31 May 2017

June - the month of the Sacred Heart

June is by tradition, the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Due to the way Easter fell this year, the Feast of the Sacred Heart is falling on June 23rd 2017.

The Sacred Heart represents Christ's love for all mankind, and our devotion to it is an expression of our faith in His mercy.The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity.

The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a French Roman Catholic nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a mystical experience. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism (read more

On June 1, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI
urged Catholics everywhere to renew their devotion to the Sacred Heart during the month of June.

Understood in the light of the Scriptures, the term "Sacred Heart of Jesus" denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of the salvation and sanctification of mankind. The "Sacred Heart" is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers. 

Novena Prayer
(there are a number of novena prayers used for this novena but this would be one of the best known as it was used by Padre Pio)

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.


Some other links for the month of the Sacred Heart:

We have blogged a number of times on the Sacred Heart which can be found HERE.

CatholicCulture.org provides a number of links and prayers associated with the devotion including a short scriptural support for the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Theology of Benedict XVI

Pope Pius IX encyclical on Devotion to the Sacred Heart - Caritate Christi Compulsi

Pope Pius XII encyclical on Devotion to the Sacred Heart - Haurietis Aquas

Homily of Pope John Paul II on his apostolic journey to Canada at Mass dedicated to the Heart of Christ (18th September 1984)

May 31st - Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’And Mary said:

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home." (Lk 1:39-56)

The feast of the Visitation recalls to us the following great truths and events: The visit of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth shortly after the Annunciation; the cleansing of John the Baptist from original sin in the womb of his mother at the words of Our Lady's greeting; Elizabeth's proclaiming of Mary—under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost —as Mother of God and "blessed among women"; Mary's singing of the sublime hymn, Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") which has become a part of the daily official prayer of the Church.

The Mass of today salutes her who in her womb bore the King of heaven and earth, the Creator of the world, the Son of the Eternal Father, the Sun of Justice. It narrates the cleansing of John from original sin in his mother's womb. Hearing herself addressed by the most lofty title of "Mother of the Lord" and realizing what grace her visit had conferred on John, Mary broke out in that sublime canticle of praise proclaiming prophetically that henceforth she would be venerated down through the centuries:
"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name" (Lk. 1:46).
Digitalnun has a short reflection on the feast we celebrate today:

"When Paul VI moved the feast of the Visitation to 31 May, he ensured that May, ‘Mary’s month’, would finally have a feast of Our Lady, and what a beautiful feast it is!

There is something very moving about Mary’s making the difficult journey to visit her kinswoman when she was herself pregnant. Equally moving is Elizabeth’s amazed and humble greeting, ‘Why should the mother of my Lord come to me?’ We tend to think of the Visitation as the feast of the Magnificat, that glorious canticle of praise that fell from Mary’s lips, but perhaps for us it is Elizabeth’s question that matters. Why should the saints, chief of whom is Mary, bother themselves with us?

The Visitation is yet another reminder of the strength of the communion of saints, of the bonds of prayer and mutual concern that bind us together. The communion of saints is a reality here and now as well as hereafter. When times are hard, there is a tendency to put ourselves first, arguing that we cannot afford to be generous to others.......Today we have the example of Mary and Elizabeth to encourage us: we can and must help others and in so doing we may help more than we know. We must be saints for others."

28 May 2017

Thousands venerate the relics of St Nicholas during visit to Russia

St Nicholas
15th century icon in Russian style
Vatican Radio - For the first time in nearly 1,000 years, the major relics of Saint Nicholas, one of the Church's most revered figures, are travelling outside of Italy. The relics were transported to Russia, one of many countries that has a particular devotion to the Saint.

Huge crowds of believers, both Catholics and Russian Orthodox, are expected to venerate the relics. The historic move follows talks between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.

After reaching Moscow's Vnukovo airport, a glass-topped metallic ark bearing the relics was visited by a long stream of Russian pilgrims who bowed and kissed the container.

It was taken to Christ the Savior Cathedral, the enormous Moscow church that is a reconstruction of a cathedral dynamited in 1931 by officially atheistic Soviet authorities.

Earlier, the relics of Saint Nicholas were brought into the crypt of the Saint Nicholas Basilica in Bari, Italy, before their 3,000 kilometer-long journey to Moscow. It marks the first time in some 10 centuries that the [major relics] of the man who became the inspiration of the legendary figure of Santa Claus were moved from their resting place.

