Posted in Morning Prayers, Saint of the Day

Our Morning Offering – 24 April

Our Morning Offering – 24 April

Prayer in front of the Crucifix of San Damiano
Francis used to recite this prayer already in 1205-1206, during the period of his vocational discernment, when he would visit the small abandoned church of San Damiano, where there was a Byzantine Crucifix which is nowadays venerated in the Basilica of Santa Chiara in Assisi.

Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith,
certain hope
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command. Amen

SAN DAMIANO PRAYER - ST FRANCIS

Posted in Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day – 24 April – St Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Saint of the Day – 24 April – St Fidelis of Sigmaringen O.F.M.Cap. (1577-1622) Religious Priest and MARTYR, lawyer/advocate, philosopher, teacher, apostle of Eucharistic Adoration and charity – Attributes – sword; palm of martyrdom; heretics; the Morning Star; trampling on the word “heresy”; with a club set with spikes; with a whirlbat; with an angel carrying a palm of martyrdom; with Saint Joseph of Leonessa.   Major Shrine at the Capuchin friary of Weltkirchen (Feldkirch), Austria

Austria-Feldkirch-Kapuzinerkloster-Capuchin-Monastery-attracts-pilgrims-who-wish-to-get-rid-of-headaches

St Fidelis was born Mark Roy or Rey in 1577 in Sigmaringen, a town in modern-day Germany, then under the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.    His father’s name was John Rey.    He studied law and philosophy at the University of Freiburg.   Roy subsequently taught philosophy at this university, ultimately earning the degree of Doctor of Law.    During his time as a student he did not drink wine and wore a hair-shirt.    He was known for his modesty, meekness and chastity.

In 1604, Roy accompanied, as preceptor (teacher-mentor), three young Swabian gentlemen on their travels through the principal parts of Europe.    During six years of travel, he attended Mass very frequently.    In every town they came to, he visited the hospitals and churches, passed several hours on his knees in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and was generous to the poor, sometimes giving them the very clothes off his back.

Upon his return, he practiced law as a counselor or advocate, at Colmar, in Alsace where he came to be known as the ‘poor man’s lawyer’.    He scrupulously forbore all invectives, detractions and whatever might affect the reputation of any adversary.    Disenchanted with the evils associated with his profession, he was determined to enter the religious life as a member of the Capuchin friars.

As soon as Fidelis finished his course of theology, he was immediately employed in preaching and in hearing confessions.    After becoming guardian of the Capuchin friary in Weltkirchen, Feldkirch (in present-day Austria), many residents of the town and neighbouring places were reformed by his zealous labours and several Calvinists were converted.   The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith commissioned Fidelis to preach in the Graubünden region of eastern Switzerland.   Eight other Capuchin friars were to be his assistants and they laboured in this mission under his direction.

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The Calvinists of that territory, being incensed at his success in converting their brethren, loudly threatened Fidelis’ life and he prepared himself for martyrdom.   Fidelis and his companions entered into Prättigau, a small district of Graubünden, in 1622, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.    The effects of his ardent zeal, where the Bishop of Coire sent a lengthy and full account to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, enraged the Calvinists in that province.

On April 24, 1622, Fidelis made his confession, celebrated Mass and then preached at Grüsch.    At the end of his sermon, which he had delivered with more than ordinary zeal, he stood silent all of a sudden, with his eyes fixed upon Heaven, in ecstasy.    He foretold his death to several persons in the clearest terms and began signing his letters, “P. Fidelis, prope diem esca vermium” (“Father Fidelis, in days ahead to become food for worms”).    After the service at Grüsch he and several companions traveled to Seewis.    His companions noted that he was particularly cheerful.

