Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY ONE – 30 November

MARY FULL OF GRACE

She is the one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections and she is also our
Mother. Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything we ask for and,
like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers.   Like any mother also, she knows and understands our weaknesses.   She encourages us and makes excuses for us.   She makes the way easy for us and, even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us.
Perhaps some of you might be thinking that the ordinary comings and goings, of your
working day, are not going to help you much to stay close to someone, as pure as Our
Lady.   But I would just ask you to reflect a little.   What are we looking for all the time
in things we do, even without thinking about it especially?   If we are motivated by the love of God and we work with a right intention, then we are seeking whatever is good and clean, whatever brings peace to our conscience and happiness to our soul.   Yes, you might say but don’t we still have our faults?   Indeed, but it is precisely by acknowledging our faults that we are able to see, more clearly than ever, just what our goal has to be.   What we are looking for is happiness, not a momentary happiness but one that is deep and lasting and both human and supernatural.
There is one creature who achieved such happiness here on earth, because she is God’s masterpiece, our most holy Mother Mary.   She lives now and is protecting us.   She is
there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Friends of God, 292)

Holy Rosary, 4th joyful mystery:
When the days of the Mother’s purification are accomplished, according to the Law of
Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke
2:24).   Just think: She – Mary Immaculate! – submits to the Law as if she were defiled.
Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and I surely do need purification! Atonement and more than atonement, Love.   Love as a searing iron to cauterise our souls’ uncleanness and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.

Let us turn to her, tota pulchra! – all beautiful! – taking to heart the advice I gave many years ago to those who felt uneasy in their daily struggle to be humble, pure, sincere, cheerful and generous.   “All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you.   Don’t give up hope!   On the contrary, call your holy Mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child.   She will bring peace to your soul.”  (Friends of God, 189)

Let us Pray!

Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.
AmenDAY ONE - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - HAIL MARY

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Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – Getting Ready for the arrival of our King!

St Andrew’s Christmas Novena – The Christmas Anticipation Prayerbe-ready-and-waiting-st-andrews-christmas-novena-begins-30-nov-2017-pic

The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is often called simply the “Christmas Novena” or the “Christmas Anticipation Prayer” because it is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle today, 30 November, until Christmas.   It is an ideal Advent devotion – the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.

While the novena is tied to the Feast of Saint Andrew, it is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honour of the birth of His Son at Christmas.   You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once, or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).st-andrews-prayer-christmas-novena-no-1 - 30nov2017

Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your children on the Advent season.   In no time, you will all have memorised it and be able to focus totally on the actual words.   In a family, it is a great idea to allow each member to insert their petitions in rotation.

Let us Pray!

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment,
in which the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem,
in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe,
I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
………………… [here mention your request]
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ
and of His blessed Mother.
Amenst andrew christmas novena - 30nov2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRAYERS for our HOLY FATHER and all PRIESTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Thought for the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Excerpt from Pope Benedict’s Catechesis on St Andrew
Wednesday, 14 June 2006

“This is what the Apostle is claimed to have said on that occasion, according to an ancient story (which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century), entitled The Passion of Andrew:

“Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with His limbs as though they were precious pearls.   Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear.   Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift.

Believers know of the great joy that you possess and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared.   I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me exultant as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you…. O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord’s limbs!…

Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the one who redeemed me by you, may receive me.

Hail, O Cross; yes, hail indeed!”.hail o cross - from the passion of st andrew - 30nov2018

Here, as can be seen, is a very profound Christian spirituality.   It does not view the Cross as an instrument of torture but rather as the incomparable means for perfect configuration to the Redeemer, to the grain of wheat that fell into the earth.

We have a very important lesson to learn, our own crosses acquire value if we consider them and accept them as a part of the Cross of Christ, if a reflection of His light illuminates them.   It is by that Cross alone that our sufferings too are ennobled and acquire their true meaning.

The Apostle Andrew, therefore, teaches us to follow Jesus with promptness (cf. Mt 4: 20; Mk 1: 18), to speak enthusiastically about Him to those we meet and especially, to cultivate a relationship of true familiarity with Him, acutely aware that in Him alone, can we find the ultimate meaning of our life and death.”