In Moscow churches rang their bells on Sunday to mark the relics arrival. They were sent to Russia after last year's agreement between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill during the first meeting of the heads of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches.

The 4th-Century Saint Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, now the Turkish city of Demre. After his death, Italian merchants brought his body from Myra, in modern-day Turkey, to Italy.

The relics are to be displayed in Moscow's Christ the Savior cathedral until mid-June. They will then be moved to St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, before being returned to Bari on July 12.

Both cities are expecting huge crowds of believers to visit the relics, and the Moscow patriarchate has already described it as "an unprecedented event."

It is also appreciated by Russian President Vladimir Putin who keeps close ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. He already visited the St. Nicholas relics in Bari in 2007 and has visited the relics.

Vatican Radio - Major relics of St Nicholas visit Russia

Shrine with particle of holy relics of St Nicholas the Wonderworker brought to Russia

Tass - 930 years of waiting: fragment of St Nicholas’s relics to arrive to Russia from Italy

Reuters - Thousands throng to bow to St Nicholas relics in Moscow

BBC - Why St Nicholas works wonders for Russians

Some web browsing............

Archbishop Martin defends Church’s role in public discourse [at a lecture at the University of East Anglia in Norwich as part of the Newman Lectures]

Speaking notes of Archbishop Eamon Martin for the annual University of East Anglia Newman Lecture

The importance of speaking in the public square – address by Archbishop Eamon Martin at the inaugural conference of ‘The Iona Institute Northern Ireland’.

Rush to moralise over Tuam has run ahead of the facts - While the home was an awful, tragic place, it was not necessarily a site of insanity or evil

Religious are cut to the heart by negative media - “The same old clichĂ©s are still being trotted out and caricature images of ‘nuns’ repeated ad nauseam” – Sr Una Agnew.

Pro-repeal group return billionaire’s cash after ethics watchdog probe

Belgian bishops clash with Brothers of Charity over decision to allow euthanasia

The possibilities for rural Ireland are boundless – Fr Eamonn Fitzgibbon

Catholic Church in Ireland must move away from ‘service station’ model (Interesting to see this echoing the discussion of the Limerick Synod in 2015!)

Coptic Pope visits Ireland

Overflow of joy at Fr Sullivan beatification in Dublin

Pope Francis doubts Medjugorje messages

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo as the new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland

Relic of Saint Teresa of Calcutta to visit the cathedrals of Ireland

We owe a debt to those buried at Arbour Hill – Bishop Denis Nulty at State Commemoration of 1916 Rising

Archbishop Charles Brown has profound gratitude for his time in Ireland - Before he left for a new post in Albania, Archbishop Charles Brown, the Pope's ambassador to Ireland for the last five years, spoke to Dominic O'Reilly about the 'heroism of the ordinary', counter-cultural Christianity and how an encounter with Buddhist monks in Nepal rekindled his faith

On the vocations good news front:

From the catholic weird but awesome stuff! - 5 of the most remarkable incorrupt saints

CNA -  What the littlest children can teach us about suffering
CNA - Pope Francis to nuns: Your joy can change the world
The U.N. is about to get an unexpected visitor: Our Lady of Fatima

CNA - Cardinal Dolan finds lesson in humility in life of Irish migrant who saw Our Lady 

CNA - Bono thinks Christian artists need to be way more honest

CNA - Seminarian who once saved the Eucharist from ISIS returns as a priest

No research justifies the use of human embryos, Pope Francis says

Walsingham’s quiet beauty makes it the ideal shrine for England 

Churches Should Be Beautiful Because Ugly Churches Are Bad for Our Soul 

Blessed Margaret Pole: Catholic England’s Royal Martyr

Lough Derg Pilgrimage Season 2017 - Continuing a family tradition!

1st June – 15th August 2017 (last day to commence the Three Day Pilgrimage is 13th August )
For over 50 generations families have carried forward the faith of their families who made their way to Lough Derg.

 Lough Derg offers families a unique connection with their ancestoral family whose spiritual footsteps down the generations awaits them in this sacred Island. The Lough Derg Pilgrimage season connects us with the flame of faith, hope and love lit in Ireland by St Patrick in the fifth century and continues to give light to families today.

