Archive for February, 2015

Saint Giles

saint GilesLittle is known of St. Giles (Aegidus in Latin records) except that he may have been born a wealthy aristocratic Greek. When his parents died, Giles used his fortune to help the poor. He became a worker of miracles, and to avoid followers and adulation, he left Greece c. 683 for France where he lived as a hermit in a cave in the deep forests by River Rhône, the mouth of which was guarded by a thick thorn bush. He lived a lifestyle so impoverished that, legend says, God sent a hind to him to nourish him with her milk.

One day after he had lived there for several years in meditation, a royal hunting party chased the hind into Giles’ cave. One hunter shot an arrow into the thorn bush hoping to hit the deer, but hit Giles in the leg instead, crippling him (Some legends have it that the arrow pierced his hand or his arm as he held onto the deer to protect her). The king sent doctors to care for the Saint’s wound, and though Giles begged to be left alone, the king came often to see him.

From this his fame as sage and miracle worker spread, and would-be followers gathered near the cave. The French king, because of his admiration, built the Monastery of Saint Gilles du Gard at the end of the 11th Century for these followers on the pilgrimage route from Arles to St. James of Compostela in the north of Spain. Giles became its first Abbot, establishing his own discipline there. A small town grew up around the Monastery. When Giles died, his grave became a shrine and place of pilgrimage; the Monastery later became a Benedictine house.

The combination of the town, monastery, shrine and pilgrims led to many handicapped beggars hoping for alms; this and Giles’ insistence that he wished to live outside the walls of the city, and his own damaged leg [or hand/arm], led to the patronage of beggars, and to cripples since begging was the only source of income for many. Hospitals and safe houses for the poor, crippled, and leprous were constructed in England and Scotland, and were built so that cripples could reach them easily. On their passage to Tyburn for execution, convicts were allowed to stop at Saint Giles’ ‘Leper’ Hospital where they were presented with a bowl of ale called ‘Saint Giles’ Bowl’ “..thereof to drink at their pleasure, as their last refreshing in this life.” It was certainly only on such a journey that many would have taken refreshment from a ‘leper’ house! Once in Scotland during the 17th Century his relics were stolen from a church and a great riot occurred.

In Spain, shepherds consider Giles the protector of rams. It was formerly the custom to wash the rams and colour their wool a bright shade on Giles’ feast day, tie lighted candles to their horns, and bring the animals down the mountain paths to the chapels and churches to have them blessed. Among the Basques, the shepherds come down from the Pyrenees on 1st September, attired in full costume, sheepskin coats, staves, and crooks, to attend Mass with their best rams, an event that marks the beginning of autumn festivals, marked by processions and dancing in the fields.

St. Giles is known as one of the ‘Fourteen Holy Helpers’ – a group of saints invoked with special confidence because they proved themselves efficacious helpers in adversity and difficulties. Though each has a separate feast or memorial day, the group was collectively venerated on 8th August. However, this feast was dropped and suppressed in the 1969 reform of the calendar.

“The things that we love tell us what we are.”

“The things that we love tell us what we are.” ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas

#MoralStory : Short Moral Stories

A child told the mother, “Mum you are very beautiful today.”
Replied the mother, “Why?”
The child said, “Because you did not get angry today.”
Moral of the story:
1. It is easy to possess beauty: do not get angry.
2. Anger is temporary madness.

***

A man attended an interview for a job.  Along the corridor, he picked up a piece and threw it into a dustbin. The interviewer passed by and saw it. This man got the job.
Moral of the story: Live with good habits, and you will be recognized.A small boy worked as an apprentice in a bicycle shop.

***

A man sent a bicycle for repair.  After repairing the bicycle, this boy cleaned up the bicycle and it looked like a new one. Other apprentices laughed at him for doing redundant work. The following day, this boy was pinched and offered a job.
Moral of the story:
1.Go the extra mile to be successful.
2. Doing more gains more; Doing less lose more.

***

The owner of a farm asked his child to work every day at the farm. His friend said to him, “You do not have to make your son work so hard. The crops would grow just as good.” Owner of the farm replied, “I am not cultivating my crops, but my child.”
Moral of the story: A simple way to groom a child is to let him experience some hardships. If not cut, jade would not turn into useful ware.

***

A shop is always brightly lit up. Someone asked, “What brand of bulb are you using? It is so lasting.”
The shop owner replied, “Our bulbs blew out frequently.  We replaced them once a bulb blew out.”
Moral of the story:
1. It is simple to maintain brightness, change the bulbs regularly.
2. To brightening up everyday life, endeavour to abandon unwholesome state of mind and make an effort to encourage wholesome states to grow.

***

do something good everyday

Maranatha

maranatha

*

In your image you have fashioned us,
in the garden you made us;
you have given us your breath of life,
voice to praise your name,
voice to praise your name.

In our weakness we have turned from you,
turned from light to the darkness,
ever longing for salvation,
O Lord of light, O Lord of light.

Ref.
Maranatha, we long for your peace.
Maranatha, we long for your mercy.
Maranatha, we long for your coming.
O God

In your love you have sent your Son,
your salvation for every one;
Word incarnate, God’s compassion,
hope for humankind,
hope for humankind.

We await your day of glory,
Christ Jesus, return for us.
Gentle King, Just Deliverer,
you will bring us home,
you will bring us home.

*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGx5-Ht4n18

#ShortNews : Police in Delhi promise special patrols to protect Christian churches

Police in Delhi, India, have announced plans to monitor security daily at Christian churches and schools, in response to a series of attacks on Church properties.

After a series of break-ins, thefts, arson attacks, and desecrations at churches in Delhi, police have said that they will visit churches each day, and set up help-lines to which Christians can address complaints or concerns.

Delhi’s police chief, B.S. Bassi, made the announcement after he was called in by federal officials to consult on anti-Christian violence. That meeting came shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, responding to a plea from the Indian bishops, promised to take action against sectarian violence.

http://www.ucanindia.in/news/delhi-police-to-daily-monitor-churches-christian-schools/27949/daily

#ShortNews : Egypt’s leading Muslim cleric condemns killing of Christians

The grand mufti of Egypt, Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam, has strongly condemned the murder of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by Islamic State militants, according to regional news reports.

Stating that “the assassins deserve Allah’s curse,” Allam said that “the blood of our Christian children and brothers is the same blood as that of Muslims … which belongs to the Egyptian nation.”

http://vaticanresources.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf%2FING_2015_008_2002.pdf

#ShortNews : Lent is a time of spiritual combat, Pope emphasizes

Emphasizing that Lent is a time of “spiritual combat against the spirit of evil,” Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel account of the temptation of Jesus during his Sunday Angelus address of February 22.

Through Christ’s victory over Satan’s temptations, “we have all conquered but we must protect this victory in our daily lives,” said the Pope. “Look at what Jesus has done and go with Him. This path of Jesus passes through the desert.”

He added:

The desert is the place where the voice of God and the voice of the tempter can be heard. In the noise, in the confusion, this cannot be done; only superficial voices can be heard. Instead we can go deeper in the desert, where our destiny is truly played out, life or death.

And how do we hear the voice of God? We hear it in his Word. For this reason, it is important to know Scripture, because otherwise we do not know how to respond to the attacks of the evil one. And here I would like to return to my advice of reading the Gospel every day. Read the Gospel every day! Meditate on it for a little while, for ten minutes. The Lenten desert helps us to say no to worldliness, to the “idols.”

Following his Angelus address, a booklet entitled “Guard the Heart” was distributed to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The booklet included “the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Ten Commandments, the virtues, and works of charity,” the Pope said.

http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2015/02/22/0141/00306.html