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Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church –  The “Franciscan Renaissance Man”

Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church.   He was created a Doctor of the Church by St Pope John XXIII in 1959 with the title Doctor apostolicus (Apostolic Doctor).   Patronages –  Brindisi, Italy.

St Lawrence is known as the “Franciscan Renaissance Man”  – he was a Religious member of the Franciscan Friars Minor Capuchin, a Priest, Theologian, Vicar General of the Franciscans, Language scholar, Apologist of immense and calm resources, Humanist, Philosopher, Biblicist, Preacher, Missionary, Professor, International Administrator, Confidant of Popes, Emperors, Kings and Princes, Diplomatic envoy, Army Chaplain, Military Strategist and Morale builder, Polemicist, Prolific writer.

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

By Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, 23 March 2011

I still remember with joy the festive welcome I was given in Brindisi in 2008.   It was in this city that in 1559 was born a distinguished Doctor of the Church, St Lawrence of Brindisi, the name that Julius Caesar Russo took upon entering the Capuchin Order.

He had been attracted since childhood by the family of St Francis of Assisi.   In fact, his father died when he was seven years old and his mother entrusted him to the care of the Friars Minor Conventual in his hometown.   A few years later, however, Lawrence and his mother moved to Venice and it was precisely there that he became acquainted with the Capuchins who in that period were generously dedicated to serving the whole Church in order to further the important spiritual reform promoted by the Council of Trent.

With his religious profession in 1575, Lawrence became a Capuchin friar and in 1582 he was ordained a priest.   During his ecclesiastical studies for the priesthood he already showed the eminent intellectual qualities with which he had been endowed.   He learned with ease the ancient languages, such as Greek, Hebrew and Syriac, as well as modern languages, such as French and German.   He added these to his knowledge of Italian and of Latin that was once spoken fluently by all clerics and by all cultured people.   Thanks to his mastery of so many languages, Lawrence was able to carry out a busy apostolate among the different categories of people.   As an effective preacher, his knowledge, not only of the Bible but also of the rabbinic literature, was so profound that even the Rabbis, impressed and full of admiration, treated him with esteem and respect.

As a theologian steeped in Sacred Scripture and in the Fathers of the Church, he was also able to illustrate Catholic doctrine in an exemplary manner to Christians who, especially in Germany, had adhered to the Reformation.   With his calm, clear exposition he demonstrated the biblical and patristic foundation of all the articles of faith disputed by Martin Luther.   These included the primacy of St Peter and of his Successors, the divine origin of the Episcopate, justification as an inner transformation of man, and the need to do good works for salvation.   Lawrence’s success helps us to realise that today too, in pursuing ecumenical dialogue with such great hope, the reference to Sacred Scripture, interpreted in accordance with the Tradition of the Church, is an indispensable element of fundamental importance. I wished to recall this in my Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (n. 46).   Even the simplest members of the faithful, those not endowed with great culture, benefited from the convincing words of Lawrence, who addressed humble people to remind them all to make their lives consistent with the faith they professed.st lawrence of brindisi

This was a great merit of the Capuchins and of other religious Orders which, in the 16th and 17th centuries, contributed to the renewal of Christian life, penetrating the depths of society with their witness of life and their teaching.   Today too, the new evangelisation stands in need of well-trained apostles, zealous and courageous, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel, may prevail over the cultural tendencies of ethical relativism and religious indifference and transform the various ways of thinking and acting into genuine Christian humanism.

It is surprising that St Lawrence of Brindisi was able to continue without interruption his work as an appreciated and unflagging preacher in many cities of Italy and in different countries, in spite of holding other burdensome offices of great responsibility.   Indeed, within the Order of Capuchins he was professor of theology, novice master, for several mandates minister provincial and definitor general and finally, from 1602 to 1605, minister general.   In the midst of this mountain of work, Lawrence cultivated an exceptionally fervent spiritual life.   He devoted much time to prayer and, especially, to the celebration of Holy Mass — often protracted for hours — caught up in and moved by the memorial of the Passion, death and Resurrection of the Lord.St Lawrence of Brindisi (1)

At the school of the saints, every priest, as was emphasised frequently during the recent Year for Priests, may only avoid the danger of activism — acting, that is, without remembering the profound motives of his ministry — if he attends to his own inner life.

