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

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Agostino Roscelli ( 1818–1902)

Saint of the Day – 7 May – St Agostino Roscelli ( 1818–1902) aged 83, Priest, Founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Immaculata, Spiritual director, Apostle of prayer and charity, Social reformer, founder of training schools and programmes for young adults, both girls and boys, Chaplain to Prisoners and Orphanages – also known as Augustine Roscelli, Augustin Roscelli – born on 27 July 1818 at Bargone di Casarza Ligure, Italy and died on 7 May 1902 at Genoa, Italy of natural causes.   St Agostino inspired social change in Genoa, Italy for children and disadvantaged women.ST AGOSTINO ROSCELLI.jpg

On 27 July 1818, Agostino was born in northern Italy.   His parents, Domenico Roscelli and Maria Gianelli, had him baptised the same day out of fear that he may not survive. Despite his early health problems, Agostino would grow into a quiet intellectual, receiving his basic education from the parish priest, Fr Andrea Garibaldi.   These times were brief however, as he would spend a large part of his childhood caring for his poor farming family’s sheep in the mountains.   During these solitary times, he would fill his hours with prayer.

In May 1835, at the age of 17, Agostino attended a parish mission given by a visiting priest, Fr Antonio Maria Gianelli (1789– 1846) (parish priest of Chiavari and later bishop of Bobbio) and now a Saint and the founder of the Missionaries of St Alphonsus.    (About St Anthony here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/saint-of-the-day-7-june-st-anthony-mary-gianelli-1789-1846/)

This mission thoroughly convinced him he had a call to the priesthood, a calling that would not be easily achieved, considering the poor financial state his family was in. Despite this, he attacked the situation with prayer, which led to financial aid that allowed him to study in Genoa, Italy.   One of his benefactors was Fr Gianelli who found him a post as a sacristan and guardian of a church attached to a girls school.   He was ordained on 19 September 1846.agostino roscelli1-young main .jpg

Agostino was shortly thereafter, appointed to a working class parish, San Martino d’Albaro, in 1846.   He would later move to the Church of Consolation in Genoa in 1854. As a parish priest he soon made a positive impression with his obvious zeal and austerity of life.   He spent long hours in the confessional, which developed his deep concern for the youth of the area.   The boys of the parish were often tempted into a life of crime, having little to no education or hope of finding work.   The girls were even worse off, having less education than the boys and were liable to seek menial work in the city, often being seduced or enticed into a life of prostitution.

Seeing a great need for change, Agostino set about forming a new type of job training for girls.   He gathered together a group of young women and with them founded a “sewing workshop”, in which girls could receive practical and professional training as well as Christian instruction.  STATUE ST AGOSTINO ROSCELLINot wanting to neglect the boys, he would also found a “young craftsman” institute for them in 1858.   He would later go on to establish a residential school to train young women who were in danger of starvation or falling into prostitution because they had no support.

In 1872, Agostino began a ministry to prisoners, working especially with those condemned to death.   Two years later, in 1874, he was appointed Warden and Chaplain of the new provincial orphanage, Monte dei Fieschine, a post he held for 22 years. During that time he would baptise over 8,000 children, as well as providing care for young single mothers, not condemning them but seeing them as simple souls led astray on account of lack of rewarding work.

He lived in an atmosphere of intense prayer, something that would inspire those around him, especially his helpers.   The women who ran the sewing workshop, known as “Roscelli’s Collaborators”, decided their mission would be greatly helped if they were to consecrate themselves to Christ in a more formal way.   Agostino was reluctant to start a religious congregation but was encouraged to seek the advice and approval of Pope Pius IX.

Pope Pius IX’s reply was simple, “May God bless you and your good works”.  ST AGOSTINO Roscelli 3This was what Agostino needed however and he would go on to found the Institute of Sisters of the Immaculata on 15 October 1876.   Agostino would induct the first of the nuns a week later, going on to act as their spiritual director.   He would oversee the early growth of the order beyond Genoa and eventually beyond Italy.

Until the very end of his life, St Agostino would describe himself simply as a “poor priest”, ever humble as to his accomplishments.   On 7 May 1902, he died of natural causes in Genoa, Italy.   He was 83 years old.

On 17 May 1995, Agostino was officially declared Blessed by St Pope John Paul II.   He said:

“A spiritual feature characteristic of Blessed Agostino Roscelli…was to work at the service of his brothers and sisters without ever neglecting his interior union with the Lord.   The true contemplative is the one who is able to work with greater force and incisiveness for the salvation of souls and the good of the Church.   The new blessed’s apostolic activity was truly fruitful because it flowed from a genuine mystical and contemplative life.   His ardent love for God, enriched by the gift of wisdom, enabled him to give himself as far as possible to serving his neighbour without ever being separated from the Lord.”… St John Paul at the Beatification ceremony.”

99 years after his death, Agostino was officially declared a Saint by St Pope John Paul II on 10 June 2001.444px-Bargone-dipinto_Agostino_Roscelli

“‘Great is his love for us.’   The love of God for men is manifested with particular clarity in the life of St Augustine Roscelli, whom we contemplate today in the splendour of holiness.  Its existence, imbued with deep faith, can be considered a gift offered to the glory of God and for the good of souls.   It was faith which made him always obedient to the Church and its teachings, in docile adherence to the Pope and to their own bishop.   By faith he knew how to draw comfort in sad and harsh difficulty and in painful events.   Faith was the solid rock to which he held on tightly to not give in to discouragement.  This same faith led him to feel it his duty to communicate it to others, especially to those who approached the ministry of confession.   He became a master of the spiritual life, especially for the sisters that he founded, which saw him serene even in the most trying situations.   St Augustine Roscelli exhorts us always to trust in God, immersing us in the mystery of His love.”… St John Paul’s homily at the Canonization of Agostino Roscelli, 10 June 2001.

Below is his birthplace and the plaque outside.

Posted in EASTER, FRANCISCAN OFM, PAPAL MESSAGES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 April – “Stay with us”

One Minute Reflection – 24 April – Wednesday of Easter week, Gospel: Luke 24:13–35 and the Memorial of St Benedict Menni (1841-1914)

“Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.”   So he went in to stay with them....Luke 24:29

REFLECTION – “When the disciples on the way to Emmaus asked Jesus to stay “with” them, He responded by giving them a much greater gift, through the Sacrament of the Eucharist He found a way to stay “in” them.
Receiving the Eucharist means entering into a profound communion with Jesus.   “Abide in me, and I in you” (Jn 15:4).   This relationship of profound and mutual “abiding” enables us to have a certain foretaste of heaven on earth.   Is this not the greatest of human yearnings?   Is this not what God had in mind when He brought about in history His plan of salvation?   God has placed in human hearts a “hunger” for His word (cf. Am 8:11), a hunger which will be satisfied only by full union with Him.   Eucharistic communion was given, so that we might be “sated” with God here on earth, in expectation of our complete fulfilment in heaven.
This special closeness which comes about in Eucharistic “communion” cannot be adequately understood or fully experienced apart from ecclesial communion…   The Church is the Body of Christ – we walk “with Christ” to the extent that we are in relationship “with his body”. Christ provided for the creation and growth of this unity, by the outpouring of His Holy Spirit.   And He Himself, constantly builds it up by His Eucharistic presence.   It is the one Eucharistic bread which makes us one body.   As the Apostle Paul states:  “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1Cor 10:17)…Saint John Paul II (1920-2005) – Apostolic Letter “ Mane nobiscum Domine ” §19-20luke 24 29 - stay with us - when the disciples on the way to emmaus - st john paul 24 april 2019 - wed easter octave.jpg

PRAYER – Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You.   You know how easily I abandon You.
Stay with me Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, so that I may not fall so often.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my life and without You, I am without fervour.
Stay with me Lord, for You are my light and without you, I am in darkness.
Stay with me Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You…. St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) (Excerpt)  
And grant holy Father, that the prayers of St Benedict Menni, may assist us on our way. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.st benedict menni pray for us 24 april 2019.jpg

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

Thought for the Day – 21 March – “Do everything for the love of God”

Thought for the Day – 21 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello (1791 – 1858)

“O most blessed Light, fill the interior of the hearts of your faithful.”   The words of the Sequence are a beautiful summary of the life of Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello and explain its extraordinary spiritual richness.

