Sunday, August 30, 2015

Powerhouse of Prayer with Eucharistic Adoration in Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Sisters of Adoration and Reparation were founded in Paris in 1848 by Théodelindé Dubouche who is known now as Mother Marie Thérèse. The congregation came to Belfast in 1980 before founding St Aidan’s Monastery in Ferns, Co Wexford in 1990.  Perpetual Adoration continues in this convent in Belfast to this day.  

Their website for more information is Sisters of Adoration and Reparation Belfast 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Perfection of Love: The Example of Christ's Death - St. Augustine of Hippo

John 13:1 says that Jesus "loved his own to the end."  This excerpt from St. Augustine's Treatise on the Gospel of John (Tractate 84, 1-2  CCL 36, 536-538) speaks of Christ's laying down of his life, handed over to us in the Eucharist, as the perfection of love.  It is used in the Roman Catholic Church's Divine Office of Readings for Wednesday of Holy Week, with the accompanying biblical reading being Hebrews12:14-29.  Augustine's words, written in the early 5th century, are also compelling evidence for the practice and meaning of devotion to the martyrs in the early church. 
Dear brethren, the Lord has marked out for us the fullness of love that we ought to have for each other. He tells us: No one has greater love than the man who lays down his life for his friends. In these words, the Lord tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves. John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in one of his letters: As Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. We should indeed love one another as he loved us, he who laid down his life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you; then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself. What is this ruler’s table if not the one at which we receive the body and blood of him who laid down his life for us? What does it mean to sit at this table if not to approach it with humility? What does it mean to observe carefully what is set before you if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift? What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that one must provide the same kind of meal oneself, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down his life for us, so we in our turn ought to lay down our lives for our brothers? This is what the apostle Paul said: Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his footsteps.

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal”. This is what the blessed martyrs did with such burning love. If we are to give true meaning to our celebration of their memorials, to our approaching the Lord’s table in the very banquet at which they were fed, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal”.

At this table of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way as we commemorate others who rest in peace. We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for those others, rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in his footsteps. They practised the perfect love of which the Lord said there could be none greater. They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s table.

This must not be understood as saying that we can be the Lord’s equals by bearing witness to him to the extent of shedding our blood. He had the power of laying down his life; we by contrast cannot choose the length of our lives, and we die even if it is against our will. He, by dying, destroyed death in himself; we are freed from death only in his death. His body did not see corruption; our body will see corruption and only then be clothed through him in incorruption at the end of the world. He needed no help from us in saving us; without him we can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches; apart from him we cannot have life.

Finally, even if brothers die for brothers, yet no martyr by shedding his blood brings forgiveness for the sins of his brothers, as Christ brought forgiveness to us. In this he gave us, not an example to imitate but a reason for rejoicing. Inasmuch, then, as they shed their blood for their brothers, the martyrs provided “the same kind of meal” as they had received at the Lord’s table. Let us then love one another as Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bl Jerzy Popieluszko (14th Sept 1947 - 19th Oct 1984)

Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-1984)

Priest and Martyr

The Eucharist sums up all the teaching, passion and death of Jesus. Luke's passion narrative is about the Lamb, who goes to his death rejecting violence, loving enemies, returning good for evil, praying for his persecutors. The Eucharist, therefore, is truly the sacrament of nonviolence. The way of Jesus to conquer evil and violence must be the Christian way: the way of nonviolence, of love and forgiveness. The nonviolent way of Jesus is historically at the heart of his teaching, and at the same time at the heart of his passion and death.

Man of the Eucharist and Martyr for the Truth
This Eucharistic reality was lived out in the life of a young Polish priest, Fr Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-1984) who will be beatified as a martyr on the feast of Corpus Christi, 6 June 2010, in Warsaw's Pilsudski Square. Jerzy Popieluszko was born on 14 September 1947 in the village of Okopy in Eastern Poland. He was from a strong Roman Catholic family. After secondary school, Jerzy entered the seminary in Warsaw, rather than the local seminary in Bialystok. His training was interrupted by two years of military service, during which he was beaten several times for living his Christian faith.

