28 December 2008

Mass in The Cathedral, World Day of Prayer for Peace, January 1st, Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God.

Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, January 1st 2009.

World Day of Prayer for Peace.

Mass will be celebrated in The Cathedral by Most Rev. Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway at 11 am.

Come and pray for peace!!

Sympathies, Michael Brosnan, R.I.P.

Your prayers are asked today, Sunday, December 28th, for the repose of the soul of Michael Brosnan, 80 Claremont Park. Michael’s remains will be reposing at Arus Naofa, Renmore Avenue, tomorrow, Monday, December 29th, from 5 to 7, when they will be removed to the adjacent church of St. Oliver Plunkett. Funeral Mass will be on Tuesday at 10 with burial afterwards in Ballymoreustace, Co. Kildare.

'Dying you destroyed our death....'

27 December 2008

The Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday, December 28th.

We wish a happy feast day to the Church of the Holy Family in Mervue and Holy Family Special School in Renmore.

Mass Intentions for the week ahead, December 28th.

26 December 2008

The Tradition of the Wren... let's not forget our Irish culture and heritage.

COPYRIGHT: www.goireland.com

The tradition of 'Hunting the Wran' or the 'Wren' is to some degree alive in Ireland at Christmas. Once a common event throughout Ireland, it now takes place in certain towns and villages on St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas Day.
People dress up in old clothes and paint their faces, wear straw hats and travel from door to door singing, dancing and playing music. Find out more about this very unusual age-old Irish Christmas custom…
Long ago in Ireland, young boys and men known as 'The Wren Boys' would go out into the woods. They would hunt for and then kill a wren and then parade the dead bird through the town on top of a decorated pole. Charming eh?
There is a lot of speculation as where this tradition stems from. One story says that long ago there was a plan by Irish soldiers to ambush a Viking soldier camp and a whole bunch of wrens pecked on the Viking soldiers drums and woke them up just in time for the plan to fail. The Irish soldiers were defeated. From then on, the wren was known as the bird of the devil.
The poor little Wren is also blamed for the betraying the Christian martyr St. Stephen when was in hiding by making noises, hence the reason for hunting the Wren on St. Stephen's Day.
Of course, the little wren was considered the 'King of all birds' in Celtic mythology, as it is said that the birds had a contest to see who could fly the highest. The clever wren flew higher than the eagle by sitting on the eagles back as it soared high and then the wren could fly even higher when the eagle got tired. So this custom of hunting the wren could also stem from Pagan times.
In the old days it was a real wren that was killed and placed on the top of the pole and the "wren boys" would carry it around to houses and beg for money to bury the bird as it was considered to be evil.
The Wren Boys would sing this traditional song at each house:
The Wran, the wran
the king of all Birds
on St. Stephen’s Day
it was caught in the furze,
up with the kettle
and down with the pan
give me a penny
to bury the wran.
This ancient tradition can still be seen in certain town and villages in Ireland and it really is a sight to behold! The Wren Boys march through the streets dressed in traditional attire (usually something made from straw) to the beat of drums and they stop off in bars along the way to play traditional music. Money is still collected but this is given to charity and of course a wren is not killed anymore but some Wren Boys march with a fake bird.

St. Stephen's Day.

COPYRIGHT: www.americancatholic.org

All we know of Stephen is found in Acts of the Apostles, chapters six and seven. It is enough to tell us what kind of man he was:
At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit.... (Acts 6:1-5)
Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders among the people. Certain Jews, members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen, debated with Stephen but proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke. They persuaded others to make the charge of blasphemy against him. He was seized and carried before the Sanhedrin.
In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).
His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God....’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him....As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit....Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).

Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God, and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.

24 December 2008


St. Francis of Assisi assembled the first crib in a cave on an Italian hillside in 1223. His aim was to make the Christmas story come alive for the shepherds and farmers of the locality.

On Christmas Eve the friars and the people assembled with candles and torches to illuminate the night. Then Francis arrived and was very happy when he saw the preparations they had made.

The crib was put in place.
The hay was brought in.
The ox and donkey were led forward.
The woods rang with their prayers.
The rocks echoed with their hymns.

Francis spoke to them about God's son coming among us.
At the end of the vigil they all returned to their homes.


