Stabat Mater Menevia

Stabat Mater Menevia
We praise you O Lord and we bless you, for by thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world

Friday, 27 July 2012

Start today - a Novena for the priests of the Diocese of Menevia


August 4th is the Feastday of the Cure of Ars, patron saint of all priests.

Pray this novena to him on behalf of the priests of Menevia, especially those about to be ordained and for all priests throughout the world.

                     Novena to St. John Vianney for the Priesthood

St. John Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he
was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his reputation
as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the
Christian world. Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by
swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested
a imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but
he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image
of the priest after the heart of Christ. He heard confessions of people from
all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with
works of charity and love. It is recorded that even the staunchest of sinners
were converted at his mere word. He died August 4,1859, and was
canonized May 31, 1925.
First Day - July 27
St. John Vianney, Who Accepted the Cross
O holy Priest of Ars, as a young seminarian you encountered many obstacles
on the road to the Priesthood, but you realized that to suffer was to suffer
with Christ on Calvary, and so, if following our Lord meant taking up His
cross, you lovingly embraced it. Your motto in life became loving while
suffering and suffering in order to love. You did not get discouraged, but
your strong faith united you closer to Jesus every day of your life.
O great St. John Vianney, you know what is needed for our Priests’ salvation
-- a strong faith able to accept the will of God in all things. To serve Christ,
they too must take up their crosses and follow Him. By your prayers, obtain
for them a heart full of courage and strength. Obtain for each Priest that
same courage and strength to follow Jesus wholeheartedly even if it means
following Him to Calvary. Intercede for them before the Lord that they may
do the will of God, obey the commandments, and loyally love the Church,
the Bride of Christ.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Novena Prayer
O holy Priest of Ars, St. John Marie Vianney, you loved God and served Him
faithfully as His Priest. Now you see God face to face in heaven. You never
despaired but persevered in your faith until you died. Remember now the
dangers, fears and anxieties that surround our Priests and intercede for
them in all theirs needs and troubles especially console them in their most
difficult moments, grant them serenity in the midst of crisis, and protect
them from evil.
O St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests, I have confidence in your intercession.
Please pray for us and our Priests! Please pray especially for the needs of
Father(s) ____________ and for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
(5x in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to receive a Partial Indulgence*)
Second Day - July 28
St. John Vianney, Full of Zeal for Souls
O holy Priest of Ars, you taught men to pray daily: “O my God, come to me,
so that You may dwell in me and I may dwell in You.” Your life was the very
living out of this prayer. The divine life of grace abided in you. Your zeal for
the salvation of souls was manifested by your total self-surrender to God,
which was expressed in your selfless service to others. You gave of yourself
unreservedly in the confessional, at the altar, in the classroom, in fact, in
every action you performed.
O great St. John Vianney, obtain for each Priest the realization that God also
dwells in him when he is free of sin. Remind him that the salvation of his
soul is the fulfillment of his existence. Awaken in him a sense of self-giving
for the salvation of souls. Obtain for our Priests, by your intercession, a zeal
for souls like your zeal. May each Priest see that God dwells in him and in his
fellow men. Obtain for them from our Lord the grace to lead all men to
salvation. Let your prayer be theirs: “If you really love God, you will greatly
desire to see Him loved by all the world.”
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Third Day - July 29
St. John Vianney, Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament
O holy Priest of Ars, you had such an overwhelming love for Christ in the
Blessed Sacrament that you prayed for hours in His presence. You said that
“when our Lord sees them coming eagerly to visit Him in the Blessed
Sacrament, He smiles upon them. They come with that simplicity which
pleases Him so much.”
O Saint of the Eucharist, may your example enkindle in our Priests a deeper
love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. By your prayers, never let them
doubt Christ’s Real Presence, but obtain for them a firm faith rooted in the
Eucharist. Help them not to be afraid to defend or preach Christ’s Real
Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Obtain for them the grace to approach
our Lord with simplicity of heart as he lays his soul’s innermost thoughts
before Jesus’ Sacred Heart. Keep our Priests under your continual protection,
that they may be supported by your example and assistance and be
faithfully devoted to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. May their lives reflect
the belief of our Lord’s abiding presence with us. O St. John Vianney, by the
power of your intercession, give us Priests devoted to the holy Sacrament of
the Altar.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Fourth Day - July 30
St. John Vianney, Greatly Devoted to Our Blessed Mother
O holy Priest of Ars, your life was consecrated to the Blessed Mother. You
prayed earnestly to her, entrusting your Priesthood to her care. You begged
all the faithful to pray the rosary, the favorite prayer of Mary, our Mother.
You summed up the reason for your great love of our Lady by saying: “We
have only to turn to the Blessed Mother to be heard. Her heart is all love.”
O great John Vianney, I ask you with all my heart through the merits of
Jesus and the intercession of Mary, the Virgin Mother to make our Priests
lives’ patterned after that of our heavenly Mother, full of love for God and his
neighbor. Obtain for them a deeper love for our Lady and a filial confidence
in her. She is the person to whom they can turn in times of distress when
lonely or upset or in times of temptation. Inspire each Priest to consecrate
his life to his Mother in heaven. May they know the powerful protection of
Mary’s mantle all the days of their lives.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Fifth Day - July 31
