Monday, 31 August 2015

31st August - Aidan of Lindisfarne

Aidan of Lindisfarne, d651

Aidan, apostle of Northumbria, Irish monk and missionary who restored Christianity to Northumbria. He founded a monastic cathedral on Lindisfarne, served as its first bishop, and travelled throughout the countryside spreading the gospel to the great and good, the poor and the not so good. Aidan was responsible for the construction of churches, monasteries and schools and gained a reputation for his charity and dedication to the poor, shown through his provision of room, board and education to orphans and buying freedom for slaves. 

Aidan's Prayer
God is within
God in my head and in my thinking
God in my eyes and in my seeing
God in my mouth and in my speaking
God in my heart and in my loving
God in my hands and in each action
God in my feet and on each journey
God within me and without me
God in the heart of friend and stranger
God in the other who comes to me.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

30th August - Pammachius

Pammachius, d409

Senator, monk, servant of the poor, builder of a hospice for strangers


As a young man Pammachius attended schools of rhetoric. He married Paulina in 385 and was a friend and defender of Jerome. On Paulina's death in 397, Pammachius became a monk, wore a habit and gave himself to works of charity. He held church in his home and built a hospice at Porto for poor strangers. The site has since been excavated, revealing a plan with rooms and halls for the sick and poor. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

29th August - Beheading of John the Baptist

The Beheading of John the Baptist, Caravaggio
Herod, ruler of Galilee under the Roman Empire, imprisoned John the Baptist because he spoke out against him for divorcing his wife and unlawfully taking the wife of his brother. On Herod's birthday, Salome (daughter of Herod's second wife) danced before the king and his guests. Her dancing pleased Herod so much that in his drunkenness he promised to give her anything she desired. When the daughter asked her mother what she should request, she was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although Herod was appalled by the request, he reluctantly agreed and had John executed.

The commemoration of the Beheading of St John the Baptist is almost as old as that commemorating his birth, which is one of the oldest feasts to honour a saint. Some observe this day with fasting, and some will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat round food on this day.

Collect of the day

Almighty God,
who didst call thy servant John the Baptist
to be in birth and death the forerunner of thy blessed Son:
strengthen us by thy grace
that, as he suffered for the truth,
so may we boldly withstand corruption and vice
and receive with him the unfading crown of glory;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. 

Friday, 28 August 2015

28th August - Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo, 354 – 430

Patron of brewers, printers & theologians

Augustine is a central figure in Western thought, one of the architects of the Christian faith as it emerged from the East in the 5th Century.  He was a scholar, theologian, pastor and teacher.

Augustine was born in 354 in Algeria. His mother, Monica, was a devout Christian and his father Patricius was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed.

At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus where he became familiar with Latin literature as well as pagan beliefs and practices. From an early age he recognised his  nature was flawed. 'It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself."  
At the age of 17 Augustine went to Carthage to continue his education. Although raised as a Christian, Augustine left the church to follow the Manichaean religion, much to his mother's despair.

At about the age of 19, Augustine began an affair with a young woman in Carthage. Though his mother wanted him to marry a person of his class, the woman remained his lover for over fifteen years and gave birth to his son. In 385, Augustine ended his relationship with his lover in order to prepare himself to marry a ten year old heiress (he was to marry her when she reached the legal age of twelve years old). Augustine eventually broke off his engagement to his eleven-year-old fiancée, but never renewed his relationship with either of his lovers.

In the summer of 386, at the age of 31, Augustine converted to Christianity. As Augustine later told it, his conversion was prompted by a childlike voice he heard telling him to "take up and read" which he took as a divine command to open the Bible and read. In 391 Augustine was ordained a priest in Algeria. In 395 he was made Bishop of Hippo and he continued in that role until his death in 430.

