner.

Saint Blaise Painting by Pere Fernandez; Saint Blaise Art Print for sale

Saint Blaise has been invoked for centuries as a specialist in diseases of the throat.   The origin of this practice might be in the story of a child brought to the saint who was either choking or suffering from some other malady of the throat.   Saint Blaise blessed the boy and he was restored to health.

The practice of blessing throats on the Feast of Saint Blaise is a commemoration of this miracle, that crossed candles are often used to impart this blessing might also be a recollection of the kindness of the woman who gave candles to the saint as he languished in prison.

Saint Blaise was an extraordinarily popular saint during the Middle Ages in Europe. Presentations of his miraculous and mighty deeds were commonly represented in art and sculpture, and he was included in a listing of saints called the Fourteen Holy Helpers (or Auxiliary Saints), holy men and women who could be counted on as intercessors for all manner of maladies from madness to travelers in distress.   During times in which a sore throat could be a signal of an impending epidemic or an early death, the faithful were all too happy to accept the help of a heavenly specialist in such matters like Saint Blaise.

The legends regarding Saint Blaise report that his sojourn in the wilderness did not protect him for very long.   He was eventually arrested and brought to trial.   The judge advised him that only a pinch of incense offered to the image of Caesar and the gods of Rome could win him his freedom.   Blaise refused.   He was cruelly tortured and beheaded. Giovanni Antonio da Pesaro, St. Blaise Martyrdom, 15th cent.

The Church does not mourn Saint Blaise, for we know that in Christ this world is not all that there is.   While tyrants like Caesar and his successors can threaten us with death, Christ promises us a life that like his own, is transformed through suffering and death, into resurrection.

The scriptures proclaim, “though they slay me I will trust in you.”

Saint Blaise did precisely this.   He trusted that Christ would not abandon him to the power of death nor allow his suffering to be meaningless.   Our lives might never be raised to the legendary status of Saint Blaise but we can trust in Christ as he did and live in hope that one day we will join him in communion with all the saints who have gone before us in faith and who, from their place in heaven, guide and protect us still. (Fr Steve Grunow)blaiseCandlelarge - st blaise

For Patronages and more on St Blaise – https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/saint-of-the-day-3-february-st-blaise/

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 3 February

Thought for the Day – 3 February

We know that Bishop Blaise was martyred in his episcopal city of Sebastea, Armenia, in 316.    The legendary Acts of St. Blaise were written 400 years later.    According to them Blaise was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people.    Although the Edict of Toleration (311), granting freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, was already five years old, persecution still raged in Armenia. Blaise was apparently forced to flee to the back country.    There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but he made friends with the wild animals.    One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise’s cave.    They were first surprised and then frightened.    The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears.

400 years went by before St Blaise’s life was chronicled, thus there was ample time for fiction to creep in with fact.    Who can be sure how accurate Blaise’s biographer was?   But biographical details are not essential.    Blaise is seen as one more example of the power those have who give themselves entirely to Jesus.    As Jesus told his apostles at the Last Supper, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).   With faith we can follow the lead of the Church in asking for Blaise’s protection.

St Blaise Pray for us!

st-blaise-pray-for-us-3-february

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

BLESSING of ST BLAISE

It’s an ancient custom of the Church to bless the sick, rooted in the ministry of Christ and his apostles. According to the Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, the annual blessing of throats is a traditional sign of the struggle against illness in the life of the Christian. The blessing is ordinarily given during Mass or a celebration of the Word of God on February 3, the memorial of St. Blaise, following Candlemas, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

BLESSING of ST BLAISE

Through the intercession of Saint Blaise,
bishop and martyr, may God deliver you
from ailments of the throat and from
every other evil.
In the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

blessing-of-st-blaise

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 February

One Minute Reflection – 3 February

He touched their eyes and said, “because of your faith it shall be done to you” and they received their sight………..Matthew 9:29-30

REFLECTION – The blind men cried out to Christ and overcame the cries of the crowd.   Such is the nature of faith that the greater are the obstacles it encounters, the more ardent it becomes…………..St Charles Borromeo

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, grant me a living faith in the Good News of Christ.   Let it overcome all obstacles and become deeper every day of my life.   Let my faith in You withstand all the evils of the world around me and reach out to inspire others.   St Blaise, you were and are a light of faith and help to all, pray for us, amen!

matthew-9-29-30such-is-the-nature-of-faith-st-charles-borromeost-blaise-feb-3