Prayers of the day

Today are the optional memorials of St Clement I, a pope and martyr, St Columban, an abbot, and Bl. Miguel Pro, a priest and martyr.

Prayers: Almighty ever-living God, who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints, grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son, bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips. 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. Amen.

O God, who in Saint Columban wonderfully joined the work of evangelization to zeal for the monastic life, grant, we pray, that through his intercession and example we may strive to seek you above all things and to bring increase to your faithful people. 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. Amen.

Our God and Father, who conferred upon your servant Blessed Migueal Agustin Pro the grace of ardently seeking your greater glory and the salvation of others, grant, through his intercession and example, that by faithfully and joyfully performing our daily duties and effectively assisting those around us, we may serve you with zeal and ever seek your glory. 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. Amen.

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Prières du jour

Aujourd’hui est la fête des archanges St Michel, St Gabriel et St Raphaël.

Prières

En ce jour où nous fêtons les saints archanges, je viens me mettre sous leur protection et leur lumière pour commencer la prière de ce jour.

Donne-moi, Seigneur, de mieux connaître les anges pour leur donner la place qui est la leur dans ma vie chrétienne.

Bons anges, vous m’avez été donnés comme compagnons et guides sur la route de la vie et sur la route de la foi. Donnez-moi un peu de votre lumière et de votre force pour aimer, suivre et servir Jésus comme il m’appelle à le faire.

You have failings – and such failings!

Do not become alarmed or discouraged to discover that you have failings – and such failings! Struggle to uproot them. And as you do so, be convinced that it is even a good thing to be aware of all those weaknesses, for otherwise you would be proud. And pride separates us from God. – St Josemaria, The Forge

Oh, Jesus, if only we who are united in your Love were truly persevering! If only we could translate into deeds the yearnings you yourself awaken in our souls! Ask yourselves often, ‘What am I here on earth for?’ It will help you in your efforts to finish all your daily tasks perfectly and lovingly, taking care of the little details. Let us turn to the example of the saints. They were people like us, of flesh and bone, with failings and weaknesses, who managed to conquer and master themselves for love of God. Let us consider their lives and, like bees who distil precious nectar from each flower, we shall learn from their struggles. You and I shall also learn to discover so many virtues in the people about us, who teach us by their hard work, their self‑denial, their joy, and we shall not dwell too much on their defects; only when it is absolutely necessary, in order to help them with fraternal correction.

– St Josemaria, Friends of God

Prayer of the day

Today is the memorial of St Cornelius, pope and martyr, and St Cyprian, bishop and martyr.

Prayer: God our Father, in Saints Cornelius and Cyprian you have given your people an inspiring example of dedication to the pastoral ministry and constant witness to Christ in their suffering. May their prayers and faith give us courage to work for the unity of your Church. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Memorial of St Clare

Detail depicting St Clare from a fresco by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco in Italy
Detail depicting St Clare from a fresco by Simone Martini in the Lower basilica of San Francesco in Italy

Today is the momorial of St Clare of Assisi. The Breviary says of her: “Following the example of St. Francis, she distributed all her possessions among the poor. She fled from the noise of the world and betook herself to a country chapel, where St. Francis himself sheared off her hair and clothed her with a penitential garb (on March 18, 1212, at the age of eighteen). Then she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a goodly number of companions. So she established a community of nuns and acted as their superior at the wish of St Francis. For forty-two years she directed the nunnery with zeal and prudence, her own life serving as a constant sermon for her sisters to emulate. Of Pope Innocent IV she requested the privilege that she and her community live in absolute poverty. She was a most perfect follower of St. Francis of Assisi.”When the Saracens were besieging Assisi and were preparing to attack the convent, St. Clare asked to be assisted as far as the entrance, for she was ill. In her hand she carried a vessel containing the blessed Eucharist as she prayed: O Lord, do not deliver over to beasts the souls that praise You! (Ps. 73). Protect Your servants, for You have redeemed them by Your precious Blood. And in the midst of that prayer a voice was heard, saying: Always will I protect you ! The Saracens took to flight.”

Heroic in suffering (she was sick for twenty-seven years), she was canonized only two years after her death.

Heorism is expected of the Christian

Many who would willingly let themselves be nailed to a Cross before the astonished gaze of a thousand onlookers cannot bear with a Christian spirit the pinpricks of each day! Think, then, which is the more heroic. – St Josemaria, The Way

Today, as yesterday, heroism is expected of the Christian. A heroism in great struggles, if the need arises. Normally, however, heroism in the little skirmishes of each day. When you put up a continuous fight, with love, in apparently insignificant things, the Lord is always present at your side, as a loving shepherd: “I myself pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest — it is the Lord Yahweh who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded, and make the weak strong…. They will feel safe in their own pastures. And men will learn that I am Yahweh when I break their yoke straps and release them from their captivity.”

I appeal to his mercy, his compassion, so that he will not look at our sins but will rather see the merits of Christ and of his holy Mother, who is also our mother, the merits of the patriarch St Joseph whom he made his father, and the merits of the saints.

A Christian can rest completely assured that if he wants to fight, God will take him by the right hand, as we read in today’s Mass. It is Jesus the king of peace who says on entering Jerusalem astride a miserable donkey: “The kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm.” This violence is not directed against others. It is a violence used to fight your own weaknesses and miseries, a fortitude which prevents you from camouflaging your own infidelities, a boldness to own up to the faith even when the environment is hostile.

– St Josemaria, Christ is passing

Memorial of St Charles Lwanga and Companions

Saint Charles Lwanga (in the center) and his 21 followers
Saint Charles Lwanga (in the center) and his 21 followers

Today is the memorial of St Charles Lwanga and his companions, 22 Ugandans martyrs, the first martyrs of Sub-Saharan Africa. Charles Lwanga was a catechist and he was martyred in 1886 with a group of Catholic and Anglican pages, some of whom were not yet baptized. King Mwanga II despised the Christian religion and gave orders that all the Christian pages in his service be laid upon a mat, bound, placed onto a pyre and burnt. Charles Lwanga was the chief of the royal pages. He had converted to Christiniaty from paganism and was baptized in 1885. The executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly to death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, “Kotanda! (O my God!).” He was burned to death by Mwanga’s order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22, 1964. The Basilica of the Uganda Martyrs was built at the site of the executions, and serves as their shrine.

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