In speaking to priests and seminarians in the Cathedral of Brindisi, St Lawrence’s birthplace, I recalled that “the time he spends in prayer is the most important time in a priest’s life, in which divine grace acts with greater effectiveness, making his ministry fruitful. The first service to render to the community is prayer.   And, therefore, time for prayer must be given true priority in our life… if we are not interiorly in communion with God, we cannot even give anything to others.   Therefore, God is the first priority.   We must always reserve the time necessary to be in communion of prayer with Our Lord” (Address of Benedict XVI to priests, deacons and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Brindisi, Cathedral of Brindisi, 15 June 2008).

Moreover, with the unmistakable ardour of his style, Lawrence urged everyone and not only priests, to cultivate a life of prayer, for it is through prayer that we speak to God and that God speaks to us:  “Oh, if we were to consider this reality!”, he exclaimed. “In other words that God is truly present to us when we speak to him in prayer;  that he truly listens to our prayers, even if we pray only with our hearts and minds. And that not only is he present and hears us, indeed he willingly and with the greatest of pleasure wishes to grant our requests”.

Another trait that characterises the opus of this son of St Frances, is his action for peace. Time and again both Supreme Pontiffs and Catholic Princes entrusted him with important diplomatic missions, to settle controversies and to encourage harmony among the European States, threatened in those days by the Ottoman Empire.   The moral authority he enjoyed made him a counsellor both sought after and listened to.   Today, as in the times of St Lawrence, the world is in great need of peace, it needs peaceful and peacemaking men and women.  All who believe in God must always be sources and artisans of peace.st-lawrence-of-brindisi-into-battle

 

It was precisely on the occasion of one of these diplomatic missions that Lawrence’s earthly life ended, in 1619 in Lisbon, where he had gone to see King Philip III of Spain, to plead the cause of the Neapolitan subjects oppressed by the local authorities.

He was Canonised in 1881 and his vigorous and intense activity, his vast and harmonious knowledge, earned him the title of Doctor Apostolicus, “Apostolic Doctor”.   The title was conferred on him by St Pope John XXIII in 1959, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of his birth.   This recognition was also granted to Lawrence of Brindisi because he was the author of numerous works of biblical exegesis, theology and sermons.   In them he offers an organic presentation of the history of salvation, centred on the mystery of the Incarnation, the greatest expression of divine love for humankind.lawrence - my edit and enlargement

Furthermore, since he was a highly qualified Mariologist, the author of a collection of sermons on Our Lady entitled “Mariale”, he highlighted the unique role of the Virgin Mary, whose Immaculate Conception and whose role in the redemption brought about by Christ he clearly affirms.

With a fine theological sensitivity, Lawrence of Brindisi also pointed out the Holy Spirit’s action in the believer’s life.   He reminds us that the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity illumines and assists us with his gifts in our commitment to live joyously the Gospel message.

“The Holy Spirit”, St Lawrence wrote, “sweetens the yoke of the divine law and lightens its weight, so that we may observe God’s commandments with the greatest of ease and even with pleasure”.

I would like to complete this brief presentation of the life and doctrine of St Lawrence of Brindisi by underlining that the whole of his activity was inspired by great love for Sacred Scripture, which he knew thoroughly and by heart and by the conviction that listening to and the reception of the word of God produces an inner transformation that leads us to holiness.

“The word of the Lord”, he said, “is a light for the mind and a fire for the will, so that man may know and love God. For the inner man, who lives through the living grace of God’s Spirit, it is bread and water but bread sweeter than honey and water better than wine or milk…. It is a weapon against a heart stubbornly entrenched in vice.   It is a sword against the flesh, the world and the devil, to destroy every sin”.

