Monday, January 28, 2019

Saint January 29 : St. Gildas the Wise


Feast Day:
January 29
Born:
516, traditionally Strathclyde in modern Scotland
Died:
570, Street, Somerset or Rhuys
Major Shrine:
Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
Patron of:
Welsh historians; bell founders
He was son to a British lord, who to procure him a virtuous education, placed him in his infancy in the monastery of St. Iltutus in Glamorganshire. The surname of Badonicus was given him, because, as we learn from his writings, he was born in the year in which the Britons under Aurelius Ambrosius, or, according to others, under king Arthur, gained the famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, now Bannesdown, near Bath, in Somersetshire. This Bede places in the forty-fourth year after the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, which was in 451. Our saint, therefore, seems to have been born in 494; he was consequently younger than St. Paul, St. Samson, and his other illustrious school-fellows in Wales: but by his prudence and seriousness in his youth he seemed to have attained to the maturity of judgment and gravity of an advanced age. The author of the life of St. Paul of Leon, calls him the brightest genius of the school of St. Iltut. His application to sacred studies  was uninterrupted, and if he arrived not at greater perfection in polite literature, this was owing to the want of masters of that branch in the confusion of those times. As to improve himself in the knowledge of God and himself was the end of all his studies, and all his reading was reduced to the study of the science of the saints, the greater progress he made in learning, the more perfect he became in all virtues. Studies which are to many a source of dissipation, made him more and more recollected, because in all books he found and relished only God, whom alone he sought. Hence sprang that love for holy solitude, which, to his death, was the constant ruling inclination of his heart. Some time after his monastic profession, with the consent, and perhaps by the order of his abbot, St. Iltut, he passed over into Ireland, there to receive the lessons of the admirable masters of a religious life, who had been instructed in the most sublime maxims of an interior life, and formed to the practice of perfect virtue, by the great St. Patrick. The author of his Acts compares this excursion, which he made in the spring of his life, to that of the bees in the season of flowers, to gather the juices which they convert into honey. In like manner St. Gildas learned, from the instructions and examples of the most eminent servants of God, to copy in his own life whatever seemed most perfect. So severe were his continual fasts, that the motto of St. John Baptist might in some degree be applied to him, that he scarce seemed to eat or drink at all. A rough hair-cloth, concealed under a coarse cloak, was his garment, and the bare floor his bed, with a stone for his bolster.

