Posted in MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SILENCE, Uncategorized

Quote of the Day – 14 November

Quote of the Day – 14 November

“There is One very near you
Who knocks at your door every hour of the day,
Who begs you to listen to Him
and to keep silence in order to hear Him.”

St Simon-Marie-Just Ranfer de Bretenières (1838-1866) Martyrthere is one very near you - st simon just de bretenieres - 14 nov 2018


Thought for the Day – 12 November – “He gave his life for the unity of the Church” – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr

“He gave his life for the unity of the Church”

Pope Piux XI
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Ecclesiam Dei

Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Bishop and Martyr “the thief of souls.”PopePiusXI

“In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men.   It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity.

Christ the Lord passed on to His apostles the task He had received from the Father: ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.   Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.’   He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others.   For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time.  So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom.

Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, Archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church.   He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs.   Few have brought them greater honour or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church.   He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realised that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church.

Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity.   His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents.   Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church.   A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

The seeds of separation were sown in the fourth century when the Roman Empire was divided into East and West.   The actual split came over customs such as using unleavened bread, Saturday fasting and celibacy.   No doubt the political involvement of religious leaders on both sides was a large factor and doctrinal disagreement was present.   But no reason was enough to justify the present tragic division in Christendom, which is 64 percent Roman Catholic, 13 percent Eastern—mostly Orthodox—Churches and 23 percent Protestant and this when the 71 percent of the world that is not Christian, should be experiencing unity and Christ-like charity from Christians! (These figures from Franciscan Media)

St Josaphat, Ora pro Nobis!st jospahat - pray for us - ora pro nobis - 12 nov 2018


Quote of the Day – 12 November – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

Quote of the Day – 12 November – The Memorial of St Josaphat (1584-1623) Martyr

St Josaphat’s favourite devotional exercise was to make prostrations in which the head touches the ground, saying, the Jesus prayer:

‘Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.”

St Josaphat (1584-1623)the jesus prayer 3 - 13 feb 2018 - shrove tuesday

the jesus prayer - st josaphat's favourite - 12 nov 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 November – St Josapha OSBM (1584-1623) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 12 November – St Josaphat OSBM (1584-1623) Martyr

In 1964, newspaper photos of Pope Paul VI embracing Athenagoras I, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, marked a significant step toward the healing of a division in Christendom that has spanned more than nine centuries.Saint_Josaphat_Catholic_Church_(Detroit,_MI)_-_relic_of_Saint_Josaphat

In 1595, the Orthodox bishop of Brest-Litovsk in present-day Belarus and five other bishops representing millions of Ruthenians, sought reunion with Rome.   John Kunsevich—who took the name Josaphat in religious life—was to dedicate his life and die for the same cause.   Born in what is now Ukraine, he went to work in Wilno and was influenced by clergy adhering to the 1596 Union of Brest  . He became a Basilian monk, then a priest and soon was well known as a preacher and an ascetic.

He became bishop of Vitebsk at a relatively young age and faced a difficult situation. Most monks, fearing interference in liturgy and customs, did not want union with Rome. By synods, catechetical instruction, reform of the clergy and personal example, however, Josaphat was successful in winning the greater part of the Orthodox in that area to the josaphat holy card

But the next year a dissident hierarchy was set up and his opposite number spread the accusation that Josaphat had “gone Latin” and that all his people would have to do the same.   He was not enthusiastically supported by the Latin bishops of josaphat

Despite warnings, he went to Vitebsk, still a hotbed of trouble.   Attempts were made to foment trouble and drive him from the diocese – a priest was sent to shout insults to him from his own courtyard.   When Josaphat had him removed and shut up in his house, the opposition rang the town hall bell and a mob assembled.   The priest was released but members of the mob broke into the bishop’s home.   Josaphat was struck with a halberd, then shot and his body thrown into the river.   It was later recovered and is now buried in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. simmler_martyrdom_of_josaphat_kuntsevych_1-e1478942443428

Josaphat’s death brought a movement toward Catholicism and unity but the controversy continued and the dissidents, too, had their martyr.   After the partition of Poland, the Russians forced most Ruthenians to join the Russian Orthodox Church.

St Josaphat’s body was discovered incorrupt five years later, though the clothing had rotted away.   Again in 1637 it was still white and supple.    A beautiful silver reliquary was made for it, with a life-size image of the reclining Saint surmounting it.   The body was again exposed intact in 1767.   It was eventually taken to the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome.    Pope Leo XIII Canonised Saint Josaphat in 1867.  He was the first saint of the Eastern Church to be Canonised by Rome.tomb of st josaphat at the vatican

Remarkably, the saint’s onetime rival – the Orthodox Archbishop Meletius – was reconciled with the Catholic Church in later years.


Thought for the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr – “The Original little Flower”

Thought for the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr – “The Original little Flower”

Today, 6 November, the Church celebrates the feast of St Jean Théophane Vénard, a French missionary to Vietnam who was martyred for the faith.