Fr Owen McEneaney, Prior of Lough Derg extends a personal invitation to one and all to come and walk in the spiritual footsteps of your family – parents, grandparents, relations – walk the same ground where they walked and prayed, reconnect with their prayer for their family and future family. Today you are that family; come and be touched by God’s grace in the sanctuary of St Patrick. A sacred place where we look to God – Father, Son and Spirit – that communion of love to guide us on our faith-filled journey.

From the time of St Patrick right up to today, experiencing this communion of love at the heart of God has a particular resonance for pilgrims to Lough Derg, leaving the Island as they often do with a deep, deep sense of God’s presence, closeness and love. It is as if they have been taken into the communion of love that is Father, Son and Spirit.

If you have thought about coming to Lough Derg but never managed to get here or if you have been here in the past and thought you will come back some day – let that some-day be this year.

It is our hope that you will say yes and come as you are, come home to the love of God’s family and connect with your family prayer here on Lough Derg.

Linking with the World Meeting of Families in Ireland next year

As Ireland gets ready to host this momentous event Lough Derg extends an invitation to family groups, the parish family and the diocesan family to come and prepare for this occasion, to be part of the unbroken link of Lough Derg as a place of continuous prayer for families over the generations.

The Lough Derg team can be contacted for more information on 071 9861518 daily from 8.00am until 9.00pm during June, July and August. Full season details on loughderg.org

Faithcasts on Catholicnews.ie

SS102fm wants to give a plug to our readers and listeners of an interesting initiative of the Communications Office of the Irish Catholics Bishops Conference which is part of the suite of news and information provided at catholicnews.ie 

Faithcast is the weekly podcast from catholicnews.ie, the news source for the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. Presented by Brenda Drumm, Faithcast is a mixture of interviews and news snippets from the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In this weeks episode of Faithcast, Brenda speaks to Archbishop Eamon Martin about the theme of this year’s World Communications Day message ‘Communicating Hope and Trust in our Times’, in the aftermath of the Manchester terrorist attack.

She also hears from Father Bernard McGuckian SJ about what the beatification of Father John Sullivan means to the Jesuit family in Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare and she learns more about the life and ministry of the new Blessed.

This week’s faith news focuses on:
– The launch of the volunteer and host a family programme by the World Meeting of Families 2018;
– Pope Francis going door to door to bless the homes of Catholics in a Rome suburb;
– The ‘Fan the Flame’ gathering of 2000 Confirmation children in Derry Diocese;
– Pope Francis receiving President Michael D Higgins at the Vatican

To listen to this weeks episode please click HERE.

27 May 2017

28th May 2017 - The Little Shepherds of Fatima: St Francisco & Jacinta Marto (Ascension Sunday)

On this weeks programme Michael Keating returns (at popular request 😃) to join with John and Shane to discuss the latest saints of the church - Francisco and Jacinta Marto - the little shepherds of Fatima. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel which is that of the Ascension as well as our regular round up of notices and saints of the week.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks full programme HERE.

The Little Shepherds of Fatima

Michael Keating joins us again on this weeks programme and tell us the story of the two latest saints to the churches calendar - St Francisco and St Jacinta Marto - the little Shepheds of Fatima. Michael takes us through their short life story and their reactions to the events of Fatima and afterwards upto their young deaths during the Spanish Influenze epidemic. He also tells us about the story of Lucas Baptista, who was 5 years old in 2013, when he fell from a window and suffered traumatic brain injuries that doctors said would leave him severely mentally disabled or in a vegetative state, if he even survived. Lucas’ recovery, after his parents prayed to Jacinta and Francisco, was one of the miracles attributed to the children as part of the canonization process.

CNA - This is the miracle that led to the Fatima children's canonization

You can listen to this section of the programme excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Gospel - Mathew 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3; 7th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 29th - St Raymond and Companions
May 30th - St Joan of Arc
May 31st - The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
June 1st - St Justin Martyr
June 2nd - Ss Marcellinus and Peter (First Friday)
June 3rd - Irish Calendar - St Kevin (First Saturday)
June 3rd - Universal calendar - St Charles Lwanga & Companions, the Uganda Martyrs

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima

On the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 12th, Pope Francis stood in prayer before Our Lady of Fatima, a highlight of his pilgrimage to Portugal for Saturday’s 100th anniversary of the first of the Virgin Mary’s 1917 apparitions to three shepherd children.

Outside the shrine, the pope led a prayer service with songs, accompanied by clergy and faithful, including nearly 1,000 children. The pope then presented Our Lady of Fatima with a “golden rose.”

Prayer of His Holiness Pope Francis
Fatima, Chapel of the Apparitions
May 12, 2017
The Holy Father:
Hail Holy Queen,
Blessed Virgin of Fatima,
Lady of Immaculate Heart,
our refuge and our way to God!
As a pilgrim of the Light that comes to us from your hands,
I give thanks to God the Father, who in every time and place
is at work in human history;
As a pilgrim of the Peace that, in this place, you proclaim,
I give praise to Christ, our peace, and I implore for the world
concord among all peoples;
As a pilgrim of the Hope that the Spirit awakens,
I come as a prophet and messenger to wash the feet of all,
at the same table that unites us.
Refrain (sung by the assembly):
Ave O Clemens, Ave O pia!
Salve Regina Rosarii Fatimae.
Ave O clemens, Ave O pia!
Ave O dulcis Virgo Maria!
The Holy Father:
Hail, Mother of Mercy,
Lady robed in white!
In this place where, a hundred years ago
you made known to all the purposes of God’s mercy,
I gaze at your robe of light
and, as a bishop robed in white,
I call to mind all those who,
robed in the splendour of their baptism,
desire to live in God
and tell the mysteries of Christ in order to obtain peace.
The Holy Father:
Hail, life and sweetness,
Hail, our hope,
O Pilgrim Virgin, O Universal Queen!
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
you keep the joys of men and women
as they journey to the Heavenly Homeland.
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
you keep the sorrows of the human family,
as they mourn and weep in this valley of tears.
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
adorn us with the radiance of the jewels of your crown
and make us pilgrims, even as you were a pilgrim.
With your virginal smile,
enliven the joy of Christ’s Church.
With your gaze of sweetness,
strengthen the hope of God’s children.
With your hands lifted in prayer to the Lord,
draw all people together into one human family.
The Holy Father:
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Grant that we may follow the example of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta,
and of all who devote themselves to proclaiming the Gospel.
Thus we will follow all paths
and everywhere make our pilgrim way;
we will tear down all walls
and cross every frontier,
as we go out to every periphery,
to make known God’s justice and peace.
In the joy of the Gospel, we will be the Church robed in white,
the whiteness washed in the blood of the Lamb,
blood that today too is shed in the wars tearing our world apart.
And so we will be, like you, an image of the column of light
that illumines the ways of the world,
making God known to all,
making known to all that God exists,
that God dwells in the midst of his people,
yesterday, today and for all eternity.
The Holy Father, with all the faithful:
Hail, Mother of the Lord,
Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Blessed among all women,
you are the image of the Church robed in paschal light,
you are the honour of our people,
you are the victory over every assault of evil.
Prophecy of the merciful love of the Father,
Teacher of the Message of Good News of the Son,
Sign of the burning Fire of the Holy Spirit,
teach us, in this valley of joys and sorrows,
the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones.
Show us the strength of your protective mantle.
In your Immaculate Heart,
be the refuge of sinners
and the way that leads to God.
In union with my brothers and sisters,
in faith, in hope and in love,
I entrust myself to you.
In union with my brothers and sisters, through you, I consecrate myself to God,
O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima.
And at last, enveloped in the Light that comes from your hands,
I will give glory to the Lord for ever and ever.

Canonising the Little Shepheds of Fatima

CNA - (Fatima, Portugal, May 13, 2017).- Pope Francis officially declared Francisco and Jacinta Marto saints of the Catholic Church in front of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at Fatima, Portugal – teaching us that even young children can become saints.

“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto to be saints,” Pope Francis exclaimed May 13 as the crowd roared with applause.

“We enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Pope Francis presided over their canonization Mass during his two-day pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal May 12-13 to take part in celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima.

The brother and sister, Francisco and Jacinta, who tended to their families’ sheep with their cousin Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, witnessed the apparitions of Mary, now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima.

In her message to the children, Mary brought with her requests for conversion, prayer (particularly the recitation of the rosary), sacrifices on behalf of sinners, and a three-part secret regarding the fate of the world. The children followed Mary’s requests, praying often, giving their lunch to beggars and going without food themselves. They offered up their daily crosses and even refrained from drinking water on hot days.

Convinced by Mary’s requests and the vision of hell, both children lived lives of prayer and penance after the apparitions, offering themselves for sinners as Mary had asked. Francisco was known for his devotion to the Eucharist and his strict physical mortifications, while Jacinta was especially known for having a heart for the poor and the suffering.

Both children fell victim to the influenza epidemic of 1918 that swept through Europe. In October 1918, Mary again appeared to the sick siblings and promised to take them to heaven soon. On April 3, 1919, Francisco declined hospital treatment for influenza and died the next day.

Jacinta was given hospital treatment in hopes of prolonging her life, but she knew that she would soon join Francisco in heaven. On February 19, 1920, Jacinta asked the hospital chaplain who heard her confession to bring her Holy Communion and administer the last rites, because she was going to die “the next night.” But the priest said that her condition was not that serious and that he would return the next day. The next day Jacinta was found dead – she had died in her sleep.

Pope John Paul II beatified Francisco and Jacinta May 13, 2000, on the 83rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. Both under 12 years old, they were the youngest non-martyrs to be beatified in the history of the Church.

Sister Lucia, the third visionary, lived much longer, dying in 2005 at the age of 97. The Church is currently examining documents and collecting testimonies for her beatification cause.


Pope Francis visit to Fatima and the canonisation

Vatican Radio - articles, recordings and translations of the Pope's homilies at addresses during his visit to Fatima 

Irish Catholic - Raising his servants from their lowliness

Aleteia - Slideshow: See Pope Francis’ trip to Fatima in these beautiful images

Whispersintheloggia - On Fatima's 100th, The Shepherd's Message: "Honor Your Mother"
Whispersintheloggia - "We Will Have All Eternity To See Her" – On Fatima's 100th, The Shepherds Become Saints
Whispersintheloggia - "My One Hope of Glory Is This" – In Fatima, The Lady of "Light" Meets "The Bishop in White"

CNA - Mary points to Christ's mercy, Pope Francis tells Fatima pilgrims
CNA - The 'silence' of Fatima offers important message for world today 
CNA - 'Miracle of the sun' broke darkness of Portugal's atheist regimes
CNA - Let's be guided by Mary's Immaculate Heart, Pope says in Fatima

Aleteia - The enigma of Fatima, the fall of Communism, and Islam
Aleteia - Bishop Robert Barron - Our Lady of Fatima, and a theological reading of history
Aleteia - You are a “precious treasure of the Church,” Pope Francis tells sick in Fatima
Aleteia - 100 Years of Fatima: The “scandalous betrayal” of Sister Lucia

Rome Reports - Pope Francis in Fatima: God is not a ruthless judge restrained by Mary's arm

Irish Catholic - The surprising connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam

The Atlantic - The Child Saints of Fatima. In the last 1,000 years, only seven popes have been canonized. On Saturday, two Portuguese children received the rare honor 
New York Post - Pope Francis proclaims two Fatima children saints 
NPR - Pope Francis Announces 2 New Saints On 100th Anniversary Of Their Vision 
NYT - In Portugal, Pope Francis Proclaims Two FĂĄtima Siblings Saints

What is WMoF2018?

What will be World Meeting of Families' key moments?

Find out more aboutWMoF2018 at their website

24 May 2017

A Triduum to celebrate Our Lady of Limerick

A special Triduum to Our Lady of Limerick will be held in the Diocese of Limerick this May, the month of Mary. Over three days, from Thursday 25 May to Saturday 27 May, daily Masses, prayers and devotions will be offered in Saint Saviour’s Dominican Church, Glentworth Street, the site which holds the statue of Our Lady of Limerick.

Each day of the Triduum, Fr John Harris OP will celebrate Mass at 1.00pm followed by devotions to Our Lady of Limerick. On Thursday 25 May and Friday 26 May at 7.00pm, the Dominican Sisters will lead reflections, night prayer and processions to Our Lady.

On the final day of the Triduum, following a closing Mass and procession led by Fr John Harris OP, the church plaza will host a Family Festival with games and activities for younger parishioners. The festival will include live music, face painting and local food stalls, among other events.