By the constant mortification of his natural appetites, and crucifixion of his flesh, his life was a prolongation of his martyrdom, or a perpetual sacrifice which he made of himself to God in union with that which he daily offered to him on his altars. If it be true that he preached in Ireland in the reign of king Ammeric, he must have made a visit to that island from Armorica, that prince only beginning to reign in 560: this cannot be ascribed to St. Gildas the Albanian, who died before that time. It was about the year 527, in the thirty-fourth of his age, that St. Gildas sailed to Armorica, or Brittany, in France: for he wrote his invective ten years after his arrival there, and in the forty-fourth year of his age, as is gathered from his life and writings. Here he chose for the place of his retirement the little isle of Houac, or Houat, between the coast of Rhuis and the island of Bellisle, four leagues from the latter. Houat exceeds not a league in length; the isle of Hoedre is still smaller, not far distant: both are so barren as to yield nothing but a small quantity of corn. Such a solitude, which appeared hideous to others, offered the greatest charms to the saint, who desired to fly, as much as this mortal state would permit, whatever could interrupt his commerce with God. Here he often wanted the common necessaries and conveniences of life; but the greater the privation of earthly comforts was in which he lived, the more abundant were those of the Holy Ghost which he enjoyed, in proportion as the purity of his affections and his love of heavenly things were more perfect. The saint promised himself that he should live here always unknown to men: but it was in vain for him to endeavor to hide the light of divine grace under a bushel, which shone forth to the world, notwithstanding all the precautions which his humility took to conceal it. Certain fishermen who discovered him were harmed with his heavenly deportment and conversation, and made known on the continent the treasure they had found. The inhabitants flocked from the coast to hear the lessons of divine wisdom which the holy anchoret gave with a heavenly unction which penetrated their hearts. To satisfy their importunities, St. Gildas at length consented to live among them on the continent, and built a monastery at Rhuis, in a peninsula of that name, which Guerech, the first lord of the Britons about Vannes, is said to have bestowed upon him. This monastery was soon filled with excellent disciples and holy monks. St. Gildas settled them in good order; then, sighing after closer solitude, he withdrew, and passing beyond the gulf of Vannes, and the promontory of Quiberon, chose for his habitation a grot in a rock, upon the bank of the river Blavet, where he found a cavern formed by nature extended from the east to the west, which on that account he converted into a chapel. However, he often visited this abbey of Rhuis, and by his counsels directed many in the paths of true virtue. Among these was St. Trifina, daughter of Guerech, first British count of Vannes. She was married to count Conomor, lieutenant of king Childebert, a brutish and impious man, who afterwards murdered her, and the young son which he had by her, who at his baptism received the name of Gildas, and was godson to our saint: but he is usually known by the surname of Treuchmour, or Tremeur, in Latin 'Trichmorus. SS. Trifina and Treuchmeur are invoked in the English Litany of the seventh century, in Mabillon. The great collegiate church of Carhaix bears the name of St. Treuchmour: the church of Quim per keeps his feast on the 8th of November, on which day he is commemorated in several churches in Brittany, and at St. Magloire's at Paris. A church situated between Corlai and the abbey of Coetmaloon in Brittany, is dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Trifina.
St. Gildas wrote eight canons of discipline, and a severe invective against the crimes of the Britons, called De Excidio Britanniae, that he might confound those whom he was not able to convert, and whom God in punishment delivered first to the plunders of the Picts and Scots, and afterwards to the perfidious Saxons, the fiercest of all nations. He reproaches their kings, Constantine, (king of the Danmonians, in Devonshire and Cornwall,) Vortipor, (of the Dimetians, in South Wales,) Conon, Cuneglas, and Maglocune, princes in other parts of Britain, with horrible crimes: but Constantine was soon after sincerely converted, as Gale informs us from an ancient Welsh chronicle. According to John Fordun he resigned his crown, became a monk, preached the faith to the Scots and Picts, and died a martyr in Kintyre: but the apostle of the Scots seems to have been a little more ancient than the former. Our saint also wrote an invective against the British clergy, whom he accuses of sloth of seldom sacrificing at the altar &c. In his retirement he ceased not with tears to recommend to God his own cause, or that of his honor and glory, and the souls of blind sinners, and died in his beloved solitude in the island of Horac, (in Latin Horata,) according to Usher, in 570, but according to Ralph of Disse, in 581.[6] St. Gildas is patron of the city of Vannes. The abbey which bears his name in the peninsula of Rhuis, between three and four leagues from Vannes, is of the reformed congregation of St. Maur since the year 1649. The relics of St. Gildas were carried thence for fear of the Normans into Berry, about the year 919, and an abbey was erected there on the banks of the river Indre, which was secularized and united to the collegiate church of Chateauroux in 1623. St. Gildas is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 29th of January. A second commemoration of him is made in some places on the 11th of May, on account of the translation of his relics. His life, compiled from the ancient archives of Rhuis by a monk of that house, in the eleventh century, is the best account we have of him, though the author confounds him sometimes with St. Gildas the Albanian. It is published in the library of Fleury, in Bollandus, p. 954, and most correctly in Mabillon, Act. SS. Ord. Saint Bened. t. 1, p. 138. See also Dom Lobineau, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, (for. an. 1725,) p. 72, and Hist. de la Bretagne, (2 vol. fol. an. 1707) and the most accurate Dom Morice, Memoires sur l'Histoire de Bretagne, 3 vol. fol. in 1745, and Hist. de la Bretagne, 2 vol. fol. an. 1750.
SOURCE: Cath. Enc.