St Lawrence of Brindisi teaches us to love Sacred Scripture, to increase in familiarity with it, to cultivate daily relations of friendship with the Lord in prayer, so that our every action, our every activity, may have its beginning and its fulfilment in him.   This is the source from which to draw so that our Christian witness may be luminous and able to lead the people of our time to God….vatican.va Pope Benedict 

A lot more about St Lawrence here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/saint-of-the-day-21-july-st-lawrence-of-brindisi-o-f-m-cap-doctor-of-the-church/SOD-0721-SaintLawrenceofBrindisi-790x480

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote/s of the Day – 15 July

Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

“God might have created a more beautiful world;
He might have made heaven more glorious;
but it was impossible for Him to exalt a creature
higher than Mary in making her His Mother.”god-might-have-created-st-bonaventure1-15 july 2018

“When we pray,
the voice of the heart
must be heard,
more than that,
proceeding from
the mouth.”when we pray - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Although you feel tepid,
approach with confidence,
for the greater your infirmity,
the more you stand in need of a physician.”although you feel tepid - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Every creature is a divine word
because it proclaims God.”every creature - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

“Christ has something in common with all creatures.
With the stone He shares existence,
with the plants He shares life,
with the animals He shares sensation
and with the angels He shares intelligence.
Thus all things are transformed in Christ
since in the fullness of His nature,
He embraces some part of every creature.”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Churchchrist has something in common - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

Posted in CATECHESIS, DIVINE MERCY, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on TRUTH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The LAST THINGS

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

Quote/s of the Day – 28 June – The Memorial of St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202) Father of the Church

“Our way of thinking,
is attuned to the Eucharist
and the Eucharist in turn,
confirms our way of thinking.”our-way-of-thinking-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018

“Jesus Christ, in His infinite love,
has become what we are,
in order that He may make us
entirely what He is.”jesus christ in his infinite love - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“It is not you that shapes God.
It is God that shapes you.
If then you are the work of God
await the Hand of the artist who does
all things in due season.
Offer Him your heart,
soft and tractable
and keep the form in which the artist
has fashioned you.
Let the clay be moist
lest you go hard
and lose the imprint of His Fingers.”it-is-not-you-that-shapes-god-strenaeus-28 june 2018

“As long as anyone has the means
of doing good to his neighbours
and does not do so,
he shall be reckoned a stranger
to the love of the Lord.”as-long-as-any-one-has-the-means-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018.no.2

The business of the Christian
is nothing else but to be
ever preparing for death.the business of the christian - st irenaeus - 28 june 2018

“The universal Church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must be in agreement with this Church because of her outstanding superiority.”

the universal church - st irenaeus

“Being obedient she (Mary)
became the cause of salvation for herself
and for the whole human race.
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied
by Mary’s obedience:
what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief,
Mary loosened by her faith.”

St Irenaeus of Lyons (c 135 – c 202)being-obedient-st-irenaeus-28 june 2018 - no 2

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MIRACLES, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL DECREE, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, YouTube Videos

Thought for the Day – 27 June – The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

Thought for the Day – 27 June – The Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour ( Under the Protection of the Redemptiorists – CSsr)mother of perpetual help

An artist about to paint an icon prepares himself spiritually by prayer, confession, Holy Communion and sometimes fasting.   He prays even while painting, for he sees himself as an instrument of the Holy Spirit, the principal artist, Who will use the icon as an instrument to channel graces to those who reverence it and pray before it.   In most cases, the artist does not even sign his name to his work.

In Western art, there is little difference in the styles used in sacred art as compared to secular art;  only the subject matter is different.   Icons, however, are not meant to be realistic as far as physical representation, but rather to portray eternal truths in a way that immediately transports the viewer to a spiritual plane.   Perhaps the simplest way to describe it is as theology in line and colour.   The images are rendered in an extremely stylised, non-naturalistic way.   The folds of garments appear as simple geometric forms, while faces and bodies show portray human nature transformed by grace into the divine.

