- Thursday, 31 March 2016 08:06
Today, the 71st anniversary of the transitus (the death) of Saint Maria Skobtsova of Paris (1891-1945). She was Latvian by birth. Saint Maria is an Orthodox nun who was killed in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, along with her son, Yuri. Saint Maria Skobtsova is known as the Orthodox Dorothy Day, or the Orthodox Woman of the Beatitudes.
Jim Forrest writes, “She was certain that there was no other path to heaven than participating in God’s mercy. As she wrote: “The way to God lies through love of people. At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, nor how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked. About every poor, hungry and imprisoned person the Savior says ‘I’: ‘I was hungry and thirsty, I was sick and in prison.’ To think that he puts an equal sign between himself and anyone in need…. I always knew it, but now it has somehow penetrated to my sinews. It fills me with awe.”
A short biography of her: “Mother Maria of Paris: Saint of the Open Door” by Jim Forest
A few icons of Saint Maria of Paris
A page of links relating to her and her co-workers
- Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:19
“Early in the morning of March 23rd, 1994, God called his good and faithful servant to Himself. Bishop del Portillo had returned only a few hours before from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where, with deep prayer and piety, he had followed Jesus’ footsteps from Nazareth to the Holy Sepulcher. He had celebrated his last Mass on earth in the Church of the Cenacle in Jerusalem. Later that day, Pope John Paul II came to pray before Bishop del Portillo’s remains, which now lie in the crypt of the Church of the Prelature, Our Lady of Peace at Bruno Buozzi 75, Rome.”
- Saturday, 19 March 2016 07:16
Saint Joseph’s a prime example of what it means to be self-giving and faithful in one’s love. His feast today, is a good opportunity each of us to renew our commitment to the Christian calling God has given each of us. Consider praying on the theological virtues of faith, hope, love: these are the supports of Saint Joseph’s life and of all Christian lives.
O Glorious St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage
to the most Loving of Fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me,
and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls,
pray for us, through Christ Our LORD. Amen.
- Thursday, 17 March 2016 14:48
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
“The Miracle of St. Patrick”
- Tuesday, 23 February 2016 07:26
Bishop of Smyrna (Asia Minor), Polycarp was martyred between 155 and 167. Aside from an epistle he wrote to the Philippians and a letter addressed to him by Ignatius of Antioch, he is known especially for the account of his martyrdom, the first such account to be written after the narrative of Stephen’s martyrdom in the Acts of the Apostles.This extraordinary narrative was composed shortly after Polycarp’s death. Many passages should be quoted here, like this one, where the governor invites Polycarp to curse Christ. Here is the bishop’s response: “For eighty six years I have been his servant and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme against my king and savior?” This text is also the first one where we find a mention of the cult of relics and of the celebration of the anniversary of the martyrdom: “Collecting the remains that were dearer to us than precious stones and finer than gold, we buried them in a fitting spot. Gathering there, so far as we can, in joy and gladness, we will be allowed by the Lord to celebrate the anniversary day of his martyrdom, both as a memorial for those who have already fought the contest and for the training and preparation of those who will do so one day.”
(H. Musurillo [ed.], The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, Oxford, 1972, pp. 9, 17).
Illustr.: St Polycarp. Martyrdom of St Polycarp – Menologion of Basil II (Vatican).