After ordination, the young priest, who never enjoyed good health, held several appointments before his final appointment to the parish of St Stanislas Kostka in Warsaw. He worked part-time in the parish, which enabled him to work as well with medical personnel. As a result of his close work with health care personnel, he was asked to organize the medical teams during Pope John Paul II's visits to Poland in 1979 and Warsaw in 1983.

Above article continued here:  EWTN - Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko

Remembering Pope Benedict's (Emeritus) historic visit to the UK - September 2010

Cardinal: Officials who support abortion should not receive Communion

From Catholic News Service in May 2014

ROME (CNS) -- Catholic politicians and judges who support laws in conflict with church teaching on abortion, euthanasia, marriage and related issues commit "sacrilege" and cause "grave scandal" if they receive Communion, said the U.S. cardinal who heads the Vatican's highest court. "The church's discipline, from the time of St. Paul, has admonished those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion," Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature and a former archbishop of St. Louis, said May 3. The cardinal explained that the "discipline is not a punishment but the recognition of the objective condition of the soul of the person involved in such sin. It prevents them from committing sacrilege by violating the incomparable sanctity of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, and safeguards the Christian community at large from scandal, that is, from being led to believe that the violation of the moral law, for example in what pertains to the inviolable dignity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the family, and the freedom of conscience, is not sinful, does not gravely break communion with our Lord." 

Cardinal Burke spoke at an international conference of pro-life organizations the day before Italy's fourth annual March for Life.

Above from:  Catholic News Service - Cardinal: Officials who support abortion should not receive Communion

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Confraternity for Catholic Clergy in Ireland begins.......

I am delighted to hear that a Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (who wish to remain faithful to the Church and its teachings) has been set up in Ireland by Fr. Gerard Deighan. This was established during a meeting of Priests in Knock Shrine in October last.  This Confraternity would offer mutual support and encouragement for Priests.  

I do hope in the future that they would also consider a lay associate membership similar to the Confraternity in Australia, to help support and pray for Priests and not interfere with their Priestly ministry. We really have too much clericalisation of the laity in Ireland and it is destroying Parish life, interfering with the ministry of Priests and also discouraging Vocations. 

Let us pray for Fr. Gerard Deighan and those Priests involved in the new Confraternity and ask Our Lord and Our Lady, the Mother of all Priests to bless and protect and to bring forth great fruit from this new apostolate.

Bishops, Priests and Deacons can join this Confraternity also.  Any Priest or Deacon who wishes to join or if you wish to enquire more about the Confraternity you can email them at  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to 49th Eucharistic Congress in Quebec - Part 1

The Eucharist Is Not a Meal Among Friends

Here is a translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave via satellite Sunday at the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress. The congress was held in Quebec City.

While you are gathered for the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, I am happy to join you through the medium of satellite and thus unite myself to your prayer. I would like first of all to greet the Lord Cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, and the Lord Cardinal Jozef Tomko, special envoy for the congress, as well as all the cardinals and bishops present. I also address my cordial greetings to the personalities of civil society who decided to take part in the liturgy. My affectionate thought goes to the priests, deacons and all the faithful present, as well as to all Catholics of Quebec, of the whole of Canada and of other continents. I do not forget that your country celebrates this year the 400th anniversary of its foundation. It is an occasion for each one of you to recall the values that animated the pioneers and missionaries in your country.

"The Eucharist, gift of God for the Life of the World," this is the theme chosen for this latest International Eucharistic Congress. The Eucharist is our most beautiful treasure. It is the sacrament par excellence; it introduces us early into eternal life; it contains the whole mystery of our salvation; it is the source and summit of the action and of the life of the Church, as the Second Vatican Council recalled (Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 8).

It is, therefore, particularly important that pastors and faithful dedicate themselves permanently to furthering their knowledge of this great sacrament. Each one will thus be able to affirm his faith and fulfill ever better his mission in the Church and in the world, recalling that there is a fruitfulness of the Eucharist in his personal life, in the life of the Church and of the world. The Spirit of truth gives witness in your hearts; you also must give witness to Christ before men, as the antiphon states in the alleluia of this Mass. Participation in the Eucharist, then, does not distance us from our contemporaries; on the contrary, because it is the expression par excellence of the love of God, it calls us to be involved with all our brothers to address the present challenges and to make the planet a place where it is good to live.

