Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Septuagesima Sunday, Apparition of Our Lady to Saint Angela de Foligno (1285), The Translation of the Relics of Saint Mark, the Evangelist and Memorials of the Saints – 31 January

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time +2020
Septuagesima Sunday (Traditional Calendar): The word Septuagesima is Latin for “seventieth.” It is both the name of the liturgical season and the name of the Sunday. Septuagesima Sunday marks the beginning of the shortest liturgical season. This season is seventeen (17) days long and includes the three Sundays before Ash Wednesday. The length of the season never changes but the start date is dependent on the movable date of Easter, which can fall between 22 March-25 April. Septuagesima Sunday can be as early as 18 January.
The Septuagesima season helps the faithful ease into Lent. It is a gradual preparation for the serious time of penance and sorrow; to remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors and to exhort him to penance.
Liturgically it looks very much like Lent. The Gloria and Alleluia are omitted, the tone becomes penitential with the Priest wearing purple vestments. The main difference is that there are no fasting requirements.

Apparition of Our Lady to Saint Angela de Foligno (1285) – 31 January:
Angela of Foligno was born in 1248 of a prominent family in Foligno, three leagues from Assisi. As a young woman and also as a wife and mother, she lived only for the world and its vain pleasures. But the grace of God intended to make of her, a vessel of election, for the comfort and salvation of many. A ray of the divine mercy touched her soul and so strongly affected her, as to bring about a conversion.
At the command of her confessor, Angela of Foligno committed to writing the manner of her conversion in eighteen spiritual steps.
“Enlightened by grace,” Blessed Angela of Foligno wrote in this account. “I realised my sinfulness; I was seized with a great fear of being damned and I shed a flood of tears. I went to confession to be relieved of my sins but through shame I concealed the most grievous ones but still I went to Communion. Now my conscience tortured me day and night. I called upon St Francis for help and, moved by an inner impulse, I went into a church where a Franciscan Father was then preaching.” (It is reported that in the year 1285 she had a vision of both the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Francis of Assisi, who called her to penance.)
“I gathered courage to confess all my sins to him and I did this immediately after the sermon. With zeal and perseverance, I performed the penance he imposed but my heart continued to be full of bitterness and shame. I recognised that the divine mercy has saved me from hell, hence I resolved to do rigorous penance; nothing seemed too difficult for me because I felt I belonged in hell. I called upon the saints and especially upon the Blessed Virgin, to intercede with God for me.

It appeared to me now as if they had compassion on me and I felt the fire of divine love enkindled within me, so that I could pray as I never prayed before. I had also received a special grace to contemplate the Cross in which Christ had suffered so much for my sins. Sorrow, love and the desire to sacrifice everything for Him filled my soul.”

About this time God harkened to the earnest desire of the penitent – her mother died, then her husband and soon afterwards, all her children. These tragic events were very painful to her but she made the sacrifice with resignation to the will of God. Being freed from these ties, she dispossessed herself of all her temporal goods with the consent of her confessor, a Franciscan friar named Arnoldo, so that being poor herself, she might walk in the footsteps of her poor Saviour. It was to Arnoldo that she dictated her account of her conversion, now known as the ‘Memoriale,’ or the ‘Book of Visions and Instructions.’
She also entered the Third Order of St Francis and presently found herself the superior and guide of other,s who followed in her path. Many women joined her, even to the point of taking the three vows. She encouraged them in works of charity, in nursing the sick and in going personally from door to door to beg for the needs of the poor.
Meanwhile, Angela became still more immersed in the contemplation of the Passion of Christ and she chose the Sorrowful Mother and the faithful disciple John as her patrons. The sight of the wounds which her Lord suffered for her sins, urged her to the practice of still greater austerities. Once Our Lord showed her that His Heart is a safe refuge in all the storms of life. She was soon to be in need of such a refuge. God permitted her to be afflicted with severe temptations. The most horrible and loathsome representations distressed her soul. The fire of concupiscence raged so furiously that she said:
“I would rather have beheld myself surrounded with flames and permitted myself to be continually roasted, than to endure such things.”
Still, she called out to God, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord! Thy cross is my resting place.”
These painful trials lasted over two years but then, the purified and tried servant of the Lord, was filled with great consolation. She obtained a marvellous insight into divine things and was very frequently found in ecstasy. For a time she had the stigmata and for many years Holy Communion was her only food, until at last, completely purified, she entered into the eternal joy of the Supreme Good on 4 January 1310.
Pope Innocent XII approved the continual devotion paid to her at her tomb in Foligno, where many miracles were attributed to her. He Beatified her in 1693. Her Canonisation was an equipollent Canonisation in 2013.
Blessed Angela of Foligno said,
“To know oneself and to know God, that is the perfection of man; without this knowledge, visions and the greatest gifts are of no account.”
St Angela’s Biography here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/04/saint-of-the-day-4-january-saint-angela-of-foligno-tosf-1248-1309/