Guided by divine grace, the new saint was concerned to accomplish God’s will with fidelity and coherence.   With boundless confidence in the Lord’s goodness, she abandoned herself to his “loving Providence”, deeply convinced, as she liked to repeat, that one must “do everything for love of God and to please Him”.   This is the precious inheritance that St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello left to her spiritual daughters that today is offered to the entire Christian community.

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the hearts of your faithful!   Help us to spread the fire of your love in the world.   Amen!

St Pope John Paul on the Canonisation of St Benedetta, Sunday, 19 May 2002

St Benedetta Frassinello, Pray for Us!st benedetta frassinello pray for us 21 march 2019 do everythingforthelove of god.jpg

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN TITLES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 27th World Day of Prayer for the Sick

Each year over 2 million people make their way through the mountainous country of southeastern France to Lourdes.   They come seeking cures, hoping to find answers, believing, and praying.   At Lourdes, people recall the Lady dressed in white, with a blue sash, yellow roses at her feet and a Rosary on her arm—the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On 11 February 1858, Mary appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous.   This was the first of 18 visits, many of them with 20,000 people present.   When Bernadette asked the Lady’s identity, she replied, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”   Just four years earlier, the pope had proclaimed it a dogma that Mary was conceived immaculate without original sin.   The Blessed Virgin, through Bernadette, had come to call sinners to a change of heart.   Her message was a request for prayer and penance.   She also instructed Bernadette to tell the priests that a chapel was to be built on the site and processions held.

On 25 February 1858, the Lady told Bernadette to dig in the dirt and drink of the stream. Bernadette began to dig and after several attempts, she was able to find the water to drink.   The water continued to flow from where she had dug with her hands until it was producing over 32,000 gallons of water a day—as it still does.   There have been over 5,000 cures recorded but less than 100 of them have been declared miraculous by the Church.   Most of these have taken place during the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.

Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.   We may never travel to Lourdes and join in the processions but we can know always that we have a Mother to help us and lead us to her Son, Jesus.   And so we pray to her:

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

To Mary, Mother of tender love,
we wish to entrust all those
who are ill in body and soul,
that she may sustain them in hope.
We ask her also to help us to be welcoming
to our sick brothers and sisters.

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to His promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to His manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.
Amenprayer-to-our-lady-of-lourdes-by-st-john-paul-no-2-11-feb-2018 (1).jpg

Our Lady of Lourdes, Pray for Us!ou lady of lourdes pray for us 11 feb 2019.jpg

St Bernadette, Pray for Us!st-bernadette-pray-for-us-11-feb-2018.jpg

Posted in Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 10 February – The Memorial of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898–1960) Martyr

Thought for the Day – 10 February – The Memorial of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898–1960) Martyr

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily of
THE HOLY FATHER AT MARIJA BISTRICA
FOR THE BEATIFICATION OF THE
VENERABLE SERVANT OF GOD
CARDINAL ALOJZIJE STEPINAC
3 October 1998

For all of us, a particular cause for comfort is today’s Beatification.   This solemn act takes place in the Croatian national shrine of Marija Bistrica on the first Saturday of the month of October.   Beneath the gaze of the Most Blessed Virgin, an illustrious son of this blessed land is raised to the glory of the altars, on the hundredth anniversary of his birth.   It is an historic moment in the life of the Church and of your nation.   The Cardinal Archbishop of Zagreb, one of the outstanding figures of the Catholic Church, having endured in his own body and his own spirit the atrocities of the Communist system, is now entrusted to the memory of his fellow countrymen with the radiant badge of martyrdom.

The Episcopate of your country asked that the Beatification of Cardinal Stepinac take place here, in the Shrine of Marija Bistrica.   I know from personal experience the significance that the Shrine of Jasna Gora had for the Polish people at the time of Communist rule, a Shrine closely linked to the pastoral ministry of the Servant of God Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.   I am not surprised that this Shrine, or that of Solona which I shall visit tomorrow, have had a similar importance for you.   For some time I have wanted to visit the Shrine of Marija Bistrica.   And so I gladly accepted the proposal of the Croatian Episcopate and today celebrate the solemn beatification ceremony in this significant place.682px-Marija_Bistrica.jpg

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me” (Jn 12:26).   Blessed Alojzije Stepinac took the Good Shepherd as his sole Teacher, following His example to the end and offering his life for the flock entrusted to him at a particularly difficult period of history.

The person of the new Beatus sums up, so to speak, the whole tragedy which befell the Croatian people and Europe in the course of this century marked by the three great evils of fascism, national socialism and communism.   He is now in the joy of heaven, surrounded by all those who, like him, fought the good fight, purifying their faith in the crucible of suffering.   Today we look to him with trust and invoke his intercession.

Significant in this regard are the words spoken by the new Beatus in 1943, during the Second World War, when Europe was in the grip of unheard-of violence:   “What system does the Catholic Church support today, while the whole world is fighting for a new world order?   We, in condemning the injustices, all the killing of innocent people, the burning of peaceful villages, the destruction of the labour of the poor, … give this answer: the Church supports that system which is as old as the Ten Commandments of God.   We are for the system which is not written on impermanent tables but which has been written by the hand of the living God on the consciences of men” (Homilies, Addresses, Messages, Zagreb, 1996, 179-180).

“Father, glorify your name!” (Jn 12:28).   In his human and spiritual journey Blessed Alojzije Stepinac gave his people a sort of compass to serve as an orientation.   And these were its cardinal points – faith in God, respect for man, love towards all even to the offer of forgiveness and unity with the Church guided by the Successor of Peter.   He knew well that no bargains can be made with truth, because truth is not negotiable.   Thus he faced suffering rather than betray his conscience and not abide by the promise given to Christ and the Church.

In this courageous witness he was not alone.   He had at his side other courageous souls who, in order to preserve the unity of the Church and defend her freedom, agreed to pay with him a heavy price in imprisonment, mistreatment and even bloodshed  . To these generous souls – Bishops, priests, men and women religious and lay faithful – we offer today our admiration and gratitude.   Let us listen to their urgent call for forgiveness and reconciliation.   To forgive and to be reconciled, means to purify one’s memory of hatred, rancour, the desire for revenge, it means acknowledging as a brother even those who have wronged us, it means not being overcome by evil but overcoming evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21).
May you be blessed, “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3), for this new gift of your grace.

May you be blessed, Unbegotten Son of God and Saviour of the world, for your glorious Cross, which in the Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, has won a splendid victory.

May you be blessed, Spirit of the Father and the Son, Paraclete Spirit, who continue to manifest your holiness among men and unceasingly carry on the work of salvation.

Triune God, today I wish to thank you for the strong faith of this your people, despite the many trials encountered through the centuries.   I wish to thank you for the countless martyrs and confessors, men and women in every age, who have arisen in this blessed land.

“Father, glorify your name!” (Jn 12:28).