To accomplish this, it is necessary to struggle ceaselessly so that every person will be respected from his conception until his natural death; that our rich societies welcome the poorest and allow them their dignity; that all persons be able to find nourishment and enable their families to live; that peace and justice may shine in all continents. These are some of the challenges that must mobilize all our contemporaries and for which Christians must draw their strength in the Eucharistic mystery.

"The Mystery of Faith": this is what we proclaim at every Mass. I would like everyone to make a commitment to study this great mystery, especially by revisiting and exploring, individually and in groups, the Council's text on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, so as to bear witness courageously to the mystery. In this way, each person will arrive at a better grasp of the meaning of every aspect of the Eucharist, understanding its depth and living it with greater intensity. Every sentence, every gesture has its own meaning and conceals a mystery. I sincerely hope that this Congress will serve as an appeal to all the faithful to make a similar commitment to a renewal of Eucharistic catechesis, so that they themselves will gain a genuine Eucharistic awareness and will in turn teach children and young people to recognize the central mystery of faith and build their lives around it. I urge priests especially to give due honor to the Eucharistic rite, and I ask all the faithful to respect the role of each individual, both priest and lay, in the Eucharistic action. The liturgy does not belong to us: it is the Church's treasure.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

No Holy Communion for Pro Abortion Politicians - Catholic Bishops Bolivia

.- The adjunct secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Bolivia, Archbishop José Fuentes, said that government officials who support abortion should not receive Holy Communion.

Such individuals, he said, are not acting consistent with their faith and with the teachings of the Gospel and the Church.

In July of this year, four government ministers announced their support for the legalization of abortion in Bolivia.

In an interview with the newspaper Pagina 7, Bishop Fuentes was asked about these ministers. He responded that “they can act in conscience, but they should not approach during communion to receive the Body of Christ.”

“The person who aborts or who encourages another to abort, as well as health care workers who participate in an abortion and lawmakers, commit a sin before God, because they make themselves the owners of life, and the only owner of life for us is God,” he said.

“For a Catholic, for a believer, that is something that is not at our disposal, and therefore if as a legislator, a judge or whatever, I support an abortion law, I am separating myself from the Church, I cannot receive Communion unless I show my repentance,” Bishop Fuentes continued, emphasizing the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for those who have had an abortion.

He stressed that the Church’s position is not based on a desire to punish wrongdoers, but rather an effort to reach out to them in mercy to help them accept Catholic teaching.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Catechesis on the Real Presence - St. John Vianney

CHAPTER 11 : Catechism on the Real Presence

OUR LORD is hidden there, waiting for us to come and visit Him, and make our request to Him. See how good He is! He accommodates Himself to our weakness. In Heaven, where we shall be glorious and triumphant, we shall see him in all His glory. If He had presented Himself before us in that glory now, we should not have dared to approach Him; but He hides Himself, like a person in a prison, who might say to us, "You do not see me, but that is no matter; ask of me all you wish and I will grant it. " He is there in the Sacrament of His love, sighing and interceding incessantly with His Father for sinners. To what outrages does He not expose Himself, that He may remain in the midst of us! He is there to console us; and therefore we ought often to visit Him. How pleasing to Him is the short quarter of an hour that we steal from our occupations, from something of no use, to come and pray to Him, to visit Him, to console Him for all the outrages He receives! 

When He sees pure souls coming eagerly to Him, He smiles upon them. They come with that simplicity which pleases Him so much, to ask His pardon for all sinners, for the outrages of so many ungrateful men. What happiness do we not feel in the presence of God, when we find ourselves alone at His feet before the holy tabernacles! "Come, my soul, redouble thy fervour; thou art alone adoring thy God. His eyes rest upon thee alone. " This good Saviour is so full of love for us that He seeks us out everywhere.