St. John Vianney, Lover of Sinners
O holy Priest of Ars, you spent many long hours daily in the confessional.
People came to you for forgiveness of their sins from far-off places. Although
you despised sin, you always received the sinner with much love and
O holy confessor of the Lord, St. John Vianney, awaken in each Priest a
sense of his sinfulness before the eyes of God. By your Priestly example,
grant them a love of the reception of the Sacrament of Penance. Obtain for
them the understanding that it is in confessing one’s sins that God’s mercy is
poured out upon him and he draws closer to Christ. Obtain for them a deep
hatred of sin and the grace to resist temptation. Teach them the value of
frequent confession, where we meet Jesus, our Savior, the source of all
mercy and consolation. Contrite and forgiven may all those with whom they
comes in contact act with that same mercy. Pray that our Priests always love
the Sacrament of Penance. Pray that they may call sinners to repentance
with their good examples and live in complete service to our Lord.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Sixth Day - Aug 1
St. John Vianney, Model of Purity
O holy Priest of Ars, your life was a model of purity. Your life of chastity was
a source of edification to all. You said that when a soul is pure all the court
of heaven looks upon it with great joy. Today we are experiencing a great
disregard for the virtue of purity; it is looked upon with ridicule by worldly
O great St. John Vianney, more than ever before, we need your prayers and
help in avoiding sins of impurity. I ask you to help keep our Priests pure in
mind and in body and give good example in their speech, conduct and faith.
Obtain for them the strength necessary to combat temptations against the
virtue of purity, which could lead them away from God. Unite your prayers
with those of Mary Immaculate to implore God that our Priests be pure in
mind and heart and preserve them from those sins which are so displeasing
to God.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Seventh Day - Aug 2
St. John Vianney, Humble in all Things
O holy Priest of Ars, your life was filled with humility. You wore an old
cassock. You ate meager meals. You realized that before the throne of God,
you were one of His creatures made to glorify God and praise Him in all
things. You said that the “first virtue is humility; the second, humility; and
the third, humility.” You counseled people to remain humble, remain simple
and the more one is so, the more good he will do. Your simplicity of soul and
your uncluttered way of life led you to sanctity.
O humble St. John Vianney, when our Priests forget they are totally
dependent on God for everything, intercede for them with Almighty God, to
allow them to see that without His Creator nothing is possible and that they
must rely on God for everything. He is their Creator, who keeps them in
existence at every moment. Obtain for each Priest the grace of humility. May
their lives exemplify your humility and simplicity, a life uncluttered, a life
totally dependent on God.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Eighth Day - Aug 3
St. John Vianney, Lover of Penance and Mortification
O holy Priest of Ars, you led a life of detachment from worldly pleasures.
Your meals consisted of a boiled potato each day; you slept a few hours each
night. But you did all of this so that you would be able to serve God to the
best of your ability. Your life was portrayed by the saying: “We complain
when we suffer. We have much more reason to complain when we do not
suffer, since nothing likens us to our Lord as the bearing of His cross.”
O great St. John Vianney, in these days when we are surrounded by so many
comforts and pleasures, it can be so difficult for us to do penance for our
sins and live a life of detachment. I resolve to offer some sacrifice today for
the expiation of our Priests sins and the sins of all mankind. Assist Priests in
accepting the cross God chooses to send him. May they embrace the life of
sacrifice to which Priests are called. May they willingly offer their whole lives
to God! Obtain for each Priest the grace to imitate the life of Christ by the
bearing of His cross.
Recite the Novena Prayer.
Ninth Day - Aug 4 (Plenary Indulgence Day**)
St. John Vianney, Good and Holy Priest
O holy Priest of Ars, you lived in an age of much upheaval, in a time when
men turned their backs on God. Your bishop told of a parish to which he
wished to send you where there was no love. He assigned you to Ars and
said that you would be the Priest who would enable the people to know the
love of God. Not only did you draw these people back to God, but your
saintly reputation soon spread and many people were converted to a life of
holiness. You said that a good Priest, a Priest after Christ’s own heart is the
greatest treasure that God can give a parish. Give us such Priests!
O great St. John Vianney, once again we are living in day of upheaval. There
is much evil in the word. Obtain for our Priests the grace to persevere in
faith and never to despair. May they walk with the Lord and trust in Him all
the days of their lives. Obtain through your heavenly intercession, for each
Priest the grace of modeling his life after that of Jesus Christ, that his people
will know the love of God. More than ever the people need them to be able
to bring the world to Christ. O great Priest of Ars, on this, your Feast Day,
please pray for our Priests!
Recite the Novena Prayer.
* The Partial Indulgence is granted to all the faithful every time they devoutly recite five
Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glorias, or another expressly approved prayer, in honour
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness
of life.
**The Plenary Indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant who, in
church or in chapel, devoutly attend the divine Sacrifice of Mass and o
Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, for the priests of the Church, and any other good
work which they have done on that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in
accordance with His Heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through
sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the Supreme Ponti
intentions: on the days in which the Year for Priests begins and ends, on the day of the
150th anniversary of the pious passing of St John Mary Vianney, on the first Thursday
of the month or on any other day established by the local Ordinaries for the benefit of
the faithful.
(Given in Rome, at the O
Mark the Evangelist, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 2009.)
ffer prayers toff'sffices of the Apostolic Penitentiary on 25 April, the Feast of St

