Posted in PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 18 May – St John Paul II’s Birthday!

Thought for the Day – 18 May – St John Paul II’s Birthday!

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on 18 May 1920, in Wadowice, Poland.   He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958 and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964.   He was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and in 1978 became the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years.   His Patronages are: Archdiocese of Kraków, World Youth Day (co-Patron), World Meeting of Families 2015 (co-Patron), Young Catholics, Families, Świdnica, Trecastelli, Borgo Mantovano, Rivignano Teor.

On the Anniversary of his Birth, we ask for his intercession.

Vatican Official Prayer to St John Paul II

Oh, St John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided,
courageously leading it along the paths of the world,
in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus.
Bless the young, who were your great passion.
Help them dream again, help them look up high again,
to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless families, bless each family!
You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious
and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth.
St John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family
and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions,
wars and injustice.
You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
Oh St John Paul, from heaven’s window,
where we see you next to Mary,
send God’s blessing down upon us all.
Amenprayer-to-st-john-paul-birthday-today-18-may-20181.jpg

St John Paul, Pray for us!st john paul II pray for us 18 may 2019 his birthday 99 years old.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 10 May – “.. desire always to be one with Him”

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928)

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily
St John Paul II (1920-2005)
Sunday, 22 June 2003

Dear brothers and sisters, the just man, surrounded by divine light, becomes in turn a lamp which radiates light and gives warmth.   This is what we learn today from the figure of Ivan Merz.

A gifted young man, he made a good return on his rich natural talents and obtained great human success – it can be said that he had a very successful life.   But that is not the reason why he is today declared Blessed.   What makes him one of the choir of the Beati is his success in God’s eyes.  The great aspiration of his whole life was “never to forget God, to desire always to be one with Him”.   In all his activities Ivan Merz sought “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” and he allowed Christ to make him his own (cf. Phil 3:8,12).

At the school of the liturgy, the source and summit of the Church’s life (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10), Ivan Merz grew to the fullness of Christian maturity and became one of the principal promoters of the liturgical renewal in his country.

Taking part in Mass and drawing nourishment from the Body of Christ and the Word of God, he drew the inspiration to become an apostle of young people.   It was not by chance that he chose as his motto “Sacrifice – Eucharist – Apostolate”.   Conscious of the vocation he had received in Baptism, he made his whole life a “race” towards holiness, the “high standard” of Christian life (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31).   For this reason, as the First Reading says, “his memory will not disappear and his name will live through all generations” (Sir 39:9).

The name of Ivan Merz, has meant in the past, a programme of life and of activity, for an entire generation of young Catholics.   Today too, it must do the same!

…Do not seek a more comfortable life elsewhere, do not flee from your responsibilities and expect others to resolve problems but resolutely counter evil with the power of good.

Like Blessed Ivan, strive for a personal encounter with Christ which sheds new light on life.   May the Gospel be the great ideal guiding your approaches and your decisions! Thus you will become missionaries in word and deed, signs of God’s love and credible witnesses of the merciful presence of Christ.   Never forget: “one does not light a lamp and put it under a bushel” (cf. Mt 5:15).

Dear brothers and sisters, who take part with such fervour in this celebration, may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, keep your heart and your spirit in the knowledge and love of God and of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessed Ivan Merz, Pray for Us!bl ivan merz pray for us 10 may 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – “We wish to see Jesus”

One Minute Reflection – 8 May – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 6:35–40 and the Memorial of Blessed Clara Fey (1815-1894)

“This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life”…John 6:40

REFLECTION – “We wish to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21).   This request, addressed to the Apostle Philip by some Greeks who had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, echoes spiritually in our ears too…   Like those pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the men and women of our own day — often perhaps unconsciously — ask believers not only to “speak” of Christ but in a certain sense to “show” Him to them.   And is it not the Church’s task, to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine also before the generations of the new millennium?

Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His face…  The contemplation of Christ’s face, cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about Him, in Sacred Scripture, which from beginning to end, is permeated by His mystery, prefigured in a veiled way in the Old Testament and revealed fully in the New…  Remaining firmly anchored in Scripture, we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit (cf. Jn 15:26) from whom the sacred texts derive their origin, as well as to the witness of the Apostles (cf. Jn 15:27), who had a first-hand experience of Christ, the Word of life – they saw Him with their eyes, heard Him with their ears, touched Him with their hands (cf. 1 Jn 1:1).   What we receive from them is a vision of faith based on precise historical testimony.”…St John Paul II (1920-2005)Apostolic Letter “ Novo Millennio Inuente ”, §16-17this is the will of my father - john 6 40 - the contemplation of christ's face - st john paul 8 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule us.    Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life.    May the prayers of Mary our Mother and Blessed Clara Fey, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mother mary - pray for us - 6 may 2018.jpg

blessed clara fey pray for us 8 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – ‘O Mary’

Our Morning Offering – 3 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Friday of the Second Week of Easter

O Mary
By St John Paul II (1920-2005)

O Mary, sorrowful Mother,
you are a silent witness
of these decisive moments
for the history of salvation.
Give us your eyes
so that on the face
of the crucified One,
disfigured by pain,
we may recognise
the image of
the glorious Risen One.
Help us to embrace Him
and entrust ourselves to Him,
so that we be made worthy
of His promises.
Help us to be faithful today
and throughout our lives.
Amen!o mary by st john paul - 3 may 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – “Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

Quote/s of the Day – 9 April – Tuesday of the Fifth week of Lent

“Speaking of the Cross of Christ”

“Jesus never sinned, yet He was crucified for you.
Will you refuse to be crucified for Him, who for your sake was nailed to the cross?
You are not the one who gives the favour, you have received one first.
For your sake He was crucified on Golgotha.
Now you are returning His favour, you are fulfilling your debt to Him.”

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)

Father & Doctor of the Churchjesus-never-sinned-yet-he-was-crucified-for-you-st-cyrilofjerusalem-7feb2019.jpg

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

“The cross of Christ is the true ground
and chief cause of Christian hope.”

“Let no one be ashamed of the cross
by which Christ has redeemed the world.
None of us must be afraid to suffer
for the sake of justice or doubt the
fulfilment of the promises,
for it is through toil that we come to rest
and through death that we pass to life.”

St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Churchby-baptism-st-leo-the-great-quotes-on-the-cross-10-nov-2018.jpg

“O Blessed Cross,
You are venerated, preached
and honoured by the faith of the Patriarchs,
the predictions of the Prophets,
the senate that judges the Apostles,
the victorious army of Martyrs
and the throngs of all the Saints”
(Sermo XLVII, 14, p. 304)

St Peter Damian (1007-1072) Doctor of the Churcho-blessed-cross-st-peter-damian-21-feb-2019.jpg

“This is that enviable and blessed cross of Christ . . .
the cross in which alone we must make our boast,
as Paul, God’s chosen instrument, has told us.”

St Raymond of Peñafort (1175-1275)
“Father of Canon Law”

this-is-that-enviable-st-raymond-of-penafort-7 jan 2019.jpg

“And if He gave His life for us,
then it should not be difficult
to bear whatever hardships arise for His sake.
If you seek patience,
you will find no better example than the cross.
Christ endured much on the cross and did so patiently,
because “when he suffered he did not threaten,
he was led like a sheep to the slaughter
and he did not open his mouth.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Churchand-if-he-gave-his-life-for-us-st-thomas-aquinas-28-jan-2018 (1).jpg

“The Cross is God’s chair in the world.”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)the-cross-is-gods-chair-in-the-world-st-john-paul-22feb2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 8 April – “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts.”

