Friday, 21 September 2018

Happy Feast of Saint Matthew

The carvings of the Twelve Apostles round the apse in the inner Shrine of Saint Jude are by Anthony Foster. The design was based on the Malmesbury Apostles. St. Paul has been substituted for Judas Iscariot.

Happy Feast Day of Saint Matthew the Apostle - fellow Apostle to Saint Jude.

Saint Matthew was among the earliest followers and apostles of Jesus. The Apostle is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus.

He was a first century Galilean and the son of Alpheus. His fellow Jews would have despised him because he would have been seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force. After Jesus called him, Matthew invited him to his home for a feast. However, the Pharisees and scribes criticised Jesus for eating with a sinner and tax collector. However, Jesus responded with: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)

Like Saint Jude, Matthew was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. The church hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr.

Saint Matthew, pray for us.

Let us pray:

O ALMIGHTY God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist: Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Holy Souls Society 2018

‘It does not matter where you bury my body. All I ask of you, is that wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord.’ St Monica to St Augustine

For many years, the National Shrine of Saint Jude has promoted the Carmelite devotion to the souls of the departed by establishing a Dead List that is renewed each year.

The Carmelite Holy Souls Society reminds us that the Church is not confined to this world, but extends into the next as well. By praying for the dead, as we prayed for them when they were alive, we can establish a special link with the communion of saints. In a way this is a two-way street. We remember them in prayer and we ask them to pray for us. It is a helpful reminder that our brothers and sisters who die do not lose their identity, or their relationship with us. They remain the people that they are and the core of their identity is carefully reserved by God as they are transformed by God’s love and set free to love.

You may be increasingly aware of just how much unfinished business we have in life. Things we may have said or done which we shouldn’t have, and which we now cannot put right. Often, once a word leaves our mouth, we lose all control over it!

Prayer, true prayer, is always an act of love. Our Catholic Christian tradition assures us that our prayer for the Holy Souls is one of the ways in which God loves our departed brothers and sisters into life in all its fullness. It is a gift of the tenderness of God to allow us to share in this loving process."

People simply send in their lists of dead relatives and friends to be included in our prayers for the Holy Souls.

All those on your list will become members of the Carmelite Holy Souls Society for the year.

Membership includes:

1. A daily Mass for deceased relatives and friends through the year (except the three days of Holy Week);

2. A Mass each month for deceased members and benefactors;

3. A share in the Masses, prayers and good works of the whole Carmelite Order.

There is no fixed membership fee, or annual subscription: just donate what you would like to become a member. You can either do this via our online service, or by printing a form and sending it to the Shrine office.