Collect for the Day:

Merciful Lord,
who turned Augustine from his sins
      to be a faithful bishop and teacher:
grant that we may follow him in penitence and discipline
till our restless hearts find their rest in you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

27th August - Margaret the Barefooted

Margaret the Barefooted (1325 – 1395)

Patron of brides, difficult marriages, victims of abuse & widows

Born into a poor family in San Severino, Italy, Margaret was married at 15 and suffered abuse from her husband for years because of her dedication to the Church and to helping the poor and sick. She walked barefooted as a beggar to better associate herself with the poor. She died widowed of natural causes.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26th August - Adrian of Nicomedia

Adrian of Nicomedia, d306

Adrian is protector against the plague and patron of old soldiers, arms dealers, butchers and communications phenomena (??). He was second only to St. George as military saint. He is usually represented armed with an anvil in his hands or at his feet.

Adrian lived in Nicomedia during the time of Emperor Maximian in the early fourth century. Aged 28, Adrian was head of the praetorium. It is said that while presiding over the torture of a group of Christians, he asked them what reward they expected to receive from God. They replied, 

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" 
(1 Corinthians 2:9).

Upon hearing this, Adrian told the scribes recording the proceedings, "Write my name down here also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God.” He was so amazed at their courage that he publicly confessed his faith. He was then immediately imprisoned himself.

The scribes reported this confession to the emperor, who summoned Adrian before him. Incredulous that one of his honoured guards would turn to Christianity, he asked, "Really, have you gone mad, that you want to die? Come, cross out your name from the list and offer sacrifice to the gods, asking their forgiveness.” Adrian answered, "I have not lost my mind, but rather have I found it.”

He was forbidden visitors, but accounts state that his wife Natalia came to visit him dressed as a boy to ask for his prayers when he entered Heaven. Adrian died in 306.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

25th August

St Æbbe the Elder
c615 – 683

Founder of the monasteries at Ebchester and St Abb's Head.

Æbbe was a princess, the daughter of King Æthelfrith, first king of Northumbria and friend of Aidan of Lindisfarne. After King Æthelfrith had been defeated and killed by invaders, Æbbe, her mother and brothers fled north in exile. It was during this time that she and her brothers were converted to Christianity.

After their eventual return, and with her brothers on the throne of Northumbria, Æbbe returned from exile and established a monastery at Ebchester and later at St Abb's Head. This religious house was a double separate monastery of both monks and nuns governed by Æbbe. Legend says she became a nun to avoid the attentions of Prince Aidan.

She eventually died in 683. After her death the community fell into disorder and through carelessness the monastery caught light and was burnt to the ground. The monastic site was abandoned. Coldingham Priory was re-established in 1098 by King Edgar of Scotland further inland than the orginal monastery.

Æbbe was a great teacher and politician, bringing Christianity to the then pagan Angles who had been settling along the east coast of Britain.

Monday, 24 August 2015

24th August

Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle

Bartholomew, martyr, one of the Twelve Apostles,  thought to be a doctor in the Jewish law, friend of Philip and a man "in whom there was no guile". After Pentecost, Bartholomew travelled to Asia Minor, northwestern India and Armenia, where while preaching, he was arrested and condemned to death.

Bartholomew is the Patron of bookbinders, butchers, cobblers, Florentine cheese merchants, Florentine salt merchants, leather workers, nervous diseases, neurological diseases, plasterers, shoemakers, tanners, trappers, twitching and ....... Armenia. His symbols are a tanner's knife and book and skin, due to the rather horrible way in which he was killed. He is often portrayed as an elderly man holding a tanner's knife or even as a skinless man holding his own skin.

Each year in Sandwich, Kent, there is a St Bartholomew's Bun Race. Children run around the church of St Bart's. After completing the circuit they are given a bun and the adults are given a biscuit especially baked for the occasion. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

23rd August

Éogan of Ardstraw

Saint Éogan, founder of the monastery of Ardstraw

The name Eogan means "born under the protection of the sacred yew tree". The yew, believed to be the oldest of trees, has hard wood.

Eogan was born in Leinster, the area where Christianity first reached Ireland. As a boy he studied at Clones, and it was from there that he was carried off to Britain by pirates, and subsequently he was taken captive to Brittany. On obtaining his freedom, he went to study at St. Ninian's Candida Casa (the name given to the church established by St Ninian in Whithorn, Galloway, Scotland. The name derives from Latin: casa - hut and candida - shining or glittering white).

