Blessed Catholic Saints and Angels

~~Witnesses of Faith pray for us ! ~~

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist ( August 29 )

God our Father, You called John the Baptist to be the herald of Your Son's birth and death. As he gave his life in witness to truth and justice, so may we strive to profess our faith in Your Gospel. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The whole life of St. John the Forerunner, from its first days, was entirely dedicated to the One Who came after him.
As Saint John the Baptist was forerunner of Christ to the living, making straight the way of the Lord, so he was forerunner of Christ even to the dead, getting them ready for his coming on Holy Saturday. The mind and tongue of this great Saint and Martyr would not be stopped, even by death!
The Feast of the Beheading of the Baptist was one of earliest annual liturgical celebrations throughout the Christian world. According to ancient tradition John's body was buried at Sebaste, but Herodius had the head buried in a dung heap. Once again the seat of his learning and teaching was to be humiliated; once again, we are reminded just how precious, how powerful, how threatening can be the life of the mind and the tongue. John's head was, however, secretly recovered by his followers and hidden away, only to be rediscovered several times over the centuries, giving rise to various claims and counter-claims as to who held the principal relic. Rather troublingly for those who like these things neat and tidy, there are several heads of John the Baptist available for veneration, in churches in Rome, Amiens and Antioch, in a museum in Munich and a mosque in Damascus...
It is easy to think that the age of the martyrs is over, but maybe it has just began. In ten thousand years from now, people may look back to the early church, with its early doctors such as Augustine, Basil the Great, John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI, and its early martyrs such as John the Baptist, Thomas More, Maximilian Kolbe and the many martyrs of South East Asia. In his apostolic letter at the beginning of the new millennium (Novo Millennio Inuente), John Paul wrote that people who are willing to die for the truth become like Christ himself and have throughout history helped the Church to survive and grow. The Church in our day, he said, has once again become a church of martyrs and their witness must not be forgotten.
Saint Bede said that Saint John the Baptist died for Christ since he was killed for speaking the truth and Christ is the Truth. He who baptized Christ is baptized in his own blood, thus bearing witness to the Shepherd who would later lay down his life for his sheep.

Let us faithfully pray :
O God, Thou raised up St. John the Baptist to prepare a perfect people for Christ.
Fill Thy people with the joy of possessing His Grace, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of Peace and Salvation.
Grant that as St. John was martyred for Truth and Justice, so we may energetically profess our Faith in Thee, and lead others to the Way, the Truth, and Eternal Life. Amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blessed Feast of Saint Augustine of Hippo

Today the church honors the memorial of St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, and founder of the Augustinian Religious Order.

( the picture is presenting our Lady of Consolation , title of our Lady treasured by the Order of Saint Augustine , removing the cincture and, giving it to Monica, directed her to wear it and to encourage others to do the same. Monica gave it to her son, who in turn gave it to his community, and so the Augustinian devotion to the wearing of a cincture as a token of fidelity to our Mother of Consolation came into being . The tradition of praying to the Mother of God for the gift of consolation dates back to the early centuries, an expression of the Church's belief that the cloud of witnesses, the elect in glory, never cease to pray for the Church on earth.)
Saint Augustine is called the Doctor of Grace because of his miraculous transformation out of sin to the service of God's creatures. He served the church in Africa for many years as bishop with genuine love. His mother, St Monica, never stopped praying for him; a great model. Through the tears and prayers of Augustine's mother, St Monica, and the preaching and guidance of St Ambrose, Augustine found grace and favor with God. Once she went to the Bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, to ask him if her son would ever convert. He replied to her with those famous words: “Woman, the child of so many tears shall never perish." That is, she would see his rebirth through her intense and profound suffering.
The power of praying, reading scripture, and listening to God's words from inspiring preaching. All are vital for spiritual growth and development. These spiritual efforts and activities steadily transformed his body and soul. Many will remember his famous line as he cried out: "Late have I love Thee, Oh Beauty, ever ancient and ever new." We cannot forget the memorable words: "Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in You."

St Augustine died as he lived-with a holy passion for his church and all humankind. His legacy is that all have enough grace available to grow and develop from sinner to saint when we pray. He would encourage us to read and listen to the scriptures, and above all, ask, seek, and knock with sincere prayers for ourselves and for others. No matter how steeped we are in sin, God is richer in mercy and love. God is ever ready to bestow the same graces on us as he gave to St Augustine, bishop and Doctor of the Church, but sinner first.

Oremus ( let us pray ) and express our Trust in God's Heavenly Promise :

My God, let me know and love You,
so that I may find my happiness in You.
Since I cannot fully achieve this on earth,
help me to improve daily
until I may do so to the full.
Enable me to know You ever more on earth,
so that I may know You perfectly in heaven.
Enable me to love You ever more on earth,
so that I may love You perfectly in heaven.
In that way my joy may be great on earth,
and perfect with You in heaven.

O God of Truth,
grant me the happiness of heaven
so that my joy may be full in accord with Your promise.
In the meantime let my mind dwell on that happiness,
my tongue speak of it,
my heart pine for it,
my mouth pronounce it,
my soul hunger for it,
my flesh thirst for it,
and my entire being desire it
until I enter through death
in the joy of my Lord forever.Amen

Monday, August 23, 2010

Feast of Saint Rose of Lima

( I'm returning to my Catholic journals/blogs with the occasion of Saint Rose of Lima Feast and with the sadness for being away for two months )
Thank you Saint Rose of Lima leading me home !

Saint Rose of Lima , this lovely flower of sanctity, the first canonized Saint of the New World, was born at Lima in 1586. She was pure as driven snow, was filled with deepest contrition and humility, and did constant and terrible penance . She was christened Isabel, but the beauty of her infant face earned for her the title of Rose, which she ever after bore. As a child, while still in the cradle, her silence under a painful surgical operation proved the thirst for suffering already consuming her heart. At an early age she took service to support her impoverished parents, and worked for them day and night. In spite of hardships and austerities, her beauty ripened with increasing age, and she was much and openly admired. From fear of vanity she cut off her hair, blistered her face with pepper and her hands with lime. For further security she enrolled herself in the Third Order of St. Dominic, took St. Catherine of Siena as her model, and redoubled her penance. Her cell was a garden hut, her couch a box of broken tiles. Under her habit Rose wore a hair-shirt studded with iron nails, while, concealed by her veil, a silver crown armed with ninety points encircled her head. More than once, when she shuddered at the prospect of a night of torture, a voice said, "My Cross was yet more painful." The Blessed Sacrament seemed almost her only food. Her love for it was intense. When the Dutch fleet prepared to attack the town, Rose took her place before the tabernacle, and wept that she was not worthy to die in its defence. All her sufferings were offered for the conversion of sinners, and the thought of the multitudes in hell was ever before her soul.

Let us pray :

God our Father, for love of You, St. Rose gave up everything to devote herself to a life of penance. By the help of her prayers may we imitate her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy the fullness of Your blessings in heaven. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.