Saints: July 2009 Archives


Novena to Saint John Mary Vianney: July 27- August 4

I composed this Litany of Saint John Mary Vianney for the Novena that begins today and for the Triduum that will be held at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa on August 2, 3, and 4 at 6:30 p.m. It will also be included in the prayerbook for the Spiritual Mothers of Priests that is now in preparation.

It is not necessary to pray the entire litany every day. I propose a method of alternating the sections of the litany. One must take care not to "rattle off" the invocations. Allow each invocation to descend gently into the heart, bearing the particular grace it implores.

Each day:

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, R. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, R. Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, R. Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Advocate of Priests, R. Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, R. Pray for us.

Days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of the Novena: Childhood and Youth

Saint John Vianney, R. Pray for us.
Saint John Vianney, graced by God even as a little boy, R.
Saint John Vianney, a blessing to your parents and family, R.
Saint John Vianney, nourished by the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ, R.
Saint John Vianney, most loving son of Mary Immaculate, R.
Saint John Vianney, devoted to the Holy Rosary, R.

Days 2, 4, 6, and 8 of the Novena: Man of the Beatitudes

Saint John Vianney, poor in spirit, R.
Saint John Vianney, who shed tears over the hardheartedness of sinners, R.
Saint John Vianney, meek and humble of heart, R.
Saint John Vianney, merciful and ready to forgive, R,
Saint John Vianney, pure in heart and radiant with chastity, R.
Saint John Vianney, peacemaker and healer of divisions, R.
Saint John Vianney, persecuted for righteousness' sake. R.

Days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of the Novena: Mirror of the Gospel

Saint John Vianney, salt of the earth and shining lamp of the Church, R.
Saint John Vianney, rewarded by the Father who sees in secret, R.
Saint John Vianney, showing us the narrow gate that leads to salvation, R.
Saint John Vianney, physician of sick souls, R.
Saint John Vianney, reaching out to sinners, R.
Saint John Vianney, healer of disease and infirmity, R.
Saint John Vianney, to whom the Father revealed
the mysteries of the Kingdom, R.
Saint John Vianney, gentle with the bruised reed and the smoldering wick, R.
Saint John Vianney, who denied yourself, took up your cross,
and followed Jesus, R.

Days 2, 4, 6, and 8 of the Novena: Holy Parish Priest I

Saint John Vianney, chosen to offer the Holy Sacrifice, R.
Saint John Vianney, enriched with the Holy Spirit's Seven Gifts, R.
Saint John Vianney, zealous for the beauty of the Lord's house, R.
Saint John Vianney, imbued with reverence at the altar, R.
Saint John Vianney, tender father of the poor, R.
Saint John Vianney, able to sympathize with our weaknesses, R.
Saint John Vianney, fearless in preaching the truth, R.
Saint John Vianney, nourishing souls with pure spiritual milk, R.
Saint John Vianney, graced with the gift of prophecy, R.
Saint John Vianney, preacher of the Word in season and out of season, R.
Saint John Vianney, unafraid to convince, rebuke, and exhort, R.
Saint John Vianney, faithful dispenser of the Divine Mysteries, R.
Saint John Vianney, persevering in prayer by night and by day, R.
Saint John Vianney, faithful adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament, R.
Saint John Vianney, privileged friend of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, R.

Days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 of the Novena: Holy Parish Priest II

Saint John Vianney, penetrated with the fear of God's judgment, R.
Saint John Vianney, whom the devil tormented cruelly, R.
Saint John Vianney, shining image of priestly holiness, R.
Saint John Vianney, inflamed with priestly zeal, R.
Saint John Vianney, compassionate toward the sick, R.
Saint John Vianney, catechist of children and teacher of your entire parish, R.
Saint John Vianney, wise and prudent father of souls, R.
Saint John Vianney, who spent hours in the confessional each day, R.
Saint John Vianney, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, R.
Saint John Vianney, formidable enemy of Satan's empire, R.
Saint John Vianney, tenderhearted toward every suffering, R.
Saint John Vianney, providence of poor orphans, R.
Saint John Vianney, favoured with the charism of miracles, R.
Saint John Vianney, who reconciled so many sinners to God, R.
Saint John Vianney, who helped countless souls along the path of holiness, R.