On returning to Ireland, he made a foundation at Kilnamanagh where he trained “not a few bishops and very many priests”. He founded a monastic house at Ardstraw and became a missionary and pilgrim. So great was his reputation that he was consecrated first Bishop of Ardstraw about the year 581.

It is said of Eogan that while going through forests near Wicklow he sang fifty psalms and when his attendant answered "Amen" at the end of the Lord's Prayer, the trees all around also answered "Amen".

Saturday, 22 August 2015

22nd August

Symphorian & Timothy

The Martyrdom of St. Symphorian - Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Two Christian martyrs who, though unrelated and killed in different places and at different times, share a common feast day. Whilst we don't know much about either there are some remarkable art works and churches in memory of both.


Symphorian was beheaded for not worshipping the pagan goddess Cybele. Symphorian is said to have asked for tools to destroy the statue. He was arrested and flogged and, because he was from a noble family, he was given a chance to recant, and was offered bribes to do so, but, sticking to hi faith, he declined. His mother was present at her son's death. There is a St. Symphorian's Church at Veryan, Cornwall.


Timothy came from Antioch to Rome where he preached for fifteen months and lived with Sylvester, who later became pope. The prefect of the city, Tarquinus Perpenna, threw him into prison, tortured, and finally beheaded him in 311. A Christian woman named Theon buried him in her garden. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

21st August

Abraham of Smolensk

Archimandrite, wonder-worker, man of austerity, Abraham was a monk in his hometown of Smolensk. 

He had 12 older sisters, was orphaned whilst young, and although growing up in a wealthy home, Abraham gave away his wealth and became a monk, engaging in mendicant preaching and study. He is described as being a man of stern and militant character who kept the idea of the Last Judgement in the minds of himself and others. He was very popular among the laity as he worked for the sick and troubled. He was less popular with the other clergy. Abraham made many enemies in his religious community, and he eventually withdrew from his monastery and joined the monks of the Holy Cross. He was not well received there either, and charges of heresy, immorality, and pride were made against him. After separate trials cleared him of these charges, Abraham was ordered back to Smolensk, serving as an archimandrite and eventually living more peacefully and living out his vocation.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

20th August

William Booth
1829 - 1912

"the world's best-loved man” and "The Archbishop of the World"

Founder of The Salvation Army.

Aged 13, his father sent him to work as an apprentice in a pawnbroker's shop. It was here that his social conscience was stirred and he became aware of the plight of the poor. William attended the Broad Street Wesley Chapel and in 1844 he had a conversion experience, noting that: "It was in the open street (of Nottingham) that this great change passed over me".

He delivered his first sermon in Kid Street. In 1849 William moved to London to find work. Through church he was introduced to his future wife, Catherine, and they married, forming a formidable partnership. Four years later William started his first open air evangelistic campaign in Whitechapel, preaching in a tent. A Mission was born and in 1878 it was renamed The Salvation Army. Booth continued preaching and in 1904, always eager to make use of new technology, embarked on his first motor tour, travelling from Land's End to Aberdeen. Six more motor tours followed with further tours of Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the Holy Land.

After his death in 1912, he was described as "the world's best-loved man” and "The Archbishop of the World."

Salvation Army - International statistics (as of 1 January 2014)

Number of corps: 15,409
Number of officers: 26,359
Number of employees: 108,786
Soldiers: 1,150,666
Adherent members: 169,144
Junior soldiers: 368,749
Senior band musicians: 27,578
Songsters: 101,924
Sunday school members: 616,093

Community development programmes: 10,859 (number of beneficiaries: 1,087,781)
Homeless hostels: 407 (capacity: 23,752)
Residential addiction dependency programmes: 281 (capacity: 19,800)
Children's homes: 224 (capacity: 9,739)
Homes for elderly persons: 178 (capacity: 7,482)
Mother and baby homes: 45 (capacity: 1,308)
Refuges: 64 (capacity: 1,934)
Community day care centres: 611
Non-residential addiction rehabilitation centres: 91

