Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 4 May

Our Morning Offering – 4 May

O Mary, Help of Christians
By St John Bosco

O Mary, powerful Virgin,
you are the mighty and glorious
protector of the Church;
you are the marvelous help of Christians;
you are terrible as an army in battle array;
you alone have destroyed every heresy
in the whole world.
In the midst of our anguish,
our struggles
and our distress,
defend us from the power of the enemy
and at the hour of our death
receive our souls in paradise. Amen

O MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS - ST JOHN BOSCO

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 31 January

Thought for the Day – 31 January

In the beginning, Don Bosco’s work was disappointing and seemingly impossible.   He had little money, no collaborators and hundreds of boys to take care of.   But he persisted, overcame all obstacles including persecution and saw one of his boys become a Saint – Dominic Savio.   He cried to God in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary, help of all of us and neither disappointed him!

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His ethos was to educate the whole person—body and soul united.   He believed that Christ’s love and our faith in that love should pervade everything we do—work, study, play.   For John Bosco, being a Christian was a full-time effort, not a once-a-week, Mass-on-Sunday experience.   It is searching and finding God and Jesus in everything we do, letting their love lead us.   Yet, because John realised the importance of job-training and the self-worth and pride that come with talent and ability, he trained his students in the trade crafts, too.   For it is the whole of us which becomes our eternal prayer to our Lord, it is every breath we take and every deed we accomplish!

St John Bosco Pray for us!

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

One Minute Reflection – 31 January

One Minute Reflection – 31 January

Whoever welcomes one such child for my sake welcomes me….Mt 18:5-6

REFLECTION – “Do you want to do something good and holy – indeed very holy and divine? Then work for the salvation of all young people.”…..St John Bosco

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to see You in all children as well as in all human beings. And let me work to bring forth Your image and likeness in them. St John Bosco has been an example to us all – help us to heed his words. St John Bosco, pray for us, amen!

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 31 January – St John Bosco

Blessed Memorial of St John Bosco/Don Bosco (1815-1888 aged 72) Priest, Confessor, Founder, “Father and Teacher of Youth” – Patron of  Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, juvenile delinquents, Mexican youth.

Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco; 16 August 1815– 31 January 1888 popularly known as Don Bosco was an Italian priest, educator and writer of the 19th century.   While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents and other disadvantaged youth.   He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive System.

A follower of the spirituality and philosophy of Saint Francis de Sales, Bosco was an ardent Marian devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title Mary Help of Christians.   He later dedicated his works to De Sales when he founded the Salesians of Don Bosco, based in Turin.  Together with Maria Domenica Mazzarello, he founded the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious congregation of nuns dedicated to the care and education of poor girls.

In 1876 Bosco founded a movement of laity, the Association of Salesian Co-operators, with the same educational mission to the poor.   In 1875 he began to publish the Salesian Bulletin.   The Bulletin has remained in continuous publication and is currently published in 50 different editions and 30 languages.

Bosco established a network of organizations and centres to carry on his work. Following his beatification in 1929, he was canonised as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1934.

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John was the youngest son of a peasant family.   His father died when John was two and the family became very poor.   As a youngster, John taught religion to other boys and got them to go to church.   His acrobatics and magic tricks fascinated them.   Encouraged by a priest, John entered the seminary wearing clothes provided by charity.

Priests at the seminary saw that John was a natural leader and encouraged him to use his gifts to keep other young people out of trouble.   John started gathering boys together on Sunday for a day in the country.   They would begin with Mass, followed by breakfast and games.   The afternoon would include a picnic, a catechism lesson and evening prayers. The group grew larger because John Bosco loved the boys.   He made each one feel important.   He had a gift for handling difficult boys.

John was able to get a house for himself and forty boys.   His mother became the housekeeper.   In the first six years the number of boys at the house grew to 150. John Bosco gave a father’s care to rowdy, neglected boys.   He is known as the “friend of boys” and is often called Don, which means Father.

Don Bosco opened workshops to train boys to be shoemakers and tailors.   He saw that in addition to getting a religious education the boys learned to play musical instruments, perform in plays and engage in sports.   He also wrote and printed books on Christian faith for boys.

At that time the state did not favour the Church and for four years men tried to assassinate John Bosco.   Once they tried to shoot him while he was teaching.   At other times they tried to poison him and attacked him on the street.   Eventually, however, because of his good work, even his enemies began to support him.

John Bosco knew God wanted him to work with boys because of a dream he had when he was young.   In this dream, boys who had been playing roughly suddenly began playing together as happily as lambs. John heard a voice saying, “Teach them right from wrong. Teach them the beauty of goodness and the ugliness of sin.”   When John told his mother about his dream, she said it might mean God wanted him to be a priest and care for some of the sheep in his flock.

John Bosco spent so much time working that people who knew him well became worried about his health.   They said he should take more time for rest and sleep.   John replied that he’d have enough time to rest in heaven. “Right now,” he said, “how can I rest? The devil doesn’t rest from his work.”

When John died, 40,000 people came to his wake.

Posted in NOVENAS

Announcement of Novenas

Announcement of Novenas

  1.  to ST FRANCIS de SALES – begins 15 January.   St. Francis de Sales is the Patron of Devotion so if there’s a Saint who might know what a Devout Heart is, it’s going to be him.   St. Alphonsus Liguori said that the most useful practice of a Novena is to make up our minds at the beginning of the Novena to correct some fault we have been accustomed to commit. Let us ask St. Francis de Sales to stir our hearts toward greater devotion and love for God.

  2. to ST PAUL – begins 16 January – MOST NEGLECTED IN PRAYER by Catholics – come on folks let us pray for zeal, for courage, for perseverence, for strength, for LOVE of God and neighbour, in fact we can pray to ST PAUL FOR ALL our needs!

  3. to ST JOHN BOSCO – begins 22 January.   St John Bosco is the Patron of Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, juvenile delinquents.   Choose ALL young people or your own children.   Or simply Pray the 9 days for your own growth in faith.

Don’t forget to pray Novenas each day for nine straight days…

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