Our Morning Offering – 23 February – O Sweet Mother of God

Our Morning Offering – 23 February – Saturday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Marian Saturdays

O Sweet Mother of God
By St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

O sweet Mother of God,
I model my life on You.
You are for me the bright dawn.
In You I lose myself, enraptured.
O Mother, Immaculate Virgin,
In You, the divine ray is reflected,
Midst storms, ‘tis You
who teach me to love the Lord,
O my shield and defense from the foe.

(Diary 1232)o sweet mother of god - st faustina 23 feb 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 17 February – “Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be according to your word.”

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Memorial of the Seven Founders of Servants of Mary

“Here I am, the servant of the Lord, let it be according to your word.”

On this day we celebrate the feast of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order- Sts Bonfilius, Bonajuncta, Manettus, Amadeus, Hugh, Sostene and Alexis.

“About the year 1240, while the struggle between Emperor Frederick II and the Apostolic See left Ital­ian cities torn by rival factions, seven Florentine mer­chants decided to retire in solitude to [live] a common life marked by penance and prayer.   They were already members of a lay group, called Servants of Saint Mary and were noted for their special devotion to Our Lady and for a close adherence to the gospel ideal of fraternal love and service to one another and to others, especially the poor and the sick.

“Consequently, they put aside their commercial ac­tivities, left their homes and distributed their personal possessions among the churches and the poor.   The grey cloth commonly worn by penitents became their regular dress.   They moved into a small house outside the city walls where they continued to minister to the spiritual and material needs of those who came to them for help.”

“. . . in the year 1304, Pope Benedict XI definitively approved the Order of Ser­vants of Saint Mary with the Bull ‘Dum levamus.’   He wrote concerning the original spirit of the Order:  ‘Because of the devotion you have for the glorious Blessed Virgin Mary, you have taken her name, humbly calling yourselves her Servants.'”

–from the Office of Readings “for the Solemnity of the Seven Holy Fathers of Our Order”

Their names in the world were Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Amadeus de Amidei (Bartolomeus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell’ Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene), and Alessio de’ Falconieri (Alexius).

St Alexius lived to be a hundred years old.   He died on 17 February 1310.   The Seven Holy Founders share a common feast, just as they share a common grave.

It took great courage for these men to leave their prosperous businesses and live a life of prayer and penance.   They had been leaders in society, so their decision to change their way of living caused a stir and inspired others to rethink their values and make some changes in their lives.

Good companions are one of the most powerful helps toward a holy life, for all of us are faced, in a new and urgent way, with the challenge to make our lives decisively centred in Christ.   In this new day, we often find those ‘good companions’ online, let us too band together and live a holy life amidst the dangers around us!

Seven Holy Founders, Pray for Us!

P.S.  – In case you are interested in the Secular Servites, go here:



Thought for the Day – 16 February – May we all become Sacramentini!

Thought for the Day – 16 February – The Memorial of Blessed Joseph Allamano (1851–1926) – Founder of the Consolata Missionaries and Consolata Missionary Sisters and of World Mission Sunday

20 October 2019 will mark the 93rd World Mission Sunday and this year, the Holy Father has proclaimed October as as ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ to be marked and celebrated in the whole Church throughout the world and entrusted the mission of the Church in the world especially to St Pope John Paul II, as Pope Francis made the announcement he said – “On the day of the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II, missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.’

The first World Mission Day was celebrated in October 1926, eight months after the death of Blessed Joseph Allamano.   This is not a simple coincidence because Joseph Allamano dedicated a great deal of his time and influence during the last years of his life, to the effort of creating awareness in the Church, about the need for a World Mission Day to be celebrated once a year by all Catholics.

This was in line with his vision that Missions and missionary work were the duty of every baptised believer, each one according to his abilities and possibilities but none exempted.   Allamano did not see here on earth the fulfilment of his efforts for the creation of this day of prayer and commitment but witnessed it from heaven.

He can be compared to Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622), a saint he especially admired and proposed as Patron to his Missionaries, who in his time insisted tirelessly on the need to create in Rome a Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples and died a martyr of the faith in April 1622, three months before the creation of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide (for the Propagation of the Faith).

For Allamano it was not simply a question of awakening the missionary zeal in others, he always looked at his faith, whatever the circumstances, as a faith to be shared with the entire world.   He would subscribe especially to the Pope Benedict’s message statement that “every Christian community is born missionary and it is exactly on the basis of the courage to evangelise that the love of believers for their Lord is measured”. (Pope Benedict’s Message 2001 – To All the Churches of the World)

The sources of Joseph’s personal tenderness for all, for the whole world, were Our Lady Consolata and the Eucharist.   The love towards our Mother Mary and the Eucharist made him speak words belonging uniquely to him.   He became progressive resulting in marked changes in his attitude and behaviour  . It was a life shaped by Mary and Jesus. Familiar to us, the sons and daughters of Allamano, are these very words, ‘First Saints and then Missionaries.’

