Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Marian Thoughts – 5 May – “A Calm Vision”

Marian Thoughts – 5 May – the Month of Mary

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974

To Honour Mary

Devotion to the Mother of the Lord becomes for the faithful an opportunity for growing in divine grace and this is the ultimate aim of all pastoral activity.   For it is impossible to honour her who is “full of grace” (Lk. 1:28) without thereby honouring, in oneself, the state of grace, which is friendship with God, communion with Him and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.   It is this divine grace which takes possession of the whole man and conforms him to the image of the Son of God (cf. Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18).

The Catholic Church, endowed with centuries of experience, recognises in devotion to the Blessed Virgin a powerful aid for man as he strives for fulfilment.   Mary, the New Woman, stands at the side of Christ, the New Man, within whose mystery the mystery of man(124) alone finds true ligh,; she is given to it as a pledge and guarantee that God’s plan in Christ for the salvation of the whole man has already achieved realisation in a creature – in her.   Contemplated in the episodes of the Gospels and in the reality which she already possesses in the City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a calm vision and a reassuring word to modern man, torn as he often is between anguish and hope, defeated by the sense of his own limitations and assailed by limitless aspirations, troubled in his mind and divided in his heart, uncertain before the riddle of death, oppressed by loneliness while yearning for fellowship, a prey to boredom and disgust. She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal visions over earthly ones, of life over death.contemplated in the episodes - st paul VI- marilis cultus 5 may 2019.jpg

Let the very words that she spoke to the servants at the marriage feast of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn. 2:5), be a seal on our Exhortation and a further reason in favour of the pastoral value of devotion to the Blessed Virgin as a means of leading men to Christ.   Those words, which at first sight were limited to the desire to remedy an embarrassment at the feast, are seen in the context of Saint John’s Gospel to re-echo the words used by the people of Israel to give approval to the Covenant at Sinai (cf. Ex. 19:8, 24:3, 7; Dt. 5:27) and to renew their commitments (cf. Jos. 24:24; Ezr. 10:12; Neh. 5:12). And they are words which harmonise wonderfully with those spoken by the Father at the theophany on Mount Tabor – “Listen to him” (Mt. 17:5

Second Reading
The Little Office of Mary
Saturdays
===============

Mater Admirabilis, Pray for us!mater-admirabilis-pray-for-us-5-may-2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Marian Thought – 3 May – “These virtues of the Mother will also adorn her children…”

Marian Thoughts – May, the Month of Mary – 3 May 2019

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974
To Honour Mary

The Blessed Virgin’s role as Mother leads the People of God to turn with filial confidence to her who is ever ready to listen with a mother’s affection and efficacious assistance. Thus the People of God have learned to call on her as the Consoler of the afflicted, the Health of the sick and the Refuge of sinners, that they may find comfort in tribulation, relief in sickness and liberating strength in guilt.

For she, who is free from sin, leads her children to combat sin with energy and resoluteness.   This liberation from sin and evil (cf. Mt. 6:13)-it must be repeated-is the necessary premise for any renewal of Christian living.

The Blessed Virgin’s exemplary holiness encourages the faithful to “raise their eyes to Mary who shines forth before the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues.”   It is a question of solid, evangelical virtues – faith and the docile acceptance of the Word of God, generous obedience (cf Lk. 1:38), genuine humility (cf. Lk. 1:48), solicitous charity (cf. Lk. 1:39-56), profound wisdom (cf. Lk. 1:29, 34; 2:19, 33:51), worship of God manifested in alacrity in the fulfillment of religious duties (cf. Lk. 2:21-41), in gratitude for gifts received (cf Lk. 1:46-49), in her offering in the Temple (cf. Lk. 2:22-24) and in her prayer in the midst of the apostolic community (cf. Acts 1:12-14), her fortitude in exile (cf. Mt. 2:13-23) and in suffering (cf. Lk. 2:34-35, 49; Jn. 19 25), her poverty reflecting dignity and trust in God (cf. Lk. 1:48, 2:24) her attentive care for her Son, from His humble birth to the ignominy of the cross (cf. Lk. 2:1-7; Jn. 19:25-27), her delicate forethought (cf. Jn. 2:1-11), her virginal purity (cf. Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38), her strong and chaste married love.

These virtues of the Mother will also adorn her children who steadfastly study her example in order to reflect it in their own lives.   And this progress in virtue, will appear as the consequence and the already mature fruit, of that pastoral zeal which springs from devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Second Reading
The Little Office of Mary
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
=================the blessed virgin's exemplary holiness - marialis cultus stpope paul VI 3 may 2019.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, PAPAL Apostolic EXHORTATIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The LITTLE OFFICE of MARY

Marian Thoughts – “To Honour Mary” St Paul VI – 2 May 2019

Marian Thoughts – May, the Month of Mary – 2 May 2019

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) 
Marialis Cultus – 2 February 1974

To Honour Mary

Finally, insofar as it may be necessary, we would like to repeat that the ultimate purpose of devotion to the Blessed Virgin is to glorify God and to lead Christians, to commit themselves, to a life which is in absolute conformity with His will.   When the children of the Church unite their voices, with the voice of the unknown woman, in the Gospel and glorify the Mother of Jesus, by saying to Him:  “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that you sucked” (Lk. 11:27), they will be led to ponder the Divine Master’s serious reply:  “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11:28)   While it is true, that this reply is, in itself, lively praise of Mary, as various Fathers of the Church interpreted it and the Second Vatican Council has confirmed, it is also an admonition to us, to live our lives in accordance with God’s commandments.   It is also an echo of other words of the Saviour:   “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21); and again: “You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jn. 15:14).