Blessed be Jesus and Mary!

HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, Pray for Us!blessed sloysius stepinac pray for us 10 feb 2019 .jpg

Posted in GOD the FATHER, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 4 February – We are called to serve.

Thought for the Day – 4 February – The Memorial of St John de Britto SJ (1647-1693) Martyr

We are called to serve.

Excerpt from the
EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION IN HONOUR OF ST JOHN DE BRITTO

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Madras
Wednesday, 5 February 1986

“Let the peoples praise you, O God,
let all the peoples praise you” .

Saint John de Britto, whom we are remembering in today’s liturgical celebration, was born in Lisbon in 1647.   After entering the Society of Jesus he followed the footsteps of Saint Francis Xavier to India where he chose to work for the humble and needy in what was then called the Madurai Mission.   His patient labours, selfless zeal and genuine love for the poor, won for him their confidence.   Like Jesus he was “a sign of contradiction” and his success created jealousy and opposition.   As a result, John de Britto died a martyr on 4 February 1693, bearing witness to Christ.

…Saint John de Britto’s life faithfully reflected the life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for it was a life of service unto death.   Today it challenges all of us to continue with fresh vigour the Church’s role of loving service to humanity.   The immense and tender love of Jesus Christ for the poor and the downtrodden, for sinners and the suffering, remains a challenge for every Christian.   Christ’s unrelenting stand for truth is a compelling example.   Above all, the generosity shown in His suffering and death, as the culmination of His service to humanity and the supreme act of Redemption, is the example for us.    We are called to serve.

There can be no authentic Christian life without an effective love of our fellow human beings.   At the closing of the Vatican Council Pope Paul VI affirmed that ” if… in the face of every man, especially when this face is made transparent by his tears and suffering, we can and must, recognise the face of Christ … and in the face of Christ, we can and must, recognise, the face of our heavenly Father, … then our humanism becomes a Christianity and our Christianity becomes theocentric.   And thus we can also say – to know God, it is necessary, to know man.”if in the face of every man - st pope paul VI 4 feb 2019.jpg

Today we live at a time of history when peace and harmony between nations and races is constantly threatened.   Division and hatred, fear and frustration – these are among the counter-values of our day.   The message of love in Christ Jesus in urgently needed. Hence, the Church’s task of proclaiming the Gospel and of being at the service of society is supremely relevant in India today.   This task requires the active collaboration of all sectors of the ecclesial community, especially the laity.

…Through the testimony of your lives, through your words and deeds, the word of God is made known to the minds and hearts of others who seek Him, so that “they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory” – that “they may obtain salvation”!

Brothers and sisters, if we die with Christ, we shall live also with Him, “if we endure, we shall also reign with him” .

Christ – Shepherd, Prophet and Priest – has sealed our hearts with His call just as He touched the hearts of the apostles, the hearts of Saint Thomas, Saint Francis Xavier and Saint John de Britto.   May they intercede for the Church in India, for this beloved country and its people!

We will be happy if we remain faithful.   For He, Christ, is faithful – “He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself” .

Brothers and sisters, you are called to be living witnesses to Christ, living witnesses to God’s word, living witnesses to the saving message of love and mercy that Christ revealed to the world. Amen.

St John de Britto, Pray for Us!st john de britto no 2 pray for us 4 feb 2019.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of Blessed Giuseppe Tovini OFS (1841-1897)

St Pope Paul VI and Blessed Giuseppe Tovini

Sons & Saints of Brescia

Excerpt from St Pope John Paul’s Homily

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH
OF THE SERVANT OF GOD PAUL VI
AND THE BEATIFICATION OF GIUSEPPE TOVINI

HOMILY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Brescia
Sunday, 20 September, 1998

With deep affection I greet you, city of Brescia, so rich in works of Christian inspiration;  I greet your priests, religious and the many lay people who in their various ecclesial and civil offices have distinguished themselves by their religious, social and cultural commitment.

2. “Peter, do you love me?”.   We can say that Paul VI’s life was a response to Christ’s question – a great proof of love for God, the Church and mankind.   He loved God as a gracious and caring Father and during the important moments of his life, especially those burdened with difficulties and suffering, he displayed a very strong sense of the divine fatherhood.

When, as Archbishop of Milan, he decided to hold a popular mission to instil new energy in the city’s Christian tradition, he chose as his basic theme – God is Father.   Then on 6 August, 20 years ago, as he neared the end of his earthly life at Castel Gandolfo, he wanted to recite the Our Father as his last prayer.

And what can be said of his passionate love for Christ?   His was an essentially Christocentric spirituality.   In the homily to mark the beginning of his Pontificate, he explained that he had chosen the name of Paul because the Apostle “loved Christ supremely, because he greatly wanted and strove to bring the Gospel of Christ to all nations, because he offered his life in Christ’s name” (30 June 1963, in Insegnamenti I, [1963], pp. 24-25).   On another occasion he added that it is impossible to leave Christ out of consideration, “if we want to know something certain, full, revealed about God, or rather, if we want to have a living, direct and authentic relationship with God” (General Audience, 18 December 1968; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 26 December 1968, p. 3).

3. To his love for God the Father and for Christ the Teacher, Paul VI joined an intense love for the Church, for which he spent all his physical, intellectual and spiritual energies, as the touching confession he made in Pensiero alla morte testifies:  “The Church … I could say that I have always loved her … and that I think I have lived for her and for nothing else” (cf. Pubblicazione dell’Istituto Paolo VI, Brescia 1988, pp. 28-29).

Flowing spontaneously from this love for Christ and for the Church was his pastoral passion for man, with an acute insight into the sufferings and expectations of the contemporary age.   Few have known, as he, to interpret the anxieties, desires, toils and aspirations of the men of our century.   He wished to walk at their side, to do this he made himself a pilgrim on their roads, meeting them where they lived and struggled to build a world of greater attention and respect for the dignity of every human being.

He wanted to be the servant of Church which evangelised the poor, called with every person of goodwill to build that “civilisation of love” in which not only the crumbs of economic and civil progress go to the poor, but where justice and solidarity should reign.

4. The roots of Pope Montini’s particular sensitivity to the great social questions of our century are sunk deep in his Brescian origins.   In his own family and then during the years of his youth in Brescia, he breathed that atmosphere, that fervour of activity which made Brescian Catholicism one of the significant landmarks of the Catholic presence in the social and political life of the country.   Addressing his fellow citizens at the beginning of his Pontificate, Paul VI expressed this debt of gratitude: “Brescia! The city which not only gave me birth but is such a part of the civil, spiritual and human tradition, teaching me as well the meaning of life in this world and always offering me a framework which, I think, will withstand future experiences ordained over the years by divine Providence” (cf. Address to a Pilgrimage from Milan and Brescia, 29 June 1963, in Insegnamenti I [1963], p. 647).

5. Bl Giuseppe Tovini was certainly a great witness of the Gospel incarnated in Italy’s social and economic history in the last century.   He is resplendent for his strong personality, his profound lay and family spirituality and for his generous efforts to improve society.   Between Tovini and Giovanni Battista Montini there is — as a matter of fact — a close, profound spiritual and mental bond.

