And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” – Mark 5:6-8
REFLECTION – “Those words show clearly, that the demons had much knowledge but entirely lacked love. They dreaded receiving their punishment from Him. They did not love the righteousness that was in Him. He made himself known to them, to the extent He willed and, He willed to be made known, to the extent that was fitting. But, He was not made known to them, as He is known to the holy angels, who enjoy participation in His eternity, in that, He is the Word of God. To the demons, He is known as He had to be made known, by striking terror into them, for His purpose was to free, from their tyrannical power, all who were predestined for His kingdom and glory, which is eternally true and truly eternal. Therefore, He did not make Himself known to the demons, as the life eternal and the unchangeable light, which illuminates His true worshipers, whose hearts are purified by faith in Him, so that they see that light. He was known to the demons, through certain temporal effects of His power, the signs of His hidden presence, which could be more evident to their senses, even those of malignant spirits, than to the weak perception of human beings.”- St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – (City of God, 9)
PRAYER – Almighty Father, grant that our trust and faith may grow each day. Help us to be secure in Your unfailing love and help. Even in our times of fear, pain and distress, give us the trust to know that You are always with us and that Your healing grace does indeed work miracles in our lives. Grant us strength, O Lord, to overcome all our fears with confidence in Your loving care and in the powerful and loving care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Your Son and our mother. May the intercession of St Brigid of Ireland and all Your Angels and Saints be a comfort to us. Through Jesus Christ in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Baptism of St Louis de Montfort /Eve of the Purification of Our Lady, Paris: 1 February Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was born on 31 January 1673. He was a Missionary Priest but it was his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his ‘Total Consecration’ for which he is now most famous. Baptism is recalled as part of the vow of consecration: “I…renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.”
The saints see things very differently than most men. In his Consecration to Mary, St Louis states, “You are truly blessed if the world persecutes you, opposing your plans though they are good, thinking evil of your intentions, calumniating your conduct and taking away unjustly your reputation or your possessions.” “My son, beware of complaining to others, rather than to Me, of the bad treatment you receive, and do not seek ways of justifying yourself, particularly when you are the only one to suffer from it. On the contrary, pray for those who procure for you the blessings of persecution. Thank Me for treating you as I Myself was treated on earth, a sign of contradiction. Never be discouraged in your plans because you meet with opposition, it is a pledge of future victory. A good work which is not opposed, which is not marked by the sign of the cross, has no great value before Me and will soon be destroyed. Regard as your best friends those who persecute you because they procure for you, great merit on earth and great glory in heaven. Regard as unfortunate those who live in luxury, who feast sumptuously, who frequent the world of fashion, who make their way in the world, who succeed in business and who spend their lives in pleasures and amusements. Never do anything, either good or evil, out of human respect to avoid any blame, insult, mockery, or praise. When through your own fault some loss or disgrace befalls you, do not be disturbed by it but rather humble yourself before God and accept it from His hands as punishment for your fault.” Saint Louis de Montfort had a difficult life in which he was often unjustly persecuted and where he faced unexpected challenges in his desire to promote love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In some ways and by worldly standards, he often appeared a failure and his motives were misunderstood. Nothing was wasted, for all his work was truly for the glory of God and for the honour of the Mother of God and his devotion to her has borne great fruit! Amen!
St Brigid of Fiesole St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523) St Brigid’ Story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/01/saint-of-the-day-st-brigid-of-ireland-kildare-c-453-523/ St Cecilius of Granada St Cinnia of Ulster St Clarus of Seligenstadt Bl Conor O’Devany St Crewenna St Darlaugdach of Kildare St Henry Morse St Ioannes Yi Mun-u St Jarlath Bl John of the Grating St Kinnia Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/01/saint-of-the-day-blessed-blessed-luigi-variara-sdb-1875-1923/ Bl Patrick O’Lougham St Paul of Trois-Châteaux St Paulus Hong Yong-ju St Raymond of Fitero St Sabinus St Severus of Avranches St Severus of Ravenna St Sigebert III of Austrasia St Tryphon of Lampsacus St Ursus of Aosta St Veridiana — Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution. • Anne-François de Villeneuve• Anne Hamard• Catherine Cottenceau• Charlotte Davy• François Bellanger• François Bonneau• François Michau• François Pagis epouse Railleau• Gabrielle Androuin• Jacquine Monnier• Jeanne Bourigault • Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné• Madeleine Blond• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye• Marie-Anne Vaillot• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier• Marie Grillard• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé• Marie Leroy• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju• Odilia Baumgarten• Perrine Androuin• Perrine Besson• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz• Perrine Grille• Perrine Ledoyen• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault• Renée Grillard• Renée Martin épouse Martin• Renée Valin• Rose Quenion• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau • Suzanne Androuin• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère. They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour: • Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i • Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u • Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Brigid of Fiesole St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523) St Brigid’ Story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/02/01/saint-of-the-day-st-brigid-of-ireland-kildare-c-453-523/
St Cecilius of Granada
St Cinnia of Ulster
St Clarus of Seligenstadt
Bl Conor O’Devany
St Darlaugdach of Kildare
St Henry Morse
St Ioannes Yi Mun-u
Bl John of the Grating
St Kinnia Blessed Luigi Variara SDB (1875-1923)
Bl Patrick O’Lougham
St Paul of Trois-Châteaux
St Paulus Hong Yong-ju
St Raymond of Fitero
St Severus of Avranches
St Severus of Ravenna
St Sigebert III of Austrasia
St Tryphon of Lampsacus
St Ursus of Aosta
Martyrs of Avrillé – 47 beati: Forty-seven Christians executed together for their faith in the anti-Catholic persecution of the French Revolution.
• Anne-François de Villeneuve
• Anne Hamard
• Catherine Cottenceau
• Charlotte Davy
• François Bellanger
• François Bonneau
• François Michau
• François Pagis epouse Railleau
• Gabrielle Androuin
• Jacquine Monnier
• Jeanne Bourigault
• Jeanne Fouchard épouse Chalonneau
• Jeanne Gruget veuve Doly
• Jeanne-Marie Sailland d’Epinatz
• Louise-Aimée Dean de Luigné
• Louise-Olympe Rallier de la Tertinière veuve Déan de Luigné
• Madeleine Blond
• Madeleine Perrotin veuve Rousseau
• Madeleine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Marguerite Rivière epouse Huau
• Marie Anne Pichery épouse Delahaye
• Marie-Anne Vaillot
• Marie Cassin épouse Moreau
• Marie Fausseuse épouse Banchereau
• Marie Gallard épouse Quesson
• Marie Gasnier épouse Mercier
• Marie Grillard
• Marie-Jeanne Chauvigné épouse Rorteau
• Marie Lenée épouse Lepage de Varancé
• Marie Leroy
• Marie Leroy épouse Brevet
• Marie Roualt épouse Bouju
• Odilia Baumgarten
• Perrine Androuin
• Perrine Besson
• Perrine-Charlotte Phelippeaux épouse Sailland d’Epinatz
• Perrine Grille
• Perrine Ledoyen
• Perrine Sailland d’Epinatz
• Renée Cailleau épouse Girault
• Renée Grillard
• Renée Martin épouse Martin
• Renée Valin
• Rose Quenion
• Simone Chauvigné veuve Charbonneau
• Suzanne Androuin
• Victoire Bauduceau epouse Réveillère
They were martyred on 1 February 1794 in Avrillé, Maine-et-Loire, France and Beatified on 19 February 1984 by St Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea. Today we celebrate and honour:
• Saint Barbara Ch’oe Yong-i
• Saint Ioannes Yi Mun-u
• Saint Paulus Hong Yong-ju
Thought for the Day – 1 February – the Memorial of St Brigid of Ireland (c 453-523)
St Brigid directly influenced several other future saints of Ireland and her many religious communities helped to secure the country’s conversion from paganism to the Catholic faith.
The Irish call on her in every need, for, as the ancient legends run, “everything that Brigid asked of the Lord, was granted her at once. For this was her desire – to satisfy the poor, to expel every hardship, to spare every miserable man.” And, she still carries on this mission today.
St Brigid took the whole of humanity into her heart and 1500 years after her death, the power of goodness and holiness reaches down through the centuries. There was no limit to her charity and her love for all. God thus graced her with great power to do good for all. There should be no limit to ours – imagine a world such as this!
St Brigid’s Blessing
May Brigid bless the house wherein we dwell. Bless every fireside, every wall and door. Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof. Bless every hand that toils to bring its joy. Bless every foot that walks portals through. May Brigid bless the house that shelters us.
Quote of the Day – 1 February – the Memorial of St Brigid of Ireland (c 453-523)
I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven, to be gathered around us, from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent-payer to the Lord, that I should suffer distress, that He would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.
One Minute Reflection – 1 February – Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Year Gospel: Mark 4:26–34 and the Memorial of St Brigid of Ireland (c 453-523)
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground and should sleep and rise, night and day and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.”...Mark 4:26-28
REFLECTION – “We can be confident because the Word of God is a creative word, destined to become the “full grain in the ear” (v. 28). This Word, if accepted, certainly bears fruit, for God Himself makes it sprout and grow in ways that we cannot always verify or understand. (cf. v. 27). All this tells us that it is always God, it is always God who makes His Kingdom grow. That is why we fervently pray “thy Kingdom come”. It is He who makes it grow. Man is His humble collaborator, who contemplates and rejoices in divine creative action and waits patiently for its fruits.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 14 June 2015
PRAYER – Almighty Father, we bless You Lord of life, through whom all living things tend. You are the source of all, our first beginning and our end! Grant holy Father, that we may allow the Word to enter our hearts and grow by Your grace, so that we may always live for Your glory. May the intercession of St Brigid of Ireland, who consistently tended Your seed, grant us strength and zeal. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 1 February – St Brigid of Ireland/Kildare (c 453-523) Virgin, Abbess, Apostle of Charity and foundress of several monasteries of nuns, including that of Kildare in Ireland, which was famous and was revered – born in 453 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland and died on 1 February 523 at Kildare, Ireland of natural causes. Patronages – Ireland, babies, blacksmiths, boatme, brewers, cattle, chicken farmers, children whose parents are not married, children with abusive fathers, children born into abusive unions, Clan Douglas, dairymaids, dairy workers, Florida, fugitives, Leinster, mariners, midwives, milk maids, nuns, poets, the poor, poultry farmers, printing presses, sailors, scholars, travellers, watermen.
Next to the glorious St Patrick, St Brigid, whom we may consider his spiritual daughter in Christ, has ever been held in singular veneration in Ireland.
Historians say we know a lot more about St Brigid than we have facts, a polite way of saying that legends swirl about Ireland’s most celebrated woman. But even legends may have cores of truth. And some miracle stories are not legends at all but true accounts of God’s interventions.
Brigid was the daughter of a slave woman and a chieftain, who liberated her at the urging of his overlord. As a girl she sensed a call to become a nun and St Mel, bishop of Armagh, received her vows. Before Brigid, consecrated virgins lived at home with their families. But the saint, imitating Patrick, began to assemble nuns in communities, a historic move which enriched the church in Ireland.
In 471, Brigid founded a monastery for both women and men at Kildare. This was the first convent in Ireland and Brigid was the abbess. Under her leadership Kildare became a centre of learning and spirituality. Her school of art fashioned both lovely utensils for worship and beautifully illustrated manuscripts. Again following Patrick’s model, Brigid used Kildare as a base and built convents throughout the island. The renown of Brigid’s unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to Kildare, the fame of her piety attracted thither many persons anxious to solicit her prayers or to profit by her holy example. In course of time the number of these so much increased that it became necessary to provide accommodation for them in the neighbourhood of the new monastery and thus was laid the foundation and origin of the town of Kildare.
Brigid’s hallmark was uninhibited, generous giving to anyone in need. Many of the saint’s earliest miracles seem to have rescued her from punishment for having given something to the poor that was intended for someone else. For example, once as a child she gave a piece of bacon to a dog and was glad to find it replaced when she was about to be disciplined. Brigid exhibited this unbounded charity all her life, giving away valuables, clothing, food—anything close by—to anyone who asked.
One of the most appealing things told of Brigid is her contemporaries’ belief that there was peace in her blessing. Not merely did contentiousness die out in her presence but just as by the touch of her hand she healed leprosy, so by her very will for peace she healed strife and laid antiseptics on the suppurating bitterness that foments it.
In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St Brigid were removed in order to secure them from irreverence and, being transferred to Down-Patrick, were deposited in the same grave with those of the glorious St Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of St Columba, were translated afterwards to the cathedral of the same city but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of St Brigid is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.
Saint Brigid’s Cross
A special type of cross known as “Saint Brigid’s cross” is popular throughout Ireland. It commemorates a famous story in which Brigid went to the home of a pagan leader when people told her that he was dying and needed to hear the Gospel message quickly. When Brigid arrived, the man was delirious and upset, unwilling to listen to what Brigid had to say. So she sat with him and prayed and while she did, she took some of the straw from the floor and began weaving it into the shape of a cross. Gradually the man quieted down and asked Brigid what she was doing. She then explained the Gospel to him, using her handmade cross as a visual aid. The man then came to faith in Jesus Christ and Brigid baptised him just before he died.
Today, many Irish people display a Saint Brigid’s cross in their homes, since it is said to help ward off evil and welcome good. Brigid died in 523 and after her death people began to venerate her as a saint, praying to her for help seeking to heal from God, since many of the miracles during her lifetime related to healing.
Blessing of St Brigid’s Crosses
Father of all creation and Lord of Light,
You have given us life and entrusted Your creation to us, to use it and to care for it.
We ask You to bless these crosses made of green rushes in memory of holy Brigid,
who used the cross to recall and to teach Your Son’s life, death and resurrection.
May these crosses be a sign of our sharing in the Paschal Mystery of your Son
and a sign of Your protection of our lives, our land and its creatures,
through Brigid’s intercession, during the coming year and always.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The crosses are sprinkled with holy water:
May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be on these crosses and on the places where they hang
and on everyone who looks at them.