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Missa Cantata - St Benedict's Sketty

Next Sunday, 29th July, there will be a Missa Cantata sung by the Newcastle Emlyn Schola at St Benedict's Church, Sketty at 3pm


Also, see the previous post for a reminder of Anthony Wilson's funeral on Thursday 26th July at 11.30am

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Requiem Mass - Anthony Wilson RIP

     " ....And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes...."

There will be a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form followed by the burial of Tony Wilson at the Church of Our Lady, College View, Llandovery SA20 0BD on Thursday 26th July at 11.30am.

All Confraternity members and others are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Mass at the Cathedral

Mass celebrated in an Irish cabin in the time of persecution

This coming Sunday there will be Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 12 noon in St Joseph's Cathedral Swansea.

Due to some members being away numbers in the congregation are likely to be light so, if you can attend, please do so.

This Mass in our Mother Church in Menevia is precious to us and we do need to ensure that it continues.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Prayers for a deceased member

Please remember Tony Wilson in your prayers. He died a few days ago and came from the Llandovery area.

Some Confraternity members may remember him from the days when the EF Mass was held in Carmarthen.

We will publish details of his Requiem Mass once they become known.

                                                                DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths have I cried unto Thee, O Lord: Lord hear my voice. De profúndis clamávi ad te, Dómine: Dómine, exáudi vocem meam.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. Fiant aures tuae intendéntes: in vocem deprecationes meae.
If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Si iniquitátes observaveris, Dómine: Dómine, quis sustinébit.
But there is forgiveness with Thee: because of Thy law I wait for Thee, O Lord. Quia apud te propitiátio est: et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Dómine.
My soul waiteth on His word: my soul hopeth in the Lord. Sustinuit ánima mea in verbo ejus: sperávit ánima mea in Dómino.
From the morning watch even until night let Israel hope in the Lord: A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: specret Israel in Dómino.
For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption. Quia apud Dóminum misericordia: et copiósa apud eum redémptio.
And He shall redeem Israel, from all their iniquities. Et ipse redimet Israel, ex ómnibus iniquitátibus ejus.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Croeso to a new Confraternity member

A warm Welsh welcome to the Confraternity's latest member, 'Breadgirl' from the illustrious
 Last Welsh Martyr blog.


If you have not read her blog, please do so, it does what it says on the tin, posts about Welsh Martyrs.

And this is a timely reminder to say that the Confraternity always welcomes any new members; you do not have to be a blogger, a traditionalist or live in the Diocese of Menevia - from wherever you come from just send an email requesting membership to and you will automatically be enrolled.