In fact, the Pontiff himself wrote of Tovini:  “The impression he left on those I first knew and esteemed was so vivid and so real that I frequently heard comments and praise of his extraordinary personality and his many varied activities – astonished, I heard admiring expressions of his virtue and sorrowful regrets at his early death” (cf. Preface by Giovanni Battista Montini to the biography of Giuseppe Tovini by Fr Antonio Cistellini in 1953, p. I).st pope paul VI and bl giuseppe tovini saints of brescia - 16 jan 2019.jpg

6. Fervent, honest, active in social and political life, Giuseppe Tovini proclaimed the Christian message, always in fidelity to the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.   His constant concern was to defend the faith, convinced that — as he said at a congress — “without faith our children will never be rich, with faith they will never be poor”. He lived at a sensitive time in the history of Italy and the Church and it was clear to him, that one could not respond fully to God’s call, without being generously and selflessly involved in social problems.

His was a prophetic vision and he responded with apostolic daring to the needs of the times, which in the light of new forms of discrimination required of believers a more incisive leadership in temporal affairs.

Aided by the legal skills and rigorous professionalism that distinguished him, he promoted and directed many social organisations and also held political office in Cividate Camuno and Brescia in the desire to make Christian doctrine and morality present among the people.   He considered commitment to education a priority and prominent among his many initiatives, was his defence of schools and the freedom of teaching.

With humble means and great courage he laboured tirelessly to preserve for Brescian and Italian society what was most particularly its own, that is, its religious and moral heritage.

Tovini’s honesty and integrity were rooted in his deep, vital relationship with God, which he constantly nourished with the Eucharist, meditation and devotion to the Blessed Virgin.   From listening to God in daily prayer, he drew light and strength for the great social and political battles he had to wage to safeguard Christian values.   The Church of St Luke, with its beautiful image of the Immaculata and where his mortal remains now rest, is a witness to his piety.

On the threshold of the third millennium, Giuseppe Tovini, whom today we contemplate in heavenly glory, spurs us on.   I invite you in particular, dear lay faithful of Brescia and Italy, to look to this great social apostle, who was able to give hope to those without voice in the society of his time, so that his example will be an incentive and encouragement to everyone to work generously today and always to defend and to spread the truth and the demands of the Gospel.   May he protect you from heaven and sustain you by his intercession.

Dear Brescians, you have received a great religious and civil heritage – treasure it as an incomparable patrimony and bear active witness to it, with that ingenuity and integrity, that fidelity and perseverance which distinguished Paul VI and Giuseppe Tovini.

7. “I have fought the good fight…. The Lord stood by me” (2 Tm 4:7,17)   These words from the second reading of the Mass summarise the spiritual experience of the two figures we recall today with devout admiration.   We thank God for their witness – it is a precious gift, not only for Brescia but for Italy and for all humanity.   Their memory must not fade with the passing of time.   In different fields and with different responsibilities, they sowed so much good, they fought the good fight – the fight for Truth and the civilisation of Love.

May Mary, Mother of the Church, help us take up their legacy and follow in their footsteps so that we too will be allowed to answer Christ like the Apostle Peter: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (Jn 21:17). Amen!

Holy Mother Mary, Pray for Us!holy mother mary pray for us 16 jan 2019

St Pope Paul VI, Pray for Us!st pope paul vi pray for us 16 jan 2019

Blessed Giuseppe Tovini, Pray for Us!blessed giuseppe tovini pray for us 16 jan 2019 no 2

Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyr

“If we do not risk our life today,
how do we then, want one day,
to justify ourselves
before God and our people?”if we do not risk - bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019

“…One must obey God more than men”.
If something is demanded of us
that goes against God or the Faith,
then, not only, may we but we must,
refuse obedience (towards men).”one must obey god - bl nikolays gross - 15 jan 2019

“Sometimes, my heart becomes heavy and the task appears insoluble if I measure my own human imperfection and inadequacy against the greatness of the obligation and the weight of the responsibility.

If a generation must pay the highest price, death, for its short life, we look for the answer in ourselves in vain.   We find it only in Him in whose hand we are safe in life and in death.   We never know what problems are waiting to test the power and strength of our souls…. Man’s ways lie in obscurity.

But even darkness is not without light.   Hope and faith, which always hasten ahead of us, already have a presentiment of the breaking of a new dawn.   If we know, that the best thing in us, the soul, is immortal, then we also know, that we shall meet each other again”.

Bl Nikolaus Gross (1898-1945) Martyrbut even darkness is not without light - bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019.jpg

“With the clear insight that the Nazi ideology was incompatible with Christian faith, he courageously took up his pen to plead for the dignity of human beings.   Nikolaus loved his wife and children very much.   However, the inner bond with his own family never allowed him to pull back from confessing Christ and His Church.   It was clear to him, “If we do not risk our life today, how then do we want to justify ourselves one day before God and our people?”.   For this conviction he submitted to being hanged, so that heaven itself might be opened to him.   In the Blessed Martyr Nikolaus Gross was accomplished what the prophet foretold “The just man will live on account of his faith” (Hb 1,4).

St Pope John Paul at the Beatification of Blessed Nikolaus Gross, 7 October 2001howver the inner bond - st john paul on bl nikolaus gross 15 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 10 January – St Léonie Aviat

Thought for the Day – 10 January – 4th day after Epiphany and The Memorial of St Léonie Françoise De Sales Aviat (1844-1914) the co-founder of the Oblate Sisters of St Francis de Sales

St Pope John Paul on the Canonisation of St Léonie – 25 November 2001

“The loving plan of the Father “who has made us enter the kingdom of his beloved Son” found a splendid realisation in St Léonie Frances de Sales Aviat, who lived her self-offering to the end.

At the heart of her dedication and of her apostolate, Sister Léonie put prayer and union with God, where she found the light and the energy to overcome trials and difficulties and to persevere to the end of her life in the life of faith, desiring to be led by the Lord – “O my God, let my happiness be found in sacrificing my will and my desires for you!”   The resolution which distinguished Mother Aviat so well, “Forget oneself completely“, is also for us an appeal to go against the current of egotism and easy pleasures and open ourselves to the social and spiritual needs of our time.

Dear Oblate Sisters of St Francis-de-Sales, at the school of your foundress, in profound communion with the Church and wherever God has placed you, be determined to receive the present graces and to benefit from them, for it is in God that we find the light and the help necessary in every circumstance!

Trusting in the powerful intercession of the new saint, accept with joy the invitation to live, with renewed fidelity, the intuitions which she so perfectly lived.”

“O my God, let my happiness be found in sacrificing my will and my desires for you!”

St Léonie Aviat, Pray for Us!st leonie aviat opray for us no 2 10 jan 2019

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering on the Memorial of St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877–1940) the “Apostle of the Abandoned Tabernacles” – 4 January 

Our Morning Offering on the Memorial of St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877–1940) the “Apostle of the Abandoned Tabernacles” – 4 January

St Manuel has written much, 3 volumes full and many prayers and devotions related to Eucharistic Adoration and the Holy Eucharist but thus far, only 1% of his works have been translated from the original Spanish.  So today we pray via St John Paul, another great advocate of Eucharist Adoration and the Holy Eucharist.

Prayer for the Spread of Perpetual Adoration
By St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Heavenly Father,
increase our faith in the Real Presence of Your Son,
Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
We are obliged to adore Him,
to give Him thanks
and to make reparation for sins.
We need Your peace in our hearts
and among nations.
We need conversion from our sins
and the mercy of Your forgiveness.
May we obtain this through prayer
and our union with the Eucharistic Lord.
Please send down the Holy Spirit upon all peoples
to give them the love, courage, strength and willingness,
to respond to the invitation to Eucharistic Adoration.
We beseech You to spread Perpetual Adoration
of the Most Blessed Sacrament in parishes around the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
Amenprayer for the spread of eucharistic adoration by st pope john paul 4 jan 2019

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Help us to spread the glory of Your Son
through Perpetual Adoration.

On 2 December 1981 St Pope John Paul II inaugurated Perpetual
Adoration in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of St Peter’s Basilica with a Mass.
At the end of the Mass following exposition of the Blessed Sacrament he prayed,
in part: (see above) (L’Osservatore Romano, Dec. 14, 1981))

Stay with Us
By St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

Stay with us today
and stay from now on, everyday,
according to the desire of my heart,
which accepts the appeal of so many hearts
from various parts, sometimes far away…
Stay that we may meet You in
prayers of adoration and thanksgiving,
in prayers of expiation and petition
to which all those who visit this Basilica are invited…
May the unworthy successor of Peter
and all those who take part in the
adoration of Your Eucharistic Presence
attest with every visit and make
ring out again the truth contained in the Apostle’s words:
‘Lord, you know everything.
You know that I love you.’
Amen

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – The family is called to become a daily offertory

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
The Gospel of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, suggests us this same idea.
Jesus, the light of the world but also “a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:32.34), desires to receive this offering of each family as He receives the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
He wants to join to the bread and wine destined to transubstantiation,
these human hopes and joys but also the inevitable sufferings and preoccupations of each family,
by incorporating them to the mystery of His Body and his Blood.
He then in turn gives them back – the same Body and Blood – in the communion,
as a source of spiritual energy,
not only for each single person but also for each family.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the experience of the family - st pope john paul 30 dec 2018

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 9 December – The Memorial of St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548)

Thought for the Day – 9 December – The Memorial of St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548) “The eagle who speaks”.

At the dawn of Mexican evangelisation Saint Juan Diego holds a place all by himself; according to tradition, his indigenous name was Cuauhtlatohuac, “The eagle who speaks”.

His lovable figure is inseparable from the Guadalupe event, the miraculous maternal manifestation of the Virgin, Mother of God, both in iconographic and literary memorials as well as in the centuries-old devotion which the Mexican Church has shown for this Indian so loved by Mary.

Similar to ancient Biblical personages who were collective representations of all the people, we could say that Juan Diego represents all the indigenous peoples who accepted the Gospel of Jesus, thanks to the maternal aid of Mary, who is always inseparable from the manifestation of her Son and the spread of the Church, as was her presence among the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.

The information about him that has reached us praises his Christian virtues – his simple faith, nourished by catechesis and open to the mysteries, his hope and trust in God and in the Virgin, his love, his moral coherence, his unselfishness and evangelical poverty. Living the life of a hermit here near Tepeyac, he was a model of humility.

The Virgin chose him from among the most humble as the one to receive that loving and gracious manifestation of hers which is the Guadalupe apparition.   Her maternal face and her Saint image which she left us as a priceless gift is a permanent remembrance of this.   In this manner she wanted to remain among you as a sign of the communion and unity of all those who were to live together in this land.   The recognition of the cult which for centuries has been paid to the layman Juan Diego takes on a special importance.   It is a strong call to all the lay faithful of this nation to assume all their responsibilities, for passing on the Gospel message and witnessing to one faith active and working in the sphere of Mexican society.the-virgin-chose-juan-st-john-paul-9-dec-2017.jpg

From this privileged spot of Guadalupe, ever-faithful heart of Mexico, I wish to call on all the Mexican laity, to commit themselves more actively to the re-evangelisation of society. The lay faithful share in the prophetic, priestly and royal role of Christ (cf. Lumen Gentium, 31) but they carry out this vocation in the ordinary situations of daily life.   Their natural and immediate field of action extends to all the areas of human coexistence and to everything that constitutes culture in the widest and fullest sense of the term.   As I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici: “In order to achieve their task directed to the Christian animation of the temporal order, in the sense of serving persons and society, the lay faithful are never to relinquish their participation in public life, that is, in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good” (n. 42).

Catholic men and women of Mexico, your Christian vocation is, by its very nature, a vocation to the apostolate (cf. Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3).   Therefore, you cannot remain indifferent before the suffering of your brothers and sisters, before the poverty, corruption and outrages committed against the truth and human rights.   You must be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Matthew 5:13-14).

Thus the Lord says once more to us today: “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).   Juan Diego too shines before you, raised by the Church to the honours of the altar, we can invoke him as the protector and the advocate of the indigenous peoples.

Beloved Juan Diego, “the talking eagle”! 
Show us the way,
that leads to the “Dark Virgin” of Tepeyac, 
that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, 
for she is the loving, compassionate Mother,
who guides us to the true God.

Pope John Paul II at the beatification of Saint Juan Diego, 6 May 1990beloved-st-juan-st-john-paul-9-dec-2017

“Let not your heart be disturbed. 
Do not fear that sickness, 
nor any other sickness or anguish. 
Am I not here, who is your Mother? 
Are you not under my protection? 
Am I not your health? 
Are you not happily within my fold? 
What else do you wish? 
Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

Our Lady to Juan Diego, 9 December 1531let-not-your-heart-be-disturbed-our-lady-guadalupe-9-dec-2017

St Juan Diego, Pray for us all!st-juan-diego-pray-for-us - 9 dec 2017

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, VATICAN Documents, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 13 October – The Memorial of the Sixth and Final Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima 1917

Thought for the Day – 13 October – The Memorial of the Sixth and Final Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima 1917

Excerpt from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith – 26 June 2000
The Message of Fatima (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)

“As the second millennium gives way to the third, Pope John Paul II has decided to publish the text of the third part of the “secret of Fatima”.

“Behold, as we stand before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, we desire, together with the whole Church, to unite ourselves with the consecration which, for love of us, your Son made of Himself to the Father:   ‘For their sake’, He said, ‘I consecrate myself that they also may be consecrated in the truth’ (Jn 17:19).  We wish to unite ourselves with our Redeemer in this His consecration for the world and for the human race, which, in his divine Heart, has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.

The power of this consecration lasts for all time and embraces all individuals, peoples and nations.   It overcomes every evil that the spirit of darkness is able to awaken and has in fact awakened in our times, in the heart of man and in his history.

How deeply we feel the need for the consecration of humanity and the world—our modern world—in union with Christ Himself!   For the redeeming work of Christ must be shared in by the world through the Church.

The present Year of the Redemption shows this – the special Jubilee of the whole Church.

Above all creatures, may you be blessed, you, the Handmaid of the Lord, who in the fullest way obeyed the divine call!

Hail to you, who are wholly united to the redeeming consecration of your Son!

Mother of the Church!   Enlighten the People of God along the paths of faith, hope and love!   Enlighten especially the peoples whose consecration and entrustment by us you are awaiting.   Help us to live in the truth of the consecration of Christ for the entire human family of the modern world.

In entrusting to you, O Mother, the world, all individuals and peoples, we also entrust to you this very consecration of the world, placing it in your motherly Heart.

Immaculate Heart!   Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin – individual sin and the ‘sin of the world’, sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption – the power of merciful Love!   May it put a stop to evil   May it transform consciences!   May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!”.

Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984”:  “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984”:   Letter of 8 November 1989).    Hence any further discussion or request is without basis…vatican.va 

read the entire Message here:  http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

Immaculate Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us!our lady of fatima pray for us no 2 - 13 oct 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 24 September – The Memorial of Bl Anton Martin Slomsek (1800-1862)

Thought for the Day – 24 September – The Memorial of Bl Anton Martin Slomsek (1800-1862)

“Teacher and educator, writer and poet, biographer and critic,
lover of his mother tongue and fighter for national equality,
patriot, speaker and preacher, ecumenical worker
and theological teacher of the Slovene people,
priest and bishop.
Slomsek’s personality is like a mosaic,
each stone has its own colour, its own function and size
but all together provide the image of a saint,
that is a person who is open to the breath of the Holy Spirit,
who prophetically understands the signs of the time and responds to them,
who understands how to use all natural and supernatural means
to realise the kingdom of God on earth.”