In the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Child Jesus is not portrayed with the physical proportions of an infant but appears almost as an adult in miniature form.   This has been interpreted to indicate that He is God, having infinite knowledge.   Yet He is human as well, for He clings to His Mother’s hand in fear, while gazing up toward the angel over His shoulder.   One of His sandals has come loose, indicating the haste with which He had run to her.

Why is the Child Jesus so frightened?   The angels in the picture are holding instruments of His Passion and death, with the angel on the left bearing the gall, the lance and the reed, while the angel on the right holds the cross and nails.   Their hands are covered with a cloth or veil, much like the humeral veil that the priest holds when blessing with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance at Benediction.

The face of Our Lady is grave and sorrowful, with her large eyes directed not at Jesus, but at us.   One feels that she is pleading with us to avoid sin, which has caused her Son to suffer so much for us.   Her gaze makes us a part of the picture and the pain it portrays.   “Will you not love my Son, Who has loved you so much?” she seems to say.

Our Lady is clothed in the colours of royalty; her tunic is of dark red and her mantle is dark blue with a green lining.   (According to another interpretation, the dark red is said to be the colour worn by virgins at the time of Christ, while blue was the colour worn by mothers in Palestine.)   The Child Jesus also wears the colours of royalty.   Both Jesus and Mary have golden halos, but Christ’s halo is decorated with a cross as a sign of His Divinity and Passion.   Jewelled crowns were placed on the heads of both Mother and Child of the original icon by order of the Vatican in 1867.   (The crowns were removed when the icon underwent restoration in the 1990’s.)

The Greek initials next to the head of Our Lady identify her as “Mother of God,” while those next to the Child are the abbreviation for “Jesus Christ.”   The letters over the angels’ heads indicate the one on the left as St Michael and the one on the right as S. Gabriel.

The 8-pointed star on Our Lady’s veil tells us that she is the Star of the Sea, the Star that leads us to Jesus.   The small ornate cross to the left of the star reinforces this concept.

Mary’s mouth is small to indicate her spirit of silence and prayer.   Her eyes are large, for they see all of our troubles and needs and are always turned toward us.

Christ’s hands, turned palms down into His Mother’s, indicate that He has placed the graces of the Redemption in her keeping.   Our Lady’s hand does not clasp those of her Son but remains open, inviting us to put our hands in hers along with those of Jesus.

As in other icons, the background of the painting is gold to symbolize Heaven, where Jesus and Mary now reign in glory.   This light of Heaven shines through their clothing, illuminating not only the picture itself but those who behold it.   This radiance speaks to us of God’s light and grace, strengthening and consoling us as we journey through life to our heavenly goal.

Finally, it is of no small significance that Our Blessed Mother herself referred to the icon by the title of “Holy Mary of Perpetual Succour.”   Surely this, along with the symbolism we see in the picture, should assure us of the loving concern and tenderness our Blessed Mother has for us and her ardent desire to be a source of perpetual help to all who call upon her.

In answer to Pope Pius IX’s injunction to “make her known,” the Redemptorists commissioned several artists to paint copies of the original icon.   More than 2,300 such copies, similarly touched to the original, have been sent to other houses of the order around the world.   Pope Pius IX also received a copy, which he enshrined in his private chapel and was often seen kneeling before it in prayer.   (Excerpt from Sister Mary Agatha, CMRI)
Part of the tradition is that Mary had made it clear that she wished her image to be situated between the great basilicas of St John Lateran (the Pope’s Cathedral) and St Mary Major, her own basilica.   For the best part of 300 years from the year 1500, it was famous for the many miracles and graces granted to those who made the pilgrimage to the church of St Matthew on the Via Merulana, which was destroyed during the Napoleonic war.

In January 1855, the Redemptorist priests purchased Villa Caserta in Rome along the Via Merulana and converted it into their headquarters.   Without realising it, the property they had purchased was once the church and monastery of Saint Matthew, the site which the Virgin reportedly chose as the icon’s shrine.