Services to the armed forces: 86 projects
Disaster rehabilitation schemes: 180 (serving 1,035,396 people)
Prisoners visited: 230,113

General hospitals: 21
Maternity hospitals: 15
Specialist hospitals: 7

Quite a legacy!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

19th August

Sebaldus (Sebald, Sinibaldo)

Patron Saint of Nuremberg, of Bavaria, and of those who experience cold weather

Almost all details of the life of Sebaldus are uncertain apart from him living in a forest near Nuremberg. Some say he was a Frankish nobleman who became a missionary. Others claim he was the son of the king of Denmark. And some believe him to be a student who married a French princess, but abandoned her on their wedding night to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. Some even believe he was born in England!

Whatever the insecure historicity of Sebaldus might be, he has been long associated with Nuremberg, which then became a place of pilgrimage. Many children born there bore the saint’s name. In 1508-19, Peter Vischer the Elder and his sons fabricated a Late Gothic bronze tomb in the Church of St. Sebaldus, considered a masterpiece of the German Renaissance. In Italy, where he is venerated as San Sinibaldo, an altar was dedicated to him in the Venetian church of San Bartolomeo sul Rialto.

Amongst the stories surrounding this surprisingly mysterious man:

  • he converted stones to bread and water to wine to feed his fellow missionaries
  • he burned icicles as firewood in the dead of winter to keep the poor from freezing
  • when he was being heckled by a profane blasphemer, Sebaldus prayed, and the earth opened up to swallow the pagan; as he fell into the earth, the heckler asked for forgiveness; he was spat back out
  • when a poor peasant was blind by his lord, Sebaldus restored the man’s missing eyes by praying over him

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

18th August

Alberto Hurtado
1901 - 1952

I hold that every poor man, every vagrant, every beggar is Christ carrying his cross. And as Christ, we must love and help him. We must treat him as a brother, a human being like ourselves. If we were to start a campaign of love for the poor and homeless, we would, in a short time, do away with depressing scenes of begging, children sleeping in doorways and women with babies in their arms fainting in our streets. St. Alberto Hurtado

Chilean priest, lawyer, social worker, educationalist and writer, he served the poor in Chile and founded the Hogar de Cristo for young people.

Born in Chile, Hurtado was four when his father died. He grew up in financially challenging circumstances but gained a scholarship for Jesuit school in Santiago. He studied law and
entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus. After studying philosophy and theology in Spain and Belgium he was ordained priest in 1933.

In 1940 he began working for Catholic Action and in the following year became the national director of the youth organisation. He published Is Chile a Catholic Country? stirring up considerable controversy with some critics labelling him a “communist.”

Alberto Hurtado founded his own organisation for poor and abandoned young people, Hogar de Cristo. The Hogar de Cristo shelters quickly spread throughout Chile and served thousands of needy youngsters.

He established the Trade Union Association of Chile and published three volumes on the labor movement.

During the 1990s there was a TV series: "Chronicles of a Holy Man" dedicated to him. He remains very popular in Chile to this day. His Facebook page has more than 50,000 followers.

Monday, 17 August 2015

17th August

Jeanne Delanoue
1666 - 1736

Jeanne was born in Anjoú, France, the youngest of twelve children. Her father was a draper, her mother ran a shop selling religious goods to pilgrims to a local shrine of the Virgin Mary.

Throughout much of her childhood Jeanne was described as very selfish, bad-tempered, egotistical, thinking only of herself. She took over the family business at the age of 25 after her mother died. She grew the business, provided accommodation to pilgrims who were visiting the shrine, and, controversially, opened her shop on Sundays.

On Pentecost 1693 Jeanne met a widow and pilgrim who predicted that Jeanne would one day spend her life caring for the poor. Though Jeanne, and everyone else, was skeptical, time passed, and she did indeed begin caring for orphans and living a spiritual life. She closed the family business and gave herself fully to caring for the poor. Jeanne founded the Sisters of Saint Anne of Providence of Samur. She died on 17 August 1736.

