…"If My people who bear My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My presence and turn from their wicked ways, I Myself will hear from Heaven and forgive their sins…" (2 Chron. 7:14) – "You will see that in prayer you will find more knowledge, more light, more strength, more grace and virtue than you could ever achieve by reading many books, or by great studies. Never consider as wasted the time you spend in prayer. You will discover that in prayer God communicates to you the light, strength and grace you need…" (Sr Lucia dos Santos)
O glorious St Mary Magdalene, model of those who truly desire to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the graces that will enable me to pour out my soul as sweet perfume upon the feet of my Saviour. You who mourned at the foot of the Cross and rejoiced at the Resurrection, intercede for me, for those who I now name (mention names) and for all who worship in churches dedicated in your name and to the Great Glory of God. Amen.
Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, St Junipero entered the Franciscan Order in 1730. He was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the priesthood. Later he joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico (1749). While travelling on foot from Vera Cruz to the capital, he injured his leg in such a way that he suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever possible.
He was assigned to the Sierra Gorda Missions some thirty leagues north of Queretaro. He served there for nine years, part of the time as superior, and learned the language of the local native Americans (Pame).
Recalled to Mexico, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people. He would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lighted torch to his bare chest. Early in 1769, he founded the first of the twenty-one California missions.
He suffered intensely from his crippled leg, yet he would use no remedies. Besides extraordinary fortitude, his most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God.
St Junipero died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784. (Excerpts from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913)
The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy. Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. “No,” she said, “he is to be called John.” They said to her, “But no one in your family has that name,” and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished.
At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about through the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. “What will this child turn out to be?” they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.
V. The Gospel of the Lord. R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
St Brendan was son of Findloga, and a disciple of St Finian at Clonard. Passing afterwards into Wales he lived some time under the discipline of St Gildas, and also several years in the abbey of Llan-Carven, in Glamorganshire. H built in Britain the monastery of Ailech, and another church in a territory called Heth.
Returning into Ireland he founded there several schools and monasteries, the chief of which was that of Cluain-Fearta. He wrote a monastic rule which was long famous in Ireland, taught some time at Ros-Carbre, and died at Enachduin, a monastery which he had built for his sister Briga, in Connaught.
He is named in the Roman Martyrology on the May 16, on which he passed to bliss, in the year 578, in the ninety-fourth year of his age.
Cluain, in the old Irish language signifies a retired or hidden place; and Fearta, wonders or miracles. – Excerpts from Fr. Butler’s “Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints
PRAYER: (this can be prayed as a novena)
Glorious St Brendan, who during thy mortal course here on earth placed all thy glory in the annihilation of thyself before Him, for whose glory, and at whose call you forsook all things, thy country as well as thy people and thy father’s house. Look down now from the bosom of that God Whom thou didst ardently love whilst in this land of danger and sorrow, and forget not the charge thou didst receive when I, thine unworthy client, was committed to thy care, and received thee as patron, protector and advocate with Him Who is so much outraged by my infidelity and imperfection. Animated with firm hope in that charity which consumed thee in the service of thy neighbour, I confidently look up to thee now, where charity is perfect, and implore thee to use thy powerful intercession with thy Creator to obtain for me that succour which I so much need to run faithfully the course on which I have entered. O most compassionate father, behold the barrenness of this garden of my soul, notwithstanding the care the divine husbandman takes to render it fruitful. Let that charity and compassion for the miserable which consumed thee here be excited towards me, who groan under the slavery of my evil habits. Come then, O holy St Brendan, and enable me to do violence to my perverse inclinations, and to pluck up those noxious weeds which disfigure the garden of my soul. Plant and nurture there, I beseech thee, those fragrant flowers which will render to the Heavenly Bridegroom such an odour of sweetness as will constrain Him to make His abode there. I most earnestly beseech thee to obtain for me in an especial manner the virtue of (name it) together with the gift of final perseverance that I may for ever share with thee the reward promised to those who faithfully follow Christ. Amen. – St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916
St Corona, feast day May 14 (SS Victor and Corona) was a 16-year-old Christian who was martyred for her faith in Damascus in the second century. St Corona stood up publicly for Victor, a Roman soldier who was being tortured because he had converted to Christianity. For this act she died a horrific death. She was tied to two palm trunks that had been bent to the ground and when they whipped back up her body was torn to pieces. She is invoked by treasure hunters and people who play the lottery. Recently, her prayers to the Divine Physician are requested by those affected by Covid-19.
27th APRIL: ST ZITA – LIVING CHRIST’S GOSPEL THROUGH HOUSEWORK
As a dedicated house-servant, St Zita quickly became a saint for domestic servants to invoke. Today domestic servants are fewer. Nonetheless, Zita still remains a saint for women engaged in the humdrum but necessary tasks of housekeeping, whether in their home or for someone else.
