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Our Morning Offering – 19 January

Our Morning Offering – 19 January

O Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
By Fr Vincent Martin Lucia

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
burning with love for me,
inflame my heart with love for You,
until, with You, I have one will,
that I may love the things You love
and do what You would do.
You have said:
“Anyone who does
the will of MY Father
is brother and sister
and mother to me.”
Centre my life in the depth
of Your love, Jesus,
that I may be free from
the seductions of the flesh
and the passing things of this world.
Set my heart on You alone,
so that I may find:
my joy in Your friendship,
my treasure in Your love,
my wealth in Your merits,
my riches in Your grace,
my happiness in my union with You
and my peace in the Father’s will.
Ameno eucharistic heart of jesus by fr vincent martin lucia - 19 jan 2018

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 19 January – Blessed Marcelo Spinola y Maestre (1835-1906)

Saint of the Day – 19 January – Blessed Marcelo Spinola y Maestre (1835-1906) Cardinal – served as Archbishop of Seville, Founder of the Handmaids of the Divine Heart (Religious Sisters), Lawyer.   He was beatified on 29 March 1987 by St Pope John Paul II at Vatican City and his canonisation cause is still pending.   Blessed Marcelo was born 14 January 1835 on the Isle of San Fernando, diocese of Cadiz, Spain as Marcelo Rafael José María de los Dolores Hilario –  20 January 1906 at Seville, Spain of natural causes.   Patronage s – Archdiocese of Seville, Handmaids of the Divine Heart.   Attributes – Cardinal’s attire, Crucifix.blessed marcelo spinola

header - bl marcelo

Marcelo Spínola was born on the island of San Fernando in Cádiz Province on 14 January 1835 at 06.00.   His parents were Juan Spínola y Osorno, Marquis of Spínola and Antonia Maestre y Osorno;  they had eight children, of whom four died in infancy.   He was baptised the following day in the military parish of San Fernando by the military chaplain of the second battalion of the Real Cuerpo de Artillería de la Marina.   His last name is also listed as Espínola.

He did his initial studies in the school of San Fernando, directed by priests from 1843-1845;  then at the Colegio Santo Tomás in Cádiz, 1845-1846 where he studied Latin, Spanish and French grammar and basic philosophy.   He then went to the school of Motril, where his father had been transferred from 1846-1847.   He went on to the school in Granada, 1847-1848, where he studied physics, chemistry and natural history.   His university education was completed at the University of Valencia from 1849-1852 and the University of Seville, graduating on the 29 June 1856.

He opened a law office in Huelva, offering free services to the poor.   He moved to Sanlúcar de Barrameda when his father was transferred to that city as chief of the port. He decided to follow his sacerdotal vocation on the advice of Canon Diego Herrero y Espinosa de los Monteros and began to study theology at home.   He received the ecclesiastical tonsure on 29 May 1863 and the diaconate on 20 February 1864.

He was ordained on 21 March 1864.   He did pastoral work in the archdiocese of Seville from 1864 in various parishes until 1880 and was then appointed titular bishop of Milos and auxiliary bishop of Seville by Pope Leo XIII on 16 December 1880.   He was transferred to the diocese of Coria on 10 November 1884 and to the diocese of Málaga on 10 June 1886.   Bl Marcelo was promoted to the metropolitan see of Seville on 2 December 1895 and he also served as a Senator of the Spanish Kingdom from 1891 to 1894 and from 1898 until his death.

He was created a cardinal by Pope Pius X in the consistory of 11 December 1905.   He was made a Cardinal-Priest but with no title assigned to him but Blessed Marcelo died at noon on 20 January 1906 in Seville, prior to being officially installed as a Cardinal.


On 24 January 1913, his remains were transferred to a new mausoleum built in the chapel of Dolores in the Cathedral of Seville, the Seat of the Archbishop.   The statue below is situate in the Cathedral at the Shrine of Blessed Marcelo.Blessed_Marcelo_Spínola_Y_Maestre_-_Cathedral_of_Seville

The cause of beatification commenced on 19 February 1956 under Pope Pius XII and began on a diocesan level in the Archdiocese of Seville.  The Positio – which documented his life of heroic virtue – was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1978.   This culminated with the decree of heroic virtue on 24 September 1983 in which Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Venerable.   A miracle attributed to his intercession was investigated and ratified in 1985.   St John Paul II confirmed the miracle on 10 November 1986 and it led to his beatification on 29 March 1987.   Another miracle is at present under investigation.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 19 January

St Abachum of Persia
Bl Andrew of Peschiera
St Arsenius of Corfu
St Audifax of Persia
St Bassian of Lodi
Bl Beatrix of Lens
St Branwallader of Jersey
St Canute
St Catellus of Castellammare
St Contentius
Bl Elisabetta Berti
St Faustina of Como
St Fillan
St Firminus of Gabales
St Germanicus of Smyrna
St Godone of Novalesa
St John of Ravenna
St Joseph Sebastian Pelczar
St Liberata of Como
Bl Marcelo Spínola y Maestre
St Maris of Persia
St Messalina of Foligno
St Ponziano of Spoleto
St Remigius of Rouen
St Wulstan of Worcester

Martyrs of Numidia – 9 saints: A group of Christians martryred together for their faith. The only details to survive are nine of their names – Catus, Germana, Gerontius, Januarius, Julius, Paul, Pia, Saturninus and Successus. 2nd century Numidia in North Africa.