No fees or subs, only one rather arduous duty.........say the following prayer daily if you are able:

"We adore Thee O Christ and we praise Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world"

Not too arduous is it?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Welsh National Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Catholics from across Wales will be setting off on Saturday 14th July on the annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

We wish them all a safe journey and a holy pilgrimage.

The only down side, from the Confraternity point of view, is that, there will not be a Latin Mass this coming Sunday in Menevia;  but we can pray for the pilgrims and their families and for our own causes:

Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favours, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.

Monday, 9 July 2012

St Veronica Giuliani

From - A Reluctant Sinner blog

St Veronica Giuliani: "I have found Love, Love has let himself be seen!" A mystic who kept her feet firmly on the ground!

Today is the feast of St Veronica Giuliani, one of the Church’s greatest mystics – known for having been graced with the stigmata as well as a large dose of practical common sense. St Veronica, whose deep desire to be utterly united to Christ’s loving Passion was granted to her by her Lord, is proof of the fact that gifts of sanctity usually only ever come to those who both know their own weaknesses and have their feet planted firmly on the ground.

Born in December 1660 at Mercatello, she was named Ursula by her parents, Francesco and Benedetta. Her family was both wealthy and pious, whilst her mother had an especial devotion to Our Lord’s Five Wounds. In fact, as Benedetta Giuliani lay dying, when Ursula was only a 7-year-old girl, she dedicated each of her five daughters to a particular wound of Christ. She offered Ursula to the wound below Jesus’ heart. 

The young Ursula displayed signs of sanctity from an early age. Her first words were not those normally uttered by an 18-month old child, but were a warning directed at an unjust merchant who was selling false measures of oil. "Do justice, God sees you", said the saintly baby! As a 3-year-old, Ursula supposedly began showing great compassion towards the poor and vulnerable, giving a daily portion of her food and also her spare clothes to those locals who found themselves in need.

Before entering the convent in her teens, though, Ursula showed great humility in admitting publicly to her defects of character and other faults. She confessed that she had enjoyed the luxurious life she had been accustomed to in her father’s house, and also recognised that she had lacked compassion when dealing with those whom she thought were lacking in spirituality or faith. Realising she was prone to a dictatorial manner when confronted with others who did not share her particular form of piety, she was granted a vision in which she saw that her heart seemed "like steel". This vision led the young Ursula to embrace the religious life – in which she hoped that she would cease to be so harsh, wiping her heart with the veil of Christ’s compassion, so that she would become a ‘true image’ (Veronica) of the Sacred Heart.

Ursula’s father refused to give consent for his daughter to enter the religious life, as he wanted her to marry. In fact, he had already lined up a number of eligible bachelors for her to choose from. But the pious young girl had her heart set on being clothed in the habit and veil, and dearly wished to become a Poor Clare attached to the Capuchins. Francesco Giuliani, though, persisted with his intention to see Ursula married. Her earthly father's will caused Ursula to become severely ill. In fact, she became so sick that she was no longer attractive to any of the suitors her father had chosen for her. Seeing God’s hand in his daughter’s illness, Francesco relented and consented to Ursula’s desire to become a nun. Upon hearing this good news, his daughter was immediately restored to perfect health!

In 1677, Ursula was received into the monastery of the Poor Clares in Città di Castello, Umbria. She received the name Veronica, both in memory of the Passion and also, as mentioned above, because she had a deep interior desire to be so conformed to Christ that she would become his true image. It is reported that as she was taking her vows, the local bishop turned to the abbess and said: “I commend this new daughter to your special care, for she will one day be a great saint.”

Veronica’s first years in the monastery were marked by her absolute submission to the will of her superiors, but also by interior spiritual and mental trials. As she quietly worked in the kitchen, infirmary, and sacristy, Veronica was often tempted to return to the world – to the exciting and privileged life she had been accustomed to at home. Sometimes, her superiors in the convent could be as dictatorial as she herself had once been, and imposed burdensome disciplines on the young nun. But Veronica gently and joyfully did all that she was told to do. At the age of 34, she was made novice mistress for the convent, a position she held for many years. Three years later, as a 37-year-old, Veronica received the stigmata.