At the time of her death there were twelve communities of her sisters spread throughout France, serving the poor and needy. She had also founded a number of homes for the poor and schools. Today, there are 400 sisters in France, Madagascar, and Sumatra.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

16th August

St Roch
1348 – 1380?

St Roch Visited by an Angel in Prison, Tintoretto, San Rocco, Venice

St Roch, patron saint of pestlince and plague, dogs, people who have been falsely accused, bachelors, surgeons and tile makers. Also called Rock in English.

Born in Montpellier, son of the governor, he went on pilgrimage to Rome and devoted himself to caring for the victims of a plague. He became a victim himself and was reportedly kept alive in woods by food brought to him by a dog. He recovered and, on his return to Montpellier, he was imprisoned for five years as a spy in pilgrim's disguise when his uncle, who was governor, ordered him imprisoned. His uncle failed to recognise him and Roch failed to identify himself. Whilst imprisoned, Roch was cared for by an angels after his death he was identified as the former governor's son by a birthmark in the form of a cross on his chest.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

15th August

Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Virgin Mary - Rubens

This painting of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary is by Rubens, completed in 1626 as an altarpiece for the high altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, where it remains. A choir of angels lifts Mary in a spiraling motion toward a burst of divine light. Around her tomb are gathered the 12 apostles — some with their arms raised in awe; others reaching to touch her discarded shroud. The women in the painting are thought to be Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary's two sisters. A kneeling woman holds a flower, referring to the lilies that miraculously filled the empty coffin. The Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady opened a competition for an Assumption altar in 1611. Rubens submitted models, and, 5 years later, he completed the piece.

Teaching of the Assumption of Mary became widespread across the Christian world, having been celebrated as early as the 5th century. For many countries around the world today is a national holiday and is celebrated as the feast day of the Assumption of Mary, when God “assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven” following her death.

Many attend church services, there are village festivals, sports events, parades, markets, communal meals and firework displays. In Sao Paulo the feast is known as “Our Lady of the Navigators”. Pageants are held on decorated canoes, each carrying a captain, a purser, three musicians, and two rowers. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

14th August

Maximilian Kolbe
1894 – 1941

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz during World War II.

Kolbe was canonized by Pope John Paul II and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century".


“No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?” 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

13th August

Florence Nightingale

1820 – 1910

Florence Nightingale, social reformer, statistician and nurse was born in Florence, Italy. She came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War where she spent her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded, establishing her image as the 'Lady with the Lamp.'

During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform. In 1860 she established St. Thomas' Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. She died August 13, 1910, in London.


I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.

I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.

The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

12th August

St Euplius

Archdeacon Euplius was arrested for owning, reading and preaching from a copy of the Bible during the Diocletian persecution. Always carrying the Gospel with him, St Euplius preached constantly about Christ. He was arrested and brought before the local governor who asked him to read extracts from the book. He was then imprisoned and tortured. When they led Euplius to his execution his Gospel was hung around his neck. Having asked for time for prayer, the archdeacon began to read and explain the Gospel to the people present. Euplius was executed. 

His name in Greek means "good sailing".

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

11th August - John Henry Newman

11th August - John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman - John Everett Millais

John Henry Newman has been described as "one of the acutest, cleverest and deepest men" and “the most influential and revered English-speaking religious thinker and spiritual writer since the Reformation.

He was born in London and attended Great Ealing School, where it was said he ” …took no part in the casual school games”. At the age of 15, during his last year at school, Newman was converted, an incident of which he said he was "more certain than that I have hands or feet". Although Newman looked back on his conversion as the saving of his soul he was drawn to the high-church tradition. After attending Oxford University he was ordained priest in the Church of England, became a leader of the Oxford Movement, taught at Oxford, and was later ordained a Roman Catholic priest.

If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable... we must be content to creep along the ground, and never soar.
 A great memory does not make a mind, any more than a dictionary is a piece of literature.
 Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.
Growth is the only evidence of life.

