Friday, 24 March 2017

Saint Catherine of Sweden


The 24th of March is the feast day of Saint Catherine of Sweden. She is the patron saint against abortions and miscarriages.

The following is from Butler's Lives of the Saints:

ST. CATHARINE was daughter of Ulpho, Prince of Nericia in Sweden, and of St. Bridget. The love of God seemed almost to prevent in her the use of her reason. At seven years of age she was placed in the nunnery of Risburgh, and educated in piety under the care of the holy abbess of that house. Being very beautiful, she was, by her father, contracted in marriage to Egard, a young nobleman of great virtue; but the virgin persuaded him to join with her in making a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. By her discourser he became desirous only of heavenly graces, arid, to draw them down upon his soul more abundantly, he readily acquiesced in the proposal. The happy couple, having but one heart and one desire, by a holy emulation excited each other to prayer, mortification, and works of charity. After the death of her father, St. Catharine, out of devotion to the Passion of Christ and to the relics of the martyrs, accompanied her mother in her pilgrimages and practices of devotion and penance. After her mother's death at Rome, in 1373, Catharine returned to Sweden, and died abbess of Vadzstena, or Vatzen, on the 24th of March in 1381. For the last twenty-five years of her life she every day purified her soul by a sacramental confession of her sins.
Reflection.—Whoever has to dwell in the world stands in need of great prudence; the Holy Scripture itself assures us that "the knowledge of the holy is prudence."
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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Saint Rafqa (Rebecca)

St Rafka ill in bed in her latter days
The 23rd of March is the feast day of Saint Rafqa (Arabic for Rebecca). She is the patron saint of sick people, bodily ills and loss of parents. 

She was born in Himlaya, a Maronite village in the mountains of Lebanon. An only child, her mother died when she was only seven years old. Her father then remarried. Later there was a family discord to whom Rafqa should be married to. However, Rafqa did not wish to marry any of the men and she entered religious life at 21 years old.  She was greatly devoted to Our Lady, through her mother and studied as a teacher. She witnessed and survive a Christian massacre and decided to become a cloistered contemplative nun at the age of 39. Rafqa prayed that she might share the sufferings of Christ and she became blind and paralysed. She died at the age of 82.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Saint Nicholas Owen

St Nicholas Owen being tortured in the Tower of London in 1606.
The 22nd of March is the feast day of Saint Nicholas Owen. 

Saint Nicholas was a son to an Oxford carpenter in England and became a carpenter as well. He joined the Jesuits as a lay brother though Catholicism was outlawed in England. He was jailed for defending the martyred Saint Edmund Campion, after which he began working and travelling with the Jesuits. He stayed in Catholic houses, making repairs during the day and during the night, created "priest-holes"; hiding places fo priests. His priest holes saved hundreds of lives over 20 years of his work. He and a Jesuit priest were betrayed by a household servant during a trip in London and were captured and tortured. Nicholas was released and he masterminded the priest's escape from the Tower of London. He was again a wanted man after the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.  He hid with the priests in one of the priest holes and were not discovered though 100 men searched for them. Nicholas left the hole disguised as a priest, after eight days of hiding without food, in order to protect the priests who were still hiding. He was captured and tortured on the rack in the Tower of London but he did not gave up an information about the hiden underground Catholic Church. He died as a martyr in 1606 and is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales.

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Saint Lea of Rome



The 22nd of March is the feast day of Saint Lea of Rome.

The only information we have of Saint Lea is from a letter by Saint Jerome to Saint Marcela. Saint Lea is a devout forth century widow who retired to a Roman monastery after the death of her husband and eventually became the monastery's Superior. In his letter, Saint Jerome wrote:
Who will praise the blessed Lea as she deserves? She renounced painting her face and adorning her head with shining pearls. She exchanged her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased to command others in order to obey all. She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of furniture; she spent her nights in prayer, and instructed her companions through her example rather than through protests and speeches. And she looked forward to her arrival in heaven in order to receive her recompense for the virtues which she practiced on earth. "So it is that thence forth she enjoyed perfect happiness. From Abraham's bosom, where she resides with Lazarus, she sees our consul who was once decked out in purple, now vested in a shameful robe, vainly begging for a drop of water to quench his thirst. Although he went up to the capital to the plaudits of the people, and his death occasioned widespread grief, it is futile for the wife to assert that he has gone to heaven and possesses a great mansion there. The fact is that he is plunged into the darkness outside, whereas Lea who was willing to be considered a fool on earth, has been received into the house of the Father, at the wedding feast of the Lamb. "Hence, I tearfully beg you to refrain from seeking the favors of the world and to renounce all that is carnal. It is impossible to follow both the world and Jesus. Let us live a life of renunciation, for our bodies will soon be dust and nothing else will last any longer.
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News: New pages and links

Hi all,

The following pages have been created:

  1. Confession - to aid with Reconciliation and examination of conscience
  2. Homily - updated daily with homilies for the Gospel reading of the day
  3. iBreviary - web app
  4. Catechism of the Catholic Church - the whole eBook
  5. About Today - feast day and liturgical colours


New links have been added:

  1. Bible
  2. Submit Prayer Intentions
  3. Catholic News

Have a blessed day everyone!



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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Saint Nicholas of Flue

Nicholas of Flüe, from the altar piece of the local parish church in Sachseln.
The 21st of March is the feast day of Saint Nicholas of Flue. He is the patron saint of Switzerland, Pontifical Swiss Guards. 

Sant Nicholas of Flue was born in Switzerland in 1417. He joined the army at the age of 21. He married in his mid twenties and had five sons and five daughters. He held several civil offices and was held in esteem by all due to his moral integrity. He became a hermit with the consent of his wife, after 25 years of marriage. He lived in a dwelling he made built of branches and only left it for daily mass. On behalf of his local people, he made penance, spending his days in prayer with his head and feet bare and wearing a tunic. He abstained totally from food and drink with the permission of the parish priest and this was confirmed as a miracle by the Church. He became known as a visionary and prophet, living like this for 20 years. People came from all over Europe to hear his counsel. He was assigned as a chaplain when the civil authorities built him a cell and chapel. When a civil war was imminent, he intervened as an arbiter which resulted in a union of French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. After his death in 1487, his hermitage became a site for pilgrimage.

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Saint Cathbert of Lindisfarne

Stained glass depicting St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, from Gloucester Cathedral.
The 20th of March is the feast day of Saint Cathbert of Lindisfarne. He is the patron saint of Northumbria.

He lived between 634 till 687 AD and was born in Scotland, and near Melrose Abbey monastery worked as a shepherd. He was prophesized to become a bishop one day by a child playmate. He saw St Aidan, the Bishop of Lindisfarne being carried to heaven by angels in a vision while he was tending to his sheep. This vision gave him the inspiration to be a monk. He spent time as a soldier in Northumbria, defending his home region against attack. When he came back he arrived at the monastery seeking entrance. The monks received him and he grew in learning and holiness and eventually withdrew to become a hermit. He was later persuaded to return to become the Bishop of Lindisfarne. After serving for a year, he became sick and died. Many miracles were reported at his grave, so much so that Cuthbert was called the "Wonder-worker of England."

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

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