Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January

Blessed John Henry Newman (d 1890) looked upon conversion as nothing more than a deeper discovery of what we already truly desire. Conversion happens at the level of desire. It is the restoration of what makes us truly human.

Novena to St Paul
DAY ONE – 16 January

Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing conversion.
True conversion means converting my life to the
design of God, the plan He has for me right now.
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions,
………………………………..
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.

St Paul Pray for us!day-one-st-paul-novena- 2017 pic

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Posted in MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales – Day Two – 16 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day Two – 16 January

“State openly that you desire to be devout.   I do not say that you should assert that you are devout but that you desire to be devout.   Do not be ashamed to practice the ordinary, necessary actions that bring us to the love of God.   Acknowledge frankly that you are trying to meditate, that you would rather die than commit a mortal sin, that you are resolved to frequent the sacraments and to follow your director’s advice.   This candid confession of our desire to serve God and to consecrate ourselves entirely to His love is most acceptable to His Divine Majesty.” (St Francis de Sales INT. V, Ch. 18; O. III, p. 365)

O blessed Francis de Sales, you who on earth did excel in a life of virtue,
especially in the love of God and neighbour,
I earnestly ask you to take me under your compassionate care and protection.
Obtain for me conversion of mind and heart.
Grant that all people, especially ……………………….
(names of those whom you wish to include)
may experience the depth of God’s redeeming and healing love.
Teach me to fix my eyes on the things of heaven
even as I walk each day with my feet planted firmly on the earth.
Help me, through the practice of virtue and the pursuit of devotion,
to avoid anything that would otherwise cause me to stumble
in my attempt to follow Christ and to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit.
Encouraged by your prayers and example,
help me to live fully my sacred dignity
with the hope of experiencing my sacred destiny:
eternal life with God.
Receive also this particular need or concern that I now lift up in prayer.
…………………………… (mention your particular need).
O God, for the salvation of all,
You desired that St. Francis de Sales—
preacher, missionary, confessor, bishop and founder—
should befriend many along the road to salvation.
Mercifully grant that we,
infused with the humility and gentleness of his charity,
guided by his wisdom and sharing in his spirit
may experience eternal life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

St Francis de Sales, pray for us.DAY TWO-NOVENA TO ST FRANCIS DE SALES - 16 JAN 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka

Thought for the Day – 16 January – The Memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka

“Saint Joseph shows us the importance of transcending religious divisions in the service of peace.   His undivided love for God opened him to love for his neighbour;  he ministered to those in need, whoever and wherever they were.   His example continues to inspire the Church in Sri Lanka today.   She gladly and generously serves all members of society.   She makes no distinction of race, creed, tribe, status or religion in the service she provides through her schools, hospitals, clinics and many other charitable works.  All she asks in return is the freedom to carry out this mission.

Religious freedom is a fundamental human right.   Each individual must be free, alone or in association with others, to seek the truth and to openly express his or her religious convictions, free from intimidation and external compulsion.

As the life of Saint Joseph Vaz teaches us, genuine worship of God bears fruit not in discrimination, hatred and violence but in respect for the sacredness of life, respect for the dignity and freedom of others and loving commitment to the welfare of all.”   (From the Homily of Pope Francis on the Canonisation of St Joseoph Vaz – 14 January 2015)

“Joseph Vaz was on fire with faith.   Guided by the example of his Divine Master, he travelled the whole Island, going everywhere, often barefoot, with a rosary round his neck as a sign of his Catholic faith.   As a true disciple of Jesus, he endured innumerable sufferings with joy and confidence, knowing that in those sufferings too God’s plans were being fulfilled. His heroic charity, shown in a particular way in his selfless devotion to the victims of the epidemic in 1697, earned him the respect of everyone.
May the example of Father Joseph Vaz speak to your hearts…He welcomed everyone as a child of God.   And because of this love his name is now invoked as a blessing, here in Sri Lanka and throughout the world. “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt. 5: 9).   When lasting peace comes, all Sri Lankans will be blessed and your country will be restored in its full dignity and greatness.   May Almighty God achieve this through you. Amen.

May Almighty God through the intercession of Our Lady and of blessed Joseph Vaz achieve this through you.”   (St Pope John Paul on the Beatification of St Joseph Vaz – 21 January 1995)

st joseph vaz pray for us no 2 - 16 jan 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – The memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka – “Speaking of Charity”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January –  The memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka – “Speaking of Charity”

“Help one another
with the generosity
of the Lord
and despise no one.
When you have
the opportunity
to do good,
do not let it go by.”

St Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155) Father of the Churchhelp one another - st polycarp - 16 jan 2018

“No one has ever been accused
for not providing ornaments
…Do not, therefore, adorn the church
and ignore your afflicted brother,
for he is the most precious temple of all.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Churchno one has ever - st john chrysostom - 16 jan 2018

“Beauty grows in you to the extent that love grows
because charity itself is the soul’s beauty.”