Decades later, Pope Pius IX invited the Redemptorist Fathers to set up a Marian house of veneration in Rome, in response to which the Redemptorists built the Church of St  Alphonsus Liguori at that location.   The Redemptorists were thus established on the Via Merulana, not knowing that it had once been the site of the Church of San Matteo and shrine of the once-famous icon.

Mother of Perpetual Succour, Pray for us!

THANKSGIVING PRAYER

O Mother of Perpetual Succour,
with grateful hearts we join you
in thanking God
for all the wonderful things
He has done for us,
especially for giving us,
Jesus, your Son, as our Redeemer.
O God, our Creator,
we thank You for the gift of life
and all the gifts of nature:
our senses and faculties,
our talents and abilities.
We thank You for creating us
in Your image and likeness
and for giving us this earth
to use and develop,
to respect and cherish.
Despite our failures,
you continue to show Your love for us today
by increasing the life of Your Spirit in us
at the Eucharistic table.
Finally, we thank You, loving Father,
for giving us Mary,
the Mother of Your Son,
to be our Mother of Perpetual Succour.
We are grateful for all the favours
we have received through her intercession.
We pray that those past favours
may inspire us to greater confidence,
in your loving mercy and to seek the aid
of our Mother of Perpetual Succour.
Amenthanksgiving prayer to god our father for our mother of perpetual succour - redemptorists - 27 june 2018mother of perpetual succour - pray for us - 27 june 2018.jpg

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Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor

“He who receives Communion
is made holy and divinised in soul and body
in the same way that water, set over a fire, becomes boiling…
Communion works like yeast that has been mixed into dough
so that it leavens the whole mass;
…Just as by melting two candles together,
you get one piece of wax,
so, I think, one who receives the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
is fused together with Him by this Communion
and the soul finds that he is in Christ and Christ is in him.”just as by melting - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.”the power of the holy eucharist - if the poison of pride - st cyril of alexandria - 27 june 2018

“Our Saviour went to the wedding feast
to make holy the origins of human life.”our-saviour-went-to-the-edding-feast-st-cyril-of-alexandria-27 june 2017

“From Christ and in Christ,
we have been reborn through the Spirit,
in order to bear the fruit of life,
not the fruit of our old, sinful life
but the fruit of a new life founded upon
our faith in Him and our love for Him.
Like branches growing from a vine,
we now draw our life from Christ
and we cling to His holy commandment,
in order to preserve this life.”from christ and in christ - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

“That anyone could doubt, the right
of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely, she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to Him!”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctorthat anyone could doubt - st cyril of alex - 27 june 2018

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, Papa FRANCIS, PAPAL HOMILIES

One Minute Reflection – 12 June – Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:13-16.

One Minute Reflection – 12 June – Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:13-16.

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.“…Matthew 5:16just so, your light must shine - matthew 5 16 - 12 june 2018

REFLECTION – “…We have a task and a responsibility for the gift received:  the light of faith, which is in us through Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit, we must not keep as if it were our property.   Instead, we are called to make it shine in the world, to give it to others through good works.   And how much the world needs the light of the Gospel, which transforms, heals and guarantees salvation to those who receive it!    By giving itself, the light of our faith is not extinguished but reinforced.   Instead, it can fail, if we do not nourish it with love and with works of charity….Therefore, the mission of Christians in society is to give “flavour” to life with the faith and love that Christ has given us.”…Pope Francis, Angelus 5 Feb 2017we have a task and a responsibility - pope francis - light and salt - 12 june 2018

PRAYER – Holy Almighty Father, we pray that we may be the light of Your divine Son and the salt of the earth.   Help us, we pray, to ever strive to be both the light and salt of the earth and “may the protection of Mary Most Holy, first disciple of Jesus and model, be of help to believers who live every day their vocation and mission in history.   May our Mother help us, to let ourselves always be purified and illumined by the Lord, to become in turn “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.” …(Pope Francis Angelus 5 Feb 2017)sancta maria -mary most holy - pray for us - 10 may 2018

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 9 June – The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Thought for the Day – 9 June – The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

“It was through the body of a young, Jewish girl, living in a tiny village called Nazareth, that Jesus, the divine Word, was made flesh.   Mary belonged to that part of the people of Israel, who awaited the Lord’s coming with expectation and longing.   She had no doubt read about His coming in the Old Testament Scriptures and prayed for it.   But she had no idea how it would come about.   Most Israelites thought the Messiah would manifest Himself gloriously.

