Category Archives: SAINTS WE LOVE

SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI, Virgin & Religious – Memoria: 11 August 2018

Saint Clare of Assisi, first woman follower of Saint Francis of Assisi and first Franciscan woman saint, was born in 1194 in the noble family of Favarone at Assisi in central Italy. Her name, Clara in Latin and Chiara in Italian, means clear, shining or bright. One day, just before Clare’s birth, her mother was praying before the crucifix in the monastery of Assisi for her child about to be born when she heard a voice telling her, “Have no fear, woman, you will hear your child safely, and she will be a torch to give a clear light to the world.”

At the age of 15 Clare was deeply impressed by the preaching of Saint Francis and wanted to follow him. Having no provision for any woman member in his Order, Francis kept her in suspense for three years. Then, on Palm Sunday, 18 March 1212, she went to Francis and begged him to admit her into his Order. Seeing her earnestness and determination, he agreed. As suggested by Francis, that night she, with her cousin Filippa, escaped from home by the door reserved for taking bodies of dead members out, and went to the church of Saint Mary of the Angels at Portiuncula which Francis had rebuilt. There, in front of the altar, she renounced her costly clothes and beautiful hair, and received from him the Franciscan monastic habit, and into his hands made vow of absolute poverty and dedicated herself to following the poor and humble Christ. The thirty-year old Francis who had no money, no means and no canonical authority accepted spiritual and material responsibility for her. Clare was temporarily accomodated at the neighboring Benectine convent. Clare’s father and relatives protested angrily, but she did not change her mind. Soon she was followed by her younger sister Agnes who too is a saint . Clare had won complete victory over her own egoism and the craving for earthly possessions. Having chosen a life of radical poverty and obtained from the Pope the privilege of not possessing anything, she, together with Francis, founded the second Franciscan Order, the poor Clares.

Soon she moved to another Benedictine convent, but was unable to carry on under the Benedictine Rule. Francis then made over to her the church and  convent of San Damiano. There she was joined by her mother Blessed Ortolana, her younger sister Beatrice and her aunt Bianca, and several other women. Interestingly Clara thus became the superior of her own mother, aunty and sisters, and they lived docilely under her guidance. In 1215 Francis appointed her abbess. For thirty-nine years Clare lived in the enclosure of that convent. All her life she never crossed the boundaries of Assisi where she lived in rigorous austerity, spending her time in prayer, penance and contemplation. God worked many miracles in answer to her prayers.

In the year 1240 an army of Saracens who were in the service of Emperor Frederick II drew near Assisi. They rushed upon the little convent of San Damiano that lay outside the city and had already sealed the walls of the monastery.  In mortal fear the sisters had recourse to their mother, who was ill in bed.  Clare, carrying the pyx containing the Most Blessed Sacrament, had herself carried to a convent window. There she pleaded fervently with the Lord of heaven in the words of the Psalmist: “Do not deliver the soul of  thy dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of thy poor for ever” (Psalm 74:19 RSV), “and shield thy servants whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.”  A mysterious voice  coming from the Host said: “I shall always watch over you.”  Immediately panic seized the besiegers. A ray of brilliant light which emanated from the Blessed Sacrament had dazzled them. They fell down from the walls and fled from the place. The convent was saved and the town of Assisi was spared.

After suffering from a serious illness for thirty years, Clare felt that her end was drawing nigh. After she had received the last sacraments, she and one of her sisters beheld the Queen of Virgins coming with a large escort to meet her, the spouse of Jesus Christ. On August 11, 1253, she entered into the joys of eternity, and on the following day her body was buried. Pope Alexander IV canonized her already in the year 1255. She was chosen as the universal patroness of television in 1958.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in Your mercy You led Saint Clare to the love of poverty. Help us, by her intercession, to follow Christ in poverty of spirit, so that, in the Kingdom of Heaven, we may see You in Your glory. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 11 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE


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SAINT LAWRENCE, Deacon and Martyr – FEAST: 10 August

Lawrence was a deacon of the Church of Rome and died in the persecution of Valerian four days after Pope Saint Sixtus II and his four fellow deacons. He was buried on the Via Tiburtina at the Campo Verano near to where Constantine the Great built a basilica. He has been venerated throughout the Church from the fourth centtury.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You inspired Saint Lawrence with so ardent a love, that his life was renowned for the service of Your people and his death for the splendor of his martyrdom. Help us to love what he loved and to lie as he showed us. We pray this in the mst precious name of our  Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 10 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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Posted by on August 10, 2018 in READ & PRAY, SAINTS WE LOVE


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Born at Calaruega in Spain about the year 1170, He studied theology at Palencia and became a canon of the Cathedral of Osma. He preached against the Albigensian heresy and because of the example of his own life this bore great fruit. In order to carry on and increase this work he gathered around hi a group of companions and formed the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). He died on 6 August i the year 1221 at Bologna.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You gave Saint Dominic to the Church of his day as a great preacher of Your truth. We pray that he will help us in our time by his merits, his teaching and his unfailing prayer. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 8 August 2018

A Christian Pilgrim


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“There is no better wood for feeding the fire of God’s love than the wood of the Cross.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You raised up Saint Ignatius of Loyola in Your Church to give greater glory to Your name. Grant that, aided by his prayers, we may fight against all that is evil on earth, and with him receive the crown of victory in heaven.  We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 31 July 2018 [The Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest and Founder of the Society of Jesus]

A Christian Pilgrim


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SAINT JOACHIM AND SAINT ANNE, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Memoria: 26 July

There is in Quebec, Canada, a magnificent basilica dedicated to St. Anne. It really does honor the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The mother of Mary most holy is glorious among the saints, and deserves to be honored, because in her took place the Immaculate Conception. And old tradition dating back to the second century holds that Joachim was Mary’s father and Anne was her mother. They were, therefore, parents-in-law of St. Joseph and maternal grandparents of Jesus. The name Anne comes from Anna (Hanna) which means grace. The word Joachim means Yahweh saves.

