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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our family grows!

Today on the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, Rev Br Martin Mary of the Crown of Thorns, C.SS.R. from Oxford, UK, pronounced his first vows.

"Ab illo benedicaris, in cuius honorem, cremaberis."
Rev Br Martin Mary, C.SS.R. pronounces his vows before Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
Here Rev Br Martin Mary, C.SS.R. is pictured with his family, who came all the way from Oxford to be present for this event. From left to right is pictured: Mr Julian Griffiths, Br Martin Mary, C.SS.R., Mrs. Helen Griffiths, Nicholas Griffiths and Billy Griffiths.

Mr Julian Griffiths lights our annual "Bon Fire".

Very Rev Fr Michael Mary, C.SS.R. blesses the fire.
O Lord God, almighty Father, unfailing Light! Thou art the Maker of every light. Do thou sanctify + this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this world, we may come with pure hearts to thee Who art perpetual Light. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus - source of life and sanctity

O most loving Jesus, Humbly prostrate before Thee in Thy Sacrament of love, we acknowledge Thee for our Lord and God, and we adore Thee with Thy Angels and Saints.
How great is Thy love for us! How great our ingratitude towards Thee! It pains us to see Thee so despised, forgotten and unknown. Before Thee, sinful and sorrowful, we acknowledge our sins and make reparation. For all the insults, irreverences, and outrages ever offered Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, we make reparation. For all the Masses neglected on Sundays and Holydays, for the Easter duty not made, and above all for the sacrilegious Communions ever received, we make reparation. For all our distractions, our coldness and our want of reverence at Holy Mass, at Communion and Benediction, we are sorry and we make reparation.
Give us, O dearest Jesus, the grace to know, to love and to serve Thee better. For the future, let our faith, our reverence and adoration be more worthy of Thee. Bless us, sweet Lord: forgive us every sin and fault; dismiss us with Thy peace in our hearts, and grant us the supreme happiness of one day seeing Thee face to face and possessing Thee together with Thy Holy Mother Mary and all Thy Angels and Saints forever in heaven. Amen.

St Aloysius Gonzaga - Patron of Redemptorist Students

Today we celebrate the feast of St Aloysius Gonzaga - patron of our Redemptorist students: Br Jean Marie, C.SS.R., Br Yousef Marie, C.SS.R., Br Magdala Maria, C.SS.R., Br Ivan Maria, C.SS.R. We wish them many graces from Our Mother of Perpetual Succour and their Holy Patron and assuring them of our prayers.

St Cormac - 21st June

Feast of St Cormac 575 AD

  • The Acta Sanctorum records his feast on 21st June adding that he became abbot of Dormagensis. In the life of Saint Columba, founder of the monastery of Iona, Saint Adaman writes:

  • "At another time, a soldier of Jesus Christ, named Cormac, ... made a second attempt to discover in the ocean. He had sailed far from the land over the boundless ocean, when St Colomba, who was then staying in Drum Alban, recommended him in the following terms to the chief of the Orkney Isles, in presence of king Brude: 'Some of our brethren have lately set sail to discover a desert in the pathless sea; should they happen after many wanderings to come to the Orkneys, direct this chief, whose hostages are in your hands, to take measures that no evil shall befall them.' The saint recommended this precaution, because he knew that after a few months Cormac would arrive at the Orkneys. And so it came to pass, and to this timely recommendation of our saint, Cormac owed his escape from impending death.

  • "After a few months, whilst the saint was remaining in Hy [Iona], Cormac's name was mentioned in his presence by some persons in conversation, who were observing that it was not yet known whether the voyage of Cormac had been successful or otherwise. Upon hearing Cormac's name mentioned, the saint said: 'You will see Cormac about whom you are speaking, arriving here today.'

  • After about an hour, wonderful to relate, Cormac arrived and proceed to the Oratory, whilst all expressed their admiration and gave thanks to God for his safe return."