St Andrew, Pray for your Church, Pray for Us all!st andrew apostle pray for us-30nov2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Quote of the Day – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

“We have found the Messiah”…
Andrew’s words reveal a soul waiting with the utmost longing
for the coming of the Messiah, looking forward to His appearing
from heaven, rejoicing when He does appear
and hastening to announce so great an event to others.
To support one another in the things of the spirit
is the true sign of good will between brothers,
of loving kinship and sincere affection.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctorwe have found the messiah - andrews words - st john chrysostom-30nov2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22 – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

One Minute Reflection – 30 November – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:18–22 – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”...Matthew 4:19

REFLECTION – “And they left their nets and followed him.”   And yet John (the Evangelist) says that they were called in a different way.   From this it is evident that this was a second call.   One may conclude this from several evidences.   For there it is said that they came to Him when “John had not yet been thrown into prison” but here it says, after he was in confinement.   And there Andrew calls Peter but here Jesus calls both.   On the one hand, John says, “Jesus saw Simon coming and said, ‘You are Simon, the Son of Jonah.   You shall be called Cephas, which is translated Peter.’”   On the other hand, Matthew says that he was already called by that name, for he says, “Seeing Simon who was called Peter.”   In the other instance, Andrew is seen coming into His house and hearing many things.   But here, having heard one brief call, they both followed immediately.
When they earlier had seen that John was in prison and that Jesus was withdrawing, it would not have been unnatural for them to return again to their own craft, fishing, having followed Him at the beginning and then later having left Him to fish.
Accordingly, you now see, that Jesus finds them actively fishing.   But He neither resisted them at first, when they desired to withdraw from Him, nor having withdrawn themselves, did He let them go altogether.   He gave way when they moved aside from Him and came again to win them back.   This, after all, is exactly what fishing is all about.”… St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – (The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 14)matthew 4 19 - follow me and I will make you - accordingly, you now see, st john chrysostom - 30nov2018

PRAYER – Lord, in Your kindness hear our petitions.   You called Andrew the apostle, to preach the Gospel and guide Your Church in faith.   May he always be our friend in Your presence to help us with his prayers.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amenst andrew pray for us - 30nov2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, HYMNS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Our Morning Offering – 30 November – Breviary Hymn for the Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Our Morning Offering – 30 November – The Feast of St Andrew, Apostle of Christ

Hymn/Prayer on the Feast of St Andrew
From the Breviary

Saint Andrew, who once cast your nets
Upon the lake of Galilee,
Show now your skill in catching souls,
And save us from the world’s wild sea.

Saint Peter’s brother during life,
Not even death your souls could part,
Since both endured the bitter cross
With patient and courageous heart.

True brothers in your work on earth,
Your crown of glory is the same,
Both fathers of the infant Church,
Both crucified for Jesus’ Name.

You were the first to find Our Lord,
And led your brother to His feet,
So help us on life’s weary way,
Befriend us in its dust and heat.

Companion of your brother’s toil,
Preserve the Church in charity,
That with Saint Peter, shepherd true,
We may serve God in unity.

Beloved Saint, so dear to Christ,
Help us to run the path of love,
That we may all God’s praises sing,
United in full joy above.
Amenst andrew who once cast your nets - breviary hymn for the feast of st andrew - 30 nov 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Saint of the Day – 30 November – St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Martyr

Saint of the Day – 30 November – St Andrew, Apostle of Christ, Martyr – Called the “First Called ” or “Protoclete” – born at Bethsaida, Galilee and was martyred by crucifixion on a saltire (x-shaped) cross in Patras Greece (around the year 62AD) – Patronages: fishermen, fishmongers and rope-makers, textile workers, singers, miners, pregnant women, butchers, farm workers, protection against sore throats, protection against convulsions, protection against fever, protection against whooping cough, Scotland, Barbados, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Patras, Burgundy, San Andrés (Tenerife), Diocese of Parañaque, Telhado, Amalfi, Luqa (Malta) and Prussia; Diocese of Victoria.ANDREW - GLASS maxresdefault

The first striking characteristic of Andrew is his name – it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored.   We are in Galilee, where the Greek language and culture are quite present.   Andrew comes second in the list of the Twelve, as in Matthew (10: 1-4) and in Luke (6: 13-16); or fourth, as in Mark (3: 13-18) and in the Acts (1: 13-14).   In any case, he certainly enjoyed great prestige within the early Christian communities.   The kinship between Peter and Andrew, as well as the joint call that Jesus addressed to them, are explicitly mentioned in the Gospels.   We read:  “As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.   And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men'” (Mt 4: 18-19; Mk 1: 16-17).

