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Monthly Archives: December 2015

ST THOMAS BECKET – HIS MURDER AT CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL WAS WITNESSED FIRST HAND

• “‘Who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?’ (Luke 22:27)

 

• ‘Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are ‘consecrated to be… a royal priesthood’ (CCC 1546)

 

• St Thomas Becket is the Patron saint of English priests. They are blessed because of this and stand on the broad shoulders of this manly and courageous saint. His murder in Canterbury cathedral was witnessed first hand. Like St Stephen, with blood streaming down his face he prayed, ‘Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.’ His last words as he lay dying were, ‘For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death.’ We pray for our clergy that they would know a renewal of their grace of ordination and dedicate their lives in a new way to the building of the kingdom of heaven.

 

• St Thomas Becket, pray for us. St Thomas Becket, pray for our priests and give them strength to live out their holy vocation.

 

• Our Father…, Ten Hail Mary…, Glory be…

 

• Today my prayer is for…”

– From the Resource for the Year of Faith 2012 by Alive Publishing.

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A PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY

Lord Jesus Christ,

who, being made subject

to Mary and Joseph,

did consecrate domestic life

by Your unspeakable virtues;

grant that we,

with the assistance of both,

may be taught by the example

of Your Holy Family,

and may attain to

its everlasting fellowship.

Who lives and reigns,

world without end.

Amen.

 

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CHRISTMAS: PRAYER TO BEGIN A NEW LIFE

CHRISTMAS: PRAYER TO BEGIN A NEW LIFE

O Lord,

we desire to live the birth of Your Son

in all its truth and riches.

We want to welcome the God who comes

to pitch His tent among us.

We wish to give thanks for so great a gift

and to begin a new life –

the life that You bestow on us

for our true happiness.

 

Help us to throw off all fear,

all laziness,

and all infidelity.

Everything is possible for us now,

since Jesus is born with and for us.

Amen.

 

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ADVENT PRAYER OF THE GREAT “O” ANTIPHONS

ADVENT PRAYER OF THE GREAT “O” ANTIPHONS

O Wisdom,

holy Word of God,

You rule all creation with power and true concern.

Come to teach us the way of salvation.

 

O sacred Lord,

and Leader of ancient Israel,

You communicated with Moses at the burning bush

and gave him the law on Mount Sinai.

Come to set us free by Your mighty arm.

 

O Root of Jesse,

raised up as a sign of all peoples,

in Your presence kings become mute

and the nations worship before You.

Come to deliver us and do not delay.

 

O Key of David,

and Royal Power of Israel,

You open what no one can shut,

and You shut what no one can open.

Come and deliver Your people

imprisoned by darkness and the shadows of death.

 

O Radiant Dawn,

You are the Brightness of eternal light

and the Sun of justice.

Come to enlighten those who sit in darkness

and in the shadow of death.

 

O King of the Gentiles

and the longed-for Ruler of the nations,

You are the cornerstone Who make all one.

Come and save those whom You have created.

 

O Emmanuel,

our King and our Lawgiver,

You are the Desired of the nations

and the Saviour of all people.

Come to save us, O Lord our God.

 

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FR JOHN ALMOND, CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR FOR THE FAITH

“It was while Speke Hall was still in Catholic hands that Rev. John Almond died for the Catholic Faith. He was born about the year 1577 at Speke, so one account says, or on the borders of Alperton, as he himself states in his examination. He went to school at Much Woolton, and passed thence to the English College at Rheims and then to that at Rome. Little is known of his life on the Mission, but the following account of him is given in Challoner’s Memoirs of Missionary Priests:

 

…came to suffer at Tyburn for the Catholic religion…

 

‘On Saturday, being 5th December, 1612, between 7 and 8 in the morning, came to suffer at Tyburn for the Catholic religion John Almond, a man of the age of 45, by his own relation; yet in his countenance more grave and staid, beginning to be besprinkled with hairs that were white – who having tarried beyond the seas about ten years to enable himself by his studies returned into his native country, where he exercised a holy life with all sincerity, and a singular good content to those that knew him, and worthily deserved both a good opinion of his learning and sanctity of life… full of courage and ready to suffer for Christ, that suffered for him.’

