Archive for July, 2009

A Prayer for Priests

31 July, 2009

A Prayer for Priests

Gracious God, loving Father,
font of every gift and good,
make of priests for us we pray:

men of faith, men of love,
humble servants of your Word,
prophets of your Spirit’s grace;

men of hope, men of peace,
strong defenders of the truth,
heralds of your holy gospel;

men of prayer, men of praise,
guardians of our sacred rites,
of the scriptures and tradition;

men of changelessness and change,
men who follow you each day,
when and where your Spirit leads;

men of tenderness and strength,
comfort for the sick and weary,
shepherds leading home the lost;

men of counsel, men of wisdom,
gentle guides for the confused,
lights along the darkened path;

men of mercy, patient men,
understanding and consoling
of the grieving and abused;

men of justice and compassion,
reconciling and forgiving,
men of healing in your name;

men of sacrifice and honor,
single minded in your service,
set apart to do your will;

men of holiness and joy,
men anointed by your grace,
men ordained to serve as Christ.

Make us one with them in faith
and in Christ your only Son
in whose holy name we pray.

Amen

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24th July A Passionist Feast

24 July, 2009

BLESSED NICEFORO DIEZ TEJERINA AND THE PASSIONIST MARTYRS OF DAIMIEL

Blessed Niceforo of Jesus and Mary (Diez Tejerina) and his 25 martyr companions were all members of the Passionist Community of Daimiel. Their martyrdom took place against the background of the strong anti-clerical climate which was sweeping Spain after the proclamation of the Republic in 1931. The majority were young religious aged between 18 and 21 years of age studying for the Priesthood and the possibility of working one day in South America. Towards midnight of the 21/22nd July anticipating the possibility of being attacked, the members of the Community, led by the Provincial Fr. Niceforo Diez gathered in the Chapel of the Monastery. They made their last Confession, received Holy Communion and heard the Provincial say ‘Inhabitants of Calvary, this is our Gethsemane. Human nature frightened at the prospect of the Steps of the Passion, the same as that of Jesus, grows weak and is intimidated. But Jesus is with us. He comforts us and sustains us. In a few moments we will be with Christ. Inhabitants of Calvary – Courage! Let us die for Christ.’

About 200 men arrived and drove them into the night. Divided into small groups they were martyred at various places over the next three months. Six were martyred on 23rd July at Manganares and on the same day nine at Carabanchel. Two days later three more were killed at Erda. Two months later two were martyred at Carrion de Calatrava on 25th September. In the following month the final group of six were martyred on 23rd October.

Not one abandoned the group to avoid participation in their fate. The moment of supreme sacrifice had come and all of them faced death with unflinching fortitude and patience for the love of God and Jesus. In actual fact even the soldiers admitted that some of them died with the crucifix in their hands and crying out ‘May Christ the King Live!’

Their Memorial is observed 24th July, the available date nearest to the date on which the first group, under the leadership of their Provincial, Blessed Niceforo Tejerina, was martyred. They are the first Beatified Martyrs of the Congregation of the Passion. Pope John Paul II beatified them on 1st October 1989.

Martyred in Manganares 23rd July
Fr. Niceforo Diez (aged 43 Yrs.), Jose Estalayo, student (aged 21 yrs.); Epilanio Sierra, student (aged 20 yrs.); Abilio Ramos, student (aged 20 yrs.); Zacarios Fernandez, student (aged 19 yrs.); Fulgencio Calvo, student (aged 19 yrs.);

Martyred in Carabanchel 23rd July
Fr. German Perez, (aged 30 yrs.); Fr. Felipe Valcabado (aged 62 yrs.); Maurilio Macho, student (aged 21 yrs.); Jose Oses, student (aged 21 yrs.); Julio Mediavilla, student (aged 21 yrs.); Jose M. Ruiz, student (aged 21 yrs.); Laurino Proano, student (aged 20 yrs.); Bro. Anacario Benito, (aged 30 yrs.); Bro. Felipe Ruiz, (aged 21 yrs.)

Martyred in Erda 25th July
Fr. Pedro Largo, (aged 29 yrs.); Felix Ulgade, student (aged 21 yrs.); Bro. Benito Solana, (aged 38 yrs.)

Martyred in Carrion de Calatrava 25th September
Fr. John Pedro Bengoa, (aged 46 yrs.); Bro. Pablo M. Leoz, (aged 54 yrs.)

Martyred in Manzanares 23rd October
Fr. Ildephonso Garcia, (aged 38 yrs.); Fr. Justiniano Cuesta (aged 26 yrs.); Eufrasio de Celes, student, (aged 21 yrs.); Honorino Carracedo, student (aged 19 yrs.); Tomas Cuartero, student, (aged 21 yrs.) and his brother, Jose M. Cuartero, student (aged 19 yrs.)

St. Mary Madgalene, the Penitent

22 July, 2009

Mary Mag“Standing near the cross of Jesus was his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25)

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.” (John 20:1)

“Mary turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary …” (John 20:14-16)

PRAYER

Father, your Son first entrusted to Mary Magdalene the joyful news of his resurrection. By her prayers and example may we proclaim Christ as our living Lord and one day see him in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Father, may the sacrament we have received fill us with the same faithful love that kept Mary Magdalene close to Christ, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

“Mary Magdalene had already seen the empty tomb. Why did she want to look a second time? The truth is that it is never enough for a lover to look merely once. The sheer intensity of love will not allow a lover to give up searching.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

22 July – Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

22 July, 2009

[The Deposition, Fra Angelica, c.1430]

St. Paul of the Cross considered this converted soul, deeply in love with Christ, who stood courageously at the foot of the cross, who guarded the tomb, who sought to complete the embalming of Christ’s body and received the first announcement of the resurrection, as a model of conversion and of full union with God.

According to witnesses, he had declared St. Mary Magdalene “joint protectress” of the Passionist Congregation.

In his letters she is frequently presented as protectress in overcoming temptations and keeping faithful to the love of Christ.

– History of the Passionists, Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, C.P. Volume 1, page 327.

A Passionist Profession

19 July, 2009