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

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401),– 15 August

Thought for the Day – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401),– 15 August

“Augustine and Simplician, sons of Milan, followers of Christ”

“Another great name enters Milan’s rich story in 384, that of the man who became St Augustine.   In 384 he was not yet a saint.   But he was a man who was searching, probing and asking questions, testing the spirits that drove him.   First he found Ambrose, who “welcomed me as a father would and like a good bishop approved of my journeying,” according to his Confessions.   Still, he was not ready to accept the Christian faith and way of life.   But Ambrose could not be the spiritual director he needed.

Augustine had gotten through his doctrinal doubts and he “liked the Way, which was our Saviour, though the tight and narrow parts of that way” annoyed him.   So God put it in his mind to go to Simplician, “whom I considered to be your good servant and your grace shone in him.   I heard that since his youth he lived most devoted to you.”   Now he had grown old and to Augustine he seemed to have become a great expert in studying God’s ways.   “And so he was!   So I wanted to share with him my inner turmoil so he might teach me how best I, as I was, could walk in your ways.”

That is quite an endorsement!   From one saint-to-be about a wise and holy mentor, guide, companion on the road.   One intently searching, the other guiding that search.   We all need help from time as we make our authentic way.   Maybe it can sound trite, an easy image, our life as a journey or pilgrimage, our walking the camino to a holy goal.   But it speaks a deep truth.“…(Fr Edward W Schmidt S.J.)

St Simplician, Sts Augustine & Ambrose, pray for us!st-simplician-pray-for-us-2-15 aug 2017sts-augustine-and-ambrose-pray-for-u-15 aug 2017 - me of st simplician

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401)

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Memorial of St Simplician (c 320-c 401) Bishop and Successor of St Ambrose (340-397) in the ArchDiocese of Milan.

“For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”….Isaiah 41:13isaiah-41-13-15 aug 2017

The Confessions – Book VIII – St Augustine’s Conversion to Christ:  Augustine is deeply impressed by Simplicianus’ story of the conversion to Christ of the famous orator and philosopher, Marius Victorinus.   He is stirred to emulate him but finds himself still enchained by his incontinence and preoccupation with worldly affairs.   He is then visited by a court official, Ponticianus, who tells him and Alypius the stories of the conversion of Anthony and also of two imperial “secret service agents.”   These stories throw him into a violent turmoil, in which his divided will struggles against himself.   He almost succeeds in making the decision for continence but is still held back.   Finally, a child’s song, overheard by chance, sends him to the Bible; a text from Paul resolves the crisis;   the conversion is a fact.   Alypius also makes his decision and the two inform the rejoicing Monica.

REFLECTION – “And Thou didst put it into my mind and it seemed good in my own sight, to go to Simplicianus, who appeared to me a faithful servant of Thine and Thy grace shone forth in him.   I had also been told that from his youth up he had lived in entire devotion to Thee.   He was already an old man and because of his great age, which he had passed in such a zealous discipleship in Thy way, he appeared to me likely to have gained much wisdom–and, indeed, he had.   From all his experience, I desired him to tell me–setting before him all my agitations–which would be the most fitting way for one who felt as I did to walk in thy way.”…St Augustine (From the Confessions – Book VIII – Chapter 1)go on Lord and act - stir us up and call us back - st augustine - mem of simpliacinus 15 aug 2018

PRAYER – “Go on, O Lord and act, stir us up and call us back, inflame us and draw us to Thee, stir us up and grow sweet to us, let us now love Thee, let us run to Thee. Are there not many men … who, out of a deeper pit of darkess.. return to Thee–who draw near to Thee and are illuminated by that light which gives those who receive it power from Thee to become Thy sons? “… (St Augustine – From the Confessions Book VIII – Chapter IV) St Simplician, pray for us, Amen.   St Simplicianus, Pray for us!st-simplician-pray-for-us-15 aug 2018


Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr of the Eucharist

Saint of the Day – 15 August – St Tarcisius (3rd century) Martyr of the Eucharist – Patronages – altar servers, first communicants.beautiful statue - tarcisiusalex falguiere - tarcisius

Here is Pope Benedict’s story of St Tarcisius from his Homily at the General Audience for the International Pilgrimage of Altar Servers on  4 August 2010