When the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the “door’ through which the long awaited desire of the nations would be fulfilled, she must have been astonished:  “Hail, O favoured one, the Lord is with you! … You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus” (Lk 1.28-31).   A new life – filled with risks – opened before her.   According to the Church’s tradition, Mary, in an exceptional gesture for a Jewish woman, had decided “not to know man” (Lk 1.34).   She had discerned virginity to be God’s will.   Her Immaculate Heart – the Feast we keep this day – prompted a total giving of herself to God and included the gift of both her body and her heart.   Reassuring her that God had not disdained her vow, Gabriel told Mary that, like the glory of God coming upon the ark, so would the Spirit overshadow her.   The young “handmaid of the Lord” contemplated the Angel’s words.   She treasured them in her heart.   Her response, known as her fiat – “let it be done to me as you say” (Lk 1.38) – shows that she entrusted herself fully to God’s designs.   She chose to forgo her own plans for God’s.   Through her fiat, the Word of God took flesh in the tabernacle of her womb…..

Today in this Eucharist, on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus knocks at the door of our heart.   In us, He wishes to take up His abode and, through our body, enter human history.   When we welcome Him, He gives birth to divinity within the crib of our hearts.   What answer will our heart give to His divine proposal?”…..Cardinal Robert Sarah (16 June 2012)tday-in-this-eucharist-card-robert-sarah-24 june 2017

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!immaculate-mary-poray-for-us-24 june 2017

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – 9 June

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – 9 June is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus and her compassionate love for all people.   Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 to be celebrated on 22 August, coinciding with the traditional octave day of the Assumption.   In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.   This means in practice that it is now held on the third Saturday after Pentecost.

Immaculate-Heart-of-Mary-pierced-by-Seven-Swords-of-Sorrow-Absam-Tyrol-Austria-photo-Josef-Stocker

Historically, devotion to the Heart of Mary grew up in parallel but at a lesser intensity  than that of devotion to the Heart of Jesus, only starting to become more prominent during the time of St John Eudes.   John Eudes was born in 1601 in Normandy, France.   He entered the Congregation of the Oratory of France, founded in 1611 by Cardinal de Berulle and was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1625.   St John brought people to love Christ and the Virgin Mary by speaking tirelessly about their Hearts, the sign of the love God shows for us and the communion to which we are called.

To offer them liturgical worship, he composed Masses and Offices in their honour and had the first Feast of the Holy Heart of Mary celebrated on 8 February 1648, at Autun (France) and the Feast of the Heart of Jesus celebrated on 20 October 1672.

He died on August 19, 1680 and was canonised by Pope Pius XI on May 31, 1925.

Nevertheless,  it was not until after the Apparitions at Rue du Bac concerning the “Miraculous Medal” made to Catherine Labouré in 1830 and the establishment of a society dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the Church of Our Lady of Victories in Paris in 1836, that this particular devotion became really well known.FF_Infographic_MiraculousMedal- my edit with border - 8 june 2018

Since then devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, has gradually grown more widespread in the Church, particularly since the apparitions at Fatima.our lady of fatima, the imm heart and the rosary - detail

The main difference between the devotions to the hearts of Jesus and Mary is that the one concerned with Jesus emphasises His divine heart as being full of love for mankind, but with this love for the most part being ignored or rejected, while devotion to Mary’s heart is essentially concerned with the love that her heart has for Jesus, for God.