Pope Francis “Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church..." FULL Video + Text - In-Flight Press Conference


Pope: Meeting on Protection of Minors to raise awareness
Returning from Panama, Pope Francis held his traditional in-flight press conference, addressing topics including the upcoming Meeting on the Protection of Minors, abortion, the plight of migrants, and numerous other current issues.
By Christopher Wells

Pope warned against “somewhat inflated” expectations for the February Meeting on the Protection of Minors, saying, “The problem of abuse will continue,” precisely because it is “a human problem” that occurs everywhere. However, “by resolving the problem in the Church, we will help to resolve it in society and in families.”

A 'catechesis' for bishops
The Pope explained that the idea for the meeting had come about because of a realization that many bishops did not know how to respond to the situation. “We felt the responsibility of giving a ‘catechesis’ on this problem to the bishops’ conferences”, he explained. He then outlined the main goals of the February meeting, including raising awareness of the depth of the tragedy, and establishing protocols for bishops to address cases of abuse.

Mercy for the child in the womb
The Holy Father tackled a number of other controversial topics during the press conference. One reporter asked how opposition to abortion “respected the suffering of women in this situation”, and how that corresponded to his message of mercy, Pope Francis said, “The message of mercy is for everyone, even for the human person in the womb”. He emphasized that it is “a difficult mercy”, saying that the difficulty is not in forgiving someone who has an abortion – God is always ready to forgive – but in accompanying and consoling the woman. In order to have a good understanding of the tragedy of abortion, he said, it is necessary to be in the confessional.

Why young people leave the Church
Pope Francis said the trip to Panama for World Youth Day met his expectations, although he was not able to give an overall assessment of the journey. “With this I go before the Lord to pray…” he said. Asked about why young people leave the Church, he pointed to the lack of witness on the part of Christians, notably priests and bishops, but even Popes. Apart from the pastors, he also lamented “hypocritical Christians” who alienate people from the Church. The Pope suggested that, if they are not willing to be good witnesses, such people should not call themselves Catholics, but instead say that they were raised Catholic, but are lukewarm or worldly.

Married priests?
Asked about married priests, Pope Francis recalled the words of St Paul VI, who said, “I would prefer to give my life before changing the law of celibacy” for priests of the Latin rite. Speaking in his own name, Pope Francis said, “Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church and I do not agree with allowing celibacy to be optional.” However, he said the question should be studied, and the possibility should be left open of changing the discipline in exceptional circumstances, in places where it is absolutely necessary.

Sex education in schools
Responding to a question on sex education, Pope Francis said he thought it was necessary, but emphasized that it must not be “soaked in ideological colonization”, and warned that some methods actually do harm. Sex education, he said, should start in the home, with the parents.

Support for people of Venezuela
Pope Francis also expressed his support for “all the people of Venezuela, because all are suffering”. “What scares me is the bloodshed,” he said. “The problem of violence terrifies me…”

Migration
The last question from reporters focused on the question of migration. Pope Francis said the problem is very complex, but emphasized the importance of “receiving” of having hearts open to receive. At the same time, he said government leaders must use prudence, ensuring that immigrants are able to integrate into the host countries. He pointed to Greece and Italy, in Europe; and Lebanon and Jordan, in the Middle East, as models of generosity. Migration is a complex issue, he said, “on which one must speak without prejudices.”

Panama: a noble nation
At the conclusion of the press conference, Pope Francis thanked reporters for their work, and left them with a final thought about Panama: “I would like to say one thing about Panama: I felt a new sentiment, this word came to me: Panama is a noble nation. I found nobility.”

“And then”, he concluded, “I would like to mention something else, which we in Europe do not see and which I saw here in Panama. I saw the parents raising their children and saying: this is my victory, this is my pride, this is my future. In the demographic winter that we are living in Europe - and in Italy it is below zero - it must make us think. What is my pride? Tourism, holidays, the villa, the dog? Or the child?”
Text Source: Vatican News va

Top 10 Quotes of St. Thomas Aquinas - to help you in Life!

Top 10 Quotations of Saint Thomas Aquinas
1. “Charity is the form, mover, mother and root of all the virtues.”
2. “If you seek the example of love: “Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.” Such a man was Christ on the cross.
3. “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
4.“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
5. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
6. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
7. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”
8. “To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
9. "The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."
10. "To love God is something greater than to know Him."

