St. Brigid of Ireland: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.

There is much debate over her birthparents, but it is widely believed her mother was Brocca, a Christian baptized by Saint Patrick, and her father was Dubthach, a Leinster chieftain. Brocca was a slave, therefore Brigid was born into slavery.

When Dubthach’s wife discovered Brocca was pregnant, she was sold to a Druid landowner. It is not clear if Brocca was unable to …

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest

Reading I 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13

An informant came to David with the report,
“The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom.”
At this, David said to all his servants
who were with him in Jerusalem:
“Up!  Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom.
Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us,
then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword.”

As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing.
His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot.
All those who were with him also had their heads covered
and were weeping as they went.

As David was approaching Bahurim,
a man named Shimei, the son of Gera
of the same clan as Saul’s family,
was coming out of the place, cursing as he came.
He threw stones at David and at all the king’s officers,
even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard,
were on David’s right and on his left.
Shimei was saying as he cursed:
“Away, away, you murderous and wicked man!
The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul,
in whose stead you became king,
and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom.
And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer.”
Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king:
“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?
Let me go over, please, and lop off his head.”
But the king replied: “What business is it of mine or of yours,
sons of Zeruiah, that he curses?
Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David;
who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?’”
Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants:
“If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life,
how much more might this Benjaminite do so?
Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.
Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction
and make it up to me with benefits
for the curses he is uttering this day.”
David and his men continued on the road,
while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside,
all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

Responsorial Psalm 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.        (8a)  Lord, rise up and save me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
            Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
            “There is no salvation for him in God.”
R.        Lord, rise up and save me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
            my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
            he answers me from his holy mountain.
R.        Lord, rise up and save me.
When I lie down in sleep,
            I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
            arrayed against me on every side.
R.        Lord, rise up and save me.

Alleluia Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?”
He  replied, “Legion is my name.  There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
“Send us into the swine.  Let us enter them.”
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

No One Sees ME

I wonder what the man dwelling among the tombs with an unclean spirit experienced on the “inside.” We know how other people experienced him: he was a scary, out of control, possessed, and violent man. As I prayed with this passage, however, I entered within this unsubdued man bound with chains and shackles. What was it like to be this man? What did he feel? Desire? Fear? 

I sensed that this person, deep within his spirit, could have felt shame, abandoned, powerless, hopeless, rejected as he dwelt away from the community, possessed by thousands of demons. (The name “Legion” refers to a Roman regiment of six thousand soldiers.)

Perhaps his heart was crying out, “Even though I’m screaming, no one hears ME. Even though people see me crying out and bruising myself with stones, no one sees ME.”

Sometimes I feel this way. When life throws me unexpected detours shot through with loss and grief, my response can be public, embarrassing, insecure, out of character. I feel shame as people see my problems, mistakes, tears, reactions. Yet at these times I too cry out from the deepest places of my heart, “No one sees ME.” They hear my attempts to understand, analyze, and fix. Responses such as, “I heard you already,” “You can’t do it,” “You’re too identified with your role,” “You’re out of the picture now,” can leave any of us crying out as the man who gashed himself with stones on the mountainside, ostracized from the community, our hearts broken open with the longing to be seen and heard and touched with gentle reverence. 

In this Gospel reading, it is clear that Jesus saw this man. Jesus saw the external behavior that so frightened everyone who knew about this man. He also, though, could hold in his vision the heart and soul of this man created by his Father, this Beloved of his Heart. Jesus saw him. Jesus knew him. Jesus restored him to wholeness and truth. Jesus returned him to the community.

Jesus sees your deepest reality, your greatest suffering, your desperate need. He knows your true self and can understand and heal the parts of you that still cry out for wholeness and truth. 

When we see ourselves and others in this beautiful and gracious way, we too can bring wholeness and truth to others and ourselves in the midst of any suffering.

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Sr. Kathryn J. HermesKathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey. Website: Public Facebook Group: For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community:

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St. John Bosco: Saint of the Day for Monday, January 31, 2022

John Bosco, also known as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco and Don Bosco, was born in Becchi, Italy, on August 16, 1815. His birth came just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars which ravaged the area. Compounding the problems on his birthday, there was also a drought and a famine at the time of his birth.

At the age of two, John lost his father, leaving him and his two older brothers to be raised by his mother, Margherita. His “Mama Margherita Occhiena” would herself be declared venerable by the …

Prayer to Saint John Bosco: Prayer of the Day for Monday, January 31, 2022

O glorious Saint John Bosco, who in order to lead young people to the feet of the divine Master and to mould them in the light of faith and Christian morality didst heroically sacrifice thyself to the very end of thy life and didst set up a proper religious Institute destined to endure and to bring to the farthest boundaries of the earth thy glorious work, obtain also for us from Our Lord a holy love for young people who are exposed to so many seductions in order that we may generously spend …

Be Set Free From Evil

As the disciples’ boat arrives at Gerasa a man with an “unclean spirit” comes from the tombs towards them. It is much like a modern-day horror film that would cause fright and fear. The man had supernatural strength and was uncontrollable. He would howl and gash himself with stones, so his appearance must have been terrifying. 