In 1693, the year before she became mistress of novices, Veronica received a vision of a chalice, which she interpreted as symbolising Our Lord’s Passion, which she had longed to be united to since her childhood. Yet, having always wanted to become a true image of Christ, when finally confronted with the reality of the Passion, Veronica shrank from accepting this cup of suffering – in so doing, she actually imitated Christ even more perfectly, when he said: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; but not my will, but yours be done” (Lk 22:42). After deciding to submit totally to the will of God, and to her most profound vocation of suffering, Veronica began to experience great spiritual and mental anguish. In 1694, she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns on her head (which usually symbolises mental suffering). On Good Friday, 1697, she received the impression the Five Holy Wounds on her hands, feet and side - and so began her physical, mental and spiritual passion.

Needless to say, Veronica’s superiors and the local bishop were weary of these mystical impressions on her body, and ordered her to live under medical supervision. In fact, Veronica was also stopped from attending daily Mass, lest she became a distraction to the younger nuns, whilst she was also temporarily deprived of her role as mistress of the novices. She also had her hands bound in special gloves, sealed by the bishop, and was even stopped for a while from talking with members of her own community. All this continued until the bishop and the abbess were convinced that the stigmata she bore was genuine. These deprivations must have added to the intense pain Veronica was already suffering from – the mental and physical anguish associated with Our Lord’s Passion. Often, it seems that some of our greatest saints have been hurt not by the world or those who persecute the Faith, but rather by the actions of those who are in authority within the Church – maybe this is why Veronica would often quote those famous words of St Paul: “who can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rm 8:35).

Needless to say, Veronica’s mystical union with Christ was eventually accepted as being authentic and of God, and she returned to her work in the monastery. Although supernaturally and mystically united to Christ’s Passion for the remainder of her life, Veronica also lived a very practical and down-to-earth existence. She prudently discouraged her novices from following her particular vocation of suffering, and would not even allow them to read mystical books. She remained convinced that salvation and sanctity lay in doing the little things, being obedient to those whom Christ has placed in authority over us, and in trying to live to the best - with God's grace - that state of life we find ourselves in. When Veronica was elected abbess, against her own wishes, in 1716, she became an extremely practical and hands-on leader. Not only did she enlarge and develop the monastic enclosure, but she also installed a much needed system of water-pipes for the abbey!