Pope Francis to over 22,000 Volunteers of World Youth Day ".. the Lord pays it back a hundredfold." FULL TEXT + Video


At the conclusion of World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis meets with 22,200-odd volunteers. The full text of the Pope's prepared remarks is below.

Rommel Fernández Stadium, January 27, 2019

Dear Volunteers,

            Before we conclude the celebration of World Youth Day, I wanted to meet all of you and to thank every one of you for the service you rendered during these days and in the months preceding WYD.

            Thanks to Bartosz, Stella Maris del Carmen and Maria Margarida for sharing their personal experiences.  How important it is to listen to them and to appreciate the fellowship that comes about when we come together to serve others.  We experience how faith takes on a completely new flavour and force: it becomes more alive, dynamic and real.  We experience a different kind of joy from having had the opportunity to work side by side with others in achieving a shared dream.  I know that all of you have experienced this.

            Now you know how our hearts beat faster when we have a mission, not because someone told you this, but because you experienced it for yourselves.  You experienced in your own life that “no one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13).

            You also had to experience some difficult moments that called for additional sacrifice.  As you told us, Bartosz, we also come to experience our own weaknesses.  The good thing is that you did not let those weaknesses get in the way of your service, or bother you too much.  You experienced them in serving others, yes; in trying to understand and help other volunteers and pilgrims, yes; but you were determined not to let this stop you or paralyze you, you went ahead.  That is the beauty of knowing that we are sent, the joy of knowing that, in spite of every difficulty, we have a mission to carry out.  Not to let our limitations, our weaknesses and even our sins hold us back and stop us from living the mission, because God invites us to do what we can and ask for what we cannot, in the knowledge that his love is taking hold of us and transforming us progressively (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 49-50).  Put service and mission first, and you will see that everything else will follow.

            Thank you all, because in these days you have been attentive to even the smallest details, however ordinary and apparently insignificant, like offering someone a glass of water.  Yet you have also been concerned with the larger things that called for careful planning.  You prepared every detail with joy, creativity and commitment, and with much prayer.  For when we pray about things, we feel them more profoundly.  Prayer gives force and vitality to everything we do.  In praying, we discover that we are part of a family larger than what we can see or imagine.  In praying, we open everything we do to the Church that supports and accompanies us from heaven, to the saints who have shown us the way, but above all, we open it all to God.

            You have dedicated your time, and your energy and resources, to dreaming and putting together this meeting.  You could have easily chosen to do other things, but you wanted to be involved.  To give your best to making possible the miracle of the multiplication not only of loaves but also of hope.  Here, once again, you have shown that it is possible to set aside your own interests in order to help others.  As you did, Stella Maris, when you saved up to attend the WYD in Krakow, but decided not to go, so that you could look after your three grandparents.  You gave up doing something you wanted to do and had dreamed about, in order to help and accompany your family, to honour your roots.  But the Lord, unbeknownst to you, was preparing a gift for you; he brought the WYD to your own country.  Like Stella Maris, many of you also made all sorts of sacrifices.  You had to defer your dreams to care for your land, your roots.  The Lord always blesses that, and he can never be outdone in generosity.  Every time we forego something that we like for the good of others and especially those most in need, or our roots as in the case of our grandparents and the elderly, the Lord pays it back a hundredfold.  For when it comes to generosity, no one can beat him; when it comes to love, no one can outdo him.  Friends, give and it will be given to you, and you will experience how the Lord “puts into your lap good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Lk 6:38).

            You have had a more lively and real experience of faith; you have experienced the strength born of prayer and a new and different kind of joy, the fruit of working side by side even with people you did not know.  Now is the moment when you are sent forth: go out and tell, go out and bear witness, go out and spread the word about everything you have seen and heard.  Dear friends, let everyone know about what happened during these days.  Not with lots of words but rather, as you did here, with simple and ordinary gestures, those that transform and renew each hour of the day.

