About sandra dipasqua

graphic designer

St. Francis of Assisi 1182 – 1226 Poet and Mystic

Saint Francis of Assisi “Lord make me an instrument of they peace, where there is hatred let me sow love.”
Patron of: Ecologists

Love for God and everything in creation so consumed St. Francis of Assisi, that he was able to commune with the natural world on a divine level. Taming wolves, quieting flocks of birds and infusing peace and contentment to the humanity he interacted with, we call on Francis of Assisi to bring us into the harmonious rhythms of the universe, where all of nature and mankind are at one with the divine force of creation. An unlikely mystic, Francis was born Giovanni Bernadone in the town of Assisi. His father, a proud member of the upper classes was a wealthy cloth merchant married to a woman from Provence. Because he frequently conversed in French with his mother, Giovanni was soon known as “Francesco” or “the Frenchman” by his friends and neighbors. Confident that his son would follow in his footsteps, the elder Bernadone indulged and catered to Francesco’s every whim and the youth enjoyed a pleasure filled existence in the company of others in his social caste. On a lark he set off with friends to take part in a war with Perugia. Much to his shock, he was taken prisoner and it took his family a year to ransom him back. Upon his return, he was bedridden and seriously ill. But in recovering his health, Francesco seems to have lost his identity. He suffered a great spiritual crisis as all interest in his old life and his father’s business waned and disappeared. While wandering the countryside he stopped into the deserted church of San Damiano and heard the crucifix say to him, “Francis, go and repair my house, which you see is falling down.” Happy to have some direction in his life, he took the request literally and began rebuilding the structure with his bare hands. Ultimately, his father disowned him and when Francis, renouncing his inheritance threw his clothing in the street, he donned the simple brown garment given him by the Bishop of Assisi.

Begging for supplies, Francis continued his work on San Damiano. Eventually he was joined by other disenchanted young men looking for a higher meaning in life. By simply following the exact tenets of Christ, this little band of friars, never owning anything, bartering labor for food and shelter began a movement of religious seekers that revolutionized the Church by the simple and loving way they spread the gospel. Instead of writing in church Latin he used colloquial Italian and in an effort to explain the story of Christ’s birth, he created a living tableau of animals and people – the first Christmas crèche.

A great poet and mystic, Francis was the first saint to receive the stigmata while in a meditative rapture. Filled with humility and though he founded one of the world’s greatest religious orders, Francis of Assisi was never ordained a priest. Upon his death he requested to be buried in the cemetery for criminals, but the people of Assisi so loved him that they took his body and interred it under the altar of their great cathedral. Just as popular with nonCatholics as Catholics, Francis has inspired great artists, composers and writers. Assisi, Italy remains a great pilgrimage site for those wishing to pay him tribute.

Novena
O Beloved Saint Francis, gentle and poor, your obedience to God, and your simple, deep love for all God’s creatures led you to the heights of heavenly perfection and turned many hearts to follow God’s will. Now in our day, in our ministry to the many who come here searching for peace and intercede for us we come before the Lord with our special requests…
(Mention your special intentions here.)
O Blessed Saint of God, from your throne among the hosts of heaven, present our petitions before our faithful Lord. May your prayers on our behalf be heard and may God grant us the grace to lead good and faithful lives. Amen
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

 

Travel: New York City

IMG_0316

NYU Catholic Center, a place to reflect and meditate. Mass every day during the week at 5:15—on Thursday 6:15. It’s a beautiful service with students, neighborhood people and visitors. The chaplain is Father John Baptist Hoang, O.P.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession before each  mass. 

238 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012 (212) 995-3990

Share your visit with us in the comment box below, we would love to hear from you.

Visit their website at https://catholiccenternyu.org/.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

440px-Ignatius_of_Loyola_(militant)

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Saint of the Day for July 31

(October 23, 1491July 31, 1556)

Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Story

The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat near Barcelona. He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned.

It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the Spiritual Exercises.

He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. Ignatius spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods.

In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others—one of whom was Saint Francis Xavier—vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Pope Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general.

When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens, and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society.

Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.


Reflection

Luther nailed his theses to the church door at Wittenberg in 1517. Seventeen years later, Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society that was to play so prominent a part in the Catholic Reformation. He was an implacable foe of Protestantism. Yet the seeds of ecumenism may be found in his words: “Great care must be taken to show forth orthodox truth in such a way that if any heretics happen to be present they may have an example of charity and Christian moderation. No hard words should be used nor any sort of contempt for their errors be shown.” One of the greatest ecumenists was the 20th-century German Jesuit, Cardinal Augustin Bea.

Taken from Franciscan Media

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-ignatius-of-loyola/

Novena to Saints Joachim and Anne

SOD-0726-SaintJoachimandAnne-790x480(The Novena consist of 9 days of prayers.)