The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018

The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018

Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power
(Ex 15:6)

Day 1: You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt

Leviticus 19:33-34 You shall love the alien as yourself

Psalm 146 The Lord watches over the strangers

Hebrews 13:1-3 Some have entertained angels without knowing it

Matthew 25:31-46 I was a stranger and you welcomed me

After becoming the first independent black republic, Haiti extended hospitality to other enslaved peoples in search of freedom. Recent times have brought severe economic hardship to Haitians, many of whom have left home, making perilous journeys in hope of a better life. In many instances they have been met with inhospitality and legal barriers. The Caribbean Council of Churches has been involved in advocacy to challenge those nations that are restricting or stripping Haitians of citizenship rights.


The Israelites’ memory of being strangers in the land of Egypt lay behind the Law’s instruction that God’s people were to welcome the stranger in their midst. The memory of their own exile was expected to prompt empathy and solidarity with contemporary exiles and strangers. Like Israel, our common Christian experience of God’s saving action goes together with remembering both alienation and estrangement – in the sense of estrangement from God and from his kingdom. This kind of Christian remembering has ethical implications. God has restored our dignity in Christ, and made us citizens of his kingdom, not because of anything we did to deserve it but by his own free gift in love. We are called to do likewise, freely and motivated by love. Christian love is to love like the Father, that is to recognize dignity and to give dignity, and thereby to help bring healing to the broken human family.


Eternal God,
You belong to no culture and land but are Lord of all,
you call us to welcome the stranger in our midst.
Help us by your Spirit,
to live as brothers and sisters,
welcoming all in your name,
and living in the justice of your kingdom.
This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

The right hand of God
is planting in our land,
planting seeds of freedom, hope and love;
in these many-peopled lands,
let his children all join hands,
and be one with the right hand of God.


Novena to St Paul in preparation for the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January: Day THREE – 18 January

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

Day THREE – 18 January

“Suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him…. (he) heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?…I am Jesus….” They led (Saul) by the hand” (Acts 9:3,4,5,8)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI speaks of conversion as an act of obedience toward a reality that does not originate from us, that precedes us:  the concrete God. (Joseph Ratzinger – The Nature and Mission of Theology {Ignatius, 1995 p 58})

Let us Pray:

Glorious St Paul,
your conversion is a powerful witness to the world
that God loves us and does not give up on us,
no matter how far we stray.
Help me to live a life of ongoing obedience to God
and conversion of my wilful heart.
Pray that I may renounce self-will
and surrender myself to my Creator
who has a plan to make me a saint.
May faith move me to believe that God can and will,
change the things in me that seem insurmountable.
Pray that I may love God’s will and providence for me.
In this confidence, I entrust to you, St Paul,
these, my intentions
(mention your request)

I ask this through Christ, Our Lord, amen.

St Paul Pray for us!day-three-st-paul - 2018

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS

Novena to St Francis de Sales – Day Four: 18 January

Novena to St Francis de Sales
Day Four – 18 January

“Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics.   It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no wilful or deliberate consent … When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, “Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature.”   Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God’s disposal.” (St Francis de Sales Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)

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

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

St Francis de Sales, pray for us.DAY FOUR - ST FRANCIS DE SALES NOVENA - 18 JAN 2018jpg

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 18 January – The Memorial of St Margaret of Hungary (1242-1270)

Thought for the Day – 18 January – The Memorial of St Margaret of Hungary (1242-1270)

A young woman of extraordinary beauty, St Margaret attracted the attention of suitors even though she was a nun.   Ottokar, the king of Bohemia, was determined to marry her.   For political reasons, Béla liked the idea.   He asked Margaret to get released from her commitments and marry Ottokar.   Béla had not bargained for the steely resistance of his strong-willed daughter.   She responded to his request with defiance:

“When I was only 7-years-old, you tried to espouse me to the Polish Duke.   You will remember my answer then.   I said that I wished to serve Him only to whom you had espoused me at my birth.   As a child, I would not yield to your will in opposition to God’s claims on me.   Do you think that I am likely to give in to you now that I am older and wiser?   And am I more capable of grasping the greatness of the divine grace that has been given me?   Then, my Father, stop trying to turn me from my determination to remain a religious.   I prefer the heavenly kingdom to that which has been offered me by the King of Bohemia.   I would rather die than obey these commands of yours that will bring death to my soul.   Mark my words. If matters ever come to such a pass and I am driven to it, I will surely put an end to the whole affair by mutilating myself, so that I shall never again be desirable to any man.”

So Béla backed down.   Witnesses say that had he persisted, gritty Margaret would likely have fulfilled her threat.   Butler’s Lives of the Saints says that she performed “marvellous” service to the sick, so nauseating that its “details cannot be set out before the fastidious modern reader.”   Out of sympathy for the poor, Margaret also imitated their squalor. She so neglected all personal hygiene, for example, that she repulsed her sisters.   And for long periods she denied herself food and sleep.   Since she was a princess and the convent was built for her, no one seems to have been able to temper her excesses.

The church recognises Margaret of Hungary as a saint in spite of the traces of wilfulness and pride that seem to have marked her life.   But she excelled in charity and “love covers over many a sin” (1 Peter 4:8).   Those of us who want to be holy but have many “in-spite-ofs” to contend with, can be glad of that!

St Margaret of Hungary, pray for us!st margaret of hungary - pray for us 2 - 18 jan 2018