The Translation of the Relics of Saint Mark, the Evangelist

St John Bosco “Don Bosco” SDB (1815-1888) (Memorial) Founder of the Society of St Francis de Sales now known as the Salesians
All about beautiful Don Bosco: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/saint-of-the-day-31-january-st-john-bosco-don-bosco-1815-1888-founder-of-the-salesians-and-the-daughters-of-mary-help-of-christians-and-the-association-of-salesian-cooperators/

AND: https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/31/saint-of-the-day-st-john-bosco-don-bosco-sdb-1815-1888/

St Abraham of Abela
Bl Adamnan of Coldingham
St Aedan of Ferns
St Aiden
St Athanasius of Modon
St Bobinus of Troyes
St Eusebius of Saint Gall
St Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi/Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples”
About St Francesco:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/31/saint-of-the-day-31-january-saint-francis-xavier-bianchi-crsp-1743-1815-apostle-of-naples/
St Geminian of Modena
Bl John Angelus
St Julius of Novara
Bl Louise degli Albertoni
Bl Luigi Talamoni
St Madoes
St Marcella
Bl Maria Cristina di Savoia
St Martin Manuel
St Nicetas of Novgorod
St Tryphaena of Cyzicus
St Tysul
St Ulphia of Amiens
St Waldo of Evreux
St Wilgils

Martyrs of Corinth – 14 saints: A group of Christians tortured and martyred together in Corinth, Greece in the persecutions of Decius. We know nothing about them except some names – Anectus, Claudius, Codratus, Crescens, Cyprian, Diodorus, Dionysius, Nicephorus, Papias, Paul, Serapion, Theodora, Victor and Victorinus.

Martyrs of Canope:
Athanasia
Cyrus the Physician
Eudoxia
John the Physician
Theoctista
Theodotia
Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt
Cyriacus
Metranus
Saturninus
Tarskius
Thyrsus
Victor
Zoticus

Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt:
Cyriacus
Metranus
Saturninus
Tarskius
Thyrsus
Victor
Zoticus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
José Acosta Alemán
Juan José Martínez Romero
Pedro José Rodríguez Cabrera

Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea.
• Saint Agatha Kwon Chin-i
• Saint Agatha Yi Kyong-I
• Saint Augustinus Park Chong-Won
• Saint Magdalena Son So-Byok
• Saint Maria Yi In-Dok
• Saint Petrus Hong Pyong-Ju

Posted in PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thought for the Day – 31 January – Never underestimate the power of the Saints to assist us on this journey home!

Second Thought for the Day – 31 January – The Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples”

Trainer of many candidates for the altars

In 1776 he met a Franciscan Tertiary, Maria Francesca delle Cinque Piaghe (aka Anna Maria Rosa Nicoletta Gallo, Canonised in 1867), to whom supernatural gifts were attributed.   He was her Spiritual Director until her death on 6 October 1791.
Among his disciples for whom the causes of Beatification and Canonisation have been opened, in addition to the aforementioned Francesco Maria Castelli, there are Don Mariano Arciero (Beatified in 2012), Don Placido Baccher, Don Agnello Coppola and Giovanni Battista Jossa.
Don Vincenzo Romano (Canonised in 2018) and Queen Maria Clotilde of Savoy, in exile in Naples with her husband Carlo Emanuele IV, as well as many cardinals and bishops, also had spiritual relationships with him.

His style, between special gifts and cheerfulness

Father Francesco Saverio remained in his convent even when the subversive laws of 1809 suppressed his Order.   He had the gift of prophecy and visions of events distant in time and space.   Miracles and charismatic gifts increased his reputation for holiness – one of many, the arrest, with a sign of the cross, of the lava erupted by Vesuvius in 1804 and 1805.
Similar in joyfulness to Saint Philip Neri, he had mysterious tremors like him and heart palpitations during the prayer and the celebration of the Mass, which he officiated with a fervour, which amazed those who attended.   Maria Francesca delle Cinque Piaghe said: “We have two Filippo, one black and one white”, referring to similar spiritual qualities and also to the two surnames “Neri” and “Bianchi.”

Never underestimate the power of the Saints to assist us on this journey home!