Zita was born in Monte Sagrati, Italy. Her parents were devout Christians, and their devotion shaped the outlook of Zita and the other children. In those days, Tuscany had no laws restricting child labour. Therefore, when she was only twelve, Zita started her lifetime job as one of the house-servants of a man named Pagano di Fatinelli. He lived in the nearby city of Lucca and ran a prosperous weaving business.
Zita, despite her youth, brought with her a mature sense of piety. From the outset, she would rise at night to pray, and in the early morning attend Mass before work-hours began. At first this annoyed her fellow-servants. She worked harder than was necessary, they thought. Her unwillingness to engage in coarse talk they took as criticism of themselves – as did her rejection of the free-and-easy attentions of the men-servants. For a time, her fellow domestics even persuaded Pagano to misjudge Zita. Meanwhile, the little girl went right ahead with her diligent work and her spiritual programme, bearing with great patience these petty trials. Eventually, her perseverance won over the opposition. Her fellow employees came to respect her convictions, and Pagano and his wife counted themselves lucky to possess such a jewel of a servant.
Zita’s principle was that her work was a part of her service to God. ‘A servant is not good,’ she used to say, ‘if she is not industrious: work-shy piety in people of our position is a sham.’ Pagano eventually made her his official housekeeper. But, although he now respected her, he still had a violent temper, so she had to treat him carefully.
THE AMAZING MULTIPLICATION OF BEANS
Once, for instance, Zita dug very deeply into the family store of beans in order to help the poor. She told her mistress this, but both of them feared the reaction of Pagano when he found out. Wouldn’t you know it, he asked soon afterwards for an inventory of the beans. He had decided to sell a large part of them. Zita asked God to take over, and her prayer was answered miraculously. When the store of beans was examined, there were still just as many as there had been before Zita had doled them out.
THE WONDERFUL RE-APPEARANCE OF THE HEAVY COAT
God helped this servant miraculously, or at least providentially, on other occasions as well. One cold Christmas Dy when she set out for early Mass, Pagano threw his expensive coat over her shoulders to keep her warm. At the same time, he warned her not to lose the coat. But at church Zita encountered a half-naked man trembling with cold. She loaned him the coat for the duration of the Mass. At the end of Mass, however, the man and the coat both disappeared.
We may well imagine Pagano’s volcanic fury when his housekeeper humbly told him the story. However, just as they sat down to their Christmas dinner, a stranger appeared at the door and handed the coat back. When the boss and housekeeper tried to engage him in conversation, he disappeared. Nevertheless, both felt in their hearts that something wonderful had just happened. Ever since then, the people of Lucca have given the name ‘The Angel Door’ to the church entrance where Zita loaned the freezing man Pagano’s fur coat.
Zita was far more upset by the veneration people tried to show her than by all the rages of Pagano. As she grew older, her domestic duties were reduced, but she simply spent more time visiting the sick and imprisoned. She prayed with special intensity for prisoners condemned to death.
Zita the housekeeper, now aged sixty, died peacefully on April 27, 1278. Her tomb-shrine is in the church of San Frediano where she hd long attended daily Mass. On September 26, 1953, Pope Pius XII declared her the patron saint of domestic workers.
Housewives, in the kitchen, that includes you, too! – This article by Fr Robert McNamara entitled “Saints Alive” was published in the “Divine Mercy Newsletter” 2013 Vol.71.
Born in Wales on a clifftop during a violent storm around A.D. 500, Saint David, who belonged to an aristocratic family, became a famous preacher and founded monasteries and churches from Wales to Brittany.
He lived an ascetical life which he shared with others. His Rule forbade the eating of meat.
It is said that he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was made a bishop by the patriarch. After his death, his shrine in West Wales became an important place of pilgrimage.
O God, who graciously bestowed on Your
Bishop Saint David of Wales
the virtue of wisdom and the gift of eloquence,
and made him an example of prayer and pastoral zeal;
grant that, through his intercession,
Your Church may ever prosper and render You
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
the Little Flower; please pick me a
rose from the Heavenly Garden
and send it to me with a
message of Love.
Ask God to grant the favour I thee
implore and tell Him
I will love Him each day
more and more.
Thomas the Apostle, also called the Twin, was a Galilean. After he had received the Holy Spirit, he travelled through many provinces, preaching the Gospel of Christ.
He transmitted the precepts of the Christian faith and life to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, and Bactrians. He finally went to India and instructed the inhabitants in the Christian religion.
Up to the last, by the holiness of his life and teaching, and by the greatness of the miracles which he wrought, he excited the admiration of all men, and led them to the love of Jesus Christ.
The king of the nation, a worshipper of idols, was furiously angry; by whose orders he was condemned to be pierced by javelins, and the crown of martyrdom decorated the glory of his apostolate at Calamina. (text from: Breviary 1964)