23 December 2008

The Annunciation.

The webmaster loves this picture by Henry Ossawa Tanner. It's ideal to use with last Sunday's Gospel, telling the story of The Annunciation.

Keeping you up to date!

Click to zoom!

Sympathies, Kevin Cowley, R.I.P.

Your prayers are asked today for the repose of the soul of Kevin Cowley, 9 Sylvan Avenue, Fairland's Park. Kevin will be reposing at O'Flaherty's Funeral Home on Munster Avenue on Friday, December 26th, St. Stephens Day, from 2:30 until 4 when they will be removed to our church. Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, December 27th, at 12 noon, with burial afterwards in Glann Cemetery, Oughterard.

'Nearer my God to thee....'

Tuesday, December 23rd.

Don't forget our Cluster Penitential Service is in The Abbey this evening at 6. Priest's from our cluster of parishes (St. Joseph's, Sacred Heart, The Abbey, The Cathedral) will be there to hear confessions and be instruments of Gods grace and mercy.

22 December 2008


We pray for the repose of the souls of the following:

Nora McDermott, 3 Saint Colman's Road. Nora's remains will be arriving at our church this evening at 7:30, from O'Flaherty's Funeral Home on Munster Avenue. Her Funeral Mass will be tomorrow, Tuesday at 11, with burial afterwards in The New Cemetery, Bohermore. Nora is the mother of Anne Wallace of Corrib Park, a Special Minister of Holy Communion in our church.

Kevin Corcoran, Bun an Cnoic, and Fursey Road. Kevin's Funeral Mass took place in St. Ignatius Church, 'The Jes', Sea Road, today.

Mary Healy, Ennistymon, whose Funeral Mass took place last week, the sister of the late Barbara Canavan, Laurel Park.

Joe Kennedy, Oakley Crescent. Joe's Funeral Mass took place in his native Westport and his Month's Mind Mass will be on Saturday in our church at 11.

'Safely home....'

20 December 2008


Jesus as you draw closer to me this Advent, give me the strength and the grace to draw closer to you. Help me to let your light shine in my heart so that I may be a source of your hope and encouragement to others. Help me to turn away from the selfish ways of sin, from all that diminishes and harms both myself and others. Give me the grace to say sorry to my family, my spouse, my children, and my friends. Help me to reach out in love to others this Advent. May my heart always burn with your love. Amen.

Let us Entrust the Past to God for Forgiveness

Let us Entrust the Future to God for Guidance

Let us Entrust the Present to God for Help in living our lives as his faithful and faith filled children.

19 December 2008

December 20th, Feast of St. Fachanan/ Fachtna, Patron of Kilfenora.

Ancient ruins of 12th Century Cathedral of St. Fachanan and Parish Church of St. Fachanan, all in our diocese, in Kilfenora.

The following post is a combination of information to be found on the Catholic Ireland Website and our own diocesan website. You'll get the links to both in the sidebar menu.

Fachtna founded a monastery and scripture school at Ross Carbery in west Cork and, also, a monastery in our diocese in Kilfenora. He is the patron of Kilfenora, now integrated into our diocese, as well as the diocese of Ross, now integrated into the combined diocese of Cork and Ross. Patrick Duffy explains.

Scripture school
Toward the end of the sixth century Fachtna founded a monastery and school in the area now known as Rosscarbery (Ros Ailithir – “the wooded headland of the pilgrims”). The School of Ross became a celebrated seat of learning and gained an international reputation for study of sacred scripture and learning until the ninth century when it was besieged and destroyed by the Danes.
Diocese of
Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora
The Diocese of Kilfenora and the Diocese of Kilmacduagh were both erected and had their territories defined by the Synod of Kells in 1132. In 1751 the two dioceses were united but because Kilfenora was in the ecclesiastical province of Cashel and Kilmacduagh in the province of Tuam, the Bishop of Kilmacduagh was made the Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, and it was decreed that the next person holding episcopal jurisdiction in Kilmacduagh-Kilfenora would be Bishop of Kilfenora and Apostolic Administrator of Kilmacduagh. This system of alternation continued down to the last bishop, Patrick Fallon, who resigned in 1866.
Diocese of Galway,
Kilmacduagh & Kilfenora
In 1866 the Bishop of Galway, John McEvilly, was made administrator of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. In 1883, Thomas Carr was appointed bishop, the first to be appointed with the title of Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora.
You can see a mosaic to St. Fachtna in The Cathedral Bookshop.