The 12th century Chapel dedicated to St Cormac (d.640)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Solemnity of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour

On the Sunday before the Feast of St John the Baptist, Redemptorists solemnise the feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour. The origin of this practice is not immediately evident, but it lies in the Solemn Coronation of the miraculous image, the 140th anniversary of which we celebrate this year. (1867-2007)
As the coronation must be done with unusual pomp, the venerable Chapter of the Vatican takes the ceremony upon itself. Thus on Sunday, 23 June (the Sunday before the Feast of St John the Baptist), 1867, the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople and Dean of the Chapter, Mgr, later Cardinal, Ruggero Luigi Antici-Mattei, after having sung Pontifical High Mass and intoned the Te Deum, placed two gold crowns studded with pearls and other precious stones, one on the head of the Divine Infant and the other on that of His Mother. The bells of the church and canon fire announced to the people of Rome, among them more than 500 bishops who were in the Eternal City for the 18th Centenary of St Peter and Paul, that the sacred act had been accomplished. These numerous visitors later carried the devotion to the far corners of the world, where she is known today. They were instrumental in assisting the Redemptorists to fulfill the command of the great Pope Pius IX to: “Make Her known.”

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Stronsay Footprints" seen on Papa Stronsay

Today the local walking group from Stronsay visited Papa Stronsay to see the historical sites on the island and to receive a tour of the monastery.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A recent visit to the Ukraine

The Monastery Garden of 7 Vechirnia Street, Lviv
Our Basilian Sisters have done a lot to preserve this garden which was used by Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky during the last years of his life. The statue of the Immaculate Conception was erected and blessed in 1998. The brick wall surrounding the property was finished in 2003 and gives the monastery an enclosure and privacy from the busy street.

On 2nd June we accompanied the Sisters on their visit to a high security prison to visit one of the inmates whom they were especially asked to help by the prison Govenor. Both the Govenor and the prisoner were delighted to see the sisters.

Before leaving the prison we were photographed
outside the Church built by the prisoners
The body of Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky has been relocated to the Redemptorist church of St Josaphat in Lviv.
Above is the monastery complex of
Our Lady of Pochaiv
The monastery was founded in the 13th century by Catholic Eastern monks who fled the Tartar invasion. In 1713 the monastery became a center of the Basilian monastic order. Our Lady appeared in Pochaiv and nearby on the Holy Mount (Svyata Hora) leaving a spring of holy water near the impression of Her footprint.

The Shrine of Our Lady's Footprint inside the Pochaiv monastery Cathedral
We took our handpainted icon of Our Lady of Pochaiv from the monastery to the Holy Mount. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who went before us to the Holy Mount had left colourful ribbons on the trees that mark the path through the forest to the top of the mount.

Sviata Hora

The Holy Mount

The top of the Holy Mount is a pleasant contrast to the hustle and bussle of the monastery. The only structure on the mount is the canopy covering the holy well. The atmosphere of silence and nature easily lends itself to prayer and is like a very early morning at the grotto of Lourdes when there is hardly anyone present. We blessed our icon here.
Another Holy Spring
This holy spring in honour of the Mother of God is constantly frequented. It is situated on the road between Lviv and Ternopil. There had previously been a church near the site but it was destroyed by the communists in 1962. Ukraine has many holy wells and springs in honour of the Mother of God.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our Visitors

In May we were happy to host Professor John and Mrs Norma Morris, parents of our Br. Wolf Maria, C.SS.R. who came all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to visit us. Here they are pictured on St Michael's Mount, Papa Stronsay.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

St. Columba

On the feast of St. Columba, the great apostle of the Picts, we would like to share with you two excerpts from his life written by Adamnan, ninth abbot of Iona...