Quote of the Day – 8 April – Monday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of Blessed Augustus Czartoryski SDB (1858-1893)

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts. My soul is longing and yearning, is yearning for the courts of the Lord…. One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” …Psalm 84[83]: 2, 11

“Blessed Augusto Czartoryski wrote these words of the Psalm, his motto of life, on the holy card of his first Mass.   In them is contained the rapture of a man who, following the voice of the call, discovers the beauty of the ministerial priesthood.   In them resounds the echo of the different choices that the person who is discerning God’s will and wishes to fulfil it must make. Augustus Czartoryski, a young prince, carefully prepared an effective method to discern the divine plan.   In prayer, he presented to God all questions and deep perplexities and then in the spirit of obedience he followed the counsel given by his spiritual guides.   In this way he came to understand his vocation and to take up the life of poverty to serve the “least”.   The same method enabled him throughout the course of his life to make decisions, so that today we can say that he accomplished the designs of Divine Providence in a heroic way.   I would like to leave this example of holiness especially to young people, who today search out the way to decipher God’s will relating to their own lives and desire to faithfully forge ahead each day according to the divine word.   My dear young friends, learn from Blessed Augustus to ask ardently in prayer for the light of the Holy Spirit and wise guides, so that you may understand the divine plan in your lives and are able to walk constantly on the path of holiness.”…St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of Blessed Augustus on Sunday, 25 April 2004bl-augustus-czartoryski-wrote-these-words-st-john-paul-8-april-2018.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896)

Saint of the Day – 6 April – Blessed Zefirino Agostini (1813-1896) Priest, Apostle of the Poor and Founder of the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici and the Ursuline Sisters of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate of which orders he is the Patron.bl zefirino.jpg

Blessed Zefirino Agostini was born in Verona, Italy on 24 September 1813.   He was the oldest son of his parents, his father was a physician, who died when Zefirino was very young.

Blessed Zefirino commenced his studies for the priesthood at the age of eighteen and was Ordained on 11 March 1837.    He was then and was assigned to a very poor parish in Verona.   There he established an after-school programs for girls, religious education for mothers and education for women.

He began a devotion to Saint Angela Merici for the female parishioners and founded the Pious Union of Sisters Devoted to Saint Angela Merici whose rule was approved by Bishop Ricabona in 1856.

On All Souls Day of that same year, he opened his first charitable school of poor girls.  In 1860, local women who worked in the school chose community life and Father Agostini prepared the first rule for the community and on 24 September 1869, the first 12 Ursulines made their profession.   On 18 November 1869, they founded the Congregation of Ursulines, Daughters of Mary Immaculate.zefirino agostini

Father Agostini died on 6 April 1869 in Verona, Italy of natural causes.   His order received diocesan approval on 24 June 1923 while the papal decree of praise of Pope Pius XI was issued on 14 March 1932 and full papal approval for the institute came on 3 April 1940 from Pope Pius XII during World War II.   The order now operates in places such as Switzerland and Benin and as of 2005 has 628 religious in 78 houses.

He was Beatified on 25 October 1998 by St Pope John Paul II, after approval of the required miracle.   At the Beatification St John Paul said:

“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength” (2 Tm 4:17).

“These words of the Apostle to Timothy certainly apply to Fr Zefirino Agostino, who never lost heart despite countless difficulties.   He stands before us today as a humble, steadfast witness to the Gospel in the latter half of the 19th century, a fruitful period for the Church in Verona.   His faith was steadfast, his charitable work effective and ardent was the priestly spirit that distinguished him.

The love of the Lord spurred him in his apostolate to the poor, especially in the Christian education of girls, particularly the most needy.   He understood well the important role women play in the rehabilitation of society by teaching the values of freedom, honesty and charity.

He advised the Ursulines, his spiritual daughters:  “Poor girls, let them be the favourite object of your care and attention.   Awaken their minds, teach their hearts virtue and save their souls from malignant contact with the wicked world” (Scritti alle Orsoline, 289).   May his example strongly encourage those who honour him today as blessed and invoke him as their protector.”

Zefirino_Agostini