City Masses and Confessions for Christmas. Zoom in for all the times across the city.

Penitential Service.

The Christmas Penitential Service for our Cluster of Parishes (St. Joseph's, Sacred Heart, The Cathedral, The Abbey)will be held in The Abbey on Tuesday next,December 23rd, at 6 P.M.

For all our Christmas Arrangements, here in the Sacred Heart, zoom in to the post above.

Beautiful Scripture...

There are beautiful readings for this Sunday. Why not get into the real spirit of Christmas by clicking on the leaflet above and reflecting on the wonderful message of salvation?

The Fourth Sunday of Advent.

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico.

'Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you'

Mass Intentions for the week ahead, December 21st.

20th December 7.30p.m. 1.Joe Davis
2.Bridie, Pat, Bill and Catherine Buckley

Pray for Paddy Hickey, the Barrett and Ward Families at all Masses
Sunday. 9.30 James, Mary, Bernard&James Lee
11.00 a.m.Joe Kenny
12.15 Delia&Patrick Warde
6.30 1. Marcello&Volodia Alarcon
2. Nora Coyne

Monday 22nd December
10.00 a.m. 1. Sean Kilraine
2. Thomas, Thomas Jnr. and Ann

Tuesday 23rd December 10.00 a.m. Sick and Carmel Griffin
6.00 p.m. Cluster Penitential Service

Wednesday No Morning Mass
24th December Christmas Confessions : 12 noon - 1 p.m& 3 -4.

9.00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass and the
Blessing of the Crib
(For all the people of the parish and community)

Thursday 25th December 9.30 a.m. ( For all the people of the
11.00 a.m. ( Parish and Community of
12.15 p.m. ( Sacred Heart Church)
Friday 26th December 10.00 a.m. Gerard Monaghan

Saturday 27th December 11.00 a.m. Joe Kennedy (Months Mind Mass)
7.30p.m. Teresa Barrett and the deceased
members of the Hernon family
Sunday 9.30 Stephen &Barbara McDonagh
11.00 a.m. Teresa Carroll
12.15 Tom Hynes&Caroline Flaherty
6.30 p.m. 1. Maura Flanagan
2. Ellen & John Hynes and Mary and
Joseph Crowley.

The Great O Antiphons... Click on images to zoom in and reflect...

14 December 2008

Third Sunday of Advent.... REJOICE!!!

PICTURE COPYRIGHT: www.sermons4kids.com

This Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday, a word which means rejoicing. It is a time of lighter mood as Christmas Day is coming ever closer.


We extend a hand of sympathy and support to the families of the following:

Robert Nolan, 2 Corrach Bui, whose Funeral Mass took place in Mervue during the week.

Patrick 'Pa' Brown, 10 Dangan Court, Funeral Mass take place in the Church of St. James, Bushy Park, tomorrow at 12.

Kathleen Corrigan, St. Francis' Home, and formerly 45 Davis Road. Kathleen's Months Mind will be in our church next Saturday at 11.

'Those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith'

Christmas Penitential Service.

The Christmas Penitential Service for our cluster of parishes (The Cathedral,Sacred Heart, St. Joseph's, The Abbey) will take place in The Abbey, St. Francis Street, On Tuesday, December 23rd, at 6 P.M. Come along and receive God's mercy and forgiveness for Christmas.


The Annual Scoil Bhríde Christmas Pageant takes place in our church tomorrow evening, Monday, December 15th, at 7:30. As usual, it promises to be a great spectacle with great music. Thank you to all the hardworking staff and children who have put so much into its preparation. All are welcome!

Final Advent Talk.