Ah! if we had the eyes of angels with which to see Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is here present on this altar, and who is looking at us, how we should love Him! We should never more wish to part from Him. We should wish to remain always at His feet; it would be a foretaste of Heaven: all else would become insipid to us. But see, it is faith we want. We are poor blind people; we have a mist before our eyes. Faith alone can dispel this mist. Presently, my children, when I shall hold Our Lord in my hands, when the good God blesses you, ask Him then to open the eyes of your heart; say to Him like the blind man of Jericho, "O Lord, make me to see!" If you say to Him sincerely, "Make me to see!" you will certainly obtain what you desire, because He wishes nothing but your happiness. He has His hands full of graces, seeking to whom to distribute them; Alas! and no one will have them. . . . Oh, indifference! Oh, ingratitude! My children, we are most unhappy that we do not understand these things! We shall understand them well one day; but it will then be too late!

Our Lord is there as a Victim; and a prayer that is very pleasing to God is to ask the Blessed Virgin to offer to the Eternal Father her Divine Son, all bleeding, all torn, for the conversion of sinners; it is the best prayer we can make, since, indeed, all prayers are made in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ. We must also thank God for all those indulgences that purify us from our sins. . . but we pay no attention to them. We tread upon indulgences, one might say, as we tread upon the sheaves of corn after the harvest. See, there are seven years and seven quarantines for hearing the catechism, three hundred days for reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, the Salve Regina, the Angelus. In short, the good God multiplies His graces upon us; and how sorry we shall be at the end of our lives that we did not profit by them!

When we are before the Blessed Sacrament, instead of looking about, let us shut our eyes and our mouth; let us open our heart: our good God will open His; we shall go to Him, He will come to us, the one to ask, the other to receive; it will be like a breath from one to the other. What sweetness do we not find in forgetting ourselves in order to seek God! The saints lost sight of themselves that they might see nothing but God, and labor for Him alone; they forgot all created objects in order to find Him alone. This is the way to reach Heaven.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

St. Clare and her great Love and Faith in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

Catechesis on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - St. John Vianney

CHAPTER 10 :Catechism on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

ALL GOOD WORKS together are not of equal value with the sacrifice of the Mass, because they are the works of men, and the holy Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison; it is the sacrifice that man makes of his life to God; the Mass is the sacrifice that God makes to man of His Body and of His Blood. Oh, how great is a priest! if he understood himself he would die. . . . God obeys him; he speaks two
words, and Our Lord comes down from Heaven at his voice, and shuts Himself up in a little Host. God looks upon the altar. "That is My well-beloved Son, " He says, "in whom I am well-pleased. " He can refuse nothing to the merits of the offering of this Victim. If we had faith, we should see God hidden in the priest like a light behind a glass, like wine mingled with water.

After the Consecration, when I hold in my hands the most holy Body of Our Lord, and when I am in discouragement, seeing myself worthy of nothing but Hell, I say to myself, "Ah, if I could at least take Him with me! Hell would be sweet with Him; I could be content to remain suffering there for all eternity, if we were together. But then there would be no more Hell; the flames of love would extinguish those of justice. " How beautiful it is. After the Consecration, the good God is there as He is in Heaven. If man well understood this mystery, he would die of love. God spares us because of our weakness. A priest once, after the Consecration, had some little doubt whether his few words could have made Our Lord descend upon the Altar; at the same moment he saw the Host all red, and the corporal tinged with blood.

If someone said to us, "At such an hour a dead person is to be raised to life, " we should run very quickly to see it. But is not the Consecration, which changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of God, a much greater miracle than to raise a dead person to life? We ought always to devote at least a quarter of an hour to preparing ourselves to hear Mass well; we ought to annihilate ourselves before God, after the example of His profound annihilation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist; and we should make our examination of conscience, for we must be in a state of grace to be able to assist properly at Mass. If we knew the value of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather if we had faith, we should be much more zealous to assist at it.

My children, you remember the story I have told you already of that holy priest who was praying for his friend; God had, it appears, made known to him that he was in Purgatory; it came into his mind that he could do nothing better than to offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass for his soul. When he came to the moment of Consecration, he took the Host in his hands and said, "O Holy and Eternal Father, let us make an exchange. Thou hast the soul of my friend who is in Purgatory, and I have the Body of Thy Son, Who is in my hands; well, do Thou deliver my friend, and I offer Thee Thy Son, with all the merits of His Death and Passion. " In fact, at the moment of the elevation, he saw the soul of his friend rising to Heaven, all radiant with glory. Well, my children, when we want to obtain anything from the good God, let us do the same; after Holy Communion, let us offer Him His well-beloved Son, with all the merits of His death and His Passion. He will not be able to refuse us anything.

Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Bishops of Ireland on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady next Thursday 15th August

Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Ireland will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Bishops of Ireland  on 15th August 2013 at Knock Shrine.  Ceremonies commence in the Basilica with Anointing of the Sick at 2.30 pm followed by concelebrated Mass at 3.00pm after which the Eucharistic Procession will proceed to the Apparition Chapel where the Act of Consecration will be prayed.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

St. John Vianney - Catechesis on Holy Communion

CHAPTER 12 : Catechism on Holy Communion

TO SUSTAIN the soul in the pilgrimage of life, God looked over creation, and found nothing that was worthy of it. He then turned to Himself, and resolved to give Himself. O my soul, how great thou art, since nothing less than God can satisfy thee! The food of the soul is the Body and Blood of God! Oh, admirable Food! If we considered it, it would make us lose ourselves in that abyss of love for all eternity! How happy are the pure souls that have the happiness of being united to Our Lord by Communion! They will shine like beautiful diamonds in Heaven, because God will be seen in them.

Our Lord has said, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. We should never have thought of asking of God His own Son. But God has done what man could not have imagined. What man cannot express nor conceive, and what he never would have dared to desire, God in His love has said,
has conceived, and has executed. Should we ever have dared to ask of God to put His Son to death for us, to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink? If all this were not true, then man might have imagined things that God cannot do; he would have gone further than God in inventions of love! That is impossible. Without the Holy Eucharist there would be no happiness in this world; life would be insupportable. When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness. The good God, wishing to give Himself to us in the Sacrament of His love, gave us a vast and great desire, which He alone can satisfy. In the presence of this beautiful Sacrament, we are like a person dying of thirst by the side of a river - he would only need to bend his head; like a person still remaining poor, close to a great treasure - he need only stretch out his hand. He who communicates loses himself in God like a drop of water in the ocean. They can no more be separated.

At the Day of Judgment we shall see the Flesh of Our Lord shine through the glorified body of those who have received Him worthily on earth, as we see gold shine in copper, or silver in lead. When we have just communicated, if we were asked, "What are you carrying away to your home?" we might answer, "I am carrying away Heaven. " A saint said that we were Christ-bearers. It is very true; but we have not enough faith. We do not comprehend our dignity. When we leave the holy banquet, we are as happy as the Wise Men would have been, if they could have carried away the Infant Jesus. Take a vessel full of liquor, and cork it well - you will keep the liquor as long as you please. So if you were to keep Our Lord well and recollectedly, after Communion, you would long feel that devouring fire which would inspire your heart with an inclination to good and a repugnance to evil. 

When we have the good God in our heart, it ought to be very burning. The heart of the disciples of Emmaus burnt within them from merely listening to His voice. I do not like people to begin to read directly when they come from the holy table. Oh no! what is the use of the words of men when God is speaking? We must do as one who is very curious, and listens at the door. We must listen to all that God says at the door of our heart. When you have received Our Lord, you feel your soul purified, because it bathes itself in the love of God. When we go to Holy Communion, we feel something extraordinary, a comfort which pervades the whole body, and penetrates to the extremities. What is this comfort? It is Our Lord, who communicates Himself to all parts of our bodies, and makes them thrill. We are obliged to say, like St. John, "It is the Lord!" Those who feel absolutely nothing are very much to be pitied.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Celebrating the Lords Presence - The Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi and Give thanks to the Lord for this great Gift of His Presence 
with us in The Most Holy Eucharist.