“You cannot attain to charity except through humility.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Churchbeauty grows in you - st augustine - 16 jan 2018

“It is by the path of love, which is charity,
that God draws near to man and man to God.
But where charity is not found,
God cannot dwell.
If, then, we possess charity,
we possess God, for “God is Charity”

St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Churchit is by the path of love - st albert the great - 16 jan 2018

If you want God to hear your prayers,
hear the voice of the poor.
If you wish God to anticipate your wants,
provide those of the needy without waiting
for them to ask you.
Especially anticipate the needs of those
who are ashamed to beg.
To make them ask for alms is to make them buy it.”

St Thomas of Villanova (1486-1555)if you want god to hear your prayers - st homas of villanova - 16 jan 2018

“No man discovers anything big
if he does not make himself small.”

“Show me your hands.
Do they have scars from giving?
Show me your feet.
Are they wounded in service?
Show me your heart.
Have you left a place for divine love?”

Venerable Fulton J Sheen (1895-1979)no man discovers - ven fulton sheen - 16 jan 2018

Posted in MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – The Memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – The Memorial of St Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) Apostle of Sri Lanka

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit”…Matthew 28:19

REFLECTION – “I encourage each of you to look to Saint Joseph as a sure guide. He teaches us how to go out to the peripheries, to make Jesus Christ everywhere known and loved…. Saint Joseph gives us an example of missionary zeal…. Leaving behind his home, his family, the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led. Saint Joseph knew how to offer the truth and the beauty of the Gospel in a multi-religious context, with respect, dedication, perseverance and humility.   This is also the way for the followers of Jesus today.   We are called to go forth with the same zeal, the same courage, of Saint Joseph…” Pope Francis at the Canonisation of St Joseph Vaz, 14 January 2015i encourage each of you - pope francis - 16 jan 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, may we too glorify You by our lives as St Joseph Vaz did!   Grant us, we pray, Your grace, that we may, in union with the Church throughout the world, sing a new song to the You and declare Your glory to all the ends of the earth.   May the prayer of St Joseph Vaz, intercede on our behalf, to assist us to imitate his zeal and love. Amenst joseph vaz - pray for us - 18 jan 2018

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 16 January

Our Morning Offering – 16 January

St Patrick’s Morning Prayer

As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the Word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone
who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone
who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Amen.as i arise today - st patrick's morning prayer - 16 jan 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 January – St Joseph Vaz C.O. (1651-1711) “Apostle of Sri Lanka”

Saint of the Day – 16 January – St Joseph Vaz C.O. (1651-1711) Apostle of Ceylon/Sri Lanka – Oratorian Priest and Missionary, known as the “Apostle of Sri Lanka”.   St Joseph was born on 21 April 1651 at Benaulim, Salcette, Goa, India and died late at night on 16 January 1711 at Kandy, Sri Lanka, of natural causes.   Patronages – the Archdiocese of Goa and Damão, India and Sri Lanka.   Attributes  – Mitre placed to side, holding crucifix, sun icon, Oratorian habit.   St Joseph arrived in Ceylon during the Dutch occupation, when the Dutch were imposing Calvinism as the official religion after taking over from the Portuguese. He travelled throughout the island bringing the Eucharist and the sacraments to clandestine groups of Catholics. Later in his mission, he found shelter in the Kingdom of Kandy where he was able to work freely. By the time of his death, Vaz had managed to rebuild the Catholic Church on the island. As a result of his labours, Vaz is known as the Apostle of Ceylon and Sri Lanka.

st joseph vaz - headerst joseph vaz - large

Father Joseph Vaz was born on 21 April 1651, in India.   He was a Goan, born in Benaulim, and was raised in the villages of Benaulim and Sancoale.   When he grew up, his father sent him to a school at Benaulim to learn Latin as a preparation for his priestly studies.   Joseph Vaz made such rapid progress in his studies that his father decided to send him to the city of Goa, to the Jesuit College of Saint Paul.   After completing his studies with the Jesuits, Joseph Vaz entered the Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas for his philosophical and theological studies.   In 1676 he was ordained a priest.

st joseph vaz - young

How the call to mission came to him, we do not know exactly.   He knew about the misery of the Catholics of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and their complete abandonment.   Ceylon was a Buddhist Country.   But there were, at that time, a large number of Catholics living on the island without a priest or a church.   In 1658, the Dutch, being adherents of the Dutch Reformed Church and fearing that Catholics would support the Portuguese, began to persecute the Catholics, forbidding the practice of the Catholic faith within their territory.   Joseph Vaz’s heart was afire to go and save the Church in Ceylon at any cost.

He presented his request to go to Ceylon to the ecclesiastical authorities.   But, he was asked to serve the abandoned Catholics of Canara (Karnataka) in southwestern India. Joseph Vaz lived in Canara for 4 years.   During that time he gave shape to the church of Mangalore, where he had reached in 1682.   He built churches and chapels.   In many villages, he opened a small school, appointed a catechist and made provision by establishing confraternities for the maintenance of the church.

