Thursday, January 31, 2019

Saint February 1 : St. Bridgid of Ireland : Patron of Babies; Children of unwed parents; Fugitives; Ireland; Midwives; Poets

Information: Feast Day: February 1 Born: 451 or 452 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland Died:
1 February 525 at Kildare, Ireland Patron of:
babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; newborn babies; nuns; poets; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen
VIRGIN, PATRONESS OF IRELAND
Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. It is exceedingly difficult to reconcile the statements of St. Brigid's biographers, but the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lives of the saint are at one in assigning her a slave mother in the court of her father Dubhthach, and Irish chieftain of Leinster. Probably the most ancient life of St. Brigid is that by St. Broccan Cloen, who is said to have died 17 September, 650. It is metrical, as may be seen from the following specimen:
Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach Ni bu huarach im sheire Dé, Sech ni chiuir ni cossens Ind nóeb dibad bethath che.
(Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Nor was she intermittent about God's love; Not merely that she did not buy, she did not seek for The wealth of this world below, the holy one.)
Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of Kildare in his day: "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis". The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards, lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated curtains. Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century. Although St. Brigid was "veiled" or received by St. Macaille, at Croghan, yet, it is tolerably certain that she was professed by St. Mel of Ardagh, who also conferred on her abbatial powers. From Ardagh St. Macaille and St. Brigid followed St. Mel into the country of Teffia in Meath, including portions of Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about the year 468. St. Brigid's small oratory at Cill- Dara became the centre of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to St. Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose St. Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superioress general of the convents in Ireland. Not alone was St. Bridget a patroness of students, but she also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to this twelfth- century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the "Book of Kildare", every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes a most laudatory notice by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill". Small wonder that Gerald Barry assumed the book to have been written night after night as St. Bridget prayed, "an angel furnishing the designs, the scribe copying". Even allowing for the exaggerated stories told of St. Brigid by her numerous biographers, it is certain that she ranks as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the fifth century and as the Patroness of Ireland. She is lovingly called the "Queen of the South: the Mary of the Gael" by a writer in the "Leabhar Breac". St. Brigid died leaving a cathedral city and school that became famous all over Europe. In her honour St. Ultan wrote a hymn commencing: Christus in nostra insula Que vocatur Hivernia Ostensus est hominibus Maximis mirabilibus Que perfecit per felicem Celestis vite virginem Precellentem pro merito Magno in numdi circulo. (In our island of Hibernia Christ was made known to man by the very great miracles which he performed through the happy virgin of celestial life, famous for her merits through the whole world.) The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan, an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824. St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran. When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness. She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics. Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate St. Brigid, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In Ireland today, after 1500 years, the memory of "the Mary of the Gael" is as dear as ever to the Irish heart, and, as is well known, Brigid preponderates as a female Christian name. Moreover, hundreds of place-names in her honour are to be found all over the country, e.g. Kilbride, Brideswell, Tubberbride, Templebride, etc. The hand of St. Brigid is preserved at Lumiar near Lisbon, Portugal, since 1587, and another relic is at St. Martin's Cologne. Viewing the biography of St. Brigid from a critical standpoint we must allow a large margin for the vivid Celtic imagination and the glosses of medieval writers, but still the personality of the founder of Kildare stands out clearly, and we can with tolerable accuracy trace the leading events in her life, by a careful study of the old "Lives" as found in Colgan. It seems certain that Faughart, associated with memories of Queen Meave (Medhbh), was the scene of her birth; and Faughart Church was founded by St. Morienna in honour of St. Brigid. The old well of St. Brigid's adjoining the ruined church is of the most venerable antiquity, and still attracts pilgrims; in the immediate vicinity is the ancient mote of Faughart. As to St. Brigid's stay in Connacht, especially in the County Roscommon, there is ample evidence in the "Trias Thaumaturga", as also in the many churches founded by her in the Diocese of Elphim. Her friendship with St. Patrick is attested by the following paragraph from the "Book of Armagh", a precious manuscript of the eighth century, the authenticity of which is beyond question: "inter sanctum Patricium Brigitanque Hibernesium columpnas amicitia caritatis inerat tanta, ut unum cor consiliumque haberent unum. Christus per illum illamque virtutes multas peregit". (Between St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the columns of the Irish, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many miracles.) At Armagh there was a "Templum Brigidis"; namely the little abbey church known as "Regles Brigid", which contained some relics of the saint, destroyed in 1179, by William Fitz Aldelm. It may be added that the original manuscript of Cogitosus's "Life of Brigid", or the "Second Life", dating from the closing years of the eighth century, is now in the Dominican friary at Eichstätt in Bavaria. (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Free Catholic Movie : Saint John Bosco : Drama

This is the story of Don (Father) Bosco, also known in the Catholic church as St. John Bosco. This 19th century Italian priest worked in the city of Torino (Turin). He founded the Salesian order dedicated to teaching and youth work. That work continues worldwide today.
Don Bosco  - Drama | History -
Stars: Ben Gazzara

Pope Francis on Visit to UAE "“I thank my friend and dear brother the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar...to affirm that faith in God unites and does not divide,” FULL Video

Pope Francis sends greetings ahead of UAE visit
In a video message sent on Thursday, Pope Francis greets the people of the United Arab Emirates, and looks forward to marking a new step in the history of interreligious relations.
By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis travels to Abu Dhabi from 3 to 5 February to participate in an interreligious meeting and to celebrate Mass.

