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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ship shape!

Our ferry, “Sancta Maria”, has been badly in need of a paint. So, while the weather was fine, the community got outside to start the job.

Br Xavier ‘stops on ramp’ to remove some rust.

It’s a big job, and must be taken a bit at a time. We’re concentrating on the front for now.
-Don't worry Brother, it's only primer!

Br. Magdala Maria, C.SS.R. removing rust…


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Saint Servanus, Bishop, Confessor and „Apostle of the Orcadians” 432 AD

  • His life is found in the Acta Sanctorum, by the Bollandists. His feast day is on 1st July. He is mentioned by many old authors, including Hector Boethius, Fordonus, Joannes Major, Polydorus Virgilius and Leslaeus.

  • The Scottish author Camerarius relates:
    “St. Servanus, bishop and confessor, and apostle to the Orcadians, was born in Scotland of virtuous parents, and was sent to be educated as a monk in the monastery of Culross, … [Later,] he helped to spread the Gospel with St. Palladius, who had been sent by Pope Celestine to the Scots before the year 431 to root out the Pelagian heresy. Nor did he cease his labours that the Orcadians, at that time not as yet Christians, should be united to the Catholic Church. And so he was sent to the Orkneys by Saint Palladius; although the voyage was very difficult, he did not fear the rough sea. Upon his arrival, he discovered that the people had been perverted by the error of heresy. And so Servanus, frequently celebrating Holy Mass to draw down upon himself the blessings of God, began to work for the salvation of souls, firstly by devoting himself to corporal works of mercy. He visited the prisoners and rendered aid to those oppressed by want; nor did he fail to preach to the nobles and to speak privately with them. And the Lord was always with him, and confirmed his words by signs and miracles. By these and similar works of apostolic charity, Servanus came to be known far and wide, so that he was even called the Apostle of the Orcadians. He wrote several epistles by which it clearly appears how much Servanus was united with God. Not only did he receive, but he also overflowed with the sweetness of the divinity. His mind was illuminated by God regarding the splendour of spiritual truths, not merely sometimes, but perpetually. His charity towards his neighbour was matched only by his ardent desire to be martyred for the love of Christ.”

Monday, July 16, 2007

Work at the potato field

Rev. Fr Anthony Mary, C.SS.R. prepares the ground to receive this years potatoes

Everyone must help if the weeds are to be kept under control in the potato field.

Put your backs into it! Confreres bend over the rows of potatoes seeking every last unwanted plant.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Many roads lead to Papa Stronsay!

Rev. Fr Paul Morgan of the SSPX was able to come from Wimbledon to spend a few days with us on Papa Stronsay. Here Rev Father is exploring Papa Stronsay territorial waters on the kayak, kindly provided by one of our parishioners.

Here, the community gathers on the pier to see him off on his journey home.

At the beginning of the month Brian Enright, the older brother of our Br. Matthew was able to visit the monastery on Papa Stronsay!
Dr Pierre and Madam Michelle Savi, parents of our Br Louis Marie, C.SS.R., traveled from Perpignian, France to spend a few weeks with us in Orkney!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Martyrs of England

Today we celebrate the feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More. Two great and outstanding names amongst the heroes of the Catholic faith against the foul heresy of Protestantism, which tore poor England apart.

St. John Fisher was born in 1469 at Beverly. He was chaplain to Henry VIII’s mother and chancellor of Cambridge University, before being made bishop of Rochester in 1504. He was created Cardinal by Pope Paul III. Fisher was imprisoned in the tower of London for refusing to support Henry VIII’s divorce, and well as his claim to the title of ‘Supreme Head of the Church in England’. He ascended the scaffold on June 22nd 1535. His last words, which have been fittingly incorporated into the Alleluia of today’s Mass were taken from St. John’s Gospel: “This is eternal life that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent”. After uttering these words, he was beheaded.
St Thomas More was born in London on February 7th, 1478. He had at first considered a religious vocation with the Carthusians, but discovered that it was not his vocation, and married. Although his first wife died in childbirth he married, again, and soon found favour with the King, Henry VIII. As a result he began to rise high in the royal court, until, despite his opposition to the King’s divorce, he was made High Chancellor of England in 1527. He resigned the post in 1532, and on April 17th, 1534, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to sigh the Oath of Supremacy naming King Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church in England. He heroically resisted all solicitations on the part of his family, and was found guilty of treason. After his last words “The King’s good servant, but God’s first”, he was beheaded on July 6th 1535.

Let us take courage from these to great martyrs for the faith. Who knows when, or how quickly a new persecution will begin against God’s faithful. Who knows if God will perhaps call us to prove our love for Him, and to shed our blood for His sake? Let us pray to St. John Fisher and to St. Thomas More, that they may intercede for us, that, whatever providence has in store for us, with the help of God’s Grace, and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may always have the strength to carry out His Divine Will to the end.

Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, Pray for us!

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