 

‘Ready to suffer for Christ, that suffered for him’

 

Mr. Almond, Challoner says, was apprehended on March 22, 1612, and brought before Mr. John King, lately advanced to the bishopric in London. At his examination he showed wonderful courage and most extraordinary acuteness, as the following will show. [A – Rev. John Almond; B – Anglican Bishop John King]

 

B. What is your name? A. My name is Francis. B. What else? A. Lathome. B. Is not your name Molyneux? A. No. B. I think I shall prove it to be so. A. You will have more to do than you ever had to do in your life. B. What countryman are you? A. A Lancashire man. B. In what place were you born? A. About Allerton. B. About Allerton! Mark the equivocation. Then not in Allerton? A. No equivocation. I was not born in Allerton, but in the edge or side of Allerton. B. You were born under a hedge then, were you? A. Many a better man than I, or you either, has been born under a hedge. B. What! you cannot remember that you were born in a house? A. Can you? B. My mother told me so. A. Then you remember not that you were born in a house, but only that your mother told you so; so much I remember, too. B. Were you ever beyond the seas? A. I have been in Ireland. B. How long since you came thence? A. I remember not how long since, neither is it material. B. Here is plain speaking, is it not? A. More plain than you would give, if you were examined yourself before some of ours in another place. A. I ask, are you a priest? A. I am not Christ; and unless I were Christ in your own grounds, I cannot be a priest. B. Are you a priest, yes or no? A. No man accuseth me. B. Then this is all the answer I shall have? A. All I can give unless proof come in. B. Where have you lived, and in what have you spent your time? A. Here is an orderly course of justice sure! What is it material where I have lived, or how I have spent my time, all the while I am accused of no evil?

 

He flung some three or four pounds in silver amongst the poor that crowded about the scaffold

 

He thus continued to parry the questions put to him through a long and tedious examination, after which he was committed to Newgate Prison, from whence after some months he was brought to trial, upon an indictment of high treason, for having taken orders beyond the sea by authority of the See of Rome, and for remaining in this country contrary to the laws. At his trial he showed the same vivacity of wit and resolution as he had done in his examination, but was brought in guilty by the jury, though he neither denied nor confessed his being a priest; and what proofs were brought of his being such do not appear.

 

At his execution he prayed earnestly for the king and all the royal family, and that his posterity might inherit the crown of England for ever. He flung some three or four pounds in silver amongst the poor that crowded about the scaffold, saying: ‘I have not much to bestow or give, for the keeper of Newgate hath been somewhat hard unto me and others that way, whom God forgive, for I do. For, I having been prisoner there since March, we have been ill-treated continually, for we were all put down into the hole or dungeon, or place called Little Ease, whence was removed since we came thither two or three cart-loads of filth or dirt; we were kept twenty-four hours without bread, meat or drink, loaded with irons, lodging on the damp ground, and so continued for ten days or thereabouts.’

 

‘Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my soul’

 

He gave the executioner a piece of gold, and desired him to give him a sign when the cart was to be drawn away, so that he might die with the name of Jesus in his mouth. He often repeated the words, ‘Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my soul,’ and at the sign being given, he cried, ‘Jesu, Jesu, Jesu,’ and than hanging for the space of three Paters [‘Our Father’, i.e. The Lord’s Prayer], some of the bystanders pulling him by the legs to dispatch his life, he was cut down and quartered, his soul flying quickly to Him who redeemed us all. So far the manuscript written by an eyewitness, says Bishop Challoner, who adds: ‘Mr. Almond suffered at Tyburn, December 5, 1612, in the forty-fifth year of his age, the eleventh of his Mission.”

– From: Old Catholic Lancashire, Dom F. O. Blundell, Burns Oates & Washbourne, Publishers to the Holy See, London 1925

 

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LIFT UP YOUR HEADS, O MIGHTY GATES (ADVENT HYMN)

 

1. Lift up your heads, O mighty gates;

behold the King of glory waits!

The King of kings is drawing near;

the Saviour of the world is here.

 

2. O blest the land, the city blest,

where Christ the ruler is confest!

O happy hearts and happy homes

to whom this king of triumph comes!

 

3. Fling wide the portals of your heart;

make it a temple, set apart

from earthly use for heav’n’s employ,

adorned with prayer and love and joy.

 

4. Come, Saviour, come with us abide;

our hearts to you we open wide:

your Holy Spirit guide us on,

until your glorious goal is won.

 

– tr. Catherine Winkworth

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Inspirational Hymns

 

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BLESSED ANWARITE NENGAPETA: SHE STILL HAD THE STRENGTH TO SAY, “I FORGIVE YOU”

Blessed Anwarite Nengapeta, Virgin; Memorial: December 1

Anwarite Nengapeta was born in Wamba (Dem. Congo) in 1939. She joined the local Holy Family Sisters and took her vows in 1959, taking the name of Sr Marie Clementine.

In 1964 all the nuns of the Bafwabaka community were deported by the Simba rebels.

At night they were taken to a military house, where Colonel Olombe tried to force Sr Anwarite and Sr Bokuma to have sexual intercourse with him. Both refused categorically in spite of the violence to which they were subjected.

Sr Bokuma fainted, her arm broken in three places. Sr Anwarite continued to resist, saying she would rather die than commit a sin. Between the blows she had the strength to say: “I forgive you, for you do not know what you are doing.” In his anger the colonel had her stabbed many times with a bayonet and finally took out his revolver and shot her. She died a few minutes later. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1985.

From: The Sisters of St Peter Claver, Bromley, Kent (Mission Calendar)

 

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