            Let us ask the Lord for his blessing.  May he bless your families and communities, and all those whom you will meet and encounter in the days to come.  Let us also place ourselves under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin.  May Our Lady accompany you always.  And, as I told you in Krakow, I do not know if I will be there for the next WYD, but Peter will surely be there to confirm you in faith.  Press on, with courage and strength, and please, do not forget to pray for me.  Thank you.

#BreakingNews Asia Bibi goes back to Court in Pakistan for Review of Acquittal - Please Pray


Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - The Pakistani Supreme Court has set a hearing date for the petition to review the acquittal of Asia Bibi, on the morning of 29 January. 
President Asif Saeed Khosa will preside over a jury composed of him, Qazi Faez Isa and Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel who will examine the petition asking to overturn the verdict in favor of the Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010. In October 2018 the supreme court judges exonerated her of the charges against her. A week later, she was released from Multan penitentiary and transferred to a secret location near Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, along with her husband Ashiq Masih, where she lives in a place of maximum security and protected.
In the following days the Islamic radicals of the "Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan" (TLP) party set the country on fire and contested her acquittal. To prevent the escalation of violence, the government of Pakistan came to terms with the demonstrators and granted the revision of the verdict of the supreme judges.
After the Supreme Court's announcement, in fact, the Muslim religious Qari Salaam - who signed the complaint against Asia for blasphemy - presented the appeal for the revision of the sentence asking to include Asia Bibi’s name in the Exit Control List, to prevent her expatriation. The petition presented by Qari Salaam states that the acquittal of Asia Bibi does not respect the jurisprudence standards as well as the Islamic provisions and the "normal course of justice with reference to the application regarding the blasphemy laws".
The appeal also urges the Supreme Court of Pakistan to consult a member of an Islamic Court when reviewing the trial, as this issue requires in-depth details based on the application of Article 295-C of the Criminal Code, the one that punishes the vilification to the Prophet Muhammad.
Fr. Bonnie Mendes, an expert on human rights, told Agenzia Fides "The request for revision of the verdict is established by the legal system. We must wait and see the decision of the Supreme Court, we pray for a favorable verdict for this innocent woman".
"We appreciate the behavior of the Supreme Court, we hope that the judiciary will follow and protect the rule of law and that the decision will be taken according to the law, without giving in to threats or blackmail", says Christian Sabir Michael, human rights activist to Fides. And he adds: "This case is also a testing ground for the judiciary, the government and the minorities living in Pakistan. We expect to understand how the government handles the pressures and attacks of militant groups and how it will protect its citizens, in order to ensure an adequate level of safety and well-being for religious minorities".
"Asia Bibi was declared innocent after almost 9 years in prison: we hope that this last appeal against her will be rejected and that Asia Bibi is definitively released", concludes Michael.
Asia Bibi's lawyer, Muslim Saiful Malook, has returned to Pakistan to support the woman once again in her legal battle. (AG) (FULL TEXT Release from Agenzia Fides, 28/1/2019)

Novena to St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Students - Powerful Prayers to Share!


Novena prayer 

St. Thomas Aquinas,
patron of students and Catholic schools,
I thank God for the gifts
of light and knowledge he bestowed on you,
which you used to build up the Church in love.
I thank God, too,
for the wealth and richness of theological teaching
you left in your writings.
Not only were you a great teacher,
you lived a life of virtue
and you made holiness the desire of your heart.
If I cannot imitate you
in the brilliance of your academic pursuits,
I can follow you in the humility and charity which marked your life.
As St. Paul said,
charity is the greatest gift,
and it is open to all.
Pray for me that I might grow in holiness and charity.
Pray also for Catholic schools,
and for all students.
In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena.

[Make you request here...]

Amen.

First Day

St. Thomas, called by God
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37).

St. Thomas, as a young man
you became convinced that God was calling you to religious life.
Although your family was opposed to it,
you were determined to follow God's call.
Even when your brothers kidnapped you
and forced you to remain a prisoner in your own house,
you did not give up but waited patiently for God's hour.
St. Thomas, pray for all young people
who are considering their vocation in life.
Help them to be open to the call of God.
Inspire them to make choices
motivated by love for God
and an unselfish love for other people.
Whatever their state in life,
help them to see their chosen path
as a call to service.
May all married couples, single persons,
priests and religious build up the Church
through lives of unselfish devotion and love.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Second Day

St. Thomas, lover of purity

"For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness" (1 Thes 4:7).

St. Thomas, you had a great esteem for the virtue of purity.
When your family tried to deter you
from entering the Dominicans by sending a woman to lead you into sin,
you resisted the temptation
and determined to consecrate your chastity to God forever.

Today we are immersed in a culture
that degrades the gift of human sexuality.
Human persons are viewed as objects of pleasure
and their human dignity is devalued.
As a consequence, society tolerates abortion,
disregarding human life at the very outset.
Children suffer abuse
and families are damaged by infidelity.

Pray that our society may once again
value the virtue of chastity.
Pray that those in the media will work
to promote a Christian view of marriage and family life.
May the plague of pornography in all its forms be eliminated.
May Christian moral standards act as a leaven in society
and bring about a greater respect for human life.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Third Day

St. Thomas, example of humility

"All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted" (Mt 23:12).

St. Thomas, when you were a young student
some of your classmen called you the "dumb ox."
Although you were more intelligent than all of them,
you bore their insults patiently without retaliating.
You were endowed with a keen mind
but recognized that God is the source of all gifts.
You humbly acknowledged your dependence on God,
and begged him to enlighten you
so that you would act only for his glory.

St. Thomas, pray for me
that I too learn to act out of humility
and never from the empty desire
for esteem in the sight of others.
Help me to seek only God's glory
and to act with a right intention.
May I seek to humble myself now,
so that in heaven
I will shine like the stars for all eternity.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fourth Day

St. Thomas, devoted to truth

"But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ" (Eph 4:15).

St. Thomas, you devoted your life
to seeking the truth and explaining it to others.
You dedicated your mind to God,
and used it to probe the Word of God more deeply.
Your gifts as a theologian and philosopher
make you stand out as one of the greatest doctors of the Church.
In your discussions,
you made truth your primary aim,
while treating respectfully anyone who differed with you.

Obtain for me too a great love of truth.
Help me to ponder God's word
so as to draw from it the light I need
to nourish myself spiritually.
Keep me firmly rooted in the truth,
and never let me be swayed by false teachings.
I pray also for those who are lost in darkness;
please bring them into the light of truth.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fifth Day

St. Thomas, afire with love for the Blessed Sacrament

"So Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you"' (Jn 6:53).

St. Thomas, you had a great love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
and spent many hours in adoration be fore the Blessed Sacrament.
You once said that you learned more from prayer
before the tabernacle than from many hours of study.
The Church owes you a debt of gratitude
for the beautiful Eucharistic hymns you wrote
at the request of Pope Urban IV,
for the newly-established feast of Corpus Christi.

Pray that I too might be inflamed
with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist.
Help me to always esteem and reverence this wonderful sacrament.
Pray for me that I might always participate devoutly in Mass,
receive Holy Communion with great fervor,
and often visit Jesus in the tabernacle.
Through contact with the Eucharistic Lord,
may my heart overflow with love for God and for my neighbor.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Sixth Day

St. Thomas, filled with charity

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth" (1 Cor 1 3 :4-6).

St. Thomas, you were noted during your life
for the charity you showed to others.
During debates at the university,
you did not ridicule those who argued with you
but treated them with respect and love.
You showed consideration for the needs of other people.
Help me also to be more deeply rooted
in love of God and neighbor,
keeping in mind Jesus' words,
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35).
Help me to practice this same charity
in a concrete way that does not stop at words,
but is shown with sacrifice.
May it begin first of all in my family,
and then radiate to everyone I meet.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Seventh Day

St. Thomas, defender of the Church

"...the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

St. Thomas, from your youth you learned to love the Church,
your spiritual home.
In your teaching, you sought to explain
and defend the doctrine of the Church,
making it known through your writings.
You understood that true wisdom
means to let oneself be instructed by the Church,
for Jesus guaranteed that the Holy Spirit
would always be with the Church,
to lead it into all truth.
At the end of your life you said,
"I have taught and written much...
according to my faith in Christ
and in the holy Roman Church,
to whose judgment I submit all my teaching."
Intercede for the Church today,
that it might grow stronger
and more spiritually fruitful in the world.
Raise up holy priests,
religious and laity,
that they may all be the salt of the earth
and the light of the world.
Bless the pope in his efforts to guide the Church,
witnessing to the power of the Gospel
to renew the face of the earth.
May all theologians work to explore the richness of Catholic teaching
so as to show forth its truth and benefit the faithful.
Pray for missionaries as they work to spread the Gospel.
May the whole Church be renewed by the power of the Spirit
to more effectively witness to Christ in the world today.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Eighth Day

St. Thomas, teacher of prayer

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving" (Col 4:2).

St. Thomas, you knew that prayer is the source of wisdom
and you spent long hours in conversation with God.
Prayer became your very life.
Whenever you pondered over a problem in theology,
you turned to prayer to seek God's enlightenment.
Now in heaven you see God face to face.
Pray for me, too,
that I might become a person of profound prayer.
Obtain for me the grace
that I might always pray with humility,
confidence and perseverance.
Help me to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer,
so that my whole life may become a prayer.
May I always seek the face of the living God.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Ninth Day

St. Thomas, patron of students

"For in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind" (1 Cor 1:5).

St. Thomas, God called you
to spend most of your life in academic pursuits,
first as a student, and then as a professor of theology.
In your work as a teacher,
you desired to help your students apply
what they learned to their lives,
in order to grow in holiness.
You realized that knowledge is meant
to draw people closer to God.
In your teaching you sought to communicate the truth,
desiring to help your students become better Christians.

Pray for all students.
Pray for those who may have difficulty in their studies,
as well as for those who can study with ease.
Pray that they may all be open to the truth,
and always seek to better under stand it.
May they grow in knowledge
so as to know God better
and to be able to serve
their brothers and sisters as the Lord desires.
St. Thomas, pray especially for theologians,
that in their studies and research
they may come to a deeper knowledge of revealed doctrine
in keeping with the mind of the Church.
May their lives reflect the holiness of the Word of God
which they seek to more fully under stand.

[Recite the novena prayer.] Shared from Catholic Doors Ministry 

#BreakingNews Hindu Extremists Attack Christian Church in India - Please Pray


Chhattisgarh, Hindu radicals attack a Pentecostal church
by Nirmala Carvalho
The incident occurred during the prayer service. The attackers beat the faithful gathered to hear the Sunday sermon. Some musical instruments destroyed; three copies of the Bible ripped.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A group of radical Hindus attacked a Pentecostal church in Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred yesterday during Sunday prayers, according to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christian (GCIC), who "strongly condemns the attack on the Pentecostal church".
The Christian leader reports: "Yesterday around 9.30 am, the Rev. Ajay Ravi was preaching at a meeting of about 25 people. Suddenly, without any provocation, 15 people stormed the church, while others waited outside. The attackers were shouting that the people gathered in prayer were insulting the gods and goddesses [Hindu] ".
Later the interruption of the prayer service degenerated into real violence. The radicals, continues Sajan K George, "beat up the faithful, insulted the women. Then they ripped three copies of the Bible, broke some musical instruments and destroyed a motorcycle. "
The attack took place the day following the 70th anniversary of the Republic. According to the president of the GCIC, "it is a shame. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution. This attack intimidates the vulnerable Christian community, [and spreads] fear and insecurity, above all because of the anti-conversion law in force in the State ".

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday January 28, 2019 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 317

Reading 1HEB 9:15, 24-28

Christ is mediator of a new covenant:
since a death has taken place 
for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, 
those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, 
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, 
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, 
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary 
with blood that is not his own; 
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly 
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages 
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, 
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many, 
will appear a second time, not to take away sin 
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (1a)  Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Reading 2SEE 2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, 
"He is possessed by Beelzebul," and
"By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, 
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself, 
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, 
he cannot stand; 
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property 
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.  
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies 
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit 
will never have forgiveness, 
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."