Our Lady of the Rosary

 Lavinia Fontana of the Blessed Mother giving the rosary to St. DominicFeast day: 7th of October

From its beginning the Order of Preachers has shown special honor and devotion to Mary, Mother of God. The Rosary, which places before us the chief mysteries of the life, passion and resurrection of our Savior, has been one of the chief ways in which the Order has expressed this devotion. Our brother, Alan de La Roche (1428-1478) helped to define the structure of the Rosary and zealously promoted its recitation. At Douai in 1470 he established the first Rosary Confraternity. In 1476 our brother Jacob Sprenger established at Cologne the first such Confraternity which had papal approval. Pope Saint Pius V gave the Rosary definitive form in is bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifcis (September 17, 1569).
Today’s feast commemorates the great naval victory won by Christian forces over the Turks at Lepanto on Sunday, October 7, 1571. Pope Saint Pius V decreed that a feast in honor of Our Lady of Victories be celebrated each year on that day. His successor, Gregory XIII, transferred the feast to the first Sunday of October under the new title of the Most Holy Rosary, since it was precisely through the invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary that the victory was thought to have been gained. In the reform of the liturgy the feast was returned to its original day.

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Blessed Raymond of Capua OP

Blessed Raymond of Capua OPFeast day: 5th of October

Friar, Priest and Master of the Dominican Order, Optional Memorial

Raymond delle Vigne was born at Capua, Italy, about 1330 and while studying at the University of Bologna entered the Order there in 1350. After holding various administrative and teaching positions in the Roman Province he was assigned to be spiritual director for Saint Catherine of Siena, whose friend, confidant, biographer, guide and disciple he became. In May, 1380, Raymond was elected Master of that portion of the Order which had remained faithful to the Roman Pontiff, Urban VI. He vigorously promoted reform within the Order while at the sane time working to restore unity to the Church, rent asunder as it was by the Western Schism.  He died at Nurenberg on October 5, 1399 while visitating the German priories.

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As Christians we are to have faith, faith that can up root a tree

On the Gospel of Luke (17:5-19)

Without a doubt this gospel passage does appear to be quite cryptic and confusing. We are told by Jesus ‘were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you”. Then we are given an example of a slave being ordered by his master to do something, and not receiving any praise for carrying out the orders given to him. What on earth has the gift of faith to do with the expectation of a master from his slave? What on earth is Jesus trying to say to us today?

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Pope Benedict’s Message to Young People

Piazza, Westminster Cathedral,

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Mr Uche, Dear young friends, thank you for your warm welcome.

Heart Speaks unto heart, as you know I chose these words so dear to Cardinal Newman as the theme of my visit. In these few moments that we are together I wish to speak to you from my own heart, and I ask to open your hearts to what I have to say.

I ask each of you first and foremost to look into your own heart, think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and also love it is meant to give, after all we were made for love. This is what the Bible means when it says that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We were made to know the God of love, the God who is father, son and Holy Spirit, and to find our supreme fulfilment in that Divine love that knows no beginning or end.

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Pope Benedict: the ‘Yes’ of the other enabling the begging man to ‘live’

On the Gospel of Luke (16:19-31)

Lazarus wasn’t loved, in fact it was even worse he was ignored. As far as the rich man was concerned Lazarus didn’t exist. Thus it appears that God’s anger was provoked not because the man had money and ‘feasted sumptuously every day’, but because he missed the frequent opportunities to turn and let Lazarus know that he was good; that he existed.

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The dishonest and wasteful steward

On the Gospel of Luke (16:1-13)

In this week’s gospel, Jesus tells his disciples about a dishonest and wasteful steward who in the end wins the approval of the rich man whose property he looked after. In reflecting on society in general, we see that there is a constant push to achieve success at all costs. For many today, salvation comes with being successful in this life and not though striving for the eternal salvation we hope for as Christians. For Christians, though we know that success in this world can be good, we really aim for true happiness in the beatific vision when our journey on earth comes to an end. It is this hope that sustains us so that even when trials come our way in life, our faith shows us that there is a much bigger picture where our lives are in the hands of God whose love for us has no end. Success in this world is not the ultimate goal for us as Christians and we can therefore better cope with the difficulties that come our way by looking at the goal that we strive for of unity with God in paradise.

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Saint Juan Macias OP

Saint Juan MaciasFeast day: 18th of September

Friar and Religious, Memorial

Juan Macias was born at Ribera in Estramadura, Spain, in 1595 of a noble but impoverished family. Orphaned in early childhood, .Juan worked as a shepherd for his relatives, an occupation which provided him time for prayer. Inspired by a vision he left his native country and set sail for the Americas, arriving finally in Lima, Peru, where. for a time he tended the sheep of a wealthy Spaniard. In 1623 he decided to enter the Order at the priory of Saint Mary Magdalene in Lima, where he served as porter for twenty-two years. Like his friend Saint Martin de Porres, he was known for his love and care for the poor and for his special devotion to the Rosary. He died on September 16, 1645.

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Saint Dominic Ibanez de Erquicia and companions

Feast day: 28th of September

Martyrs, Memorial

Saint Dominic Ibanez de Erquicia and Saint James Kyushei Tomonaga, Priests, Saint Lawrence Ruiz, Lay Dominican and Husband and Companions.
On this day the Order commemorates sixteen martyrs who labored to establish the Church in Nagaski, Japan, and who were martyred at various times during the years 1633, 1634 and 1637. After enduring horrible tortures, they were executed by the method known as the “gallows and pit,” their bodies were burned, and their ashes scattered.
Of this group nine were from Japan, four from Spain, one from France, one from Italy, and one from the Philippines. Father Dominic Ibanez de Erquicia was the first to die on August 14, 1633. Lawrence Ruiz, the father of a family and the protomartyr of the Philippines, died on September 29, 1637. Thirteen of these martyrs were members of the Dominican Family and three were associated with it.

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The Prodigal Son

On the Gospel of Luke (15:1-32)

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most famous and discussed stories of Jesus. The father welcoming his wayward son back with a warm embrace has become an ionic image of forgiveness and God’s love for each one of us. In response to the narrow minded grumbling of the scribes and Pharisees who complain “This fellow welcomes sinner and eats with them”, Jesus shows us how the mercy of God smashes apart such hardhearted and narrow ideas, drawing all of us, despite our faults and failing to his embrace, calling us to true conversion of life.


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Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple

On the Gospel of Luke (14:25-33)

On a first reading this Sunday’s  Gospel  seems quite hard. Having to “hate his own father and mother and wife […] and even [ones] own life” (Luk 14:26 RSV) in order to be a disciple of Jesus seems almost outrageous.

The obvious option would seem not to take this saying of Jesus literally. The family was a very important aspect in Jewish society: Moses commanded to “Honour your father and your mother” (Mar 7:10 RSV).  Even Jesus himself rebukes the scribes and Pharisees for neglecting this command as “[they] no longer permit [a man] to do anything for his father or mother” (Mar 7:11-13 RSV) if they give everything to God (Corban).

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