“How many of you there are!   While flying over St Peter’s Square in the helicopter I saw all the colours and the joy filling this Square!   Thus not only do you create a festive atmosphere in the Square but you also fill my heart with joy!   Thank you!   The statue of St Tarcisius has come to us after a long pilgrimage.   In September 2008 it was unveiled in Switzerland in the presence of 8000 altar servers, some of you were certainly present. From Switzerland it travelled through Luxembourg on the way to Hungary.   Let us greet it festively today, glad at being able to become better acquainted with this figure of the early Church.   Later, as Bishop Gächter told us, the statue will be taken to the Catacombs of St Calixtus, where St Tarcius was buried.   The hope that I express to all is that this place, namely the Catacombs of St Calixtus and this statue, may become a reference point for altar servers, boys and girls, and for all who wish to follow Jesus more closely through the priestly, religious or missionary life.   May they all be able to look at this strong and courageous boy and renew their commitment to friendship with the Lord, to learn to live with Him always, following the path He points out to us with His word and the witness of so many Saints and Martyrs whose brothers and sisters we have become through Baptism.Tarsitius -figure in the altar of the church of S_ Lorenzo fuori le mura in Rometarcissius statue grave

Who was St Tarcisius?   We do not have much information about him.   We are dealing with the early centuries of the Church’s history or, to be more precise, with the third century.

It is said that he was a boy who came regularly to the Catacombs of St Calixtus here in Rome and took his special Christian duties very seriously.   He had great love for the Eucharist and various hints lead us to conclude that he was presumably an acolyte, that is, an altar server.

Those were years in which the Emperor Valerian was harshly persecuting Christians who were forced to meet secretly in private houses or, at times, also in the Catacombs, to hear the word of God, to pray and to celebrate Holy Mass.   Even the custom of taking the Eucharist to prisoners and the sick became increasingly dangerous.   One day, when, as was his habit, the priest asked who was prepared to take the Eucharist to the other brothers and sisters who were waiting for it, young Tarcisius stood up and said:  “send me!”.   This boy seemed too young for such a demanding service!   “My youth”, Tarcisius said, “will be the best shield for the Eucharist”.st tarcisius martyr of the eucharist Convinced, the priest entrusted to him the precious Bread, saying:  “Tarcisius, remember that a heavenly treasure has been entrusted to your weak hands.   Avoid crowded streets and do not forget that holy things must never be thrown to dogs nor pearls to pigs.   Will you guard the Sacred Mysteries faithfully and safely?”.   “I would die”, Tarcisio answered with determination, “rather than let go of them”.

As he went on his way he met some friends who approached him and asked him to join them.   As pagans they became suspicious and insistent at his refusal and realised he was clasping something to his breast that he appeared to be protecting.   They tried to prize it away from him but in vain.  The struggle became ever fiercer, especially when they realised that Tarcisius was a Christian.    They kicked him, they threw stones at him but he did not surrender.   While Tarcisius was dying a Pretorian guard called Quadratus, who had also, secretly, become a Christian, carried him to the priest.   Tarcisius was already dead when they arrived but was still clutching to his breast a small linen bag containing the Eucharist.   He was buried straight away in the Catacombs of St tarcisius martyr of the eucharist 2st tarcisius martyr of the eucharist 3st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 4_1280 st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 5_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 6_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 7_1280st tarcisisus martyr of the eucharist 8_1280

Pope Damasus had an inscription carved on St Tarcisius’ grave, it says that the boy died in 257.     The Roman Martyrology fixed the date as 15 August and in the same Martyrology a beautiful oral tradition is also recorded.   It claims that the Most Blessed Sacrament was not found on St Tarcisius’ body, either in his hands or his clothing.  It explains that the consecrated Host which the little Martyr had defended with his life, had become flesh of his flesh thereby forming, together with his body, a single immaculate Host offered to God.

Dear altar servers, St Tarcisius’ testimony and this beautiful tradition teach us the deep love and great veneration that we must have for the Eucharist:  it is a precious good, a treasure of incomparable value, it is the Bread of life, it is Jesus Himself who becomes our nourishment, support and strength on our daily journey and on the open road that leads to eternal life.   The Eucharist is the greatest gift that Jesus bequeathed to us.”


Quote/s of the Day – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941)

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

“Be a Catholic!
When you kneel before an altar,
do it in such a way that others
may be able to recognise
that you know before Whom you kneel.”be-a-catholic-st-maximillian-kolbe- 14 aug 2017

“My aim is to institute
Perpetual Adoration,
for this is the the most
important activity.”my aim is to - st max kolbe - adoration - 14 aug 2018

“Let us remember,
that love lives through sacrifice
and is nourished by giving.
Without sacrifice,
there is no love.”love lives through sacrifice - st max kolbe 14 aug 2018

“Let us not forget,
that Jesus not only suffered
but also rose in glory;
so, too, we go to the glory
of the Resurrection,
by way of suffering
and the Cross.”let us not forget = st max kolbe 14 aug 2018

“Let us give ourselves
to the Immaculata.
Let her prepare us,
let her receive Him
in Holy Communion.
This is the manner most perfect
and pleasing to the Lord Jesus
and brings great fruit to us.”
Because “the Immaculata
knows the secret,
how to unite ourselves totally
with the heart of the Lord Jesus…”let us give ourselves to the immaculata - st max kolbe - 14 aug 2018

“We do not limit ourselves in love.
We want to love the Lord Jesus,
with her heart,
or rather, that she would love the Lord,
with our heart.”