For sure, Blessed Allamano was an excellent father in human relationships.   Who was the source of his inspiration and wisdom?   Indeed, it is only from the Eucharist that Joseph Allamano found God in His essence, the pure love.   Therefore, Allamano became a witness of the pure love, Jesus.   Ultimately, he was inspired to send missionaries to be ‘SACRAMENTINI’ as he would say.   He sent them to ‘love the Eucharist’.

My prayer, is that Blessed Joseph Allamano, priest and missionary for the entire world, may bless all our parish communities and all the Catholics of the world, that our zeal and determination may be increased, to make our treasure, the Gospel and the Holy Eucharist, our Lord and Saviour, available to all.

May we all become Sacramentini!  Amenbl joseph allamano pray for us no 2 - 16 feb 2019.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 16 February – O Mary, My Mother

Our Morning Offering – 16 February – Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Marian Saturdays

O Mary, My Mother
By St Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

O Mary, my Mother
and my Lady,
I offer You my soul, my body,
my life and my death
and all that will follow it.
I place everything in Your hands.
O my Mother,
cover my soul with Your virginal mantle
and grant me the grace
of purity of heart, soul and body.
Defend me with Your power against all enemies
and especially against those
who hide their malice
behind the mask of virtue.
O lovely lily!
You are for me a mirror,
O my Mother!

(Diary 79)o mary my mother - st faustina - 16 feb 2019.jpg


Thought for the Day – 13 February – Friendship with Christ

Thought for the Day – 13 February – the Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

We know little of Jordan’s life before he came into contact with the famous Dominican Reginald of Orleans, a contemporary of St Dominic himself.   Jordan was a successful young student at the University of Paris, already known for the unembarrassed witness of his holy life, when he first heard Reginald preach and met the Dominicans in Paris. God used this contact with the friars to enable Jordan to discern his own call to the Order and once he entered, he gave all he had.   Jordan’s spiritual and practical gifts were recognised immediately and when he had worn the habit only two months he was chosen as a delegate to the Dominican general chapter in Bologna, Italy.   The following year Jordan was elected a provincial superior and when St Dominic died, Jordan succeeded him as the master general of the entire Order.   The Order was only six years old!   It developed rapidly under his leadership, however, growing both in membership and influence throughout Europe.   Jordan was able to carry out the dream which St Dominic had only begun before his death.

Even this brief sketch could make us suspicious, that perhaps Jordan was simply a brilliant young man with leadership skills, that enabled him to rise quickly in his chosen career, at the same time winning success for the Order.   Closer consideration, however, gives us deeper insight into Jordan’s success.   Youthful himself, he had a tremendous respect for the young and their desire to give themselves to something great.   In his own restlessness to give himself, he had obviously come face to face with the restless love of Christ Himself and he had surrendered to it.   Jesus was real to Jordan, a Friend whom he’d come to know and love deeply in his life of prayer.   Jordan understood the restless hunger of the world around him and he couldn’t rest, until that world would come to know this same Friend.   It was this selfless love for Jesus Christ (the kind which St Thomas calls the love of friendship) which gave Jordan the drive to preach, to spend his time with the young, to pour himself out in the building tasks required in a growing religious order.   We are told that he added four new provinces, gained teaching positions for the friars at the University of Paris and established the first general house of studies of the Order.   Jordan also served as spiritual director to many, among them a young Italian noblewoman named Blessed Diana d’Andalo (1201–1236) (who became a Dominican nun).   In the midst of all of this, he found time to write a number of books, including a life of St Dominic (whom he knew personally and loved deeply).

Men of his day responded by the hundreds, to Jordan’s zeal for Christ, some of them mere youths and others established professionals who felt the call of God through Jordan’s words and example.   They were drawn to a life of holiness by this Dominican with a gift of preaching, who lived what he preached with such obvious joy.   It was Jordan who initiated the custom of singing the Salve Regina in procession each night after Compline, to ask Our Lady’s protection of the brothers against temptations from the devil.   This is a custom still practised by Dominicans throughout the world and by our community each night.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us;
And after this our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.

℣ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Almighty, everlasting God,
who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit
didst prepare the body and soul
of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary
to become a dwelling-place fit for Thy Son,
grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration,
so by her fervent intercession,
we may be delivered from present evils
and from everlasting death.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Amensalve regina - hail holy queen 13 feb 2019.jpg

Jordan of Saxony met an untimely death at the age of 47, drowning in an accident which occurred on his return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1237.   In his vigorous life, Jordan extended what Father Dominic had begun so carefully and he opened avenues on which the Order would continue to struggle and to flourish.