On April 24, in a campaign organised by the Habsburgs, Fidelis was preaching under protection of some Austrian imperial soldiers in the Church at Seewis with the aim to reconvert the people of Seewis to Catholicism.   During the sermon, his listeners were called “to arms” by the Calvinist agitators outside.    Some of the people went to face the Austrian troops outside the church.    Fidelis had been persuaded by the remaining Catholics to immediately flee with the Austrian troops out of Seewis, which he did but then returned alone to Grüsch.    On his way back he was confronted by 20 Calvinist soldiers who demanded unsuccessfully that he renounce the Catholic faith and when he refused, they subsequently murdered him.

A local account:

From Grüsch he went to preach at Seewis, where, with great energy, he exhorted the Catholics to constancy in the faith.    After a Calvinist had discharged his musket at him in the Church, the Catholics entreated him to leave the place.    He answered that death was his gain and his joy, and that he was ready to lay down his life in God’s cause.    On his road back to Grüsch, he met twenty Calvinist soldiers with a minister at their head. They called him a false prophet and urged him to embrace their sect.    He answered: “I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death.”    One of them beat him down to the ground by a stroke on the head with his backsword.    Fidelis rose again on his knees and stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross, said with a feeble voice “Pardon my enemies, O Lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. Mary, Mother of God, succour me!.”   Another sword stroke clove his skull and he fell to the ground and lay in a pool of his own blood.    The soldiers, not content with this, added many stab wounds to his body with their long knives and hacked-off his left leg, as they said, to punish him for his many journeys into those parts to preach to them.

It is said that a Catholic woman lay concealed near the place of Fidelis’ martyrdom as the saint was slain.    After the soldiers had left, she came out to assess the incident and found the martyr’s eyes open, fixed on the heavens.    He was buried by Catholics the next day.

martyrdom of st fidelis

The rebels were soon after defeated by the imperial troops, an event which the martyr had foretold them.    The Protestant minister who had participated in Fidelis’ martyrdom, was converted by this circumstance, made a public abjuration of Calvinism and was received into the Catholic Church.

After six months, the martyr’s body was found to be incorrupt but his head and left arm were separated from his body.    The body parts were then placed into two reliquaries, one sent to the Cathedral of Coire, at the behest of the bishop and laid under the High Altar; the other was placed in the Capuchin church at Weltkirchen, Feldkirch, Austria.

COIRE -ST FIDELIS

St Fidelis was beatified on 24 March 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII and canonised on 29 June 1746, Rome by Pope Benedict XIV

Posted in Saint of the Day

Saints – 24 April

St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (Optional Memorial)
Our Lady of Bonaria: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the form of a statue of Mary and the Christ Child that was washed up at a Mercedarian monastery near Cagliari, Italy on 25 April 1370, apparently from a shipwreck the night before. Legend says that the locals tried to open the crate it was in, but only one of the Mercedarian monks could get the it open. Patron of Sardinia, Italy
Our Lady of Buenos Aires

St Alexander of Lyon
St Anthimos of Nicomedia
St Authairius of La Ferté
St Benedetto Menni
St Bova of Rheims
St Deodatus of Blois
St Diarmaid of Armagh
St Doda of Rheims
St Dyfnan of Anglesey
St Egbert of Rathemigisi
St Eusebius of Lydda
St Gregory of Elvira
St Honorius of Brescia
St Ivo of Huntingdonshire
St Leontius of Lydda
St Longinus of Lydda
St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
St Mary of Cleophas
St Mary Salome
St Mellitus of Canterbury
St Neon of Lydda
St Sabas the Goth of Rome
St Tiberio of Pinerolo
St William Firmatus

Mercedarian Martyrs of Paris

Posted in Novenas

Novena to St Joseph the Worker – 23 April – Day Two

Novena to St Joseph the Worker – 23 April

Work positively affects the worker’s family, the whole of society and the worker personally.   “It forms the person in the process of transforming things;  it humanises and spiritualises the person in the process of modifying material objects.   And finally, it draws men together in the purusit of a goal that is visible to all and in the construction of the world in which they are called to live” (Louis Lavelle).

Thus when a worker offers to God not only the firstfruits of his labour but his labour itself, human labour “can become a great liturgy of worship” (M D Philippe).