In his video message, the Pope said he is looking forward to visiting the UAE, calling it “a land that seeks to be a model of coexistence, human brotherhood, and encounter between different civilizations and cultures”.

In the UAE, the Holy Father said, many people “find a safe place to work and live freely, while respecting diversity.”

Gratitude for invitation
Pope Francis thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for inviting him to participate in an interreligious meeting on “Human Brotherhood”.

He then expressed his gratitude to other UAE Authorities for their “generous hospitality and fraternal welcome”.

“I thank my friend and dear brother the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and all those who aided in the preparation of the meeting, for their courage and desire to affirm that faith in God unites and does not divide,” he said.


Faith brings people closer
Pope Francis said faith in God brings people closer despite their differences, and “distances us from hostility and aversion.”

The Pope said he looks forward to writing “a new page in the history of relations between religions, confirming that we are brothers and sisters, even though we are different.”

Finally, Pope Francis called the UAE “a land of prosperity and peace, a land of sun and harmony, a land of coexistence and encounter”. And he invited the people of the United Arab Emirates to pray for him.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News va

Pope Francis "..let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco, for the grace for our priests to be joyful" Homily


Pope at Mass: Priests should be joyful, like St John Bosco
Pope Francis reflects on St John Bosco for the Saint’s feast day. Priests, he says, should have the courage to see people with the human eyes and with the eyes of God.
By Debora Donnini

Priests should be joyful and see things from both a human and a divine perspective, as St John Bosco did. That was Pope Francis’ message during Thursday’s Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. He encouraged priests to imitate Don Bosco, who looked upon reality with the heart of a father and of a teacher, as we read in the opening prayer. It was a perspective that showed him the way forward: he was moved at the sight of the poor young boys in the streets, and looked for ways to help them grow. He walked with them, and he wept with them.

Seeing with human eyes and the eyes of God
Pope Francis recalled that on the day of his ordination, Don Bosco’s mother – a humble woman of the land, “who had never studied in the faculty of theology” – said to him: “Today you will begin to suffer.” She wanted to emphasize a reality, but also catch his attention; because if her son did not recognize suffering, it would mean things were not going well. “It is a prophecy of a mother,” the Pope said. For a priest, then, suffering is a sign that things are going well – not because he is acting the part of “a fakir”, but because he has the courage, like St John Bosco, to look upon reality with the human eyes and with the eyes of God. In a “masonic age,” an age of “priest-eaters”, he saw “a closed-off aristocracy, where the poor were really the poor, the discarded, he saw those young boys on the streets and said ‘this cannot be!’”

He saw with the eyes of a man, a man who is a brother but also a father, and he said, “No, things can’t go on like this! These young boys might end up on the gallows, [ministered to] by Don Cafasso… no, things can’t go on like this.” And he was moved as a man, and as a man he began to think of ways to raise the youngsters, to make the young boys grow. Human paths. And then, he had the courage to see with the eyes of God, and to go to God and say, “Make me see this… this is an injustice… how do I deal with this… You have created these people for a fullness, and they are in the midst of a real tragedy…” And so, seeing reality with the love of a father – a father and teacher, today’s liturgy says – and seeing God with the eyes of a beggar who asks for light, he began to go forward.

Don Giuseppe Cafasso comforted the prisoners in Turin in the 19th century and often followed those condemned to death to the gallows. He was a great friend of St John Bosco.

A priest close at hand
The priest, then, should have “these two polarities,” the Pope said: “to look upon reality with human eyes,” and with “the eyes of God.” And this means “spending a lot of time before the tabernacle”:

Looking in this way made him see the path, so that he wasn’t going simply with the Catechism and the Crucifix: “Do this…” with the boys saying, “Good night, see you later.” No, no. He drew close to them, with their liveliness. He played games with them, he put them in groups, like brothers. And in this way he went forth, he walked with them. The priest who looks on the people in a human way, who is always at hand.

Not an employee or a functionary
Pope Francis emphasized that priests should not be functionaries, or simply employees with set office hours. “We have plenty of good officials,” he said, “who do their jobs, as officials must. But the priest is not a functionary, he cannot be.” The Pope then called on priests to see with human eyes – and, he promised, “you will receive that sentiment, that wisdom of understanding that they are your children, your brothers and sisters. And then, [you will] have the courage of going out there to fight. The priest is the one who struggles with God.”