Monday, 10 August 2015

10th August - St Lawrence

10th August - St Lawrence

The Charity of St Lawrence - Bernardo Strozzi
St Lawrence was born in Spain and was appointed deacon in the patriarchal church. He is sometimes called "archdeacon of Rome", a position of trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the church and the distribution of alms among the poor.

The Roman authorities decreed that all Christians who had been denounced must be executed and their goods confiscated by the treasury and Rome demanded that St Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. St Lawrence asked for three days to gather together the wealth. He worked quickly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by Rome. On the third day he presented himself to the authorities, and, when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church.

One account records him declaring: "The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor." And so he lost his life.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

9th August - Mary Sumner

9th August - Mary Sumner

1828 - 1921

I’ve never been much of a joiner. I was an accredited member of the RFU referees for U11s but apart from that I steer clear from joining things. Apart from the Mothers’ Union. I know, I know, it sounds bonkers that a bloke should be in the MU, but I belong so that I can promote the fantastic things they do. Today we remember Mary Sumner, born near Salford, founder member of the Mothers’ Union.

Educated at home, Mary learned to speak three foreign languages and sing. She travelled to Rome to further her musical studies, met her future husband, George Sumner, son of Charles Sumner, Bishop of Winchester and a relative of William Wilberforce. Sumner publicized a meeting of mothers in her parish to offer mutual support. Her plan was quite radical in its day as it involved calling women of all social classes to support one another.

In 1885, she was invited by the Bishop of Newcastle to address the women churchgoers. He felt that he had very little to say to women. Some of the women present went back to their parishes to found mothers' meetings on Sumner's pattern. And so the Mothers’ Union was born.

Today, the Mothers’ Union has 4 million members who share a vision for a world where:

God’s love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. This is not a vague hope, but a goal we actively pursue by praying, campaigning and enabling.

Find out more about the Mothers’ Union here.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

8th August - St Dominic

8th August - St Dominic
1170 –  1221

Priest, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 
Founder of the Dominican Order, Patron Saint of Astronomers.

In 1191, when Spain was desolated by famine young Dominic gave away his money and sold his clothes, furniture and manuscripts to feed the hungry. According to historical commentaries, Dominic abstained from meat, selected the worst accommodations and the meanest clothes and never allowed himself the luxury of a bed. Dominic died at the age of fifty-one, "exhausted with the austerities and labours of his career".

Attributed quotes:

"We must sow the seed, not hoard it."

 "Arm yourself with prayer instead of a sword; be clothed with humility instead of fine raiment."

"These, my much loved ones, are the bequests which I leave to you as my sons; have charity among yourselves; hold fast to humility; keep a willing poverty."

Friday, 7 August 2015

6th August - Feast of the Transfiguration

6th August - Feast of the Transfiguration

Feast of the Transfiguration - Bellini

The Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal with Jesus himself as the connecting point, the bridge between heaven and earth. Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James & John, go to a mountain to pray. Whilst there Jesus shines with bright rays of light. The prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is called "Son" by a voice from heaven.

Resources - Just when you Least Expect it
MinistryMatters - From a Child's Point of View

7th August - St Albert of Trapani

7th August - St Albert of Trapani
c1250 – c1306

Albert, a Sicilian saint, was born in Trapani. He entered the Carmelite monastery there at a very young age where he worked as a mendicant preacher, relying entirely on charitable giving for survival. In 1301 the city was under siege and blockaded. Responding to pleas for help, Albert celebrated Mass. As he finished, three ships loaded with grain ran the blockade. Saved from starvation, the siege was lifted.

Amongst his writings …..

“It will be seen that this type of life has two aims. One of them we can, with the help of God’s grace, achieve by our own efforts and the practice of virtue. This aim is to offer God a heart holy and pure from all actual stain of sin … The other aim of this kind of life is something that can be bestowed on us only by God’s generosity: namely, to taste in our hearts and experience in our minds, not only after death but even during this mortal life, something of the power of the divine presence and the bliss of heavenly glory.”