St Maximillian Kolbe (1894 -1941)we do not limit ouselves in love - st max kolbe - 14 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe (1894 -1941)

One Minute Reflection – 14 August – The Memorial of St Maximillian Kolbe OFM Conv (1894 -1941) “Martyr of Charity”and “Apostle of Consecration to Mary”

For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed…Luke 1:48

REFLECTION – “A man cannot rise any higher than this.   The Immaculate is the highest degree of perfection and sanctity of a creature.   No man will ever attain this celestial summit of grace, for the Mother of God is unique.   However, he who gives himself without limits, to the Immaculate, will in a short time attain a very high degree of perfection and procure for God, a very great glory.”…St Maximillian Kolbefor behold - luke 1 48 - a man cannot rise any higher than this - st max kolbe - 14 august 2018

PRAYER – My Lord and my God, You who are the fruit of Mary’s blessed womb and the most Divine Son of our Father, grant that we may always have recourse to You, through her who bore You.    Grant that she may help and comforus me and lead us to You.   Mary, Holy and loving Mother of God, pray for us all.   Grant O Lord, that through the intercession of St Maximillian, we may entrust ourselves to You through Your and our blessed Mother, amen.mary immaculate holy mother of god - pray for us - 28 may 2018st-maximillian-pray-for-us-14 aug 2017


Saint of the Day – 14 August – St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (1894-1941) Prisoner 16670

Saint of the Day – 14 August – St Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr (1894-1941) Prisoner 16670 – “Martyr of Charity”, “Apostle of Consecration to Mary”.header - st max icon - my snip

Raymond Kolbe was born on the 8th of January 1894 in Zdunska Wola, which at that time was occupied by Russia.   The Kolbe home was poor but full of love.   The parents, hardworking and religious, educated their three sons with rectitude.

Around 1906, an event took place that marks a fundamental milestone in the life of the young boy.   His mother herself related the event a few months after her son’s max detail enlgdst mac enlg

“I knew ahead of time, based on an extraordinary event that took place in his infancy, that Maximilian would die a martyr.   I just don’t recall if it took place before or after his first confession.   Once I did not like one of his pranks and I reproached him for it:  ‘My son, what ever will become of you?!’   Later, I did not think of it again but I noticed that the boy had changed so radically, he was hardly recognisable.   We had a small altar hidden between two dressers before which he used to often retire without being noticed and he would pray there crying.   In general, he had a conduct superior to his age, always recollected and serious and when he prayed he would burst into tears.   I was worried, thinking he had some sort of illness so I asked him:  ‘Is there anything wrong?   You should share everything with your mommy!’   Trembling with emotion and with his eyes flooded in tears, he shared:  ‘Mama, when you reproached me, I pleaded with the Blessed Mother to tell me what would become of me.   At Church I did the same, I prayed the same thing again.   So then the Blessed Mother appeared to me holding in her hands two crowns:  one white the other red.   She looked at me with tenderness and asked me if I wanted these two crowns.   The white one signified that I would preserve my purity and the red that I would be a martyr.   I answered that I accepted them…(both of them).  Then the Virgin Mary looked at me with sweetness and disappeared.’   The extraordinary change in the boys’ behaviour testified to me the truth of what he related.   He was fully conscious and as he spoke to me, with his face radiatin,; it showed me his desire to die a martyr.”header 2 - st max artwork

When he was 13 years old he entered the Franciscan Fathers Seminary in the polish city of Lvov, which was at that time occupied by Austria.   It was in the seminary where he adopted the name Maximilian.   He completed his studies in Rome.   Before his ordination as a priest in 1918, Maximilian founded the Immaculata Movement devoted to our Lady.   He spread the movement through a magazine entitled “The Knight of the Immaculata”.   “We should conquer the universe and each soul, now and in the future until the end of time, for the Immaculata and through her for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” (St Maximilian Maria Kolbe, The Knight of the Immaculata)St_Maximilian_Kolbe_by_Sue_Kouma_Johnson_1024x1024

Maximilian went to Japan and then on to India where he furthered the Movement.  After a few years in Japan, St Maximilian was summoned back to Poland, largely due to his ever-declining health.

beautiful st max

Three years later, in the midst of the Second World War, he was imprisoned along with other friars and sent to concentration camps in Germany and Poland.   In February of 1941 he was again made a prisoner and sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where in spite of the terrible living conditions he continued his ministry.maximilian

On 31 July 1941, in reprisal for one prisoner’s escape, ten men were chosen to die.  Father Kolbe offered himself in place of a young husband and father.   And he was the last to die, enduring two weeks of starvation, thirst and neglect.   He was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II in 1982 as a Martyr of Charity.CANONIZATION-OF-St-MAXIMILIst max artwork - my edit lg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235) & Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

Quote of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of Sts Pontian (Died 235)

& Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyrs

“Fly to the Catholic Church!