Day Two

day two st jospeh novena

Let us Pray:

Glorious St Hoseph,
foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ,
spouse of the blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of God,
powerful protector of the Holy Church,
to you do I raise my heart and implore your powerful intercession.
You gave yourself completely to the Saviour,
it was cause for joy to pray, to work, to sacrifice yourself,
to suffer, to die for Him.
You were unknown in this world even though Jesus knew you very well,
He would look at your simple and hidden life with love.
We are called to contribute by our diligient industry
to the unfolding of the Creator’s plan in history.
Protect the rights of all workers.
Enable people to find work that befits their dignity.
Do not let those who are unemployed become discouraged
but them them in finding fitting employment.
May I too approach my work as an act of worship.
United in your powerful intercession,
I offer you my intentions
(make your intention)
I commend to your fatherly solicitude this specific task.
I am placing it in your hands.
I ask for the grace to never separate myself from God,
to know Christ ant love Him even more and His blessed Mother,
and to always live in the presence of God,
to do all for His glory and the good of other souls
and one day to reach the beatific vision of God
to praise Him eternally with you. Amen.

 

Posted in Art Dei, Morning Prayers, Saint of the Day

Thought for the Day – 23 April

Thought for the Day – 23 April

The Christian hero is not the slayer of dragons or the knight who wields the sword.
The Christian hero is the saint, although saints like St Joan of Arc, could and did wield the sword too.
St George, whose Memorial it is today, got lost in legends and folklore but he was a real soldier who gave his life in witness to Christ.   He was a Martyr for Christ – the ultimate act of heroism.   If only we remembered him correctly and with honour, for this martyrdom for the One who saved us!

martyrdom-of-saint-george

Martyrdom of Saint George, c.1564 – Paolo Veronese

St George pray for us and we pray that your memory may be restored!

ST GEORGE - APRIL 23

Posted in Easter, Feasts and Solemnities, Morning Prayers, Quotes of the Saints

Quote/s of the Day – 23 April – Divine Mercy Sunday

Quote/s of the Dat – 23 April – Divine Mercy Sunday

“There is nothing more man needs than Divine Mercy – that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights to the holiness of God.”

THERE IS NOTHING MORE MAN NEEDS-STJP

 

“When we go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we represent the one in the world who is in most need of God’s Mercy.”   We “Stand in behalf of the one in the world who does not know Christ and who is farthest away from God and we bring down upon their soul the Precious Blood of The Lamb.”

WHEN WE GO BEFORE THE LORD

St Pope John Paul II

Posted in Easter, Feasts and Solemnities, Morning Prayers, Prayers of the Saints, Quotes of the Saints, Saint of the Day, The Word

One Minute Reflection – 23 April Octave and Divine Mercy Sunday

One Minute Reflection – 23 April
Octave and Divine Mercy Sunday

DAILY MEDITATION: Kindle the faith of your people and show us Your Mercy!

But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.    Once you were “no people” but now you are God’s people; you “had not received mercy” but now you have received mercy………………..1 Peter 2:9-10

REFLECTION – “How much the world is in need of the mercy of God today!   In every continent, from the depths of human suffering, a cry for mercy seems to rise.   In those places where hatred and the thirst for revenge are overwhelming, where war brings suffering and the death of innocents, one needs the grace of mercy to pacify the minds and the hearts and make peace spring forth.   In those places where there is less respect for life and human dignity, one needs the merciful love of God, in whose light we see the ineffable value of every single human being.   Mercy is needed to ensure that every injustice may find its solution in the splendour of truth. …..As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace.   How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!”…………St John Paul

PRAYER – “Lord, who reveal the Father’s love by Your death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world. Amen.” – St John Paul (During his last journey to Poland in August of 2002) St Adalbert of Prague pray for us!

1 PETER 2-10AS A GIFT TO HUMANITY-ST JOHN PAULst adalbert of prague pray for us