Dr Franc Kramberger, Bishop of Maribor, Slovenia, 1999

“Only with a sound formation can men and women be prepared to build a world that is open to the perennial values of truth and love.”

St John Paul at the Beatification of Bl Anton (Sunday, 19 September 1999)

Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek, Pray for us!bl-anton-martin-pray-for-us-2-24 sept 2017

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 September – Today’s Gospel: Mark 9:30–37 and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

One Minute Reflection – 23 September – Today’s Gospel: Mark 9:30–37
– Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”…Mark 9:35b

REFLECTION – “The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self:
there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection, except at the price of pain.”………St Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968)the-life-of-a-christian-st-pio-23-sept-2018-mark9 35b if any would be first he must be last and servant...

PRAYER – “And you, Blessed Padre Pio, look down from heaven upon us assembled …today.   Intercede for all those who, in every part of the world, are spiritually united … and raise their prayers to you.   Come to the help of everyone;  give peace and consolation to every heart. Amen!” – from the homily of St Pope John Paul II at the Beatification of Padre Piost-pio-pray-for-us-2-23-sept-2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL MESSAGES, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 2 September

Sunday Reflection – 2 September – Today’s Gospel:  Mark 7:1–23 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

John Paul and Jean-Marie

When the Curé of Ars spoke of the Sacrament of the Altar, he glowed!   He communicated to his hearers the Eucharistic fire that burned in his own heart.   Thirty-two years ago, St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) devoted his Holy Thursday Letter to Priests, to Saint Jean-Marie Vianney.   I think that today we can read that letter as one saint talking about another.   This is what Pope John Paul II said:

“The Eucharist was at the very centre of Saint Jean Vianney’s spiritual life and pastoral work.
He said:  “All good works put together are not equivalent to the Sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men and the Holy Mass is the work of God.”
It is in the Mass that the sacrifice of Calvary is made present for the Redemption of the world.   Clearly, the priest must unite the daily gift of himself to the offering of the Mass:
“How well a priest does, therefore, to offer himself to God in sacrifice every morning!” “Holy Communion and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass are the two most efficacious actions for obtaining the conversion of hearts.”

Recollection and Adoration
Thus the Mass was for John Mary Vianney the great joy and comfort of his priestly life. He took great care, despite the crowds of penitents, to spend more than a quarter of an hour in silent preparation.   He celebrated with recollection, clearly expressing his adoration at the consecration and communion.   He accurately remarked:

“The cause of priestly laxity is not paying attention to the Mass!”

Let us always, daily, pray for all our Priests!

St John Vianney (1786-1859) Patron of Priests
Prayer for Priests
By St John Vianney

God, please give to Your Church today
many more priests after Your own heart.
May they be worthy representatives
of Christ the Good Shepherd.
May they wholeheartedly devote themselves
to prayer and penance;
be examples of humility and poverty;
shining models of holiness;
tireless and powerful preachers
of the Word of God;
zealous dispensers of Your grace
in the sacraments.
May their loving devotion to Your Son,
Jesus in the Eucharist
and to Mary His Mother,
be the twin fountains of fruitfulness
for their ministry.
Amenprayer-for-priests-by-st-john-vianney-no-3-18-july-2018-no 2. recoloured 2 sept 2018

Posted in CONSECRATION Prayers, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 26 August – The Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland

Thought for the Day – 26 August – The Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland

PRAYER OF JOHN PAUL II (Excerpt)

Czestochowa — 4 June 1997

“O Mother of God, O Blessed Virgin, by God have you been glorified!”

Mother of Jasna Góra and Queen, I come to you today on a pilgrimage of faith to thank you for your ceaseless protection of all the Church and of myself, especially during the fifty years of my priesthood and those of my service in the See of Peter.   With great trust I come to this holy place — on the hill of Jasna Góra, so dear to my heart, to cry out once more:  Mother of God and our Mother, I thank you for being the guiding Star of the building of a better future for the world, for being the Patroness of the attainment of the civilisation of love among the members of the human race.   Mother, I humbly beseech you, surround with your maternal protection the days and years which still separate us from the Year 2000. I entrust to your intercession the preparation for the Great Jubilee of Christianity.   Help all the nations of the world to begin the new millennium in union with Christ, the King of the ages.

Mother of the Church, Blessed Virgin Help of Christians, in the humility of Peter’s faith I bring to your feet the whole Church, all the continents, countries and nations which have believed in Jesus Christ and have recognised in Him the signpost marking their path through history.   I bring here, O Mother, all humanity, including those still searching for the way to Christ.   Be their guide and help them to be open to the God who is coming.   I bring to you in prayer the peoples of East and West, of North and South and I entrust to your motherly care all the families of nations.   Mother of the Church’s faith, just as you persevered in prayer with Jesus’ disciples in the Upper Room, so be with us today in the Upper Room of the Church as she travels towards the third millennium of faith and obtain for us the grace to be open to the gift of God’s Spirit.

Faithful Daughter of the Eternal Father , Temple of the Love that embraces heaven and earth, I entrust to you the service of the Church in the world, a world which so needs love. Mother of God, Mother of the only-begotten Son who gave us as the principle of life the new commandment of love, help us to become builders of a united world, in which peace triumphs over war, and the civilization of death is replaced by love for life.

Mother of Unity and Peace, strengthen the bond of communion within the Church of your Son, enliven ecumenical efforts so that all Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may become one family of sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, the one Saviour of the world yesterday, today and for ever (cf. Heb. 13:8).

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, accept our trust, strengthen it in our hearts and present it before the face of the one God in the Holy Trinity. Amen.

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Pray for us!our-lady-of-czestochowa-pray-for-us-26 aug 2017

Consecration to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Our Lady of Czestochowa,
Queen of Poland, pray for us.
Holy Mother of Czestochowa,
you are full of grace, goodness and mercy.
I consecrated to you all my thoughts,
words and actions – my soul and body.
I beseech your blessings
and especially prayers for my salvation.
Today I consecrate myself to you, good Mother, totally –
with body and soul amid joy and sufferings,
to obtain for myself and others,
your blessings on this earth
and eternal life in heaven.
Amenprayer-to-our-lady-of-czestochowa-26 aug 2017

Posted in CONSECRATION Prayers, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941)

Thought for the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”and “Apostle of Consecration to Mary”

“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13

That verse certainly comes to mind whenever I think of St Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast we celebrate today.   So it’s not surprising to read that these were the opening words of the papal decree introducing his Beatification.   St Maximilian Kolbe was arrested in Poland in February of 1941 and in May sent to the Auschwitz death camp.   As prisoner #16670, he eventually laid down his life for another prisoner on 14 August 1941, at the young age of 47.

Father Kolbe’s death was not a sudden, last-minute act of heroism.   His whole life had been a preparation.   His holiness was a limitless, passionate desire to convert the whole world to God.   And his beloved Immaculata, was his inspiration.

St Maximillian is the patron saint of families, prisoners, journalists, political prisoners, drug addicts and the pro-life movement.   St John Paul II declared him to be “the patron saint of our difficult century.”   The evils which made the twentieth century so difficult were not left behind as we moved into the twenty-first century.

Let us continue to call upon the intercession of this saint and continue to come to Jesus through His mother, Mary, the Immaculata.