St Francis Xavier Bianchi, Pray for Us!st francis xavier bianchi pray for us no 2

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 31 January – St Francis Xavier Bianchi

Quote/s of the Day – 31 January – Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples” and St John Bosco (1815-1888)

“When you hear, that I cannot
celebrate Mass anymore,
count me as dead.”

St Francis Xavier Bianchi

Quotes of St John Bosco:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/31/quote-s-of-the-day-31-january-the-memorial-of-st-john-bosco-1815-1888-2/when you hear that i cannot celebrate mass - st francis x bianchi 31 jan 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – ‘The grain of mustard seed is the Lord’

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17, Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11, Mark 4:26-34 and the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples” and St John Bosco (1815-1888)

“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed…” … Mark 4:30-31

REFLECTION – “The Word of God is like a grain of mustard seed, before cultivation it looks extremely small.  But when it is cultivated in the right way, it grows so large, that the highest principles of both sensible and intelligible creation, come like birds to revive themselves in it.   For the principles – or inner essences of all things, are embraced by the Word but the Word is not embraced by anything.   Hence, the Lord has said, that whoever has faith like a grain of mustard seed, can move a mountain by a word of command (cf. Mt 17:20), that is, he can destroy the devil’s dominion over us and remove it from its foundation.

The grain of mustard seed is the Lord, who by faith is sown spiritually in the hearts of those who accept Him.   Whoever diligently cultivates the seed by practising the virtues, moves the mountain of earthbound pride and, through the power thus gained, expels the obdurate habit of sin.   In this way, the activity of the principles and qualities, or divine powers, present in the commandments, is revived as though they were birds. (…)   Those who seek the Lord should not look for him outside themselves.   On the contrary, they must seek Him, within themselves, through faith made manifest in action.

For it is written, “The word is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Rm 10:8), that is, the word of faith, Christ, being Himself, the word that is sought.” … Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk and Theologian – Second Century on Theology, nos. 10-11, 35mark 4 30-31 the grain of mustard seed is the lord - st maximus 31 jan 2020 to what shall I compare

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 Francis Xavier Bianchi and St John Bosco, who consistently tended Your seed, grant us strength and zeal.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.Saint_Francis_Xavier_Bianchi PRAY FOR US 31 JAN 2020st john bosco pray for us 31 jan 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 January – Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples”

Saint of the Day – 31 January – Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples” – Priest of the Barnabite Order (The Clerics Regular of St Paul), Apostle of the poor, Eucharistic Adorer, Marian devotee, Ascetic and Mystic, Spiritual Director and Confessor, Professor – born as Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi on 2 December 1743 in Arpino, Frosinone, Italy and died on 31 January 1815 in Naples, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Naples.    St Francis gained a reputation for sanctity during his lifetime from his commitment to his students, his guidance of all who sort his spiritual direction and to the poor of Naples.Saint_Francis_Xavier_Bianchi

Francis was born in 1743 in Arpino in the Lazio region, then part of the Papal States, into a loving and pious family.   His mother taught him to care for the poor around them, giving him example by setting up a small clinic in the family home where she would nurse up to 16 needy people.   He was, nevertheless, far from a standard pious child.   He would later confess to how he would occasionally pilfer money from his parents.

He made his first studies in the Collegio dei Santi Carlo e Filippo in Arpino, run by the Regular Clerics of San Paolo, also called Barnabiti, founded in 1530 in Milan by Father Antonio Maria Zaccaria (Canonised in 1897).   What changed Bianchi’s life was a slow and steady resolve to conquer his own will.   As he grew older, he felt called to religious life.  He initially thought of entering the Society of Jesus but then he chose the Order to which his teachers belonged.   The parents, on the other hand, would have preferred to see him as a diocesan priest.    As a result, at the age of 15 he was enrolled in a minor seminary in Nola, while at the same time, he began the study of law at the University of Naples Federico II.   During this period, he came under the spiritual guidance of St Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, the founder of the Redemptorists.

In 1757, Francis was admitted by the Barnabite Order into their novitiate in Zagarolo that same year, professing religious vows as a member of the Order the following year. He was then sent to pursue his study of philosophy and theology, first at Macerata, followed by Rome and Naples, where he was ordained a priest in 1767.   Prior to his ordination he had taught at the Barnabite college in his hometown.   He was immediately appointed the Superior of the College of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Portanova, which office he filled for 12 years.