The secret that makes his message so relevant today?   It is the secret of deep and personal friendship with Christ, a friendship which cannot be contained but sets the world on fire.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony, Pray for Us!bl jordan of saxony pray for us 13 feb 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 12 February – Gospel: Mark 7:1–13

One Minute Reflection – 12 February – Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Gospel:  Mark 7:1–13

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far from me..”...Mark 7:6

REFLECTION – “Prayer is a heart to heart with God… Prayer that has been carried out well, touches God’s heart and prompts Him to answer us.   When we pray, let it be our whole being that turns towards God – our thoughts, our heart… The Lord will be moved to incline towards us and come to our help…mark 7 6 well did isaiah prophesy of you people - prayer is a heart to heart with god - st padre pio 12 feb 2019.jpg
Pray and hope.   Do not get upset, worrying doesn’t help.   God is merciful and will hear your prayer.   Prayer is our best weapon, it is the key that opens God’s heart.   You need to speak to Jesus less with your lips than with your heart.”…St Pio of Pietralcina “Padre Pio” (1887-1968)pray and hope - st padre pio 12 feb 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love let Your light penetrate the hidden places of our hearts.   May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace.   May we live by the Light of Your divine Son and follow His precepts.   May the Mother of perpetual succour, pray for us.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.mother of perpetual succour pray for us 12 feb 2019.jpg


Message of the Holy Father for the 27th World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2019

Message of the Holy Father

“You received without payment, give without payment” (Mt 10:8)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).   These are the words spoken by Jesus when sending forth his apostles to spread the Gospel, so that his Kingdom might grow through acts of gratuitous love.

On the XXVII World Day of the Sick, to be solemnly celebrated on 11 February 2019 in Calcutta, India, the Church – as a Mother to all her children, especially the infirm – reminds us that generous gestures like that of the Good Samaritan are the most credible means of evangelisation.   Caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved.

Life is a gift from God.   Saint Paul asks: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7).   Precisely because it is a gift, human life cannot be reduced to a personal possession or private property, especially in the light of medical and biotechnological advances that could tempt us to manipulate the “tree of life” (cf. Gen 3:24).

Amid today’s culture of waste and indifference, I would point out that “gift” is the category best suited to challenging today’s individualism and social fragmentation, while at the same time promoting new relationships and means of cooperation between peoples and cultures.   Dialogue – the premise of gift – creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.   “Gift” means more than simply giving presents – it involves the giving of oneself and not simply a transfer of property or objects.   “Gift” differs from gift-giving because it entails the free gift of self and the desire to build a relationship.   It is the acknowledgement of others, which is the basis of society.   “Gift” is a reflection of God’s love, which culminates in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Each of us is poor, needy and destitute.   When we are born, we require the care of our parents to survive and at every stage of life we remain in some way dependent on the help of others.   We will always be conscious of our limitations, as “creatures”, before other individuals and situations.   A frank acknowledgement of this truth keeps us humble and spurs us to practice solidarity as an essential virtue in life.

Such an acknowledgement leads us to act responsibly to promote a good that is both personal and communal.   Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.   We should not be afraid to regard ourselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts, we cannot overcome our limitations.   So we should not fear, then, to acknowledge those limitations, for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us (cf. Phil 2:8) and continues to do so, in our poverty, He comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining.

In light of the solemn celebration in India, I would like to recall, with joy and admiration, the figure of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta – a model of charity who made visible God’s love for the poor and sick.   As I noted at her canonisation, “Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, of those unborn and those abandoned and discarded… She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognise their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created.   For Mother Teresa, mercy was the ‘salt’ which gave flavour to her work, it was the ‘light’ that shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.   Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor” (Homily, 4 September 2016).

Saint Mother Teresa helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity or religion.   Her example continues to guide us by opening up horizons of joy and hope for all those in need of understanding and tender love, and especially for those who suffer.

Generosity inspires and sustains the work of the many volunteers who are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan.   I express my gratitude and offer my encouragement to all those associations of volunteers committed to the transport and assistance of patients, and all those that organise the donation of blood, tissues and organs.   One particular area in which your presence expresses the Church’s care and concern is that of advocacy for the rights of the sick, especially those affected by pathologies requiring special assistance.   I would also mention the many efforts made to raise awareness and encourage prevention.   Your volunteer work in medical facilities and in homes, which ranges from providing health care to offering spiritual support, is of primary importance.   Countless persons who are ill, alone, elderly or frail in mind or body benefit from these services.   I urge you to continue to be a sign of the Church’s presence in a secularised world.   A volunteer is a good friend with whom one can share personal thoughts and emotions, by their patient listening, volunteers make it possible for the sick to pass from being passive recipients of care to being active participants in a relationship that can restore hope and inspire openness to further treatment.   Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous.   It is also a means of making health care more humane.

A spirit of generosity ought especially to inspire Catholic healthcare institutions, whether in the more developed or the poorer areas of our world, since they carry out their activity in the light of the Gospel.   Catholic facilities are called to give an example of self-giving, generosity and solidarity in response to the mentality of profit at any price, of giving for the sake of getting and of exploitation over concern for people.

I urge everyone, at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and of gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste.   Catholic healthcare institutions must not fall into the trap of simply running a business, they must be concerned with personal care more than profit.   We know that health is relational, dependent on interaction with others and requiring trust, friendship and solidarity.   It is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully, only when it is shared.   The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian.

I entrust all of you to Mary, Salus Infirmorum.   May she help us to share the gifts we have received in the spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance, to live as brothers and sisters attentive to each other’s needs, to give from a generous heart and to learn the joy of selfless service to others.   With great affection, I assure you of my closeness in prayer, and to all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Vatican City, 25 November 2018
Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Francis27th world day of prayer 11 feb 2019 pope francis message.jpg