Adhere to the only faith

which continues to exist from the beginning,

that faith which was preached by Paul

and is upheld by the Chair of Peter.”

St Hippolytus

(170 – 235) 

Father of the Churchfly to the catholic church - st hippolytus - 13 aug 2018


One Minute Reflection – 13 August -The Memorial of Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699)

One Minute Reflection – 13 August -The Memorial of Blessed Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699) – Today’s Psalm 148(147) 11-12

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples … Praise the name of the LORD... Psalm 148(147): 11-12

REFLECTION – “God knows that the scope of all of my works is only to do His will.   My only interest is God’s glory and the good of souls.   I am always an obedient son of Holy Mother Church and am ready to shed my blood and give my life for Her.”…. Blessed Mark of Avianolet the kings of the earth and all the peoples - psalme 148 11-12 and god knows that the scope of all - bl mark of aviano - 13 aug 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, who bestowed Your spirit of truth and of love in full measure on Blessed Mark of Aviano, grant that we, who are celebrating his feast, may be supported by his prayer and grow in perfection, as we follow his example.   We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, mark of aviano - pray for us - 13 august 2018


Sunday Reflection – 12 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday Reflection – 12 August – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Jesus, our Daily Sacrifice

“Our Lord not only offered Himself as a Sacrifice on the Cross but He makes Himself a perpetual, a daily Sacrifice, to the end of time.

In the Holy Mass, that One Sacrifice on the Cross once offered is renewed, continued, applied to our benefit.
He seems to say, ‘My Cross was raised up 1800 years ago – and only for a few hours and very few of my servants were present there – but I intend to bring millions into my Church.   For their sakes then, I will perpetuate My Sacrifice, that each of them may be as though they had severally been present on Calvary.   I will offer Myself up, day by day to the Father, that everyone of my followers, may have the opportunity to offer his petitions to Him, sanctified and recommended by the all-meritorious virtue of My Passion.   Thus, I will be a Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedech – My priests shall stand at the Altar – but not they but I rather, will offer.   I will not let them offer mere bread and wine but I Myself, will be present upon the Altar instead and I will offer up Myself invisibly, while they perform the outward rite.’

And thus, the Lamb that was slain once for all, though He is ascended on high, ever remains a victim from His miraculous presence in Holy Mass under the figure and appearance of mere earthly and visible symbols.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Jesus, our Daily Sacrifice, Prayers, Verses and Devotionsand thus, the lambe that was slain - bl j h newman - 12 aug 2018 - sunday reflection


Thought for the Day – 12 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)

Thought for the Day – 12 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)

Always active, always at rest. – St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctoralways active always at rest - st augustine - 12 august 2018

At the age of sixteen, Jane Frances de Frémyot, already a motherless child, was placed under the care of a worldly-minded governess.   In this crisis, she offered herself to the Mother of God and secured Mary’s protection for life.   When a Protestant sought her hand, she steadily refused to marry “an enemy of God and His Church” and shortly afterwards, as the loving and beloved wife of the Baron de Chantal, made her house the pattern of a Christian home.
But God had marked her for something higher than domestic sanctity.   Two children and a dearly beloved sister died and, in the full tide of prosperity, her husband’s life was taken by the innocent hand of a friend.   For seven years the sorrows of her widowhood were increased by ill-usage from servants and inferiors and the cruel importunities of friends, who urged her to marry again.   Harassed almost to despair by their entreaties, she branded on her heart the name of Jesus and in the end left her beloved home and children to live for God alone.
It was on the 19th of March 1609, that Madame de Chantal bade farewell to her family and relations.   Pale, and with tears in her eyes, she passed round the large room, sweetly and humbly taking leave of each.   Her son, a boy of fifteen, used every entreaty, every endearment, to induce his mother not to leave them and at last passionately flung himself across the door of the room.   In an agony of distress, she passed on over the body of her son to the embrace of her aged and disconsolate father.   The anguish of that parting reached its height when, kneeling at the feet of the venerable old man, she sought and obtained his last blessing, promising to repay in her new home his sacrifice by her prayers.
Well might St Francis call her “the valiant woman.”
She was to found with St Francis de Sales a great Order.   Sickness, opposition, want, beset her and the death of children, friends and of St Francis himself followed, while eighty-seven houses of the Visitation rose under her hand.   Nine long years of interior desolation completed the work of God’s grace and in her seventieth year, St Vincent of Paul saw, at the moment of her death, her soul ascend, as a ball of fire, to heaven.

May we all rest in Christ and His Mother!

St Jane Frances de Chantal, Pray for us!st jane frances de chantal pray for us - 12 aug 2018