Also please make reparation for the ingratitude and lukewarmness towards the 
Presence of Jesus 
in the Holy Eucharist in our Churches throughout the World.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration - Let us Join together in Prayer to Jesus for the whole world

Join Pope Francis and Catholics throughout the world tomorrow 2nd June at 5pm (Time in Italy)  
on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi 
to Adore and Pray to Jesus Christ our Lord and God

For more details:
Annus Fidei Vatican - Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pope Francis's Homily on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Gospel we have just heard, there is an expression of Jesus that always strikes me: “Give you them to eat. (Lk 9:13)” Starting from this sentence, I let myself be guided by three words: discipleship, fellowship and sharing.

1. First of all: who are those to whom we are to give to eat? The answer is found at the beginning of the
Gospel: it is the crowd, the multitude. Jesus is in the midst of the people: He welcomes them, talks to them, He cures them, He shows them the mercy of God. In their midst, he chooses the twelve Apostles to be with Him, and like Him, to immerse themselves in the concrete situations of the world. People follow Him, listen to Him, because Jesus speaks and acts in a new way, with the authority of someone who is authentic and consistent, who speaks and acts with truth, who gives the hope that comes from God, who is revelation of the face of a God who is love - and the people with joy, bless God.

This evening we are the crowd of [which] the Gospel [tells]: let us also strive to follow Jesus to listen to him, to enter into communion with Him in the Eucharist, to accompany Him and in order that He accompany us. Let us ask ourselves: how do I follow Jesus? Jesus speaks in silence in the Mystery of the Eucharist and every time reminds us that to follow Him means to come out of ourselves and make of our own lives, not a possession, but a gift to Him and to others.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Please Remember Corpus Christi this Sunday at 4pm (Irish Time), 5pm (Rome Time)
Eucharistic Adoration takes place in the Vatican and around the world.  Pray to Jesus for Mercy and Healing for the world.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

St. Paschal Baylon - Patron of Eucharistic Confraternities and Congresses

The Saint for May 17th is St. Paschal Baylon.

Born in a small village in between Castille and Aragon in Spain, on Pentecost in 1540, he was christened Pascua (meaning "the pasch of the Holy Ghost") in honor of the feast. As a young man, until he was twenty-four years old, he worked as a shepherd for his poor, but pious family. During this time, he lived a life of penance and showed great devotion for the Holy Eucharist.

One day Paschal heard the bells of a convent announce the approaching consecration at Mass. Such an ardent longing for God overcame him that, prompted by yearning and love, he involuntarily cried out: "O God, most worthy of all adoration, please let me see You!" Hardly had he uttered the prayer when a glowing star appeared in the sky. As he watched, the heavens opened; the star disappeared and was replaced by a chalice with the Host, flanked by two adoring angels. Christian art has selected this vision to show his chief virtue -- love for the most holy Eucharist. (Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch)

 Receiving a vision which told him to enter a nearby Franciscan community, he became a Franciscan lay brother. He became part of the community of St. Peter of Alcantara, who was very instrumental in the life and spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila, who was living at that time. Paschal spent most of his life as a humble door keeper. His charity to the poor and afflicted, his unfailing courtesy and humility were remarkable even by Franciscan standards. While on a mission to France, he defended the Real Presence against the blasphemies of a Calvinist preacher, and narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Huguenot mob. Poorly educated, he served as a counselor sought out by rich and poor alike.

Paschal spent many hours before the Holy Eucharist. During his lifetime he was known by all as "the Saint of the Holy Eucharist". He spent most of the night at the foot of the altar on his knees, or prostrate on the ground. In prayer, he was often favored with ecstasies and raptures. He died at Villa Reale, near Valentia, on May 17, 1592, at the age of fifty-two. As he lay dead in his casket, he opened and closed his eyes twice when the sacred species were elevated at the consecration. His body was exposed three days, during which time a vast number of people visited the church, witnessing to his many miracles.

St. Paschal was beatified by Pope Paul V in 1618, and canonized by Alexander VIII. in 1690.

Patron: Cooks; Eucharistic congresses and organizations (proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII in 1897); Obado, Bulacan, Phillipines.

Quotes from St. Paschal Baylon

"Meditate well on this: Seek God above all things. It is right for you to seek God before and above everything else, because the majesty of God wishes you to receive what you ask for. This will also make you more ready to serve God and will enable you to love him more perfectly."

"God is as really present in the consecrated Host as He is in the glory of Heaven."