Famous for having inspired St Therese of Lisieux, who said of St Théophane that he was someone who had lived her own image of a martyr and missionary, St Théophane was born in France, became a priest in the Society of Foreign Missions and was sent to Vietnam.

It was during his incarceration that he wrote many letters, some to his family. His most famous line is from a letter to his father in which he said, “We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in His own good time – some a little sooner, some a little later . . . Father and son, may we meet in Paradise. I, poor little moth, go first. Adieu.”

In reading these letters, St Therese the Little Flower came to understand and use the image of being a little flower, whom God nevertheless cared for and cultivated, despite her minute size.

St Théophane Vénard was beheaded 2 February 1861.

His severed head was later recovered and is preserved as a relic in Vietnam. The rest of his body rests in the crypt of the Missions Etrangères in Paris.

St Théophane Vénard, Pray for Us!st-thc3a9ophane-vc3a9nard-pray-for-us-6-nov-2018


Quote/s of the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 6 November – The Memorial of St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyr

“Try to fulfil each day’s task
steadily and cheerfully.
The life of a true Christian
should be a perpetual jubilee,
a prelude to the festivals of eternity.”try-to-fulful-each-days-st-theophane-venard-13-april-2018

“Be merry, really merry.
The life of a true Christian
should be a perpetual joy,
a prelude to the
festival of eternity.”be merry really merry - st thephane venard - 6 nov 2018

“Carry gently
the cross of this life,
like Jesus did,
until the day
of the peaceful passing.”carry gently the cross of this life - st theophane venard - 6 nov 2018

God asks of us
only our goodwill.
His grace does the rest.”

St Théophane Vénard (1829-1861) Martyrcourage god ask of us only our good will - st theophane venard - 6 nov 2018

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 November – Saint Jean-Théophane Vénard, M.E.P. (1829-1861) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 6 November – Saint Jean-Théophane Vénard, M.E.P. (1829-1861) Martyr, Missionary – born on 21 November1829 at Saint-Loup-sur-Thouet, Diocese of Poitiers, France – martyred on 2 February 1861 in Tonkin, Vietnam.   St  Théophane was a French Catholic missionary to Indo-China.   He was a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society.   He was Beatified in company with thirty-three other Catholic martyrs, most of whom were natives of Tonkin, Cochin-China, or China.    StPope John Paul II Canonised him, with nineteen other martyrs, in 1988 (their combined memorial is 24 November).header Theophane_Venard

Théophane Vénard studied at the College of Doué-la-Fontaine, Montmorillon, Poitiers, and at the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions which he entered as a sub-deacon. Ordained a priest on 5 June 1852, he departed for the Far East on 19 Sept.   After fifteen months at Hong Kong he arrived at his mission in West Tonkin (northern Vietnam).   At the time, it was illegal to proselytise in Vietnam.

Shortly after Father Vénard’s arrival, a new royal edict was issued against Christians and bishops and priests were obliged to seek refuge in caves, dense woods and elsewhere. Father Vénard continued to exercise his ministry at night and, more boldly, in broad day. On 30 November 1860, he was betrayed and captured.   Tried before a mandarin, he refused to apostatise and was sentenced to be beheaded.   He remained a captive until 2 February and during this interval lived in a cage, from which he wrote to his family beautiful and consoling letters, joyful in anticipation of his crown.   His bishop, Monsignor Retord, wrote of him at this time:  “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”.6BEST42px-Jean-Theophane_Venard

He wrote these words in a farewell to his father:

“All those around me are civil and respectful and a good number love me.

From the great mandarin down to the last soldier, they all regret that the laws of the country condemn me to death.

I have not had to endure any torture, like so many of my brothers.

One light saber blow will separate my head from my body, like a spring flower that the master of the garden picks for his pleasure.

Let us all try to please our sovereign Lord and Master by the gift and the fragrance He has given us.   

I wish you, dear father, a long, quiet and virtuous life.   Carry gently the cross of this life, like Jesus did, until the day of the peaceful passing.   Father and son will meet again in paradise.   I, little ephemeral, I will go there first.   Goodbye.

Your very devoted and respectful son

J Théophane Vénard”


On the way to martyrdom Father Vénard chanted psalms and hymns.   To his executioner, who coveted his clothing and asked what he would give to be killed promptly, he answered:   “The longer it lasts the better it will be”.   His head, after exposure at the top of a pole, was secured by the Christians and is now venerated in Tonkin.   The body rests in the crypt at the motherhouse of the Paris Foreign Mission Society in Paris, France.

The cause of his beatification was introduced at Rome in 1879 and he was declared Blessed, 2 May 1909.   He was Canonised on 19 June 1988 by St Pope John Paul II.2 theophane

AA RELICS 1024px-Venard_remains_MEP
Remains of St Théophane Vénard at the Paris Foreign Missions Society.