The Holy Father acknowledged, “There is always the risk of regarding the human at the expense of the divine, or the divine at the expense of the human.” However, he warned, “if we do not take the risk, we won’t accomplish anything in life.” This certainly entails a degree of suffering; persecution and gossip begin: “See that priest standing there, in the street,” with those poorly behaved children, who “will break my window” with their games.

Don Bosco, teacher of joy
Pope Francis thanked God for the gift of Don Bosco, who began to work as a child, and knew what it meant to earn his bread each day. He understood what true piety was. God gave Don Bosco a great heart, the Pope said in conclusion, the heart of a father and a teacher:

And what is the sign that a priest is doing well, seeing reality with human eyes and with the eyes of God? Joy. When a priest does not find joy within, he should stop immediately and ask himself why. And Don Bosco’s joy is known, eh? Because he made others joyful, and rejoiced himself. And he suffered. Today, let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco, for the grace for our priests to be joyful: joyful so that they have the true sense of looking at things regarding pastoral ministry, the people of God with human eyes and with the eyes of God.
Source: Vatican News va

Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians of St. John Bosco - SHARE Miracle Prayer


Everyday of the Novena: 
Our Father...
Hail Mary, full of grace…
Glory Be...
V. Pray for us, O Immaculate, Help of Christians
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, place deep in our hearts the love of Mary, our help and the help of all Christians. May we
fight vigorously for the faith here on earth, and may
we one day praise your victories in heaven. Grant this
in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.
First Day
O Mary, you readily agreed to the Angel’s request when you were asked to be the mother of God’s Son, and throughout your life your one desire was to do the will of your Father in heaven. Help me always to be obedient and humble. May I, like you, always have the generosity to follow Jesus, wherever he calls.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)

Second Day
O Mary, by your visit to your cousin, Saint Elizabeth, you joyfully spread the good news of the coming of Jesus into the world. May many young people generously follow your example, and give their lives totally to the service of your Son as priests, brothers and sisters.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Third Day
O Mary, ever since the wedding feast of Cana you have always been the powerful help of all those who have asked your aid and protection. By your prayers, keep me free from all dangers and help me always to rise above my faults and failings.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fourth Day
O Mary, by your presence at the foot of the cross, you comforted and strengthened your son as he offered his life to the Father. Be with me at the hour of my death, and lead me quickly to the joys of your Son’s kingdom in heaven.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fifth Day
O Mary, by your presence in the upper room you strengthened and encouraged the apostles and disciples as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. May I always be open to the gifts of the Spirit, and may my faith always be deep and living.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Sixth Day
O Mary, throughout her long history you have always defended your Son’s Church from the attacks of her enemies. Be with her again in our days. Help each one of us to be her loyal subjects and to work without ceasing for that unity of peace and love for which your Son so fervently prayed.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Seventh Day
O Mary, you have always been the special guide and protector of Saint Peter’s successor, the Bishop of Rome. Keep our present Holy Father in your loving care. Defend him from all harm and give him all those gifts he needs to be the faithful shepherd of your Son’s flock.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Eight Day
O Mary, the wonderful way you helped Saint John Bosco’s work to grow and spread shows that you have a great love for the young. As you watched over the child Jesus at Nazareth, so now watch over all young people, especially those most in need, and help them to grow daily in love of your Son.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Ninth Day
O Mary, you so often showed great courage during your life here on earth. Help all those who are suffering pain and persecution as they try to worship your Son. Obtain for me a deep love of Jesus, so that my life may always be pure, my service of others generous and loving, and my death a truly happy one.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Source: Salesians of St. Don Bosco
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Quote to SHARE by St John Bosco "There are two things the devil is deadly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. "




"There are two things the devil is deadly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. " -
Saint John Bosco

#BreakingNews Grandmother Robbed coming from Church repeats "Jesus, mother Mary, help me, I'm not afraid because you're with me."


A Grandmother, aged 87, from Jersey City was viciously beaten, and robbed as she returned home from Church.


She was left with a bloody eye, and she prayed every step of the walk she would be able to make it back home, saying the entire time, 
"Jesus, mother Mary, help me, I'm not afraid because you're with me."

Police are still searching for the suspects who left her bloodied with a swollen eye, police said.

Ana Lagundi, a mother of six and grandmother of 10, described how the men covered her mouth and punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground.


Lagundi said she had less than $20 in the purse the men snatched from her. Surveillance video captured the suspects running through an alley.


But church or home, her faith remains rock strong and she continues to pray, including, remarkably, for the men who hurt her, she said.

"I only pray they will find them so they will reform," she said.

"I forgive them. Even they did what they did. I thank God I am alive."
Edited from NBC 4 New York

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday January 31, 2019 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest
Lectionary: 320

Reading 1HEB 10:19-25

Brothers and sisters: 
Since through the Blood of Jesus 
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary 
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, 
that is, his flesh,
and since we have "a great priest over the house of God," 
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, 
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience 
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, 
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.
We should not stay away from our assembly, 
as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, 
and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:1-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6)  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

AlleluiaPS 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; 
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear."
He also told them, "Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, 
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given; 
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."