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This evening I would like to meditate with you on two interconnected aspects of the Eucharistic Mystery: worship of the Eucharist and its sacred nature. It is important to reflect on them once again to preserve them from incomplete visions of the Mystery itself, such as those encountered in the recent past.
First of all, a reflection on the importance of Eucharistic worship and, in particular, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We shall experience it this evening, after Mass, before the procession, during it and at its conclusion. A unilateral interpretation of the Second Vatican Council penalized this dimension, in practice
restricting the Eucharist to the moment of its celebration. Indeed it was very important to recognize the centrality of the celebration in which the Lord summons his people, gathers it round the dual table of the Word and of the Bread of life, nourishes and unites it with himself in the offering of the Sacrifice.

Of course, this evaluation of the liturgical assembly in which the Lord works his mystery of communion and brings it about still applies; but it must be put back into the proper balance. In fact — as often happens — in order to emphasize one aspect one ends by sacrificing another. In this case the correct accentuation of the celebration of the Eucharist has been to the detriment of adoration as an act of faith and prayer addressed to the Lord Jesus, really present in the Sacrament of the Altar.

This imbalance has also had repercussions on the spiritual life of the faithful. In fact, by concentrating the entire relationship with the Eucharistic Jesus in the sole moment of Holy Mass one risks emptying the rest of existential time and space of his presence. This makes ever less perceptible the meaning of Jesus’ constant presence in our midst and with us, a presence that is tangible, close, in our homes, as the “beating Heart” of the city, of the country, and of the area, with its various expressions and activities. The sacrament of Christ’s Charity must permeate the whole of daily life.

Actually it is wrong to set celebration and adoration against each other, as if they were competing. Exactly the opposite is true: worship of the Blessed Sacrament is, as it were, the spiritual “context” in which the community can celebrate the Eucharist well and in truth. Only if it is preceded, accompanied and followed by this inner attitude of faith and adoration can the liturgical action express its full meaning and value. The encounter with Jesus in Holy Mass is truly and fully brought about when the community can recognize that in the Sacrament he dwells in his house, waits for us, invites us to his table, then, after the assembly is dismissed, stays with us, with his discreet and silent presence, and accompanies us with his intercession, continuing to gather our spiritual sacrifices and offer them to the Father.

In this regard I am pleased to highlight the experience we shall be having together this evening too. At the moment of Adoration, we are all equal, kneeling before the Sacrament of Love. The common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood are brought together in Eucharistic worship. It is a very beautiful and significant experience which we have had several times in St Peter’s Basilica, and also in the unforgettable Vigils with young people — I recall, for example, those in Cologne, London, Zagreb and Madrid. It is clear to all that these moments of Eucharistic Vigil prepare for the celebration of the Holy Mass, they prepare hearts for the encounter so that it will be more fruitful.

To be all together in prolonged silence before the Lord present in his Sacrament is one of the most genuine experiences of our being Church, which is accompanied complementarily by the celebration of the Eucharist, by listening to the word of God, by singing and by approaching the table of the Bread of Life together. Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go hand in hand. If I am truly to communicate with another person I must know him, I must be able to be in silence close to him, to listen to him and look at him lovingly. True love and true friendship are always nourished by the reciprocity of looks, of intense, eloquent silences full of respect and veneration, so that the encounter may be lived profoundly and personally rather than superficially. And, unfortunately, if this dimension is lacking, sacramental communion itself may become a superficial gesture on our part.

Instead, in true communion, prepared for by the conversation of prayer and of life, we can address words of confidence to the Lord, such as those which rang out just now in the Responsorial Psalm: “O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid. / You have loosed my bonds./ I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving /and call on the name of the Lord” (Ps 116[115]:16-17).

I would now like to move on briefly to the second aspect: the sacred nature of the Eucharist. Here too so we have heard in the recent past of a certain misunderstanding of the authentic message of Sacred Scripture. The Christian newness with regard to worship has been influenced by a certain secularist mentality of the 1960s and 70s. It is true, and this is still the case, that the centre of worship is now no longer in the ancient rites and sacrifices, but in Christ himself, in his person, in his life, in his Paschal Mystery. However it must not be concluded from this fundamental innovation that the sacred no longer exists, but rather that it has found fulfilment in Jesus Christ, divine Love incarnate.

The Letter to the Hebrews, which we heard this evening in the Second Reading, speaks to us precisely of the newness of the priesthood of Christ, “high priest of the good things that have come” (Heb 9:11), but does not say that the priesthood is finished. Christ “is the mediator of a new covenant” (Heb 9:15), established in his blood which purifies our “conscience from dead works” (Heb 9:14). He did not abolish the sacred but brought it to fulfillment, inaugurating a new form of worship, which is indeed fully spiritual but which, however, as long as we are journeying in time, still makes use of signs and rites, which will exist no longer only at the end, in the heavenly Jerusalem, where there will no longer be any temple (cf. Rev 21:22). Thanks to Christ, the sacred is truer, more intense and, as happens with the Commandments, also more demanding! Ritual observance does not suffice but purification of the heart and the involvement of life is required.
I would also like to stress that the sacred has an educational function and its disappearance inevitably impoverishes culture and especially the formation of the new generations. If, for example, in the name of a faith that is secularized and no longer in need of sacred signs, these Corpus Christiprocessions through the city were to be abolished, the spiritual profile of Rome would be “flattened out”, and our personal and community awareness would be weakened.

Or let us think of a mother or father who in the name of a desacralized faith, deprived their children of all religious rituals: in reality they would end by giving a free hand to the many substitutes that exist in the consumer society, to other rites and other signs that could more easily become idols.

God, our Father, did not do this with humanity: he sent his Son into the world not to abolish, but to give fulfilment also to the sacred. At the height of this mission, at the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of his Body and his Blood, the Memorial of his Paschal Sacrifice. By so doing he replaced the ancient sacrifices with himself, but he did so in a rite which he commanded the Apostles to perpetuate, as a supreme sign of the true Sacred One who is he himself. With this faith, dear brothers and sisters, let us celebrate the Eucharistic Mystery today and every day and adore it as the centre of our life and the heart of the world. Amen.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Corpus Christi 2nd June Worldwide Adoration

On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (2nd Jun), the Holy Father will preside over a special Eucharistic adoration that will extend at the same time all over the world involving the cathedrals and parishes in each diocese. 

For an hour, at 5pm (Rome time), 
the whole world will be united 
in Prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

St. Gemma Galgani and the Holy Eucharist

St. Gemma Galgani

Born: March 12, 1878
Extraordinary Mystical Experiences begin: 1898
Miraculous Cure: Friday, March 3, 1899 -1st Friday of the month (Sacred Heart devotion)
Received Stigmata: June 8, 1899 -Vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Died: Holy Saturday, April 11, 1903
Beatified: May 14, 1933 by Pope Pius XI
Canonized: May 2, 1940 by Pope Pius XII
Patron Saint of Students, Pharmacists, Paratroopers and Parachutists,  loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart.
Feast Day: April 11th (or May 16th for those in the Passionist Congregation). 

In a letter to Father Germanus she writes:

"Today I have recieved Jesus, and now I possess Him entirely in my miserable soul. In such moments my heart and the Heart of Jesus are one. Oh, if only I could make it remain so always! It would mean that I would not commit any more sins. Oh, what precious moments are those at Holy Communion! Communion is a happiness, Father, that seems to me cannot be equalled even by the beatitude of the Saints and Angels. They admire the face of Jesus, and are certain of not committing sin or of being lost; and I admire those two things, and I should like to be of their company, but I too have reason for exalting, for Jesus enters everyday into my heart. Jesus gives me all of Himself, though I give Him nothing worthy in return. I always ask Him for so many things, and to tell the truth, I am afraid of wearying Him, but He says no and not to worry. Blessed be Jesus!"

Writing to Father Germanus on another occasion Gemma states "Every morning I go to Holy Communion: The greatest and only comfort I have, although I in no way possess what is needed to worthily approach Jesus. The loving treatment that Jesus gives me every morning in Holy Communion inspires within me unutterable sweetness and draws to Himself all the weak affections of my miserable heart."