Showing posts from August, 2014

Our Lady of Fatima saved Padre Pio from imminent death 55 years ago this month


If the Catholic blogosphere is to survive then our bloggers must become more Catholic

Nearly five years ago, I started a Catholic blog that has been modestly successful. The high-point was when I was invited to the Vatican Blogmeet in May 2011. During those exhilarating days of Benedict’s pontificate, bloggers raised their voices in support of the German Pope.

Now the voices are going quiet. Talking to my fellow bloggers, they say that their minds are occupied with spiteful thoughts on Church politics. Some have taken an unfair personal dislike to Pope Francis, and this aversion has coloured their blogging to such an extent that they fall into two categories: blogging to critique the Pope or not blogging at all. If Catholic blogging is limited to Vatican politics and the personality of the Pope, then it will always run out of steam.

In response to the “there’s nothing to blog about” grumble, why are some grand occasions being ignored outright by the Catholic blogosphere? For instance, just over a week has passed since August 16 when Pope Francis beatified 124…

"After walking 1,411 miles, I'm still a sinner"


104 years ago today, Francesco Forgione became PADRE PIO

The first Catholic priest to receive the stigmata was born on the 25th
of May, 1887 and named ‘Francesco’.  He was the son of Grazio and Giuseppa Forgione. Pietrelcina, a remote village in Southern Italy was his homeland. 

Francesco grew up on a winding street, in a one-roomed house with a
relentlessly hot, golden sun overhead. His parents were simple, farming people, who were tireless workers, and made their living from tilling a few acres which were located a thirty-minute walk from their village. On their plot of land, they had a stone house, in which crops were stored, and where they also slept during harvest time.

They led a balanced life, where hard labour and religious observance
went hand in hand. After a hard day of planting crops, the Forgione family
recited the Rosary every evening, without fail. They fasted from meat three days a week, in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Francesco’s parents and grandparents could not read, but they memorised Sacred Scripture and as part of e…

Forget gargling hot brandy for a sore throat - keep Lourdes water at home

Some weeks ago, I picked up a viral infection that brought on a lung packed with fluid, a constantly runny nose and a terribly sore throat.

Owing to the fact that it was ‘viral’, it could not be treated with anti-biotics. So, I got hold of ground-up grapefruit seed tonic that tasted like floor polish, but only made my throat ache more. A friend playing Florence Nightingale gave me a hot brandy and lemon toddy that I gargled to ‘bump off’ the virus. Let’s just say that hot brandy is not meant for gargling!

The idea of taking some Lourdes water popped into my mind. It’s that time of year, when pilgrims are flooding into the French village, and a few of my friends have already been there on pilgrimage. I remembered the five litre flask of Lourdes water that I schlepped back from my last pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2010. The Lourdes water is stationed at the entrance to my flat to bless my humble abode. And it’s kosher to drink it – Our Lady instructed us to ‘drink at the sprin…