His superiors then assigned him to the Barnabite monastery attached to the Church of Santa Maria di Caravaggio, Naples, where he was to spend the rest of his life.   In 1778 he was appointed a professor at Regia University (now the University of Palermo), as well as a member of the Royal Academy of Science and Letters of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.   Despite his academic honours and pride of place in the Order, his fellow Barnabites also saw another side to him, as he became known among them for the deeply ascetic way of life he followed, with a deeply contemplative prayer life and for his constant concern for the poor of the cities where he lived.SFRANCESCO-SAVERIO-MARIA-BIANCHI

He became part of a circle of notable religious figures living in Naples in that era. He became the Spiritual director and Confessor of Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, a Franciscan tertiary, who lived in one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods of the city and is now also honoured as a saint.   In turn, he became friends and under the guidance of such figures as Placido Baccher, the Blessed Mariano Arciero, his fellow Barnabite and student, the Venerable Francesco Maria Castelli, Giovanni Battista Jossa, the Servant of God Agnello Coppola.   He was in frequent communication with the Blessed Vincent Romano as well as with King Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia and his niece, Princess Maria Clotilde of Savoy, then in exile in Naples.

Fr Francis’ life changed in 1800, when he fell into a state of religious ecstasy while praying before the exposed Blessed Sacrament on Pentecost of that year.   Shortly after this, he developed an illness which left his legs twisted and with open sores for the rest of his life.   During the last three years of his life, he continued to preside daily at Mass, despite the agony of having to stand.   Mostly bedridden, he used this time to deepen his spiritual life even further as well as guiding others spiritually and hearing Confessions.san_francesco

Fr Francis also begun to tremble and experiences palpitations of his heart whenever he prayed, in a manner similar to that which had been experienced by St Philip Neri two centuries earlier.   The tertiary Mary Frances commented that we have two Philip’s, one white and one black, which was a pun on the meanings of their family names in Italian.

He was still living in the Barnabite monastery of Naples when it was closed in 1809, as part of the suppression of all monasteries and religious houses under the Napoleonic Kingdom of Naples.   He was able to remain in the city, where he died in 1815.

Fr Francis was Beatified on 22 January 1893 by Pope Leo XIII, who also declared him to be the “Apostle of Naples.”   He was Canonised on 21 October 1951, by Pope Pius XII.   His remains are enshrined in the Church of Santa Maria di Caravaggio in Naples.   His feast day is celebrated on 30 January by the Barnabites (moved to avoid being in conflict with St John Bosco’s feast) but the Catholic Church in Naples celebrates today, the feast of their beloved Saint with great honour and festivities each year.relics of st francis xavier bianchirelics of st francis xavier bianchi.2JPG

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 31 January

St John Bosco “Don Bosco” SDB (1815-1888) (Memorial) Founder of the Society of St Francis de Sales now known as the Salesians
All about beautiful Don Bosco:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/saint-of-the-day-31-january-st-john-bosco-don-bosco-1815-1888-founder-of-the-salesians-and-the-daughters-of-mary-help-of-christians-and-the-association-of-salesian-cooperators/

AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/31/saint-of-the-day-st-john-bosco-don-bosco-sdb-1815-1888/

St Abraham of Abela
Bl Adamnan of Coldingham
St Aedan of Ferns
St Aiden
St Athanasius of Modon
St Bobinus of Troyes
St Eusebius of Saint Gall
St Francesco Saverio Maria Bianchi/Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples”
St Geminian of Modena
Bl John Angelus
St Julius of Novara
Bl Louise degli Albertoni
Bl Luigi Talamoni
St Madoes
St Marcella
Bl Maria Cristina di Savoia
St Martin Manuel
St Nicetas of Novgorod
St Tryphaena of Cyzicus
St Tysul
St Ulphia of Amiens
St Waldo of Evreux
St Wilgils

Martyrs of Corinth – 14 saints: A group of Christians tortured and martyred together in Corinth, Greece in the persecutions of Decius. We know nothing about them except some names – Anectus, Claudius, Codratus, Crescens, Cyprian, Diodorus, Dionysius, Nicephorus, Papias, Paul, Serapion, Theodora, Victor and Victorinus.

Martyrs of Canope:
Athanasia
Cyrus the Physician
Eudoxia
John the Physician
Theoctista
Theodotia
Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt
Cyriacus
Metranus
Saturninus
Tarskius
Thyrsus
Victor
Zoticus

Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt:
Cyriacus
Metranus
Saturninus
Tarskius
Thyrsus
Victor
Zoticus

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
José Acosta Alemán
Juan José Martínez Romero
Pedro José Rodríguez Cabrera

Martyrs of Korea: Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions in Korea.
• Saint Agatha Kwon Chin-i
• Saint Agatha Yi Kyong-I
• Saint Augustinus Park Chong-Won
• Saint Magdalena Son So-Byok
• Saint Maria Yi In-Dok
• Saint Petrus Hong Pyong-Ju