Each Day of the Novena: In the Glory of Heaven

Saint John Vianney, who tasted divine sweetness at the hour of your death, R.
Saint John Vianney, rejoicing in the glory of Heaven, R.
Saint John Vianney, giving joy to those who invoke you, R.
Saint John Vianney, advocate of struggling seminarians, R.
Saint John Vianney, patron of parish priests, R.
Saint John Vianney, comforter of bishops, R.

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, Saint John Mary Vianney,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God,
who made Saint John Mary Vianney
wondrous in his pastoral labour;
grant, we implore, that by his example and intercession,
we may win our brothers and sisters for you in the charity of Christ,
and with them be able to attain glory everlasting.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.
R. Amen.

benedict daswa.jpg

Who was Benedict Daswa?

Benedict Daswa grew up in a traditionalist family belonging to the small Lemba tribe who live mainly among the Venda people in the Limpopo Province. He became a Catholic, while training to become a Primary teacher. Benedict soon realised that the whole area of witchcraft was against his Catholic faith. From then on in his private life and also in public he took a strong stand against witchcraft because he said it led to the killing of innocent people accused of witchcraft activities.

Benedict also rejected the use of muti or medicines for protection against evil or for success in sport or other activities. It was this stand against witchcraft which eventually led to his death. A few days after refusing to give money for the purpose of "smelling out witches", he was stoned and bludgeoned to death on 2nd February 1990, Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Presentation of the Lord. He was just four months short of his 44th birthday. All the indications points to the fact that Benedict Daswa led a holy life and became a genuine martyr for the faith.

The next stage will be to prepare prayer cards and a novena to enable people to pray for favours through the intercession of the Servant of God. The South African Conference of Catholic Bishops plan to produce a short biography and DVD to make Benedict Daswa more widely known in South Africa and in other African Countries, as a role model for all the faithful and as a witness to the Catholic faith.

Saint James, Apostle

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General Intercessions

That the Holy Catholic Church, founded on the faith of the apostles,
may hold fast to the knowledge of the glory of God
that is given her in the Face of Christ
and in the Chalice of His Precious Blood,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the shepherds of the Church
may receive in abundance
that spirit of self-denying service by which alone
they hold true authority among the disciples of Christ,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the leaders of nations
may protect the rights of all to worship in peace
and actively seek a secure and lasting peace
for Lebanon and the Holy Land,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That the afflicted may not be crushed,
the perplexed, not driven to despair,
the persecuted, not forsaken,
and the struck down, not destroyed,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That priests who are dejected
and discouraged in their ministry
may experience the nearness of the Mother of God
and, under her protection, lean upon the pillar of faith,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

That we who are invited to drink of the chalice of the Blood of Christ,
may accept our share in His Passion
for the sake of His Body, the Church,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

Collect at the General Intercessions

Merciful God,
whose holy apostle James,
was obedient to the calling of your Son and followed Him even to death:
grant that we, like him,
may fix our gaze upon the Face of your Christ
and drink of the chalice of his Blood
so as to carry within ourselves, as in earthen vessels,
the surpassing knowledge of Your glory,
and the hope of eternal life.
Through the same Christ our Lord.


Almighty and eternal God,
who gave the Blessed Virgin Mary,
glorious Mother of Your Son,
as a pillar to all who call upon her aid,
grant through her intercession
that like the Apostle Saint James
we may be strong in faith,
unwavering in hope,
and steadfast in charity.
Through Christ our Lord.

Vere dignum et justum est

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In preparation for the great monastic solemnity that began with First Vespers this evening, I offer this proper Preface for the meditation and joy of all who have some claim on the paternity of Saint Benedict. The image was painted by the graced hand of Brother Claude Lane, O.S.B., of Mount Angel Abbey.


Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

You raised up the holy abbot Benedict,
as a teacher of the steps of humility
by which a countless number of his sons and daughters
have reached the love which drives out all fear.

Preferring nothing to the love of Christ,
he recognized Christ in the sick and in the stranger,
in the poor and in the pilgrim.

Praising you seven times by day, and even in the night,
he placed all his hope in you,
and taught us never to despair of your mercy.

Even today, his words distill a holy wisdom,
inflame us with longing for life everlasting,
and inspire us to sing your praise
in the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, in the sight of the angels,
with heart and mind in harmony with our voices,
we exalt your glory forever,
as we ceaselessly proclaim:

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory