Our Morning Offering – 29 April – Monday of the Second week of Easter, Year C and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
Holy Trinity, Holy Love By St Catherine of Siena
Holy Spirit, come into my heart;
draw it to Thee by Thy power,
O my God,
and grant me charity with filial fear.
O beautiful love,
from every evil thought,
inflame me with Thy dear love
and every pain will seem light to me.
my sweet Lord,
help me in all my actions.
Jesus, love, Jesus, love.
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church (Memorial) St Catherine here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/saint-of-the-day-29-april-st-catherine-of-siena-1347-1380-doctor-of-the-church/
Abbots of Cluny: A feast that recognises the great and saintly early abbots of Cluny Abbey:
• Saint Aymardus of Cluny
• Saint Berno of Cluny
• Saint Hugh of Cluny
• Saint Mayeul
• Saint Odilo of Cluny
• Saint Odo of Cluny
• Saint Peter the Venerable
St Antonius Kim Song-u
St Ava of Denain
St Daniel of Gerona
St Endellion of Tregony
St Fiachan of Lismore
St Hugh of Cluny
St Gundebert of Gumber
St Joseph Benedict Cottolengo
St Paulinus of Brescia St Peter of Verona OP (1205–1252) – St Peter Martyr
Bl Robert Gruthuysen
St Senan of Wales
St Severus of Naples
St Torpes of Pisa
St Wilfrid the Younger
Martyrs of Cirta: A group of clergy and laity martyred together in Cirta, Numidia (in modern Tunisia) in the persecutions of Valerian. They were – Agapius, Antonia, Emilian, Secundinus and Tertula, along with a woman and her twin children whose names have not come down to us.
Martyrs of Corfu: A gang of thieves who converted while in prison, brought to the faith by Saint Jason and Saint Sosipater who were had been imprisoned for evangelizing. When the gang announced their new faith, they were martyred together. They were – Euphrasius, Faustianus, Insischolus, Januarius, Mammius, Marsalius and Saturninus. They were boiled in oil and pitch in the 2nd century on the Island of Corcyra (modern Corfu, Greece.
Also known as:
• Martyrs of Corcyra
• Seven Holy Thieves
• Seven Holy Robbers
• Seven Robber Saints
Quote/s of the Day – 27 Oct – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year B
Speaking of: Marian Gems
“She (Mary) is like a fiery chariot, because she conceived within her the Word, the only-begotten Son of God. She carries and spreads, the fire of love, because her Son IS love.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“If every woman were an image of the Mother of God, a spouse of Christ and an apostle of the divine Heart, she would fulfil her feminine vocation no matter in what circumstances she lived and what her external activities might be.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross/Edith Stein (1891-1942)
“O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which binds us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we shall never abandon you.”
Bl Bartholomew Longo (1841-1926)
“Mary is the image and model of all mothers, of their great mission to be guardians of life, of their mission to be teachers of the art of living and of the art of loving.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 August – Thursday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14 and the Memorial of St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)
“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’...Matthew 22:11-12
REFLECTION – “What is that “wedding garment” then? … The wedding garment” is such charity as this. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.” Tongues have come in alone and it is said to them, “How came ye in hither not having a wedding garment?” “Though,” said he, “I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing.” See, these are the miracles of men who very often have not “the wedding garment.” “Though,” he says,” I have all these and have not Christ, I am nothing.” … If then I have not charity, though I bestow alms freely upon the poor, though I have come to the confession of Christ’s Name even unto blood and fire, these things may be done even through the love of glory and so are vain.
… For “the wedding garment” is taken in honour of the union, the union, that is, of the Bridegroom to the Bride. You know the Bridegroom – it is Christ. You know the Bride – it is the Church. Pay honour to the Bride, pay honour to the Bridegroom . If you pay due honour to them both, you will be their children. Therefore in this make progress. Love the Lord and so learn to love yourselves, that when by loving the Lord, you shall have loved yourselves, you may securely love your neighbour as yourselves.
…So then, have faith with love. This is the “wedding garment.”…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor
“Thus, then, the obedient man,with the light of faith, in the truth burning in the furnace of charity … receives his end from Me, his Creator.”…St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – “God our Father, for love of You, St Rose of Lima left the world and gave herself to a life of penitence, austerity and charity. Help us by her prayers, so to follow the path of life on earth, in complete love of You and thus of Your children, that we may obtain the fulness of joy in Your presence in heaven and be clothed fit for the wedding feast. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering– 23 August – The Memorial of St Rose of Lima T.O.S.D. (1586-1617)
O God of Truth and Love
A Prayer of Penitence By St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
O omnipotent Father,
God of truth,
God of love,
permit me to enter into
the cell of self-knowledge.
I admit, that of myself, I am nothing,
but that all being
and goodness in me
comes solely from You.
Show me my faults,
that I may detest them,
and thus I shall flee from self-love
and find myself clothed again
in the nuptial robe of divine charity,
which I must have,
in order to be admitted
to the nuptials of life eternal.
St Catherine was St Rose’s model and both were, of course, Dominican Tertiaries.
Our Morning Offering – 1 July – Month of the Most Precious Blood
Constant Prayer to the Precious Blood of Jesus By St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
ocean of divine mercy,
Flow upon us!
most pure offering,
Procure us every grace!
hope and refuge of sinners,
Atone for us!
delight of holy souls,
Thought for the Day – 29 April – Fifth Sunday of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
Catherine of Siena is one of the most remarkable figures of the fourteenth century and had an influence far beyond her holiness of life. She took part in the politics of both Church and State and was a beacon of light in a very difficult time.
The mystical experiences that were to last throughout her whole life and an intimacy with her Saviour that transformed her whole existence began when she was but six years old. She grew up, known for cheerfulness and merriment, with no indication of the astonishing role she was to play in the work of the Church.
In 1364, she became a member of the Third Order of St Dominic and from this time her influence began to grow in Siena as she gathered around her a circle of followers. She began dictating letters to this circle and to take part in public affairs. (She had never learnt to write, which was not uncommon for women in that era). In 1374, she began to interest herself in furthering a crusade against the Turks and in the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome. In 1376, she went to Avignon to urge Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome. With her encouragement, he did but died shortly thereafter. In 1375, whilst on a trip to Pisa, she received the Stigmata.
Pope Gregory’s successor, Urban VI, so alienated the Cardinals who elected him, that they decided to elect another pope. This was the beginning of the Great Western Schism in which two and later three, popes, divided the allegiance of Christendom. Catherine was shattered by this division in the Church and went to Rome to work for the reunification of the Church.
Burdened with sorrow and offering herself for the unity of the Church, Catherine died in Rome on 29 April 1380. She left a huge collection of letters as well as her chief work, The Dialogues.
By the sheer force of her personality, St Catherine converted thousands and the mere sight of her would convert hardened sinners. We may not have her personality but we can reach into the lives of others and influence them for good. We cannot have warmth ourselves, without giving it to others. “Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’...Luke 24:32
Quote/s of the Day – 29 April – Fifth Sunday of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“Proclaim the Truth and do not be silent through fear.”
“Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”
“Nothing great is ever achieved, without much enduring.”
“All the way to heaven is heaven because Jesus said, “I am the way.”
“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’t look at your weaknesses. Realise instead, that in Christ crucified, you can do everything.”
“Strange that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstandings of God’s true nature. God’s heart is more gentle than the Virgin’s first kiss upon the Christ. And God’s forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being.”
“Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”
“A soul cannot live without loving. It must have something to love, for it was created to love.”
“He will provide the way and the means, such as you could never have imagined. Leave it all to Him, let go of yourself, lose yourself on the Cross and you will find yourself entirely.”
“What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and He might weep when they are gone!”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Fifth Sunday of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’….Matthew 25:40
REFLECTION – “Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God.”…. St Catherine of Siena
PRAYER – Almighty God, You made St Catherine of Siena, a contemplative lover of the Lord’s sufferings and an ardent servant of her neighbour and the Church. Grant that through her prayer, Your people may be united to Christ in His Mystery and true lovers of His sheep. May we live the commands He gave us and see His face in our neighbour. Through Jesus, our Lord, one God with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, amen.
Saint of the Day – 29 April – St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church, Virgin, Stigmatist, Mystic, Scholastic Philosopher and Theologian, Writer, Reformer, Adviser, Mediator, Dominican Tertiary. St Catherine was born Caterina Benincasa on 25 March 1347 at Siena, Tuscany, Italy and died on 29 April 1380 in Rome, Italy of a mysterious and painful illness that came on without notice and was never diagnosed. Her body was buried in the Dominican church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. The first funerary monument was erected in 1380 by Blessed Raymond of Capua, her relics were re-enshrined in 1430 and again in 1466, at the high altar of the church. She was Canonised in July 1461 by Pope Pius II.
Patronages – against bodily ills, against fire, against illness, against miscarriages, against sexual temptation, against sickness, against temptations, fire prevention, firefighters, nurses, nursing services, people ridiculed for their piety, sick people, joint patron of Europe with St Benedict of Nursia, St Gertrude of Sweden, Sts Cyril & Methodius and St Edith Stein,3 dioceses, Siena, joint patron of Italy, with St Francis of Assisi, Varazze, Italy.Caterina Benincasa was born in Siena on 25 March 1347, the last of 25 children of the wealthy wool-dyer Jacopo Benincasa and Lapa di Puccio dé Piacenti.
At the age of six, Catherine received her first vision, near the Church of San Domenico. From this moment onwards the child began to follow a path of devotion, taking the oath of chastity only a year later. After initial resistance from her family, eventually her father gave in and left Catherine to follow her inclinations. In 1363, at just 15 years of age, Catherine donned the black cloak of the Dominican Tertiary sisters. In 1367 she began working tirelessly to help the sick at the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala.As her fame spread throughout Christendom, during a visit to the city of Pisa, Catherine received the stigmata from a wooden cross hanging in the Church of Santa Cristina. Her many travels abroad to act as mediator for the Papacy included a trip to Avignon, where she urged Pope Gregory to bring the Papal Court back to Rome from its exile in France.