On another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa (the Ness); and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water; his wretched body was, though too late, taken out with a hook by those who came to his assistance in a boat. The blessed man, on hearing this, was so far from being dismayed, that he directed one of his companions to swim over and row across the coble that was moored at the farther bank. And Lugne Mocumin, hearing the command of the excellent man, obeyed without the least delay, taking off all his clothes, except his tunic, and leap­ing into the water. But the monster, which, so far from being satiated, was only roused for more prey, was lying at the bottom of the stream, and when it felt the water disturbed above by the man swimming, suddenly rushed out, and, giving an awful roar, darted after him, with its mouth wide open, as the man swam in the middle of the stream. Then the blessed man observing this, raised his holy hand, while all the rest, brethren as well as strangers, were stupefied with terror, and, invoking the name of God, formed the saving sign of the cross in the air, and com­manded the ferocious monster, saying, “Thou shalt go no further, nor touch the man; go back with all speed.” Then at the voice of the saint, the monster was terrified, and fled more quickly than if it had been pulled back with ropes, though it had just got so near to Lugne, as he swam, that there was not more than the length of a spear-staff between the man and the beast. Then the brethren seeing that the monster had gone back, and that their comrade Lugne returned to them in the boat safe and sound, were struck with admiration, and gave glory to God in the blessed man. And even the barbarous heathens, who were present, were forced by the greatness of this miracle, which they themselves had seen, to magnify the God of the Christians.

The saint continued his prophecy thus: “This day in the Holy Scriptures is called the Sabbath, which means rest. And this day is indeed a Sabbath to me, for it is the last day of my present laborious life, and on it I rest after the fatigues of my labours; and this night at midnight, which commenceth the solemn Lord's Day, I shall, according to the sayings of Scripture, go the way of our fathers. For already my Lord Jesus Christ deigneth to invite me; and to Him, I say, in the middle of this night shall I depart, at His invitation. For so it hath been revealed to me by the Lord himself.” The attendant hearing these sad words began to weep bitterly, and the saint endeavoured to console him as well as he could.After this the saint left the barn, and in going back to the monastery, rested half way at a place where a cross, which was afterwards erected, and is standing to this day, fixed into a mill­stone, may be observed on the roadside. While the saint, as I have said, bowed down with old age, sat there to rest a little, behold, there came up to him a white pack-horse, the same that used, as a willing servant, to carry the milk-vessels from the cow­shed to the monastery. It came up to the saint and, strange to say, laid its head on his bosom inspired, I believe, by God to do so, as each animal is gifted with the knowledge of things according to the will of the Creator; and knowing that its master was soon about to leave it, and that it would see him no more, began to utter plaintive cries, and like a human being, to shed copious tears on the saint's bosom, foaming and greatly wailing. The attendant seeing this, began to drive the weeping mourner away, but the saint forbade him, saying: “Let it alone, as it is so fond of me. - let it pour out its bitter grief into my bosom. Lo! thou, as thou art, a man, and hast a rational soul, canst know nothing of my departure hence, except what I myself have just told you; but to this brute beast, devoid of reason, the Creator Himself hath evidently in some way made it known that its master is going to leave it.” And saying this the saint blessed the work-horse, which turned away from him in sadness.

Friday, June 08, 2007

He fed them with the fat of wheat

On the 7th June we kept the great feast of Corpus Christi, with the customary procession in honour of our Divine Lord held prisoner in the Most Blessed Sacrament. A reduced community size, due to various absences, was made up for by increased love and devotion.

The procession sets out from the chapel.

The procession pauses at the shrine of Saint John Vianney. The Tantum Ergo is sung and the benediction given.

Our Lady's Garden also receieves a visit from our Divine Redeemer.

Br. Roman Prepared the ground with flowers.

The community then accompanies our Lord back to the chapel.

We thank Our Lord and God Jesus Christ for the many blessings He as given us, and ask Him to continue to bless us for the future, so that we may one day join Him in eternal happiness.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A 'flying' visit to Papa Stronsay

Papa Stronsay's lighthouse is checked every now and again by the Northern Lighthouse Board. Usually they come out to the island by boat, however somethimes they come by helicopter. Today they flew in for a routine check on the Papa Stronsay Lighthouse.
The lighthouse team approach in the helicopter and make a circle of the landing site to check that everything's OK.

The helicopter prepares to land. The Papa Stronsay Lighthouse can be seen in the background

The Pilot, Jim Moseley, stands next to his aircraft,
talking with Rev. Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R.

The team work hard maintaining the lighthouse. The visit lasted for one hour .
There is no time to waste! After the hour's up, they all climb back into the helicopter, and they're off to the next job on Eday Calf

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