Saints Joachim and Anne,
grandparents of Jesus and parents of Mary,
we seek your intercession.
We beg you to direct all our actions
to the greater glory of God
and the salvation of souls.
Strengthen us when we are tempted,
console us during our trials,
help us when we are in need,
be with us in life and in death.

O Divine Savior,
we thank You for having chosen saint Joachim and Anne
to be the parents of our Blessed Mother Mary
and so to be your beloved grandparents.
We place ourselves under their patronage this day.
We recommend to them our families,
our children, and our grandchildren.
Keep them from all spiritual and physical harm.
Grant that they may ever grow
in greater love of God and others.

Saints Joachim and Anne,
we have many great needs.
We beg you to intercede for us
before the throne of your Divine Grandson.
All of us here have our special intentions,
our own special needs,
and we pray that through your intercession
our prayers may be granted.

Amen.

-Mention your intention(s) here…-

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi), Year C

Scripture Readings: Book of Genesis 14:18-20; First Letter of Saint Paul the Corinthians 11:23-26; Gospel According to Saint Luke 9:11-17

On the night before giving His life on the cross, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, the gift of his Body and Blood, in the form of bread and wine, as the perpetual passover sacrifice for his followers. This was done in the context of what is traditionally called the Last Supper. The solemnity we celebrate this Sunday centers on the gift of the Body and Blood of the Lord, which we partake in at Holy Mass (the Eucharist) until the Lord comes again in glory at the end of the ages.

Instituting the Eucharist at the time when the Jewish Passover lambs were being sacrificed, Jesus inaugurated the Christian Passover. As the ancient rite commemorated the freedom of God’s people from slavery in Egypt, so the Christian ritual recalls freedom from sin and death and the gift of new life being offered in and through Christ, who rose from the dead to bring eternal life.

A happy echo of this feast is often seen and heard in the rite of First Communion on Corpus Christi Sunday, when children, and sometimes adults, come to receive for the first time the consecrated bread and wine at the Mass, the Holy Eucharist.

Authentic faith and genuine devotion to God’s are often beautifully expressed at First Communion Masses, and that was certainly the case of my own First Communion on Mother’s Day in 1960, at the end of first grade at Saint Charles Borromeo School in Portland, Oregon. It was a joyous and faith-filled day for us children and our families in attendance. Those were simpler times and I do recall that few if any pictures or videos were taken during the actual ceremony. For sure they were afterwards, but not during!

Did we children in that long ago day really understand the fullness of the mystery of which we were partaking? How could we, but we all have to start somewhere, and the kindly Holy Child nuns had us reverently and genuinely approaching the altar of the Lord in the hope of receiving not ordinary bread, but the Bread of Life, the very Body of Christ. In those days we did not receive from the chalice, but we knew we were receiving of the fullness of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and Blood even in the tiny host.

While the celebration of the Lord’s Body and Blood has been taking place since the Last Supper and continues to be celebrated at every Holy Mass, the more formal feast of “Corpus Christi” has been observed since 1246, beginning in the diocese of Liege in Belgium. The feast entered the Roman Missal for use in the Latin Church later in the same century, incorporating many of the texts composed by the Dominican Saint Thomas Aquinas, who lived from 1225 to 1274. Aquinas’ words became the hymns for the Mass and Divine Office (Liturgy of the Houses) of this great feast.

From its origin in the Middle Ages, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi was intended to affirm Catholic belief in the Real Presence of the Risen Christ in the consecrated bread and wine at Mass. The feast came to be accompanied with processions where the Blessed Sacrament, held in an elaborate monstrance, would be carried to “altars of repose,” for adoration by the faithful and Benediction (blessing) with the Blessed Sacrament.

This practice is still carried out in many places and holds strong memories for me from my home parish celebrating the feast. In those days (the early 1960’s), the Corpus Christi Mass with procession and Benediction afterwards was held on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. Why Thursday? The idea then was to recall the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Today Catholics normally keep the feast on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday.

Popular piety has certainly waned in many places since the late 1960’s, especially in cultures other than African, Asian and Latino. Nonetheless, in the best Catholic tradition, the Eucharist, Holy Mass, wherever it is celebrated, remains the source and summit of belief and practice.

Firm belief in the Body and Blood Christ and regular reception of the Blessed Sacrament or Holy Communion is fundamental to Catholic doctrine, spirituality and growth in holiness. This is our inheritance. Let us joyfully embrace the gift of “finest wheat” which God offers us regularly, even every day.

The Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century, including Zwingli, Calvin, Luther and others, taught that the Holy Eucharist was simply a symbol. The unbroken teaching of the Church is that we behold and receive in the Eucharist the Real Presence of the Risen Lord, who promised to be with us until the end of time. It is a great mystery yet at the same time a simple truth: God-is-with-us in a very special and singular way in the Blessed Sacrament, both received at Holy Communion and adored in the tabernacle or exposed on the altar at Exposition and Benediction.