Tradition says that Joachim and Anne lived in Nazareth. They belonged to the tribe of Judah and the royal family of David.  From early times both have been honored as saints. Numerous churches and chapels as well as several religious Institutes have been named after Saint Anne. The memorial of the parents of the Blessed Mother is celebrated on the day of Saint Anne’s death which coincides with the dedication of her basilica in Constantinople (Istanbul) around the year 550, it spread to the West in the 13th century, favored by the crusades. Later, in 1584 the feast was inserted in the Roman Missal. The feast of Saint Joachim began to be celebrated in the West in 1522. Today we celebrate a single unified feast in honor of both of them, as a revised Calendar of 1969 prescribes.

As Jesus says, “From their fruits you will know them”. Mary blossomed on the family of Joachim and Anne, They were certainly faithful Jews and dutiful parents, for they trained their daughter in the faith of Abraham, in the Mosaic Law, in the Scriptures, in prayer and in charity, as we can make out from the words and deeds of Mary: her visit to Elizabeth, her Magnificat, and her intervention at Cana, etc. Joachim and Anne were, therefore, ideal parents and a model for all parents. Blessed are they, for they have given birth to and brought up the Most Blessed Mother of the Lord. They have given to the world the Mother of God.

Prayer: Lord, God of our fathers, You bestowed on Saint Joachim and Saint Anne this singular grace that their daughter, Mary, should become the Mother of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant, at their intercession, the salvation You promised to Your people. We pray this in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with Your and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 26 July 2018

A Christian Pilgrim


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SAINT JAMES, Apostle – Feast: 25 July

Saint James the Apostle, also known as James the Greater, was born at Bethsaida. He was the elder brother of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist. They were sons of Zebedee. James was among the first Disciples of Jesus. Being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-3) in the year 43 or 44, James participated in the chalice of the Lord’s Passion and became the first of the Twelve to shed his blood for the Gospel. From this we can conclude that James was very active in Jerusalem as a messenger of Christ. An ancient tradition believes that the man who denounced Saint James to King Herod Agrippa was converted by the apostle’s commitment and fearlessness in the face of suffering, and himself suffered martyrdom together with him

By profession, James and John were fishermen. as they were repairing their nets one day, Jesus passed by. The Lord called them away from the humble work of mending their nets and appointed them fishers of men. They promptly left their father and their nets and faithfully followed Him. Together with Peter, James and John made up the core group of three Apostles. So, James was among the three privileged Disciples of Jesus. He was a first-hand witness of the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31), of the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37-43), of the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9:2-8), and of the Lord’s agony in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37). Significantly, his presence at the transfiguration and at the agony of Gethsemane was desired by the Lord Himself.

Being, like his brother, a “son of thunder” (Boanerges – Mark 3:17), James had zealously contested the Samaritans who did not welcome Jesus and wanted to call down fire on them.This won him a reproof from the Lord (Luke 9:51-56). Together with his brother John, he also made the ambitious request for one of the first place in the Kingdom, provoking a reaction from the other Apostles. Jesus assured them a primacy of another kind: “The cup that I drink, you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized” (Mark 10::39), alluding to their martyrdom and meaning that they would participate in His suffering and death. This indeed they did. Jesus asked them to aim at the primacy of service: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be the first among you must be slave of all”  (Mark 10:43-44).

Prayer: Lord God, You accepted the sacrifice of Saint James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake. May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer. We make our prayer in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jakarta, 25 July 2018

A Christian Pilgrim


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SAINT THOMAS, Apostle – FEAST: 3 July

Thomas is renowned among the apostles chiefly because of his lack of faith which was dispelled when the risen Christ appeared to him. He proclaimed what is in fact the Easter faith of the Church when he said: My Lord and my God (John 20:24-29). Nothing certain is known of his life apart from what is given in the gospels, but tradition has it that he preached to the people of India. From the sixth century a feast of the translation of his relics has been kept at Edessa on 3 July.

Prayer: My Lord and my God! I believe in You. I say that easily – too easily – when things are going along without any difficulty, when things are going the way I want them to go. But when I get no consolation from prayer, when prayer is nothing but distractions, my heart remains cold, when I say: My Lord and my God. When I get sick, or someone I love is suffering, when my plans blow up in my face, and I don’t know where to turn, then trusting You is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go. I pray that someday You will lift me into a complete and confirmed faith, so I will know and believe. Let me mean it with all of my heart, when I say, “I put all things, all my life, all of the world into Your hands.” Hear my prayer, my Lord and my God. Amen. 

Source of Prayer: The Prayers of Father Killian (Fr. Killian Speckner, OFNConv.)

Jakarta, 3 July 2018

A Christian Pilgrim


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