At the sight of Jesus, this man ran to Him, fell to the ground and worshiped Him, and shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” The man seemed to sense that Jesus could free him from a horrible oppression, and the evil spirits knew that Jesus had divine power over them. 

At the end of this Gospel reading, we learn that the man was freed from the demon named Legion when Jesus sent the demons into a herd of pigs. The pigs then jumped off the cliff and died. Instead of the townspeople rejoicing that this man was saved from his affliction by the demonic spirit, they were more worried about the loss of the pig herd and were afraid of our Lord. 

Not only did they not thank Jesus for freeing the community from this demonic and frightful man, they, in return, asked Jesus to leave. Just think of their missed opportunity by not inviting Jesus to heal and help their families from their sickness and afflictions. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; He sets us free from sin, and yet, we must be open to this personal transformation. We must invite the Lord into our life. 

However, all was not lost. The man set free from a life of demonic possession was now free to proclaim the Gospel. Even though the townspeople were afraid of Jesus and asked Him to depart, Christ left them a messenger of the Good News who had a powerful testimony. Jesus asked the cured demoniac to “Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in His mercy has done for you.” Words for all of us to reflect on. Our personal testimony is a most powerful witness for the Holy Spirit to reach other hearts through us.

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Emily Jaminet is a Catholic author, speaker, radio personality, wife, and mother of seven children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mental health and human services from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.  She is the co-founder of and the Executive Director of The Sacred Heart Enthronement Network She has co-authored several Catholic books and her next one, Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Claiming Jesus’ Twelve Promises in Your Life, comes out in Oct. 2020. Emily serves on the board of the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference, contributes to Relevant Radio and Catholic

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St. Aldegunais: Saint of the Day for Sunday, January 30, 2022

Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or Orgonne. She was a member of the royal family of the Merovingians and was raised by two saints: St. Walbert and St. Bertila, her parents. The family resided in the Hainault region of Flanders, a region of the Low Countries. Aldegundis reflused offers of marriage from other nobles and received the veil from St. Amandius, the bishop of Maastricht. She followed this ceremony of acceptance into the religious life with the foundation of a …

A Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, January 30, 2022

Holy Spirit,
Divine Consoler,
I adore You as my true God,
with God the Father and God the Son.
I adore You and unite myself to the adoration
You receive from the angels and saints.

I give You my heart
and I offer my ardent thanksgiving
for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.

O Giver of all supernatural gifts,
who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, with such immense favors,
I beg You to visit me with Your grace …

Two Important Questions

The Old Testament today has the messenger Nathan astounded at what David has done, especially since David is the anointed of the Lord. David’s sin is forgiven by the Lord. There are, however, consequences because of his sinful actions.

The Gospel of Mark has an incredulous Jesus asking the disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

It’s still fairly early in Jesus’ ministry. The disciples are still trying to figure out who Jesus really is, a prophet or the Messiah.

They’ve seen water turned into wine, watched a man’s withered hand be healed and several other miracles. They’ve just listened to Jesus share many parables: the sower of seeds, scattering seeds, a lamp and a basket, the mustard seed. Yet when they get in a boat with Jesus and he’s fast asleep, there is panic that they will be swamped and drown during a sudden storm. Really?

I’ve heard of and read about the same miracles and healings. Would I have the trust and faith that Jesus is in control of the wind and seas of the situation?

Do I have the courage to do whatever He tells me without fear?

Do I have the faith that He will get me through whatever storm may come my way?

I admit there have been a few times in my life when I’ve been scared, really afraid of the next thing to do. In the Hispanic culture this is known as ‘caerse del susto’ being scared to death.

This type of loss of faith experience has happened to me many times including, during a sudden move, graduating from school, challenges in married life, getting a job, going through pregnancy, delivery and birth. It’s also happened when coping with illness, surgery, loss of life or relationships. I’ve also felt a trembling of faith before and while having hard conversations with family, friends and others. My head knows Jesus is in the boat with me, yet I’ve allowed fear of the unknown to take control of my mind and heart instead of relying on Him. 

Today I offer the following prayer to begin again on my journey in faith with Jesus.

God, grant me the Serenity

To accept the things I cannot change…

Courage to change the things I can,

And Wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.


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Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here

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