Thursday, September 21, 2017

The effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ

The effect of our sharing in
the body and blood of Christ
is to change us
into what we receive.

Pope St. Leo the Great

St. Matthew the Evangelist

Before his conversion, Matthew was a Jew who worked as a tax collector for the Romans. It was while Matthew was working at a tax collector’s bench in the custom house of Capernaum that Jesus passing by called him saying, “Follow me.” In his own account of himself, the Evangelist writes, “And he rose up and followed him.”
Jewish tax collectors were generally hated by their fellow Jews, and were considered sinners by the Pharisees. When they discovered Jesus’ choice of followers, they were scandalized, and questioned Him. “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:12b-13), Jesus said to them.

After the death and resurrection of Our Lord, Matthew went on to evangelize and authored the first Gospel. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or as a martyr.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saint Michael Novena to End on Sept. 29th

saint_michael_archangel_novena.jpg
Saint Michael, pray for us! (Say for nine consecutive days)
Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His Catholic people, I turn to thee with confidence and seek thy powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who hast made thee so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer.

Thou knowest the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate thy loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and thy great love for God and men. And since thou art God’s messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to thee this special request:
(Here mention your request.)
Saint Michael, since thou art, by the will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in thy prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God’s holy will, my petition will be granted.
Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through thy powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death and reach Heaven where we may praise and love God with thee forever.  Amen.

God is a physician

Let us understand that God is a physician,
and that suffering is a medicine for salvation,
not a punishment for damnation.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions

During the 17th century the Christian faith was brought to Korea through the zeal of lay persons. From the very beginning these Christians suffered terrible persecutions and many suffered martyrdom.

Son of Korean converts who were martyred during the persecution of 1839 (and beatified in 1925), Andrew Kim Tae-gon was baptized at fifteen. He traveled thirteen hundred miles to the seminary in Macao, China, and was ordained to the priesthood six years later. He traveled back to his home and became involved in smuggling missionaries into the country to spread Christianity.

During the year 1846, he was arrested with Paul Chong Ha-sang and their companions, and they were all tortured prior to being beheaded for his beliefs. Among them were a few bishops and priests, but for the most part lay people, men and women, married and unmarried, children, young people, and the elderly.

These martyrs suffered greatly and gave their lives for Christ for the religious freedom which came in 1883. Pope John Paul II canonized them on May 6, 1984, during his trip to Korea.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The unfailing power which God has given us

Have confidence in prayer.
It is the unfailing power which God has given us.
By means of it you will obtain the salvation of
the dear souls whom God has given you and all your loved ones.
Ask and you shall receive,” Our Lord said.
Be yourself with the good Lord.

St. Peter Julian Eymard

St. Januarius of Benevento

Very little is known about these holy martyrs other than they were killed during the Diocletian persecution. Legend has it they threw Januarius onto a flaming furnace, but he was unscathed. Instead, they stretched him on a bench and beat him until his bones were exposed. When the saint still lived, they threw him and his companions to starving wild animals in the amphitheatre, but the animals would not touch them. Finally, the martyrs were beheaded and died around the year 304.