12 December 2008

Do this in Memory of Me Programme

The Next First Communion Programme will be on Sunday, December 21st at 11.00 Mass and the Core Group Meeting regarding the same will be in the church tea room at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 17th December. We would love to see more parents involved, so, if you are free please come along..
14th December 2008
Saturday 11.00 a.m. Terry Colohan (Months Mind Mass)
13th December 7.30p.m. 1.Bridget & Colman Hernon 2.Cliona Tierney

Sunday 9.30 a.m. 1. Paddy Lenihan 2. Martin & Della Ryan.
14th December 11.00 a.m. 1. Paddy & Theresa Heaney. 2. Teresa Hession..
12.15 p.m. 1. Tom & Kathleen Casserly
2. Margaret, Edward and Johnny Lynskey.
6.30 p.m. 1. James Scally and 2. Vincent Byrne
Monday 15th December 10.00 a.m. John Sammon
7.30 p.m. Scoil Bhride Christmas Concert

Tuesday 16th December 10.00 a.m. Sick and Eanna Slevin

Wednesday 10.00 a.m. 1. Lawless and Guinane families deceased.
17th December 2. Francis McDonagh
5.30 p.m. Indian Community Mass

Thursday 18th December 10.00 a.m. Kate & Bernard Ward

Friday 10.00 a.m. Deceased members of Gilroy and Hughes families
19th December

Saturday 20th December 11.00 a.m. Kathleen Corrigan (Months Mind Mass)
7.30p.m. 1.Joe Davis
2.Bridie, Pat, Bill and Catherine Buckley
Pray for Paddy Hickey, the Barrett and Ward families at all Masses.

Sunday 9.30 a.m. James, Mary, Bernard & James Lee.
21st December 11.00 a.m. Joe Kenny.
12.15 p.m. Delia & Patrick Wade
6.30 p.m. 1. Marcello & Volodia Alarcon
2. Nora Coyne

7 December 2008


A remembrance tree has been placed inside the gates of The New Cemetery, Bohermore, and, also, Mount Saint Joseph Cemetery, Rahoon. You are invited to bring along a red ribbon and tie it to the tree in remembrance of your loved one(s).


OUR MASSES FOR THE HOLY DAY: 10:00, 11:30, AND 6:30

"[Mary] gave to the world the Life that renews all things, and she was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.
It is no wonder, then, that the usage prevailed among the holy Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, fashioned by the Holy Spirit into a kind of new substance and new creature. Adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendours of an entirely unique holiness, the Virgin of Nazareth is, on God’s command, greeted by an angel messenger as ‘full of grace’ (cf. Luke 1:28). To the heavenly messenger she replies: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38)" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 56).

The Jubilee Year for the 150th Anniversary of Lourdes comes to an end. Mary said to St.Bernadette 'I am the Immaculate Conception'.Why not visit the official site for the Jubilee Year www.lourdes2008.com ? (Don't forget to click the flag for the English language when you do)

5 December 2008


COPYRIGHT: www.daughtersofstpaul.com

Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving. He lived in the fourth century. This famous saint was born in Asia Minor, which is modern-day Turkey. After his parents died, he gave all his money to charity.
Once a certain poor man was about to abandon his daughters to a life of sin because they did not have the money for a dowry. Nicholas heard about his problem. He went to the man's house at night and tossed a little pouch of gold through a window. This was for the oldest daughter. He did the same thing for the second daughter. The grateful father kept watch to find out who was being so good to them. When St. Nicholas came a third time, the man recognized him. He thanked Nicholas over and over again.
Later St. Nicholas became bishop. He loved justice. It is said that once he saved three men who had been falsely condemned to death. He then turned to their accuser. He made the man admit that he had been offered money to get rid of the three men.
St. Nicholas died in Myra, and a great basilica was built over his tomb. Many churches were dedicated in his name. When his relics were brought to Bari, Italy, this city became a famous shrine for pilgrims from all over Europe. Nicholas is the patron of sailors and prisoners. With St. Andrew, he is the patron of Russia.

It is thought that sailors and merchants,from their travels, brought devotion to him to Galway. Hence, he is the patron saint of our city and diocese, and patron of the ancient Collegiate Church of Saint Nicholas, and, along with our Lady Assumed into Heaven, patron of our cathedral.

The great charity of this saint has become legendary. Is there someone in my life who needs my love and generosity?

Mass Intentions for the week ahead, December 7th.