From the Fourth Gospel we know another important detail:  Andrew had previously been a disciple of John the Baptist and this shows us that he was a man who was searching, who shared in Israel’s hope, who wanted to know better the word of the Lord, the presence of the Lord.   He was truly a man of faith and hope and one day he heard John the Baptist proclaiming Jesus as, “the Lamb of God” (Jn 1: 36), so he was stirred and with another unnamed disciple followed Jesus, the one whom John had called “the Lamb of God”.   The Evangelist says that “they saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day…” (Jn 1: 37-39).   Thus, Andrew enjoyed precious moments of intimacy with Jesus.   The account continues with one important annotation:  “One of the two who heard John speak and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.   He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah’ (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus” (Jn 1: 40-43), straightaway showing an unusual apostolic spirit.

Andrew, then, was the first of the Apostles to be called to follow Jesus.   Exactly for this reason the liturgy of the Byzantine Church honours him with the nickname: “Protokletos”, [protoclete] which means, precisely, “the first called”.Sant_Andrea_S

The Gospel traditions mention Andrew’s name in particular on another three occasions that tell us something more about this man.   The first is that of the multiplication of the loaves in Galilee. On that occasion, it was Andrew who pointed out to Jesus the presence of a young boy who had with him five barley loaves and two fish, not much, he remarked, for the multitudes who had gathered in that place (cf. Jn 6: 8-9). In this case, it is worth highlighting Andrew’s realism.   He noticed the boy, that is, he had already asked the question: “but what good is that for so many?” (ibid) and recognised the insufficiency of his minimal resources.   Jesus, however, knew how to make them sufficient for the multitude of people who had come to hear Him.

The second occasion was at Jerusalem.   As He left the city, a disciple drew Jesus’ attention to the sight of the massive walls that supported the Temple.   The Teacher’s response was surprising:  He said that of those walls not one stone would be left upon another.   Then Andrew, together with Peter, James and John, questionedHhim: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?” (Mk 13: 1-4). In answer to this question Jesus gave an important discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem and on the end of the world, in which He asked His disciples to be wise in interpreting the signs of the times and to be constantly on their guard.   From this event we can deduce that we should not be afraid to ask Jesus questions but at the same time that we must be ready to accept even the surprising and difficult teachings that He offers us.andrew snip

Lastly, a third initiative of Andrew is recorded in the Gospels:  the scene is still Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion.   For the Feast of the Passover, John recounts, some Greeks had come to the city, probably proselytes or God-fearing men who had come up to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast.   Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus.   The Lord’s answer to their question – as so often in John’s Gospel – appears enigmatic but precisely in this way proves full of meaning.   Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world:  “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.   I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (12: 23-24). Jesus wants to say:  Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity.   The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat.   My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness, in the Resurrection the “dead grain of wheat” – a symbol of myself crucified – will become the bread of life for the world, it will be a light for the peoples and cultures. Yes, the encounter with the Greek soul, with the Greek world, will be achieved in that profundity to which the grain of wheat refers, which attracts to itself the forces of heaven and earth and becomes bread. In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of His Pasch.

Some very ancient traditions not only see Andrew, who communicated these words to the Greeks, as the interpreter of some Greeks at the meeting with Jesus recalled here but consider him the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost.   They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world.ANDREW ICON

Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission, Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world.   So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers – a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the See of Rome and of Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.

A later tradition, as has been mentioned, tells of Andrew’s death at Patras, where he too suffered the torture of crucifixion.   At that supreme moment, however, like his brother Peter, he asked to be nailed to a cross different from the Cross of Jesus.   In his case it was a diagonal or X-shaped cross, which has thus come to be known as “St Andrew’s cross”….Pope Benedict XVI – 14 June 2006

Mattia_Preti_-_The_crucifixion_of_St_Andrew_-_Google_Art_Project-Public-Domain-Image

Andrew is the patron saint of several countries and cities and is the patron saint of Prussia and of the Order of the Golden Fleece.  He is considered the founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium and is consequently the patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.   The flag of Scotland (and consequently the Union Flag and those of some of the former colonies of the British Empire) feature Saint Andrew’s saltire cross. The saltire is also the flag of Tenerife, the former flag of Galicia and the Russian Navy Ensign.

 

The feast of Andrew is observed on 30 November in both the Eastern and Western churches and is the national day of Scotland.   In the traditional liturgical books of the Catholic Church, the feast of Saint Andrew is the first feast day in the Proper of Saints.VATICAN - ANDREW STATUE -640px-Saint_Andreas