Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – ‘Build a tabernacle for God’

One Minute Reflection – 23 January – Saturday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 9: 2-311-14Psalms 47:2-36-78-9Mark 3: 20-21 and the Memorial of St John the Almoner (Died c 620)

“For a tabernacle was constructed, the outer one, in which were the lampstand, the table and the bread of offering, this is called the Holy Place…” Hebrews 9:2

REFLECTION – “Each one of us can build a tabernacle for God, in himself. For if, as some before us have said, this tabernacle represents a figure of the whole world and if, each individual can have an image of the world in oneself, why should not each individual, be able to fulfil the form of the tabernacle in oneself? . . . For that part within you, which is most valuable of all, can act the part of priest—the part which some call the first principle of the heart, others the rational sense or the substance of the mind, or whatever other name, one wishes to give to that part of us, which makes us capable of receiving God.” – Origen of Alexandria (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father – Homilies on Exodus, 9

PRAYER – Lord God, true light and creator of light, grant us the grace to see clearly by the light who is Light, Your only Son. Lead us in His path and send us Your Spirit. Grant us the strength to grow in holiness so that our struggle against the powers of darkness may we a victory over temptation. May the intercession of the extraordinary charity of St John the Almoner, help us to obtain such charity in purity of heart. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.


Feast of the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Memorials of the Saints

Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 23 January: Feast in honour of the Blessed Virgin’s espousal to Saint Joseph. It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called “espoused” to Joseph (“his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph”, Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated. This feast dates from 1517 when it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation by Pope Leo X with nine other Masses in honour of Our Lady. Adopted by many religious orders and dioceses, it was observed for a time by nearly the whole Church but is no longer in the Calendar.

St Marianne Cope TOSF (1838-1918)

St Abel the Patriarch
St Agathangelus
St Amasius of Teano
St Andreas Chong Hwa-Gyong
St Aquila the Martyr
St Asclas of Antinoe
Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)
Her Life:
St Clement of Ancyra
St Colman of Lismore
St Dositheus of Gaza
St Emerentiana
St Eusebius of Mount Coryphe
Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366)
Blessed Henry’s Life:
St Ildephonsus (506-667)

Bl Joan Font Taulat
St John the Almoner (Died c 620) Bishop of Alexandria
Bl Juan Infante
St Jurmin
St Lufthild
St Maimbod
Bl Margaret of Ravenna
Martyrius of Valeria
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ormond of Mairé
St Parmenas the Deacon
St Severian the Martyr

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 11 November

St Martin of Tours (c 316-397) (Memorial)
Biography here:

Bl Alicia Maria jadwiga Kotowska
St Bartholomew of Rossano
St Bertuin of Malonne
St Cynfran of Wales
St Isidre Costa Hons
St John the Almoner (c 550-c 616)
St John’s Life:
Bl Josaphat Chichkov
Bl Kamen Vitchev
Bl (Luigia) Vincenza Maria Poloni (1802-1855)
St Marina of Omura
St Menas Kallikelados
St Mennas of Santomenna
St Mercurius the Soldier
Bl Pavel Dzjidzjov
St Rhediw
St Theodore the Studite
St Turibius of Palencia
St Veranus of Lyon
St Veranus of Vence
Bl Vincent Eugene Bossilkoff

Martyrs of Torredembarra: Members of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Discalced Carmelites, and Carmelite Tertiaries of Education who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Blessed Bonaventura Toldrà Rodon
• Blessed Damián Rodríguez Pablo
• Blessed Felipe Arce Fernández
• Blessed Frederíc Vila Bartolì
• Blessed Isidre Tarsá Giribets
• Blessed Joan Roca Vilardell
• Blessed José Alberich Lluch
• Blessed Josep Boschdemont Mitjavila
• Blessed Josep Maria Bru Ralduá
• Blessed Julio Alameda Camarero
• Blessed Lluís Domingo Oliva
• Blessed Mariano Navarro Blasco
• Blessed Miquel Saludes Ciuret
• Blessed Pedro de Eriz Eguiluz
They were martured on 11 November 1936 in Torredembarra, Tarragona, Spain and Beatified
• 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis
• beatification celebrated in Tarragona, Spain.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 November – St John the Almoner (c 550-c 616)

Saint of the Day – 11 November – St John the Almoner (c 550-c 616) – born in c 550 at Amathus, Cyprus and died there in c 616 of natural causes.   He is also known as John the Almsgiver, John the Merciful, John V of Alexandria, John Eleymon and Johannes Eleemon.  He  was the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria in the early 7th century (from 606 to 616).   He is the patron saint of the Knights Hospitaller, Casarano, Italy and of Limassol, john the almoner - header

St John was born at Amathus as the son of Epiphanius, governor of Cyprus and was of noble descent.   In early life he was married and had children but when his wife and children died, he entered religious life, he was around 40-50 at this time.

On the death of the Patriarch Theodore, the Alexandrians requested Emperor Phocas to appoint John his successor, which was accordingly done.   One of the first steps he took was to make a list of several thousand needy persons, whom he took under his especial care.   He always referred to the poor as his “masters”, because of their mighty influence at the Court of the Most High.   He assisted people of every class who were in need.   On Wednesday and Friday in every week, he sat on a bench before the church, to hear the complaints of the needy and aggrieved.

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John the Almoner, second half of the 15th century, Warsaw National Museum

He was a reformer who attacked simony and fought heresy by means of improvements in religious education.   He also reorganised the system of weights and measures for the sake of the poor and put a stop to corruption among the officials.   He increased the number of churches in Alexandria from seven to seventy.

The work  of St Vitalis of Gaza (died c 625), a monk who worked among the prostitutes of the city, was a noteworthy episode of John’s reign.   The Patriarch was considered to have behaved with wisdom for not punishing this monk who was notorious for visiting the unsavoury and dangerous areas of the city and his judgement was vindicated, only after the death of St Vitalis, when the story of the monk’s mission of mercy became known.

St John visited the hospitals three times every week and he freed a great many slaves. John is said to have devoted the entire revenues of his see to the alleviation of those in need.   A rich man presented him with a magnificent bed covering; he accepted it for one nigh, but then sold it and disposed of the money in alms.   The rich man bought the article and again presented it to John, with the same result.   This was repeated several times but John drily remarked: “We will see who tires first.”

St John the Almoner by Titian, c 1545

When the Sassanachs sacked Jerusalem in 614, John sent large supplies of food, wine and money to the fleeing Christians.   But eventually the Persians occupied Alexandria and John himself, in his old age, was forced to flee to his native country, where he died in c 616.

From Cyprus his body was moved to Constantinople, then in 1249 to Venice, where there is a church dedicated to him, the Chiesa di San Giovanni Elemosinario, although his relics are preserved in another church, San Giovanni in Bragora, in a separate chapel. Another relic was sent to King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.   It was placed in the private Royal Chapel in Buda Castle, which was dedicated to him.   In our time, his body lies in the St John the Merciful Chapel in St Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, Slovakia.
A church in Cospicua, Malta, is dedicated to him and one of the bastions of the Santa Margherita Lines in the same city is also named after him.

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Saint John the Almoner at the Church of San Giovanni in Bragora.