Daily Consecration Renewal to the Immaculata
By St Maximillian Kolbe

Immaculata, Queen and Mother of the Church,
I renew my consecration to you for this day
and for always, so that you might use me
for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus in the whole world.
To this end, I offer you all my prayers,
actions and sacrifices of this day.
Amendaily-consecration-renewal-to-the-immaculata-by-st-maximillian-kolbe-14 aug 2017

Mary, Immaculata, Pray for us!mary, immaculata - pray for us - 12 may 2018
St Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us!st-max-pray-for-us.14 aug 2017

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SANCTITY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 27 July

Quote of the Day – 27 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 13:18–23

“The way Jesus shows you is not easy. 
Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. 
Do not lose heart! 
The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the-way-jesus-shows-you-st-john-paul 27 july 2017

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Quote of the day -25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle of Christ

Quote of the day -25 July – Feast of St James, Apostle of Christ

Since the ninth century Spain has claimed the honour of possessing St James relics, though it must be said that actual proof is far less in evidence than the devotion of the faithful.    The pilgrimage to St James/Santiago of Compostela in the Middle Ages attracted immense crowds,after the pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land, it was the most famous and the most frequented pilgrimage in Christendom.   The pilgrim paths to Compostela form a network over Europe; they are dotted with pilgrims’ hospices and chapels.   Santiago de Compostela, is the third largest shrine in all of Christendom.

“To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another,
from one city to another,
in the area marked especially by God’s intervention,
helps us not only to live our life as a journey
but also gives us a vivid sense of a God,
who has gone before us and leads us on,
who Himself set out on man’s path,
a God who does not look down on us from on high
but who became our travelling companion.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)to go in a spirit of prayer - st john paul on pilgrimages - 25 july 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL DECREE, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Quote/s of the Day – 8 July – The Memorial of Sts Priscilla and Aquila – Patrons of Catholic Marriage and Families

Speaking of Marriage and the Family

“Authentic married love is caught up into divine love . . .
so that this love may lead the spouses to God . . .
and in God, they find the strength,
to carry on their roles and responsibilities.”

Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World), 48authentic married love - gaudium et spes 48 - 8 july 2018

“Merciful love is supremely indispensable
between those who are closest to one another:
between husbands and wives,
between parents and children,
between friends
and it is indispensable
in education and in pastoral work.”merciful love - st john paul 8 july 208

“The future of humanity passes by way of the family.
It is therefore indispensable and urgent,
that every person of good will should endeavour
to save and foster the values and requirements of the family.
I feel that I must ask for a particular effort in this field,
from the sons and daughters of the Church.
Faith gives them full knowledge of God’s wonderful plan,
they, therefore, have an extra reason for caring for the reality
that is the family in this time of trial and of grace.
They must show the family special love.
This is an injunction that calls for concrete action.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the future of humanity - st pope john paul - 8 july 2018

“We speak a lot about behavioural problems,
mental health, the well-being of the child,
the anxiety of the parents and the children—
but do we even know what a wound of the soul is?
Do we feel the weight of the mountain
that crushes the soul of a child in those families,
where members mistreat and hurt one another
to the point of breaking the bonds of marital fidelity?
What effect do our choices — often poor choices—
have on the souls of children?”

Pope Francis
24 June 2015we speak a lot about behavioural problems - pope francis - 8 july 2018

“During these days, we will reflect in particular on the family,
which is the fundamental cell of society.
From the beginning the Creator blessed man and woman,
so that they might be fruitful and multiply
and so the family then,
is an image of the Triune God in the world.”

Pope Francis
23 February 2014the family is the fundamental - pope francis - 8 july 2018

To be continued……

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 7 July – The Memorial of Blessed Maria Romero Meneses F.M.A. (1902-1977)

Thought for the Day – 7 July – The Memorial of Blessed Maria Romero Meneses F.M.A. (1902-1977)

Sister María Romero Meneses, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, knew how to reflect the Face of Christ which He made her recognise in the sharing of the bread.   Born in Nicaragua, she received her religious formation in El Salvador and passed the greatest part of her life in Costa Rica.   Those beloved Central American peoples, united in the joy of her beatification, can find in the new Blessed who loved them so much, an abundance of example and teaching to renew and confirm their Christian life, deeply rooted in their countries.

With a passionate love for God and an unlimited confidence in the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sr María Romero was an exemplary religious, apostle and mother of the poor people, who were her real favourites.   May her memory be a blessing for all and may the works she founded, among which the “House of the Virgin” in San José, continue in fidelity to the ideal that led to their being started….Beatification Homily, St Pope John Paul – Sunday 14 April 2002

May we all too reflect the Face of Christ and trust in our Holy Mother Mary, amen!

Blessed Maria Romero Meneses, Pray for usbl maria meneses - pray for us no 2 - 7 july 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the true secret of love is this - st peter julian eymard - 24 june 2018

“His name is John” (Lk 1:63)
…which in Hebrew means “God is benevolent”.
God is benevolent to human beings,
He wants them to live; He wants them to be saved.
God is benevolent to His people,
He wants to make of them a blessing, for all the nations of the earth.
God is benevolent to humanity,
He guides its pilgrim way, towards the land,
where peace and justice reign.
All this is contained in that name:
John!”his name is john - st john paul - 24 june 2018

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life.
Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

(24 June 2001)look today to john - st john paul - 24 june 2018

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CONSECRATION Prayers, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS, VATICAN Resources

Quote/s of the Day – and Marian too – 29 May “Mary’s Month!” – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph Gerard O.M.I. (1831-1914)

Quote/s of the Day – and Marian too – 29 May “Mary’s Month!” – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph Gerard O.M.I. (1831-1914)

“Always believe, in the power of love and truth,
the love of neighbour, which is rooted in the love of God
and the truth, which sets people free.”

“Reject violence as a solution to any situation,
no matter how unjust it may be.”

“Above all, trust in the God of justice,
who created all things,
who sees all human events,
who holds in His hands,
the destiny of every person and of every nation.”always believe in the power of love - above all trust in the god of justice - reject violence - st pope john paul - 29 may 2018

“Let the eyes of our faith
never wander
from the Cross of Calvary.”let the eyes of our faith - st pope john paul - 29 may 2018- no 2

“May each of you, discover Mary, as your Mother.”

“May each of you, seek to be a son, a daughter, of Mary,
who at the foot of the Cross,
becomes in a particular way for us,
the “Mother of Divine Grace”.”

May each of you, “make a place for her in your home”
and even more so in your heart,
every day and throughout your life,
especially at those times, of trial and suffering.”may each of you (on mary) - st pope john paul - 29 may 2018

Maseru Race Course (Lesotho)
Thursday, 15 September 1988

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Taken from the Beatification Homily of St Pope John Paul II
(See today’s thought for the Day)

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The GOOD SHEPHERD

Quote/s of the Day – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday”

Quote/s of the Day – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday” – Todays Readings: Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29, 1 John 3:1-2, John 10:11-18

“God has, in fact, thought of us from eternity
and has loved us as unique individuals.
He has called every one of us by name,
as the Good Shepherd ‘calls His sheep by name.'”

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)god has in fact thought of us from eternity - 22 april 2018 - good shepherd sunday - st pope john paul

“What Jesus wants to say with these images is clear.
He knows His disciples (and, as God, all men),
He knows them “by name,” which, for the Bible,
means their innermost essence.
He loves them with a personal love
that treats each as if, they were the only one
who existed for Him.
Christ only knows how to count to one
and that one, is each of us.”

Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa OFM CAP
Preacher to the Pontifical Householdchrist only knows how to count to one - fr raneriro cantalamessa - 22 april 2018 - vocations good shepherd sunday-no 2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday”

One Minute Reflection – 22 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B – “Good Shepherd/Vocations Sunday” and the Memorial of St Pope Soter (died C 174)

I am the good shepherd.   The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep...John 10:11john 10 11 - the good shepherd

REFLECTION – “What a blessing it is to know Christ, the Good Shepherd, to know Him as the Redeemer who laid down His life for the sheep, to know Him as the Risen Lord, the source of everlasting joy and life.   What a blessing it is to know the Good Shepherd and to believe in Him.   This gift of faith is the greatest blessing we could ever receive in life.”…St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)

what a blessing it is to know christ - good shepherd sunday - st pope john paul - 22 april 2018

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, bring us to the joy of Your heavenly city, so that we, Your little flock, may follow where Christ, our Good Shepherd, has gone before us, by the power of His Resurrection.   St Pope Soter, please pray for us that we may always follow our Shepherd, as you did and thus reach our heavenly home, to praise Him with you, forever.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, amen.st pope soter - pray for us - 22 april 2018

Posted in DEVOTIO, DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on PRAYER, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY SPIRIT, VATICAN Resources

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday and the Memorial of Bl Augustus Czartoryski S.D.B. (1858-1893)

One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Low Sunday the Octave Day of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday and the Memorial of Bl Augustus Czartoryski S.D.B. (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

REFLECTION – “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 2004

bl augustus czartoryski wrote these words - st john paul - 8 april 2018

PRAYER – Heavenly God and Father and Your divine Son, dear Jesus in whom we trust, send Your Holy Spirit to guide and teach us, to lead us into the ways of holiness.   Grant, we pray, that by the intercession of Blessed Augustus, we may fulfil Your Holy Will by the light of the Holy Spirit.   Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.bl augustus czartoryski - pray for us - 8 april 2018

Posted in EASTER, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY CROSS, The RESURRECTION

Christós anésti. Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Easter Sunday – 1 April 2018

Christós anésti.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!Christós anésti. -1 april 2018

In the words of Pope Francis in the Urbi et Orbi Message of Easter 2013, “let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection!  Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish”.

The tomb is empty.   It is a silent witness to the central event of human history:  the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.   For almost 2,000 years the empty tomb has borne witness to the victory of Life over death.   With the Apostles and Evangelists, with the Church of every time and place, we too bear witness and proclaim:  “Christ is risen! Raised from the dead he will never die again; death no longer has power over him” (cf. Rom 6:9).gospel-easter-sunday-be-not-affrighted-ye-seek-jesus-of-nazareth-who-was-crucified-he-is-risen-he-is-not-here

“Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus” (Latin Easter Sequence Victimae paschali).   The Lord of Life was dead;  now He reigns, victorious over death, the source of everlasting life for all who believe.

Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the land of Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection.   And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.

With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world.   We stand with her in the silence of Calvary and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son.   Realising the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church’s children in every age.   O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!

With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection.   We rejoice with her that the empty tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father’s right hand.   With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit whom the risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.

Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta  . From the tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption.   The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say:  “Even beyond death, I am not far from you”.   And in the Liturgy her children reply:  “Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you.   O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted.   We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as our Mother”.

In contemplating the Theotókos, almost at this journey’s end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with “the glory of God which is on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).  O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model.   Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 65).   O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”

St Pope John Paul – March 2000, JerusalemTHE GREATEST EASTER PAINTING - ELISE EHRHARD CRISES MAG

Posted in DEVOTIO, HOLY WEEK, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday: “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday:  “Watching” and The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.   The altar is left bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated.   Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.The Entombment by the Maitre du Chaorce. “HOLY SAT 2

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.   The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.   Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.   After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

HOLY SAT INFOHOLY SAT INFO 2HOLY SAT INFO 3

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.   When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary:  she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).   Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His resurrection.


The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church:  while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and His soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

“This same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord . . . throughout every generation” (cf. Ex 12:42)lumen christi - 31 march 2018

On this holy night we celebrate the Easter Vigil, the first — indeed the “mother” — of all vigils of the liturgical year.   On this night, as is sung over and over again in the Preconio, we walk once more the path of humanity from creation to the culminating event of salvation, the death and resurrection of Christ.

The light of Him who “has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20) makes this memorable night, which is rightly considered the “heart” of the liturgical year, “bright as the day” (Ps 139:12).   On this night the entire Church keeps watch and recalls, in meditation, the significant stages of God’s saving intervention in the universe.

“A night of watching kept to the Lord”.   There is a twofold significance to this solemn Easter Vigil, so rich with symbols accompanied by an extraordinary abundance of biblical texts.   On the one hand, it is the prayerful memory of the mirabilia Dei, in the re-presentation of key texts from the Sacred Scriptures, from creation to the sacrifice of Isaac, to the passage through the Red Sea, to the promise of the New Covenant.

On the other hand, this evocative vigil is the trusting expectation of the complete fulfilment of the ancient promises.   The memory of God’s work reaches its climax in the resurrection of Christ and is projected onto the eschatological event of the parusia.   We thus catch a glimpse, on this night of Passover, of the dawning of that day that never ends, the day of the Risen Christ, which inaugurates the new life, the “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Pet 3:13; cf. Is 65:17; 66:22; Rev 21:1).

From its very beginnings, the Christian community placed the celebration of Baptism within the context of the Easter Vigil.   Here too, on this night, some catechumens will be immersed with Jesus into his death to rise with Him to immortal life.   Thus the wonder of the mysterious spiritual rebirth, wrought by the Holy Spirit, is renewed; the rebirth that incorporates the newly baptised into the people of the new and final Covenant, sealed by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Together with those who will shortly receive Baptism, the liturgy invites all of us here present to renew the promises of our own Baptism.   The Lord asks us to renew the expression of our full obedience to Him and of our total dedication to the service of his Gospel.

Beloved Brothers and Sisters! If this mission may sometimes seem difficult, call to mind the words of the Risen Lord:  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Certain of His presence, you shall fear no difficulty and no obstacle.   His word will enlighten you;   His Body and His Blood will nourish you and sustain you on your daily journey to eternity.

At the side of each of you there will always be Mary, as she was present among the Apostles, frightened and confused at the time of trial.   And with her faith she will show you, beyond the night of the world, the glorious dawn of the resurrection. Amen

Lumen Christi!

St Pope John Paul II easter vigil in the holy night - 31 march 2018

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

One Minute Reflection – 26 February – St Paula Montal Fornés of Saint Joseph of Calasanz (1799-1889)

One Minute Reflection – 26 February – St Paula Montal Fornés of Saint Joseph of Calasanz (1799-1889)

…may grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…2 Peter 1:2may grace and peace be yours - 2 peter 1 2 - 26 feb 2018

REFLECTION – “… (St Paula) as foundress of a religious family, inspired by the slogan of St Joseph Calasanz “Piety and Letters”, she gave herself to advancing women and the family with her ideal: “Save the family, educating the young girls in a holy fear of God”... (She) belongs to the group of founders of religious orders who in the 19th century came forward to meet the many needs that were present and that the Church, inspired by the Gospel and by the Spirit, wanted to respond to for the good of society.  The message of St Paula is still valid today and her educational charism is a source of inspiration in the formation of the generations of the third Christian millennium.”…St Pope John Paul II Canonisation Homily 25 November 2001

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, may Your Holy Saints’ examples inspire us to living contemplation of Christ the King, crucified and risen. May St Paula’s supporting intercession, help us to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the Redeemer, to share one day with her together with Mary and all the saints, His eternal glory in heaven. Amen.st paula montal fornes - pray for us - 26 feb 2018