Christ is the only way to the Father (cf. Jn. 14:4-11) and the ultimate example to whom the disciple must conform his own conduct (cf. Jn. 13:15), to the extent of sharing Christ’s sentiments (cf. Phil. 2:5), living His life and possessing His Spirit (cf. Gal. 2:20; Rom. 8:10-11).   The Church has always taught this and nothing in pastoral activity should obscure this doctrine.    But the Church, taught by the Holy Spirit and benefiting from centuries of experience, recognises, that devotion to the Blessed Virgin, subordinated to worship of the divine Saviour and in connection with it, also has a great pastoral effectiveness and constitutes, a force, for renewing Christian living.

It is easy to see the reason for this effectiveness.   Mary’s many-sided mission to the People of God is a supernatural reality which operates and bears fruit within the body of the Church.   One finds cause for joy, in considering, the different aspects of this mission and seeing how each of these aspects, with its individual effectiveness, is directed towards the same end, namely, producing in the children the spiritual characteristics of the first-born Son.   The Virgin’s maternal intercession, her exemplary holiness and the divine grace which is in her, become, for the human race, a reason for divine hope.

Second Reading
The Little Office of Mary
Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
=================the virgin's maternal intercession - st paul VI - marialis cultus 1974-2 may 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Saint Pius V and Saint Paul VI

Thought for the Day – 30 April – Tuesday of the Second week of Easter and the Memorial of St Pope Pius V OP (1504-1572), The Pope of Lepanto

This is the pope whose job it was to implement the historic Council of Trent.   If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent four centuries earlier.

During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet.   The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states.   In 1545, a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems.   Off and on over 18 years, the Fathers of the Church discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action.   The Council closed in 1563.

Pius V was elected in 1566 and charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council.   He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests.   He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for the young.   Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church.   He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts.   His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom–to this day–of the pope wearing a white cassock.   And ALL THIS in 6 years of his papacy!

In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England’s Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II.   Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius’s hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organise a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on 7 October 1571.

Pius’s ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar.   He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.

In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Saint Pius V and Saint Paul VI both led the family of God in the process of interiorising and implementing the new birth called for, by the Spirit in major Councils.   With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers.   Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.   Amen, Alleluia!

St Pope Pius V, Pray for us!st pope pius v pray for us 30 april 2019 no 3.jpg

St Pope Paul VI, Pray for us!st pope paul vi pray for us 30 april 2019

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, CONFESSION/PENANCE, LENT 2019, NOVENAS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, The WORD

Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Four – 28 February 2019 “Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lenten Preparation Novena – Day Four – 28 February 2019
“Come Back to Me With all your Heart”

Lent 2019 will begin on
Wednesday, 6 March
The Holy Triduum is
Thursday 18 April – Holy Saturday 20 April
Easter Sunday 21 April 2019

The salt of repentance

Following the Master, every Christian must renounce himself, take up his own cross and participate in the sufferings of Christ (Mt 16:24).   Thus transformed into the image of Christ’s death, he is made capable of meditating on the glory of the resurrection. Furthermore, following the Master, he can no longer live for himself but must live for Him who loves him and gave Himself for him.   He will also have to live for his brethren, completing “in his flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ…for the benefit of his body, which is the church” (Ga 2:20; Col 1:24).

In addition, since the Church is closely linked to Christ, the penitence of the individual Christian also has an intimate relationship of its own, with the whole ecclesial community.   In fact, not only does he receive in the bosom of the Church through baptism the fundamental gift of “metanoia,” namely the transformation and renewal of the whole person but this gift is restored and reinvigorated, in those members of the Body of Christ, who have fallen into sin, through the sacrament of penance.   “Those who approach the sacrament of penance receive from the mercy of God forgiveness for offences committed against Him and at the same time become reconciled with the Church on which they have inflicted a wound by sinning and the Church, cooperates in their conversion, with charity, example and prayer” (Vatican II : LG 11).   And in the Church, finally, the little acts of penitence imposed each time in the sacrament, become a form of participation, in a special way, in the infinite expiation of Christ.

St Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)following the master every christian - st pope paul VI 28 feb 2019

A Meditation for this ‘Prelude to Lent’

Reflection“We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter – we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.”

“And then, alas! the truth flashed upon him, he uttered a great and bitter cry, when it was too late.   It would have been well, had he uttered it before he came for the blessing, not after it.   He repented when it was too late—it had been well if he had repented in time.   So I say of persons who have in any way sinned.   It is good for them not to forget that they have sinned.   It is good that they should lament and deplore their past sins. Depend upon it, they will wail over them in the next world, if they wail not here.   Which is better, to utter a bitter cry now or then?—then, when the blessing of eternal life is refused them by the just Judge at the last day, or now, in order that they may gain it?   Let us be wise enough to have our agony in this world, not in the next.   If we humble ourselves now, God will pardon us then.   We cannot escape punishment, here or hereafter – we must take our choice, whether to suffer and mourn a little now, or much then.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)so i say of persons who have ibn any way sinned - bl john henry newman 28 feb 2019

Lenten Preparation Novena
DAY FOUR

Loving Father,
may I live this Lent
as an unceasing act of love for You.
Let me grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ.
In my prayer,
grant me a spirit to see what must be done
and the strength to do what is right.
Make me radiant in Your presence
with the strength of my yearning for You.
By my fasting, fortify my resolve
to carry out Your loving commands.
Bless me with an increase in devoutness of life,
so that I may be found steadfast in faith.
And by my almsgiving, renew and purify my heart,
so that I may hold to the
things that eternally endure.
Help me to repent of my sins now
and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
……………………………………………
(Mention your special intention)
Amenlenten preparation novena day four no 2 - 28 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