Saturday 6th December 7.30p.m. 1.Mattie & Kenneth Frawley and
2.Thomas and John Fahy.
Sunday 7th December 9.30 a.m. 1.Martin Flaherty and 2.Mary Flood
11.00 a.m. 1.Michael & Mary Glynn.
2. Teresa Vurlane and deceased members of Conway and Murphy families.
12.15 p.m. 1.Joe Hoade
2.Kate & Bernard Ward
6.30 p.m. 1.Michael & Bridget Corcoran.
2.Peter Welsh _______________________________________________________
Monday 8th December-Feast of the Immaculate Conception
10.00 a.m. 1.Edward Fitzgerald and deceased
members of Fitzgerald and Hosty
2.Martin and Della Ryan
11.30 a.m.Teresa Rabbitte
6.30 a.m. 1.Paddy Barrett and 2.Timothy Kyne
Tuesday 9th December 10.00 a.m. Sick
Wednesday 10th December 10.00 a.m. Delia Hoade
Thursday 11th December 10.00 a.m. 1.Eileen & John O’Toole
2.Eddie Ward
Friday 12th December 10.00 a.m. 1.Bridie Whelan.
2.Kate Sweeney.
Saturday 13th December 11.00 a.m. Terry Colohan (Months Mind Mass)
7.30p.m. 1.Bridget & Colman Hernon
2.Cliona Tierney
Sunday 14th December 9.30 a.m. 1.Paddy Lenihan
2. Martin & Della Ryan.
11.00 a.m. 1.Paddy & Theresa Heaney.
2. Teresa Hession..
12.15 p.m. 1. Tom & Kathleen Casserly
2. Margaret, Edward and Johnny Lynskey.
6.30 p.m. 1.James Scally and 2. Vincent Byrne

3 December 2008

Vatican Radio on RTE Digital Radio.

Tune to Vatican Radio on RTÉ 1’s new digital radio station RTÉ Choice every night between 8.44pm and 9.00pm for world news, commentary and announcements by Pope Benedict XVI.

Producing more than 42,000 hours of simultaneous broadcasting and covering international news and religious celebrations, Vatican Radio is the voice of The Pope and The Church to its global congregation.

Commenting on Vatican Radios addition to the RTÉ Choice week Ronan Kelly, RTÉ Choice scheduler, said: ‘It’s fantastic now that we can listen to Vatican Radio in Ireland. Just like so many other programmes on RTÉ Choice we’re given fresh and different views on the stories that make the news day in, day out. With Vatican Radio we have the opportunity to be kept up to date with the Catholic Church whilst catching all the latest world news at the same time.’

Since the station began broadcasting in 1931, it has not only reported historical events but has also made them. Throughout World War 2 Vatican Radio served as a source for news and propaganda for the Allied Forces whilst being surrounded by the fascist Italian state. Warnings and threats didn’t prevent Vatican Radio from broadcasting to an unbelieving world where Poles and Jews were being rounded up and forced into ghettos.

The historical radio station broadcasts to 61 different countries, in 47 different languages and now it’s come to Ireland where you can hear it only on RTÉ Choice

Tune into Vatican Radio on RTÉ Choice on online at www.rte.ie/digitalradio and on DAB digital radio sets in the Greater Dublin area, Cork and Limerick, every night at 8.44pm.
For further information please contact: Jack Fox, RTÉ Radio Press and Publicity Office, 01- 208 2452, Jack.fox@rte.ie

Sympathies, Carmel Griffin, R. I. P.

Your prayers are asked today for the repose of the soul of Carmel Griffin who has died in Birmingham, the sister of Cepta Casserly, 1 Grangemore.

Carmels remains are arriving at Knock Airport on Wednesday next, December 10th, at 12 mid day.
She will repose at her brother's house, Liam Mellows St., Tuam, on Thursday, December 11th, from 6.00 - 8.00pm.
Funeral Mass will take place in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam, on Friday, December 12th, at 11. Burial will take place afterwards in Tuam Cemetery.

'In The Lords own house shall I dwell'

St. Francis Xavier, December 3rd.