In 1684 Joseph Vaz made his way back to Goa.   There he found a small community of Goan priests at the church of the Cross of Miracles.  He entered this tiny community and was elected the superior.   Within a few months, seven more priests joined the community and gave it new energy.   To give a form of stability to the community, Joseph Vaz then organised the Goan community into the Oratorian Institute of Milagristas of Goa.   The Goa Oratory of Saint Philip Neri is assumed to be the first fully native religious community of the Latin rite in Asia.   This indigenous priestly community was the ideal group to work in Ceylon and restore the Catholic Church there.   After a six month stay in the Oratory, in March, 1686, Joseph Vaz set out for Ceylon   In April, 1687, he disembarked in Ceylon as a poor beggar.

In 1658, 120 Catholic missionaries had left Ceylon and the churches were closed or destroyed.   From 1658 to 1687 Catholics were isolated:  no priest, no sacraments and no church.   Joseph Vaz arrived in Jaffna.   He started his life in Ceylon without any logistic support.   With a rosary on his neck he begged from door to door for his survival.   That was how he made contact with Catholics.   Joseph Vaz was the first non-European missionary to came to Ceylon.   He came, not sent by civil, royal or ecclesiastical authorities.   And he came in simplicity and poverty, without the support or protection of an institutional Church.

The Dutch commander of Jaffna noticed the revival of Catholic life in his district.   On Christmas night, 1689, two years after Joseph Vaz had started his apostolate, the commander detected the presence of the priest.   Three hundred Christians were imprisoned.   But Joseph Vaz was not among the prisoners.   No one knows how he escaped.    With the help of some Catholics, he went to Puttalam since this was part of the Kandy Kingdom outside of Dutch authority.   Joseph Vaz had chosen Kandy the centre of his apostolate to avoid the vigilance of the Dutch.   But, as soon as the King, Vimaladharma Surya II, was informed, Joseph Vaz was bound in chains and conducted to a prison in Kandy, as he was seen as a foreign spy.   Joseph Vaz had studied Tamil and now, in Jaffna, in the prison, he started to study the local language, Sinhala.   In 1693 the king set the priest free.   As soon as he obtained the freedom to minister to the Catholics of the city, Joseph Vaz had the people build a simple church and dedicated it to Our Lady.

In 1696 there was a prolonged drought in Kandy.   The king was very much distressed and asked the highest Buddhist religious leaders of his kingdom to perform their ceremonies to call down rain.    But, it was to no avail.   The king then asked Joseph Vaz to pray to his God and obtain rain for the kingdom.   Joseph Vaz answered the king´s request by a prayer in the public square the next day.   It brought such abundant rain that Joseph Vaz won the sympathy of the king, liberty for himself and permission to bring more priests from the Goan Oratory.   In a letter dated 10 February 1696, the Bishop of Cochin, appointed Joseph Vaz as his Vicar General with full jurisdiction, spiritual as well as temporal, over the entire island of Ceylon.   In 1696, the Oratory Fathers of Goa began to arrive on the island and so a properly constituted mission was established.

Joseph Vaz undertook long missionary journeys throughout a large portion of the west of the island.   He even entered the city of Colombo, and continued this journey and his missionary apostolate in Gurubavilla, Malwana Sitawaka, Soffragan.   Between April and November, 1698, Joseph Vaz paid his second visit to Colombo.   From there he continued his apostolic journey through Negombo, Mantota, Mannar, Vanny, Kalpitya, Punarym, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Puliyadiva and Batticaloa.   In 1699, he went beyond Malwana and baptized more or less a thousand people.   In the years 1700, 1704 and 1705, Joseph Vaz undertook further missionary journeys to Puttalam, Mantota, Vanny, Allanbil, Kottiyar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Pungadda and the Neduntivu Island in the North.   Today in Sri Lanka, nine out of twelve dioceses comprise the area of these districts erected by Joseph Vaz.   In 1705, it was Joseph Vaz who expanded the small shrine of Our Lady of Madhu.

In 1703, Pope Clement XI (1700-1721) sent a legate who proposed to nominate Joseph Vaz as the Vicar Apostolic of Ceylon.   Joseph Vaz humbly declined the offer to be the first Apostolic Vicar of Ceylon.   But whether a bishop or not, Joseph Vaz administered the Church in the whole country as a bishop would have done.

In 1710, Joseph Vaz was completely exhausted.   He died 16 January 1711.   He had spent 24 years of untiring labours in the mission of Ceylon.   He was 59 years old.   He left a marvelous legacy:   70,000 Catholics, 15 churches and 400 chapels.   He translated into  Singalese and Tamil, the local languages, various prayers and a catechism.   After his death, his example and methods of apostolic work made him a continuing inspiration for the priests in Sri Lanka.   When the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate came to Sri Lanka in 1857, they were able to build on and continue Fr Vaz´s apostolic work.

On 21 January 1995, St Joseph  was beatified by St Pope John Paul II in Colombo.   He was canonised on 14 January 2015 by Pope Francis in an open-air Mass ceremony at the Galle Face Green in Colombo.st joseph vaz & pope francis