Posts Tagged ‘Saints’

St Catherine of Siena is an amazing Italian 14th century saint and Doctor of the Church. At the age of seven, she consecrated her virginity to Christ and she became a Dominican Tertiary aged 16. A mystic, philosopher and theologian, she worked to bring the papacy back from Avignon, France to Rome.

Below are 10 quotations of St Catherine, taken from “The Letters of Catherine of Siena” and “Catherine of Siena: The Dialogue”

10 Quotes from St Catherine of Siena

  • “Do not be satisfied with little things, because God wants great things!”  Letter T127
  •  There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.
  • “Is God not more ready to forgive than we are to sin?” Letter T178
  • “Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and in your power draw it to you.” Prayer 6
  • “You, God, made yourself lowly and small to make us great!” Dialogue 134.
  • “It is only through shadows that one comes to know the light.” Prayer 24
  • “A full belly does not make for a chaste spirit.” Dialogue, 125.
  • “Out of darkness is born the light.” Letter T211
  • “The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.” Dialogue 2
  • “The human heart is always drawn by love.” Dialogue 26

 

 

Advertisements

Image

The relic of Saint Don Bosco arrive in Ireland today, as part of a world wide pilgrimage, to celebrate the bi-centenary of Don Bosco’s birth (1815-2015). The casket has already been to Italy, Spain, the Americas, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Saint Don Bosco was an Italian priest, an amazing man, who dedicated his life to working with under privileged youth, transforming their lives. His approach was to show them love rather than punishing them, and he taught them to do good deeds, live a disciplined Christian life, and of course, passing the Faith onto them. At his canonisation, he was given the title “Father and Teacher of the Youth”.

Remember God does not pay us for results, but for effort

Saint Don Bosco

The pilgrimage began on 31st January 2009, the anniversary of his death and continues in Ireland until 7th March 2013. You can find details of the route on the Salesians visit website- http://www.donboscorelics.ie , where they also have lots of information on the visit, resources and videos.

Itinerary of the visit of the Relic of St John Bosco to Ireland

Happy Feast Day, St Francis!

Posted: January 24, 2013 in Feast Days
Tags: , ,

St Francis de Sales

Today is the feast day of St Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Confessor and Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of writers and journalists.

A man of great wisdom, here are three of my favourite quotes:

Why are you surprised when the weak turn out to be weak, and the frail, frail? When you turn out to be sinful? When you fall be gentle with your frail, weak heart. Lift up your heart gently; accept your failure without wallowing in your weakness. Admit your guilt in God’s sight. Then with good heart, with courage and confidence in His mercy, start over again.

Be who you are, and be that perfectly well!


The measure of love is to love without measure

The Holy Father welcoming journalists

Lance Armstrong

At the end of BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme, Jonathon Aitkin, the former conservative MP convicted of perjury in 1999 and Fr. Stephen Wang , Catholic priest and Dean of studies at Allen Hall seminary, discussed the capacity of confession in the light of Lance Armstrong’s “confession” to be broadcast soon on Oprah.

Jonathon Aitkin, an Anglican, compared confession as a transit stop on the way to repentance, observing confession is not a quick fix to putting something right. At its deepest level, confession has something to do with the heart, the spirit. It’s a spiritual journey.

Fr. Stephen Wang highlighted the elements of confession, saying it’s not just about going to confession, but you must have a genuine sorrow in your heart, it’s about promising to put things right, and, in Catholic terms, it about doing penance – bringing justice, healing and reconciliation, recognising you have done harm to others and that needs to be put right, and there will be some personal cost to that. Therefore it’s not simply suffering for one’s sake but its saying sorry and rebuilding relationships.

Aitkin reflects that it can be a painful journey that brings sense of relief, peace, and a feeling that some amends have been made.

The presenter asked Fr. Wang if atheists can confess?

Fr. Stephen Wang

Fr. Wang replied that there are different levels of confession that need to be recognised. Firstly, there is the therapeutic level, getting something off our chest. Secondly, there is the communal level- saying sorry and putting things right. Thirdly, there is the spiritual level, which brings spiritual healing. Catholics can find in this in God’s grace and Jesus Christ.

Reflecting on Armstrong’s confession, Aitkin says that if it is a genuine confession, he need not worry about the bucketfuls of cynicism that surround the interview because he will be doing it for an audience of one, not millions.

Fr. Wang hopes his “confession” will be genuine. He will be looking to see how his life had changed, and

if he makes personal apologies to the people he’s harmed.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux observed a sincere sign of repentance is avoiding the occasion of sin.

The interview is available here until 21/01/2013, and starts at 2:54:49.

Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation here.

Image

The path of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary (Marian consecration) was introduced by Saint Louis in the 18th Century.

Blessed John Paul II said of Marian consecration;

” … At one point I began to question any devotion to Mary, believing that, if it became too great, it might end up compromising the supremacy of the worship owed Christ. At that time, I was greatly helped by a book by Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort entitled ‘Treatise of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin.’ There I found the answers to my questions. Yes, Mary does bring us closer to Christ; she does lead us to him, provided that we live her mystery in Christ. . . . . thanks to Saint Louis, I began to discover the immense riches of Marian devotion from new perspectives.”

Blessed John Paul II’s papal motto Totus tuas reflects his personal devotion and consecration to Mary.

Consecration falls on a Marian feast therefore, preparation begins 33 days before hand, through a series of prayers by St Louis de Montford. Preparation for consecration can begin today, so that consecration falls on the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, the 11th February. You can follow it on Facebook.

Total consecration to Mary is something that should be undertaken after prayer and reflection, it is not a light hearted decision. To find out more information, or for alternative dates, visit Fisheaters 

St  Teresa tells us that she experienced continual periods of dryness in her prayer life. To combat this, she never began to pray without a book.

Below is a bookmark with some suggestions of books, mostly from saints, that may be useful for spiritual readings and aid prayer.

Why not print some copies and give them to friends and family members. You could also leave some at the back of the Church (ask your parish priest first) or in the adoration chapel.

Going a step further, you could give the gift of one of these books to someone, to encourage them on their Journey of Faith.

Guides to Prayer bookmark

St Nicholas' tomb stoneSaint Nicholas of Myra, is famed forfor his extraordinary generosity. As the Bishop of Lycia, he made anonymous donations to the poor. Shortly after his death in what is now Turkey in the 14th century, he was proclaimed a saint. Centuries later, his generosity inspired the modern day Santa Claus. However, where lie his earthly remains?

Some 800 years ago when war was breaking out in Europe, returning Crusaders secretly removed his relics and transported them to saftey to the corner of Europe – Ireland.

After reading an article in the Telegraph, I headed down to Jerpoint, Kilkenny, Ireland during my summer holidays. Jerpoint is a sleepy town, tucked in the winding roads of the Irish countryside. I have visited the Cistercian Abbey over the road many times, however I had failed to notice the resting place of Saint Nicholas over the road.

Understandibly so… off a winding country lane, I followed a long drive down to a country house, where the owner lead me across some fields and pointed me in the direction of a church standing in ruins… surrounded by sheep! I made my way through the gate and accross the field to the old church- the 13th century parish of St Nicholas. Next to the church lies a tombstone, marking the extraordinary saint’s final resting place.

 Gates leading to St Nicholas Parish ChurchSt Nicholas' tomb stoneSt Nicholas' parish church