COPYRIGHT: www.daughtersofstpaul.com

This great missionary was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506. He went to the University of Paris when he was eighteen. Here he met St. Ignatius Loyola, who was about to start the Society of Jesus. St. Ignatius tried to get Francis to join him. At first the happy-go-lucky young man would not think of it. St. Ignatius repeated to him the words of Jesus in the Gospel: "What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" At last, Francis saw clearly that his place in life was among the Jesuits.
When Francis was thirty-four, St. Ignatius sent him as a missionary to the East Indies. The king of Portugal wanted to give him presents to take along and a servant. Francis refused his kind offer and explained: "The best way to acquire true dignity is to wash one's own clothes and boil one's own pot." During the course of his amazing career in Goa, India, Japan and other lands of the east, St. Francis made thousands of converts. In fact, he baptized so many people that he became too weak to raise his arms. He gathered the little children around him and taught them the Catholic faith. Then he made little lay apostles of them. He invited them to spread the faith they had learned. There was nothing St. Francis wouldn't do to help people. Once he faced a fierce band of raiders, alone, with no weapon but his crucifix. They backed up and did not attack his Christian tribes. The saint also brought many bad-living Christians to repentance. His only "tools" were his gentle, polite ways and his prayers.
In the midst of his painful journeys and great labors, the saint was full of a special joy coming from God. St. Francis longed to get into China, into which no foreigner was permitted. At last, the arrangements were made, but the great missionary became ill. He died almost alone in 1552 on an island off the Chinese coast. He was just forty-six-years-old. Francis Xavier was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. He was in the best of company at the canonization ceremony in Rome. Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Philip Neri and Isidore the Farmer were also proclaimed saints that day.
Francis' love for Jesus was so strong that he could not rest at the thought of so many people who had never heard the Gospel. What would happen if I were able to share my faith with at least one person in my life?

We wish the Jesuit Community here in Galway a very happy Feast of St. Francis Xavier, and thank them for their great contribution to the life of our city and diocese. Visit the Irish Jesuits at www.jesuit.ie and don't forget the great Jesuit Sacred Space site; you'll find the link on the sidebar menu of this page.

2 December 2008

St. Bibiana, December 2nd.

COPYRIGHT: www.dailycatholic.org
Saint Bibiana was a native of Rome, born in the fourth century, the daughter and sister of martyrs. Flavian, her Christian father, was apprehended during the reign of Julian the Apostate, branded on the face as a slave, and banished to Toscany, where he died of his wounds a few days later. Her mother, Dafrosa, was beheaded two weeks later. Their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, after the death of their parents were stripped of all they had in the world, and then imprisoned with orders to give them no food. The Roman praetorian offered them rewards if they would abandon their faith, and threatened a cruel death if they would not conform, but they replied courageously that the goods and advantages of this world had no attraction for them, and that they would endure a thousand deaths rather than betray their faith and their Savior. Demetria, after having pronounced this ardent defense, fell to the ground and expired at her sisters side; she is inscribed in the Roman martyrology on June 21st.

The officer gave orders that Bibiana be placed in the custody of a woman named Rufina, who was commanded to corrupt her or mistreat her. But the martyr made prayer her shield and remained invincible. Enraged at the courage and perseverance of the young virgin, the persecutor ordered her to be tied to a pillar and whipped until she expired, with scourges tipped with leaden plummets. The Saint underwent this punishment cheerfully, and died at the hands of the executioners. She was buried by a holy priest at a site where afterwards a chapel and then a church were built above her tomb. In 1628 the church was splendidly rebuilt by Pope Urban VIII, and in it he placed the relics of the two sisters and of Saint Dafrosa, their mother.

Blessed Saviour, Saint Bibiana lost everything except her faith in You. Her parents and sister were killed in the persecutions and her possessions were confiscated. The tragedy only increased her desire to rely on You, so the pagans killed her, too. I ask her to intercede for all those I know who are grieving the loss of loved ones, homes, jobs, health, the loss of innocence through rape, or the loss of safety through other forms of abuse. Comfort them and fill their empty hearts with Your tremendous love, O Lord. Draw them closer to You and give them compassionate friends who minister to them in their sorrow. Saint Bibiana, pray for us. Amen

Reminder, Older and Bolder Conference. Click on images to zoom in...

1 December 2008

Advent Programme at Croí Nua.

There are two events coming up in Croí Nua, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Spirituality Centre, in Taylor's Hill.