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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let the Sun shine!

It has been raining off and on for a while now here in Christchurch, but today, with a break in the weather a few brothers made the most of the opportunity to take a walk in the beautiful countryside. The walk is called "Kennedy's Bush" and is just south of the city centre.
 Br Paul in the distance and Br Xavier

 The view to the East

 Br Xavier hardly visible in the long bush

 View to the West

 Amongst the tall flax

 Br Paul enjoying the shade of forest path

 Explanatory notice about the Sign of the Bellbird

 Just over the other side of our destination,
Lyttleton seen on the left

 A Bellbird feeding on the flax on the path side

Young calves along the way

Sunday, December 29, 2013

O Holy Night!

Our candle-light Christmas Midnight Mass on Stronsay.

Dominus dixit ad me: filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.
The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. (Ps. 2:7)

Sursum corda!

...and falling down they adored Him. (Matt. 2:11)

Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. (Jn. 6:54) 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Favour received from the Bonnie Prince.

Kelly reports this favour from The Bonnie Prince:

Victoria is a little three year old girl who was born blind.
She lives in the united States. 
The endearing child who suffers much 
has  never been able to eat food normally. 
She awaits brain surgery at the Dukes Hospital. 

Of late Victoria lay for three days 
suffering from a high fever. 
Kelly, a friend of Victoria's mother 
and who is devoted to the Bonnie Prince, 
upon hearing of the fever invoked the Prince's assistance
 for little Victoria. 

Kelly took her image of the Bonnie Prince 
and with it touched it to the photo of Victoria
 that she had on her computer screen.

Her prayer was heard. 
Less than five minutes later,
the fever left her 
Victoria's temperature had dropped to normal.

 Public Thanksgiving is offered to the Bonnie Prince:
I praise Him most, I love Him best,
All praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live
And cannot love amiss. ...

Alas, He weeps, He sighs, He pants!
Yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs
Doth bud a joyful spring.
O Bonnie Prince whose tender arms
Can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life,
Direct me when I die. 
[Hymn in honour of The Bonnie Prince]

Some other fevers Our Lord did cure:

And Simon' s wife' s mother lay in a fit of a fever: and forthwith they tell him of her.  And coming to her, he lifted her up, taking her by the hand; and immediately the fever left her... (Mark 1:30-31)

He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him. The father therefore knew, that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee. (John 4:52)

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Gaudate Sunday falls on the third Sunday of Advent.  It takes its name from the first word of the Introit.

"Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum." Phil. 4:4-6

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.  Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.  Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God."

Gaudete Sunday is the counterpart to Lætare Sunday in Lent.  Falling as it does at the half-way-point of Advent, the penitential season of expectation leading up to Christmas, Gaudate Sunday provides a moment of relief from the austerities of the fast, thus the liturgical colour of rose replaces the penitential violet.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Rorate Coeli Desuper et Nubes Pluant Justum

The Rorate Mass is a special Advent devotion in honour of Our Blessed Lady and is especially traditional in Germany and Poland.  The title of this devotion is taken from the first word of the Introit for the Mass of Our Lady during Advent which is itself taken from the words of Isaiah the Prophet (see below).

 The Rorate Mass is traditionally celebrated by candlelight. Today, the Saturday of the second week of Advent, we celebrated a Rorate Mass on Stronsay.

Before Holy Mass.

 Rorate, caeli, desuper, et nubes pluant justum; aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem.  Isa. 45:8

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a saviour.

 "For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." Phil. 2:10

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Calendar OUT NOW!

The 2014 Papa Stronsay Calendar is OUT NOW! Packed full of beautiful and diverse images, daily liturgical calendar, major anniversaries and so much more. A fantastic addition to any home, office, or anywhere else!


Friday, December 06, 2013

A Perfect Storm

5th December 2013 saw an impressive storm hit large parts of the UK.  Here is how it looked on Stronsay, the island next door to Papa Stronsay.  Gusts were estimated at up to 80 mph, causing flooding in the village of Whitehall.

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