On returning to Siena, Catherine founded the Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the castle of Belcaro. With the death of Pope Gregory XI in 1378, his successor Urban VI had to face strong opposition from a number of cardinals who had elected a second Pope with the name of Clement VII, thereby provoking what would later come to be termed the Great Schism of the West. Pope Urban VI called on Catherine to act as mediator with princes, politicians and members of the Church, with a view to legitimising his election.
In 1380, at just 33, Catherine died and was buried in the Rome church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. In 1461 Pope Pius II proclaimed her saint and in 1866 Pius IX included her as one of the patron saints of Rome. In 1939, along with St Francis of Assisi, St Catherine of Siena was proclaimed patron saint of Italy by Pope Pius XII.
In 1970 Paul VI conferred the title of Doctor of the Universal Church on Catherine and in 1999 she was proclaimed co-patron saint of Europe by Pope John Paul II.
Catherine of Siena is one of the outstanding figures of medieval Catholicism, by the strong influence she has had in the history of the papacy. She is behind the return of the Pope from Avignon to Rome and then carried out many missions entrusted by the pope, something quite rare for a simple nun in the Middle Ages.
Her writings—and especially The Dialogue, her major work which includes a set of treatises she would have dictated during ecstasies—mark theological thought. She is one of the most influential writers in Catholicism, to the point that she is one of only four women to be declared a doctor of the Church. This recognition by the Church consecrates the importance of her writings.
St Catherine’s home now known as The Sanctuary of St Catherine is a major Pilgrimage Site in Siena. The architecture of this sanctuary dedicated to Saint Catherine isn’t entirely original but the atmosphere definitely is. As are many of the objects that belonged to the saint. The rooms have been altered a lot since 1461, when the house was bought by the city of Siena and transformed into a museum. The idea wasn’t faithful architectural conservation but rather preserving her honour and memory, hence the eclectic art collection celebrating her life and work. It’s a sensitive place, full of religious passion and historical references and well reflects the extraordinary life of this woman.
The Oratory of the Bedroom: this houses the small cubicle where Catherine rested and prayed and the stone where the saint would lay her head. This space is connected with the first phase of Catherine’s life, where she would withdraw from the world in contemplation. Images below.
Church of the Crucifix: The church is home to the wooden crucifix from which Saint Catherine received the stigmata, an event which took place in Pisa, where Catherine had gone in 1375 to persuade the Lords of the city to shun the anti-papal league. The stigmata remained visible only to the Saint for the rest of her life, miraculously appearing at the moment of her death.
One Minute Reflection – – 14 March 2018 – Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Matilda
Now is the acceptable time! Now is the time of salvation….2 Corinthians 6:2
REFLECTION – “You no longer have the time that is past. Nor are you sure of the time that is to come. Hence, all you do have, is this present point in time – and nothing more!”… St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Timeless loving Lord, teach me to be grateful for every moment that You allot to me. Grant that I may always understand this ‘blink of an eye’ and live each moment only for You, in You and with You. Difficult as your times were St Matilda, you maintained your eyes on the Lord alone, pray for us all, that we too may follow your example. Amen
I was (the Lord’s) delight day by day………….Proverbs 8:30
REFLECTION – “So pleasing to God was Mary’s humility that He was constrained by His goodness to entrust to her the Word, His only Son.
And it was that dearest Mother who gave Him to us.”……………St Catherine of Siena
PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, let the gracious intercession of our Lady of Mount Carmel help us. Under her protection, may we come to the mountain of God, Christ the Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
Although St. Agnes of Montepulciano was not in any way a “child saint,” like her little Roman patroness, there is about her something of the same simplicity, which makes her name appropriate. Some of the best known legends about her concern her childhood (see the Saint of the Day here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/saint-of-the-day-20-april-st-agnes-of-montepulciano/)
At the age of forty nine, Agnes’ health began to fail rapidly. She was taken for treatment to the baths at Chianciano – accompanied, as it says in the rule, by “two or three sisters” but the baths did her no good. She did perform a miracle while there, restoring to life a child who had fallen into the baths and drowned. But she returned to Montepulciano to die on the twentieth of April, 1317. She died in the night, and the children of the city wakened and cried out, “Holy Sister Agnes is dead!” She was buried in Montepulciano, and her tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage.
One of the most famous pilgrims to visit her tomb was St. Catherine of Siena, who went to venerate the saint and also, probably, to visit her niece, Eugenia, who was a nun in the convent there. As she bent over the body of St. Agnes to kiss the foot, she was amazed to see Agnes raise her foot so that she did not have to stoop so far. Agnes of Montepulciano was canonised in 1796.
Simplicity and humility – help us Lord to attain these great virtues – St Agnes of Montepulciano pray for us!
……………..yet I live, no longer I but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me………….Gal 2:20
REFLECTION – “The Crucifix is an open book that all can read.
The crucifix is an infinite declaration of love!”……………St Catherine of Siena
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, inspire me to read the Crucifix as all the teaching I need. Grant that I may return glory, gratitude and love to You for Your great love for me. Grant too that I may use all the talents given me, as Blessed Angelo of Chivasso did, for the glory of Your Kingdom and the love of all my neighbours. Bl Angelo, pray for us. Amen