St Veronica Giuliani died in her convent on 9 July 1727, leaving behind a great spiritual legacy – a vast wealth of writings, mystical treatises, poems, and a diary that is well over 22,000 pages long! Symbols of the Passion were found 'engraved' upon her heart immediately after her death. During the process of her canonisation, her body was discovered to be incorrupt after many years - though eventually deteriorated. She was beatified by Pope Pius VII in 1804 and canonised by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839. St Veronica is usually depicted with a Crown of Thorns and holding a crucifix.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated one of his December general audiences to reflecting upon the life and spirituality of St Veronica Giuliani. He specifically touched upon the particular and rare vocation of the stigmatist as well as on Veronica’s down-to-earth and grounded way of life, and her great contribution to the Church’s understanding of the role of suffering in the Christian vocation. Here is part of what the Holy Father said:   -
St Veronica has a markedly Christological and spousal spirituality: She experienced being loved by Christ, her faithful and sincere Bridegroom, to whom she wished to respond with an ever more involved and passionate love. She interpreted everything in the key of love and this imbued her with deep serenity. She lived everything in union with Christ, for love of him, and with the joy of being able to demonstrate to him all the love of which a creature is capable.
The Christ to whom Veronica was profoundly united was the suffering Christ of the Passion, death and Resurrection; it was Jesus in the act of offering himself to the Father in order to save us.
Her intense and suffering love for the Church likewise stemmed from this experience, in its dual form of prayer and offering. The Saint lived in this perspective: she prayed, suffered and sought “holy poverty”, as one “dispossessed” and the loss of self (cfDiary., III, 523), precisely in order to be like Christ who gave the whole of himself.
In every page of her writings Veronica commends someone to the Lord, reinforcing her prayers of intercession with the offering of herself in every form of suffering. Her heart dilated to embrace all “the needs of the Holy Church”, living anxiously the desire for the salvation of “the whole world” (ibid., III-IV, passim).
Veronica cried: “O sinners... all men and all women, come to Jesus’ heart; come to be cleansed by his most precious blood.... He awaits you with open arms to embrace you” (ibid., II, 16-17). 
Motivated by ardent love, she gave her sisters in the monastery attention, understanding and forgiveness. She offered her prayers and sacrifices for the Pope, for her Bishop, for priests and for all those in need, including the souls in Purgatory.
She summed up her contemplative mission in these words: “We cannot go about the world preaching to convert souls but are bound to pray ceaselessly for all those souls who are offending God... particularly with our sufferings, that is, with a principle of crucified life” (ibid., IV, 877). Our Saint conceived this mission as “being in the midst” of men and God, of sinners and the Crucified Christ.
Veronica lived profound participation in the suffering love of Jesus, certain that “to suffer with joy” is the “key to love” (cf. ibid., I, 299.417; III, 330.303.871; IV, 192). She emphasizes that Jesus suffers for humanity’s sins, but also for the suffering that his faithful servants would have to endure down the centuries, in the time of the Church, precisely because of their solid and consistent faith.
She wrote: “His Eternal Father made them see and feel the extent of all the suffering that his chosen ones would have to endure, the souls dearest to him, that is, those who would benefit from his Blood and from all his sufferings" (ibid., II, 170).
As the Apostle Paul says of himself: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24).
Veronica reached the point of asking Jesus to be crucified with him. “In an instant”, she wrote, “I saw five radiant rays issue from his most holy wounds; and they all shone on my face. And I saw these rays become, as it were, little tongues of fire. In four of them were the nails; and in one was the spear, as of gold, red hot and white hot: and it went straight through my heart, from one side to the other ... and the nails pierced my hands and feet. I felt great pain but in this same pain I saw myself, I felt myself totally transformed into God” (Diary, I, 897).
The Saint was convinced that she was already participating in the Kingdom of God, but at the same time she invoked all the Saints of the Blessed Homeland to come to her aid on the earthly journey of her self-giving while she waited for eternal beatitude; this was her undying aspiration throughout her life (cf. ibid., II, 909; V, 246).
With regard to the preaching of that time which often focused on “saving one’s soul” in individual terms, Veronica shows a strong “sense of solidarity”, a sense of communion with all her brothers and sisters on their way towards Heaven and she lives, prays and suffers for all. The penultimate, earthly things, although appreciated in the Franciscan sense as gifts of the Creator, were always relative, altogether subordinate to “God’s taste” and under the sign of radical poverty.
In the communio sanctorum, she explains the gift of herself to the Church, as the relationship between the pilgrim Church and the heavenly Church. “All the Saints”, she wrote, “are up there thanks to the merit and the Passion of Jesus; but they cooperated with all that the Lord did, so that their life was totally ordered ... regulated by these same works (his)” (ibid., III, 203).

In particular, Veronica proved a courageous witness of the beauty and power of Divine Love which attracted her, pervaded her and inflamed her. Crucified Love was impressed within her flesh as it was in that of St Francis of Assisi, with Jesus’ stigmata. “‘My Bride’, the Crucified Christ whispers to me, ‘the penance you do for those who suffer my disgrace is dear to me’.... Then detaching one of his arms from the Cross he made a sign to me to draw near to his side... and I found myself in the arms of the Crucified One. What I felt at that point I cannot describe: I should have liked to remain for ever in his most holy side” (ibid., I, 37). This is also an image of her spiritual journey, of her interior life: to be in the embrace of the Crucified One and thus to remain in Christ's love for others.
Veronica also experienced a relationship of profound intimacy with the Virgin Mary, attested by the words she heard Our Lady say one day, which she reports in her Diary: “I made you rest on my breast, you were united with my soul, and from it you were taken as in flight to God” (IV, 901).
St Veronica Giuliani invites us to develop, in our Christian life, our union with the Lord in living for others, abandoning ourselves to his will with complete and total trust, and the union with the Church, the Bride of Christ.
She invites us to participate in the suffering love of Jesus Crucified for the salvation of all sinners; she invites us to fix our gaze on Heaven, the destination of our earthly journey, where we shall live together with so many brothers and sisters the joy of full communion with God; she invites us to nourish ourselves daily with the Word of God, to warm our hearts and give our life direction. The Saint’s last words can be considered the synthesis of her passionate mystical experience: “I have found Love, Love has let himself be seen!” Thank you.
(For the text of the Holy Father's address in full, please see the Vatican website)

St Veronica Giuliani, pray for us!

In the traditional calendar, today also marks the feast of Ss John Fisher & Thomas More in England and Wales - may these two great martyrs of the Catholic faith continue to inspire us and pray for us who strive to live, as St Thomas More once said, according to "the general counsel of Christendom"! 

With the kind permission of A Reluctant Sinner