The Mass, Holy Eucharist, is the sacrifice or offering of the new covenant in the Blood of Christ. It is likewise the offering of the faithful, God’s people, united to Jesus in praise of the One God.

Saint Paul the Apostle preached that the entire life of a Christian is a prolongation of the Eucharist, as a spiritual sacrifice offered to God in union with Christ. For this reason, Saint Paul exhorted his hearers to offer themselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is the message for each of us today as well and the heart of our religion and worship, in spirit and in truth (see Saint Paul’s Letter to the Roman, chapter 12, verse 1).

We should not come to Mass out of mere obligation, but because the Eucharistic celebration is an integral part of our life in Christ and our communion with others. The celebration and reception of the Eucharist should be our strength and joy, a commitment in faith and love that gives meaning to all our existence.

We aren’t Christians because we go to Mass, but we go to Mass because we are Christians, to celebrate God’s unbounded love for us and to participate in the action that followers of Christ have engaged in since the Lord walked among his own.

The Mass never ends, we might say, because at the conclusion of every Mass we are “sent forth,” to announce the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ, to the ends of the earth, by our words and especially by our deeds (“actions, not words,” the nuns always taught us as children). As tabernacles of the Lord, by receiving His Body and Blood, we are commissioned with a special task that not everyone has embraced: to be bearers of Christ, christophers (cristoferos, in Greek), to all people, until our final breath. Could there be a higher call?

Abbot Christian Leisy, OSB,

Feast of St.Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony's Feast, New York in the seventies Rocco Galatioto B1195—1231
Saint Anthony is the Patron Saint of Debt, Lost Articles,
Poverty, Portugal
His Feast Day is June 13.

Always depicted with the baby Jesus, Saint Anthony of Padua is the most popular saint in the world. The unconditional love and kindness that are the essence of Saint Anthony’s nature are best represented by this story. While walking through his garden, an older relative heard the giggling and laughing of a baby. He looked up to see Anthony with the baby Jesus in his arms, happily carrying him and talking to him. The baby kissed Anthony and disappeared. In his novena, we beg Saint Anthony to whisper our request to the infant. Since babies are not judgmental, this incarnation of Christ will surely grant our petitions. Because of this special relationship, Saint Anthony is approachable by all, for large and small favors alike.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, to noble parents, he was baptized Fernando. He took the name Anthony upon entering the Franciscan order. He intended to preach in Morocco and, if necessary die a martyr for his faith. Instead, after arriving there, he became very ill and was sent home. His ship was blown off course and he ended up in Messina, Sicily. He then attended the great meeting of all Franciscans, where he was very moved to be seated next to the order’s founder, Saint Francis of Assisi.

Saint Anthony was magnetic and charismatic. Sent by the Franciscans to be a traveling preacher around Lombardy and southern France, and with only prayer as preparation, he gave powerful speeches, overwhelming his audiences with his love for a more spiritual life. Saint Anthony was based in Padua, Italy, but he attracted huge crowds wherever he went. Many swore he radiated a holy aura.

Saint Anthony spent the last few years of his life working to help relieve the burden of debt from the poor of Padua. Saint Anthony’s Bread, devoted to feeding the hungry, is a charity that he started that is still in existence. After their novena prayers are answered, many people make donations to this organization in thanks.

Worn out by his travels, Saint Anthony died at the age of thirty—six. His reputation for compassion was so legendary, that even a few weeks after his death, when a child drowned in the river and his mother cried out to Saint Anthony in anguish, the child miraculously came back to life. Due to the many other miracles and answered prayers that followed his death, his consecration as a saint is the quickest on record, taking only one year.

Saint Anthony, credited with an extraordinary range of intercessionary powers and known as “The Wonder Worker”, is most famous as the saint of lost articles. After a novice borrowed his psalter and failed to return it, Saint Anthony prayed to get the book back. The novice then had a terrifying heavenly vision that forced him to return it. In 1263, when Saint Anthony’s tomb was reopened, it was found that his tongue had never decomposed. His tongue, jawbones, and vocal chords are on display in the cathedral at Padua. He is the patron saint of lost articles, the patron saint of the poor, and the patron saint of Portugal. Saint Anthony is usually depicted with the Infant Jesus, his returned psalter, and lilies to represent his purity.

Novena to Saint Anthony of Padua

O holy Saint Anthony, gentlest of saints, your love for God and charity for his creatures made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me(mention your request here). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle; even so, you are the saint of miracles. O gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart was ever filled with human sympathy. whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will be ever yours.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.

This novena can be said nine times in a row for nine days in a row.

It can also be said every Tuesday in church. Say this novena nine times in a row in front of a lit votive candle to Saint Anthony, for nine weeks in a row.