Wednesday, February 07, 2024


Feast of Saints Josephine Bakhita and Jerome Emiliani. 

"Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice.

"Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

"He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” 

"She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”

"Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”

"When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone." (Mark 7: 24 - 30).

Thursday 8th February 2024, in the 5th Week in Ordinary Time. We celebrate the feast of two saints today:

++ St Josephine Bakhita (1869 - 1947). Sudanese. Virgin and Religious. Josephine was brought to Italy as a slave. By Divine Providence, she became a sister of the Canossian order. Her exemplary and holy life was noticed. She bore patiently and heroically her last illness. Pope St John Paul II brought her relics to Sudan where she was canonized in 2000. St Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of Sudan and victims of human trafficking.

++ St Jerome Emiliani. (1481 - 1537). Italian. Priest. Jerome was wayward as a young man. When he was surprised by grace, his life changed 180 degrees. He founded a religious congregation (Somaschi) which looked after the sick, the poor and orphans and abandoned children. St Jerome Emiliani died of the plague while ministering to the afflicted.

Our Gospel today from Mark 7: 24 - 30 turns my thoughts to healing. I pray for healing for myself every day. Healing for my siblings and families. Healing for friends, Pope Francis and others. Healing for those who leave prayer intentions on this website. 

Do you believe in healing? The answer is unqualified YES. Healing has been promised by Jesus in the Gospel. Healing confirms our faith. 

We do not listen to "fools who say: there is no God." (Cf Psalm 14: 1). We listen rather to the testimony of the Church and people who have been healed. I have been healed several times and I depend on the healing mercies of the Lord every day. When I cry out to the Lord with tears kneeling or lying on the bed, He hears me often and heals me. When He does not heal me, I ask Him to give me at once 10,000 times patience to bear my pain.

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