Our Lady of Limerick: Dominican sisters gearing up for parish’s first festival

From Irish Dominicans

The statue of Our Lady of Limerick first came to the city in 1640 as a gift from Patrick Sarsfield and his wife Eleanor. Patrick had purchased the statue on the continent and gifted the statue in reparation for the martyrdom of Sir John Burke of Brittas, Captain of Clanwilliam.  It was Patrick’s uncle, Judge Dominic Sarsfield, who had sentence Sir John to death. Sir John was a member of the Rosary Confraternity connected with the Dominicans of Limerick City. He loved the Order and promoted the Rosary in his family and locality. Each year he invited the Dominicans to celebrate Mass in his ancestral home, Brittas Castle and for having the Holy Mass celebrated in secret, he was condemned to death and his estate confiscated in the Act of Settlement in 1653.

Patrick Sarsfield donated the Statue and a silver chalice dated 1640 to the friars of Limerick and he inscribed it with his wife’s name and his own in reparation for the sin of his Uncle, Judge Dominic Sarsfield. They were presented to Fr. Terence Albert of Brian, O.P. who would later become Bishop of Emly and die for the faith in the city of Limerick on October 30th 1651.

During the siege of Limerick in 1651, the statue of the Virgin was removed and according to tradition was buried alongside the remains of the Martyred Bishop O’Brien.

In 1780 when the days of persecution had passed the Dominicans built a small chapel in Fish Lane to replace an earlier church destroyed by anti-Catholic forces. The statue was recovered from its earthly grave and given a place of honour alongside the main altar. When the Dominicans opened St Saviour’s Church in Perry Square in 1816 the statue was brought in procession and enthroned on its own altar surrounded by images of the Dominican saints. 

In 1954 the Virgin and Child were crowned with a tiara of gold, pearls and diamonds all donated by the women of Limerick, with the result that rich and poor alike had some share in the graces that flow from the treasury of Our Lady of Limerick. 

The statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Limerick is almost life-size. On her arm rests the Infant Jesus; while a long silver rosary, with an ancient tubular cross, stretches from the right hand. 


Prayer to Our Lady of Limerick
Most loving lady of Limerick, my Mother and my Queen, I thank thee from my heart for the many blessings and consolations that hast bestowed upon me. I love thee with all the fervour of my soul and promise to serve thee always and to make thee loved by all. I place my entire life with its many cares and anxieties in the tender arms of thy maternal love, knowing that thou wilt always guide and protect me. Inflame my heart with true love of Jesus Christ so that I may every accomplish His holy will. I pray thee, thou Mother of Mercy, to safeguard, as thy special heritage, thy faithful people of Limerick. Thou were given to us in our hour of suffering to inspire and encourage us; do not leave us until thou see us safe in Heaven, there to bless thee and sing thy mercies for all eternity. 

20 May 2017

21 May 2017 - Camp Creideamh in Knockadoon

On this weeks programme John is joined by Fr Eamonn Roche and Lisa Blackwell to discuss an upcoming faith summer camp in Knockadoon in Co Cork. We have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel as well as notices and other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Camp Creideamh

On this weeks programme we are joined by Fr Eamon Roche and Lisa Blackwell to tell us about Camp Creideamh. The summer camp is a one week (6 nights), stay-on-site, full-board camp in the picturesque sea-side village of Knockadoon in East Cork for teenagers age 12 – 17. The camp will be a week of fun, friendship and growing in faith: activities include catechesis and prayer, various sports, canoeing, swimming, hillwalking, music, Catholic movies, arts and crafts, and many other activities.

Camp Creideamh began in 2016 as an all-boys faith camp. Now, in 2017, there is both an all-boys camp (June 4-10) and an all-girls camp (June 11 – 17). Camp Creideamh seeks to foster Catholic identity and is fully committed to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The camp will feature daily Mass and daily recitation of the Most Holy Rosary. The camp has a beautiful chapel on site.

To find out more about the camp you can look at their website HERE.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Eamon and Lisa excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - John 14:15-21

”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 6th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 22nd - St Rita of Cascia
May 23rd - St William of Rochester
May 24th - Our Lady Help of Christians
May 25th - St Bede
May 26th - St Philip Neri
May 27th - St Augustine of Canterbury