Therefore, it is not an end in itself, so the love of her heart is meant to be a model for the way we should love God.   The fact that her heart is immaculate, that is sinless, means that she is the only fully human person who is able to really love God in the way that He should be loved.immaculate-heart-of-mary

Honouring Mary’s Immaculate Heart is really just another way of honouring Mary as the person who was chosen to be the Mother of God, recognising her extraordinary holiness and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as His mother, the person who was called to share in and co-operate in His redemptive sufferings.

The aim of  the devotion is to unite mankind to God through Mary’s heart and this process involves the ideas of consecration and reparation.   A person is consecrated to Mary’s Immaculate Heart as a way of being completely devoted to God.   This involves a total gift of self, something only ultimately possible with reference to God but Mary is our intermediary in this process of consecration.

Because of the strong analogy between Jesus and Mary, the consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is closely linked to the consecration to Jesus’ Sacred Heart, although it is subordinate and dependent on it.   That is, although the act of consecration is ultimately addressed to God, it is an act that is made through Mary.   And so we pray through Mary, through her Immaculate Heart, we ask to learn true love.2 holy hearts

The whole world has been repeatedly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by different popes:

Pius XII, 31 October 1942
Paul VI, 21 November 1964
John Paul II, 13 May 1982
John Paul II together with all the bishops of the world, 25 March 1984
Francis, 13 October 2013

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us!immaculate heart of mary - pray for us

 

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 7 June – Thursday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Venerable Matt Talbot (1856 – 1925)

Quote/s of the Day – 7 June – Thursday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of Venerable Matt Talbot (1856 – 1925)

“How can anyone be lonely,
with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?”how-can-anyone-be-lonely-ven-matt-talbot- 7 june 2017

“O Virgin I ask three things from you:
the grace of God,
the presence of God,
the blessing of God”

“O blessed Mother,
obtain for me from Jesus,
that I may participate in His folly.”

Venerable Matt Talbot (1856 – 1925)o blessed Mother and O Virgin, I ask three things from you - ven matt talbot - 7 june 2018

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 6 June – The Memorial of St Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840) Founder of the Marist Brothers and St Norbert (c 1080-1134)

Thought for the Day – 6 June – The Memorial of St Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840) Founder of the Marist Brothers and St Norbert (c 1080-1134)

Today’s 2 Saints certainly confirm, once again, that there are two sure ways to sanctity – through the Holy Eucharist and the Mother of God.   These are the absolute totality of our Faith, these are the Source and the Heart, these are the only ways we will achieve our goal!

The relationship of Marcellin to Mary was deeply marked by an affective and total trust in her, as the “Good Mother” because it was her work that he undertook.
He wrote once:
“Without Mary we are nothing and with Mary we have everything
because Mary always has her adorable Son within her arms or in her heart.”
This belief remained constant all through his life.   Jesus and Mary were the treasure on which Marcellin had learned to place his own heart.   This intimate relationship helped shape the Marian dimension of the Marist spirituality.   In the Marist tradition, the phrase “Ordinary Resource” has come to encapsulate our constant reliance on Mary.   The motto attributed to Champagnat by his biographer, All to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus, captures this close relationship between the Son and the Mother and our Founder’s attitude of confidence in Mary, which we are invited to live.

Mary, Mother, Intercede for us!mary mother of god - pray for us - 10 may 2018
St Marcellin, Pray for us!st marcellin champagnat, pray for us no 2 - 6 june 2018

Excerpt from the Thought for the Day last year:

St Norbert was 33 years old before he took God seriously and during the next 20 years he made up for lost time.   He did not stop to bewail lost years but gave everything he had to God.   It is never too late to begin and God is always waiting for our service. We do not need a bolt of lightening to get started.
Unswerving loyalty to the Church and fervent devotion to the Eucharist, as practiced by Norbert, will continue immeasurably toward maintaining the people of God in accord with the heart of Christ.

Let us get going!

St Norbert, Pray for us.st-norbert-pray-for-us - 6 june 2017